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What's the deal with digital OTA 480i vs cable box 480i?

Discussion in 'HDTV discussion' started by ChiknLitl, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. ChiknLitl

    ChiknLitl Regular member

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    I hope someone can explain this because I know many of you have the same set and also HD antennae. So I just got a HD antenna. I hook it up and set the t.v. to auto program. I get a bunch of analog and digital channels tuned in. First, let me say that 480i SD cable from my cable box does not look so hot on my set. Not impressive. There's a lot of noise in the signal. HD channels look great as expected. The 480i digital stations over the air are much, much, much cleaner than the cable signals. The OTA HD signals are comparable to the HD cable signals. But, I just can't get over how much better the OTA 480i signal looks, no noise or static. It doesn't have the crisp, sharp, detail of the 1080i signal but if all of my SD cable looked as good I'd have absolutely no complaints. So anyone have any idea why the dramatic difference. BTW, I am watching on a 60"sxrd set, comcast digital HDcable.
     
  2. diabolos

    diabolos Guest

    I don't know if you have seen the threads about the difference in bit-rates for cable and OTA antenna but in a net shell OTA antenna uses allot more bits than cable does.

    Your HD channels look good be cause most of the bits in the cable system are allocated to the programs that need them most. Meaning bits from SD channels are used on HD ones so that HD looks good and SD looks ok.

    There can be other reasons as well. Sometimes the shows are compressed badly. It could be the fault of the encoder used or the compression artist. It also can be the fault of the scaling chips in the TV and/or cable box. With that said I have seen some terrible SDTV OTA in my area as well as medioric HD Cable (and HD Satellite) service. All in all OTA antenna is the best source for the quality minded HDTV nut while HD Cable and HD Satellite offers more verity.

    I personally recommend using an antenna (preferably an out-door model) with all HDTV setups so that you get all of the local channels (not just the big networks) in HD that are available!

    Ced
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2007
  3. ChiknLitl

    ChiknLitl Regular member

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    Thanks for the info and quick reply! I'm relatively close to most towers, less than 13 miles, so all of the stations are coming in great so far.
     

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