HD Cable Service

I live in a suburb of Chicago and have my cable through WOW cable. We have the full HD service. However, I am dissapointed with my service. The HD channel I watch most is Fox for shows such as Prison Break, 24 and House. I notice everytime I watch these shows that there will be breakup every now and then meaning that there is artifacts showing up on the screen and its extremely annoying at times. I was wondering if anybody else has this problem with their cable service or with WOW cable.

Only off-air HD is true HD. Cable and sat providers are sending you MPEG2 or MPEG4, over-compressed and low-res. I assume you refer to the local Fox channel, not FX, right? If so, can you get it off-air?

The problem with your local HD channel could be in the uplink that the cable company receives, or in the compression that they apply after that, or both.

In any case, it’s not likely to improve. Local channels from the satellite providers are no better, quality often suffers.

Yeah, I am referring to the Fox channel. If you are talking about off-air, that requires an HD tuner right? I was thinking of getting one. I heard that with an HD tuner your local HD channels come in better.

Yes, HD off-air will look better and probly sound better too. Of course, it’s also subject to the quirks of broadcast reception, but it either works or doesn’t. If you get a decent signal strength it’s great.

The satellite boxes do have HD tuners in them, you just hang a UHF antenna off the dish and diplex it in on the sat cable. If you want lots of HD channels, Dish Network is the only real option. The Dish boxes do not have analog tuners in them though, just HD. Not sure about DirecTV.

I know I have an HD tuner in my TV, but I think I need an actual antenna too. My dad told me he tried it with just the tuner and it did not come in that great at all. Would you guys recommend getting a certian antenna of some sorts?

Depend on your situation and signal strengths. Rabbit ears work for some folks. You can also buy an outside antenna that’s designed for HD signals.