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Rpbertxyz said:
The one thing nobody talks about that much is the PQ. I had 10 people over Thanksgiving day and I was able to switch from my TVs OTA to the mpg4 HD channels for the football games. Going back and forth, nobody could say 100% which picture was better.

Bob H.
Either you have a rare high performing MPEG-4 system, or your visitors are not very discerning. Differences between MPEG-4 via D* and OTA vary from "slight" to "you've got to be kidding", with a lot more reports on the latter side of things. Congrats on having a good MPEG-4 source...it's nice to hear, as we are all going to be stuck with it sooner or later. (via D*)

Most of the people currrently report a very obvious difference between how MPEG-4 is working for them and OTA (there are sound technical reasons for some of this, and just poor implementation of MPEG-4 at the local level for the rest.)

Keep in mind there are two very significant flaws in MPEG-4/HD-Locals as delivered by D*:

1. The source for MPEG-4 via satellite is MPEG-2 OTA...so they are transcoding MPEG-2 to MPEG-4...not a very good idea.

2. Inadequate bandwidth on the satellites at this point. They are bit starved and getting worse, not better. Until they get more birds up, it will only continue.

There is no free lunch. The best PQ currently is OTA, period...there is no way that transcoded and bit starved MPEG-4 can equal the MPEG-2 coming OTA. It's just not possible. With everything optimized, the differences could be small, but a trained eye will pick up on them every time.
 

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Earl Bonovich said:
There is no doubt that OTA will probably look better in all cases... the question is how much better... and is worth the extra space on the hard drive of the dVR for the OTA version
Precisely! I couldn't have put it better. The proof will be in the puddin', and the considerable savings in HD space could be an important factor.

Your concise (and factually accurate) statement should be added to the OTA Status Sticky as an "instant response" to the questions that will come when we do get OTA. Make book on it...we are going to get this question:

"Now that we have OTA-HD and can record it, should I record OTA or record the same show on MPEG-4?"

The only uncertainty is will this be asked in the first hour or just the first day of OTA-HD:D
 

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Marwood said:
I can't wait to get ota. For one thing, I get many more stations with my antenna than with dtv and some start prime time at 7 pm instead of 8. Our house is over 10 years old and the picture quality from the antenna is just as good as the receiver. I have been told (and it seems to be true) that with hd ota you either get it or you don't.
Yes, that is true, but you can "get it" and "not get it" in the span of a few minutes, if you are close the the "fade threshold" in the first place. In general, you will either have a perfect picture or no picture, but if you are right on the margin, you will experience pixellation and outright signal loss if any increased losses are present. This is NOT typical, except in marginal setups, like trying to use an indoor low gain antenna from a significant distance. Things that increase signal loss include, but are not limited to:

1. A person or animal walking in front of the antenna (in house/low gain ant)
2. Airplane flutter (reflections off a passing airplane)
3. Vegetation losses in summer that were not present in winter
4. Extremely heavy precip or large thundertorms with corona discharge buildup.

I have never lost OTA-HD signal due to any of the above. I have a medium sized outside antenna on the 2nd story peak of the house and am 28 miles from the Broadcasters' antenna farm. Rural, no obstructions.

I get no pixellation, break up or signal loss on my OTA HD on the Sammy DLP.
 
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