OTA vs. Cable Resolution

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Greg Lovern, Feb 12, 2002.

  1. Greg Lovern

    Greg Lovern Agent

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    My monthly (basic analog) cable bill just went up by about $5/month, and I'm thinking about having a good rooftop antenna professionally installed and ditching cable. My question is: supposing I'm able to get great reception with the antenna, how does OTA resolution compare to cable resolution?

    Also, will the antenna be wasted when the time comes for me to get into HDTV, or will I still be using the antenna for non-HDTV then?

    Thanks,

    Greg
     
  2. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    OTA and cable resolution for standard analog NTSC or PAL broadcasts is theoretically the same.
    It has been said, although I haven't seen any examples, that some skimping is done on cable signals causing the resolution to be less and also the colors to be a bit smearier, so that more channels total can be put on the cable system.
    If your roof antenna is reasonably good for UHF, you should have no problem with HDTV and DTV OTA broadcasts.
    An increasing problem with OTA these days is interference from electronic gadgets about the house and also from neighbors -- PC's, video games, microwave ovens, cellular phones, computer electronics in automobiles, etc. While there are standards for maximum interfering radiation, signals from distant stations will still be affected.
    Video hints:
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  3. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Theoretically the same, but in practice, OTA sans ghosting is always a better looking image.

    There has been talk that the OTA is the full 340 lines where as the cable is degraded a bit to 300 to 320 lines.

    Obviously some channels you cannot get OTA ...

    Regards
     

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