Why would a movie I see on HBO, Starz, etc have the artifacts and the same movie via a DVD player not have it. If it was a problem with the TV it would have a problem either way wouldn't it?
Compression. Standard definition on DVD and high-definition on Blu-ray uses far less compression than high-definition on cable.
Compression is the main culprit, but your TV's inability to correctly deinterlace film on 1080i channels also contributes to the problem. Perhaps 80% of the defects you see are compression related and the other 20% are related to your TV's video processing.
If you want to see pristine high-definition content, buy a Blu-ray player (or PS3) and subscribe to Netflix. Rent the Blu-ray titles from Netflix or Blockbuster that are marked as "tier0" and "tier1" on the AVS Blu-ray Rankings thread. For Blu-ray player advice, see the AVS What Blu-ray Player to Buy thread. All Blu-ray players output in 1080p which takes most of your display's video processing out of the equation.
Hello, I'm coming in late to the discussion and as a new FiOS user, wanted to at least comment on my initial experience with my HD signal. I will compare my RCN HD service using their latest dual tuner Motorola box (looks very similar to my new FiOS box-some connector differences). I will also limit my findings to HD only.
Let's take ABC's Lost for example. Believe it or not I still have RCN activated and have been A/B'ng the two signals/boxes for comparison. While the edge detail and chroma saturation are marginally but noticably better with FiOS, I have noticed lots of blurryness in lateral motion of subjects, to the point that I was starting to get a headache. I do not have this problem with the RCN signal. Eye fatigue is not a problem and the resolution and percevable bit rate appears to be close to that of the FiOS signal. Beard stuble, hair, skin pores.....are reproduced very well with either RCN or FiOS.
Compression artifacts, macroblocking, banding,etc., all seem very similar between them too. It's the motion blurryness that is killing my anticipated love affair with FiOS.....before it's even had a chance to take off. If I can't find a affordable solution, I'll seriously consider re-signing with RCN at least for the TV/Cable part.