That brings up a couple of questions: 1) Do you get a guide when using the AM21 this way? and 2) Would my old HR20 (which has OTA built-in) be usable to record OTA and would I have a guide with info in it?
Here's a third question: why the heck did they get rid of built-in OTA? I don't want OTA to get rid of DTV, but to supplement it when there's rain fade.
1) Yes, you get guide data for the channels that are tunable in your zip code(s) entered during setup.
2) The HR20 works the same way it always has but you have to keep it activated if thats what you're asking. They are door stops if they arent activated on your account.
They got rid of built-in OTA because most dont use it at all so to add the cost of OTA to each and every unit was not cost effective. They removed it and made it an option for that small percentage of customers that still use it.
Rain fade or not I use OTA for all my network recordings/viewing, mpeg 2 is much smoother when it comes to trickplay functions, always has been and probably always will be, and I dont have to horse around with switching recordings back and forth between OTA and SAT locals...OTA just works, always unless the local station is having issues which is rare. I also see a slight improvement in PQ. MPEG2 takes more disk space but I use 2TB drives on all my DVR's so its not an issue for me. Another added bonus to OTA is if a dvr dies, all the OTA recordings can be played back on any other dvr because they are not encrypted or "married" to the dvr that recorded them. This is a real bonus for me.