Originally Posted by thebishman
Are you happy with the HD choices available and the costs;
How is the resolution delivered? Is it native; 720p, 1080i, 1080p or is the HD signal 'down-res'd' for bandwidth...
In terms of resolution, some channels are broadcast in 720p or 1080i definition. Cable channels owned by Disney (ESPN family of networks, ABC Family, etc.), News Corporation (FSN, FX, Fox News Channel, etc.) are broadcast in 720p. Cable channels owned by CBS Corporations (MTV, Nickelodeon, CBS Sports Network, Spike, etc.), NBC Universal (MSNBC, Versus, CNBC, Bravo, Golf Channel, etc.) are broadcast in 1080i. Your local network affiliates usually follow the network's hd format (ABC & Fox in 720p-CBS & NBC in 1080i) and PBS and independent stations at their own choosing. However picture quality can vary significantly from one local station to another depending on the number digital subchannels a station has. The more subchannels a station has the more picture degredation there is on the main channel and picture quality also depends on how much your cable operator compresses the signal as well. Should you get an HD DVR or an HD set top box (STB), usually it's set to either output 1080i or 720p HD. However you can toggle the menu to have the DVR/STB to either output only 720p or 1080i. Also on the newer STB/DVRs you'll have the option of outputting "native resolution. Lets say for example your channel lineup goes CBS, Fox, ABC, NBC. Your STB/DVR would automatically switch between 1080i, 720p, 720p, 1080i in corresponding order since those networks are broadcast in one resolution or another. However the cost associated with that is that it takes about 3 seconds to change the channel since the tv has to handle the resolution change, but at the same time, you do see the program in it's original or native format as it was intended. Anyways, I know it's a long answer and it only answers about a 1/3 of your post, but hopefully it will shed some light.