I enjoy HD channels but during action movie scenes
and some sport HD channels I get a very distracting
pixelization effect. Cable company is Charter Communications. Is this caused by Charter's
transmission or can I correct this with an
equipment change? The pixelization seems to
be worse as camera pans quickly.
Is it a small or large amount that you are seeing ?

Do you have other services with them such as phone and hsd , and are those effected at all ?

Changing out the equipment *might* solve the problem, but many times it means that there is something else wrong and that is why you are seeing this.

If you would like more info, contact me and I will try and explain things the best that I can do you.....
what kind of display do you have? Plasma generally is more better for the kind of viewing you are describing.
Cable companies can control how much bandwidth/compression they use from channel to channel. sports should be given more bandwidth but isn't always if its not a popular channel. Some local providers are much worse than others...
Riley804-We do use Charter for phone & HSinternet but
these work fine. The pixelization is
intermittant and only during "fast action"
scenes. Thanks.

Swampwalker-Display is JVC RS1 projector with
Stewart 106" screen. Unlikely that
problem is display because all other
sources (dvd, bluray) are fine.


The pixelization is intermittant and only during "fast action" scenes.

That is a compression artifact, and (assuming it occurs on multiple channels) I can't envision how it could be due to anything other than compression introduced by the cable company to conserve bandwidth for other channels.

-- Al
assuming this is in movie broadcasts, it may be inherent in the hd masters. backround objects like 'water', 'sand', 'window blinds', and much more, are extremely tuff to control.
I'm going to have to side with the compression crowd. Sometimes Comcast compresses the hell out of HD content on less popular channels to the point that I switch to the SD feed. This practice is more prevalent during prime time and weekends.
I sometimes see pixelization on my old CRT TV set, so it must be in the cable signal.
You should check into having the signal amplified by your cable company. It sounds like you have a weak signal.
This is a natural consequence of how video compression works.

The images are split up into 8x8 sample blocks which are converted into the frequency domain where you have an average level for the block plus the changes across the whole block, that occur twice, etc.

Periodically a full still frame is sent.

Subsequent frames are encoded with how far different groups of blocks have moved plus the changes.

When there's fast motion or camera pans there are more changes which must be represented and the system starts discarding the high frequencies and small color/intensity changes that make up details.

Cramming more channels into the same system like cable and satellite companies do reduces the bandwidth available to each one so more information needs to be thrown out.
Thanks for all insightful responses. My only question
is why does this only happen on HD channels? The SD
channels of the same programs are fine. The improved
picture in HD far outweighs this issue. Watching my beloved NY Yankees win last night in HD was great! Pixels and all. Yankee bashers need not reply!
My guess is that HD, needing a larger bandwith, would display the compression more so, than SD, and, SD, being a lower resolution, would mask the compression better. I did a few installations in my friends houses, who use cable, and I was able to reduce the artifacts with better cables. I haven't played with HDMI on thier (cable) sets, but when I replaced the poor component cables that come with cable boxes, with top of the line Monster Component Cable the difference in picture was staggering. (a neighbor of a freind of mine went out and bought the same TV when they saw her picture and was very dissapointed when it didn't lok as good; the difference was, indeed, the cable.
When I had cable, I fought with my cable company to lay a new cable direct from junction to my home, instead of splitting it among the other residents in my development, and the picture was much, much better (almost as good as my sat picture-almost.
My only question is why does this only happen on HD channels? The SD channels of the same programs are fine.

With no compression or equal compression, hd would require vastly greater bandwidth than sd, because of its far higher pixel count. Therefore the cable company compresses the hd channels heavily, resulting in the fast-motion artifacts you are seeing, while compressing sd (on sd digital channels) to a much lesser degree. And sd analog channels, by their nature, have no compression at all.

Also, for those who may be concerned about signal strength on their incoming cable, if you have your internet service provided via the same cable you can usually determine your incoming signal strength (as it exists at the cable modem) by interrogating the modem from a web browser program on your computer. My Scientific Atlanta cable modem is interrogated by entering, which will cause it to return various status information including incoming signal strength. If that number doesn't work for you, Google the modem's make and model number and you'll be able to find how to do this for your particular model.

But I don't think the op's issue has anything to do with signal strength. The sensitivity to motion in the picture, and the fact that it only occurs on (multiple) hd channels, strongly suggest that it is due to compression applied by the cable company.

-- Al
In my previous post, the cable modem url I entered somehow wound up with an extraneous comma included at the end of the link, which causes it to not work. It should be

-- Al
As the others have said, what you are experiencing is compression from the cable signal.

Pop in a blu ray - and you won't see any of this, regardless of how fast the motion is on the screen.
>Thanks for all insightful responses. My only question
is why does this only happen on HD channels?

Bit rate allocation. For the same level of pixelation 1920x1080i takes 6X the bandwdith of standard definition and 1280x720p 5.3X.