HDTV help...newbie

Discussion in 'Displays' started by jake moosey, Aug 1, 2003.

  1. jake moosey

    jake moosey Stunt Coordinator

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    I am going to but a widescreen HDTV. I want to know what I have to get to recieve true HDTV. I heard you have to buy A huge antenna and put it on your roof, is this true? And If I get Dish network or dirctv high definition reciever can I hook an antenna to the reciever, so I would get local HDTV and satelite HDTV on the same box?
    please help Im completely lost!
     
  2. JohnSch

    JohnSch Extra

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    start with antennaweb.org and/or titantv.com - both will tell you what you can get over the air (OTA) with what kind of antenna. I got a 80" radio shack antenna $45, stuck it in my attic (backwards!) and got a few stations - moved it to the roof on a 10' pole and pointed it the right way and got all the San Fran HD/DTV stations from 30+ miles away.

    So, huge or "special HD antenna"? nope - depending on where you are, even an indoor "silver sensor" uhf antenna might do the trick.

    If you go OTA you will need some kind of HD tuner - cheap ones (
     
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    The answer to much of your question, as to many questions, is, ‘it depends’. First of all you will almost for sure need an external tuner for HD and other digital signals, (ATSC) as most displays will only have tuners capable for SD signals (NTSC).

    There are about three different ways to get signals to your set: Over The Air (OTA), cable and satellite.
    Cable service may or may not have HD channels available—it depends on the cable company. And even if they do, not all cable systems that deliver HD will deliver your local channels digital (HD and other) broadcasts. As you are no doubt aware local stations with digital capability are broadcasting on two different channels: one for their NTSC content and a different one for their ATSC telecasts. It is possible (and even likely) that your cable service will only carry the NTSC signal. But this is changing as more and more are carrying both. You just need to check.

    If your cable company carries digital channels they normally provide a cable box that decodes the HD signals and this is usually a part of the package, so you only rent the box, not buy it, but like regular cable. If the cable company does not carry local ATSC channels, you will need to get these stations with an antenna. You should be aware that most of the HD programming is in prime time on the major networks, so the ability to receive local stations HD channels is important. Many cable boxes will not also decode OTA signals, so you might need an additional receiver for them.

    If you don’t subscribe to satellite or cable and are getting your TV over the air, you can continue to do the same thing in the HD world. This will depend on how many of your local stations are telecasting ATSC in addition to NTSC. This varies all around the country, but most major metropolitan have a good many stations who have already added ATSC telecasts.

    For this it is probable that you will only need to add an HD receiver—about $450–$600) to get HD. The antenna you are currently using may well be good enough, presuming that you are already getting a strong signal. You may need to upgrade your antenna, but it depends on where you live. I use an indoor antenna with satisfactory results. Some of my neighbors have an antenna in their attic. I have friends who live in more suburban locations who have roof mounted antennas. So there is no easy answer to this.

    If you cable company does not carry HD and you want to get ESPN, Discovery, Showtime and HBO in HD, you will need to subscribe to a satellite service. DirecTV does not carry any local content in HD. Neither does Dish, but I do understand that they can make CBS HD available in some cases.

    For this you need a satellite dish and an HD satellite receiver. The HD satellite boxes will also decode OTA signals, but you have to supply the antenna.

    Hope that this helps.
     
  4. jake moosey

    jake moosey Stunt Coordinator

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