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HDTV over antenna - questions


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29 replies to this topic

#1 of 30 OFFLINE   Dave>h

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Posted August 08 2007 - 06:56 AM

Hi, I recently purchased an HD antenna (cool looking thing) more for curiosity than anything else because I really don't know how it works. I have two HD capable TVs but I am unsure whether either has an HD tuner in it. How do I check that? I kind of think they don't but not sure. One TV is an Insignia LCD from Best Buy and the other is an older Samsung DLP (HLN61 something). My local cable company is providing limited HD programming over their cable network. Is it possible to pick these channels up out of the air? Assuming I have the antenna and a HD tuner? Can I buy a stand alone HD tuner and would this work with an antenna? If I can, are they expensive? Is an HD tuner like a radio tuner in that you use it to scan the air waves for stations or do you need to be subscribed to something to descramble the signal? Any HD experts out there, I would really appreciate the help. Thanks Dave

#2 of 30 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted August 08 2007 - 07:32 AM

You can google the model numbers of your TVs and see if the specs say whether or not it includes an OTA HD tuner, or is merely anHD-ready display.
Yes it's like radio or analog TV over the airwaves. No you don't need to subscribe to anything. They are free public broadcasts. Television stations are licensed to provide a free public service. People tend to forget that, unfortunately. I don't know what ever happened to civics class...

#3 of 30 OFFLINE   PhilipW

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Posted August 08 2007 - 08:36 AM

First thing I suggest is take back the antennae and buy a regular antennae. The whole "HDTV Antennae" is just marketing and markup to make the manufacturer's more money. Go to antennaweb.org and find out what type of range you need. I bought mine from Radio Shack for $30 bucks. As for the rest refer to above.

#4 of 30 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted August 08 2007 - 10:43 AM

An antenna's function is directly related to its design. Cool looking antennas sacrifice performance in the name of looks or stealth. Follow Philip's advice and go to antennaweb. Copy and paste your DIGITAL information only. That way we can help you pick out the proper antenna. -Robert

#5 of 30 OFFLINE   Allan Jayne

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Posted August 18 2007 - 05:08 AM

A so-called HDTV antenna is interchangeable with a UHF TV antenna. Most (almost all) HDTV broadcasts are on the same UHF frequency band and channel positions. The rest are on existing VHF channels (positions). Some antennas have better range in terms of miles from the station's transmitter. I want to say that the HDTV antenna's labeling should express the range in terms of HDTV reception quality, but differnet antenna manufacturers cannot agree on standards.

I am guessing that if the antenna gets analog broadcasts only fuzzily, it will not get digital broadcasts from the same distance without a lot of dropping out to a blue screen.

The antenna elements themselves are less than a foot across or in diameter, although there may be more than one element attached to a longer frame.

Video hints: http://members.aol.c...ynejr/video.htm
.

#6 of 30 OFFLINE   RickyCrawley

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Posted August 27 2007 - 11:46 PM

I thought I would comment on this because this just happened to me. I recently canceled Dish Network, mainly because I didn't like the way their picture looked on my new HD television. I ordered basic cable (without the digital box). I conducted a scan and it has over 70 digital and 70 analog stations listed including all six networks broadcasing in HD. Before I had a regular over the air antenna connected and was only able to pick up about half the HD stations. Other people I know are also able to pick up HD through standard cable if the television has a digital tuner. If you go through a digital cable box, you will not be able to pick up anything in HD unless you pay alot extra for the programming. This would be your best option for free HD programming

#7 of 30 OFFLINE   Jack Sampson

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Posted October 07 2007 - 12:27 PM

Thread Hijack Alert!!!! So if I want to use a tv to recieve over the air broadcasts what is the best antenna to get. I checked antennaWeb and they listed a bunch of different color codes that I do not understand. I just want to receive local channels for a tv in the bedroom without having to buy a bunch of expensive equipment. Is that not possible any more?

#8 of 30 OFFLINE   ThomasC

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Posted October 07 2007 - 12:54 PM

How far are the towers from your house? If your HDTV is "HD Ready," you'll need to buy a HD tuner which costs $150-200, I think. If your HDTV has a HD tuner, all you need is an antenna. If you're not sure whether your HDTV has a HD tuner or not, let us know the make and model of your HDTV.

#9 of 30 OFFLINE   MustangChris04

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Posted October 07 2007 - 02:07 PM

I have a samsung HL-R5067W i think it has a built in tuner because it has cable card, but im not sure??? I also have a terk hdtv antenna but have no idea how to get hdtv, all the channels are the hd resolution but fuzzy. radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2350525 am I doing something wrong? I am on the 3rd story of an apartment so im up high... this is what I got when I did the antennaweb.org img208.imageshack.us/img208/3912/picture4fe3.png do I have the right antenna, and why is it fussy no matter what way i rotate it?

#10 of 30 OFFLINE   ThomasC

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Posted October 07 2007 - 02:20 PM

Having a cable card is not the same as having a HD tuner. Your model does not have a HD tuner, it is only HD ready. I did a quick search for a HD tuner and came up with this:

http://www.amazon.co..../dp/B000JV6TQY

Here's a discussion of that particular tuner at AVS: http://www.avsforum....ad.php?t=728392

Let us know how it goes after you get a HD tuner.

#11 of 30 OFFLINE   MustangChris04

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Posted October 07 2007 - 02:55 PM

actually it does have an hdtv tuner i dont know why that website it doesnt. My roomate just plugged the tuner in the back of the antenna jack of the TV and now i get like 10 local HDTV channels and it looks AMAZING! also with dolby digital sound. But What i really want is the Discovery Channel, or Discovery HD Theatre. I really could care less about the locals because I already get that with my free basic cable. I Need the discovery channel!

#12 of 30 OFFLINE   ThomasC

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Posted October 07 2007 - 03:30 PM

Great! I saw "HD Ready" in the product page title on Amazon, and that should only be associated with TVs that don't have a HD tuner. However, in the details section, it does mention that it does have a HD tuner, so it's a bit confusing.

#13 of 30 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted October 08 2007 - 01:35 AM

Then you need to upgrade your programming with the local cable company. They will rent you a cable card that will decode their scrambled version of Discovery HD and probably a lot of other HD channels. You don't list your location so I have gone ahead with the assumption that you live in an area with a decent cable company. Some smaller companies do not carry HD and/or provide cable cards. -Robert

#14 of 30 OFFLINE   MustangChris04

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Posted October 08 2007 - 03:31 AM

I called them about the cable card. They said it would be $60.00 a month for the basic package and then an addition 7 for discovery HD... What a joke! And I cant just get a few HD channels, they make you get the basic for 60.

#15 of 30 OFFLINE   bradhart

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Posted October 08 2007 - 05:11 AM

I have a couple of questions about my antenna and setup Does anyone have any idea what color my antenna is for I have a philips mant310. I got it with my HD Radio Tuner (bought the pair on ebay) It works great for both the HD Radio and both regular TV and HDTV, I currently have it hooked up to my computer's HD Wonder. I get most of the yellow channels listed on antennaweb, but not all of them. Secondly is the coax out of an HD antenna standard coax? It looked that way to me but I have seen triple the price HDTV antenna coax that I wasn't about to buy as long as I am doing fine with what I got. The next thing I wanted to add for those without an HD tuner if you can get your hands on an or already have an old computer with a few additions can be great hd tv tuners, radio tuners, and DVR with a decent sound card and a video card that will output to at least svideo you have a great addition to your entertainment system. I already had p4 1.4 756mb ram and 300gb with monitor you can buy this on ebay for about $200 or piece it or something a little together better for about the same amount. If you are going to piece one together make sure you have at least agp 8x or pci-express video slot and 2 PCI slots. If you go with a terminal/workstation I am using you are limited in the video cards you can us. I had to go with agp and a low profile. I wanted 256mb on the card which only left me with one card option geforce 6200 agp, luckily I found one with the breakout pod which will put out component video. SVideo output is fine except it would mean porting it into the TV instead of receiver for me since I don't have svideo inputs on mine. This card runs about $30 to $50 on ebay brand new. There are a number of HD tuner options for you but I find a PCI card works the best in most cases and unless you have USB 2.0 don't think about a USB external tuner. I have ATI's HDTV Wonder. New on ebay it is between $40 and $60, other cards go for more. Most $20 to $30 sound cards have 5.1 analog out. I also have a wireless keyboard and mouse because I am back aways from things.

#16 of 30 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted October 08 2007 - 06:05 AM

You would be surprised at the number of people here that can't add a card to a PC much less set one up to watch HDTV on it. Even if they could, not everyone likes that kind of hassle. Finally, they are pretty loud in a quiet room so unless you take drastic steps they will be heard over the low parts of the movies. That's why they also make stand alone HDTV tuners that are pretty much just plug and play. -Robert

#17 of 30 OFFLINE   ThomasC

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Posted October 08 2007 - 07:41 AM

Yeah, it can be a hassle. I was able to get my Pentium 3 computer down to one fan, and it was in the power supply, so it's pretty much dead silent. You have to boot up and everything, so unless you enjoy this kind of stuff, I wouldn't recommend it. Every once in a while I like playing around with my setup, but it can get tiring if I have to keep messing around with it to have it work to my satisfaction.

#18 of 30 OFFLINE   bradhart

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Posted October 09 2007 - 12:41 AM

However since most people don't have their theater system in a closed or sound proofed room and have to make do with what ever space they have available the noise of a computer really doesn't make that much difference in the long run. With the AC or the furnace (in a month or so), the low hum of my refrigerator and water softener, and the occasionally noisy cycling of my hot water heater, the fan in a computer sitting twenty feet away from me while a movie or music is going is completely imperceptible. of course if you stick it in a cabinet or closet it is even quieter.

#19 of 30 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted October 09 2007 - 01:06 AM

I'm confused - you can buy a dedicated HD tuner for less than $200. Why bother going the PC route?

#20 of 30 OFFLINE   ThomasC

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Posted October 09 2007 - 03:45 AM

The PC has a hard drive and expandibility so you can record lots of HD shows. HD DVRs aren't cheap.




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