Originally Posted by videokid
So the ongoing question, which provider (other than the off air stations) has the best uncompressed signal?
I've done many TV installs in the various towns in So Calif with various providers over the years and i always bring an OTA antenna, and i use familiar local news broadcasts when i adjust the picture. The antenna is also handy to compare their provider's picture quality with the same channels over the air and some of these folks are shocked at how poor their provider's picture is compared to free OTA.
I would say Verizon FIOS has the best PQ and is almost indistinguishable from OTA. 2nd place is probably DirecTV, 3rd place is Dish, and last place is AT&T U-Verse which has horrible overly compressed HD here in my town as well as every other town i've seen it in. Some of my neighbors and friends here have fallen for AT&T's false advertising claims and switched from TWC or DirecTV to U-Verse and every one of them is unhappy with the PQ and the other limitations, and there's nothing i can do for them. Some have ditched U-Verse it was so bad. They really should not be in the TV business.
Cable company picture quality is hard to categorize as it varies greatly here in the LA/OC area - in my town for instance TWC (formerly American Cablesystems) actually has a very good picture that is about the same as DirecTV, but 8 miles north of me in West LA my friends and family have TWC (formerly Comcast) and it is very compressed and looks poor compared to my TWC PQ. TWC's PQ in Redondo Beach 5 miles to the south of me is somewhere in-between. Charter Cable in Orange County looks soft on my step-son's Panasonic plasma but doesn't seem to be overly compressed.