Audio quality: Cable vs. Satellite?

Is the audio of cable TV any less compressed than Satellite TV, or an old fashioned antenna, or is it all the same? My ears have tinnitus and that makes them particularly sensitive to digital harshness, which is coming through loud and clear from my satellite TV provider, DirectTV. Having a highly resolving audio system only makes the matter worse, as you hear that super crispness all the more. I am using an Aragon Soundstage and Arcam P7 amp, running only fronts and center. I have tried the audio outs from the satellite box to fronts only but it is no improvement. The harshness is there either way. I also tried a tube buffer, to no avail. Has anyone found a way to reduce this fatiguing harshness? Thanks
Cable is much more compressed in my experience, not nearly as good as DirectTV. I have Direct now and have had cable many times in the past. While some programs are much better in sound quality than others I don't find any of them harsh, something that I am very sensitive to. I have a Panasonic Plasma with audio out from the TV going to a Audio Synthesis passive pre then to Meridian 605s driving Spendor SP2/2s and a REL Stadium sub driven off the amp outputs. What speakers are you using? Supposedly over the air is the best if you are located where a good signal can be picked up but this will only get you local stations. I also have a Quad FM4 tuner running through the system and I don't detect much difference between its off air sound and that from Direct.
Dan .... The switching power supplies from your TV and cable box are creating a lot of RF and DC offset which is carried from one component to the next via the cabling

You may be able to limit or block some of this accumulated noise before entering the dac or HT processor by using a TOS link cable instead of a digital Coax cable from your cable box's audio out

SPS will generate RF during normal operation ... the Hi Freq noises can couple back to your equipment and be presented as a harsh or digital sound ... I believe your real complaint

SPS will also create DC offset by their normal mode of operation (they draw current in uneven pulses creating this problem )

The DC offset can reduce the component's transformer's efficacy which cause the clocks and dacs to lag/go out of time and increases jitter ... which = harsh digital sound

Also if you feed your TV from you HT processor ... your TV via the video cable can be adding noise back into the audio section of the HT processor via the power supplies ... try hooking up the video out of the cable box directly to the TV bypassing the HT processor

Picture painted with broad strokes as the quaility and stiffness (ability to reject noise) of the component's power supplies vary so much from component to component
As for speakers, I have used Aperion and JM Labs Cobalt's, both very clear and revealing. The TV is a Pioneer Elite plasma. You may be surprised at how disappointing the audio quality of the Elite is. I also have a smaller HP plasma and the built-in audio is fantastic. Saying that just made me realize that I don't have a complaint about the audio coming out of the HP plasma, which is supplied by a non-HD DVR, and no additional audio gear. We just use the TV's built-in speakers because it is in a small room and it sounds so good already. I am not using a power conditioner with it as it is wall mounted.

As for the Elite, I am already connecting the HD-DVR satellite box directly to the TV using a HDMI cable, bypassing the pre/pro. Using the built-in speakers supplied by the HDMI sound just okay, not what I would call good. The digital harshness is least apparent using the built-in speakers, compared to the TV audio coming out of my sound system. I have been running digital audio from the HD-DVR satellite box to the pre/pro using coax, so I will replace that with TOS link(I had wondered why TOS link was developed;thanks for explaining that)

I run the power cords of the satellite box and the TV to a separate power conditioner than my audio gear.(PS Power Duet, one going to each side so they are partitioned from each other, supposedly) One Duet conditioner for TV and satellite, partitioned, and another Duet for the audio gear, with partitioning between digital and analog gear.

Please let me know if you think of further suggestions. I really appreciate what you have already told me.

I think I will do some substitution and try to emulate the HP set-up to see if the Elite improves in sound. Thanks again.

I found the sound on my Directv to be cheap digital and all that implies.

The networks coming thru the same receiver (on an off air antenna) sound a bit better but both are way down in quality from my radio tuner (for instance)
Try the Prologic mode since you only use the fronts.
Changing the time delay (distance) between the center,and left
and rights may help a little also.
Try turning off the equalizer,on page 14 in the manual.[]
Sorry,I think the EQ it is on.Page 14 []
Stanwall, thanks for stating that your experience with cable TV audio quality wasn't better than satellite, as I would hate to go through the trouble of switching and end up regretting it.

Davehrab, thanks for explaining things I didn't know about how the noise can be transferred from the satellite box back to the pro/pro. Replacing the digital coax audio cable between satellite DVR and Pre/pro, with the optical TOS link, has made such an improvement, that if I had that in place before, I would not have started this thread.

I have been told that the signal is more compressed than MP3, and that the signal has irrepairable damage to it by doing so. This same friend(audio engineer) said they tried improving the audio by running it through tube gear that should have sweetened it up but that the digital noise still comes through. Has anyone found a way to improve the digital sound for listing to music programming through satellite or cable TV? Can it be highly amplified, cleaned of noise, and then attenuated back to usable levels?
Hifihvn, now that the TOS link is in place, EQ on or off sounds clear and very good, no peceptable difference to my ears on this unit. Thanks for the suggestion.