[mythtv-users] 5200 or 6200

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Thu Jan 25 15:10:46 UTC 2007

On Jan 25, 2007, at 6:59 AM, Stroller wrote:

> I thought I'd seen US posters describing HD here as an additional
> cable subscription.

As far as the USA:

You can get HD off-air in some locations for nothing. Getting HD from  
a cable company normally involves a subscription to "digital" service  
and sometimes even an additional fee for HD.

Some cable system do transmit some HD channels as unencrypted QAM. As  
an example I can  receive TNT and Discovery in HD with an HD-3000  
card, but I think this is technically "stealing" as I have only a  
subscription to analog SD channels. My guess is that in time  
unencrypted QAM will become even rarer than it is, it's probably  
simply caused by ignorance or cheapness on the part of some smaller  

Getting HD from the satellite operators requires an additional fee as  
well, both for the receiver and the service.

So the only "free" HD is the off-air channels in some markets. I can  
receive only 1 ATSC channel and the "HD" programming is mostly just  
upconverted SD stuff sent as 720p, only some prime-time and some  
weekend sports programming is transmitted in 1080i and it looks like  
crap as it is transported to the affiliates as MPEG-2, decoded at the  
station so they can switch, insert etc., then re-encoded to MPEG-2  
for ATSC transmission using a crappy encoder.

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