Max Digital TV
I'm a new customer to Max, and terrestrial digital TV in general. For the last 8 years I've lived where you could get analog cable, or satellite (northern sask and manitoba).
As I have a 27" SDTV, I don't really have high expectations.
BUT, in general, as some other posters have noted, scenes with a lot of motion, such as moving water, fire, music videos, or basically anything with a lot of "action" ends up looking blocky. It's even noticable with the camera panning/ light show effects during an American Idol performance.
Is this behavior unusual for run-of-the-mill digital TV?
Now, I'm new to digital TV, but not digital media. It looks to me that the compression algorithms are poorly conceived, or bitrate limit is just plain too low.I never really noticed this on Star Choice when I watched it at my dad's house (never subscribed myself, I was a $20/mo, and convince the cable guy to hook me up with everything guy), would I notice it on (access) digital cable? Besides the possible picture noise issues, I think stations that have a lot of "busy" content, such as music videos, look worse than analog cable.
In any case, compared to TV content ripped from satellite HDTVs, encoded with Xvid, playing on the same cheapo 27" TV, it looks like crap.
Of course, on the Sasktel HD STB I've not seen this, just freezing, etc, but as I understand it the new wave of STBs are using h.264 mpeg4 for the HDTV content, do they use the same compression/codec for SDTV content? I'm assuming that the original Max service is feeding some sort of mpeg2 video feed to the STBs.
One area this really sours me is Sasktel's VOD service. It is a great idea, and convenient, but I'm sure as heck not going to pay to rent a movie that looks like garbage the second there is a lot of action on the screen.
As I'm a "member" I'm not about to bother trying to get a fix for something that doesn't exist. I'm sure 90% of people wouldn't even notice the amount of blocking that does happen, but I do..., heck I can spot compression artifacts watching DVDs sometimes too.