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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Marshall Sander, Mar 6, 2002.
What is the better picture quality and which is the better value?
BTW, DirecTV is "satellite."
Go DBS all the way if picture quality is what you want--especially if the DBS receiver has an S-Video output. Better images and much better sound than with so-called "digital" cable. Look, I used to have both a "digital" cable feed and a standard cable feed coming into the house on separate lines; the standard feed looked better than the so-called "digital" signal. Not only that, several channels which broadcast stereo signals on the standard feed were in monophonic on the "digital" feed.
The hell with that.
In addition to a superior picture and sound, the satellite companies offer better value as well.
Do you know anyone who likes his cable provider?
Digital Cable is a scam! It might be digital coming into the box but it ain't coming out. Sure certain chanels look better but not THAT great!
Wow, talk about some knee-jerk reactions.
With any digital broadcast technology, whether digital cable, digital OTA, or digital satellite, the quality depends on how much you compress the signal. And how much the signal is compressed is not universal for any given carrier.
The truth be told, digital cable quality varies from provider to provider and city to city. And 'digital' doesn't mean better, it just means digital.
Over The Air (with a good antenna and proper proximity to transmitter) and Big Ugly Dish analog broadcasts are better than ANY digital cable or DBS (small-dish digital) satellite.
GOOD analog cable is also somewhat better than both digital cable and DBS, at least the picture quality is. The problem is that so many cable providers have CRAPPY analog infrastructure. Some folks are lucky enough to have a cable provider with good analog infrastructure.
Many, maybe even most, digital cable companies use 'HITS' (Headend in the Sky) as their source for channels. 'HITS' is already compressed as hell, so any cable company that pipes 'HITS' channels is going to look bad. AT&T does use HITS, as does TCI, Comcast, and many small cable companies.
Time Warner digital cable has very good picture quality, and it seems that virtually everyone who has tried both finds Warner has better picture quality than DBS satellite. Time Warner is not 'HITS' based.
DBS picture quality is improving some with the launch of spot-beam birds, however, if the merger goes through between DISH and DirecTV (which looks likely) and they put up every full-strenght local station for every market in the country, there is no telling how compressed the channels will be. Hopefully, not very, but only time will tell.
Anyhow, the real answer to your question is 'it depends'. There is no single best-quality solution.