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Monday, 19 January 2004

And another thing...

NTL's digital cable platform sucks. At first I thought it was cool that I had a bit of paper telling me my cable box's MAC and IP address. But then when I actually started watching TV, I saw compression artifacts everywhere: this is not high bit-rate MPEG, this is a terrible blocky mess that has severe problems with fast-moving complex scenes. Sky Digital's offering is much better seeing as I actually have to make some effort to find encoding artifacts on that platform. It's not just the video, though - since getting a surround sound setup, I've also noticed that audio is being encoded at a similarly bad rate - high frequencies aren't being well defined at all.

I'm very much not impressed.

2 comments and trackbacks

Is it actually bad, or do you have a bad enough connection that you're losing data somewhere along the way? I've seen that happen in the past, and while most digial cable setups can deal with some signal loss along the way you get more artifacts when you lose data.

Posted by: josh brandt on January 19, 2004 08:32 PM

I think it's actually bad in that it's low bitrate: it's not as if the signal/connection is bad and the feed occasionally freezes (it never has); what happens is that in complex scenes the screen breaks down into an orgy of pixellation.

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