I'm currently using a NEC LT-150 with a Samsung HDTV receiver going into an XCapture card in my PC (long sentence...). Using DScaler or ShowShifter w/Dscaler filters gives me a very watchable picture on the premium channels (esp HBOHD and HDNET). I would guess this is because there's not much compression on HBO, Showtime, etc. Other channels fare quite a bit worse and are not really watchable unless I watch them in a smaller window.
So in summary, some of the channels will be very good quality, some will be acceptable, and some will be down-right cruddy.
Of course, a lot of this depends on what capture equipment you'll be using (HTPC with good capture card, DScaler, etc...)
I tried hooking up my DishNetwork with my Z1 to see how it looked and it was so bad I could not watch it. I think you'll definitely need to look into using some external scalers/deinterlacers to improve the picture and that won't improve them all that much. I stick to DVDs until I upgrade this fall to an OTA HDTV receiver.
I am using my HTPC with a Flyvideo 2000 capture card via SVideo to output from my DirectTV Tivo (DTivo) to my Z1 and using DScaler to clean up the picture. As you know from Direct TV in general some channels are better than others, but this seems to do a good job on the picture.
Now I also have a HD card in the HTPC and it outputs a great picture. But the video is very watchable from DTivo.
I have a 1HD (z1) and find Direct Tivo very watchable from the SVHS input. Note though that the color settings that look good on a DVD player, aren't necessarally going to look good on DSS. I have several presets configured, one for DVD, and two for DSS to adjust the pictures with a single button press.
Otherwise my properly calibrated projector (using AVIA) looks like crap with DSS. Colors are wrong, and very washed out. After calibrating and saving the settings, start watching DSS, and and adjust until it looks good. Worked great for me. and I watch about 90% TV DSS, and 10% DVD movies.
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