: Shaw Cable HD channels: Video and audio quality discussion
2008-04-21, 03:48 AM
No, it's not just your TV/setup. I think something is up with Shaw's HD content delivery. I'm going to call tomorrow and cancel my service. They've started compressing the signals more and more to squeeze more unwanted channels/programming in.
Did anyone try watching the concert tonight on HDNet? It was garbage. Everything was macroblocking and it looked like SD. I thought it was just that channel (yah right, this is HDNet we're talking about here, not CBC) but it was just as bad on the other HD channels too.
Shaw has always been a favourite company of mine, but they're getting stupid/greedy on us now. They think we're all a bunch of stupid people who won't notice terrible picture quality. Of course, when you call in to customer service, they'll tell you something must be wrong on our end... HDMI, 1080i output, brand new plasma...yah, it's totally on my end.
I'm fairly certain it's gotten worse this week. Maybe they've even compressed things more than before, in preparation of the additional channels they're adding this upcoming week. Either way, I'm gone.
Anyone know what Bell ExpressVU's HD programming is like? I'll go with whomever provides quality HD service.
2008-04-21, 03:54 AM
Every single HD channel is severely macroblocking as of this weekend. It always did it before, but not to the extent I've experienced tonight.
It's not my receiver.
It's not my plasma.
It's not my signal strength or cables.
It's Shaw's overly compressed signals. They're silly stupid bad. Every single HD channel is terrible now. Even HDNet. The concert tonight was the worst HD I've ever seen...and this is HDNet, not some crappy SD upconverted junk that you see on SCHD.
I hooked up the firewire cable to my DCT6412 III and recorded some programs with iRecord on my Mac. During HD programming, the average bitrate was anywhere from 3Mbps up to about 11Mbps. It used to hit 18Mbps before.
Anyone else notice the Shaw HD picture quality went bigtime downhill this weekend?
2008-04-21, 04:00 AM
I am new to HD but heard that bell was just as bad....
2008-04-21, 04:02 AM
I did for sure. I got HD on Monday and it looked way better during that week. Especially the hockey/baseball games. It looks like crap now....
2008-04-21, 04:07 AM
Thanks for your reply, fatman711. It's nice to know I'm not the only one--or that I'm imagining things.
If Shaw (I know it's a CRTC thing) could dump all those lame channels in the 100s that no one watches, we'd have more bandwidth available for HD. It's so frustrating.
I remember when I first got my HD service from Shaw, there was a cartoon/movie running on the Movie Channel HD, and the picture quality was amazing. Almost like watching a blueray. Tonight, MC programming was so ugly, I seriously thought I had bumped my TV remote to the analog cable input or something. All the HD channels are just as bad.
Not to sound like a perv, but there was a naked lady on one of the movie channels and I couldn't even make out all the good parts. My 2.8" cell phone has a higher resolution screen/more detail than what I can see with a 42" plasma on Shaw's HD service!!
2008-04-21, 09:36 AM
What is macroblocking?
Alot of my channels were cutting in and out this weekend. Channel 217 (CTVHD) I couldn't get at all.
I can't get satellite because i'm facing north in an apartment, but I wonder if telus would be any better, I was told they compressed their signals more, but I wonder at what point their service would become better?
2008-04-21, 12:59 PM
I was under the impression that Telus only offered digital tv not HD.
2008-04-21, 01:27 PM
I believe telus does offer HD only to select areas...if i can remember right...very select areas.
Yes, the concert was crapola. Very grainey and blocky. Hockey has gotten worse this weekend as well.
Not sure for anyone else but PQ on CBC HD hockey games are WAY better the TSN HD. Half the time TSN HD look slike SD feed to me.
Like Someone said earlier, why don't they get rid of all the 60-199 channels (or at least most of them). Does anyone actually watch them? I never watch them due to the fact that I don't even know which ones i'm subscribed too. I can see something interesting and when I try to watch it, it says i'm not subscribed to it. Some channels I can watch some I can't so I can;t bother.
Does anyone know by Shaw squeezing in 3 HD channels to QAM will make a difference on SD channels on the digital map?
I have my STB set to feed 480P for awhile with no problems and only this weekend I noticed major macro blocking on all SD channels. I set the box back to 480i and no more macroblocking.
2008-04-21, 05:08 PM
This weekend was the worst I have seen in a long time.
Jason your posts sound a lot like mine, months ago.
It's incredibly frustrating.
TSN was utter crap last night, the hockey game and Sportscentre that followed. HDnet looked rottent too. I wonder if they compress CBC less, I know BEV does.
I'd LOVE to cancel, but I'm also in a condo facing north.
To make matters worse suddenly my 6416 PVR won't record on both tuners.
I love my apt, but I would seriously consider moving to dump these losers. I think I'm goign to switch my internet to Telus to send a message. The message won't eb heard of course, but hey.
2008-04-21, 07:25 PM
I am new to HD but heard that bell was just as bad....
I have both services (Bell and Shaw); dropping Shaw though... it is UBBERLY more crappy and compressed than Bell... like 100 to 1. Nothing will compare to Blu-rays anymore all these companies are cramming too many channels; at least with satellite you can get more transponders.
2008-04-21, 08:55 PM
Hate to sound like a broken record, but I watched both TSN and the CBC games (during commercials of course!) without incident. Don't think the TSN game was true HD though.
2008-04-21, 10:11 PM
Do you suppose some of this could be location-specific? Maybe Calgary has more bandwidth so they aren't squeezing 3 HD's to a QAM and so you're not seeing the extra compression?
2008-04-21, 10:50 PM
I'm guessing that Nanook is lucky and that for some reason, his area is getting trouble-free service. Although it is not a 'new' area of the city, it might just be he is lucky enough to be on a node that isn't affected by the issues the rest of us are. I don't know how else to explain it since I have proof of the problems at both North and South ends of the city in homes that are less than 5 years old (you would assume the cabling in the new areas is up to snuff).
2008-04-21, 10:59 PM
I'm at a loss to explain it myself. However if you look at Shaw's subscriber statistics (increasing year over year), logic says this cannot be endemic else they would be losing their base. That's not to say there are not real, consistent problems (as evidenced by DHC membership).
2008-04-21, 11:10 PM
Nanuuk, I don't think you can judge HD video quality by subscriber stats... that seems like quite a stretch. Many people don't have HD, others don't have a choice of provider, and still others just put up with it.
That's kind of like saying people must be happy with the price of gas because they are still driving cars. ;)
Edit: I had another thought... what is your TV like Nanuuk? Large LCD? or smaller CRT? Perhaps your setup is just not conducive to seeing macroblocking?
2008-04-22, 12:14 AM
I have a 46" Sony LCD Bravia (2006 model) and a 36" Toshiba CRT HDTV (2001 model). I can tune both to an HD channel at the same time without problems.
2008-04-22, 12:58 AM
My guess is that the LCD would be more likely to show any macroblocking. OK, I'm stumped as to why you're not seeing any.
2008-04-22, 02:09 AM
I have both an LCD and plasma and the LCd shows it a lot more.
I think a lot of people just don't notice it. A lot fo people don't pay that much attention. If you're not a TV afficianado you're probably not going to notice or care. You might just think that's the way it is.
EDIT: The Habs-Bruins game tonight looked great. Some minor macroblocking but nothing I couldn't live with. Again, I can't help but think Shaw might take the BEV route and compress CBC less.
2008-04-22, 02:29 AM
I didn't think that the bruins game looked that great. Still pretty grainy compared to last week's games.
Still better than tonight's tsn washington game though...