Originally Posted by Otto Pylot
Good information I'm sure but keeping the topic on what we have here on this side of the pond, is OTA (generally speaking) better overall pq than cable or sat, depending on the service area? It seems to me, from observation only, and not based on specs, that it is.
I guess that is a question based on how the station encodes their signal locally for OTA, and how the cable and satellite re-broadcasters receive their version of the signal, whether they re-encode it, and how good their re-encoding is?
AIUI some rebroadcasters are effectively just receiving OTA off-air and re-broadcasting it (I think usually it is decoded and re-encoded - but I guess it could just be remuxed), whilst others have a distribution feed which is higher quality than OTA off-air as the source?
However the OP's question was more about the difference in quality between the origination (i.e. the production truck) and what you see at home wasn't it - taking into account the links from production site to network, distribution of network to local station, and encoding at local station and/or cable/satellite rebroadcast?
As someone who sits in production trucks and studio control rooms for a living, and has worked in the US and Europe, I have some experience of being at both ends (remote truck and network control room) as well as a viewer at home. I also have high quality recordings (ProRes HQ and DNXHD) of shows I've worked on, as well as PVR recordings of the same show as recorded at home, so have been able to do some comparisons!