My question is do cable operators have the option to lower the bitrate of digital channels, thus lowering the video quality. Hypothetical example: HBO's source feed might be 720p at 8Mbits per second, but the cable operator decides to lower it to 720p at 5Mbits per second in order accommodate all the channels and add more. At 5Mbit it would still look good, but if were compared to the original feed, people could see the difference. Years ago I had a TVRO system, and the signal was so clean it was as good as anything on DVD or better. I know it was only 480i, but it was perfectly clean signal coming from the source. I remember watching Star Trek: The next generation off satellite, and it made cable TV look like VHS tape because quality was downgraded by the time it reached my house over cable.