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post #661 of 11171 Old 08-07-2005, 04:30 AM
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So what are the exact free local HD channel numbers that Cox offers? I'm going have to try this out when I get back there, even though I have OTA HD.

TIA,

Rich
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post #662 of 11171 Old 08-07-2005, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sytyguy View Post

So what are the exact free local HD channel numbers that Cox offers? I'm going have to try this out when I get back there, even though I have OTA HD.

Please refer to the first post in this thread.

Cheers, Dave
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post #663 of 11171 Old 08-08-2005, 01:37 PM
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Will I get NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX in HD with Direct TV in Phoenix?

I just ordered a Direct TV HD system. I'm amazed, but the DirectTV salesman couldn't answer this question. I don't care about getting the local programming in HD but want the major networks (whereever they may come from) so I won't miss the HD prime time shows on the major networks.)

The salesman read out of their manual that limited areas will get the major networks, but they couldn't answer if I would get them in Phoenix or not.

If I don't get them I need to buy an Antenna. Sorry, this may be answered somewhere in this thread, but 23 pages is a bit much to read through. Thanks in advance for any info you have.
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post #664 of 11171 Old 08-08-2005, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I might be wrong (since I don't use DirecTV), but I believe FOX-10 is the only O&O local station in Phoenix, so you should be able to get the national feed for FOX. However, you would then still need an antenna to get the other networks via their local feeds. The only network that doesn't yet broadcast HD in Phoenix is UPN.

There also appears to be rumor of a future (?) requirement that in order to get any national feed, you will need to subscribe to DirecTV's local package, even if you don't use them, so getting them all, including FOX, via OTA would save a little money.

Cheers, Dave
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post #665 of 11171 Old 08-08-2005, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dapercy View Post

Will I get NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX in HD with Direct TV in Phoenix?

I just ordered a Direct TV HD system. I'm amazed, but the DirectTV salesman couldn't answer this question. I don't care about getting the local programming in HD but want the major networks (whereever they may come from) so I won't miss the HD prime time shows on the major networks.)

The salesman read out of their manual that limited areas will get the major networks, but they couldn't answer if I would get them in Phoenix or not.

If I don't get them I need to buy an Antenna. Sorry, this may be answered somewhere in this thread, but 23 pages is a bit much to read through. Thanks in advance for any info you have.


What the salesman was telling you is partially true. Directv will offer in Nov., local hd stations for 12 of the top 15 television markets. Phoenix isn't in the first batch. So the salesman telling you that limited areas will receive their hd locals is correct. Early next year is when it is expected that more markets will get their hd locals thru Directv. I would expect Phoenix to be in the second group. So for now, you'll need a antenna.

If you want to read more about Directv offering local hd stations, there are multiple threads in the programming forum.

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post #666 of 11171 Old 08-08-2005, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dapercy View Post

Will I get NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX in HD with Direct TV in Phoenix?

I just ordered a Direct TV HD system. I'm amazed, but the DirectTV salesman couldn't answer this question. I don't care about getting the local programming in HD but want the major networks (whereever they may come from) so I won't miss the HD prime time shows on the major networks.)

The salesman read out of their manual that limited areas will get the major networks, but they couldn't answer if I would get them in Phoenix or not.

If I don't get them I need to buy an Antenna. Sorry, this may be answered somewhere in this thread, but 23 pages is a bit much to read through. Thanks in advance for any info you have.

No, no, no, and yes. You probably would have been better off with Cox for HD alone, unless there's something specific you want on D* HD like Sunday Ticket. If you also plan on watching SD channels, D* still does have a slight advantage because it is all digital, whereas with Cox, 2-99 are still analog.

You will need an antenna to receive the locals in HD, but stay away from the garbage Terk antenna that clips on the dish, because it just isn't any good.
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post #667 of 11171 Old 08-08-2005, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by coyoteaz View Post

You will need an antenna to receive the locals in HD, but stay away from the garbage Terk antenna that clips on the dish, because it just isn't any good.

I have the Winguard that DTV installed when they were out. No problems, works perfectly.

Thanks,
IOTP
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post #668 of 11171 Old 08-08-2005, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

1. Don't bother calling Cox because most likely the CSR you talk to wll try to convince you that you need their HD box. The HD signals are already there (unless there is a "trap" installed at the street) and all anyone needs to receive them is a QAM-capable HD tuner, either one that is integrated with the TV or a standalone unit.

2. In theory, your PQ should be just as good as OTA. However, there are a lot of factors involved with both broadcasting and receiving signals via OTA, cable, or sat, so your PQ will depend on one or more of them. Cox gets most, in not all, their HD signals OTA. That signal is then modulated (QAM) for transmission, etc. Some folks I know who measured all 3 signals say there is no intrinsic difference, but the equipment used to display the signals, particularly the HD tuners, all have their idiosyncracies (different chipsets, etc.), so there will be minor differences. Some channels may look better on sat, others on cable, etc. As far as I can tell, it is all but impossible to receive the perfect signal for all channels on any one system.

3. You just connect the cable to your TV's integrated HD tuner, scan for channels, and you should get the locals that Cox carries. This assumes the following:

A. You gave us the correct TV model number and the TV has an integrated QAM-capable tuner.

B. You have at least basic cable service, either by itself or with your internet service.

C. There is not a "trap" installed in the box on the street.

D. You have the TV User's Guide and the instructions on which connection to use and how to scan for digital channels.


Just got a Mit LCD RP 52527, tried to receive OTA HD thru Cox cable. Can't find those 76-1,2,3 and 82-1,2,3 channels. Mine TV is Cablecard Ready. Not sure if it has the QAM tuner. But I've seen it can receive HD thru antenna in the show room. Don't know why.
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post #669 of 11171 Old 08-09-2005, 09:31 AM
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got it! Found all the channels listed in the first page of this thread. It was my bad that I didn't scan all the channels. Interestingly, there are signals in 80, 84 but there is nothing being broadcasted. I bet they are going to have more channels soon.

Did anyone here get the Cox HD tuner to receive ESPN? I have Cox digital TV service and I'm not sure if that will include the ESPN HD without extra $$..
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post #670 of 11171 Old 08-09-2005, 10:26 AM
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Great info! Thanks to all. Unfortunately I am getting a clip on antenna that DirecTV is going to install. Hopefully it works. I can see Phoenix from my back yard so I'm assuming it shouldn't take a monster antenna to get the OTA channels.
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post #671 of 11171 Old 08-09-2005, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertracer View Post

got it! Found all the channels listed in the first page of this thread. It was my bad that I didn't scan all the channels. Interestingly, there are signals in 80, 84 but there is nothing being broadcasted. I bet they are going to have more channels soon.

There have always been some extra channels whe you scan for digitals on Cox. That doesn't mena there are any new channels comiong soon, though they could be reserved for UPN and KTVK when/if they start broadcasting HD.
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Did anyone here get the Cox HD tuner to receive ESPN? I have Cox digital TV service and I'm not sure if that will include the ESPN HD without extra $$..

The only HD channels you pay extra for are HBO, SHO, and STZ, but only by subscribing to their package, the HD channels themselves are included in the individual packages and are not available ala carte. The bottom line is that if you subscribe to digital cable and any of the premium packages, there is no added charge for any HD channels beyond the rental fee for the HD tuner/cablecard. You cannot get ESPN-HD though simply by subscribing to basic cable and having an integrated QAM tuner.

Cheers, Dave
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post #672 of 11171 Old 08-09-2005, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dapercy View Post

Great info! Thanks to all. Unfortunately I am getting a clip on antenna that DirecTV is going to install. Hopefully it works. I can see Phoenix from my back yard so I'm assuming it shouldn't take a monster antenna to get the OTA channels.

There may be nothing wrong with the antenna and it may work great for you. It's just that many folks have had problems with it for one channel or another. Just don't hesitate to call them back if it doesn't work to your satisfaction.

Cheers, Dave
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post #673 of 11171 Old 08-10-2005, 02:12 PM
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Damn, 12.1 has been having audio problems for the last two nights. I think they must have been infected by whatever is wrong with 15.1.

Tom, you better watch out, the problem seems to be working it's way down the dial, so 10.1 is next!
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post #674 of 11171 Old 08-10-2005, 04:42 PM
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I have an LG52SX4D and it comes with an integrated HD Tuner. I live in Ahwatukee Foothills and have a $7 pair of Rabbit ears hooked up. I can get about half a dozen or mre Local HD's, like 3-1, 5-1, 8-1, 8-2, 8-3, 10-1, 15-1, and a few others. 8-1 is awesome and the rest are fantastic. My attenna sits behind my TV, and I get great reception. I recently lost reception to all of them, but I don;t think it has anything to do with my antenna. I am hoping I did not get damage to my tuner during the last micro burst we had, but is does seem coincidental. I am glad I used the OTA becasue I hate paying Cox and extra $9 or $15 a month to receive local HD, when they are free anyway.
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post #675 of 11171 Old 08-11-2005, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.FixIt View Post

I have an LG52SX4D .... I recently lost reception to all of them, ....

Did you try rescanning (and if that doesn't help unplugging it for a few minutes and trying again) ?

I have a LG3510a set top box that has occasionally lost a couple of channels and required a rescan. It has alos locked up once and required the power to be removed. However, I've never lost all the channels at one time.
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post #676 of 11171 Old 08-12-2005, 04:09 PM
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Hello,

When I got my SA8300HD box I recall hearing problems with connections via HDMI on this unit?

Does anyone here use the HDMI and share to comment how this connection looks vs. using a component connection?

Mahalo,

DBK
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post #677 of 11171 Old 08-12-2005, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBigKahuna View Post

Does anyone here use the HDMI and share to comment how this connection looks vs. using a component connection?

There is a whole thread on the 8300 and HDMI/DVI connections. The short answer is that depending on HDTV and cableco, folks have different experiences ranging from no problems to audio problems to lost connections due to HDCP handshaking, etc. There are also varying levels of PQ changes ranging from none (or almost none) with RPTVs to quite a bit with DLP/LCD/Plasma, though nothing earth-shattering that I recall.

Cheers, Dave
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post #678 of 11171 Old 08-12-2005, 04:44 PM
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Thanks for the link and info.

I just purchased a 50 plasma and am using Cox Cable.

Mahalo,

DBK

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

There is a whole thread on the 8300 and HDMI/DVI connections. The short answer is that depending on HDTV and cableco, folks have different experiences ranging from no problems to audio problems to lost connections due to HDCP handshaking, etc. There are also varying levels of PQ changes ranging from none (or almost none) with RPTVs to quite a bit with DLP/LCD/Plasma, though nothing earth-shattering that I recall.

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post #679 of 11171 Old 08-12-2005, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I know it's a large thread (aren't they all?), but there's a wealth of info in there and virtually any question you can come up with has been answered. It's too bad someone didn't summarize most of the Q/A's in the first post to make it easier to find things. But, unless you are a really slow reader with a dialup connection, it doesn't take that long to skim through all the posts (believe me, I've done it more than once for different long threads).

I don't know how many folks in Phoenix use HDMI, but that thread will probably get you answers quicker than this one and there really is nothing unique to Phoenix or Cox in this area.

Cheers, Dave
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post #680 of 11171 Old 08-13-2005, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCat View Post

You are responding to my response to a question about PQ with an answer about reception reliability. Let me please add a gentle reminder that these are two absolutely different things, and discussing them both at once only serves to confuse the issues. If you have OTA reception, all else being equal, the PQ of DT over cable can not match the PQ of direct OTA, or the reliability of freedom from outages, since they receive it OTA themselves and convert it with a secondary encoding scheme. There can be no debate on that singular issue. Would the difference in PQ be noticeable? Probably not.

Bottom line, if you can't get signals reliably OTA or just don't want to do what it takes to install an antenna, cable is a great way to go. Otherwise, it is a second-best choice at best, for multiple reasons, including PQ and reliability.

How can the PQ be worse? Cox does not do any reencoding of the video, therefore it is identical to the quality of the OTA broadcast. Sure there could be a difference in the quality of the decoder used to play it (SA8300 vs. builtin OTA tuner in a TV, for example), but the received bits are exactly the same. There are cable providers out there who do reencode the signals to lower bitrate to fit more channels in the same bandwidth, and this does lower PQ, but Cox in Phoenix is not one that does. They do remodulate the signal from 8VSB to QAM256 and strip null packets and extra PIDs, but none of that makes any difference whatsoever to the final quality.

There is the possibility that there can be some reliability issues with a second-generation signal, if Cox is having reception issues, but this is rare. If they are having problems receiving a signal, most of the time it is due to an issue with the station (most recently when KPHO and KNXV took their DTV transmitters offline for upgrades, for example), and this affects OTA people as well.

*EDIT* And now TomCat's post seems to have been deleted...in case any of you were wondering what I was responding to...
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post #681 of 11171 Old 08-13-2005, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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As long as there are multiple methods of transmission, there will be discussions regarding which one provides the best PQ, regardless of how many times it's repeated that 1's and 0's are still 1's and 0's as long as they are not re-encoded. The very nature of "digital" says that ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL the image received OTA should be the same as that received via cable/sat (and I believe such signals have been measured to prove that to be the case,though I have no idea how).

The problem is that all things are not the equal. Different HD tuners and HDTVs use different chipsets, etc., to display the end result. There are also a number of user settings that produce different results. I've come to the conclusion that I don't care anymore how things look on someone else's equipment. All I worry about is getting the best possible image on my setup within my budget, etc.

Now, if I were in an area where I knew the cableco was re-encoding (;ile DirecTV did or does) and robbing me of PQ, I'd be inclined to switch services or go the OTA route. However, I am not willing to purchase an OTA tuner and antenna just to get a "slightly" (maybe) better PQ simply because of the difference in equipment. I firmly believe there is no difference in the image being received via cable, sat, or OTA, the difference is in the equipment being used to display that image.

PS. Not sure why TomCat deleted his post.

Cheers, Dave
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post #682 of 11171 Old 08-13-2005, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

...Not sure why TomCat deleted his post.

Because I'm kind of an idiot. I was trying to edit for clarity when all hell broke loose at work (media servers down, etc.) and I hit delete by mistake, thinking I had double posted. Then the DSL crapped out...still playing catchup.

There is one measurable difference between OTA and DirecTV, in that they downrez to 1280x1080 from 1920x1080. Of course the resolution of the recorded images rarely reaches even the 1280 ceiling in practice, even for 1920 mapping, so it is probably not even noticeable.

There's no place like 127.0.0.1
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post #683 of 11171 Old 08-13-2005, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCat View Post

Because I'm kind of an idiot. I was trying to edit for clarity when all hell broke loose at work (media servers down, etc.) and I hit delete by mistake, thinking I had double posted. Then the DSL crapped out...still playing catchup.

There is one measurable difference between OTA and DirecTV, in that they downrez to 1280x1080 from 1920x1080. Of course the resolution of the recorded images rarely reaches even the 1280 ceiling in practice, even for 1920 mapping, so it is probably not even noticeable.

That makes sense for DirecTV. There's a reason they earned the reputation for broadcasting HDLite, after all .
There definitely are some shows that make full use of 1080i, like most of the dramas on CBS, but then there are some that definitely don't, like most everything on WB.
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post #684 of 11171 Old 08-14-2005, 06:52 AM
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I have both Cox, and Direct Tv, and I give the edge, in picture quality to Cox. Doesn't Cox have more bandwidth to play with than D*, so they will never need to give us HD Lite??

Phil
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post #685 of 11171 Old 08-14-2005, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Never say never, but that appears to be the case for now, at least until D* gets their sats up and running. But, much of the "new" bandwidth that is coming to D* will be devoted to getting locals in HD in all the major markets, though they should still have plenty left over, especially with MPEG4, for more "uncompressed" HD, assuming they will see the light and stop the compression. What happens with cable and sat as more channels convert to HD remains to be seen, but both venues should have enough capacity to handle what comes along in the next several years.

The fact still remains though that all is digital and should be capable of providing the same PQ regardless of transmission medium. Once there is no compression or re-encoding, the only real variable is the chipset used in various tuners, etc. In that vein, there will always be differences in PQ unless everyone adopts the same equipment, which will never happen.

The subject does make for interesting discussions though as long as no one gets offended. I learn a lot about other aspects of HDTV and, regardless of technical details, PQ is still in the eye of the beholder. We all see/hear things quite differently, which is why there are so many audio/video options in the first place. I do enjoy the technical arguments a lot and always find something of interest to explore further.

Cheers, Dave
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post #686 of 11171 Old 08-14-2005, 12:25 PM
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D* will never give un-recompressed HD, because they just don't have that kind of bandwidth. Also, in recompressing from the MPEG2 provided by the station to MPEG4, there will be an inherent quality loss. The only place where D* MAY have an edge at this point is on SD channels compared to analog if someone has a noisy cable line. Even then, Cox is moving to digital simulcasts in a lot of places. Las Vegas and Tucson are currently in testing, and they already tried it and pulled back here, but they will obviously try again. Just by dropping the current analog channels in use, Cox has room for another 150 HD channels, so they won't really need to worry about extra compression for some time.
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post #687 of 11171 Old 08-14-2005, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteaz View Post

D* will never give un-recompressed HD, because they just don't have that kind of bandwidth.

Not sure I agree with this since they plan more sats to provide more bandwidth, but you may be right for reasons other than bandwidth.
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Also, in recompressing from the MPEG2 provided by the station to MPEG4, there will be an inherent quality loss.

I had't considered this, but it is probably true.
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The only place where D* MAY have an edge at this point is on SD channels compared to analog if someone has a noisy cable line. Even then, Cox is moving to digital simulcasts in a lot of places. Las Vegas and Tucson are currently in testing, and they already tried it and pulled back here, but they will obviously try again. Just by dropping the current analog channels in use, Cox has room for another 150 HD channels, so they won't really need to worry about extra compression for some time.

Never did find out exactly why they abandoned the digital simulcast effort.

Cheers, Dave
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post #688 of 11171 Old 08-14-2005, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

Not sure I agree with this since they plan more sats to provide more bandwidth, but you may be right for reasons other than bandwidth.

There's only so much spectrum available for more satellites. Also, they plan to do more channels, not compress what they do have less. Besides, when the majority of the country is still happy with marginal-quality SD, moving to even better looking HD doesn't make business sense. Doing more PPV, Sunday Ticket-type packages, and VOD does, since it brings in more money.

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Never did find out exactly why they abandoned the digital simulcast effort.

Speaking as someone who had the digital simulcasts for a while, the reliability of the signal was terrible. I have no problems at all receiving the current digital and HD channels, but I got all kinds of nasty breakups on the digitally simulcasted channels. I think they needed more time to tune their equipment to get it up and running.
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post #689 of 11171 Old 08-15-2005, 09:48 AM
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I am moving to the Prescott Valley area from Alabama and wondering what is the best way of receiving CBS HDTV broadcasts. I will be using D* and doubt it will be available through them. Is it possible to get and OTA signal from Phoenix?
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post #690 of 11171 Old 08-15-2005, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Free View Post

I have both Cox, and Direct Tv, and I give the edge, in picture quality to Cox. Doesn't Cox have more bandwidth to play with than D*, so they will never need to give us HD Lite??

Sort of. It's partly a bandwidth issue concerning the entire service, and its partly a bandwidth issue in how things are divided up.

Currently, COX has about 500 MHz of forward bandwidth for analog, and another 250-500 for digital. As they build out the copper nodes, they are being replaced by higher bandwidth capability (fiber to the nodes already has enough bandwidth). That is, practically speaking, about 80 6MHz analog channels, and about 80 6MHz digital channels, so they have plenty of room to grow their digital channels, and when they get to the point that it is not enough, it will be time to begin retiring some of the high analog channels, so they can cannabalize the higher ones one-by-one to add digital ones, one-by-one. And they will also probably convert or receive many of those in MPEG-4, allowing possibly more than one service per channel (possibly moving one SD digital and one HD digital channel into a single 6 MHz berth, or maybe even more). That last step, if it comes, might mirror the issues that currently face DBS and cause some unwanted bit reduction, but maybe not.

It is also easy to take a 8VSB OTA channel that tops out at 14.5 Mb/s and squeeze that into a single QAM channel (still at MPEG-2), as QAM is more efficient than 8VSB in the first place, and 8VSB is broadcast with extra overhead and sometimes extra program streams, so channel for channel, a QAM channel will not have any restraints on remodulating an original SINGLE 8VSB channel.

This bandwidth availability also helps them with backhauled digital channels (what they receive by sat or fiber that they redistribute). It is the very comparable abundance of bandwidth vs. DBS that allows them (cable) to do VOD while DBS is still unable to do that.

DBS, on the other hand, currently finds it impractical to shoehorn a useable number of HD channels into band-limited transponders, so to up that number they down-rez them in the H dimension rather than bit starve them. It's (hopefully) a temporary compromise.

They also have but 500 MHz of bandwidth per satellite, for a total of 1500 for the main 3. They have to provide some 250 CONUS SD channels, as well as spot beam another 1500 LIL channels. Not much is left for HD. They are comparatively strapped for bandwidth vs. cable.

The new Ka sats will help by adding more bandwidth, and MPEG-4 will increase efficiency, so that they can keep pace and finally offer VOD, HD LIL, and hopefully more CONUS HD channels.

Short answer? DBS is currently behind the curve due to bandwidth, but that could change in the next couple of years with possible scenarios of them overtaking cable in that area. But the single advantage DBS used to have over cable (PQ) began to fade with DBS must-carry, and is becoming an even playing field as more services are delivered as digital, with leadership in providing HD at the forefront of that change, and currently tipping to cable.

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