HD over AIR

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by JTOUPS, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. JTOUPS

    JTOUPS Auditioning

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    I may have a dumb question, but I'm new to HD. I just recently purchased an LCD with HD & built in tuner. There is two cable connections on the back of the TV: Regular cable & HD over air. What exactly do you plug into the HD over air connection? And what do you get from that?

    Right now I just have my standard digital cable plugged into the cable connection on the TV.

    Thanks for your help [​IMG]
     
  2. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Let me jump in here with a little bit of information.

    HD is broadcast over the air in many major cities (just like in the old days - and current days for some - of pre-cable/sat/etc.). If you are fortunate enough to be in an area with a strong HD airborne signal you can add an antenna and receive these broadcasts in HD in addition to those available from your cable/sat provider. In certain cases, you can even receive some HD stations that your cable/sat provider doesn't carry, or you can get a better signal over the air (OTA).

    I personally haven't done any of this for two reasons. For one, I live in a "fringe" OTA reception area and for another, I don't wish to place a big antenna on my roof. It came down over a quarter century ago and I have no desire to go through all that again. Hopefully some others with OTA HD experience will chime in here with suggestions regarding antenna types, etc. I do know that if you live in a strong signal area that it is possible to avoid the outside roof mounted antenna by using a crawl space, etc. since several people have mentioned this.
     
  3. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I have OTA HD and HD over cable. All you need (since you have the tuner) is an antenna. I didn't have a built in HD tuner on my sets so I bought (a couple of years ago) a Samsung and a Sylvania OTA HD tuner (for 2 TVs). Recently my cable company became TWC and I also added the HD DVR package to get HD channels you can't get OTA.

    I will say that I believe the PQ for OTA is superior to cable. Cable HD is compressed to some degree, and while mine looks good, I've been to other people's houses where they have a different cable company, and the PQ is substantially worse (pixellation, stuttering, compression artifacts, etc.). Meanwhile, if you've got a good, strong OTA signal (I'm in Los Angeles) I find my HD PQ to be fantastic OTA, and about 95% of that quality via the HD-DVR/Cable.

    With regards to the antenna, it's not always the case of the most expensive antenna is the best, or the one labeled "HDTV" is the best. I ended up auditioning (thanks to Best Buy and Circuit City's 30 day return policies) about 5 different antennas before I found one that stood out. It was one of the cheaper ones and not marked as "HDTV" on the box. Your mileage can, and most likely WILL, vary. So warm up the credit card, buy like 3-4 different looking ones, and keep the best performing one. My OTA HD boxes had signal meters (and you'll have to do some dialing in and positioning with each antenna) to help you decide which is the winner.
     
  4. hakstone

    hakstone Auditioning

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    I've been watching TV OTA for 5 years. I refuse to pay for cable with the shows available. I've been watching HDTV for the last 2. I bought my antenna at radioshack for $50. It's big, but that usually equates to better reception. Don't forget to check out www antennaweb org to find out the locations of your stations.
     
  5. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Once you plug an antenna into that plug (an indoor will probably work just fine unless you live in a fringe area), the HDTV tuner in your set should do a scan of the available channels. Don't forget that on some TVs, the tuner will pick up analog as well as digital signals, so it you go to, say, channel 18, it will look snowy and bad because that's the analog signal, but hit the channel down key on your remote, and it'll go to channel 18-1 which is the digital channel and will come in crystal clear. Just a tip that you don't always see in manuals.
     

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