All I care about is OTA service

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MarkDD, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. MarkDD

    MarkDD Agent

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    Hi. Say I pick up a Hitachi 51uwx20b, bring it home, get an indoor antenna and turn it on. What can I get?

    I know to receive HD programing, I will need a box (I may pick up the samsung 165).

    I may wait on the box since they will be getting better in the future (price and functionality).

    I live within 20 miles from all broadcasts so I was just wondering what digital or regular analog channels I can get. Then maybe in the fall pick up a box with the dvi and firewire in it. Note, at this point I do not care what reception I get.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Without knowing where you live or what stations broadcast in your area there's not much we can tell you.
     
  3. MarkDD

    MarkDD Agent

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    Sorry, Twin Cities.
     
  4. SeanA

    SeanA Second Unit

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    I think only those in the Twin Cities area can answer your question.

    However... I thought I might add some of my thoughts since I am in the same boat. I don't want to pay $45+ per month for some 100+ channels of digitial cable or satellite, because I am not a big TV watcher. If these services offered a reasonably priced small package of 20-30 channels I might be interested, but for whatever reason, they don't.

    Anyways... I am going try a special indoor UHF antenna that is suppose to be very good. It was originally made by Zenith I believe, but I have ordered one from Amazon under a manufacturer name of "Gemini" (model ZHDTV1). It has been referred to often under the name of something "silver" or "silver" something. If you do a search for "silver" you will probably find it.

    Also, I may order an amplified indoor UHF/VHF antenna made by Jensen (model TV940) and also available on Amazon. It comes with a remote and is actually programmable for each channel in terms of antenna position and signal boost.
     
  5. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

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    Antennas: The best indoor antennas for OTA HDTV seem to be the Radio Shack Double Bowtie (discontinued but pops up on eBay) and the Zenith Silver Sensor (~$40 at Best Buy, available elsewhere online and instore). Adding the Radio Shack 150-1171 amplifier is also a good idea if you can't pull in stations.

    Area: Go to AntennaWeb and search for digital stations based on your address and/or ZIP code. It will tell you what compass direction to point your antenna in, and provides a map if necessary. One thing to note about reception is that digital is an all-or-nothing deal. You either get the station with little or no problems, or you get frequent video (when the screen dissolves into random pixels) and audio dropouts.

    Search the wealth of information at the AVS Forum for more help on both HDTV hardware (including antennas and receivers) and local reception.
     
  6. MarkDD

    MarkDD Agent

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    I guess my main question was

    "what digital or regular analog channels I can get without having a set top box"?

    Can I get digital channels without a box? Could I get them on my old analog tv too?

    Very green here.

    Thanks for your input.
     
  7. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

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    The answer to your first question is no, unless you have one of the very few TVs that comes with a built-in HDTV tuner (it would say so in the specs).

    Digital channels are sent as different signals than the analog channels. For instance, the analog CBS channel here in DC (WUSA) is 9. The digital channel (WUSA-DT) is 34. HDTV receivers will read this digital channel as either 34 or 9-1 (or 9.1), which means that the box assigns it as a "subchannel" based on data the digital signal contains. An analog TV would read channel 34 as "snow".

    Basically, you have to buy a set-top box (STB) HDTV receiver, or if you feel adventurous enough, you can by an HDTV tuner card for your computer (if it's fast enough, i.e >1.4 Ghz).
     
  8. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Without the STB, you can only get analog channels.

     
  9. SeanA

    SeanA Second Unit

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    Man,

    Thanks for the tip on Dish Network !!! Right now I am in an apartment that is set up only for cable and DirectTV, but I will definitely look into Dish Network when I get my own place again.

    Oh... and I almost forgot to mention that the Gemini/Silver Sensor UHF antenna is only $25 on Amazon.com (much better than $40 at Best Buy), with free shipping on orders over $25.
     

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