[mythtv-users] US cable companies and mandatory OTA channels
Michael T. Dean
mtdean at thirdcontact.com
Wed Jan 9 19:00:42 UTC 2008
On 01/09/2008 01:22 PM, Sean Goodpasture wrote:
> On Jan 9, 2008 12:17 PM, Mitch Gore <mitchell.gore at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Jan 9, 2008 12:09 PM, Florin Andrei <florin at andrei.myip.org> wrote:
>>> Question for the US users:
>>> I've heard that cable companies are required (by law? regulation?
>>> agreement?) to include in their cable listing all stations that would
>>> otherwise be accessible in that area OTA.
>>> My question is - does that apply to just the content, or the actual
>>> format too? In other words, if a station can be received in HD OTA, does
>>> that mean that it will be received in HD via cable too? Or can the cable
>>> company just provide that station in SD, even though OTA it's being
>>> broadcast HD?
>>> I'm asking because I need to decide whether it's worth the trouble to
>>> install an antenna on the roof, or whether just using cable is fine.
>> I would just go with antenna. QAM channels seem to be more of a headache
>> from what i see. The channels change and you will mis recordings etc. Plus
>> the quality of OTA HD is better than QAM cable.
>> If you get good signal on you antenna it will be much more reliable.
> The quality of QAM HD is just as good as OTA for me (Dallas area). I
> also don't get rain fade or "airplane flying overhead" artifacts with
> my QAM channels either.
It all depends on your cable company. Many requantize the OTA streams
to a lower bitrate so they can fit more on their system. In my area,
the cable rebroadcasts of the OTA HDTV are significantly lower quality
(though it's still a big step up from NTSC ;)--especially on the
high-bitrate OTA channels (NBC and CW are most affected; PBS, CBS, and
MyTV affiliates are less so, though still noticeably affected; and ABC
and FOX are the least affected).
I also admit that I'm a big fan of OTA HDTV (and especially of my
$0.00/mo bill for it).
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