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Satellite/HDTV vs. Digital Cable (1 Viewer)

Paul Padilla

Supporting Actor
Jan 15, 2002
I need some advice on satellite TV and HDTV.
Right now I’m using digital cable from Cox. We have everything just the way we want it, favorites, local channels…you know the drill. More and more premium channels are beginning to include Dolby Digital sound as well, so things are really sweet, except for one thing. I’ve been chomping at the bit to get some HD programming into my Sony XBR400. (Cox customer service has blown me off more than once regarding questions about any HD programming making it my way in the near future:angry: ) However, I’m not too excited about adding yet another input signal to the mix with a STB or satellite. Besides, after 14 years of marriage, we’ll be moving into a house in a few months, and I don’t want antennae hassles.
Ideally, what I’d like is all the programming I currently have here in San Diego County, including local, premium and music channels…PLUS… local and premium HD signals (I know…a blank check with Donald Trump’s signature while we’re at it). One other necessity, is the Cox channel 4 which carries all of the Padres programming (I realize I’ll probably still have to pop for basic cable for that one).
I’m also a little concerned with talk of highly compressed looking video over digital satellite systems. We’re not talking gargantuan screen size here…32”…but the relatively close quarters makes it the perfect size. I’ve been really happy with things so far, and I'd hate to take a step backward.
One question I have is…Is the standard signal carried over component video as well as HD, or do I have to use separate outputs. I've read in some recent posts that the standard signal is upconverted over component outputs with some newer HD cable boxes, but with problems.
I could go on, but you get the idea…Any help is greatly appreciated.


May 28, 2002
Howdy Paul,

I live up in North San Diego County and I have been a DirecTV customer since 1998. I currently have DirecTV plus and the basic Cox cable (12 channels). Here's what I can tell you right off the top of my head.

First of all currently DirecTV is only offering 4 channels of HDTV programming, they are HBO, Showtime, 1 PPV, and a channel called HDNet featuring 16 hours of HDTV programming.

If you want to get local affiliates in HDTV you are going to have to use an OTA antennae.

DirecTV offers the standard signal for ABC (kgtv 10), CBS (kfmb 8), NBC (knsd 39), PBS (kpbs 15), WB (kswb 69), and Fox (xetv 6) in the San Diego market, they do not offer UPN. If you are a Cox Cable Modem customer you do get a $10 discount if you have more than one Cox Service so the $12 basic package actually only costs you $2.

I personally think the DirecTV signal looks lessed compressed than what I've seen of digital cable at other people's homes. It certainly a lot better than what the Digital Cable was like in San Jose.

Another thing to keep in mind as well is that for most of the cable type networks DirecTV is broadcasting the east coast feed so shows on everything from MTV/VH1 to the Food Network are aired 3 hours before you currently get them with Cox. Local channels are not effected by this.

With my father-in-laws HDTV (hughes Platinum HDTV receiver)set-up all of the signals are sent out the component outputs into the TV and are seen on his TV as letterboxed (black bars at the top and bottom) he has a 4x3 TV. I'm not sure if they are upconverted, but the definitely look better than what my non-HDTV receiver DirecTV looks like.

Hope this helps some.

Paul Padilla

Supporting Actor
Jan 15, 2002
Thanks John..
I'll keep checking, but it looks like my check from Mr. Trump is still in the mail.:frowning:

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