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Old 11-20-07, 08:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: Which is better: Cable or Over The Air?

OTA HD channels do not always use 100% of the bandwidth, sometimes stations broadcast side channels on part of the bandwidth which can make the picture quality pretty bad if not done properly. The local PBS station here is channel 15 and they broadcast HD on 15-1 with 3 other channels (15-2,15-3 and 15-4) and sometimes it looks terrible with bad pixellation. The other channels in the area used to at least have 1 other channel sharing the bandwidth with the main HD channel but they haven't been doing that for a while. I think I heard somewhere that they are now required to have a certain amount of hours of educational material on any subchannels so I know that killed one right off the bat around here.
Usually though HD on OTA channels look very good. Directv used to have great MPEG2 HD but went downhill and now the MPEG 2 is merely ok. The new MPEG 4 HD channels on Directv are very nice though and to me are on the same quality level as OTA.
I have no experience with HD on cable as I can't stand Cox cable which is the major cable company here and I left them for Directv over 6 or 7 years ago and haven't looked back.
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