Macroblocking on ABC

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I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 33

Macroblocking on ABC

Almost every morning, we get severe macroblocking on ABC, (Rogers channel 6 WKBW from Buffalo). The program is Good Morning America. I think this started when we switched to Ignite several months ago. This program is the worst, but I have seen it on others where there is fast action and bright colours, e.g. Dancing with the Stars. We seldom see it anywhere else. Our reception is usually extremely good on all channels including 4K so I don't believe it's a signal problem.  Is this a common complaint?  Why just this one channel? 

 

 

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Posts: 278

Re: Macroblocking on ABC

Hi @ghcharters!

 

Thanks for posting your concern here in the Rogers Community Forums!

 

Being unable to enjoy a program due to the picture getting all choppy can be a huge pain! We'd hate for something like this to ruin your TV-watching experience. 😟

 

If it's only happening on ABC, then you are probably correct in saying that it's unlikely caused by a signal issue.

 

I did run a quick test at this end but I cannot seem to duplicate the issue! Can you please give an idea of how often the macroblocking is happening during a single program? (Every few seconds, minutes, etc.). Also, do you find it happens a lot throughout the day/night, or only during certain times?

 

Thanks again for sharing your issue with the rest of the Community. If anyone else is having a similar problem with the ABC channel on Ignite TV, we hope you will chime in! 

 

RogersLaura

I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 33

Re: Macroblocking on ABC

Thanks @RogersLaura  We watch this program from 8 'til 9 almost every morning. The problem always occurs whenever there is a dance group, or any fast motion, particularly if it includes bright colours. I don't have the option of watching the feed from Seattle to see if it's any different. Tomorrow morning, I will "record" the program and see what happens on playback. I think I did that before and it also occurred then, but to be sure, I will do it again. I know that I have tried rewinding the program while watching and the macroblocking did recur. 

I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 33

Re: Macroblocking on ABC

Update....

 

@RogersLaura     I recorded this mornings Good Morning America. I skipped through the recording to get to the type of content that if described that normally causes the issue and sure enough, there it was. It started around 1:49:17 and got worse past 1:51:19. If it's in the recording, I don't understand why others can't see it. If it's at my end, why almost exclusively on this channel? (eg GMA and Dancing with the Stars)  

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Posts: 2,890

Re: Macroblocking on ABC

I recorded GMA this morning (07-03) and also scanned for the types of programming where macroblocking is evident.  (The soccer today, along with other pans/action).  I did not encounter any macroblocking, so I have the following suggestions/comments.

 

1. If the programming was originally recorded with an SD (or poor) camera (outside scenes, etc), this may cause the issue.  Inside studio programming is usually done with good lighting and well-calibrated cameras, while "outside" (especially portable camera) shots - you never know the quality/settings of that camera.

 

2. A proper optimization of your TV's settings may help. For example, many people have the sharpness set too high. On a scale of 0-100, try something like 1 or 10.  Make sure any "edge enhancement" settings are turned off. This can cause halos around objects and "stair-stepping" on oblique lines, etc. Try a different picture setting like cinema, movie, user, pro, etc - whatever applies to your TV.

 

3. Here's an FAQ on optimizing your TV's picture settings:

 

https://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/30-57s-home-theatre-faqs/76161-faq-what-you-need-do-your-new-hdtv.h...

 

4. If you recorded this morning's programme and encountered macroblocking, please advise what time it occurred and the subject matter in question. I still have GMA on my PVR and can have a look.

 

5. It is possible that service providers don't provide this channel with the necessary bitrate, however, I would have thought that DWTS is pretty popular...



I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 33

Re: Macroblocking on ABC

@RogersMoin  (57) Thanks for this info. I'd like to focus on the GMA issues for the moment since we don't have DWTS to look into. I wasn't home to watch the live broadcast, but I scanned the recording of this morning's GMA but didn't see any situations that normally cause this macroblocking (fast action, bright colours). Let's try again tomorrow. 

Meanwhile, I'll take a look at your items 2 and 3

Thanks,

Gil

I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 33

Re: Macroblocking on ABC

@RogersMoin   I haven't had a chance to look into your suggestions (2 & 3) but this mornings GMA had more of the issue showing up starting at around 1:43 into the program. 

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Re: Macroblocking on ABC

@ghcharters : Please do not confuse @RogersMoin  and me @57 , we are different people.

 

I recorded Wednesday and Thursday for you, however, I did not record Friday (today) since I didn't hear from you yesterday.  I didn't see any issues on Wednesday or Thursday.  Do you want to try again on Monday?



I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 33

Re: Macroblocking on ABC

@57   I was away all day Thursday. That's why you didn't hear from me. Let's try Monday and Tuesday's programs, please.

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Re: Macroblocking on ABC


@ghcharters wrote:

I haven't had a chance to look into your suggestions (2 & 3) but this mornings GMA had more of the issue showing up starting at around 1:43 into the program. 


I recorded GMA today.  I skipped to the 1:43 mark in today’s show and re-watched the entire stage performance and can see what you’re talking about.  I think it’s even more apparent when watching the second performance after the commercial break.  (I watched the recording on a 1080p TV, a 720p TV, and with the Ignite TV app.)

 

GMA is a live program so there will be issues that you won’t see in a pre-recorded program.  WKBW’s source signal is  720p so you’re also transcoding.  All this can be challenging for IPTV encoders.

 

You can definitely see artifacts from compression and transcoding, and possibly other issues that can be attributed to the source signal.  The crawl at the bottom of the screen was smooth and steady throughout.  However, if you focus on the yellow “LIVE” and the white text below, you’ll see fuzziness around the letters, especially when the camera moves and pans.  Same when you look at the bare midriff of the dancers.

 

It’s nothing like the ripping/tearing that you’ll see when you have signal issues with Digital TV or freezing when you drop key frames in an MPEG stream.  It’s more a lack of sharpness in the picture.  (It’s not unlike Fibe TV when they take an HD movie and compress it down to the point where it looks worse than an old DVD.)

 

With Ignite TV, when streamed at the highest quality, the picture quality of the GMA broadcast was still generally okay. However, with adaptive bitrates, that’s not always the case.  If the stream drops to a lower bitrate, the picture quality really suffers and the side-scrolling text at the bottom of the screen becomes jerky.