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  1. I need to ask this I recently aquired a cable box and upgraded from basic cable.

    What I wanted to ask for those of you that have a similar device. Do the channels now have a great many macro block crappy artifacts when lets say a picture fades to black or a dark scene? Hell, in some cases it looks like instead of seeing a human face I am looking at a digitally drawn one (Ifc channel has horrible artifacting). Hooking my cable without the box and viewing some of the same channels I do not get macroblock noise at all (which is leading me to believe it has to do with the box being used).

    I am on Time Warner cable. They gave me a Samsung HD cable box. I still use an older analog tv. I know the HD channels are downgraded in order for me to view them (digital channels appear fine but suffer from artifacting as well), but even on regular stations I see artifact crap.

    Is this because of the particular box they gave me? Would buying a box from another company work better (I do not have premium cable with the showtime type of channels)?

    Because if this is what I have to look forward to as being the "future", I must say the majority of people out there are completely blind and seem ok with SVCD quality television
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  2. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mazinz
    I need to ask this (though I am thinking I should probably post this over at videohelp a well), I recently aquired a cable box and upgraded from basic cable.

    What I wanted to ask for those of you that have a similar device. Do the channels now have a great many macro block crappy artifacts when lets say a picture fades to black or a dark scene? Hell, in some cases it looks like instead of seeing a human face I am looking at a digitally drawn one (Ifc channel has horrible artifacting). Hooking my cable without the box and viewing some of the same channels I do not get macroblock noise at all (which is leading me to believe it has to do with the box being used).

    I am on Time Warner cable. They gave me a Samsung HD cable box. I still use an older analog tv. I know the HD channels are downgraded in order for me to view them (digital channels appear fine but suffer from artifacting as well), but even on regular stations I see artifact crap.

    Is this because of the particular box they gave me? Would buying a box from another company work better (I do not have premium cable with the showtime type of channels)?

    Because if this is what I have to look forward to as being the "future", I must say the majority of people out there are completely blind and seem ok with SVCD quality television
    This is a local neighborhood issue. The amount of compression you get depends on the hardware on the poles outside. Sounds like you are on an 80's vintage 550MHz bandwidth cable system or TW is forcing too much content over 750MHz. Call cable tech support and demand an upper level nerd. If you can impress him/her that you know what you are talking about, they usually confess all sins.


    PS: If you have a neighbor that gets better performance then order the house call and take a day off waiting for them to appear. Or swap the HD box for a more generic Scientific Atlanta 8300HD. Borrow an HDTV and see how that looks.
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  3. Thank you for the info. I did have a new line put in about a year or two back as they were upgrading (and yes it did upgrade the reception plenty), but yeah I have not a clue as to what stats they are running with. I can call them and try to get a "level 3 tech". At least those are the techs who know what they are talking about. Thank you for the information.

    Is there something I can do on my end? Would some kind of mhz converter or limiter (I am sure something like this must exist) work to improve anything?
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  4. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mazinz
    Thank you for the info. I did have a new line put in about a year or two back as they were upgrading (and yes it did upgrade the reception plenty), but yeah I have not a clue as to what stats they are running with. I can call them and try to get a "level 3 tech". At least those are the techs who know what they are talking about. Thank you for the information.

    Is there something I can do on my end? Would some kind of mhz converter or limiter (I am sure something like this must exist) work to improve anything?
    The first issue is to try a different cable box (re: breakup). Also try a different TV. Downsized HD should look better over S-Video than normal SD channels unless your TV can't tell the difference.

    First question they will ask before a home visit is do you see problems where the cable enters the house. They now charge for internal wiring or will just drill a new cable through the wall. If this is an apartment see what quality the neighbors are getting. Apt/Condo becomes a shared TM/landlord/manager issue.
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  5. The first issue is to try a different cable box (re: breakup). Also try a different TV. Downsized HD should look better over S-Video than normal SD channels unless your TV can't tell the difference.

    First question they will ask before a home visit is do you see problems where the cable enters the house. They now charge for internal wiring or will just drill a new cable through the wall. If this is an apartment see what quality the neighbors are getting. Apt/Condo becomes a shared TM/landlord/manager issue.

    I can try another box from Time Warner, but I do not want to go out and buy a different one if I do not have to (if it turns out to be time warners broadasting issue). I do have another analog set I can try. The cable line being used is new and was drilled in through the house from the outside. I still have my older cable wires that run through via the attic as well. However trying the cable box on those older lines does not work at all (then again it could be the older splitters used, manual for the box mentioned if the splitters are more than two years old to upgrade as the signal needs 1ghz or 5-1000mhz)

    I do have a Samsung HD set that I gave to my mother because I just did not like the quality on it at all (this was running in stuff via dvd player, has a horrible analog to digital conversion). The downside is that though the cable and digital channels come in fine on her set, her's use the attic lines which this cable box does not seem to want to work with.

    So in a nutshell the only real test I can try currently is using another tv (analog, still prefer analog to digital sets) and see if it still occurs (I will not be testing it tonight)
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  6. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mazinz
    The first issue is to try a different cable box (re: breakup). Also try a different TV. Downsized HD should look better over S-Video than normal SD channels unless your TV can't tell the difference.

    First question they will ask before a home visit is do you see problems where the cable enters the house. They now charge for internal wiring or will just drill a new cable through the wall. If this is an apartment see what quality the neighbors are getting. Apt/Condo becomes a shared TM/landlord/manager issue.

    I can try another box from Time Warner, but I do not want to go out and buy a different one if I do not have to (if it turns out to be time warners broadasting issue). I do have another analog set I can try. The cable line being used is new and was drilled in through the house from the outside. I still have my older cable wires that run through via the attic as well. However trying the cable box on those older lines does not work at all (then again it could be the older splitters used, manual for the box mentioned if the splitters are more than two years old to upgrade as the signal needs 1ghz or 5-1000mhz)
    TM should just swap the box if you are renting from them. Which cable plan are you on? Sometimes you need to be at a higher level to get the core HD channels (e.g. Discovery Theater, ESPN-HD,etc.). You would get these in letterbox 480i but at very high quality similar to a DVD. The locals should be there for basic digital service. If not, they will be in 2009.

    If they are asking for GHz splitters that is a good sign you have a system upgrade to at least 750MHz.
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  7. Originally Posted by mazinz
    Do the channels now have a great many macro block crappy artifacts when lets say a picture fades to black or a dark scene?
    Yes, cable companies compress the hell out of SD channels for digital cable. And they usually apply huge temporal filters (to reduce noise and hence bandwidth) to any analog signals resulting in terrible ghosting. There's nothing wrong with your cable box. With the exception of less noise, digital SD cable is several steps down from good SD analog.

    The only thing worse is satellite TV where they cram even more channels into less bandwidth!
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  8. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jagabo
    Originally Posted by mazinz
    Do the channels now have a great many macro block crappy artifacts when lets say a picture fades to black or a dark scene?
    Yes, cable companies compress the hell out all the SD digital channels. And they usually apply huge temporal filters (to reduce noise and hence bandwidth) to any analog signals resulting in terrible ghosting. There's nothing wrong with your cable box. With the exception of less noise, digital SD cable is several steps down from SD analog.
    I agree this can and does happen on the SD MPeg2 channels but this too varies by the technical state of the local distribution system and their compression strategy. Hardware upgrades like statistical multiplexers can share bitrate over 2 to 10 or more channels. This makes extra bandwidth available to transitions and zoomy effects while other channels are doing talking heads. Sat systems use this technology to pack more channels into a transponder.

    Fiber to that last mile also helps maintain overall quality. System bandwidth determines the maximum number of channels. The latest trick is to use VOD servers to expand selection. Time Warner calls this "In Demand".
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  9. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    I've been saying this for years. I first noticed about 2003-2004, when DirecTV started to use "spot beam" tech, as well as started to overstuff transponders. Digital cable, HDTV and digital satellite (DVB) are stuffing too much into a small space. We want more space, sure. But consider discontinuing crap like 8 shop-at-homes, or 3 weather channels. Or compress the snot out of THOSE, instead of local channels, and channels like USA and SciFi. SVCD is on the money, as it was 480x480 with 2.0 Mb/s VBR. The DVB systems are doing almost the same specs (or worse, with higher res). The HDTV channels do it too, but with a ratio more suited to the res/bitrate.

    There was an article about this in DV Magazine this month. I might scan it, OCR it, and quote it here.

    It sucks. "Digital is crystal clear" is only in theory, not practice. Lying bastards (the telco's, cable providers, DVB's).

    It reminds me of the fat guys that try to eat a 64oz steak. You cannot fit that much into a small space, and expect there to be no consequences!
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  10. I'm hoping the situation will improve a bit in 2009. The analog broadcast cutoff will give them an excuse to cut back on analog cable stations. Hopefully they'll allocate some of the freed bandwidth to the existing SD digital stations rather than just fill it up with more shopping and religious channels.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see many cable companies reduce the analog channels to only the must-carry local broadcasts which will go out on channels 2-6 or 2-13. You'll be required to rent a digital box to get everything else.
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  11. Member edDV's Avatar
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    According to this thread over at AVSForum, Comcast has begun stuffing 3 HD channels into one 36Mb/s (256QAM) channel instead of two in order to increase the number of HD channel offerings. That leaves an average of 12 Mb/s each but with shared bandwidth it doesn't look as bad as it sounds. When I record these channels off the IEEE-1394 port, the bit rate varies. Many of these channels carry upscaled SD and average below 10Mb/s allowing more for the true HD programs.

    Three grouped HD channels per http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1008271
    The (comments) are from my observations. I'm getting all of these plus others* since January.

    Discovery Channel HD (mostly upscaled)
    SciFi HD (mostly upscaled)
    USA HD (mostly upscaled)

    Food HD (mostly upscaled)
    NatGeo HD (720p)
    UHD HD

    A&E HD (mostly upscaled)
    HGTV HD
    Starz HD

    Cinemax HD
    HBO HD
    TLC HD (mostly upscaled)

    Animal Planet HD (mostly upscaled)
    Discovery HD Theater
    History HD (mostly upscaled)

    Each analog channel removed can be replaced with one 36Mb/s 256QAM in the same 6MHz slot. That is good for two to three HD or 8 to 10 SD MPeg2 subchannels per one analog.

    * Other national HD channels on my Comcast system:
    Mojo, CSN, Golf/VersusHD, ESPNHD1, ESPNHD2, TNTHD, MHD, AMCHD, CNNHD, FamilyHD, DisneyHD, NFLHD
    plus 7 locals + PPV + VOD
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    Originally Posted by mazinz
    digital cable = the new svcd format?
    I'm sorry... but that thread title just screams... "I'm smoking crack!!!!!!!"
    SVCD


    But yeah... i actually noticed that crap many many years ago also.... i am so sickened by the BS the local cable company spews in their tv ad's..... i'm sure it's not just local but nationwide... i can't even watch them for more than 2 seconds and have to change the channel.......
    marketing.... whatcha gonna do....
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  13. Wow, thank you all for the huge amount of info. The only reason I even went with a cable box is for the 2009 murder of analog and this way I do not have to go out and get one of those cheapish converter boxes. In fact the real slap in the face is that I have been paying for basic cable for years (the type where no cable box is required) and upgrading to use their cable box and get more channels actually is LESS (by 2$) than what I was paying normally.

    I will still try some test that edDV mentioned, but it seems for the most part that regardless I am screwed because this is how TW is presenting the cable. By me, Verizon is also going nuts trying to steal time warners customers. I wonder if the cable would be any different using them?
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  14. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    I've been seeing this for years on my directv satellite service before I gave them up back in 2003 'ish, and finally someone is admiting these same artifacts.

    This is something (old, since the day of satellite) that will stay and haunt us for the rest of this digital ERA. It will never get better because it (is some ways or others) helps the people that own the source, etc. So, the less fudging around to the source the better for them, I guess.

    Anyway. Yeah, these artifacts are still around. In fact, they've been around, even since the beginning of the OTA ERA, which wasn't too long ago.

    When I got my first OTA box, a Hisense make, (it was a receiver only) I could see all sorts of these same digital artifacts. They are mostly the result of low bitrate and or multi-channels sweezed inside one cable/transponder or whatever its commonly called.

    If you want the highest obtainable quality source, then you have to go with a pc card that captures (records, that is) the source in its original form, usually a TS or PS mpeg file and then decode (separate) its sub channels from and restream it into a new mpeg, usually an PS MPEG, though it probably doesn't matter which mpeg container as long as its done lossless'ly with out any conversioning.

    Stripping out a sub channel from an TS stream is easy since each stream is its own mpeg source. Thus, a lossless process.

    But what still remains, in terms of quality, from the extracted TS -> PS MPEG, is the finished contents quality. That is, how much was the picture is robbed of its bitrate, i.e., aprox 15MBits or less (each sub channels [pending distributor] puts their wammy on the source bitrate) and the level or type of encoding that was applied to the original source prior to outsourcing it to all the distributors.. i.e., ABC vs. NBC vs. your other channel carriers, and what they do to the source for their own purposes.. i.e, watermark them and fill them with junk ads and things, which also adds to the artifacts and things.

    If we are lucky, we might see a fairly clean stream without the common mpeg erros, i.e., macro blocks, pixelation, dtc errors, and so on. It seems that certain channels and/or "content" are targeted for "fudging" the source.

    My theory is like this, that the *new* ota source originated from the old ERA and its processes that were applied to them. And, when they upgraded to higher resolutions, as in ota sources, the attributes of the source was already tainted by these processes, and when we view these ota sources on an hd/hdtv receiver/unit we still see the same or very similar artifacts. An example of this is when you watch the Star Trek series.. i.e., Voyager; Ds9; Generations; and even Enterprise; all suffer the *SAME* problems. You would think that now the sources will look much better, being HD -- NOT! We are seeing the same problem, only larger. And the only thing that is swaying the results we perceive is the unrealized variable, the tv's built in filtering system. These range from all kinds of levels applied to the source prior to you finally viewing it on your large screen. Some of these can be the upsampling; color space formuals; mpeg (artifact) filtering; resizing; and so on.

    If you want the best, in terms of quality, you have to go the pc card route (pci or usb) and pull out the source (after capturing/recording it) and live with what is left and try and work/minimize those out of the source. But, if you go with the digial external box or receiver, then you are subject to that units built in (limited) features.

    Personally, I would much rather stay with analog cable (minus the chroma noise) because I have found these same artifacts are very minimal then vs. a digital type provider.. i.e., satellite tv or digital cable, etc.

    -vhelp 4751
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  15. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mazinz
    Wow, thank you all for the huge amount of info. The only reason I even went with a cable box is for the 2009 murder of analog and this way I do not have to go out and get one of those cheapish converter boxes. In fact the real slap in the face is that I have been paying for basic cable for years (the type where no cable box is required) and upgrading to use their cable box and get more channels actually is LESS (by 2$) than what I was paying normally.

    I will still try some test that edDV mentioned, but it seems for the most part that regardless I am screwed because this is how TW is presenting the cable. By me, Verizon is also going nuts trying to steal time warners customers. I wonder if the cable would be any different using them?
    So you converted from basic analog cable to a digital plan? Can you receive the three digital channels now?

    There are three types of encoding used on cable systems like TW. North American cable has between ~70 to 158 6MHz channels (~116 typ.)
    1. One analog NTSC per 6mhz channel. A typical cable system will have about 70 analog channels.
    2. "Digital Cable" QAM modulation fits 6 to 10 standard def MPeg2 sub channels into one 6MHz channel.
    3. "Digital Cable" QAM modulation fits 2 to 3 high def MPeg2 sub channels into one 6MHz channel.

    Analog channels show as two digit numbers on your cable box or analog TV tuner. QAM channels show up as three digit 100-999 on your cable box.

    You didn't need to change anything for analog cable reception for 2009. The FCC is requiring cable to continue analog versions of the locals until at least 2012. The cable systems are already receiving the digital channel and converting it to analog for the two digit channels. This will continue. The main difference you will see is more letterbox for increasingly 16:9 network programming.

    The cable systems currently receive national channels as digital off the satellites and convert some of them to analog for "extended basic" analog customers. The number of these channels is likely to drop over time to make room for more digital SD to HD subchannels.

    There is a new option for basic cable subscribers. QAM channels can be encrypted or non-encrypted by the cable company. The locals plus a few cable channels are non-encrypted. These can be directly tuned by a digital tuner with QAM capability. Over the air ATSC tuners (like the rebate coupon models) don't have QAM capability. They are useless for cable.

    If you get an HDTV with a QAM capable tuner, you should be able to direct tune the digital locals from cable in HD if they are broadcasting HD even with a basic cable plan. No cable box would be needed. It gets a bit techy and expect no support from TW. Channels are tuned by their primary channel and subchannel numbers (e.g. 89.3 or 110.2). QAM tuners usually have a scan function which finds unencrypted subchannels on the cable.
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  16. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mazinz
    I need to ask this I recently aquired a cable box and upgraded from basic cable.

    What I wanted to ask for those of you that have a similar device. Do the channels now have a great many macro block crappy artifacts when lets say a picture fades to black or a dark scene? Hell, in some cases it looks like instead of seeing a human face I am looking at a digitally drawn one (Ifc channel has horrible artifacting). Hooking my cable without the box and viewing some of the same channels I do not get macroblock noise at all (which is leading me to believe it has to do with the box being used).

    I am on Time Warner cable. They gave me a Samsung HD cable box. I still use an older analog tv. I know the HD channels are downgraded in order for me to view them (digital channels appear fine but suffer from artifacting as well), but even on regular stations I see artifact crap.

    Is this because of the particular box they gave me? Would buying a box from another company work better (I do not have premium cable with the showtime type of channels)?

    Because if this is what I have to look forward to as being the "future", I must say the majority of people out there are completely blind and seem ok with SVCD quality television
    So are your cable box problems with the two digit analog channels, or three digit SD channels or three digit HD channels?
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  17. Originally Posted by edDV
    Analog channels show as two digit numbers on your cable box or analog TV tuner.
    This isn't always true. Modern cable boxes are completely programmable. Any logical channel on the box can be mapped to any physical channel coming over the wire. On our cable box all channels are now digital. For a while after the changeover the analog channels were available on channels 1000+ but no longer. The analog channels are still available if you use your own tuner but the cable box won't tune anything analog anymore.
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  18. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jagabo
    Originally Posted by edDV
    Analog channels show as two digit numbers on your cable box or analog TV tuner.
    This isn't always true. Modern cable boxes are completely programmable. Any logical channel on the box can be mapped to any physical channel coming over the wire. On our cable box all channels are now digital. For a while after the changeover the analog channels were available on channels 1000+ but no longer. The analog channels are still available if you use your own tuner but the cable box won't tune anything analog anymore.
    The "virtual" channel numbers are usually under the control of the cable company. All the numbers can refer to channels other than the one indicated. Local cable access is often from one of the T channels for example. All channel numbers above 64 are usually virtual. All three digit numbers are virtual. Your channel 123 is mapped to a real subchannel with a number like 92.9.

    Cable companies are moving away from the more expensive analog/digital boxes to cheaper all digital models. This requires that they duplicate the analog locals to MPeg2 subchannels that can be accessed by the digital only boxes. I've noticed that most QAM tuners also find these.
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  19. Originally Posted by edDV
    Originally Posted by mazinz
    I need to ask this I recently aquired a cable box and upgraded from basic cable.

    What I wanted to ask for those of you that have a similar device. Do the channels now have a great many macro block crappy artifacts when lets say a picture fades to black or a dark scene? Hell, in some cases it looks like instead of seeing a human face I am looking at a digitally drawn one (Ifc channel has horrible artifacting). Hooking my cable without the box and viewing some of the same channels I do not get macroblock noise at all (which is leading me to believe it has to do with the box being used).

    I am on Time Warner cable. They gave me a Samsung HD cable box. I still use an older analog tv. I know the HD channels are downgraded in order for me to view them (digital channels appear fine but suffer from artifacting as well), but even on regular stations I see artifact crap.

    Is this because of the particular box they gave me? Would buying a box from another company work better (I do not have premium cable with the showtime type of channels)?

    Because if this is what I have to look forward to as being the "future", I must say the majority of people out there are completely blind and seem ok with SVCD quality television
    So are your cable box problems with the two digit analog channels, or three digit SD channels or three digit HD channels?

    It is on all channels regardless of where they fall on my tv lineup. The tv I am using now is from 1996 (actually somewhat highend for the time it was made, which is why I purchased it). Using no cable box TW has it spread from channel 2 to 99. Anything higher will not show up without a cable box or if I you use a newer tv with digital tuner. TW offers two boxes (at least that is what they told me). Both do and tune in the same except one has the additional HD extension on the back, so that is the box I went with (for future use).

    The artifacting occurs on pretty much every channel (to some higher and some barely noticeable lesser degrees) when using the cable box. Example would be that the sci-fi channel normally shows up channel 43. Now using the box it still shows up on 43 but you can see the blocks lurking in the background (not horrible, but you can see them). On TW it is when you get into the 50's that the channel line up changes when using the box and when not using the box. But still the fact remains of the noise showing up generally when using the box and not there without it.

    TW does offer more than three channels. In fact it has given me quite a number of new ones that I otherwise would not have been able to view normally. The worst with the noise so far has been the IFC channel.

    I can just unhook the box and view what I had before without a problem (or very minimal). It is when one of these box only channels has program that I may want to record or view and I just cannot get over the amount of block madness in the picture that it defeats it's own purpose
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  20. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    mazinz, (I don't know why I didn't think of mentioning this at the time, but) your cable box seems to be (after it decodes the sub channels) re-converting (downconverting ?) some of the channels, maybe the lower channels, I don't know, and that is why you are seeing more macroblocks and other mpeg erros than on other digitial type units. Every unit (brand/maker) are different, as was hinted earlier in this thread, I think.

    ( Here in my NY area, Sci-Fi was taken off the analog cable and put into to the digital domain channel, though it is still on channel 43. I found that aprox 3/4 weeks ago, that the provider of my cable system had digitalized my Sci-Fi channel and I could notice worse mpeg errors, especially on Monday nights Star Trek: Enterprise series. I coldn't believe how bad it got when put in this digital domain -- I hate it. Well, now they have Generation, I think. They are slowly taking good channels on my analog source and moving them all to the digital domain. And pretty soon, I'll have to pick up one of the latest generation hd tuner cards for the QAM support so that I can get the "free" channels, I would imagine that sci-fi might be one of them, though I'm prob wrong. Still, I wonder just how many "free" channels there will be when they all go digital, like in the anolog domain, you had aprox 13 channels, though not including the UHF channels. I wonder what channels will be free OTA 'wise via antenna and/or QAM)

    If you really want "digital" chanels, (with least source contamination) then you have to go the pc route (pci or usb) and get one of those cards that can export out to hdmi (or whatever its called) and feed that into your tv or dvr or whatever it is your main intentions are for.

    -vhelp 4755
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  21. Member edDV's Avatar
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    I don't see the Samsung HD cable box. It must be new. What is the model number?
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  22. edDV
    The Samsung box model is SMT-H3050

    vhelp
    the problem with using a pc card is that even the one I have now (ati radeon 9800) I get the horizontal line scroll when hooking it into a tv. I did a number of test and even literally removed everything from the pc, changed locatiosn ,etc. Still I get the scroll. I was told that if I got a ground loop inhibitor that it would filter this out, but they also cost a pretty penny as well
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  23. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mazinz
    edDV
    The Samsung box model is SMT-H3050
    See here
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=12569630
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    Originally Posted by edDV
    You didn't need to change anything for analog cable reception for 2009. The FCC is requiring cable to continue analog versions of the locals until at least 2012. The cable systems are already receiving the digital channel and converting it to analog for the two digit channels. This will continue. The main difference you will see is more letterbox for increasingly 16:9 network programming.

    The cable systems currently receive national channels as digital off the satellites and convert some of them to analog for "extended basic" analog customers. The number of these channels is likely to drop over time to make room for more digital SD to HD subchannels.

    There is a new option for basic cable subscribers. QAM channels can be encrypted or non-encrypted by the cable company. The locals plus a few cable channels are non-encrypted. These can be directly tuned by a digital tuner with QAM capability. Over the air ATSC tuners (like the rebate coupon models) don't have QAM capability. They are useless for cable.

    If you get an HDTV with a QAM capable tuner, you should be able to direct tune the digital locals from cable in HD if they are broadcasting HD even with a basic cable plan. No cable box would be needed. It gets a bit techy and expect no support from TW. Channels are tuned by their primary channel and subchannel numbers (e.g. 89.3 or 110.2). QAM tuners usually have a scan function which finds unencrypted subchannels on the cable.
    There is more to this story. I recently read the FCC rules relating to cable, the 2009 digital switchover, and must-carry channels.

    The cable companies are only required to have the must-carry analog stations for as long as they continue to offer analog service. They also say that cable companies can discontinue analog service entirely at any time, as long as they notify their analog customers that a cable box will be required to continue watching TV after the switch. Furthermore, the rules allow the cable company to charge whatever price they wish for the box and digital service.

    Some of your local broacast stations may opt out of must-carry status for digital. My local Fox station did that. They are owned by a syndicate and some time ago, it decided to opt out of must-carry, and instead be part of the digital and HD packages that my cable provider offers.
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  25. Originally Posted by edDV
    Originally Posted by mazinz
    edDV
    The Samsung box model is SMT-H3050
    See here
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=12569630
    Very interesting. It seems then that perhaps it truly is a box issue and not the cable. Just like the Samdung HD tv I gave to my mother because the picture quality was terrible. Now I wonder if I do use another box (that I purchase from where ever ) if it would improve things greatly?


    usually_quiet
    Regardless of that fact, it still ends up being cheaper for me to use the box and get more, then paying more and getting less. However if you click on the avs link above it seems that it indeed it might be a cable box issue rather than a broadcasting issue
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  26. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    Mar 2001
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    New York
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    I don't mean to go off topic here, but..

    the problem with using a pc card is that even the one I have now (ati radeon 9800) I get the horizontal line scroll when hooking it into a tv. I did a number of test and even literally removed everything from the pc, changed locatiosn ,etc. Still I get the scroll. I was told that if I got a ground loop inhibitor that it would filter this out, but they also cost a pretty penny as well
    I'm sorry, I must have missed this discussion elsewhere. Still, you know me from past times with my Line Noise problems of the old ERA days, back in 2001 and 2002, where I began a campagne of complaints and things to get rid of it, but that never happend. Well, till some time last year with a power strip with filter feature for AC current and Coax Cable wires -- that was my problem. The filter got rid of the coax cable (was causing my ground looping issues) that my analog cable provider offers -- a dirty signal But that's a long forgotten agonizing experience. Though yours could be specifically and uniquely tied to your ATI card.

    There are still other options (via other pci, else USB-2 cards) I'm sure, only I haven't trolled for the resources because I still don't have an hdtv set. Just my trusty 20" GE and 13" samsung, gets me by.

    -vhelp 4756
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  27. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mazinz
    Originally Posted by edDV
    Originally Posted by mazinz
    edDV
    The Samsung box model is SMT-H3050
    See here
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=12569630
    Very interesting. It seems then that perhaps it truly is a box issue and not the cable. Just like the Samdung HD tv I gave to my mother because the picture quality was terrible. Now I wonder if I do use another box (that I purchase from where ever ) if it would improve things greatly?
    See if TW have another option. If you use a third party tuner, you are limited to unencrypted channels. That would just be the locals plus whatever TW left unencrypted.
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  28. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Northern California, USA
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet
    Originally Posted by edDV
    You didn't need to change anything for analog cable reception for 2009. The FCC is requiring cable to continue analog versions of the locals until at least 2012. The cable systems are already receiving the digital channel and converting it to analog for the two digit channels. This will continue. The main difference you will see is more letterbox for increasingly 16:9 network programming.

    The cable systems currently receive national channels as digital off the satellites and convert some of them to analog for "extended basic" analog customers. The number of these channels is likely to drop over time to make room for more digital SD to HD subchannels.

    There is a new option for basic cable subscribers. QAM channels can be encrypted or non-encrypted by the cable company. The locals plus a few cable channels are non-encrypted. These can be directly tuned by a digital tuner with QAM capability. Over the air ATSC tuners (like the rebate coupon models) don't have QAM capability. They are useless for cable.

    If you get an HDTV with a QAM capable tuner, you should be able to direct tune the digital locals from cable in HD if they are broadcasting HD even with a basic cable plan. No cable box would be needed. It gets a bit techy and expect no support from TW. Channels are tuned by their primary channel and subchannel numbers (e.g. 89.3 or 110.2). QAM tuners usually have a scan function which finds unencrypted subchannels on the cable.
    There is more to this story. I recently read the FCC rules relating to cable, the 2009 digital switchover, and must-carry channels.

    The cable companies are only required to have the must-carry analog stations for as long as they continue to offer analog service. They also say that cable companies can discontinue analog service entirely at any time, as long as they notify their analog customers that a cable box will be required to continue watching TV after the switch. Furthermore, the rules allow the cable company to charge whatever price they wish for the box and digital service.

    Some of your local broacast stations may opt out of must-carry status for digital. My local Fox station did that. They are owned by a syndicate and some time ago, it decided to opt out of must-carry, and instead be part of the digital and HD packages that my cable provider offers.
    The network locals usually opt for the "Reconcession Consent" option over "Must Carry". They still get carried unencrypted in most cases but sometimes give that up for other channels on the cable such as a weather or news channel. PBS has a special agreement with the cable industry that puts the primary channel on analog, but the primary plus all subchannels on unencrypted QAM. For other stations, cable must only carry the primary digital channel.

    The way I read the cable box issue, a cable company can go all digital so long as former basic analog customers are supplied a cable box at no additional cost. This would be a very simple cable box. This is intended for 550MHz cable systems that don't have room for both analog and the unencrypted digital locals. The FCC also ruled that a "must carry" station must be carried in HD if the station originates in HD. That means we will see disproportionate local HD bandwidth going to HD infomercials, religious programs and foreign language.
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  29. One poster on the avs forum for this topic mentioned having TW's dvrbox and that it peforms very well and completely opposite to the samsung box (same as mine) they have in another room. I was curious about the dvr in general and will see what the cost of using that box is instead. Keep you posted with any results--
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  30. Originally Posted by edDV
    The way I read the cable box issue, a cable company can go all digital so long as former basic analog customers are supplied a cable box at no additional cost.
    That's the way I read it.

    Of course, "no additional cost" is open to interpretation. If they raise rates on everyone to cover the cost of "free digital boxes" for those that need them that probably counts as "no additional cost". Or they can raise the cost of your basic cable subscription and give you a digital box at "no additional cost".
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