Chicago area alternatives to at&t cable?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bill Austin, May 13, 2001.

  1. Bill Austin

    Bill Austin Auditioning

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    This may sound like a dumb question but I am posting this with the hope that there is an alternative for me that I am not aware of...
    I live in the Chicago Suburbs, Palatine, IL 60067
    I have At&t digital cable and I am SO tired of calling them out to test/adjust signal (very poor picture quality). I have gone back and forth with analog box, no box & digital cable box, ran new cables even added a inline amp from at&t (not aftermarket) but in the last 12 months they have been out over 5 times, each time testing line strengths and monitoring picture, they say everything is fine yet somedays it's so bad the antenna on my roof brings in a better picture on local channels.
    I am big into watching my dvds and home theater stereo etc, and have been in the process of slowly upgrading my whole home theater equipment setup for maximum enjoyment, I even recently ordered a hdtv ready tv (toshiba 55hx70) its not here yet, but watching regular tv due to picture quality just plain old BITES with at&t and with getting all these great toys (5.1 reciever, dvd player, hdtv ready tv etc) I am excited about watching movies (for quality issues etc) but when it comes to tv viewing I feel like I am stuck in the old days and VERY limited with crappy quality grainy junkie unreliable at&t.
    I live in an apartment and was considering a direct tv dish so I dug into their website for info, but my balcony view southward is obstructed with a building so it's my understanding that this wouldn't work.
    I also asked about roof mounting of the dish but the property manager DEFINITLY won't allow anything to be attached to the roof period end of discussion they said.
    It may be a long shot but are there ANY other options or alternatives to at&t cable that I could get a decent picture from besides the old roof antenna?
    The main things I watch on tv are local channels, hbo, tlc and discovery.
    I know my tv won't be able to get hdtv signals till I get a decoder but in general just overall pic quality is what I am after here at the moment.
    Bill [​IMG]
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  2. Scott Galaba

    Scott Galaba Auditioning

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  3. Bill Austin

    Bill Austin Auditioning

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    You hit the nail on the head! After 6 pm my pic signal goes down BIGTIME, I even recorded with my tivo and my vcr the picture quality and showed the tech guy (who comes during the day of course) and said THIS IS WHAT I GET AT NIGHT (& thats when all the good stuff is on primetime!).
    The stupid tech replaced all my inside lines, retested (same signal so it did no good) went outside checked for leaks and adjusted some thing out there too for my building, then came in and said ok your set, now they have done that a few times now but it never fails at 8pmish on a weekend it looks like crap, I even told him to see if someone was tapping in (stealing) cuz it looked that bad like someone hacked the lines, he told me it could be my TV!! Blaming it on me and my tv which made no sense since at 10am the pic is fine - just made me say getouttahere.
    Last night 8pm HBO sopranos was SO nasty I just about stopped watching it, now at 9am I turn HBO on and its GOOD UGHHHH! & to read how people are enjoying it in HDTV knowing soon I will have a HDTV ready tv and will probably get a decoder (if I can find a service that broadcasts in hdtv even) makes me sick to see my at&t version of sopranos which looked like complete garbage.
    I get that Toshiba 55hx70 somewhere within the next 2 weeks here, I realize I would need a service that broadcasts in HDTV and a decoder to get the TRUE HDTV signal for those few channels & programs who do broadcast shows in HDTV - I don't even think at&t broadcasts anything in HDTV but I can't get a straight answer from them either.
    Mainly I am getting the new tv for dvd watching (which I watch alot of dvds thanks to sucky at&t) and I know I won't live here in this apartment forever, (maybe another 3-4 years) so hopefully in the future with a decoder and a decent service I will be able to enjoy any HDTV broadcasts with it.
    But with getting that new tv soon (much improved pic vs my old set here) I was hoping to find an alternative to at&t and tell them to SHOVE their super digital (should be called slow PIXITAL) cable.
    I took a look out of my balcony this morning, I do have somewhat of a southern exposure but theres a 2 story building and a kinda tall tree there, at what angle would the dish need to be pointed at (I wonder if the angle would be high enough to clear the tree).
    I am SO ready to go to direct tv or dish network or something like that but was curious if there were any alternatives beyond those two that I know of and of course crappy at&t.
    Also any input good or bad about direct vs dish network would be great to hear, I am so ready to just freakin tear that tree down if it's in the way LOL.
    Bill [​IMG]
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  4. GarryW

    GarryW Stunt Coordinator

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    If you want to go the Direct TV route, you need to have the dish aimed at 190° SSW at an elevation of 38°. Take a compass and a protractor and stand if you can near the location of where the dish will be and see if it will clear. Look around your neighborhood at see where others have their dishes sited and you should get a good idea.
    If landlords don't want a dish on their building, tell them it's the law, Clinton passed it awhile back. I was just at my mothers house on Sunday and the apartment building across from her balcony had 6 dishes on the roof! A couple were mounted on the building chimney but 4 were on the roof held down by sand bags. I'd say this is because hot roofs are a no-no to mount to as they will get leaks, which is why your landlord said "no-way".
    OTA HDTV broadcast can be recieved with the new rabbit ear style indoor antenns on NBC/ABC right now and starting on August 31st, CBS will be broadcasting HDTV in simulcast. If you can get a Direct TV signal, a elliptical dish with a dual LNB will get you signals from both birds, one at 110° and the other at 190°.
    Screw the cable guy's! There are other ways to get a good signal. I live in LaGrange, (lots of trees) and my dish shoots over the tops of some big trees, and works great.
     
  5. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    Unfortunately you cannot mount or place the dish anywhere except on the property you are personally renting. Even then, your landlord can prevent drilling and or any other kind of defacement. If you cannot get a signal from your balcony or some window you are SOL when it comes to sat.
    C. Ryan
     
  6. GarryW

    GarryW Stunt Coordinator

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    Maybe for renters, you could be right. I guess the building across the way was a condo, which have by-laws regarding placement of dishes.
     
  7. Scott Galaba

    Scott Galaba Auditioning

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  8. Bill Austin

    Bill Austin Auditioning

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    Talked to the manager today about this, they say no way to the roof (which is a shame cuz its 100% un-obstructed) as for my balcony they said it has to be on it's own pedestal type thing vs mounted to the actual building or balcony posts, I said to her "lets take a walk",
    Within 200 feet of her office I CLEARLY showed her 3 units mounted on balconies clearly mounted to the exterior posts, she said she would make sure they were removed immediately (sorry if your my neighbor) but I was hoping she'd allow mine since it appears to me around me people have done it.
    It all came down to I can't mount anything to the roof at all and on the balcony it has to be its own supporting unit (almost like a satellite stand type device).
    I need to go get me a compass and just get some basic bearings out here to see if it would work or not signal direction wise before I push the issue anymore or bring it up to my wife hehe.
    I just wanna watch tv and get a clean picture, you'd think in the year 2001 it would be possible with at&t but I can attest at least in Palatine, IL 60067 and after repeated visits you CANT get a clear picture from at&t, digital analog box no box amp no amp, its still crap (I've tried them all).
    Bill [​IMG]
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  9. GarryW

    GarryW Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott;
    Keep us posted. My new set won't happen until summer (having an addition put on the house) and I'm so looking forward to HD. I know it's been slow, but with everything I've been reading, it's seems like a lot of signs are pointing for a lot more programs in HDTV.
    Word of mouth seems to be the best advertiser!
     
  10. Bill Austin

    Bill Austin Auditioning

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    I keep reading this OTA HD reception stuff, does this mean if I got a decoder (hdtv decoder) for my hdtv ready tv and used a regular rooftop antenna (which my rooftop provides a decent pic btw) I can get HDTV signals (at least off the local channels when they broadcast hdtv programs).
    If thats the case I will maybe just do that and keep the at&t as a way to still watch hbo etc for now but my basic local channels cbs nbc abc wgn fox etc SUCK on at&t, my rooftop provides a cleaner pic for those HANDS DOWN!
    Idealy I would love to just get a dish setup that would allow me to view my cable channels, then add local channels, have it with the hdtv decoder ability built in ( dish networks 6000? i think) and just enjoy good pic & cable and occasional hdtv programming.
    Sorry I am such a newbie to all this, just learnin as I go,
    Bill
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  11. GarryW

    GarryW Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott:
    You wrote:
    I'm on the worst side of the building, facing the lake.....
    Don't people pay more for that view! [​IMG]
     
  12. Vance V

    Vance V Extra

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    Scott,
    How did you pick up WGEM? WGEM is located in Quincy, IL, not Chicago.
    Vance
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    Vance
    My HT Pics
     
  13. Scott Galaba

    Scott Galaba Auditioning

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  14. GarryW

    GarryW Stunt Coordinator

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  15. Scott Galaba

    Scott Galaba Auditioning

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