: Shaw Cable HD channels: Video and audio quality discussion
2008-02-13, 08:36 PM
Sorry if it sounded like I was disputing anything. It's simply baffling that we get different results. You're not the only one with problems (as we can see on this forum), yet I'm not the only one with decent results. Wish I could explain it.
Is the DiVX content 720p? Bell is also 720p for most channels (or it was). Meanwhile, Shaw is 1080i for everything now except PBS. Do you have anything else that could provide test 1080i/p source material?
You're right, digital is digital...but some things can mess with it. Bad calibration can highlight, or even contribute to macroblocking. Display differences, though you've tried three. Errors in the stream, or different compression, etc. Not sure why we'd have different compression, especially in the same city, so we can toss that one out. Errors could be different...though it's probably something you've checked. We generally have zero for both correctable and uncorrectable errors.
Could interference be an issue? (i.e. not in the signal, but something causing interference inside your unit, which then throws off the signal to the display). Is everything, including the cable, grounded OK? I don't know if interference or grounding could create this particular problem, but here's a related anecdote. I put together a PC with an eye on sound (wanted the thing as quiet as possible). Case even had rubber grommets for mounting the hard drive (quieter drive). Well the OS wasn't very stable...and was much slower than it should have been. Turned out the rubber grommets meant the hard drive wasn't grounded. Something was generating interference. Once I grounded the drive, everything was fine. Maybe, just maybe, there's something causing interference. This could be a hassle to track down, but try running your cables a different route (from DCT to display), or rearrange the equipment a bit. Maybe a power cord is interfering? Maybe another device...I don't know.
Did you have Bell at your current home? If it was a different location, what else is different (ie. anything on the same electrical circuit that wasn't before?). Along the same lines, any chance you have access to a UPS (interruptible power supply)? Some UPSs clean power in addition to providing power in a blackout...long shot...but maybe. If you have a sub-woofer, is it close to the DCT? Subs usually aren't magnetically shielded...so maybe...
Hopefully an electrician can chime in on this. In particular, to eliminate items that couldn't possibly cause this issue. I'm just trying to come up with something that just might, maybe make a difference. That means some ideas could be completely ludicrous... Sorry. I really am just trying to help.
2008-02-13, 09:34 PM
well... lets see here.. no worries about disputing,, i think were on the same track now and maybe you understand where im coming from on this subject..
Divx files,, i doubt its anywhere near 720p, were talking about file size of 700~900MB for like 90~120min movies.
When I do look under the diag menu, and I've mentioned it before, we can see both tuners locked in the channel, well I've tried several SD channels and a few HD,, well the results are that SD channels is usally more or less 5 Correctable errors, so 0 for uncorrectable, and on HD channels its more like 50+ sometimes near 100 correctable errors but 0 for uncorrectable. So it makes me wonder, why are there so many errors in the stream to began with. The signal was in the mid 30's dB and the inband was 20dB which is good.
On to the power, I have a monster power surge supression with clean power,, so I'm gonna assume i'm covered on that. I've tried 2 different outlets. I did have expressvu at this location before and was flawless, maybe it would be a different story today from what i've heard with bell lately.
The HD quality is not unwatchable, but it is quite frustrating to see the amount of macroblocking when things move fairly fast on screen when I know, there is or atlease use to be better service then what I'm paying for now.
2008-02-14, 02:31 AM
I don't know if this was macroblocking or something else but I just saw the worst case of picture deterioration I have ever seen. I am watching repeat coverage of Nascar practice from today on SPEED HD and during an interview with Kenny Wallace sitting in his car, the picture began to deteriorate and just kept getting worse until something moved in the picture like the reporter pulling the microphone back or some one walking in front of the camera. Each time the picture would start deteriorating in a mottled sort of Picasso type looking thing going on. It seemed to be due to the lack of change or movement in the picture. VERY ODD. Anyone else seen it this bad before?
I have seen it to a lesser degree over the past couple of days, same channel, specifically in a H*** D**** commercial where the picture is just a small box in the middle of the screen and it just blurs out and goes all orange (colour of the racecar in the picture). It doesn't happen every time this commercial is on so I guess we are still dealing with the ghost in the machine?
2008-02-15, 04:18 PM
Canucks game last night, ch 298.
Don't know if this is indicative of anyone else's HD quality?
2008-02-15, 08:10 PM
Top and bottom picture ressembles to what I get.
But here are more pictures for your enjoyment.
2008-02-15, 08:26 PM
2008-02-16, 03:38 PM
I agree with those photos - watched the same Van. game - terrible.
The quality of every HD channel in my area (Calgary) is horrible. Was pretty good about 2 months ago - but the last month and half has been disgusting.
A good example is channel 299 or 298 for anyone that has NHL CI - the NESN (bruins) HD games have been flawless - until Jan 2008 - ever since then you can see macroblocking during the play and in any graphics.
I have called Shaw and e-mailed to complain - I hope everyone on this board with Shaw HD is doing the same!
2008-02-17, 12:55 PM
I still have yet to see this on my Shaw (get many sound drop outs though) with my Panasonic Plasma / good cables (monoprice.com), HDMI switcher, and Motorola PVR
Those pictures all look awful though. Wow, that would be annoying.
2008-02-18, 06:42 AM
I have a 50" Panasonic PZ700 and Shaw Motorola DCT 6416 III box. I have been an HD sub for almost 4 months. From Halloween 2007 until just before Christmas, the picture was flawless...with some channels being better than others. After Christmas, there was a noticeable drop in the quality of picture. Especially New Years Day when I lost 5 channels for the whole day. But I haven't experienced the kind of picture quality that alot of people are experiencing...those pictures are incredible. I get sound dropouts and some loss of PQ and I have complained a couple of times. But watching the Daytona 500 and Knight Rider Sunday, the PQ looks as good as when I first signed up for HD. Absolutely incredible.
I live in Saskatoon. I am far from being an expert on the technical side of cable TV. But could the fact that lot of u live in larger centres be part of the problem...the whole bandwidth thing? Someone also mentioned that the quality of Shaw is better on the weekends and I have noticed that as well.
2008-02-19, 12:18 PM
You may recall I had posted 3 weeks back or so about a reply email from Shaw stating they knew about and were working on the issue and they'd follow up with me at the end of January. Well they didn't fix or call so I emailed again. This time the issue will be fixed by the end of February and they'll follow up by the end of the month. So it's looking like they are taking the attitude of you want cable then order it and if you don't like it oh well.
2008-02-19, 02:32 PM
They told me there was a known issue with HD Fox and CTV Vancouver.
I told them in return those were two of my best channels!
2008-02-19, 02:48 PM
I think posting these pictures are an excellent idea - let the curious shopper who wants to know about Shaw's picture quality see it for themselves.
Unfortunately, I noticed this thread no longer shows as one of the top results when searching for "Shaw HDTV" on Google. It still shows on other search engines though...
2008-02-19, 04:45 PM
It's #5 for "Shaw HD problems" though :D
2008-02-19, 05:04 PM
#1 for - shaw hd bad
2008-02-20, 02:41 AM
I don't know if anyone else here has tried downloading high definition channels to their computer using the firewire output. Last year I was able to do this and noticed that I was downloading at about 25mgbits per second now when I try to download I'm only getting 15mgbits per second. Also I notice that Shaw has now encrypted the firewire output so I can no longer convert the video.
I think this reduction in bandwith is what has increased the macro blocking problem.
2008-02-20, 12:47 PM
Of course it does.
We poor people who are suffering from the awful HD quality have eliminated cable issues, signal errors, box faults and source problems. There in my mind are only two other possibilities - bandwidth or compression algorithms. Both are in Shaw's court, and chances are they will keep "passing the ball" of the horrible HD quality, and keep charging us for the crud they are passing off as High Definition.
I haven't called about the quality issues in the past few weeks, due to a busy schedule. But I think I will be trying to make a call this Friday afternoon to see if their tune has changed.
2008-02-20, 07:28 PM
The flaw in that logic is that not everyone is effected.
Not being a techy, it is the hit and miss thing that I don't understand. As others have said, one channel might be good one night and rotten the next. CTV in Vancouver has definitely degraded over the last month or so (coincident with their over-riding US network shows?) but I find the lack of consistency the most disappointing. If it was always bad, I'd consider giving up the considerable investment in the 6416 and switch to Bell but now I'm afraid that I could just be jumping from the frying pan to the fire.
2008-02-22, 01:42 PM
cprich, you say you don't mean to be rude and neither do I, but your advice is not helpful... even considering that it is just coming from "a curious george".
There are MANY reasons not to switch. If you read threads about the other providers, you'll see that they aren't perfect either. And Telus isn't available in my area, and I'm not allowed to put up a dish in my complex.
Those of us living in Shaw-land would like to see them fix their problems. We pay plenty for their service and many of us have $1000 or more invested in Shaw equipment (they don't rent).
If switching didn't involve time/effort/costs then I'm sure more people would do it willy-nilly when they get annoyed with their provider, as you suggest.
But that's not the case, so your advice is a little too flippant to be useful.
Edit: I just reviewed your previous posts and I see that your answer for everything is "SaskTel". That may work for you, but it doesn't solve the problem for everyone. Please be a little more thoughtful in your responses to others who are in a different situation than you, thanks.
2008-02-22, 05:18 PM
I didn't know telus offered HDTV service. But agreed with what you said above technut, there are HDTV issues with BEV my grandpa has that I wouldn't want, yet shaw has their own issues. The issues I would like to say though that I see are apples and oranges. my granpas problems are nothing like my problems. and the solution's to the problems are much different as well.