Digital cable and Regular cable question.

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by DaveJJ, Sep 4, 2003.

  1. DaveJJ

    DaveJJ Stunt Coordinator

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    I have regular cable at home. Comcast is offering digital cable now. My question is, what if any difference will I see if I switch over to digital cable?? Thank for any responses.


    DaveJJ
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    It depends.

    "Digital Cable" is great for the CATV company. With analog service, old wires/connections directly affect the quality of your picture and sound. The same channel using a digital feed can tollerate a LOT of problems, but still look perfect (no snow, dropouts, etc.) Digital cable allows your cable company to postpone expensive wire replacements.

    So if your picture quality is poor now, Digital Cable will look much better. But it wont look better if you have fresh wires already. (And a lot of cable companies have been replacing wires so they can handle cable-modems).

    The Cable box's are nice because they offer on-screen program guides, reminder features and Pay Per View.

    But that's about it.
     
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Dave,

    I’ll second Bob’s opening, “It depends.”

    This question comes up from time to time here, and often quite a few people (from various places around the country) will weigh in with their experiences. The general consensus usually ends up being “Digital cable is more about additional channels than picture quality.”

    For one thing, the quality of digital cable seems to vary dramatically depending on your locality - I'm confident Bob's explanation about the local company's cabling infrastructure goes a long way in accounting for this.

    Beyond that, picture quality often depends on the priorities of the cable company. For instance, our local service gets a beautiful top-quality picture on the digital movie channels like Showtime and HBO – possibly giving DVD video a run for the money. But whenever I dial up a channel that I know on analog cable gives a grainy picture with lots of video noise, it looks just as bad on digital.

    If your local provider is offering a free or low-cost trial to get people in the door, no reason not to try it. Who knows, you might find that you like it.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  4. ChrisBr

    ChrisBr Auditioning

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    Another thing to consider with Digital besides the additional channels is the that the digitial channels also generally have digital outputs for surround sound. HBO and the other movies channels do use DD 5.1 for a lot of movies, so it can make a big differense in sound quality over standard cable.
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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  6. Bob Kavanaugh

    Bob Kavanaugh Second Unit

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    My mom has digital cable through Mediacom and it looks overly compressed and grainy. Do you guys notice that on any channels? I don't think any of her channels have noise or "snow". Maybe it's because she has something like 400 channels, if you include the digital music channels.
     

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