New TV, Dish vs Antenna comparison (1 Viewer)

Register Today to see less ads! It's Free!


Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 7, 2005
Cleveland, TN (Chattanooga Market)
I know that the antenna is supposed to give the best reception for network tv. I guess it’s an uncompressed signal? I’ve always read that but to be honest I’ve never really been able to tell much difference between OTA and Dish on my locals. I had a really good tv (65” Samsung JS8500) although it’s about 6 years old now. But I recently bought a new 85” Samsung QN90A. The difference between OTA and Dish now seems VERY obvious. Flipping back and forth between the two seems like I’m going from 1080i to 1080p. It’s so much cleaner and sharper. Can anyone else see that big of a difference between the two?

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Register Today to see less ads! It's Free!


A mighty and noble race originating on Altair IV.
Pub Member / Supporter
Jan 4, 2007
Fairfax, VA
OTA transmissions are MPEG2 compressed. Dish's HD is MPEG4, and their transcoders were so marginal, OTA looked quite a bit better in the early days. But transcoders are getting better all the time, so this difference is less apparent these days.
  • Like
Reactions: charlesrshell


SatelliteGuys Pro
May 21, 2009
Lexington, ky
As TheKrell said, OTA is compressed, but (generally) not as much (so it looks better), but MPEG2 v MPEG4 (so it would look worse). How much the OTA is compressed will depend on how the station is doing it. How many subchannels they have, and how much bandwidth they're dedicating for each channel.

Uncompressed video (HD-SDI) would be ~2.7Gbps. If you're lucky, the signal from the primary channel of a broadcaster is being sent out ~12-15Mbps (and probably less than that). Broadcasters only have ~19Mbps to fit all of their data in (ATSC 1.0).


SatelliteGuys Master
Apr 9, 2006
I can tell you in Los Angeles, the MONEY grubbing capital of the (you fill in the blank) the local broadcasters--both flagship major net stations Owned and Operated by the major networks and all other local broadcasters--are so filled with MULTIPLE "sub-channels" and Digital Nets on MORE than ONE channel/broadcaster (I think there are a few Digital Nets on THREE different broadcaster channels), that the PQ of the main HD .1 channel has been less than spectacular for a very long time, and looks a lot like Dish's "HD Lite" PQ. The broadcasters here have gone from stunning HD on the main channels to artifacts--even on the flagship major broadcast main channels--because it is all about the revenue and there are well over 170 channesl available today on local broadcasters in LA DMA, and all that content represents lots of opportunity for MORE revenue for the LA local broadcasters.

But, FWIW, Dish does a really good job of providing LA local broadcasters are pretty much what they look like Over-the-Air with only the most SLIGHT difference (a touch softer, but not at all such a loss that watching OTA is worth the trouble). This issue is that the LA local OTA is just so mediocre to begin with. :).

And yes, I see it said on so many other forums and discussions that OTA is "not compressed." WRONG. You know what? It is ALL compressed. Even the MPEG 4 feeds via sat or fiber from all the sources such as major nets and cable channels is COMPRESSED before it even is sent to homes. Compression is necessary or we would not have the bandwidth to air or stream all this moving picture data. It is just a matter of doing the compression well or not.
Register Today to see less ads! It's Free!

Users who are viewing this thread

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 0, Members: 0, Guests: 0)

Who Read This Thread (Total Members: 2)

Latest posts