High Def Forum
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Ready for HD HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

03-24-2005, 07:36 AM
Ok I am ready to get HD service installed but am totally confused, and don't know much about it. I do know that first and foremost I want all my local HD brodcasting to be available, as well as all the premium HD content on cable or satellite. I currently have directv, but am unsure if I need to switch to cable. I read one article that said satellite is superior for HD and cable compresses the HD signal allowing less picture quality. I read another article in the same magazine that said cable is superior for HD as has way more bandwith for a superior signal and picture! So I don't know to stay with DTV or go with Comcast digital cable. The thing I like about cable is they say I will only need them to run a line from the pole to my house, no antennas. However DTV want to swap dishes and add another antenna for local HD I believe. My other question is how to hook up my one HD set. The componets are used by games and dvd. So I assume I will need to use the one DVI input and run audio via rca for best picture quality HD? Anyway I can use all the info I can get on this, so please everyone sound off. I don't want to get this HD hooked up, only to find I should have gone satellite or vice versa, or that I don't get some HD channels available, or that I need a better HD box. Thanks. :confused:

03-24-2005, 07:59 AM
I'm not sure anyone can give you an answer to the question of Directv vs cable as far as the PQ goes. My first instinct for you would be to give cable a try, the reason is twofold.

First, because you are an existing Directv customer they will not give you a very good deal on the upgrade cost. The figure I've heard is about $199 to change your dish and furnish the new receiver and if you want a DVR, the cost for the DVR is about $1,000.

Second, the cost for cable will be minimal, probably under $50, and that will most likely include a DVR. If you work the angle of switching from satellite most cable companies will give you some additional incentives, like wave the install fee and free service for some period of time. TWC here in Houston would discount the service and throw in free HBO for the first 6 months, for example.

No provider will give you a deal if you are an existing customer, but will extend them to get you to switch. Going to cable will allow you to get HD with minimal, if any, out of pocket and if after 6 months or so you are not satified with the service, switch back to satellite, maybe Dish Network next time.

I would say check out the cost, then decide.

03-25-2005, 10:38 AM
Whoever said only cable compresses the signal has NO idea what they're talking about... ALL digital TV uses MPEG2 compression. Because of it's limited bandwidth compared to cable, Satellite sometimes prefilters the signal to a lessor res so it will take less bandwidth when transmitted. Cable assigns a fixed 18 Mbits/sec per HD channel... this is plenty since OTA subchannels & data are stripped out for retransmission on cable.

Beside quality, which is very similar for HD across all platforms, you should also look at the QUANTITY of HD content available to each supplier.

You should definately try cable first in your situation, since the up-front costs are minimal...