As you can imagine, the cable coming into your house for TV has a finite amount of bandwidth. That same bandwidth must be used for TV, Internet and telephone (if you use cable telephone). This is all well and good and is not limitation assuming that the combination of those three services does not exceed the available bandwidth. Bandwidth was not really an issue until the advent HDTV. High definition TV requires more bandwidth since it is a more detailed picture with more pixels. The problem then is how you can squeeze more HDTV channels into the existing bandwidth. The simple solution is compression. You just compress the incoming data which reduces bandwidth requirements, but at a cost of a reduction in image quality. This is exactly what Comcast is doing according to this post at avsforum. This poster performs a detailed side-by-side comparison between Comcast and FiOS HD channels and finds that the image quality is noticably worse with Comcast. This is certainly an interesting finding and lends more creditability to the suggestion that FiOS would be a substantial upgrade over Comcast.
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