Dish or Cable opinions please

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rob TT, Feb 26, 2003.

  1. Rob TT

    Rob TT Stunt Coordinator

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    I need some opinions on what is a better choice, Digital Cable or Dish Network. I would like to keep it as cheap as possible with a basic package. This is what I found for prices. I could get comcast digital with HD for my locals for around $50. The Dish Network has a package for $25 plus the locals $5, plus the extra receivers I would need $10, so its about $40. I am leaning towards the Cable just to have the HD and Motorola 5100 box. But I am wondering how the pictures compare between the two. Let me know what you think.

    PS I have a 57" Toshiba and live in SE Michigan
     
  2. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    First, how much HD do you plan to watch?? Dish offers a whole area of premium HD channels from Showtime and HBO. They also offer OTA HD signals by using and part upgrade to the current HD box. So dish offers Premium Movie HD Channels and all other channels like the local HD broadcast of some shows (24 [​IMG] ). I'm not familiar with Comcast's HD programming but compare the two and see what the options are.
     
  3. Rob TT

    Rob TT Stunt Coordinator

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    I not really interested in the premium channels. If you want HD through satillite, you have to buy a HD reciever that starts around $500 and the cable reciever is free but you pay $5 a month for the channels.
     
  4. JeremyFr

    JeremyFr Supporting Actor

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    currently Comcast offers Showtime and HBO in HD (uncompressed HD at that) in all markets I am not sure what else in Michigan I know here in Washington that we will be offering locals very soon as well as discovery HD and a few others here in the next few months. One thing to remember is that with DISH/Direct TV they compress there HD signals down to 720p for broadcast through the satellite to save bandwidth and then the reciever upconverts it back to 1080i so you do not get a true 1080i signal through satellite you do with cable.
     
  5. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Jeremy,

    Where did you get this info about Dish/DirecTV using 720p for the satellite downlink to the receivers?? That's the first I ever heard of this. That would certainly be cause for concern, if true.

    Btw, using the term "uncompressed HD" can be misleading me thinks.

    _Man_
     
  6. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    If what Jeremy states is true, then I think I'd might be looking into digital cable as well.
     
  7. NathanM

    NathanM Auditioning

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    I haven't experienced any Dish signals except on demo floors, and that's only been HDNet. I have done OTA network, and I just got Comcast HD. My experience is that the picture quality of the cable HD is as good as the OTA quality (with a much more reliable signal strength), and as good as I remember the dish signal being at the demo. The one thing I have noticed with Comcast is that I get occasional hiccups in the audio, and the image tends to pixelate on really major screen changes (fast pans and abrupt transitions). A perfect example was watching Ocean's 11 last night on HBO. There was a cut where it went from a dark cityscape to a brightly lit casino floor and Brad Pitt standing in the middle of the screen. For a split second, Brad Pitt was barely recognizable as human, he was so pixelated, and then it corrected. As long as the shifts aren't too abrupt, though, the image quality is fantastic.
     
  8. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    Jeremy's statements re conversion to 720p on satellite are just false. The people recording off of the hacked DTC100 boxes would have found this if it were the case.
     
  9. JeremyFr

    JeremyFr Supporting Actor

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    Ok maybe I wasnt clear, The content originates as 1080i is then broadcasted at 720p through the satellite and then reupconverted at the box to 1080i. This was in an article I read recently about testing Cable HD vs. Satellite HD and they found that satellite HD was compressed to rougly 1200 vertical lines of Resolution in a 1080i signal that should have roughly 1920 at full signal, and that cable was closer to around 1800-1850 lines. I'll see if I can find the article and link it was a very interesting read. Also I have a friend who worked in Marketing for the Northeast for Dish who confirmed that yes it is in fact highly compressed over its normal compression for transmission through the satellite.
     
  10. Bruce Cadotte

    Bruce Cadotte Stunt Coordinator

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    720p vs 1080i takes up the same amount of room on the Transponders(720P maybe the better because it is progressive(60 full frames per second vs 1080i-30 frames on(half and half) per second) that they have-Dish is switching to 8PSK so they can carry more then 1 HDTV channel per Transponder when they add ESPN HD and the 3 HDNET channels and showing the bi-weekly NBA Game.What I think you are thinking of is when the Dish 6000 will upconvert(downconvert?)native 720P to 1080i for displays that can only do the 1080i.
     
  11. JeremyFr

    JeremyFr Supporting Actor

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    no I'm still looking for the article but it covered that they actually compress the signals so that they are less quality than OTA & Cable HDTV and like I said I confirmed this with a friend who used to be there northeast region senior marketing manager.
     
  12. Bruce Cadotte

    Bruce Cadotte Stunt Coordinator

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    All Digital signals are compressed for Transmission-Comcast are,Dish are,Direct TV are-it is how much they are compressed that can affect what we watch(break-up,pixels,etc)720P to 1080i is not compression,it is up and down converting.
    I tried Comcast HD service 3 weeks ago for a trial(have Broadband though them)and HBO pixaled and broke up more in one week then HBO did on DISH in a years time.
     
  13. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    [duplicate post deleted]
     
  14. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    Filtering spatial resolution down before encoding so they can encode at lower bitrate without introducing too many artifacts, but still transmitting 1080i, I could believe. It's certainly possible for cable HD to be sharper than satellite HD, but cable companies are just as capable of throttling back resolution to save bandwidth as the satellite companies are. You'd actually have to test in your area to know for sure if either is better.

    Sideconverting 1080i to 720p to beam up to the satellite, and converting back at the STB to 1080i is definitely false. It would be totally illogical to do this, as bandwidth saved would be minimal, and you would introduce deinterlacing & scaling artifacts. Maybe you need a friend who works in Dish engineering, rather than marketing.

    Bruce, the ATSC standard includes 6 HD formats:
    1920x1080p, 24 frames per second
    1920x1080p, 30 frames per second,
    1920x1080i, 60 fields per second (each field 1920x540),
    and 1280x720p at 24/30/60 frames per second.
    http://www.atsc.org
     
  15. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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