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HD Signal Compression Gives Antennas the Edge over Cable and Satellite


ST. LOUIS, MO — More and more Americans are tuning in and turning on to HDTV. And those with cable and satellite service aren’t always happy with what they see. As HDTV has hit the mainstream, viewers are becoming aware of a problem known as signal compression and finding a solution in HDTV antennas.

All signals transmitted via cable or satellite are compressed. HD signals in their purest form are much too large to fit the bandwidth available via cable or satellite. A recent article in Multichannel News suggests that a single pure HD stream at the highest resolution specification in wide commercial use consumes about 36 times the bandwidth available via one channel in a modern cable network.

So cable and satellite providers compress the signal remarkably to conserve space and add programming. And according to Terrestrial Digital President Richard Schneider, the problem is only getting worse.

“As cable and satellite providers begin adding more channels, each signal will have to be compressed a little more to accommodate,” Schneider said. “The result will be increasingly less impressive HD pictures and an upset customer base.”

Terrestrial Digital is a St. Louis-based manufacturer of HDTV antennas. According to Schneider, antennas are seeing a rebirth in the dawn of digital TV signals because consumers are finding they provide a superior picture to that of cable or satellite. The reason is that antennas access the HD stream directly from the transmitter and are able to process it purely.

Signal compression and antenna options have been huge topics of conversation in online HD hotspots like The topic is also beginning to gain mainstream media attention from news outlets across the country.

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“Television antennas have actually come full circle to again be a relevant component of home entertainment,” Schneider said. “Consumers are investing in HDTV primarily for the promise of improved picture, and they’ve come to realize that the best picture available comes from an antenna.

Terrestrial Digital is a St. Louis based manufacturer and distributor of off air HDTV antennas. The company was founded in 2003 by Richard Schneider. Terrestrial Digital’s PF7 was recently featured on NBC’s Today Show in a segment featuring high-tech gift ideas for guys. For additional information on Terrestrial Digital, visit

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