Football Picture Quality

I noticed while watching the football games this weekend that some action shots seemed to not be smooth. Kinda like the refresh rate was off a bit, or low. Is this a Tablo issue with streaming or is this more a result of the Antenna signal? The channels I was watching both had full strength.

Sorry for the dumb question, this is my first go-round with OTA streaming.

When I initially set up my system I had problems with picture quality on football games even though my Tablo was showing full signal strength on all channels. I tweaked my antenna slightly & managed to fix the problem.

I live within 15 miles of all the local towers so while signal strength was not an issue positioning was critical. Which antenna you use can also be a factor for not all antenna’s are created equal. I have a Clearview 2V mounted in my attic.

Im within 18 miles I think from all the towers and everything looks great but the football at times.
I mounted the Winegard HD7694P High Definition VHF/UHF Antenna in my attic as well. And it basically sits right over the Tablo that is in my office.
Basically when I hooked everything up, I eyeballed the direction and checked all the channels. To my surprise everything came in clear so I left it. Ill try adjusting the position and see what I get. Glad to hear this can be cleared up.


From my experience, if there is a 720p football games, and you have 10 Mpbs, 1080p setting, the game looks just as good as coming straight from an antenna.

However, if it is a 1080i game, the quality is not quite as good. It has that “internet streaming feel” like you see on WatchESPN or a sports channel on Sling. Since the Tablo can only capture in progressive mode and not interlaced, the quality will suffer some.

Since I watch NFL football live most often, I just use my straight antenna connection to my TV for those games. I also post a lot online during Titans games, so I can’t have that big delay between live TV and the Tablo video.

1 Like

Can you define this a bit more clearly, Snowcat?


I find this to be true as well. Most (all?) 720p Football broadcasts are also 60fps, which is why the 10Mbps recording quality is so important in making these broadcasts look good.
The deinterlacing of 1080i broadcasts does introduce some degradation…but I’ve also watched these 1080i football games on my TiVo (which is direct MPEG2), and these broadcasts look very weak in comparison to the 720p 60fps games.
So some of the “action doesn’t look smooth” is related to the original broadcast quality, and some is related to the Tablo’s processing of the image…and some is actually related to how your TV is setup for “motion blur” and “sharpness” settings.

Deinterlacing video just has some drawbacks, especially for high motion video like sports. And it is capturing at 30 frames per second compared to the 60 fps that 720p can be captured.

I always turn off motion blur on all my TV sets. I can’t stand seeing it on tvs in other places, since it creates the soap opera effect on many shows.


Another thought on this…how many other sub channels are there on that channel? Was it Fox or CBS? My local CBS station (WIAT Birmingham, AL) has 2 sub channels and an old encoder. They have made improvements to the image quality of late, but there was a very soft picture and extreme pixelation due to bit starving the picture. This may not be the case for you, but if there are several sub channels, that may be why the image looks bad. Sports like football is when you really see the effects of multicasting / sub channels. I can occasionally pull in another market with one sub channel that looks way better and on the same settings @snowcat uses looks great with sports.