Def TV Jam

It makes no sense. You would think the cable company would want me to always see the HDTV signal (when available) so I’d perceive the cable service as better and worth more.

Over the past few months the biggest source of tension between Helaine and me usually begins with, “Can I have the remote, please?”

We’ll be watching something in low def when it’s also available in high def. Helaine couldn’t care less. Stef too.

I change the channel anyway as they both give me dirty looks.

With low def (really standard def) the edges of the screen are black and the picture is OK. With high def the full screen is filled with sharper and clearer video&#185.

As stated, Helaine and Stef are unimpressed.

The real question is why do we get standard definition channels at all? Our TV and cable box are connected by means of an HDMI cable.

HDMI supports, on a single cable, any TV or PC video format, including standard, enhanced, and high-definition video; up to 8 channels of digital audio; and a Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) connection. The CEC allows HDMI devices to control each other when necessary and allows the user to operate multiple devices with one remote control handset. – Wikipedia

Through the CEC the cable box understands my TV is HDTV capable. It knows I have no use for standard definition signals except as a conflict starter.

It makes no sense. You would think the cable company would want me to always see the HDTV signal (when available) so I’d perceive the cable service as better and worth more. What possible reason would I have for this particular TV getting ESPN News and ESPN News HD or any other standard/HD combo?

I don’t have all the specs on my cable box but I’ll bet there’s a lot more it would do if only my cable company would ask it.

&#185 – I often see compression artifacts during HDTV programming. It’s a sign Comcast is compressing the crap out of it to fit more channels in less bandwidth.

5 thoughts on “Def TV Jam”

  1. Of course, with you being in the industry, you know what the cable companies are doing. My family suffers that problem now. When we see macroblocking (usually on a Turner network station) they turn to me as ask: “Is that your encoder doing that?” Thankfully, my response is normally “No.” Also, Charter, in Connecticut, has not invested in equipment to rate shape or re-encode, so I get to see what the programmers have delivered to them. We’ll see how long that lasts…

    You guys are doing a very good job. How has the rest of the on air talent taken to HD? I’ve heard some interesting stories… from other networks, of course!

  2. Same with my wife. Learning new channel locations is, I believe, the culprit. Not that she can’t, it’s just she doesn’t see the need.

  3. My fiance is terrible with the remote. If it’s available in HD then that’s how i get it. She says she can’t see much of a difference. I just scoff and get angry. Now the fall is coming quick and so are the college sports. The battle of the remote begins!

  4. I did something this weekend that I have not done in quite a while, i went to the movie theatre to watch a movie. How disappointing!! At home i have a high def big screen tv with a Bose sound system. I never imagined the day i would say watching a movie at home is far superior to watching it at the movies. The theatre should be ashamed of themselves offering such a low def, scratchy, video. Now, when will the news stations offer us real high def on their news stories??

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  5. The one good thing about low def tv shows is if your dvr is starting to fill up, you can record a low def show to conserve space. Better in low def than not at all.

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