Foodie posted at 01:23:50 PM on Jan 18, 2013:
It likely does. While there may be no compression employed by Buckeye, you are most certainly getting some degree of degradation that is inherent in cable.
:: rolls eyes ::
1) Digital TV, be it 8-VSB broadcast HDTV from the TV stations, or QAM64 or QAM256 digital cable, is at least in a MPEG format stream. 8VSB is MPEG-2. QAM is MPEG-2 though some is also MPEG-4.
2) The only real conversion needed at the headend, as far as I know, is to change the 8-VSB modulation received from the broadcaster into QAM format. The data stream itself, being MPEG-2, can be passed through unchanged. I could be massively wrong, though. But in theory they don't need to touch the MPEG-2 data stream, they only change what it's wrapped in.
3) The "some degree of degradation" line would be BS, unless you happen to have signal issues on your span of cable. The only way you'd be able to tell is if you started having the digital picture fritzing out.
4) The net bit rate of 8VSB is 19.39 Mbit/s, the net bit rate of a QAM256 channel 38.8Mbps, so ASSUMING that the 8VSB signal is 100% HD with no sub-channels, the cable company can fit 2 HD channels into 1 QAM256 channel. QAM64 has less bandwidth.
5) What it would take to prove "no compression employed by Buckeye" is to fire up a cable box's hidden diagnostic menu or some such and tune to the channel, see what QAM channel it is on, what other channels are on that QAM channel, and if it's QAM64 and has 2 HD channels, or QAM256 and has 3 channels, there's compression being applied by Buckeye.
6) While the MAXIMUM rate is 19.9Mbit, the effective rate is often lower, because MPEG is compressed already anyway.
(Waits for paulhem or someone even more technical to step in)