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post #886 of 897 (permalink) Old 2018-04-07, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by tommy14 View Post
I'm glad that someone else has brought this up. I noticed the difference when MLB network had a live look in on the A's and Angels game while SN1 carried the game. They were both the same feed (Comcast Bay area) and the MLB network look in was much sharper and crisper. This happens when the picture zooms out like you said on every type of sporting event, but the interesting thing is that MLB extra innings channels (free preview) aren't affected so it is only a TSN and Sportsnet issue it seems.....
Bell satellite customer here too. Complete red banding and absolute compression on The Masters on TSN.

The jays game on sportsnet one is completely unwatchable, its has been trash for days now.

Any medium to fast motion, or where there is a lot of background detail is just a complete garbage heap of pixelation.

All sports tickers and scoreboards are fuzzy, even on most hockey games.

From what i can gather there are more than just a few complaints about this, but still no reasonable explanation from bell yet. Have friends and family with the same issue.

Seeing as i basically only have tv for sports, this is incredibly annoying.

My guess is bell added more hd channels and is compressing the hell out of them to squeeze them in.

Just a guess though

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post #887 of 897 (permalink) Old 2018-04-08, 10:28 AM
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^^ Bell will never explain its cause, only deny and carelessly blame reports on customer equipment faults.

In all likelihood, if they do anything at all to fix the problem, it'll be six months to a year from now before subscribers notice any improvement, because that's about as "fast" as Bell can react to their own internal ineptitude.

There's no evidence that Bell has recently added significantly more channels to its lineup, HD or otherwise. Even if they did, just as many people with Fibe TV are reporting the same problem, and it's an IPTV service, theoretically immune to bandwidth limitations, so they could add an infinite number of channels with no effect on picture quality. Something else is FUBAR'd at Bell.

Another discussion of this widespread problem is happening on the DSLR forum.
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post #888 of 897 (permalink) Old 2018-04-08, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mr.eous View Post
...just as many people with Fibe TV are reporting the same problem
It is my understanding that Fibe gets most/all? of its signals from Bell Sat, so whatever issues there are with Bell Sat will be visible on Fibe, no matter the final bandwidth on Fibe.


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post #889 of 897 (permalink) Old 2018-04-08, 11:47 AM
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While watching the early coverage (Wednesday , Thursday, Friday) of the Masters on TSN in HD , the picture quality is garbage on all Channels. Sporstnet looks terrible for Blue Jay games. CBC News (1564), everytime the red banner for graphic appears it looks pixelated and blocky.

Yesterday I watched the Masters on CTV (1151), it looked to me the best of the CTVs. It was heads and shoulders a better picture than TSN.
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post #890 of 897 (permalink) Old 2018-04-09, 08:32 PM
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Tonight Jays game is on TVA Sports and Sportsnet. TVA Sports is using Sportsnet feed, but TVA Sports image quality is definitely better than Sportsnet. Most frustrating part of this is that calling Bell and telling them that they have image quality problem would be a waste of time.
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post #891 of 897 (permalink) Old 2018-04-10, 12:13 AM
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There is definitely a picture quality issue on Sportsnet and TSN channels. These used to be the best looking channels on Bell Satellite. For the first ever the HD baseball games on MLB Extra Innings look better than any baseball game carried on Sportsnet or TSN.
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post #892 of 897 (permalink) Old 2018-04-10, 11:09 AM
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Watched Masters on weekend and picture was horrible, TSN and CTV both had problems. Jays game last night same thing. Grass on both golf and baseball appears blurry in sections. Very disappointed was looking forward to a stunning picture from the Masters.
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post #893 of 897 (permalink) Old 2018-04-19, 01:44 PM
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It appears Bell is not alone with picture quality issues. Here is a techies OPINION on what has recently occurred with Amazon Prime.

“In technical terms, it appears Amazon Prime has increased the CRF [Constant Rate Factor] value they use when encoding for both the HEVC [H265] and H264 streams. Previously, their H264 streams were using CRF 18 and a max bitrate of 15Mbit/s, which usually resulted in file sizes of roughly 3GB, or around 10Mbit/s. Similarly with their HEVC streams, they were using CRF 20 and resulting in streams which were around the same size,” he explained.

“In the past week, the H264 streams have decreased by up to 50% for some streams. While there are no longer any x264 headers embedded in the H264 streams, the HEVC streams still retain those headers and the CRF value used has been increased, so it does appear this change has been done on purpose.”

In layman’s terms, our source believes that Amazon had previously been using an encoding profile that was “right on the edge of relatively good quality” which kept bitrates relatively low but high enough to ensure no perceivable loss of quality.

“H264 streams encoded with CRF 18 could provide an acceptable compromise between quality and file size, where the loss of detail is often negligible when watched at regular viewing distances, at a desk, or in a lounge room on a larger TV,” he explained.

“Recently, it appears these values have been intentionally changed in order to lower the bitrate and file sizes for reasons unknown. As a result, the quality of some streams has been reduced by up to 50% of their previous values. This has introduced a visual loss of quality, comparable to that of viewing something in standard definition versus high definition.”
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post #894 of 897 (permalink) Old 2018-04-19, 04:06 PM
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Let's please stick with discussing Bell's picture quality, not anecdotal evidence that any other video service has its own generalized worsening image. From a technical standpoint, video streaming services operate fundamentally different from DTH satellite; it's like comparing apples to oranges.

Maybe someone should contact this guy, as his LinkedIn profile says he used to be "responsible for the monitoring and maintenance of the MPEG2 and MPEG4 video quality and bandwidth allocation"!
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post #895 of 897 (permalink) Old 2018-04-20, 12:34 PM
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This was not anectodal evidence as Amazon Prime has now officially replied that they have restored their "original" quality image. Clearly they upset many of their customers and reacted.
I posted that here because if Bell is somehow saving money by reducing their picture quality and it is being noticed by customers, if they can Bell should restore better quality.
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post #896 of 897 (permalink) Old 2018-04-20, 01:12 PM
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Bell intentionally lowered the resolution and overall quality of their signals years ago and continued to do so despite customer protests and CRTC policy that forbids it. Bell had sufficient bandwidth to maintain picture quality as more HD channels were added but decided to trade away an entire Canadian satellite to a US BDU, thereby cheating Canadians out of 2/3 of their allocated DTH satellite capacity. In Canada, the airwaves legally belong to all Canadians but some corporations act as if they own them once allocated their use. Canadians may never get those DTH satellite frequencies back. To compensate, Bell embarked on rolling out a flawed compression scheme on damaged satellites that drove customers crazy and drove many away. Meanwhile that US BDU enjoy better picture quality from the Canadian satellite than Canadians do from Bell.

I've seen recordings of Bell satellite signals that illustrate how bad their signals deteriorated since they started to employ lowered resolution and increased compression. MPEG4 provided some relief but it still does not compensate for the loss of quality experienced since 1080i with standard MPEG2 compression was abandoned.
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post #897 of 897 (permalink) Old 2018-04-20, 02:55 PM
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The other reason I posted the Amazon Prime comments was the bitrates and file size data.
I know some people who read these forums have the technical capability to measure this for Bell satellite signals and I'm hoping they would share this data with us.
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