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What is OTA and why should I get it ?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by mwhaley, Dec 7, 2006.

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  1. Dec 7, 2006 #1 of 27
    mwhaley

    mwhaley Mentor

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    I have heard lots about OTA, but I do not know what it is and if its something I should get/use ?

    I live in Riverside, CA and get the satellite feeds for LA at my home.

    What are the benefits to OTA ?
     
  2. Dec 7, 2006 #2 of 27
    chris83

    chris83 Legend

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    Well, here in the Twin Cities I get the HD feeds of CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox thru my locals package. However, for the CW affiliate and some of the independents the signal thru DirecTV is SD. To see the HD, full screen transmission for shows such as "Smallville" and "Supernatural" I use the feed from my little rabbit ears. Also, KSTC, which is an independent is starting to show some Minnesota Wild games in HD via one of its substreams, so I wouldn't see that without an OTA antenna.

    Obviously, OTA value varies by TV market and where you live geographically in relation to the transmitting tower.
     
  3. Dec 7, 2006 #3 of 27
  4. Dec 7, 2006 #4 of 27
    mwhaley

    mwhaley Mentor

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    So basically it should increase the number of HD channels I currently receive ?

    Does anyone know how many OTA channels in HD I would get living in Riverside, CA.

    I want to know if its worth the time and expense to add OTA or if I should wait until D* adds more HD to its lineup ?
     
  5. Dec 7, 2006 #5 of 27
    Blitz68

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    OTA feeds are not compressed.

    And you will not loose your signal in a rain storm.
     
  6. Dec 7, 2006 #6 of 27
    mwhaley

    mwhaley Mentor

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    Which equals better quality I assume.

    Any ideas on cost of getting OTA added and is this something I would order from D* ?

    Rain storms are not an issue in southern california :eek:
     
  7. Dec 7, 2006 #7 of 27
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Decidedly.
    OTA is something that could and should be done independent of D*. If you need a complete install including choosing the correct antenna, you might want to call a local TV shop that installs systems. You can also acquire antennas and installation from Sears and some of the other big box electronics stores.
     
  8. Dec 7, 2006 #8 of 27
    Radio Enginerd

    Radio Enginerd New Member

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    In case you're curious, OTA stands for "Over The Air" hence you receive the channels OTA vs. through your Dish.
     
  9. Dec 7, 2006 #9 of 27
    Blitz68

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    The OTA DTV will give you is not good.

    You have to see where your digital channels lie as far as what antenna to get.

    If they are 14 and above the CM4228 is a nice one. But it also depends on your distance from the towers and the terrain in between.
     
  10. Radio Enginerd

    Radio Enginerd New Member

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    Rain storms wont be a problem in S. California for you... Cost depends on your distance to TV transmitting towers in your area. Why? Because that determines what size, make, model or even what kind of install is necessary to receive OTA.

    Some folks can get by with a $5 pair of rabbit ears while others install a 50 ft. mast on their home with a $150 antenna a top. You can see how your question is slightly loaded.

    Start with antennaweb.org and determine what kind of antenna they recommend. You may be able to receive OTA for hardly any cost at all. Best of luck.
     
  11. Radio Enginerd

    Radio Enginerd New Member

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    Do you mean local channels through DTV or OTA through a DTV receiver?

    I hadn't heard of many complaints from folks using OTA through a DTV receiver.
     
  12. bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

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    Bainbridge...
    I think Blitz68 is referring to the minimal OTA antenna which Directv will supply for $49, not to receiving OTA via the Directv receiver.
     
  13. celticpride

    celticpride Icon

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    probably not worth all the hassle to get OTA i think you'll only add the pbs HD channel and the NBC sub weather channel since i believe you can now get KTLA the CW in HD on directv if you have a mpeg HD receiver, like the HR20.
     
  14. Radio Enginerd

    Radio Enginerd New Member

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    I didn't even know they were doing that. :)

    Yeah my suggestion would be to take on the challenge yourself and install your own antenna.
     
  15. bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

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    Bainbridge...
    I agree. Since nobody mentioned it, I suggest that you go to http://www.antennaweb.org to see what sort of antenna they suggest for your location. It's been a while since I lived in So. Calif. and don't recall if Riverside has a good shot at Mt. Wilson, which is where most of the L.A. locals transmit from.
     
  16. adam1115

    adam1115 Godfather

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    What? OTA IS compressed, MPEG2.
     
  17. Blitz68

    Blitz68 Hall Of Fame

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    NOT compressed.
     
  18. Radio Enginerd

    Radio Enginerd New Member

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    OTA is most certainly compressed.

    The ATSC standard for HDTV transmission is MPEG-2 compression. Key word there is compression. The MPEG compression specs allow for different amounts of compression and different qualities. When OTA stations utilize the full bandwidth for a single HDTV channel at 19mbs, you will get the best quality obtainable from HDTV.

    However, many OTA stations broadcast several programs on sub-channels simultaneously with their HD channel. That steals bandwidth and bitrate from their HD channel, and if that is done too much, the HD picture quality will suffer (the sub channels are usually not HD).

    So you can't lump all OTA into one category for picture quality and mileage will vary depending on your local affiliates.

    In the real world and depending on how well trained your eye is you might notice a difference between OTA and the MPEG-4 feeds through DTV. I've compared them side by side and there is no question, OTA looks better than MPEG-4 through DTV but it's not significant enough for most to invest in OTA if you're locals are available in HD through DTV.
     
  19. SNAP

    SNAP AllStar

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    DTV is installing HD on Sunday at my house using an H2o receiver. Will I still need my antenna to get OTA?
     
  20. bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

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    Bainbridge...
    Yes.
     
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