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Verizon Program Guide Innacuracies

I've had Verizon FIOS service for a few months now and overall I'm quite pleased. The HD image quality is great and the internet speed is fast. At this point I will move into nitpicking and complain about the program guide. Overall I actually like the program guide. It displays more channel information on the screen and is more pleasing to my eye than others I have seen. My sole issue is with the display of a program's original air date. Granted, this is not a big deal, but for some reson I really like knowing what year a program I'm watching originally aired.

On cable, this information was always visible on the first line of the description. On FIOS, you need to hit at least two buttons to access the date. The bigger problem though is that the original air date shown is often grossly inaccurate. How do I know? Because it is often shown as being in the future. See the example below. The original air date of this episode was 5/17/1995, however the guide displays 9/19/2015. It looks like the guide particularly has problems with dates from the 1990s.


(Please don't hold the fact that this example is from an episode of 90210 against me. This screen shot is only used as an example) So how does one alert Verizon to this issue? I can see them telling me to "reset my set top box" to fix this or offer to send out a technician.

Bing Bang Theory Compression Test

It turns out that the opening sequence of the Big Bang Theory is great for determining the amount of video compression applied to the channel on which its airing. The rapid-fire images prove tricky for most compresion algorithms used by cable tv, satellite and fiber. With no or very little compression, the images in the title sequence will flow smoothly. The more compressed the signal, the more pauses or stuttering you'll see. For instance, when viewing the opening on the local independent station over the air with an HD tuner, little to no compression is seen. However, when viewing the same opening on TBS (via Verizon fiber) the sequence noticeably pauses on two of the images. (Most often on the image below)

A difficult question to answer is where the offending compression is being introduced. It could be from the uplink/downlink of the TBS signal to the local cable company. Or it could be the local cable company itself compressing video to fit more channels on their system. Although the compression artifacts are fairly minimal, they could make some viewers wonder why the producers chose to dwell on certain images, thus creating meaning where none exists. In any case, the next time you watch the opening titles, keep an eye out for tell-tale compression artifacts.