Originally Posted by Dark Rider
That's funny, because even the best Comcast feeds don't hold a candle in comparison to OTA HD broadcasts. Comcast is notorious for compressing it's signals! Netflix streaming has come a VERY long way in a short amount of time. I'd say it's about average with most clean Comcast broadcasts at the highest settings. I have a 120" screen with a notoriously sharp projector, so I can pick out the differences. Neither is close to BD at this point, but I don't think it will be long before Netflix surpasses Comcast...
Comcast doesn't compress the local broadcast channel feeds, what you get is what was sent from the station. Some of the original HD cablenets such as TNT, ESPN, etc are also not further compressed from what they were when sent from the content provider. Comcast does compress(3 per QAM) most of it's other cablenets such as FX, USA, Syfy, History, etc. Keep in mind that many of these channels don't send out more than 8mb/s to 12mb/s worth of data stream so that compressing of 3 per QAM is not all that detrimental - to some it definitely is though.
Netflix streaming quality is good, or it can be good depending on the title, and I hope as well that some day it will surpass a good quality cable/sat signal, but if you have a decent cable provider that day is not here yet.
Now I've seen some Vudu titles that looked very, very good, easily equaling some of the higher quality HD I've seen from cable, but of course Vudu is a far more expensive service. For $8 per month, Netflix is a great deal, but for me it's a supplementary service, not a main destination such as regular TV or a Blu-ray disc would be. I use Netflix streaming for foreign releases that are hard to find anywhere else, I'm not really all that interested in PQ. If it happens to look good, that's great, but it's the content I'm interested in, not the technical quality.