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Question about HD OTA and DirectTV (1 Viewer)


Dec 13, 2001
I thought if you had a set top HD D* box like the Hughes D86, you didn't need an OTA antenna. Looking at the owners manual, I realize this isn't right.

Here's my question: why would you run the cable from the antenna into the D* box? I would think you would go straight to the TV instead. The manual recommends using a splitter and sending one cable to the box and one to the TV or VCR. Is this to allow recording one thing and watching something else? Are there any other advantages to doing this way instead of going straight to the TV?


Supporting Actor
Dec 4, 2000
Unless your tv has an internal ATSC decoder, you won't get HD by running the antenna directly to the tv.

The splitter suggestion would allow you to record SD OTA (standard definition over-the-air) content to an analog vcr, while watching HD OTA via the E86. For example, with a splitter you could set a standalone VCR off to the side to record the OTA SD feed of xxx on channel 2 while watching yyy in HD via your E86. Take note, however, that you cannot watch high def and SD on your tv at the same time via the Picture-In-Picture feature.

Make sense?

Best regards,

Steve Schaffer

Senior HTF Member
Apr 15, 1999
Real Name
Steve Schaffer
Take note, however, that you cannot watch high def and SD on your tv at the same time via the Picture-In-Picture feature.

Some set's pip will let you watch an HD feed from your stb and an SD pic from the set's tuner or some other source at the same time. My Sony KP57HW40 can display an incoming 1080i feed from my stb side by side with a 480i source from it's own tuner or any other 480i input.

I don't think the pic from the 1080i feed is actually scanned at that rate by the tv, but the pic is there in 16/9 next to a 4/3 SD pic and looks very nice indeed.

I don't know what other brands of set have this capability, but Sonys with the multi-image driver can do it.

I had an Hitachi HD-ready widescreen set for a few weeks that could not present any progressive scan dvd or HD picture as one of the pip pictures.

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