While it is true that there are varying artifacts on video bandwidth allotted to different programs, most of you all are placing way too much importance on this aspect in determining quality differences. The biggest reason is that you all make a really bad habit of comparing apples and oranges and corn. In otherwords, you feel that the biggest differences between a channel like CNN and TNN is bandwidth allocation. The truth is that comparing these two channels is like comparing a live broadcast camera with a VHS tape dub from an SVHS master of a program. The range of quality between different channels on DirecTV and Dish network is more dependent on the program source than on bandwidth. However, the channel comparisons between CNN and MSNBC is a better comparison as both originate from a live camera feed on the studio shots. IF you can see the difference in quality between CNN and MSNBC studio quality and you also know that the cameras used for both are full component quality studio cameras then at this point you are justified in seeing a compression quality difference.
It is my opinion that the biggest differences in program quality is in order of:
1. Source media
2. Camera quality
4. Compression artifacts.
This means that assuming the first three are identical then you can do a fair comparison to see the 4th (compression difference). The biggest differences you will see from channel to channel on the DBS services, and cable for that matter is source media between the channels. I have supplied TV shows to various networks on everything from VHS tape to D2 and even D1 per their spec on animation clips. I just received a spec today for a Philadelphia channel on cable and all they accept is VHS. I about fell over when that request came in. You people in Philadelphia probably wonder why your cable looks so bad. There's why!
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