OTA v. satellite picture quality

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Daniel_BR, Mar 6, 2003.

  1. Daniel_BR

    Daniel_BR Extra

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    Hello all!

    I have been visiting this site for a few months now since I first started looking into getting a bigscreen TV (which I did a month ago).

    I tried doing some searching here on my question, but couldn't find anything on point. Hopefully this is the right place to post this.

    I was wondering how the picture quality of OTA stations compares to that of the satellite services (Dish & DirecTV). I've read that the satellite signals are compressed and was unsure if that was the case with OTA signals as well. I'm in Cincinnati if that matters -- we get digital broadcasting and the OTA digital picture looks pretty good to me. When my wife & I went to the store to look at TV's they were showing satellite programming (Dish I think) and it looked very fuzzy. (But I may have been too close or just not used to it.) Is there a general consensus that OTA/satellite are similar or greatly disparate?

    Thanks in advance! [​IMG]
    Dan
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    OTA EDTV/HDTV digital content looks very good (especially HDTV). The EDTV is probably as good as SAT or very close.

    Now OTA analog content is a different animal, and its quality is more variable, and I'd be surprised if OTA analog looked better than SAT.
     
  3. StephenL

    StephenL Second Unit

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    Washington, DC local over-the-air analog broadcasts via roof-mounted antenna are much better than local broadcasts via DirecTV. The local DirecTV picture quality is terrible. The only reason I pay for it is the convenience of the DirecTV receiver with Tivo. I'm looking forward to a digital recorder for local OTA DTV.
     
  4. Jeff Kohn

    Jeff Kohn Supporting Actor

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    OTA SDTV, even if still 480i, will look much better than what you get from digital satallite. OTA SDTV uses much higher bitrates, while digital satellite is heavily compessed. Compared to OTA, digital satellite will look softer, more pixelated, and have more compression artifacts.

    Another factor, most local affiliates will upconvert the SDTV signal to 1080i or 720p using expensive scalers, so the end result will likely look better than any other source of SD programming.

    BTW, digital cable is as bad or worse than satellite (in fact many of the so-called digital channels on digital cable are still analog).
     
  5. James Dailey

    James Dailey Auditioning

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    Digital cable is MPEG2 streams, and even then some companies offering digital cable are only offering the premium channels in a digital format. Adelphia where I'm at uses analog for its basic channels.

    IMO though, the digital cable signals do look better on my Hitachi than the analog cable signals do.
     

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