Iowa HDTV-ers (and anyone else who can help me out on a few things)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeremy M, Apr 5, 2001.

  1. Jeremy M

    Jeremy M Agent

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    Hi,
    This is more of a "feeling-out"/question post that I need some info to help sway me towards whether I want to start looking at HDTV sets or waiting until there get to be more and more HDTV broadcasts. But I am semi-seriously considering going "next generation" and investing in a very good 16:9 widescreen HDTV TV. (Yes, I know what I am looking for doesn't start below $4000, but to get the best, you gotta be willing to dish out the cash (usually), right?)
    I guess what I want to know more than anything is, are OTA channels broadcasting in HDTV yet in Iowa, specifically eastern Iowa (Muscatine, 30 minutes south of the Quad Cities)? And if so, which ones? If not, can I still somehow find a way to receive them, other than by my DirecTV dish? I checked out that one guy's website that supposedly uses the troposphere(?) to get HDTV signals from almost 600 miles away?! I can't even pretend to begin to understand what he used or how he is doing it. But just seeing that and reading some posts on here, I have gathered (I think) that you can receive HDTV signals/broadcasts from other cities/other cable systems, most times using different antenna's of sorts from Radio Shack and other places, right?? And if that is possible, using antenna's to "snag" HDTV broadcasts, could I pull in Chicago or St. Louis or even Minneapolis/Twin Cities (or Milwaukee/Wisconsin) HDTV broadcasts with a powerful enough antenna? I wish this stuff made more sense to me.
    I hope none of this confused you all too much. But the more I think about it, the more I really want to get an HDTV set, but then again, I don't want to go out and spend between $4000 and $5000, and then find out I have no way to truly utilize it. I am sure the local OTA channels will be going to HDTV over the next few years, but why go and get it now if I have to wait until then, if can only get local OTA channels to work with the TV?
    Or maybe you all can give me some advice (especially if I won't be able to get HDTV broadcasts from where I'm at)... should I just wait until local OTA's broadcast in HDTV, or take the plunge anyway to enjoy DVDs and analog-TV at its best, so I will have it when HDTV becomes available to me/my area??
    Great thanks in advance for any helpful info and/or advice.
    Jeremy
     
  2. Mike I

    Mike I Supporting Actor

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    You can go to www.titantv.com punch in your address and it will give you the status of local digital ota channels in your are..What is currently on the air or when they will be on the air...If you go with satellite such as dish network, they have 3 HD channels..HBOHD, SHowtimeHD and a full time ppvhd movie channel....
    Also an HD ready set coupled with a progressive scan DVD player, is worth it just for this combination...
    ------------------
     
  3. RonR

    RonR Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeremy,
    I'm originally from Dubuque and think your best bet would be to call/write the local stations in your area and see when they plan on going online with HDTV. I would imagine Davenport wouldn't be too far off. It was worth it for me to upgrade to the set for the DVD aspect alone. Let me know if I can help you out on anything.
     
  4. Richard Driskill

    Richard Driskill Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeremy,
    ......I checked out that one guy's website that supposedly uses the troposphere(?) to get HDTV signals from almost 600 miles away?!......
    Your talking about "bounce" "skip", "DX'ing" or "DX skip", which is not a stable long term conditon. He was blowing smoke if he was saying that he watches this at will like it's a local channel.
    On the other hand.... If you were really up high on the top of a mountain (say 2,000' AGL), and had a really large directional antenna, and a really good amplifier, and the terrain never rose to block your line of sight (radio horizon) between the transmitting antenna (let's say it is at 1,000' AGL) and your antenna, then you might be able to get transmissions from as far as 100 miles away. But, don't count on it.
    The thing to remember is that these digital signals tend to be (but not always, depending on the channel market) more UHF than VHF. That makes acquisition a little harder in the sense of receiving adequate signal strength. Unlike analog signal which can fade in and out and still get a picture of sorts, digital requires a certain signal strength threshold to trip the processor into displaying the picture.
    If you do buy a ATSC set now, expect to purchase an external antenna and mast to get what you are expecting from OTA broadcasts. Ultimately, if your situation is better than most, then you'll be very lucky and wont have to erect an antenna.
     
  5. DaveBB

    DaveBB Supporting Actor

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  6. Richard Driskill

    Richard Driskill Stunt Coordinator

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    You missed the point Dave. I was giving Jeremy an idea of how things work, not that I thought HE was on top of a mountain.
    Perhaps I should have said: "As an example" instead of "On the other hand".
    And actually, in my hast to over simplify things, I noticed other errors... time to get a cup of coffee [​IMG]
     
  7. Jeremy M

    Jeremy M Agent

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    I'm beginning to think this is more a pipe-dream than anything. That is if I went and purchased an HDTV set in the next month for actual HDTV broadcasts. I could go and get a new DirecTV receiver that would allow me to watch the HBO-HD and Showtime-HD broadcasts, but I guess that would be better than nothing.
    I checked TitanTV for the local OTA air dates and WQAD (ABC) will start digital broadcasts as of 12/01/01. The other major network affiliates (CBS, NBC, and FOX) won't start until May 1 of 2002. Now, I know those timelines are more than likely a soft-deadline for digital broadcasts, could actually be sooner or later than those dates, but its nice to know that they are coming. I don't have a right too, but my only beef with all that is why the ABC affiliate first? Why not CBS (that's the one network I want most for HDTV - NFL Playoffs/SuperBowl and NCAA Basketball Final Four to name the more favorite TV viewing of mine. Don't they carry the Masters and other major golfing events, too)? I have read that the only real HDTV content available that ABC airs is some of the movies they run (as of yet). That true?? Don't get me wrong, HDTV is HDTV, but I guess I would rather (more times than not) watch a sporting event than a movie, that is if the movie isn't an action-packed type event. (I'm thinking of the Sunday-night sob-story movies that these networks run). But I don't watch alot of network TV (ABC-CBS-NBC-FOX, unless its sports) anymore, so I could be wrong?
    And will I still need to run an antenna up on a mast to get the HDTV signal/broadcast from Davenport/Quad Cities? I am guessing their tower(s) will probably be about anywhere between 30 to 35-50 miles away from my house, if not a little further. Or will I just a need a strong antenna attached to the roof or in the attic?
    Thanks again guys for your help/advice.
     
  8. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Jeremy,
    To get Showtime HD, you need Dishnetwork not DirecTV.
     

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