Cable - Sound quality ?



Using NTL digital i'm not overly impressed with the sound quality i'm getting.

Using a standard RF aerial I get clear nicam stereo to the TV which through my Marantz Receiver sounds great in Pro Logic 11

However if I watch the same channel through my NTL cable box the sound is nowhere near as good.

What level of sound quality is claimed to be distrubuted by the cable suppliers ?....It doesn't appear to be Nicam Stereo as no indicator appears on my TV to show a Nicam Stereo signal is been recieved.

Are others in the same position and if so is there a workaround ?



Active Member
NICAM is only broadcast via analogue TV, be it Cable or Terrestrial and is not compressed.

SKY,DTTV and Digital Cable use MPEG 2 compression for picture,with compressed embedded sound which is a little lower in sound quality to NICAM,because it is compressed.

My Pace NTL Digital box is very close to my NICAM TV sound wise,excellent.


Standard Member
Originally posted by Wayne Moule
NICAM is only broadcast via analogue TV, be it Cable or Terrestrial and is not compressed.

NICAM is compressed audio. 640Kb/s is used for the stereo channels which as around three times more bandwidth than delivered via digital TV broadcasts. Some DTV channels use mono or dual channel stereo encoding which ruins the prologic encoding but saves some bit rate bandwidth.

NICAM may not be as good a compression system as MPEG or Dolby Digital, but in its real world implementation it sounds an awful lot better than the sound via DTV!


Of course you're right, but if you take the sound from the STB and not from RF signal, you'd find the difference is harder to hear. With NTL, I can't find any dual mono channels, though this varies from area to area with cable.


Active Member
I sit corrected.

I couldn't remember whether NICAM was compressed or not,but it is great quality.

When it comes to films,DVD and Dolby Digital 5.1 is the best sound you can get in the home at the moment.

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