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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.