To Anyone Familiar With Digital Cable

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by James Edward, May 6, 2002.

  1. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    I recently had digital cable from Cablevision installed. ONLY the premium channels looked good, the rest were as bad as analog cable. I decided to return the digital box, because I can just watch DVD's when I want a good signal.
    SURPRISE! After removing the digital box, and putting the cable directly into my TV, almost every channel looks amazingly better. The local channels are crystal clear, with great color, etc. Most other channels (MTV, VH-1, etc.), also look very good.
    Is there an explanation? Does anyone know if the cable signal is manipulated from the pole for a stronger signal for digital cable? Has anyone in Cablevision land experienced this? I hope they don't come by and undo whatever they did!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Tony Mc

    Tony Mc Stunt Coordinator

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    Seems like it may have been a problem with the cable box you had. I had to return a cable box due to bad picture quality on some channels. After the switch, most channels had the same decent PQ.
     
  3. GlenH

    GlenH Stunt Coordinator

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    In my 2 experiences with digital cable (AT&T and Time Warner), I've found that it is used NOT to deliver better picture quality, but to compress the hell out of everything in order to deliver a whole lot more programming that I would never watch. In both cases, going back to standard analog cable or even over the air antenna has SIGNIFICANTLY improved the picture quality. The kicker is whenever I complained about picture quality and/or asked about the availability of HD programming, the customer service reps would always insist that digital cable IS high def! WTF?!
     
  4. Michael St. Clair

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    Digital Cable can look better than DBS satellite, but it depends on your provider and location.

    Digital Cable and DBS do NOT look as good as 'good analog cable' (for those who have it), or properly received OTA or analog C-Band BIG dish (the latter two being the best NTSC picture quality there is.

    Some cable boxes do degrade the analog channels and I sometimes suspect it is to make the digital channels look better.
     
  5. NickT

    NickT Stunt Coordinator

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    It was probably a bad cable box or one of the extra cables that is needed for the box had a bad connector or could've even been loose. The analog channels (below 100) should look exactly the same with digital cable. They are just passed through the converter with only the channel guide added.
     
  6. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    A lot depends on how the cable box is connected to the TV. If it's an RF connection, the signal is getting a lot of unnecessary processing that can easily degrade the picture. Ideally, the connections from the cable box to the TV should be composite or (preferably) S-video and L&R audio (or digital audio).

    M.
     
  7. Doug_H

    Doug_H Supporting Actor

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    It is really quite simple. The majority of the stations are still analog, all the locals and many of the standard cable stations are only analog. The cable box is another connection between the source and the TV so the analog channels degrade.

    The premium channels like HBO are all digital so you get a much better picture. My solution was to use a splitter so I get a better picture on the locals and can still enjoy the digital channels and 5.1 sound on HBO.
     
  8. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Try the composite video connection out of the digital cable box to see if the non-digital channels look better. Cable boxes tend to have mediocre comb filters, needed to get an analog channel out the S-video jack. Do do not use an inexpensive (under USD $200.) composite to S-video converter for this.
    By connecting the cable directly to the TV yo may have gotten better picture quality on some channels but digital channels and scrambled channels won't come in at all.
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     

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