Originally Posted by Ryan
A lot of it depends on whether or not you'll notice the loss of quality due to compression. I haven't seen DirecTV's HD package on many rear projector setups, only projectors, so I can't really help you there, but there are noticeable compression artifacts. At that size, they will be more noticeable, but possibly only if you have a discerning eye. You might want to find a friend or coworker with DirecTV HD and ask if you can check it out at their house before you sign up.
OTOH, the customer service and pricing of your local cable company might be worse than the picture quality of DirecTV. I currently live in Comcast territory, and for SD, it wasn't worth $55 a month and terrible customer support for me.
I have DTVHD-Tivo and while I do occasionally see artifacts, they are far less distracting and ugly than even an unzoomed 42" NTSC input. I might suggest going for lower quality but good enough for today equipment. HD is going through so much upheaval and uncertianty I would keep it as inexpensive as possinble for awhile with "just good enough" to be happy for the price. Then when the market finally gets it s**t together buy very nice equipment that won't be obsoleted in 2 years or cost both arms and one leg.