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StevanH
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-12-2009
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FIOS HDTV quality versus cable

Yesterday, I switched from Time-Warner Cable (TWC) in New York City to Verizon FIOS. I have noticed, to my dismay (to put it mildly), that the HD picture quality (PQ) is not as good with FIOS as it was with TWC. (The internet speed is great.)  I was expecting the PQ to be at least as good, if not better, than cable. It's clear that the facial features of, for example, Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News (Ch. 504) or of the news anchors on the 11 PM local news on ABC (Ch. 507), are not as sharp as they were with cable (the difference might seem subtle to some, but quite obvious to me). This PQ difference is also true for Discovery Channel HD, ESPN-HD, etc. I'm using a Sharp Aquos 720p HDTV and have the Motorola HD-DVR set-top box set to 720p. I've tried both HDMI and component cabling (no discernible difference). Any suggestions or comments?

Silver Contributor III
PJL
Posts: 1,988
Registered: ‎08-07-2008
Location: Long Beach, California
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Re: FIOS HDTV quality versus cable

Your experience with picture quality is very different from those who have posted both on this forum, the DSL Reports FiOS TV forum, and the HighDef FiOS TV forum.  Were you using HDMI for the TWC connection?  Most TVs have individual setting for things like detail, brightness, contrast, etc. for each input.  Perhaps the settings are not optimal.  I have a Sharp TV and have excellent picture quality.  You might try setting the STB to 1080i and let your TV for the conversion from that.  I've found the 720p STB setting to be inferior to the 1080i.

Silver Contributor II
KenAF
Posts: 585
Registered: ‎10-22-2008
Device: Blackberry 9630
Location: Washington, DC
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Re: FIOS HDTV quality versus cable

 


StevanH wrote:

Yesterday, I switched from Time-Warner Cable (TWC) in New York City to Verizon FIOS. I have noticed, to my dismay (to put it mildly), that the HD picture quality (PQ) is not as good with FIOS as it was with TWC. (The internet speed is great.)  I was expecting the PQ to be at least as good, if not better, than cable. It's clear that the facial features of, for example, Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News (Ch. 504) or of the news anchors on the 11 PM local news on ABC (Ch. 507), are not as sharp as they were with cable (the difference might seem subtle to some, but quite obvious to me). This PQ difference is also true for Discovery Channel HD, ESPN-HD, etc. I'm using a Sharp Aquos 720p HDTV and have the Motorola HD-DVR set-top box set to 720p. I've tried both HDMI and component cabling (no discernible difference). Any suggestions or comments?


Are you using the same HDMI / component input you used with TWC?

 

Most modern displays store separate settings for each input.   If you had TWC connected to one HDMI input and changed the picture settings for that input, then another input would look very different because it would still be using the default settings.

 

Search the AVS LCD Flat Panels Displays forum to see if there is an owners' thread for your TV with recommended settings.

If you are the original poster (OP) and your issue is solved, please remember to click the "Solution?" button so that others can more easily find it.
Copper Contributor
JustLou
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎12-13-2009
Location: Staten Island
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Re: FIOS HDTV quality versus cable

[ Edited ]

 


StevanH wrote:

Yesterday, I switched from Time-Warner Cable (TWC) in New York City to Verizon FIOS. I have noticed, to my dismay (to put it mildly), that the HD picture quality (PQ) is not as good with FIOS as it was with TWC. (The internet speed is great.)  I was expecting the PQ to be at least as good, if not better, than cable. It's clear that the facial features of, for example, Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News (Ch. 504) or of the news anchors on the 11 PM local news on ABC (Ch. 507), are not as sharp as they were with cable (the difference might seem subtle to some, but quite obvious to me). This PQ difference is also true for Discovery Channel HD, ESPN-HD, etc. I'm using a Sharp Aquos 720p HDTV and have the Motorola HD-DVR set-top box set to 720p. I've tried both HDMI and component cabling (no discernible difference). Any suggestions or comments?


 

I switched from TWC a few days ago, and my experience is the exact opposite. My HD on FiOS is perfect, where as HD on TWC suffered from serious macroblocking and pixelization. I did have to adjust the picture somewhat on both my HDTV's though. FiOS was a little bit darker, etc. I have a Sanyo 720p LCD, and a Samsung 1080p LED DLP, connected via HDMI.

 

Contributor
StevanH
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-12-2009
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Re: FIOS HDTV quality versus cable

Thanks to PJL, KenAF and JustLou for their replies. FYI, there is no discernible difference in my case when the STB is set to 1080i versus 720p (I had tried that but forgot to mention it). Point well taken re. the individual TV adjustments (brightness, color, etc.) for the various inputs (component, HDMI, etc.). I hadn't appreciated that, although both cable and FiOS had been connected through HDMI.

      Because I hadn't cancelled my TWC subscription, I managed to resurrect (through the purchase of coax cable and connectors - quite cheap, actually) my cable connection and compare TWC and FiOS side-by-side, FiOS hooked up via component and TWC hooked up via HDMI (then switched back and forth between the two). I had previously established (with FiOS and TWC) that there was no discernible difference in PQ using component vs. HDMI connections (with the TV adjustments set to be exactly the same for both). The bottom line is that I can detect very little difference in PQ between FiOS and TWC for my particular case (location, type of HDTV, etc.), which was very reassuring. Certainly, the FiOS PQ is not noticeably better (for some TWC customers who switched, it may well be), but it's arguably not worse, which is what I had originally feared. With peace of mind restored, I will likely trudge over to the TWC office tomorrow and hand over my equipment.

Silver Contributor II
KenAF
Posts: 585
Registered: ‎10-22-2008
Device: Blackberry 9630
Location: Washington, DC
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Re: FIOS HDTV quality versus cable

 


StevanH wrote:

Certainly, the FiOS PQ is not noticeably better (for some TWC customers who switched, it may well be), but it's arguably not worse, which is what I had originally feared. With peace of mind restored, I will likely trudge over to the TWC office tomorrow and hand over my equipment.


Keep in mind that most providers (including TWC in most markets) pass locals as is, so you would not see a difference on those channels.  Rather, you would only see a difference on the cable channels where TWC processes and recompresses. 


TWC does not apply the same amount of compression to every channel, so some channels will probably look about the same, whereas others should be an improvement on FiOS.  Your display resolution, size, and viewing distance will impact what differences you are able to perceive; differences in shadow detail will be more obvious on a 60" TV than a 40" TV.


One improvement may see on a smaller TV would be fewer artifacts during motion (a side effect of excessive compression); such artifacts are often obvious even on smaller TVs.  Note some channels like the HBOs and HGTV are already delivered with excessive compression, so those will exhibit motion artifacts regardless of provider.

 

If you are the original poster (OP) and your issue is solved, please remember to click the "Solution?" button so that others can more easily find it.
 

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