Picture Quality Comparison

Looking for some guidance on picture quality. How does the picture quality of the following compare to one another?

  • Feed from traditional cable box
  • Feed from a TV network app
  • Feed from Channels app running TVE
  • Feed from Channels app running HDHR
  • Feed from Channels app running HDHR Prime

Assume all apps are being launched on a 4K AppleTV unit. Thanks for the input and feedback!

  • Cable box and Prime are equivalent.
  • OTA/Antenna and HDHR are equivalent
  • TV network apps and TVE feeds are equivalent.

Literally, the equivalent feeds all come from the same sources, so there is no technical difference. OTA feeds are best, followed by cable feeds, then TVE/online feeds.

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Is it really the case that OTA picture quality is better than that from a cable box? I would have thought the opposite.

OTA much better my Cable channels are all OTA H264 720P compressed.

OTA is almost always going to be better than Cable.

Cable may be better than TVE is most cases, but that will depend on your Cable provider, in some cases I believe TVE is just as good if not better.

Correct me if I'm wrong but most TVE are ~6mbps h264 compared to to ~10mbps mpeg2 for cable.

XFINITY has H264 720P Cable Channels.

what is the average bitrate you see on those?

Streaming Rate 4.369 Mbps

I know this was about picture quality, but audio quality is important for some, too. All TVE streams seem to be stereo only, whereas OTA and most cable streams are 5.1 AC3/Dolby/A-52.

Also, depending upon the feed, TVE streams have A/V sync issues.

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Good point, but that will only apply to people that have 5.1 systems... the average consumer usually relies on the (awful) built in speakers or a 2.1 soundbar.

The av sync issues I wasn't aware of.

In my case the TVE through the Channels app is by far the worse. OTA, Steaming and cable are far better. I was hoping it was something to do with my settings, but with all the troubleshooting still very poor. Hallmark channel looks like it is SD and slow frame rate. Does not look Iike that on AT&T Now or cable. Other channels the same way. Really wish Channels App TVE would work and offer similar quality (as I like the interface and commercial skip), but it does not - not even close.

The hallmark feed is not very good quality. But it looks the same on their app and on their website.

What other channels are you having issues on?