said by balur:I think that generally, MSO's aren't allowed to compress or further change the signal that they get from the OTA broadcast stations. Pretty much it's a straight pass thru as far as the programs themselves go. said by Skippy25:
Cable and Satellite providers are doing those broadcasters just as big of a favor, if not bigger, by making it available through them to more people in a better quality.
Better quality? The world of OTA Analog is over. Broadcasts OTA now are almost always HD, and will be crystal clear (you'll either get it or you won't). Generally it will be better then over cable because they won't be compressing it to save bandwidth.