Using OTA antenna for HDTV - DFWstangs Forums
 
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-14-2007, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Using OTA antenna for HDTV

Anyone here use an OTA antenna to receive HD channels? We're planning a TX/OU party but the problem is, Charter doesn't carry ABC HD (thanks Charter!!). So my original plan was to just switch to Dish but I'd rather not go through all that hassle. I'm now thinking about getting an OTA antenna just so we can get ABC HD.

It looks like the ABC tower is 28 miles from my house so I'd need a decent outdoor antenna. Anyone have experience with these? Buying, installing, using?

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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-14-2007, 02:03 PM
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Comcast, FTW.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-14-2007, 02:05 PM
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I got one from Best Buy and it picks up 4,5,8,11,13,21,27,33 and a miriad of spanish channels in HD.

They've done studies you know.... 60% of the time, it works every time



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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-14-2007, 02:10 PM
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Got my OTA antenna for HD at wally world for $15 bucks. It picks up all locals and works great.

Best something in Texas.... just don't know what it is yet....
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-14-2007, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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For ya'll that have them, where did you mount them and where do you live? (So I can get an idea how far from the broadcast antennas ya'll are)

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-14-2007, 02:25 PM
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It depends on where you live. I have used the ol'd amplified Best Buy number, a plain set of rabbit ears, and a HUGE fishbone style antenna up in my attic. They all work about the same. I can almost always get 4. Sometimes I can get 5 or 11, and rarely can I get 8. It's a pita. Dish has a setup now where you can get the HD locals through the dish, but I haven't upgraded yet.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-14-2007, 02:29 PM
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I think that this link might be of use for you. It will tell you your distance from the towers.
http://antennaweb.org

Longtime lurker, short lived poster....
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-14-2007, 02:31 PM
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i bought a 15" fish bone antenna from radio shack for 70 bux or so. i just threw it in the attic and pointed it towards dallas. i get great signal on all the ota hd channels (im in plano).

oh yea, and ota hd broadcast is typically better than hd cable or sat signals.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-14-2007, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momo stallion
oh yea, and ota hd broadcast is typically better than hd cable or sat signals.
Really? What makes you say that?
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-14-2007, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant
Really? What makes you say that?
Because, the reason is too technical to explain so just take his word for it.




I had a set top antenna in Hurst before I realized there was a big antennam mounted on the roof from the previous owners and switched to that one. Both worked equally well besides having to move the set top antenna once in a while.

They've done studies you know.... 60% of the time, it works every time




Last edited by Yellowstang; 09-14-2007 at 02:52 PM.
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-14-2007, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant
Really? What makes you say that?

the compression technology used by providers. that and i can tell visually... i mean the wont rock your world or anything but its something to consider if you have an antenna you can use.

we have 2 ota antennas in the attic, directv 5lnd hd dish, and verizon fios hd tv all in one house. i like a few things from a few places.
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-14-2007, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momo stallion
the compression technology used by providers.

that and i can tell visually...

What kind of compression technology is being used by providers that makes the OTA superior?

The last part is pretty subjective..
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-14-2007, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loki
I think that this link might be of use for you. It will tell you your distance from the towers.
http://antennaweb.org
According to this link, I live 61 miles from the tower. I have one of the big fishbone antennaes in my attic, and I get channel 8 (ABC) in HD.

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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-15-2007, 08:12 AM
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awesome sight i was going to get an antenna to slap up on the house to watch TV with and this is pretty helpful information to have...


if you buy one of the big fish scale looking directional antennas do they work pretty good if you put them in the attic rather than mounting them on the side of the house?

Last edited by wade_racing; 09-15-2007 at 08:35 AM.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-15-2007, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Using just some stripped copper wire I was able to pick up ABC (channel 8) but not ABC HD (channel 9). This doesn't seem right since they use the same tower. Is the digital signal weaker or do I have to do something to my TV in order for it to pick up digital signals? I'm almost positive my TV has a built-in HD tuner.

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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-15-2007, 09:58 AM
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What's your TV's model number?
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-15-2007, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant
What kind of compression technology is being used by providers that makes the OTA superior?

The last part is pretty subjective..
its not really subjective when you know what you are seeing. blacks look more gray and digital artifacts are prevalent.

FIOS TV:Another reason the company is able to launch now is its use of MPEG2 compression, the same technology employed by most traditional cable operators. The newer MPEG4 compression can squeeze video into smaller bandwidth spaces but is just now coming to market and remains comparatively expensive. In addition, the codecs for high-definition MPEG4 won't be in the hands of carriers until at least the end of the year, and programmers have yet to adopt the technology.

I'm not surprised that Verizon's not doing MPEG4, even on the VOD, because none of the content is available in MPEG4 so that would just add another layer of expense, Mastrangelo said.


DirecTV

To handle the proliferation of bandwidth-intensive HDTV broadcasting, DirecTV rebroadcasts local HDTV stations using the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC codec while employing a newer transmission protocol (DVB-S2) over the SPACEWAY-1 and SPACEWAY-2 satellites. This allows DirecTV to squeeze much more HD programming over its satellite signal than was previously feasible using the older MPEG-2 compression and DSS protocol it has been using.

DirecTV is defending a lawsuit that alleges DirecTV lowered HDTV picture resolution below that of the industry's accepted definition of HDTV. 1080i is generally understood to mean 1920 x 1080i, whereas DirecTV reduces these channels by one third, to 1280 x 1080i. DirecTV boldly maintains that its high definition picture quality is comparable to or better than that of any other television service.

Last edited by momo stallion; 09-15-2007 at 12:29 PM.
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-15-2007, 11:23 AM
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im on Rabbit Ears in Carrollton.. i can pick up ABC on HD.. just goto wal-mart and buy some for 10 bucks..

sorry i thought you lived in Coppell but it says Ftw.. So i guess you moved..

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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-15-2007, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momo stallion
its not really subjective when you know what you are seeing. blacks look more gray and digital artifacts are prevalent.

FIOS TV:
Any local High Definition broadcasts that exist are likely to be part of the FiOS TV Premier package. Local HD channels from a Dish or DirecTV are a different story. The newest setup boxes from the Dish and DirecTV are capable of receiving HD locals over the satellite feed, but the HD locals are only available in certain markets. In addition, in order to fit local market HD channels in the satellite feed, both providers are now using a more compressed MPEG4 stream, which means lower quality. Of course with or without a service provider, most people can hookup an antenna to an HDTV to get local HD channels.

The quantity of national HD channels are about average.


DirecTV

To handle the proliferation of bandwidth-intensive HDTV broadcasting, DirecTV rebroadcasts local HDTV stations using the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC codec while employing a newer transmission protocol (DVB-S2) over the SPACEWAY-1 and SPACEWAY-2 satellites. This allows DirecTV to squeeze much more HD programming over its satellite signal than was previously feasible using the older MPEG-2 compression and DSS protocol it has been using.

DirecTV is defending a lawsuit that alleges DirecTV lowered HDTV picture resolution below that of the industry's accepted definition of HDTV. 1080i is generally understood to mean 1920 x 1080i, whereas DirecTV reduces these channels by one third, to 1280 x 1080i. DirecTV boldly maintains that its high definition picture quality is comparable to or better than that of any other television service.
DirecTV has always been lower quality..

As far as the subjective standpoint, it is definitely subjective, unless you have some sort of scientifc proof. "When you know what you're seeing", is subjective in nature, period.

The artifcats and black/gray levels could have several different contributing factors, outside of just the transmission/feed.

As to comparing MPEG 4/2, both are still very strong in native format, as that's what HD-DVD/BD use, which I'm sure you agree is better than either OTA/Pay-service.
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-15-2007, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZYouL8R
For ya'll that have them, where did you mount them and where do you live? (So I can get an idea how far from the broadcast antennas ya'll are)
Midcities, put a big Yagi combo (the old school redneck kind from the 70s) in the attic, easily 120db signal boost which gets 30-50 miles digital, depending on the box.

There is no difference in the wavelength spread therefore no difference in the physics of the antenna. Its your box that has to handle it, and I don't know if ABC is broadcasting better than 720P, so HiDef may not be available. KERA sometimes does, but rarely.

www.antennaweb.org is the best place to get an answer.
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post #21 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-15-2007, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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I went to Radio Shack and got a $10 set of rabbit ears. ABC HD comes in pretty good, but it could be better. I think I'm going to try to put the rabbit ears in the attic to see if that makes a difference.

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post #22 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2007, 02:39 AM
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I bought a cheap set of rabbit ears from the dollar store by my house and I get ALL of the local stations that broadcast digital...of course I live about 5 miles from the towers in Cedar Hill

FUCK Canada
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post #23 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2007, 04:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant
As to comparing MPEG 4/2, both are still very strong in native format, as that's what HD-DVD/BD use, which I'm sure you agree is better than either OTA/Pay-service.

absolutely. blue ray and hd-dvd have the liberty of essentially unlimited disc space, they can compress at the highest bit-rates levels which makes them look uncompressed period. (well blue ray more so than hd-dvd)

i would like to know the levels which d*, fios, and tw compress their signals. i may spend some time looking that up later on
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post #24 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2007, 07:31 AM
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ABC broadcasts separately in all its bandwidth. I don't see them ever broadcasting in HD beyond 720P.

Not that 720P is bad, it is damn clear. I don't think it qualifies as HD though. I may be wrong.
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post #25 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2007, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Casper
ABC broadcasts separately in all its bandwidth. I don't see them ever broadcasting in HD beyond 720P.

Not that 720P is bad, it is damn clear. I don't think it qualifies as HD though. I may be wrong.

i got no problems with 720p. i'll usually choose it over 1080i if there is a choice since i watch more sports than movies.
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post #26 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2007, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momo stallion
i got no problems with 720p. i'll usually choose it over 1080i if there is a choice since i watch more sports than movies.
Yeah but that is the best they do, so when they use a single channel it is good ol 480. Still crisp and clear, and good enough for me.

One of the church channels is compressing small enough for 5 feeds

Too bad it is a church channel.
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post #27 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2007, 06:13 PM
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I have a plain uhf/vhf antenna in my attic and I am on the border of haslet and Ft worth and pick the local HDs fine.
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