Originally Posted by doctorj
I’ve always assumed TWC service was better but I’ve recently read where some posters have measured the effective horizontal resolution on Time Warner to be somewhere in the 1300s. That is the first I’ve heard of that. Can someone confirm this?
Here's an ancient post
showing how this was and still can be measured. Doesn't appear to be just a TWC limitation, but may be more related mostly to STB limitations used by various cable firms. Find someone getting HDNet and you can check for yourself. Various posts report similar ~1300 readings, most recently even someone
with a newer Motorola STB using the mostly fiber Verizon FIOS, no relationship to just TWC.
If this is true, then the dish companies service should be comparable, bit rates being equal. I think I have read where the new MPEG4 stuff is 1440 lines horizontally so it would seem there would not be a drop-off. I can get all my network stations in HD OTA and TWC HD service is very close. It is certainly close enough for me. My unhappiness with TWC is the lack of new HD channels, not the quality. How much of a hit in pq can I expect if I switch?
For DBS, only E* might provide a valid test using HDNet's test patterns since D*'s HD Lite with HDNet, AFAIK, is still being reformatted to 1280X1080. Some programs are originating 1440-limited material (reformatted)--perhaps the Zoom channels on E* or Cablevision.
But MPEG4, assuming they've fixed some early glitches (noted in comments about BBC use), should handle the full 1920X1080 format (as can MPEG-2)--with the benefit of needing only about 1/2 the bit rate. For movies, 1440 lines exceeds their typical effective resolution of 800--1100 lines
(equivalent) maximum effective horizontal resolution. STBs should upconvert 1440 material to 1920X1080, and most very crisp looking 1080i documentaries/travelogues are made with HDCAM tape machines that limit recordings to 1440 lines (converted to 1920X1080 before delivery.)
Lots of earlier posts are available from folks who have compared DBS with cable, and as noted above PQ can vary widely depending on the cable head ends. Might pay to visit any local forum thread to read views about cable companies at your location. -- John
EDIT: A recent related post