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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay don't flame for putting this here. I am upgrading to HDTV. I am interested in the pros and cons of both cable and satellite. I used the AVS search function and did not come up with much. I looked at the HDTV programming forum and did not see much there either. I googled it and mostly came up with propaganda by cable companies or satellite providers. I'm not intereseted in programming differences. I am interested in the ability of the provider to deliver quality HDTV signal to my home. Anyone know where I can turn to understand this issue better? Thanks.
 

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First off, be sure you can receive HD over cable and be sure you can receive Directv/Dish in your area. I have satellite (Directv) and tell you, many times, the HD can be very good, channels such as PBS and DiscoveryHD. Your best option, if you have it, is to receive your networks over the air with an antenna. The quality of sending out HD programming via cable can vary, so ask around to your neighbors and see what they think of the HD programming, if available. Afterall, cable is really HD programming from satellite strung out along a long wire. Of course, cable companies also do HD programming from local stations. As I said, I have my HD programming from over the air stations and Directv. During the next year, it is said, many more HD channels will be appearing via Directv (and, I suppose, from Dish as well (altho I do not know this to be a fact).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I read that Direct TV has (or will) put up a bunch of new satellites which will improved their offerings greatly. I can get both satellites and HDTV cable. Not sure about OTA. Nearest TV station is 55 miles away with a BIG mountain in between. I will ask local A/V store (only one in town) about OTA.
 

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I have HD via Comcast Cable. I LOVE it. Never had any problems.

I chose Cable vs Satellite because I wanted the local channels in HD without having to have an external ATSC tuner and antenna.

(My tv doesn't have a built in ATSC tuner)


I hear that Satellite has a lot of compression problems with the signals so it is not alsways the "best" it could be. I don't have it so I don't know.I recommend Cable HD to everyone I talk to.


Here in Atlanta I receive in HD: ($5.00 more per month on top of the cost of the Digital package - $55.00 total per month)

FOX, NBC, CBS, WB, Discovery, ESPN, INHD1, INHD2.


I could get HBO, Showtime and Cinemax if I paid for that option, but I don't.


hope this helps.
 

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There's a whole set of HDTV programming forums here where you might very well be able to find detailed answers that are specific to your location.


In general, the advantage that cable has it that it CURRENTLY has the bandwidth to carry "local station" HDTV programs. The satellite services do not. The satellite services carry only national HDTV programming. They do carry "national feeds" from New York and Los Angeles stations of the major networks, but there are restrictions designed to protect local stations that make it illegal for the satellite service to enable reception of those national network feeds for many home viewers. The restrictions are far too complicated to describe here. But if you happen to be in a restricted market, as is fairly likely, you will not be able to receive, say NBC HDTV programming from a satellite service. You'll need to use an off the air antenna with an off the air HDTV receiver. Satellite receivers capable of handling satellite HDTV also usually include an off the air receiver as well, but you'll need to deal with the local broadcast antenna and local broadcast signal quality issues.


The satellite services will eventually put up more satellites and will negotiate to rebroadcast local station HDTV at least in major markets, but it aint gonna happen anytime soon.


However, many cable TV systems really cut corners in the quality of their HDTV signals. They over-compress the signals to retain extra bandwidth for other channels they want to carry because they make more money off those other channels. Folks in such areas find that an off the air HDTV signal from a local station is often vastly superior to what their cable system offers.


And many local cable companies are a real pain in the neck to deal with.


If you can receive your local network HDTV channels cleanly with an off the air antenna, using a cable service or a satellite service to get the extra national channels such as HDNET, Discovery-HD or Bravo-HD is basically a choice of whose service and signal you like better. Just be aware that not all HDTV is created equal and that one company carrying a given program may be damaging the image with compression compared to what another company gives you.

--Bob
 

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Question then, how would one set up getting satellite AND using an OTA antenna for HD locals, if the display does not have a tuner? Is there a way to route the antenna through the STB or do I need a separate receiver?


I have Dish Network and am already paying 9.95 for their HD signal (not including premium channels) -- would the OTA conflict? How does the TV (or STB or whatever) know which one to use. Again, this is w/o a tuner.


Thanks!


btw - how much is a good OTA antennas and any recommendations on a brand/model? thx!
 

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You'll get much more detailed info if you ask this in the HDTV hardware forum here.


I'm not familiar with DISH receivers, but the DirecTV HD-capable satellite receivers that I'm familiar with also include an off the air HDTV receiver. So the signal going to your set from the DirecTV box is either a satellite signal or an off the air signal depending upon which channel you select. You connect your off the air HDTV antenna to the satellite box along with the cable(s) from the satellite dish.


The HDDirecTivo combo box (HR10-250) for example, contains two satellite tuners and two off the air tuners for off the air HDTV (but does NOT contain a "normal" standard-def TV tuner). Thus you can watch a satellite channel (standard def or HD) or an off the air HD channel (HD ONLY!), while using one of the other three tuners to separately record a different program. The program guide displayed by this box merges data for what's coming from the satellite and what's happening in your local broadcast area from off the air channels. The data to do this is updated periodically over the satellite link to your receiver. DirecTV rebroadcasts local standard definition TV signals over the satellite into many markets. So for example in my market, "Channel 4" in the program guide is the local station's standard-def signal, but coming to me via rebroadcast from the satellite, whereas "Channel 4-1" is the off the air HDTV broadcast coming via the off the air antenna directly from that local station. "Channel 4-2", etc. would be additional off the air digital television signals being broadcast by that station. The program guide includes details about what's showing on both satellite and off the air (Digital TV ONLY!) channels and you just select one or the other according to what you want to watch.


Alternative you can use a separate HDTV tuner that knows nothing about satellites and simply connect it to a different input on your HD-ready TV. Then you select which input you want to use to see satellite or off the air stations.

--Bob
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by kdviner70
Okay don't flame for putting this here. I am upgrading to HDTV. I am interested in the pros and cons of both cable and satellite. I used the AVS search function and did not come up with much. I looked at the HDTV programming forum and did not see much there either. I googled it and mostly came up with propaganda by cable companies or satellite providers. I'm not intereseted in programming differences. I am interested in the ability of the provider to deliver quality HDTV signal to my home. Anyone know where I can turn to understand this issue better? Thanks.
Here is the Wyoming thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Now why didn't I think of searching for Wyoming.:eek: Thanks for pointing that out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Turns out that thread is 19 pages of discussion of OTA for northern Colorado. Not much help, but thanks anyway.
 
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