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Newbie question about cable digital

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Last response: in Home Theatre
May 25, 2005 7:38:34 PM

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I have the Dish Network. They say it's digital so is the same as DTV that I
can get OTA?

More about : newbie question cable digital

May 25, 2005 7:38:35 PM

Archived from groups: (More info?)

On Wed, 25 May 2005 15:38:34 GMT, "GREG BUGGY" <>

>I have the Dish Network. They say it's digital so is the same as DTV that I
>can get OTA?
Generally, no for their basic services. Dish provides their 480i NTSC
(which is analog if over broadcast OTA) in a digital signal to your
receiver, but it isn't the same as OTA broadcast HDTV. HDTV (720p or
1080i) is a subset of the digital OTA broadcasting standards, which
also include 480p - which isn't HDTV.

However, I understand Dish does provide a separate HDTV package, which
is like OTA HDTV.

Cable cos. are similar in that they provide some of their channels as
480i NTSC with a digital signal, called cable digital, requiring one
of their digital boxes, and often also offer a HDTV package as well.

Gary E
|Gary A. Edelstein
| (remove NO SPAM and .invalid to reply)
|"We have met the enemy and he is us." - Walt Kelly's Pogo
May 25, 2005 10:04:01 PM

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"GREG BUGGY" <> wrote in message
>I have the Dish Network. They say it's digital so is the same as DTV that I
>can get OTA?

Nope... most likely very different - but you just can't tell up front - you
gotta look and see

Digital doesn't mean anything on sat or cable wise except that the channels
are compressed and sent digitally, not in analog NTSC format like OTA and
cable analog channels

The cable/sat "digital" channels can be either as good as the best analog or
worse than the worst analog - all depending on the quality of the
digitization and the compression ratio used.

For OTA digital TV, there are more standards - for instance the signal must
be transmitted either in 480P (SD) or 720P (HD) or 1080i (HD)... but that
still doesn't mean that the original content was digitized well or that the
compression ratio isn't set too high to allow multiple sub-channels to share
the same bits while a channel looks terrible.

For instance, here in Richmond, the local Fox affiliate, owned by HD-hating
Sinclair Group until recently took an off-the-air analog reception of its
own ghost and noise laden UHF channel, digitized it, (ghosts, low-res and
noise included) and retransmit as a 480P "DTV" channel that looked like
absolute garbage. And there are some "digital" cable channels that look
worse than pixelated Chinese VCD pirated movies - while others appear near
DVD quality. The local NBC affiliate uses its 19.6Mbits/sec digital signal
to send three subchannels, a 1080i 16:9 "HD" (that is probably
overcompressed), a 480P SD simulcast of the HD in 4:3 format, and a bit
starved SD 4:3 live local weather radar channel (often the best one to