In my area at least, I hook my HDTVs (and my HTPC with its 4 HD tuners) directly up to the cable (no boxes) and use the QAM signal to watch/record. I get 720p/1080i in the original OTA bit rate.
Actually, that's not quite accurate. All digital video transmission has some level of compression when the video is encoded. The question is whether the cable or satellite signal has been re-encoded (compressed even more) than the original - and that varies by provider.
Originally Posted by Paul335i
The HD signal via cable is compressed. OTA HD signals aren't compressed and thus provide a superior picture.
Last edited by cwsqbm; 01-16-2013 at 12:27 PM.