Originally Posted by NightmareRec0n
Would you rather have 55....meh looking channels from say D* or Say 20 crisp channels for FiOS or maybe Cable.
This seems like the direction the Cable vs. Sat battle is taking.
D* and E* seem to be taking the root of launching more "birds" and using the bandwidth for more channels, but in turn they must compress the picture and reduce the bit-rate. And in terms of D*, use HD-Lite to free up bandwidth.
While FiOS and Cable are sitting pretty with maybe 20 channels and adding a few every so often. But they use little to no compression and the bit-rates are always decent in most cases.
As Ken H wrote, do not assume that D* will use HD-Lite for the new HD satellite feed. They built these two satellites for MPEG-4 distribution of HD channels, so they knew how much bandwidth they needed. They may have to increase compression down the road as they squeeze more HD channels when all the 2nd and 3rd tier cable/sat nets begin to provide a HD simulcast channel, but for now they reportedly have the bandwidth for the channels they have listed.
You also can not make a blanket statement on compression and # of HD channels when it comes to cable. There are still small cable systems that do not have HD at all or very recently added a limited number of HD channels. Within the biggest player, Comcast, the number of HD channels and reports of over-compression vary significantly between the Comcast systems. Comcast, like Time Warner, brought up a lot of smaller cable systems, most recently dividing up Adelphia, so it depends on where each local video head end system is in the update and upgrade process.
With Time Warner widely implementing Switched Digital Video (SDV) (to the detriment of subscribers with cable cards and QAM tuners), TWC is obviously planning to add a bunch of HD channels this fall. Verizon Fios reportedly has to do some equipment upgrades in their distribution system to be able to add a lot of new HD channels, but they won't be sitting at 13 national HD and 5 premium HD channels for that long.
What we want is both quality and quantity. The bandwidth is there for most cable systems if they use SDV or shut down some analog channels for the number of HD channels starting up this fall. It is certainly there for Verizon Fios at the home with 860 MHz of bandwidth used for TV only with a limited number of analog channels and not shared with internet, VOD, or phone service.