Cable HD or Satellite HD? Which Has Better PICTURE QUALITY? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 03-10-2004, 10:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Cable HD or Satellite HD? Which Has Better PICTURE QUALITY? In general....


(I have Comcast HD and the best HD Picture quality comes from INHD)

I would like to know how satellite HD compares to Cable HD???

Thanks, technoreid
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post #2 of 33 Old 03-10-2004, 10:20 PM
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I would say because SAT used less compression then Cable this gives the quality nod to SAT HDTV .

That said OTA native is the best and if your STB has built in tuner and off air HDTV is available in your area then do not hesitate .

 


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post #3 of 33 Old 03-10-2004, 10:29 PM - Thread Starter
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so it is true that satellite HD has less compression than cable HD.
can you tell the difference in PQ?

(I also wonder how INHD on cable compares to discovery HD on satellite in regards to
PICTURE QUALITY?

thanks, technoreid
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post #4 of 33 Old 03-10-2004, 10:37 PM
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This is not the way I understand it. I guess it depends on your area and cable system.
Except Voom, look at how many complaint people have about compression on D* and E*

I'm so 12 years ago. I don't get this new tech.
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post #5 of 33 Old 03-11-2004, 04:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by technoreid
so it is true that satellite HD has less compression than cable HD.
No, I think it's the other way around in these parts.

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post #6 of 33 Old 03-11-2004, 04:31 AM
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The cable companies get their signal from satellite, this signal runs through their network equipment then is compressed through miles of cabling to your house. So, as far as compression goes, both the satellite/cable companies use it and need it. Which is better? You decide.

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post #7 of 33 Old 03-11-2004, 04:43 AM
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Quote:
I would say because SAT used less compression then Cable this gives the quality nod to SAT HDTV
You know - when I am not sure about things I will put that in my comments and not use "fact sounding comments" - This is not true - now that is a fact based comment.

It has been clear on this forum that from time to time D* uses compression much more etc. I think that Comcast and TW sends through one of the best pq's from user reports, but OTA seems to be the best way to go. Also remember that when you say satelite you are obviously talking about one of three companies - how many cable companies are you talking about??? THere are tons of them and you can't make blanket statements like that and expect an accurate answer.

For me cable has provided a better pq than I have seen on friends HD tv's that have D*. In the areas I have lived (not NY) cable has also not really had the bandwidth issue and added channels continously the last year or so - if I only get ESPN-HD then with the pq and the number of channels I will be completely happy
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post #8 of 33 Old 03-11-2004, 04:59 AM
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I have both DIRECTV and COMCAST currently. I had DIRECTV for many years and got COMCAST about 3 weeks ago. I was surprised but COMCAST's picture quality is better for both digital and HDTV stations. The picture is sharper and not as fuzzy as DIRECTV. COMCAST sound quality is also noticeably better. But COMCAST's service is a nightmare!! I am also experiencing some occasional pixilation that COMCAST cannot seem to fix. HDTV is new to COMCAST in my area, so their technical personnel lack experience and knowledge.

This comparison applies to Prince Georges County, Maryland. It may be different in other areas.
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post #9 of 33 Old 03-11-2004, 05:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by REWJR
I would say because SAT used less compression then Cable this gives the quality nod to SAT HDTV .
I would say you are wrong to answer the question this way.

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post #10 of 33 Old 03-11-2004, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by beerme1
...I guess it depends on your area and cable system...
I'd agree with this based on personal experience and reading a dozen or so local threads on the issue. I have D* and a close friend has Insight cable. Up until about a month ago, it was a dead heat. Neither one of us could tell any difference (with cable HD channels. With HD Locals, OTA slightly beat cable). About a month ago, D*'s PQ went up. I haven't been to his house since, but if Insight cable is still as it was, D* is now better.

But, as I said, that's HERE. As beerme1 said, a lot can depend on your cable system.

One other thing to consider is OTA. Insight carries Cincinnati ABC, NBC PBS and CBS. But my antenna picks up Fox, WB and half of the stations in Dayton. Handy when the locals pre-empt a show for Billy Graham or the like.

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post #11 of 33 Old 03-11-2004, 05:44 AM
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I currently have Insight's HD setup and Voom. To be quite honest, there is very very little difference between the two.
Pro's for cable = speed and stability for the most part.
Pro's for Voom = More HD programming.

So, at this point it is all a matter of prefrence. My concern is with cable and how once more and more HD programming is added to their lineup they will be able to deal with the evident bandwidth issues they are going to face.

As always, I just have an opinion. Make your own decsion in choosing what works for you.

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post #12 of 33 Old 03-11-2004, 06:11 AM
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Lets not forget the main feeds originate mostly from the C-Band satellites..... If you are capable of receiving that, you have the master broadcast.

Cable TV is next , Directv and Dish Network uses lots of digital compression, less detail, resulting in softer images.

C-Band HD looks 3D.
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post #13 of 33 Old 03-11-2004, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by soulcrusher
A coax cable has a maximum throughput of 45Mbps
I don't know where you've heard this, but this is absolutely not true.
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post #14 of 33 Old 03-11-2004, 07:15 AM
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TWC in Houston has much better picture quality on their digital and HDTV channels than D*. The problem with TWC is channels 1-100 which carry all the most watched SD channels are all analog and look horrible, in some cases worse than analog OTA. This is the reason my wife made me switch to D*.


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post #15 of 33 Old 03-11-2004, 07:26 AM
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I have to agree with Sharon. Comcast HD looks as good as OTA when it comes to the networks, and HBO is signicicantly better than Directv to my eyes. Directv has had a fuzziness for quite some time now. Would love for them to be able to get things turned around. Still, it is hard to go back to satellite when I get all my locals in HD.
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post #16 of 33 Old 03-11-2004, 07:30 AM
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Brighthouse Cable (formerly TWC), here in Central Florida, does not compress their signal. Their PQ could not be any better than it is , and has been for some time. My assumption has been that all HD pictures should be the same quality. I guess I'm wrong.
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post #17 of 33 Old 03-11-2004, 07:50 AM
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I have Comcast HD and D*. The D* pq is definitely softer. I would say Comcast has a slight edge of D*.

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post #18 of 33 Old 03-11-2004, 12:06 PM
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Neither, OTA has the best quality!
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post #19 of 33 Old 03-11-2004, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sharon L
I have both DIRECTV and COMCAST currently. I had DIRECTV for many years and got COMCAST about 3 weeks ago. I was surprised but COMCAST's picture quality is better for both digital and HDTV stations. The picture is sharper and not as fuzzy as DIRECTV. COMCAST sound quality is also noticeably better. But COMCAST's service is a nightmare!! I am also experiencing some occasional pixilation that COMCAST cannot seem to fix. HDTV is new to COMCAST in my area, so their technical personnel lack experience and knowledge.

This comparison applies to Prince Georges County, Maryland. It may be different in other areas.
I second the motion on everything quoted here though I had E* before switching. Should be called "dis-service." They were responsive to get me signed up but any problems, adios.

I currently have a bright orange cable running from the cable box to the house due to low signal strength (pixelation) which someday will be replaced with a conduit line. Watch them hit my sprinkler system!

But INHD, good golly Miss Molly. Awesome on my 60" XBR.

Dom

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post #20 of 33 Old 03-11-2004, 03:23 PM
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I originally started out with Dish HD and then switched over to Comcast. To be perfectly honest, it really depends on the source material that is shown. Discovery HD (on satelite) looked better than most of the HD channels (on Comcast) but the INHD feeds seem to look as good at times as I remember the Discovery HD satelite feed.
When I first switched over to Cable HD, I was absolutely CONVINCED that it was inferior to the Dish HD feed I had been receiving in the past. This was until I found out that the brightness and contrast of the onboard MPEG decoder used in the Motorola box had a much LOWER output than both my Pioneer Elite DVD player and the old satelite receiver. This caused backgrounds and low light details to virtually dissapear into the background. I ended up having to turn up the brightness and contrast quite a bit to bring up the background details. Once this was done, I still felt that the video quality was inferior to the satelite feed. That was before INHD started broadcasting on Comcast. Once this started, I saw some nice 1080 HD material that leaves me with the impression that they are probably pretty comparable. The real key is that if the original material isn't of at least a certain quality, then it will not look "great" on either delivery system...

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post #21 of 33 Old 03-12-2004, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by LouisD
Neither, OTA has the best quality!
And as an added bonus -- it's free! ;)
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post #22 of 33 Old 03-12-2004, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by soulcrusher
The cable companies get their signal from satellite, this signal runs through their network equipment then is compressed through miles of cabling to your house. So, as far as compression goes, both the satellite/cable companies use it and need it.
This info is inaccurate.

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post #23 of 33 Old 03-12-2004, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by sdwow
Lets not forget the main feeds originate mostly from the C-Band satellites..... If you are capable of receiving that, you have the master broadcast.

C-Band HD looks 3D.
As does any HD feed that's not altered. With digital transmission, anyone can get master broadcast quality, if the provider passes the signal that way.

Comcast and some other cableco's pass HD feeds as received from local and sat sources. Not all cableco's do this.

DirecTV is using stat muxing, which can affect HD image quality. See the many recent topics discussing how any given DirecTV HD channel looks great one day and poor the next.

To the best of my knowledge, Dish does not use stat muxing at this time. Not sure about Voom, but I believe they are not reducing HD image quality at this time.

OTA will also look great if it's passed unaltered, but if local HD stations are multicasting you will not get the best possible HD image quality.

The bottom line is there is no hard and fast rule about what HD source will look the best. It can, and will, vary depending on many factors.

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post #24 of 33 Old 03-12-2004, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sharon L
I have both DIRECTV and COMCAST currently. I had DIRECTV for many years and got COMCAST about 3 weeks ago. I was surprised but COMCAST's picture quality is better for both digital and HDTV stations. The picture is sharper and not as fuzzy as DIRECTV. COMCAST sound quality is also noticeably better. But COMCAST's service is a nightmare!! I am also experiencing some occasional pixilation that COMCAST cannot seem to fix. HDTV is new to COMCAST in my area, so their technical personnel lack experience and knowledge.

This comparison applies to Prince Georges County, Maryland. It may be different in other areas.
I do not have any of the 3 sat systems but i can def for sure say comcast is pretty sharp -
specially INHD & INHD 2......(I would say INHD is thee sharpest channel I have seen on COMCAST) also i would like to say that OTA is very very sharp (CBS i think being the best) possibly only a hair sharper than INHD (and that is for certain programs - very few)-

now I would like to know how CABLE HD AND OTA compares to Vooom???

technoreid
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post #25 of 33 Old 03-12-2004, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Wright
I have to agree with Sharon. Comcast HD looks as good as OTA when it comes to the networks, and HBO is signicicantly better than Directv to my eyes. Directv has had a fuzziness for quite some time now. Would love for them to be able to get things turned around. Still, it is hard to go back to satellite when I get all my locals in HD.

that is interesting because here in northern california (near sacramento) my Comcast
HD only gets 2 locals (abc & nbc) - NO CBS! And they both do not even touch the quality
of INHD on Comcast. But if I go outside and put up my UHF antenna and get ABC and NBC it becomes a lot clearer, but still mabye not as totally clear as INHD....(but CBS can be very very very clear)

I find it a big big toss-up....

I can say for SURE that INHD has a promo commercial that has a RED MOTORCYCLE (think it's a Harley) and it is THE BEST I HAVE SEEN IN HD (BUT IT WAS ONLY 20 SECS LONG!!!!).............with 2nd place going to the it's all here promo on CBS).
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post #26 of 33 Old 03-12-2004, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by krboo
TWC in Houston has much better picture quality on their digital and HDTV channels than D*. The problem with TWC is channels 1-100 which carry all the most watched SD channels are all analog and look horrible, in some cases worse than analog OTA. This is the reason my wife made me switch to D*.
I hear ya Krboo : the analog sd is horrible through component, but satalite doesn't have channel 2 and that's what the rocket's come on so i can't leave cable. I also see you live in pearland, i grew up there and just moved away is that place still blowing up ??

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post #27 of 33 Old 03-12-2004, 05:46 PM
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bigjohns,

D* does have channel 51 (or channel 2 on TWC). I don't know about E*. Yeah, Pearland is still growing too fast, the traffic is getting out of control.


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post #28 of 33 Old 03-13-2004, 07:07 AM
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I have Dish and Comcast and frequently compare HBO-HD and SHO-HD, which I have on both services. I'd say pq is the same, although I agree that the the Comcast Moto boxes have weak component output, which makes the picture appear less detailed.
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post #29 of 33 Old 03-15-2004, 05:51 PM
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I had Comcast and Dish at the same time for a while here in the Atlanta area. I found HD picture quality to be a little better on Comcast. The problem was, you often got the message "this channel will be available shortly' when tuning in an HD channel. It comes in much darker on my Dish 811. Turning the contrast and brightness up on my projector to compensate causes blooming on the guide but the pic quality on the HD channels is ok after that. The SD channels on Dish are horrible, way too dark plus the other stuff floating in the background [not too bad on a 25" sony but on the projector, I can't take it]. On Comcast, the SD channels looked very good [for sd] for the most part.
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post #30 of 33 Old 03-15-2004, 05:59 PM
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This is deteriorating slowly into the land of "my MPEG2 decoder is better than yours" which has nothing to do with picture quality of the source signal.
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