Is HD really HD on cable?

I got made at the cable people some time ago and get all my HD thru the air for free. It was interesting to read in this Wired article that cable companies are compressing the HD signals and thus not giving the viewer the best experience they can get.

Yet when he tuned in Sci Fi HD for a recent episode filmed in high definition, the image was soft and the darkest parts broke up into large blocks with no definition. Explosions, he said, were just dull.

“It kind of looked like they took the standard definition and just blew it up,” said Swanson, a 33-year-old graphic designer and videographer who subscribes to Comcast Corp.’s TV service. “I couldn’t really tell if what I was seeing was really better than what I saw on regular television.”

As cable TV companies pack ever more HD channels into limited bandwidth, some owners of pricey plasma, projector and LCD TVs are complaining that they’re not getting the high-def quality they paid for. They blame the increased signal compression being used to squeeze three digital HD signals into the bandwidth of one analog station.

HD enthusiasts crying foul over cable TV’s crunched signals