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post #1 of 17 Old 12-31-2001, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello all...
I am a newbie to this area of the AVS forum. I have a very basic question.
I recently purchased a Sharp Z9000 DLP projector and currently watching only DVD's on it. (Great Picture!!). I want to ad HDTV to my system. My question is: what gives a better Hi-Def image, satelite or terrestial (spelling) antena?
Thanks in advance for you input.
Bill d.

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post #2 of 17 Old 01-01-2002, 11:23 PM
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Hi,

Neither. Both over the air and satellite will look exactly the same. They are both digital, so you shouldn't see any difference at all.

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post #3 of 17 Old 01-02-2002, 03:54 AM
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Ideally you would have both since the
satellite HD channels show different
programs than the OTA ones.

(Sat has HDnet, SHO-HD, HBO-HD, etc.)
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-02-2002, 08:11 AM
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Bill,

My feeling is that not all HD transmissions look the same.

On both DirecTV and Dish Network, you may notice some MPEG artifacts. It tends to be subtle, but it is there. As a generalization, I think you can see better HD from local broadcast stations.

CBS has quite a good bit of HD content at 1080i, ABC is unique in their offerings at 720p, and Leno looks pretty good at 1080i on NBC, although they don't have much else to offer. The 1080i programming on PBS is among the most stunning HD I have ever seen.

HBOHD and Showtime HD via Dish Network can also be very good, but there are the MPEG artifacts to consider. DirecTV has HDNET, which is certainly a step in the right direction for them. It will be interesting to see what happens if these providers become one. There would certainly be more bandwidth to play with...

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post #5 of 17 Old 01-03-2002, 02:14 AM
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I have both and I am very happy with them.
If you, or someone is going to be on your roof anyway, why not throw up an antenna. I picked up my antenna for 30.00 and it works great. Its really not hard to put up, and its defiantly worth it.

Fred

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post #6 of 17 Old 01-04-2002, 02:36 PM
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I currently have Directv. If I get a Dish Network antenna would the receiver be different? How about cost.

thanks.
David M
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-04-2002, 03:09 PM
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David,

The receivers for DirecTV and Dish are different. The actual dish antenna and LNBs can be used on either system, with a few limitations. If you are a new Dish Network subscriber, you may be able to get the equipment for nothing, or at a reduced price.

-Mark

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post #8 of 17 Old 01-05-2002, 04:09 PM
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Both OTA and satellite signals use MPEG-2 compression so one cannot say objectivly which will look superior. Compression will affect differant programming in unique ways. Slight edge to satellite in as much as it is not prone to multipath problems as OTA is.
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-06-2002, 08:54 AM
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I can tell you that in the Houston area, OTA is generally better than satellite. The local broadcasters have plenty of bandwidth so compression artifacts only become objectionable when they multicast several channels at one time, as NBC usually does. The satellite broadcasters have a much bigger problem -- they can't just hang another antenna and fire up their new transmitter. They have to launch a satellite. In the case of the local PBS affiliate, they were able to diplex their digital signal on their existing antenna. I'm not suggesting that it was simple, but much more practical than modifying an existing satellite.

If the satellite guys would not try to cram so much programming into the available bandwidth, it could be just as good as OTA, but due to the aforementioned up-front expenses, it seems unlikely that they will ever take that route. It seems more likely that they will continue to add more and more special interest channels, which will continue to erode the quality of their transmissions.

Speaking for myself, I have both DirecTV and Dish Network systems, and I watch them both because they both have unique programming, but I don't watch them because they look better than OTA -- they don't.

My home is in a native forest setting. I am surrounded by trees that are four times as high as my antenna. My antenna points into a stand of trees about 30 feet away. Sometimes the leaves actually touch my antenna. I'm not a long way from the transmitters, but multi-path has always been a problem with analog television. With digital, it's flawless. My feeling is that the broadcast system is robust enough that almost anyone will be able to receive it if they really want to. Folks that are used to watching analog television pictures that are deep in the snow, with lots of ghosts, shadows, and multipath artifacts might have trouble getting a reliable digital picture, but anyone who gets a good analog picture should be able to get a good digital picture.

Bottom line: OTA can and often does look better than DBS satellite. Of course, there is content to consider...:D

-Mark

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post #10 of 17 Old 01-06-2002, 02:43 PM
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An OTA TV channel is 6 MHz wide and can carry <>20 Mbps of data, a DBS transponder is 24MHz wide so the easy answer is that 4 HD data streams can share that same transponder at equal quality to an OTA channel. lets not comare apples to oranges. PQ on SD channels on satellite is not all that it could be but the HD channels are well matched against OTA HD PQ
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post #11 of 17 Old 01-06-2002, 06:46 PM
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DTC mac,

I didn't mean to disturb you...just telling it the way I see it.

If they have 24 MHz, and if they dedicate all of that bandwidth to four HD channels, then they should be able to equal the quality of OTA HD, but in my experience, that is not what is happening. I'm not saying that it doesn't look good -- it does, but it's all relative.

-Mark

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post #12 of 17 Old 01-08-2002, 09:01 AM
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DirecTV uses QPSK for modulation while OTA ATSC uses 8-VSB. I think you can only get two HD services out of a sat transponder using DirecTV's "flavor" of QPSK.

BTW, Mark, you're too late: we're already "disturbed"!:D

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post #13 of 17 Old 01-08-2002, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by David McRoy
DirecTV uses QPSK for modulation while OTA ATSC uses 8-VSB. I think you can only get two HD services out of a sat transponder using DirecTV's "flavor" of QPSK.
I hadn't thought of that...I was thinking that they had 4 channels on the transponder, but I have to admit that I have not tried to figure it out.

Quote:
Originally posted by David McRoy
BTW, Mark, you're too late: we're already "disturbed"!:D
Hummm...yes, I count myself among you on that one!

-Mark

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post #14 of 17 Old 01-08-2002, 01:16 PM
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Well I dont have the spec and have not done the math, but if they can encode 12 SD channels to a transponder ( here come the PQ comments ) 4 HD dosent sound unreasonable.
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post #15 of 17 Old 01-09-2002, 04:21 PM
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This is a stupid question, and a little off-topic, but I was hoping someone could clear this up for me.

When people talk about nbc, abc, and fox broadcasting in HDTV, is that strictly OTA? I know that DirectV has their individual HDTV channels (HBO HD for instance) and that you need a HD receiver to view them.

But, with the exception of the 3 or 4 main HD channels on DirecTV, are any others actually HD as well? Would you get the network shows (Leno, for instance) in HD if you had a HD receiver, or is all the network HD OTA? Same goes for PBS, is that HD in DirecTV, or is the HD feed only attainable OTA?
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post #16 of 17 Old 01-09-2002, 04:54 PM
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Felgar,

The network broadcast is "mostly" OTA. Dish does broadcast CBS-HD but only in specific areas and when you can obtain a waiver from the local CBS station(s). Neither Dish or DirecTV broadcast NBC/ABC/PBS/FOX in HD (or at least not at the moment). At the moment, all the "LIL" local into local broadcasts that Dish and DirecTV broadcast are strictly SD. And I suspect that it will stay that way for a long long time to come.

So, to answer your question: You'll need a OTA HD STB for all your local HD programs - unless you subscribe to Dish and live in an area where you can obtain a waiver from your local CBS station - then you maybe lucky to receive just a east and/or west coast CBS HD feed over sat.
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post #17 of 17 Old 01-09-2002, 05:05 PM
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Some cable companies carry network HDTV feeds as well.

-Mark

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