Originally Posted by suplex
Would it be more beneficial for me to record a program on the HD channel (versus the SD channel) for better quality? What I mean is, lets say there is a program I want to record on FOX, will recording it on FOX HD (which will down-convert to SD) still yield better video quality than if I recorded it from the SD FOX channel?
Is HD down-converted to SD better than regular SD?
I can't speak for jtbell, but I can relate my personal experience with your question.
I record a lot of HDTV widescreen programs on my DVD recorder. I "down-res" the HD program playback within my HD TiVo box to 480i for input to my Pioneer 520H DVD recorder. I keep the recorded program length to 2 hours or less and I optimize the use of disk space by setting the manual "MN" recording length settings in the DVD recorder to the final length of the recording after deleting commercials. Thus, I squeeze as much quality as I can into the recording that will ultimately result after dubbing in high speed from the hard drive to the DVD media.
I use a Video Filter in series with the S-video connection from my HD TiVo to my DVD recorder to insert the widescreen flag as needed to ensure proper DVD letterboxing when playing back on a 4x3 TV (this is not needed if all DVD playback will be on a 16x9 TV).
The end result for me has video quality that rivals an "enhanced for widescreen" commercial DVD.
Recording a DVD from SD channels is not bad if the channel was received directly as analog, either over-the-air via antenna or a high-quality analog cable channel. But recording a DVD from an SD digital cable channel or SD digital satellite channel is not near as good, since the cable/satellite provider has already encoded and compressed the video to medium-to-low quality to fit it into the limited bandwidth they choose to use. After converting that to analog for s-video input to the DVD recorder and then re-encoding to MPEG-2 within the DVD recorder, the resulting video quality is mediocre in my opinion.
To recap, IMHO, the is a HUGE quality difference between recording in SD on a DVD recorder from an HDTV channel over an SD digital channel. An analog SD channel falls in between quality-wise, dependin a lot on the analog signal quality received.