Darker picture on U-verse vs. Comcast

Expert

Re: Darker picture on U-verse vs. Comcast


donatom3 wrote:

I know the uverse doesn't output dolby 5.1 over HDMI, neither does the Playstation 3.  What the PS3 does do is output LCPM 7.1 channel over HDMI.  Does Uverse support this as well.  Basically it's sending the raw sound outpout over HDMI instead of the compressed Dolby.  Not all receivers can support this.  My Harmon Kardon can.


 

 At this time, U-Verse will only output 2.0 LPCM over HDMI.

 

But you are very correct in that when the time comes that the U-Verse software is updated to provide 5.1 audio over HDMI, it is likely to be 5.1 LPCM, not 5.1 Dolby Digital.  The reason is that 5.1 LPCM is compliant with any version of HDMI (and therefore any HDMI device), while 5.1 DD requires an HDMI 1.3 compliant device, which not everyone has.

 

Message 31 of 68 (1,166 Views)
Master

Re: Darker picture on U-verse vs. Comcast

Actually 1.2a will carry DD5.1.
Message 32 of 68 (1,166 Views)
Expert

Re: Darker picture on U-verse vs. Comcast


oz wrote:
Actually 1.2a will carry DD5.1.

 

You're right, DD and DTS can both be carried by any version of HDMI, even back to 1.0.

 

1.3 added support for the HD audio formats (Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS High Resolution, and DTS-HD Master Audio).

 

For broadest compatibility, I still think they will probably decode everything to LPCM though.  This is what the PlayStation 3 does when playing back Blu-Ray discs.

 

Message 33 of 68 (1,166 Views)
Master

Re: Darker picture on U-verse vs. Comcast

LPCM when done right like the Disney's and Pixar sound really awesome.
Message 34 of 68 (1,166 Views)

Re: Darker picture on U-verse vs. Comcast

SInce AT&T has 13 billion in cash reserves. You'd thnik they could afford to hire a programmer that's capable of writing software to solve the dark picture problem. Dish can do it. DirecTV can do it. Comcast can do it. Way can't AT&T. Then you wouldn't have to have a work around for something that should work corrrectly in the first place. AT&T is betting the bank on Uverse and they should deliver a quality product without having work arounds for problems that shouldn't exist.  

 

For me Uverse has been an excellent product and it's amazing how much information they are able to stream over a phone line, with the exception of the dark picture. I haven't tried the component hookup yet ,but will in the near future.  

Message Edited by Bladerunner on 05-26-2009 08:06 PM
Message Edited by Bladerunner on 05-26-2009 08:10 PM
Message 35 of 68 (1,166 Views)

Re: Darker picture on U-verse vs. Comcast


For me Uverse has been an excellent product and it's amazing how much information they are able to stream over a phone line, with the exception of the dark picture.

I have Comcast now.  A Uverse door-to-door salesman talked me into trying the U200 package.  The attraction is price and features.  We shall see.  You get more feature-wise for the same money.  By running fiber to your neighborhood, they have effectively moved you closer to your central office thereby allowing the link to be faster and more reliable.  Unfortunately the dark picture makes a ton of sense to me.  It indicates higher compression which results in less picture information, which is likely driven by the average bandwidth limitation of their media, which is standard copper POTS lines.  An AT&T T1 line can carry a maximum of 24 digital voice channels on 2 pair of wire, but they limit the frequency spectrum to do so, and to use fax with it requires special dynamic hardware.  They too run fiber to areas in your neighborhood to make it all work.  WIth Uverse we are pushing 4 TV channels with sound and video, two of which can be HD, plus 2 phones that are supposed to be fax capable, and internet up to 24 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up on one pair.  The pair bonding is targeted for distances greater than 3000 feet from the fiber point to compensate for the slower speeds that accrue with distance

The upside for AT&T are the infrastructure costs have already been amortized whereas for cable it's around $9.00 a foot, and one reason why there are few areas with more than one cable provider.  AT&T needed to come out with something like Uverse because they are getting into a position where they need to maintain their current complex and expensive infrastructure, but since the advent of cable TV, cable internet, IP telephony, and cell phones, they can no longer be assured that they will have paying customers along their routes.  If they didn't make a move now, they wouldn't be in a financial position to do it later.  Going digital could save AT&T a lot of money in infrastructure costs.  Cable companies can more easily afford to play the price game if they determine they need to.  The cost for AT&T to roll out fiber to existing locations would be costly as fiber equipment is quite a bit more expensive than cable or POTS.  It may mean they may need to have two services to compete well, one for new areas where customers who would get a better picture and internet speeds, and another for POTS and mixed neighborhoods.  AT&T aren't the only ones competing for fiber installations in new neighborhoods, in fact they are quite late to the game.  However, AT&T (SBC/Ameritech) has historically been a well run and an amazingly resilient company. 

We'll see how it goes.  I like both companies the same.

Message 36 of 68 (1,166 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Darker picture on U-verse vs. Comcast

It's only darker on HDMI and not component, so all your 'explanation' is unneeded.  VDSL can do

wonders over phone lines.  :smileywink:

 

Edit: They do have areas w/FTTPedestal in front of the house and they get the exact same service

as those of us on copper, no higher speeds, etc.

 

Chris


Please NO SD stretch-o-vision or 480 SD HD Channels
1-800-983-2811 to avoid Mr. Voice Recognition
YRMV IMHO Simply a U-verse user, nothing more
Message Edited by mibrnsurg on 12-31-2009 05:14 PM
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 37 of 68 (1,166 Views)
Scholar

Re: Darker picture on U-verse vs. Comcast


mibrnsurg wrote:

It's only darker on HDMI and not component, so all your 'explanation' is unneeded.  VDSL can do

wonders over phone lines.  :smileywink:

 

Edit: They do have areas w/FTTPedestal in front of the house and they get the exact same service

as those of us on copper, no higher speeds, etc.

 

Chris


Please NO SD stretch-o-vision or 480 SD HD Channels
1-800-983-2811 to avoid Mr. Voice Recognition
YRMV IMHO Simply a U-verse user, nothing more
Message Edited by mibrnsurg on 12-31-2009 05:14 PM

 

Darker on HDMI than component?  I didn't see that at all in my "trials" trying futilely to get 5.1 audio working.  I did need to do a minor picture recalibration to get the component looking as good as it could get, and in the end, my "perception" was that HDMI produced a marginally better picture than component.  However, that is just my perception, and the "next guy" might have preferred the picture with component.  :smileyhappy:
Message 38 of 68 (1,167 Views)

Re: Darker picture on U-verse vs. Comcast


mibrnsurg wrote:

It's only darker on HDMI and not component, so all your 'explanation' is unneeded.  VDSL can do

wonders over phone lines.  :smileywink:

 

Edit: They do have areas w/FTTPedestal in front of the house and they get the exact same service

as those of us on copper, no higher speeds, etc.

 

Chris


Hi Chris,
The explanation is quite likely plausible according to this thread:

Folks, this has been a day-1problem, meaning since day-1 when U-verse was launched. Some folks believe that by switching from HDMI to Component helps to rectify the problem, but I have switched from HDMI to component and it still is dark.
I believe you that they have the same situation with the fiber in front of their house because the normal provisioning is at 25 Mbps, unless they are are beyond 3000 feet from the fiber, in which case they cut it to 18 Mbps, and the purpose of pair bonding, which is not widely deployed, is to preserve the 25 Mbps further.  The amount they advertise for their high speed max turbo is 24 Mbps if you are within 3000 feet.  The only place one can use lossy compression is TV and Phone.  So that would mean that 4 TV streams, of which 2 could be HD, and two phones make it on the remaining 1 Mbps.  That's 4 lbs. of stuff in a 2 lb. box.  The compression ratios are necessarily high for either cable or twisted pair compared to Blue-ray etc.  Compression affects the quality and brightness.  Compromises are made with the hope that the customer sees a better value proposition in their product.  It's more likely that customers are seeing the necessary compromises and determining which one they want to go with than it is that AT&T is inept at deploying the hardware technology necessary to present their product in the best possible light. 

I was referred to browse these forums by the salesmen to learn about the trade-offs.  I apprecieated his candor, and that of the engineer who he conferenced in.  It's that type candor, 30 days of like it or leave it, and no contract that talked me into giving it a whirl.  In contrast, try to find out what anything costs on the Comcast site past the promotion period.  I didn't find it.  Hint: It's not in the terms and conditions. :smileyvery-happy:  Moreover, they have recently implemented DNS Hijacking for which I had to download a browser plug-in to defeat.

Thanks for the reply!
Message 39 of 68 (1,166 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Darker picture on U-verse vs. Comcast

When you do get Uverse you will see that HDMI suffers from a 'crushed blacks' problem, that I've

found a solution to lighten scenes/programs.  Sometimes the component image is better and I watch

that as I have both connected and can switch back and forth.

 

24M internet can only be had if you have a 32/5M profile that is being rolled out to certain customers

only.  Selection is by distance from the VRAD, signal to noise ratio, max sync rate; the farthest I've

seen posted was 1600'.  Originally was to be 2200', but recent test was a failure past 1000' and now

they are rolling out VDSL2 w/better S/N rates they are going past 1000'.  This profile will also allow a

3d HD stream in the new year and immediately for new installs.

 

Many users are recommended to calibrate their TVs w/SomeJoe's HDNet calibration method:

 

http://utalk.att.com/utalk/board/message?board.id=Uverse_TV_Equipment&message.id=18758#M18758

:smileywink:

 

Chris


Please NO SD stretch-o-vision or 480 SD HD Channels
1-800-983-2811 to avoid Mr. Voice Recognition
YRMV IMHO Simply a U-verse user, nothing more
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 40 of 68 (1,166 Views)
Scholar

Re: Darker picture on U-verse vs. Comcast


IT_Architect wrote:

mibrnsurg wrote:

It's only darker on HDMI and not component, so all your 'explanation' is unneeded.  VDSL can do

wonders over phone lines.  :smileywink:

 

Edit: They do have areas w/FTTPedestal in front of the house and they get the exact same service

as those of us on copper, no higher speeds, etc.

 

Chris


Hi Chris,
The explanation is quite likely plausible according to this thread:

Folks, this has been a day-1problem, meaning since day-1 when U-verse was launched. Some folks believe that by switching from HDMI to Component helps to rectify the problem, but I have switched from HDMI to component and it still is dark.
I believe you that they have the same situation with the fiber in front of their house because the normal provisioning is at 25 Mbps, unless they are are beyond 3000 feet from the fiber, in which case they cut it to 18 Mbps, and the purpose of pair bonding, which is not widely deployed, is to preserve the 25 Mbps further.  The amount they advertise for their high speed max turbo is 24 Mbps if you are within 3000 feet.  The only place one can use lossy compression is TV and Phone.  So that would mean that 4 TV streams, of which 2 could be HD, and two phones make it on the remaining 1 Mbps.  That's 4 lbs. of stuff in a 2 lb. box.  The compression ratios are necessarily high for either cable or twisted pair compared to Blue-ray etc.  Compression affects the quality and brightness.  Compromises are made with the hope that the customer sees a better value proposition in their product.  It's more likely that customers are seeing the necessary compromises and determining which one they want to go with than it is that AT&T is inept at deploying the hardware technology necessary to present their product in the best possible light. 

I was referred to browse these forums by the salesmen to learn about the trade-offs.  I apprecieated his candor, and that of the engineer who he conferenced in.  It's that type candor, 30 days of like it or leave it, and no contract that talked me into giving it a whirl.  In contrast, try to find out what anything costs on the Comcast site past the promotion period.  I didn't find it.  Hint: It's not in the terms and conditions. :smileyvery-happy:  Moreover, they have recently implemented DNS Hijacking for which I had to download a browser plug-in to defeat.

Thanks for the reply!

Regarding the bolded statement, it isn't possible to put 4 TV streams and phone, into the remaining 1mbs.  ATT doesn't "guarantee" you 24Mbs of internet.  The actual download rate you get is HIGHLY dependent on the TV streams in use at any particular time.

 

Assuming 2 HD streams in use at 6mbs (might be a bit high based on ATT continually trying to compress the HD stream more and more), and 2SD streams at say 2.5mbs, that is 17mbs of dedicated bandwidth for TV.  Phone takes up a minimal amount, so ignore that, and you are left with approx. 8Mbs of internet bandwidth.  These numbers may vary some, but you get the picture. 

 

Message 41 of 68 (1,076 Views)
Teacher

Re: Darker picture on U-verse vs. Comcast

It is NOT "only darker" on HDMI. It is darker on component and S-Video, too. It is simply not acceptable. You can screw around with your picture settings all you want, but you cannot get it back to what it should be in terms of darkness w/o screwing up something else.

 

I thought Charter had problems, but theirs are nothing as compared with this major screw-up by ATT.

 

My sets: 58" Panasonic 1080p plasma, 50" Pioneer 768p plasma, 22" Dynex LCD. The picture is too dark on all of them and the input matters not at all. If this is a result of some under-sampling that ATT is doing due to limited band width, then there is no way a consumer will fix it at their end.

 

Back to Charter I go after 2 days.

 

 

Message 42 of 68 (1,076 Views)
Expert

Re: Darker picture on U-verse vs. Comcast


nopcbs wrote:

 

It is NOT "only darker" on HDMI. It is darker on component and S-Video, too. It is simply not acceptable. You can screw around with your picture settings all you want, but you cannot get it back to what it should be in terms of darkness w/o screwing up something else.


 

That's not true at all.  The component outputs of the U-Verse STB are in-spec.  All TVs will require minor adjustments for the specific input and specific piece of equipment when the input is analog (component, composite, S-video).  That is the nature of analog transport -- no two pieces of equipment are exactly the same.  That's why the picture adjustment controls are there to begin with.

 

The U-Verse STB's output, combined with your picture controls on your TV, will yield a perfectly in-spec picture as far as black level, white level, and color goes.  Click the first link in  my signature below for the calibration procedure.

 

Message 43 of 68 (1,076 Views)

Re: Darker picture on U-verse vs. Comcast


nopcbs wrote:

It is NOT "only darker" on HDMI. It is darker on component and S-Video, too. It is simply not acceptable. You can screw around with your picture settings all you want, but you cannot get it back to what it should be in terms of darkness w/o screwing up something else. If this is a result of some under-sampling that ATT is doing due to limited band width, then there is no way a consumer will fix it at their end...Back to Charter I go after 2 days.


I appreciate your candid observations about the HD video.  Under-sampling would certainly be the most technically logical explanation for the consistently darker picture.  Nobody can argue with you that even if you brighten it up, you can't put back what was lost from higher compression levels.  (under-sampling) 

While TV picture is important, the reason I put the brakes on U-verse was for internet upload speeds.  People should not use me for an example here because I'm one of few who need better upload speeds because of my job of maintaining dedicated internet servers.  I also couldn't help but notice that U-verse consistently underperforms the published speeds while my current provider consistently beats the published speeds, sometimes by as much as 350%.  With so much to like about U-verse, this is not where I expected my analysis to end up. 

In areas where AT&T has FTTH, they would likely be able to take care of my internet requirements.  It would probably require a commitment to FTTH for 100% of their user base, as there is with FIOS and DOCSIS 3.0, for AT&T to remedy any HDTV under-sampling shortcomings.  I haven't heard of any such commitment.  There are no plans for FIOS in my area.  Waiting for DOCSIS 3.0, which will be available to me by year-end, appears to be my best course of action.

Thanks!

Message 44 of 68 (1,076 Views)
Teacher

Re: Darker picture on U-verse vs. Comcast

I signed up for their 5 Mb service which is closest in price ($35) to Charter's 5 Mb service ($30). Problem is that when I speed test both I get just under 5 Mb for Uverse and 7-13 Mb for Charter Usually it's better than 10 Mb. I just tested it (Sunday evening when usage should be high) and I am getting 11-13 Mb, repeatedly.

 

Duh! Some choice, no?

 

- nopcbs.

Message 45 of 68 (1,076 Views)
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