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Digital vs. analog picture quality on HDTV

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Anonymous
July 26, 2004 8:58:33 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

I'll be receiving my new HDTV soon (Samsung HLP-5063W), and have a question
about what to expect when viewing regular, non-HD channels. I have Adelphia
cable and will check them out first before/if I go to satellite.

For $10/month, Adelphia will lease me an HD set-top box through which I can
receive their (modest) HD channel lineup. I already know not to expect
greatness with the analog channels, but I was wondering if upgrading to
their digital service would improve things with non-HD sources. Does the
fact that the programming is being piped in digitally have any bearing at
all at what is output on the screen? Or, is it just a way to improve audio
clarity and the number of stations through increased bandwidth? I would ask
Adelphia, but I'm sure their answer would be, "Of course, it'll look
better!", just to sell me the package, which I don't really have a need for.

So, in other words, would their non-HD TNT and ESPN look better on an HDTV
with a digital feed rather than an analog one?

Bruce
Anonymous
July 27, 2004 12:20:10 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Bruiser wrote:
> I'll be receiving my new HDTV soon (Samsung HLP-5063W), and have a
> question about what to expect when viewing regular, non-HD channels.
> I have Adelphia cable and will check them out first before/if I go to
> satellite.
>
> For $10/month, Adelphia will lease me an HD set-top box through which
> I can receive their (modest) HD channel lineup. I already know not to
> expect greatness with the analog channels, but I was wondering if
> upgrading to their digital service would improve things with non-HD
> sources. Does the fact that the programming is being piped in
> digitally have any bearing at all at what is output on the screen?
> Or, is it just a way to improve audio clarity and the number of
> stations through increased bandwidth? I would ask Adelphia, but I'm
> sure their answer would be, "Of course, it'll look better!", just to
> sell me the package, which I don't really have a need for.
>
> So, in other words, would their non-HD TNT and ESPN look better on an
> HDTV with a digital feed rather than an analog one?
>
> Bruce

It won't matter. Even if you got the digital cable package (which is
probably requried for HD anyway - it is here in Philly), stations that
are analog are usually anaolog on the digital cable package anyway.
Those boxes decode analog and digital broadcasts. The digital broadcasts
are usually of lower quality than their older analog counterparts
because of all the digital compress which adds softness and digital
artifacts to the picture. THe problem with viewing NTSC broadcasts on HD
sets stems from the fact that NTSC is very low quality and HD sets or
the STB give their best to output a progressive 480p image from a low
quality source.

Just as viewing a NTSC broadcast on a large RPTV seems to reveal a lower
quality image, doing so on an HDTV adds another layer of yuk because of
the upconversion to 480p (which can add its own set of unique picture
problems to the source). Upconversion is difficult, especially on video
based sources.


--
David G.
Anonymous
July 27, 2004 10:20:58 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

David G. wrote:
>> Bruiser wrote:
>>> I'll be receiving my new HDTV soon (Samsung HLP-5063W), and have a
>>> question about what to expect when viewing regular, non-HD channels.
>>> I have Adelphia cable and will check them out first before/if I go
>>> to satellite.
>>>
>>> For $10/month, Adelphia will lease me an HD set-top box through
>>> which I can receive their (modest) HD channel lineup. I already
>>> know not to expect greatness with the analog channels, but I was
>>> wondering if upgrading to their digital service would improve
>>> things with non-HD sources. Does the fact that the programming is
>>> being piped in digitally have any bearing at all at what is output
>>> on the screen? Or, is it just a way to improve audio clarity and
>>> the number of stations through increased bandwidth? I would ask
>>> Adelphia, but I'm sure their answer would be, "Of course, it'll
>>> look better!", just to sell me the package, which I don't really
>>> have a need for.
>>>
>>> So, in other words, would their non-HD TNT and ESPN look better on
>>> an HDTV with a digital feed rather than an analog one?
>>>
>>> Bruce
>>
>> It won't matter. Even if you got the digital cable package (which is
>> probably requried for HD anyway - it is here in Philly), stations
>> that are analog are usually anaolog on the digital cable package
>> anyway. Those boxes decode analog and digital broadcasts. The
>> digital broadcasts are usually of lower quality than their older
>> analog counterparts because of all the digital compress which adds
>> softness and digital artifacts to the picture. THe problem with
>> viewing NTSC broadcasts on HD sets stems from the fact that NTSC is
>> very low quality and HD sets or the STB give their best to output a
>> progressive 480p image from a low quality source.
>>
>> Just as viewing a NTSC broadcast on a large RPTV seems to reveal a
>> lower quality image, doing so on an HDTV adds another layer of yuk
>> because of the upconversion to 480p (which can add its own set of
>> unique picture problems to the source). Upconversion is difficult,
>> especially on video based sources.
>>
>>
>> --
>> David G.

Thanks, David, for the clarification. I didn't think it would, but needed
to know for sure, since Adelphia does not require the digital package for
their offering of local HD stations (they do if you go for HBO-HD or
Showtime-HD). They're promising to have ESPN-HD by the end of summer, but
I'm not holding my breath.

Bruce
!