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[ NNSquad ] Re: Comcast increasing compression of some HD sources

This is very interesting.  I couldn't find the direct quote but according to
Mary Lou Jensen, the resolution of HD is mostly hype.  The resolution being
developed and delivered is greater then a person eyes are able to see.  I'm
sure this needs more research but given the way that technology is out
pacing the ability to deliver those services it might be a worthwhile field
of study.

I find this very relevant by the way.  I was wondering why P2P was being
singled out.  I assumed that P2P was an easier target then VOIP and HD
video.  I think that we should be discussing the impact of those
technologies on the internet and P2P technologies.

Ron Teitelbaum

  [ Received image quality depends on many factors.  If the overall
    data rate is insufficient for the program material, various
    artifacts easily result, especially in images with much fine
    detail and/or rapid motion.  For example, your typical "talking heads"
    program (well, assuming one of those heads isn't Bob Frankston,
    anyway) won't need anywhere near the bandwidth of an action or
    sports program.  A typical worst case is panning across a detailed
    image -- like a field of flowers or the audience in a sports
    arena.  At compressed HD rates, those sorts of scenes can be
    "artifact-city" deluxe!

    Question: Would ISPs feel that it was within their operational
    rights to intercept end-to-end Internet video streams from
    outside sites and further compress them before allowing them to
    proceed to end users?

          -- Lauren Weinstein
             NNSquad Moderator ]

   - - - -

> -----Original Message-----
> From: nnsquad-bounces+ron=usmedrec.com@nnsquad.org [mailto:nnsquad-
> bounces+ron=usmedrec.com@nnsquad.org] On Behalf Of Lauren Weinstein
> Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2008 12:05 PM
> To: nnsquad@nnsquad.org
> Cc: lauren@vortex.com
> Subject: [ NNSquad ] Comcast increasing compression of some HD sources
>   [ This is not an Internet Network Neutrality issue per se, but
>     since it involves an ISP taking source digital signals and
>     reducing their quality before passing them along to customers
>     (presumaby without any warning to subscribers or reductions in
>     the fees that subscribers pay for those channels) it still seems
>     interesting.  As the article notes, this has been a common
>     practice by satellite video providers, and if cable generally
>     goes the same route they may be eliminating a key advantage that
>     cable has had against satellite in terms of image quality.  Of
>     course, cable is also attempting to find ways to match the HD
>     channel *quantity* advantage of satellite, and content sources
>     are not necessarily in a "political" position to complain about
>     such practices if they want continued carriage.  I believe there
>     are some useful parallels with the Internet cases that we
>     usually deal with.
>       -- Lauren Weinstein
>          NNSquad Moderator ]
> ------- Forwarded Message
> From: David Farber <dave@farber.net>
> To: "ip" <ip@v2.listbox.com>
> Subject: [IP] Comcast HD Quality Reduction: Details, Screenshots - AVS
> Forum
> Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2008 08:40:28 -0400
> http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1008271
> Comcast HD Quality Reduction: Details, Screenshots
> Last updated: March 24, 2008
> Until recently, most Comcast systems passed all HD as is from the
> content provider, without any added compression or quality reduction.
> In response to competitive pressures from DirecTV and Verizon FiOS,
> Comcast recently decided to sacrifice some quality to improve
> quantity. By early April, most Comcast systems will recompress and
> degrade their HD, much like DirecTV and Dish Network do on their
> MPEG-2 channels. This creates room for new HD channels without the
> need to eliminate a significant number of analog channels.
> Previously, Comcast allocated a maximum of two HD channels per
> 38.8Mbps QAM, so each channel had the full 19.4Mbps available if
> needed. Now, with the addition of new channels, Comcast is squeezing
> three HD channels into each 38.8Mbps QAM. Furthermore, some existing
> QAMs with two HD channels are being recompressed in preparation for
> new channel additions.
> But what does that mean? How much difference is there, really?
> To find out, I decided to compare the quality of the same programs on
> Comcast and Verizon FiOS. I recorded the same program from the same
> channel, at the same time, on both Comcast and Verizon FiOS in N. VA.
> I compared the size and bitrate of each MPEG-2 recording, as well as
> the subjective quality with video.
> Note when I tested channels late last year, there were no differences
> between the two providers on HD. Any differences are new.
> picts etc follows djf
> - -------------------------------------------
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