This has probably been mentioned before. I have a decent digital flat screen with 1080p capability. It frustrates me that the cable signal quality varies from channel to channel. ESPN has got to be the worst out of all. The picture quality is so poor that reading the time clock is almost impossible during football games. The picture quality is the same on an older tube-type TV I have. And then the rates they charge. I won't get into that in this post.
Time Warner screwed around with me for years making goofy claims. Spectrum takes over and I sign up for one of their deals, and the problems get worse. Spectrum sends out a guy who says it's the line in the house and that didn't fix it. He said it's got to be the line to the back yard in my case, that got swapped and I'm good to go.This message has been edited. Last edited by: SigMaverick,
I own a bunch of Sigs with Beavertails...
Posts: 889 | Location: NE Ohio | Registered: November 09, 2012
Cable is just RF energy on a coax. Different frequencies for different channels. As the coax ages, it gets moisture or damaged. Some channels will be affected more than others. I recommend, if at all possible, making sure that your coax on the property be routed where you can make sure it doesn't get damaged, and where you might be able to install additional protection around it.
The same thing applies to OTA antennas and their coax. They need occasional updating to continue functioning properly.
Posts: 2103 | Location: Northern California | Registered: December 01, 2006
I don't know if it's still true, but at one time CATV systems would have multiple channels with the same content - some in HD quality and others in SD. Is it possible your carrier has a channel number with a better quality ESPN signal?
Posts: 12026 | Location: North Carolina | Registered: October 15, 2007
Service guy came out last year and tested my lines in the house after several channels would pixilate. He said the coax cables were good. Just for "luck", he replaced all the connectors and splitters with new, better rated for digital service. He also replaced the the main connector on the outside of the house. Pixilating disappeared, but channel quality still varies. I asked my neighbors about their CATV and they said ESPN sucks on their TVs as well.
Due to some internet issues and tech services advice, I went to Spectrum today and exchanged my old modem for a newer one. While I was there, I brought up the channel quality issue. The Customer Service person said it might be my cables, but I told her about my neighbors having issues too. There were 2 TVs in the waiting room. On one, she turned the channel to ESPN. Sure enough, the quality there was bad too, ha ha! When she saw that, she said she would talk to one of the tech geeks about it. I also found out that apparently they get some channels via satellite feed and other via landline cabling, but quality is supposed to be similar regardless of source. Yeah, right. Maybe I have started something good (I hope).
Originally posted by Glynn863: Due to some internet issues and tech services advice, I went to Spectrum today and exchanged my old modem for a newer one. While I was there, I brought up the channel quality issue. The Customer Service person said it might be my cables, but I told her about my neighbors having issues too. There were 2 TVs in the waiting room. On one, she turned the channel to ESPN. Sure enough, the quality there was bad too, ha ha! When she saw that, she said she would talk to one of the tech geeks about it. I also found out that apparently they get some channels via satellite feed and other via landline cabling, but quality is supposed to be similar regardless of source. Yeah, right. Maybe I have started something good (I hope).
I'm a Service Tech III for Spectrum in Tampa. I can't say for sure if your system there operates differently than it does here, but I can say that ESPN should look as good as if not better than most other HD channels, assuming that you are actual viewing ESPN HD and not the SD version of the channel like another member mentioned. For the record, ESPN in SD would probably look worse on an flatscreen TV than it would on an older tube TV because an HDTV will actually emphasize the imperfections in SD signal that aren't seen when shown on an older tube TV. Are you able to see the entire picture from corner to corner on your screen with no black bars on the top or bottom, without having to adjust the aspect ration thru your TV or cable box settings? I can probably assist you further but I would need some more information from you. Feel free to contact me directly if you'd like, my email in my profile.
Posts: 29 | Location: Florida | Registered: November 11, 2017
Based on your description, ESPN is probably SD in my cable package, because I do have the black bars above and below the picture. My older tube TV still shows the poor quality, worse than my flatscreen. Funny how ESPN would look bad at the office showroom; I though they would have HD service to promote their offerings.
Yeah if you have black bars then it's SD. You should only see black bars on an HD channel if it's a very old program like "The Honeymooners" or "I Love Lucy", those are examples of shows that will have the black bars on the sides when shown on an HD channel. Basically anything that was shot in 4:3 format, some cheaper local commercials won't fill the screen, and then there's some movies that will have the black bars on the top and bottom because movie screens are even wider than a standard 16:9 TV so their typical format of 2.39:1 is too wide for most of our HDTVs. As far as your tube TV having poor quality goes, assuming the TV itself isn't the issue then you could just have a weak cable signal to the TV. Weak digital signal to an HDTV with a cable box will typically first cause intermittent pixellating, occasional fozen pics ot distorted audio, and in a worst case total black screen(possibly with an error message from the cable box). A weak analog signal to an older tube TV without a cable box that's connected directly to the coax will typically appear snowy, fuzzy, or blurry, with worst case being total snow. In my experience technicians are only accountable for signal to our equipment(modems and cable boxes) because levels can be checked and monitored remotely, so that being said it's almost guaranteed that any TVs without a box will have the weakest signal in the house because they are the lowest priority to the technician working on or installing your system. Having a bad picture on ESPN on your flatscreen makes sense because it sounds like it's in SD, but if it still looks bad on a tube TV and other channels like NBC, FOX, etc. look fine then you probably need to have a technician come out to check the signal to that TV, specifically the frequency used for ESPN. Signal strength needs to realistically be between -12dB and +12dB and the SNR on that channel(freq) should be at least 34dB, but preferably 36dB-42dB if they want to make sure you aren't going to have intermittent issues in the future.
Sorry for rambling but I hope this make sense.
Posts: 29 | Location: Florida | Registered: November 11, 2017