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chmod
Premium
join:2000-12-12
Lockport, IL

1 edit

Really horrible U-Verse TV PQ.

To preface I switched from Comcast to U-Verse early January of this year. The initial reason was to save a few bucks and att had some nice cash back incentives to switch at that time. However I'm now seriously regretting that decision. According to the uv realtime app and looking out my window I'm a few hundred feet away from the vrad. On paper it all looked good so I signed up for the u300 tv package and max plus internet and aside from a slight hiccup the initial install went though just fine. When initially installed my living room tv was a 39" Vizio LCD. I immediately noticed a degradation in HD quality compared to Comcast (some channels more than others). It was still satisfactory I suppose but there was a marked difference for sure. The biggest tv in my home at that time was that 39" the other two being 32" lcd's in bedrooms. So a few weeks ago I purchased a 60" LED tv which really magnifies the issues to the point I'm so dissatisfied with the pq I'd be willing to pay the etf fee to get out of contract. Streaming netflix even at 4xx SD looks better than a vast majority of the U-Verse HD channels that are broadcasting according to my tv at 720p. Watching blu-rays or 1080p youtube videos are beyond amazing. Is there anything at all I can do or is this all that is to be expected? To give an fyi, I recorded The Walking Dead on the AMC HD channel last night. Today I sat down to watch it and the picture in dark scenes was so blocky it was pathetic.
--
Some people are like Slinkies. Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.


dswfondy
Premium
join:2013-09-29
Fond Du Lac, WI

Is your uverse receiver set to standard def. output?

Menu

System options

TV screen resolution

Choose correct resolution for your tv.

See if that helps, you should see that uverse has a better picture quality then most cable operators.

I have 60" led and it's crisp.



goodluck

@comcast.net
reply to chmod

1st. Make sure your box is set up for HD. Some techs may miss setting the box to HD. In settings look to change it to HD. It seems your TV may be 1080p so I'd set it up to 1080i. I'm going to assume your using an HDMI cable. Two, broadcast TV in USA maxes out at 1080i so it will never look as good as 1080p, especially on that 60". I'm actually typing this on a 65" myself and know it makes a difference at that size. Your picture quality though should be pretty equal to Comcast IMHO. Check the box to make sure it's set up correctly. They may have set up your guide to be in HD so it may be telling your TV it's 720p when it's obviously not. If still an issue, call in a ticket and have them check your line and boxes. Are you ethernet to the box or coax? Good luck.



chmod
Premium
join:2000-12-12
Lockport, IL
reply to dswfondy

Click for full size
No definitely set to HD. I switched between 1080i and 720P with progressive 720p giving a slightly better picture its still garbage.


chmod
Premium
join:2000-12-12
Lockport, IL
reply to chmod

It's a midspan drop from the street brand new along with cat5 wired to everything. I've had zero issues with dropped tv or internet since install the pq is just not there.
--
Some people are like Slinkies. Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.


Merlin

join:2012-06-08
Dallas, TX
reply to chmod

That is interesting because there has been a lot of work done on PQ the past few years. I find it hard to believe your setup is working properly if you think Netflix looks better than U-verse HD.



chmod
Premium
join:2000-12-12
Lockport, IL

said by Merlin:

That is interesting because there has been a lot of work done on PQ the past few years. I find it hard to believe your setup is working properly if you think Netflix looks better than U-verse HD.

It's night and day. My connection is really solid as mentioned so I'm unsure of where the bottleneck is.
--
Some people are like Slinkies. Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.


youverse

join:2007-03-14
Vallejo, CA

probably a dumb question but are you using an hdmi cable from box to tv? and have you tried an alternative method to see if the quality improves?



chmod
Premium
join:2000-12-12
Lockport, IL

Yes, HDMI everything.


grebbler

join:2006-12-26
Picayune, MS

Have you tried frogging the HDMI cables (bluray/stb)? Possibly a bad HDMI cord.


nephipower

join:2012-02-20
San Antonio, TX

3 recommendations

reply to chmod

Unfortunately what you are seeing is mostly just over compressed Uverse TV stream being stuffed into a 6 mbit multicast. I ran into this same issue when I tried switching from TWC to Uverse. It was noticeably much softer picture and lots of macroblocking during even minor movement.

Even though Netflix only uses 5800 kbps at their highest bitrate, which IMO looks really good, the difference is Netflix has tons of time to run video through their fancy encoders.

However, Uverse has to do a lot of that encoding realtime and also likely doesn't have as good of encoding algorithms as Netflix. That combined with lower bitrate than other tv providers makes for the land of macroblocking on uverse "HD" service.

The only thing I found previously that helped a little was getting the VIP2250 DVR had a better video decoding chip and made the picture look a little better.


ram1220

join:2009-07-03
Allen, TX
reply to chmod

Unfortunately the HD PQ you are seeing with Uverse is the best it is going to get. AT&T compresses the signal so much that the picture looks soft. Any movement will create an even poorer picture. This is the main reason I dumped Uverse TV. I got tired of paying so much for a poor HD PQ. And the recent price increases with no improvement in PQ made it a no brainer. On the other hand my 12/1.5 Uverse internet has been rock solid since I had Uverse installed in Oct 2008.


gene32

join:2004-05-03
Reynoldsburg, OH
reply to chmod

Listen to nephipower and ram1220. They are stating what others don't want to admit. Since UVerse is pumped to your house via telephone lines, there's only so much bandwidth available. To get the job done, they compress the crap out of video. It isn't your TV, HDMI cables, DVR box settings or HDMI ports....... it all comes down to AT&T using telephone lines to cram everything through. I think the people that defend UVerse picture quality have never seen anything better so to them, it looks amazing. UVerse HD picture quality is lacking when compared to other sources like cable, satellite and OTA HD feeds.



chmod
Premium
join:2000-12-12
Lockport, IL
reply to chmod

Thanks for the replies. Not what I wanted to hear but I figured that was the issue. Guess it's time to crawl back to Comcast.


ajairola

join:2014-03-05

Not really sure what all of the negative posts about picture quality are about, I've had Uverse for almost a year now and have no complaints(both my 55in tv and my 100in projector have great picture quality from the uverse boxes). What gateway/profile do you have?


gadawg

join:2006-01-27
Louisville, KY

Same here. I have had cable, Uverse and now OTA. OTA the best. Uverse and cable the same picture quality.



trparky
Apple... YUM
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:2

Same here. I have Time Warner Cable in my area. Picture quality is just the same.
--
Tom
Tom's Tech Blog



chmod
Premium
join:2000-12-12
Lockport, IL
reply to ajairola

Click for full size
Stats here. I really want to stick with u-verse don't get me wrong. As mentioned connectivity has been rock solid. Not a single hiccup since install. I literally unplugged the Comcast box and the tech hooked up U-Verse and the difference was apparent.
--
Some people are like Slinkies. Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

Paralel

join:2011-03-24
Michigan, US
kudos:4

1 edit

I've never had a problem with the picture quality, but some people seem to have an issue with it.

I have a 42" TV that is ~100 inches away from me, and with my glasses my vision is 20/15. In previous years, if you looked, you could see there were a few issues with UVerse picture quality during scenes with lots of small details (confetti during a parade, etc...) and some really fast action scenes. However, the artifacts were small, transient, and had no major impact on my viewing experience. In recent years, I can find no faults, unless I'm literally less than 12" from the screen, and well, no one should be that close to their TV screen.

I'm also running a VIP 2250, so maybe that makes a difference?



brookeKrige

join:2012-11-05
San Jose, CA
kudos:3
reply to chmod

If you freeze frame during the blocky blacks, is it preserved (can post pic?, but what frame of what show to choose as reference for comparison with others?), or pause cleans up the PQ a bit?

Of course you can use disc like AVS HD to calibrate a new TV (brightness, contrast, esp. black-levels...), defeating the weird out-of-the-box settings and fancy uber modes designed for the Best Buy showroom. You must have played them all out to utter exhaustion I guess by now?

(My recollection of comcast, from so far back as now must matter little and less, was they obviously over drove the color).

What DVR model, and with what firmware version? (I assume old firmware makes a difference). Not a wireless STB, right?

What's your internet speed tier? Your upstream is oddly not cutting it for the 32/5 profile (ridiculous for 400 feet to VRAD, may be it's the old: "3801 can't handle being that close to VRAD" problem), but you wouldn't see an impact on TV PQ due to that anyway. Presume UVR error tab shows only correctable block errors?



MoeTech

@sbcglobal.net

Definitely needs an attenuator installed on the 3800


dipswich
Premium
join:2003-06-27
Raleigh, NC
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

I wouldn't try to fix a link with 0 errors per minute with an attenuator unless there is a known issue with high signal levels causing damage to the hardware.

I think that the issue here is just sensitivity to the aggressive compression AT&T has to employ. Some people are just more attuned to the artifacts, and U-verse might not be the product for them.

My preferences are similar to the OP in that I get really hung up on blocky dark scenes or banded gradients. All digital video has this to some degree, but when I had U-verse TV it was a little more than I could bear.



chmod
Premium
join:2000-12-12
Lockport, IL
reply to brookeKrige

said by brookeKrige:

If you freeze frame during the blocky blacks, is it preserved (can post pic?, but what frame of what show to choose as reference for comparison with others?), or pause cleans up the PQ a bit?

Of course you can use disc like AVS HD to calibrate a new TV (brightness, contrast, esp. black-levels...), defeating the weird out-of-the-box settings and fancy uber modes designed for the Best Buy showroom. You must have played them all out to utter exhaustion I guess by now?

(My recollection of comcast, from so far back as now must matter little and less, was they obviously over drove the color).

What DVR model, and with what firmware version? (I assume old firmware makes a difference). Not a wireless STB, right?

What's your internet speed tier? Your upstream is oddly not cutting it for the 32/5 profile (ridiculous for 400 feet to VRAD, may be it's the old: "3801 can't handle being that close to VRAD" problem), but you wouldn't see an impact on TV PQ due to that anyway. Presume UVR error tab shows only correctable block errors?

I'll try to answer most of your questions. As far as pausing and taking a picture of the blocking I suppose I could. At one point it was strobeing grey/black. As far as calibration I've read what seems like hundreds of pages from avs forum in the master thread for my TV. There is a compiled spreadsheet of settings from different users. I found one that was nice and tweaked from there. I do however have Disney's wow Blu Ray on order. Speed tier is max plus which is 18/1.5 I believe. With two tv's on speed tests show 22/1.5. Dvr and firmware I'll have to get back to you on. My living room TV (the 60") is cat5 wired to Dvr and hdmi out to TV. The other two tv's however are wireless.
--
Some people are like Slinkies. Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

benk016

join:2011-06-05
Owasso, OK

When I first got u-verse after moving from cable, i did notice the picture quality wasn't what I was used to. but I have to admit, after a month, i don't even notice it anymore. I think it is different enough that you notice it real bad at first. but then you get used to it. Yes when there is a lot of movement, or flashing lights or anything like that, it pixelates, but so does cable, or OTA. I'd say give it some time and you might not even notice it anymore.


Merlin

join:2012-06-08
Dallas, TX
reply to chmod

I think a lot of the people complaining about PQ have not had the service in the past couple of years since all of the improvements to the service were implemented. There is a reason you don't hear nearly as many complaints as you used to about PQ and AT&T is adding more customers than ever so if it were still an issue, this board would have 1,000 posts on it. Probably even an unscientific review on the front page...lol


mrsdrgn

join:2014-02-13
usa
reply to gene32

I just got UVerse TV a month ago I was worried that the PQ is not going to be good. But, I have both Directv and UVerse TV and my PQ on UVerse is the same as Directv. I guess I am one of the 1% lucky ones because I have the FTTP and Cat5 connection. I have 4 HD receivers, 24/5 internet and voice. The HD PQ streams between 7500kbps and 9200kbps. So it all depends of the type of connections that you have to your home. But the fiber optic to the house definitely makes a big difference. Maybe if you are on FTTN connection than yes UVerse TV PQ sucks. So far it works for me. UVerse internet is very solid.



trparky
Apple... YUM
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:2

I'm on FTTN with Power Tier and I have no issues with uVerse picture quality. It may not be the best picture quality but neither was Time Warner in my area. I really only have two choices for TV in my area; uVerse and Time Warner Cable. There is WOW but I've heard such horrible things about them that I dare not even look at them.

TWC was packing the HD channels on the wire and by that they were packing sometimes as many as three to four HD channels into one QAM. Generally it's best to only put one (optimum) or two but three or four channels in one QAM forces the MPEG2 encoders to really compress the shit out of the HD feed.

Like I said, it may not be the best but it's more than sufficient for my needs. As long as the explosions on Mythbusters look decent I don't care.
--
Tom
Tom's Tech Blog


Merlin

join:2012-06-08
Dallas, TX
reply to mrsdrgn

said by mrsdrgn:

I just got UVerse TV a month ago I was worried that the PQ is not going to be good. But, I have both Directv and UVerse TV and my PQ on UVerse is the same as Directv. I guess I am one of the 1% lucky ones because I have the FTTP and Cat5 connection. I have 4 HD receivers, 24/5 internet and voice. The HD PQ streams between 7500kbps and 9200kbps. So it all depends of the type of connections that you have to your home. But the fiber optic to the house definitely makes a big difference. Maybe if you are on FTTN connection than yes UVerse TV PQ sucks. So far it works for me. UVerse internet is very solid.

There is no difference in PQ or HD stream bitrate between the FTTN and FTTP platforms. The only difference you would notice in a lower latency rate as the fiber loop transmits data faster than the copper loop. Even that is negligible in the end customer experience. The big bang for fiber is higher speed tier capability.

benk016

join:2011-06-05
Owasso, OK

said by Merlin See Profile
There is no difference in PQ or HD stream bitrate between the FTTN and FTTP platforms. The only difference you would notice in a lower latency rate as the fiber loop transmits data faster than the copper loop. Even that is negligible in the end customer experience. The big bang for fiber is higher speed tier capability.

And the extra overhead. I can watch all 4 HD streams and still get my 25mb internet speeds.

nephipower

join:2012-02-20
San Antonio, TX
reply to Merlin

said by Merlin:

said by mrsdrgn:

I just got UVerse TV a month ago I was worried that the PQ is not going to be good. But, I have both Directv and UVerse TV and my PQ on UVerse is the same as Directv. I guess I am one of the 1% lucky ones because I have the FTTP and Cat5 connection. I have 4 HD receivers, 24/5 internet and voice. The HD PQ streams between 7500kbps and 9200kbps. So it all depends of the type of connections that you have to your home. But the fiber optic to the house definitely makes a big difference. Maybe if you are on FTTN connection than yes UVerse TV PQ sucks. So far it works for me. UVerse internet is very solid.

There is no difference in PQ or HD stream bitrate between the FTTN and FTTP platforms. The only difference you would notice in a lower latency rate as the fiber loop transmits data faster than the copper loop. Even that is negligible in the end customer experience. The big bang for fiber is higher speed tier capability.

How do we know there really aren't higher bitrate streams going to FTTP users?

When 24 mbit service was first being rollout out to FTTP users many were vehement about it only being limited to 18 mbits. Then eventually enough FTTP users were reporting that they were in fact able to sign up for 24 mbit service before they agreed.

mrsdrgn how do you know exactly what bitrate you are getting for your tv streams?