backtop


Print 53 comment(s) - last by Wererat.. on Apr 9 at 12:21 PM


A comparison of Discovery HD between FiOS and cable with a 35.8% average bitrate reduction.  (Source: AVSForums user "bfdtv")
Canadian cable company compresses curious channel choices

HDTV enthusiasts in Canada having a chuckle at the expense of Comcast customers earlier this week are scheduled to receive similar treatment shortly. Beginning April 9th, Rogers Cable, one of the major cable companies serving the province of Ontario, is scheduled to begin compressing over a dozen high-definition channels.

Digital Home Canada
, a major site for Canadian consumer electronics, reported having been passed a technical brief from Rogers Network Engineering and Operations stating the impending compression and a listing of affected channels, shown below:
  • HD PBS Buffalo
  • HD WGN
  • HD The Score
  • HD Showcase
  • HD National Geographic
  • HD Mpix
  • HD Discovery
  • HD MORE
  • HD TMN
  • HD NBC Seattle
  • HD SUN
  • HD RAP
  • HDA&E
  • HDCNN
  • HDNET
The selection of channels is similar in scope to those being compressed by Comcast -- so-called "premium stations" that most subscribers typically purchase as part of a bundle above and beyond the basic digital and HD channels. A sample of the compression artifacts seen on the Comcast feed of Discovery HD, compared to the same channel on Verizon's FiOS fiber-optic network can be seen to the right -- providing an estimation of what Canadians are in for.

Major American networks such as ABC and FOX, and Canadian networks CBC, CTV, Global, and sports network TSN were omitted from the list. While the American networks -- and The Sports Network -- may have been given a pass due to the large number of viewers, the immunity granted to the CBC may have roots within the regulations of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC.)

In the CRTC Broadcasting Public Notice dated June 12, 2002, paragraph 61 states that:
Accordingly, as a matter of policy, the Commission considers that a DTV signal distributed by a BDU [broadcasting distribution undertaking] to its subscribers should be of the same quality and in the same format as that received by the BDU, without any degradation.
However, no specific wording to this effect could be found within current CRTC regulations to this effect. With other major cable companies likely to follow suit, and opinions regarding the quality of Bell ExpressVu satellite service being less than stellar among the DigitalHome.ca enthusiasts, the only remaining option for Canadian HDTV owners to obtain a crystal-clear signal may be to dust off the old antenna and fly it proudly on their roof.


Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Antennae sales are up
By HaZaRd2K6 on 4/3/2008 11:41:58 PM , Rating: 2
We've suddenly been selling a lot more HD antennae at work. Maybe somebody knew something earlier than the rest of us?

And as a Rogers customer, I don't know why they're doing this. I mean, I get that from a business standpoint it makes sense; being able to push "more" (I use the term loosely; it's really only more channels) data through the same pipe is cheap, but I'm paying a lot of money monthly for both my HD boxes, and I'd prefer to see an infrastructure expansion. Doing that would allow them to keep massive compression out of the picture, and keep bandwidth up.

It also has the added benefit of speeding up their cable internet service, too.




RE: Antennae sales are up
By drebo on 4/4/2008 1:06:19 AM , Rating: 2
Such is the problem with American internet providers. They don't care about the customer in the least.


"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

Related Articles













botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki