one of the things that really bothers me is this constant move to higher compression along with the thinking its still ok -well its not ok cause this content is also moving onto the net as well.
Here's the long and the short of it.
Recently I had the chance to see some shows in mpeg4 and while i don't know exacting bitrate I do notice channels that were clearer, sharper, cleaner and more stable are now starting to look more like SD than HD. This step looks like it takes that move even further and as mentioned, it is a bad move.
The reason high compression cable boxes are a bad move is cause as content pops up over the net (ie: netflix, hulu, etc.), pretty soon, their picture quality, even in SD will dance around cable TV. While it might not cause a customer to drop cable TV, it might prompt them to switch to a provider who doesn't want to jump on the compression bandwagon.
Ok, in short, this constant move towards compression i feel is a bad move i think, ultimately will backfire
A better headline would be "AT&T dares cable companies to cut quality with Wi-Fi STB".
Compressing HD video at 5 Mbps, even with the tools in H.264, is -- to quote the article -- "extreme compression." I'm not sure I agree with IMS Research that this amounts to a competitive advantage over cable's MPEG2 HD, but I admit I'm an HD elitist and probably not representative of the average TV viewer.
Maybe most of U-verse's customers don't really care much about HD picture quality, or perhaps they care more about the convenience of a wireless STB.
This part of AT&T is getting dangerously close to actually being innovative. I have several friends that say nice things about U-Verse (it isn't in my area yet) and it looks like they are pushing hard on setups like this. That competition stuff really seems to work.