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Standard Def HD..?

Comcast uses the less is more strategy in delivering HD content.  What’s up with that..??

I saw this over at BetaNews, and again, just had to comment. I’ve got Comcast at the house and have their HD/DVR TV package as well as their mid-tier Internet package, and VoIP phone service. My TV package includes their sports package (I wanted to get the NFL Channel as well as ESPN-HD so I could get my NFL Football games in HD.  My average, monthly cable bill runs between $200-$225 dollars, depending on any On-Demand Movies I purchase.

One of the biggest draws for me as a Comcast customer, is one stop shopping. I’m actually saving about $200 a month by combining all of my needs into a single bill. I do have their HD service, and do have a Comcast provided, HD capable, DVR. I absolutely love it for Monday Night Football.

So, I heard that Comcast is planning sacrificing HD signal quality to make room for more HD channels.  Essentially, they are recompressing their signal so that they have more bandwidth for additional channels. This specifically gives them the ability to squeeze 3 channels instead of 2 on to their 38.8 Mbps QAM. 

This move could realistically create deficiencies from 0.7 percent for Comcast’s supposed HD delivery of HBO, to 38.5 percent for Discovery Theater.  If you consider that Comcast is broadcasting HD at 1080i to their subscribers, and this new policy creates significant signal degradation and artifacts are produced; it makes you wonder if Comcast is providing an HD signal at all.

As I said, I’ve got an HD package, including a small sports package. I’ll be keeping an eye out for any signal and picture problems over the next few weeks. If it gets too bad, I’m not entirely certain what I will do, as the (total) package savings keep me where I’m at; but I’m also not going to lose out on true HD related sports come football season this fall…

Have you seen any evidence of this?  Join us in the discussion and let us know!

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