|Even when you set up your TV channel sources just right, there can be quite a lot of variation in video quality on the same channel depending on the program that’s on at the moment. For my system all my channels reach me in HD 1080i resolution, but for example the PBS nightly news and business programs don’t look anywhere near HD sharp. The programs PBS puts on next are usually a Rick Steves travel show and maybe Antiques Road Show and then a nature documentary and those look better and sharper than the news. Same thing happens on other channels, the daytime programs and news look lower resolution, while later on movies look much better. Commercials almost always look better than the program they’re in. I suspect that the program originators and channels/networks have different resolution and bandwidth/compression settings for different types of program material, maybe some of those settings are automated at some point in the distribution chain.|
I have my Netflix account set up for 1080P with the best quality settings. Almost all Netflix material looks a lot better than my 1080i TV channels. But even on Netflix 1080P, some movies look and sound mediocre, while others look and sound really good. Best quality I’ve seen is from Chinese action movies, my theory is they do minimal post-processing of their video, so it is very sharp and colourful and you can see a lot of detail in skin texture, wrinkles etc. Whereas with mainstream Hollywood movies they do a lot of processing to give a certain colour tone for the entire movie, and those expensive actors get thick fake-tan makeup and are digitally blurred so you can’t see wrinkles and blemishes. Result is that a lot of YouTube videos and the Chinese action movies look more realistic with better colour and sharpness than big-budget Hollywood movies.