Still need to pay for local channels with OTA antenna?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David_Schiller, Jan 10, 2002.

  1. David_Schiller

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    I'm going to order DirecTV soon and I'm also looking into putting up a rooftop antenna to get local channels in HD (when available) in my "HT room." I'll also have the satellite hooked up to two other standard TVs. We will need to record SD local channels. Won't we need to pay the $6 for DirecTV's local channels to do this? Since the VCR only has one antenna input, don't I either connect the output from the Sat box or the OTA cable to it (but not both)? Even if the OTA cable goes into the Sat box and then the Sat box out goes into the VCR, how do you program the VCR to differentiate between the Sat signal versus the OTA signal? Maybe this will become clearer when my system gets put in. I'm wondering if I should hookup the OTA antenna only to my one HD/Sat box and pay the $6/month for locals to record SD.

    I also wonder if splitting my OTA signal for three TVs is a bad idea.

    -David

    Irvine, CA
     
  2. Scott Gilbert

    Scott Gilbert Stunt Coordinator

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    Let me see if I can answer this for you. I have the mitzibishi HDTV reciever. It has two inputs in the back of the reciever One for Sat and one for reg antenna OTA. Our locals are 4,5,7&9. I pay for local sat reception so on this box I have 3 channel 4,5,7&9. SO when I pull up the Sat menu I see One OTA, One Sat and One HDTV channel. so lets take channel 4. On my menu its 4, 4, 4-1. the 4-1 is the HDTV feed the others are one is sat the other is OTA.

    Out of the back of my sat reciever I have the composit video feed and audio going to my vcr. The digital and S video going to my reciever and the component going direct to the tv. I also have a spliter for my antenna for one to the Sat box and one direct into the VCR. With the remote that came with the sat box I just bring up the program menu push a button and as long as the VCR is on it will record the program Im looking for. We just discovered this vcr mouse and I have to say it is a wonderful thing.

    We pay for the local feeds becasue even with an antenna the Sat picture is better.
     
  3. Scott Gilbert

    Scott Gilbert Stunt Coordinator

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    I re-read your post Im assuming that you have composit inputs in your vcr. If not you have an antenna out on your sat reciever. I have mine going to 3 other tvs so you could split it to go to your vcr if you do not have composit ins.
     
  4. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    If you do a lot of recording, have you looked into the DirecTivo? There are a lot of great deals on them. The only drawback is that you can only record satellite channels so you will have to pay for locals.

    -Robert
     
  5. Dmitry

    Dmitry Supporting Actor

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    I have a DirecTiVo, I pay for locals and I have nothing to regret. As a matter of fact, I like it better due to the fact that it has dual tuners and can record two programs at once -- not to mention you can easily expand the recording capacity.
     
  6. Scott Gilbert

    Scott Gilbert Stunt Coordinator

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    I may be mistaken but I do not know of any Tivo or such devise that is out for HDTV?
     
  7. David_Schiller

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    Thanks for the details on the setup, Scott. It sounds like I'll want to route my OTA antenna only to my downstairs (HT) HD/Sat receiver (I've given a huge hint to my wife that I'd like the Zenith DTV1080 for my 40th b-day in a couple of weeks). I should just assume that I'll want to pay the $6/month for the local channels instead of splitting my OTA signal to 3 TVs both upstairs and downstairs. The DirecTiVo option is very tempting, but then you have to watch from the TV that is hooked up to that receiver, right? Sometimes we watch a taped show on our Mits 55908 (downstairs) and sometimes we'll watch upstairs. If I pay for the local channels, I probably shouldn't spend $99 for Radio Shack's biggest VHF/UHF/FM antenna, right? If the towers are about 60 miles away, what make/model would you suggest? I'm paying someone to do the install, so I don't want to get something and then realize I'll need something better or with more capability (I'm also looking for something that will give me FM reception for my receiver).
     
  8. Dmitry

    Dmitry Supporting Actor

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    David,
    I recommend checking out Antenna Web -- they'll give you an idea of what size/type antenna you need, as well as whether you need a rotator or not. Look for channel numbers and directions on the map. If the person installing it for you is doing a lot of these installs in your area, he'll have a good idea as well.
    Channel Master (from what I've heard) is generally regarded as one of the better brands, as well as WineGard. I would call specialty stores in your area and find out what they deem the best/most popular.
    You're right in that stuff that you record on DirecTiVo you can't easily watch on another TV, although it allows you to archive to VCR (but that sort of defeats the purpose).
    Scott, you're right -- there isn't an HDTV-capable TiVo or a similar device that would be available to consumers, they only have HD-VCRs. But I was under the impression David wanted to tape SD locals, not HD.
     
  9. Scott Gilbert

    Scott Gilbert Stunt Coordinator

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    I had an antenna and rooter installed from a local Antenna company. The nice thing is that I can dial in to get the maximum strength from the local HDTV channels. I live on the out side of Washington DC. I can now move my antenna with the rooter and get Baltimore stations and some from Fredericksburg all about an hour drive from my house. For me this is important I can leave my antenna in one area for the Local NBC,FOX,CBS&ABC but to get a 88% signal strength from PBS which runs an HDTV loop. I have to move the antenna.

    I have split my entire OTA signal to go to all of my TVs. This comes in handy for a TV with picture in picture or like in the case of my kitchen TV. My kitchen TV feed is from the Satellite from my HDTV box in my family room.(20 year old color tv that we where going to throw away until we hooked up sat to it. got it for opening a checking account) If my wife and I are watching a show from satellite the kids switch the A/B switch to local. The real reason having OTA is important to us is that we are Redskins fans. When we watch a game we listen to the broadcasters from the radio. Watching the game from satellite and listening to the radio there is probably a 4 sec delay in the picture so we hear the touch down then we see it. The other thing is since we have the antenna why not use it. splitters for antenna feeds are much cheaper then satellite splitters.
     
  10. David_Schiller

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    Thanks again, Scott and Dmitry, for your replies. Scott, it sounds like you have quite the little network going on in your house. I'm going to check out Dmitry's links and make a couple of calls instead of just rushing out to Radio Shack and buying whatever they have. I'm also going to split the OTA antenna signal to all three TVs, since the degradation in signal will probably be O.K. Plus, for the HDTV signals going to my HT room, degradation isn't an issue (either you get the signal or you don't). Since I live about 10 miles from the coast, most of my TV signals will be coming from essentially one direction. But I will also check into the possible need for a rotor (brings back memories of high school, when I spent way too much time talking on a CB).

    Dmitry, you're right about me only intending to record SD. I'm going to pass on Tivo for now.
     

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