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Bud of mine got a new 82 inch Samsung, 4K UHD. Signal is Rogers cable and…, the TV is huge, but the clarity is just not there compared to my OTA fed Q6 55 inch Samsung. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think the bigger you go, the more likely you’ll see clarity issues, especially if you didn’t get an OTA feed. Makes me appreciate my set up and the FREE OTA signals. No other way to watch football.
 

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I myself have a 75 inch Sammy and OTA looks really good on it. I did find however that Shaw's regular HD feed didn't look very good and OTA was better quality. Since your buddy seems to be able to afford a good TV, he may wish to add the Nvidia Shield as a nice add on to complement 4K content.
 

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82" is over twice the area of a 55" TV. There should not be significant difference between OTA and Rogers, although there can be minor ones. You can't compare apples and oranges in terms of TV size, optimization (or lack thereof), manufacturer, model and technology.

Streaming can actually be superior to OTA since you can get 4K vs only 720P or 1080i OTA.
 

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I find that streaming quality where the original material is in 4K and the service is 4K and the streaming device is 4K is far superior to anything from OTA, Rogers, Shaw, Bell. Even the HD material on 4K capable streaming services looks better than the same material supplied by Canadian broadcasters. There was a time when OTA on Rogers, Shaw and Bell was better than it is now but they all got greedy and decided to aggressively compress the signals to fit in more HD channels and other services, and save money on infrastructure. Another issue is in how distant signals are delivered. That can be over a heavily compressed satellite feed. Signals with fibre feeds are often not as good as OTA since they are often downgraded before being sent to the head end. Distant US signals seem to be the worst.

I've watched some network shows on Paramount+, Slack TV and Rogers. The picture and audio quality for the same show diminishes significantly in that order. The more the service costs and the more advertising during the show, the worse is the picture, audio and viewing experience. Apart from a few sporting events, I doubt we are getting UHD with HDR and uncompressed video from Rogers, Shaw, Bell or most Canadian streaming services anytime soon. They are available from Netflix, Disney+ and Apple TV+ now using a simple streaming device that costs under $100.
 

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I have noticed a big change in OTA since WIVB and WNLO started sharing their RF.

I always watch NFL on CFTO not WIVB. On my largest 4K TV there is a huge difference in PQ.
Also, on shows like The Price is Right the CBS feed on CITY is much better than WIVB.

And for some reason the 5.1 sound on CFTO and CITY is better than WIVB.

Another recent observation was when the Leafs were on CBLT and CITY.
I liked CITY's 1080i over CBLT's 720p. But that might have been too many pops.
 

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Unfortunately where I live it is not possible to watch my favourite sports events via an Antenna. I have used online streaming platforms to watch sports and they are pretty good, yes the quality can vary at times depending on the platform, but overall I have just accepted it. I am not a nitpicker and as long as I can read the score board and see some details in the game, I am happy.
 

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@dsspredator,
That's because Canadian stations are not allowed to put more than one primary signal on one frequency and typically don't add subchannels so the full bandwidth is available for HD. Putting more than one HD station on one frequency reduces the available bandwidth to half, reducing signal quality significantly. Add some SD subchannels and the picture quality turns to mush. Adding several SD stations to a single HD channel also has significant impact on picture quality. Most Canadian TV services reduce the bandwidth per station to about half that of an OTA signal, sometimes less for satellite services. When overly aggressive lossy compression is used it tends to reduce picture detail and introduce artifacts. That's why the picture quality is noticeably inferior to many OTA signals. Aggressive compression can also reduce audio bandwidth and quality.
 

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I've compared Global TV between Shaw Direct and OTA. The OTA signal was significantly better. The Shaw Direct signal appeared degraded even without direct comparison which led me to compare them.
 

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I have noticed a big change in OTA since WIVB and WNLO started sharing their RF.

I always watch NFL on CFTO not WIVB. On my largest 4K TV there is a huge difference in PQ.
Also, on shows like The Price is Right the CBS feed on CITY is much better than WIVB.

And for some reason the 5.1 sound on CFTO and CITY is better than WIVB.

Another recent observation was when the Leafs were on CBLT and CITY.
I liked CITY's 1080i over CBLT's 720p. But that might have been too many pops.
You’re comparing major market broadcasters (flagship Toronto Stations) to secondary market (Buffalo stations), and budgets at those stations are quite different. It’s like comparing WABC in NYC to WKBW in Buffalo- the flagship will have the budget for personnel and equipment that are top notch.


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It could also have something to do with both stations being owned by the same company. I would guess they also share other resources such as studios. Canadian broadcasters wanted to put multiple HD stations on one transmitter but the CRTC ruled against it. The FCC doesn't seem to care and is counting on ATSC 3.0 to remedy broadcast quality issues.
 

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Ownership consolidation definitely plays a part - when ctv/bell took over CityTV, it was obvious to me the engineering dept had some new rules to play by at 299 Queen West.


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