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The "proof" is in the form of feedback from forum members who have measured the input signals to their STBs, as well as industry insiders and Bell insider knowledge regarding their satellite signals. See the FAQ on Formats below:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/30-57s-home-theatre-faqs/76129-faq-hdtv-formats.html

Bell/Telus

The latest information we have, is that Bell (Sat) is converting all of the channels to 720P to save bandwidth. Bell Fibe, Bell Aliant, as well as Telus Sat and Optik get (most/all of) their signals from Bell - some (local area channels) may be direct from the "broadcaster".
Since they are short on bandwidth, there is no reason to believe they switched back to 1080i for some channels that broadcast 1080i since that takes additional bandwidth. Of course the channels that are listed as broadcasting in 720P in the first part of the FAQ would not be changed by Bell to 1080i.

So, the only programming that isn't 720P is programming that is OD, or the occasional local channel that the providers listed above may receive directly rather than through Bell Sat, and transmit as 1080i. Until someone disproves the above information gathered over the years, we will maintain that Bell non-OD is 720P.
 

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Have finally tried 720p again and everything is fine... can't say that the channel switching is faster but I guess the pvr is not converting the signal anymore.
 

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When I moved 2 years ago, Bell had FTTH in my new area but I continued on with Rogers for the first year, then changed to Bell last summer. Hands down I prefer the picture quality from Rogers. But also hands down I prefer the user experience with Bell's system (definitely not Bell as a company though!). On Fibe, gradients show easily noticeable banding, especially in darker scenes. It can actually get pretty bad.

57, I don't doubt that regular broadcast channels are sent as 720p but Bell does advertise some PPV material as 1080p so if you set your output to 720p, you'll never "benefit" from these 1080p broadcasts (benefit in quotes as I have no proof there is any benefit, and I've watched at least one move in "1080p")
 

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Welcome back @JohnnyG. I respect your opinion and you're correct that you'd need to set the output for 1080P if you wish to benefit from 1080P OD programming. It probably doesn't matter much if you use 1080P or 720P for regular TV programming, but it's probably best not to use 1080i.

One of the main questions in this thread is "what is the incoming signal to the STB" and that's 720P for regular channels and can be 1080P for OD. There is little or no 1080i coming to the STB.
 

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Thanks 57 :) I have always popped my head in here every once in a while, but don't post too often. Always nice to see some familiar names when I come back though!

I agree with what you're saying, although its difficult to say for sure that any given TV will upconvert better than the set-top will. As well, I've got the output from the Fibe box going into an Xbox One, and then the output of that going into my receiver, both of which have their own conversion in them, so I just put them all at 1080p and calibrate the final output. Not enough ROI on my time to test all the possible combinations!
 

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The issue with PQ all depends on one's point of view?

The TV does make a difference.Depending on your make can make all the difference how you compare PQ between TV competitors(cheap vs expensive)?

An individuals eye site. Not all individuals have the exact same eye sight (Vision IE 20/20 etc)?

Type of set top box.

Sat,Cable IPTV,Antenna?

Your provider?

How its connected to your TV(HDMI vs S-Video vs Coax)?

There are many factors that make up PQ?
 

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An interesting find from HighDef Forum.

These are the real uncompressed numbers of HD. Not broadcast but the true bandwidth it takes to move an HD signal around before it gets squeezed down for broadcast.

Raw uncompressed bandwidth of 1080i HD? - High Def Forum - Your High Definition Community & High Definition Resource

SD is
858 * 525 * 29.97 * 20 = 269,999,730 bits or 270Mbps

720 HD is
1650 * 750 * 59.94 * 20 = 1,483,515,000 or 1.4835Gbps

1080 30 frame HD is
2200 * 1125 * 29.97 * 20 = 1,483,515,000 or 1.4835Gbps

1080 60 frame HD is
2200 * 1125 * 59.94 * 20 = 2,967,030,000 or 2.967Gbps
 

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Yes, but let's not confuse this thread which is discussing broadcast TV and also, more specifically, what Bell sends. For those circumstances (what Bell sends), the number are 1280x720; 1920x1080, where 720P will "save" about 10% of the bandwidth compared to 1080i, the reason Bell uses 720P for its transponders (and where Fibe gets all/most of its signals).
 

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Hi Folks,

I'm new to the forum but have been reading through a bit and haven't seen anything specifically like this before, so I'm hoping someone might be able to help me out.

I just recently subscribed to Bell's Fibe TV/Gigabit package and have been pretty disappointed with the picture quality of the TV channels. I've compared what I'm seeing to some friends with Bell Satellite and Cogeco cable, and their picture is much better than mine, while I have arguably the best TV.

The issue I'm seeing is mostly what looks like heavy compression of the stream, basically to the point where it looks similar to a low quality YouTube video. I can download recordings or find streams of content that are better quality than what I'm getting through the receiver.

As close to an Apples-to-Apples comparison that I can get:

Fibe TV:


MotoGP.com Webstream (720p):


You can see the difference in the facial details, the sponsorship logos on the leathers, and the Spanish flag, even. It's not even close. Even with the less-than-ideal cellphone camera shots.

Things I've tried:

1. Rebooting the Modem, changing cables, rebooting the PVR, changing HDMI cables, changing Ethernet cords, trying other TV Ports, etc.
2. Checking Input resolutions to ensure they are 1080p/720p.
3. Changing colour/picture modes on the TV
4. Calling Bell about the issue (they ran me through how to change the resolution, and then said I'm SOL and/or imagining things)
5. Replacing the PVR

This comparison is using BeInSport, but the behaviour is similar on other channels. I've tried the usual SportsNet, TSN, HGTV, and other HD channels and the content all has the same issues. I used the MotoGP webstream as a reference point because I can pull it up at any time and I can compare easily, but I could get shots of anything else if someone is curious to see what it looks like.

I had the Bell Tech out for a phone issue and had him look at the picture, and he said he could see a pretty noticeable difference, but couldn't determine the cause of the issue and gave up.

I just signed up for a 2 year deal with this package, so I'm a bit stuck with it, and I'm hoping someone here might have a suggestion of something that could be causing this or something to try. I'm pretty convinced that this isn't standard.

Thanks in advance!
 

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I would also try connecting a different TV or monitor just to make sure that it is not your TV.

I believe with the recent CRTC ruling you can cancel your Bell contract at anytime without penalty.
 

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2. Checking Input resolutions to ensure they are 1080p/720p.
3. Changing colour/picture modes on the TV
4. Calling Bell about the issue (they ran me through how to change the resolution, and then said I'm SOL and/or imagining things)
Hello and welcome to the forum.

2. All "regular" (HD) programming on Bell Fibe is sent to the STB as 720P with Bell converting all incoming signals to them (from 1080i, if applicable to 720P). Only On-Demand Programming is available in 1080P. See the following thread on that topic:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/188-bell-fibe-tv/235522-picture-quality.html

Try the 720P setting on the STB for regular (HD) programming in case any conversion in the STB causes issues. That is an "output" setting on the STB, not input. How did you check input, or were you talking about input to the TV?

3. Changing picture modes is not going to help much. What is necessary is a proper understanding of what the modes/settings do and to optimize those settings. See the following FAQ on the topic and at least choose the "best" picture mode:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/30-57s-home-theatre-faqs/76161-faq-what-you-need-do-your-new-hdtv.html

4. Of course, that doesn't necessarily explain the picture quality differences you noticed between the two different photos you have in your post. Are these photos both of the TV (with a computer feeding the TV) or is one of the TV and one of your computer? If the latter, then that's an explanation and you need to connect the computer to the TV for a better comparison.

It is possible that the feed that beIN sports picks up is inferior to what's published on the web. It's also possible that the additional steps it takes to get to you cause a degradation in picture quality. beIN broadcasts in 1080i (see link below), so the additional conversion by Bell Fibe down to 720P can introduce artifacts and poor picture quality. In addition, Bell Fibe needs to compress the stream dramatically to get it to you, so there may be more compression there than there is on the Web stream.

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/37-rogers-cable-tv/260953-bein-sports-channel-1080p.html

Lastly, in my optimization travels I have concluded that because of the high compression, along with format conversion done by Bell/Fibe, the picture quality is actually the worst (softest) available from all the providers I've seen - especially for channels that broadcast in 1080i. I've optimized TVs on Fibe, Cogeco, Bell Sat, Rogers, Shaw Direct, etc.

I hope that this information helps you understand the potential differences that can be seen on a TV for an "identical" programme when coming from different providers/sources.
 

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The photos are both of the TV; I have a 30-ish foot HDMI cable feeding the TV from my computer.

I have tried setting the TV to both 720P and 1080i with similar results, it's difficult to see the difference.

Like I said as well, this isn't just a BeInSport channel issue, it's just that the content I wanted there I can compare to what I already have on the computer. If I try watching something like TSN it's pretty crappy looking as well. It's lower quality than if I stream from TSN.ca and connect the computer to the TV.

I'll probably call the Bell cancellation/retention people today to see if they can do anything for me.

For reference, the TV is a Sony W850B 60".
 

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I'd suggest you escalate your support call with Bell and get a Fibe tech onsite. In contrast to 57's comment, I get a first class picture with Fibe (crisp and clear even close up on most- but not all - channels; BBC World is my benchmark). I have the STB output resolution (Settings, Audio/Video) set to 1080p as the max resolution supported by my TV.
I'm on FTTN.
It's Bell's job to provide you a clean signal, if that's the issue. The tech doing the install should have verified the PQ.
Good luck.
 

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@Norman_C:

I'll try escalating it. The guy I spoke with on the phone was completely uninterested in doing anything. I've now had 2 techs at the house; one for the initial install (which didn't check the picture quality whatsoever, nor the internet speed), and another to get the phone installed (which I asked about the picture and said it looked bad but couldn't do anything about it).

Here is what sports look like:


Check the ref's face (or lack thereof). It's just a complete lack of detail anywhere.
 

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Be aware that the soccer may not have been shot in HD, only European widescreen. Also, by the time it gets to you, there were several conversions done to that programme. Even if a channel says "HD", the original signal may not be HD, or may have come through various sources before it even gets to the service provider. The fewer conversions/sources, the better.

What you need to find is the "best" channel, with the least compression and least signal degradation. Perhaps the Toronto Indy this afternoon, but even there it may be a simsub and not "direct". Channels can vary dramatically based on the programme source, etc.
 

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I believe with the recent CRTC ruling you can cancel your Bell contract at anytime without penalty.
TV providers used to require 30 days notice to cancel. The CRTC says you can cancel without any prior notice, however if you signed a contract, you still have to pay any cancellation penalties you agreed to.

Some providers will allow cancelling a contract without penalty within 30 days of installation if the service is unsatisfactory. I don't know what Bell's policy is.
 

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I have taken a photo similar to your photos in your first post. This was taken from beIN Sports' airing of this morning's MotoGP Starting Grid on Rogers Cable. (please don't tell me the race results - I haven't watched the programme yet). The un-retouched photo taken with my Panasonic camera represents only about 5% of my TV screen - you can see the individual pixels on my six year old 1080P Panasonic Plasma TV. The camera picture has actually degraded the picture from the TV somewhat. The white level and colour on the uploaded photo are not right, but it's good enough for a comparison of how clear the picture is.

You can see that it's much clearer than your first photo, with writing quite legible (Red Bull, Repsol, etc). It's even clearer than your second photo in post one, based on your computer's signal, despite the fact that I've probably taken a photo comprising much less of the TV screen. The issue obviously is not with beIN. So, it could be a Bell Fibe issue, a bit from your TV's settings, and perhaps also a bit from camera (phone) limitations

I have uploaded the photo - click on the link and enlarge if you wish.

Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet

Hope this helps.
 

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Thanks for the shot, 57. That photo from the starting grid is a pretty clear indication of the issues I'm seeing. Your photo is what I'd expect the quality to be like from the TV signal, but it just isn't.

The soccer photo I posted is an MLS game, Toronto vs San Jose, so it's a local recording and not from Europe or anything too exotic.

I also won't spoil the MotoGP race for you, I haven't watched it yet either :).
 
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