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Guest Message by DevFuse


HD question

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12 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   ElonSig


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Posted 19 August 2004 - 07:53 AM

Already posted this in another thread, think it belongs more here though.

Hey guys, looking for a little help with the OTA. Live in Silver Spring, MD, just outside of Washington, D.C.. We are trying to make sure that we want to go ahead with the purchase of the HD equipment. Currently have an HD ready Toshiba TV. Direct TV is our satellite provider. Ability to receive the local channels in HD is very important. Thinking of purchasing the HD receiver and off air antenna package directly from Direct TV for $399. Do you guys know if this comes with high quality hardware (receiver and antenna) or would it be a better idea to purchase the items separately from a retail store? Can you request specific equipment from DirectTV or do they provide all customers with the same receiver/off air antenna?

Assuming we went with the equipment from Direct TV, have you found that the HD local stations you can receive with the off air antenna are of very good picture quality? Are they as good as the sat. stations like ESPN HD, Discovery HD, etc.? Basically, is the off-air antenna worth getting. If we can't get the local stations we probably won't get the HD equipment.

Two more questions, do you have any idea how big the antenna that DirectTV installs is? Once the antenna is installed do you have to make adjustments to it to find the signal or does it do this automatically?

Thanks in advance for any help.



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#2 OFFLINE   durl


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Posted 19 August 2004 - 08:42 AM

Definitely go for local HD signals. I don't know who broadcasts in your area but you'll probably get several networks. Your local HD channels should have an extremely good picture quality. There's a good possibility that the local broadcast will have far less compression applied (compared to satellite) which will make for a sharper picture.

To receive HD signals from Directv, you'll need an oval dish which is slightly larger than your current one. If you have the new hardware installed professionally, they'll aim the dish for you and you shouldn't have to make any changes later.

Some other techies can give you the specs about equipment. I purchased all my own equipment so I can't give any details on what comes with the Directv packages.

#3 OFFLINE   ImmerTech



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Posted 19 August 2004 - 08:48 AM

Assuming we went with the equipment from Direct TV, have you found that the HD local stations you can receive with the off air antenna are of very good picture quality?

I cannot speak to the rest of your e-mail, but I can tell you that the OTA HD channels are in fact BETTER then the D* HD channels. I believe that D* is still broadcasting most of there HD at like 10MBit/sec. While OTA is broadcasting mostly at 20MBit/sec. I may be wrong with my numbers and I am sure a HD expert will correct me if I am. Basically OTA broadcasts have one channel to worry about so they can fill their pipe with the highest data rate. D* has to fit as many channels as possible in the same pipe so this means that they have to sometimes compromise a little on Bandwidth to accomplish this.

With all that said, an important thing to remember is that as much as the OTA channels do look better. The SAT channels look REALLY REALLY good. So it is really a minor thing to say the that OTA is better. Assuming you can get OTA I would definitely get HD D*.


#4 OFFLINE   TimGoodwin



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Posted 19 August 2004 - 09:14 AM

With you living in Silver Spring there should not be any problem pulling in the OTA channels. I don't know what kind of an antenna Directv will install but as long as its on the roof you should pull in all the D.C. channels except channel 20 but nobody can get that now.

#5 OFFLINE   branchbouncer


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Posted 19 August 2004 - 11:08 AM

Save youself a lot of hassels with types of OTA antenna selections,I have tried for 3 months to get all stations.I have use Radio Shack antennas,Winegard,Blonde Tounge and Channel Master(2) the best antenna that does not need a rotor in my location is the Channel Master 4228 all the other antennas would pull some stations but not all unless rotated,another plus with the 4228 it is mounted in the back yard 11 feet off the ground whereas the other antennas would do litte if anything in that position and had to be on the roof(which looks piss poor).Marks Electronics in Beltsville MD sells them for 53.00,the local antenna installer wanted 99.95,I have also heard from friends that they have good luck with the channel master 4221 which is just a small verision of the 4228 I live in Alexandria 22309 if you want the Radio Shack antenna you can pick mine up for free

#6 OFFLINE   todcox



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Posted 20 August 2004 - 08:03 AM

Check out antennaweb.org to determine if a rotor (for your OTA antenna) would be required. The 4228 is one of the best UHF antennas available but it is highly directional. Spending the $50 on an antenna you know should get great reception versus trying what ever D* gives you is probably best.

Since you already have an HD ready TV you could check things out by borrowing an OTA HD receiver and trying a smaller antenna just to see what you get. There is one called a Silver "something" (help me out guys) that I have heard gets very good reception for such a small antenna. Connect the receiver and antenna to see what you get and how it looks. I agree with other, you will be amazed how good a clean OTA signal looks.

#7 OFFLINE   ElonSig


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Posted 20 August 2004 - 08:20 AM

Hey guys, thanks for all the helpful information. It is all really helping us in making our decision. From visiting antennaweb.org, I find that I need a "medium directional antenna" for all of the local stations. Which antenna would you recommend based on that?

#8 OFFLINE   branchbouncer


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Posted 20 August 2004 - 08:56 AM

As I said above I would go with the 4221 or the 4228 if you save the package it comes in most places will let you return if it does no work to your liking.50.00 for antenna is not much sepecially since it works great.There are sites selling what they claim to be the world best HD UHF antennas for 299.00 which is only a moded Channel Master 4308


#9 OFFLINE   branchbouncer


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Posted 20 August 2004 - 02:15 PM

The antenna that you speak of is a silver sensor


#10 OFFLINE   LOBO2999



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Posted 20 August 2004 - 04:37 PM

ElonSig , I have a Friend that lives in W.v about 1 1/2 from DC I used to live up there myself but anyway he got the HD package from D and I told him that when I came up we would find an antenna but he didn't want to wait so after they installed the new dish they said ( and showed him the antenna was cheep ) so he said no , after I went up we got him a good one and he gets all the locals from DC except for 20 , like it was said no one gets that one. If I were you I would get my own the 4228 is a good antenna . As for paying the $349 for the HD from D I would call them and ask to speak to a supervisor , I know my friend got them down to $150 for the install and the dish and the receiver . Good luck

#11 OFFLINE   ElonSig


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Posted 20 August 2004 - 06:19 PM

Hey guys,

Thanks again for all the helpful answers. At this point, I think we are leaning towards going with buying the HD reciever for the $350 directly from DirectTV. Thinking about finding the 4228 antenna around here and using that, but not sure about installation. Actually doing this research for my dad, and he wants the best quality with the smallest amount of hassle :). Wonder if we bought the antenna before the install of the HD receiver, whether DirectTV would install the antenna for us too? I don't think my dad is interested in having to self-install the antenna.

Another interest he has brought up today is that he may want to get some type of TIVO capability. Not interested in paying the $1000 for the HD Tivo, but noticed that you can still record SD broadcasts with the TIVO even with an HD receiver, is this correct? For example, we could record a program on a non HD station, through the HD receiver, onto the TIVO? On the other hand, could we also record an HD program onto the TIVO, but just in SD quality? Hope that makes sense :)

Okkkkkk, one more question (I hope). Have heard the the picture quality when watching recorded material on TIVO is not as good as if you are watching it live. How much worse is it? Would having a regular TV with an HD receiver lower the quality of watching live programs as well?

Ok guys, thanks again for all the help. Hope everyone has a good weekend.


#12 OFFLINE   Montezuma58



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Posted 21 August 2004 - 07:00 AM

Your right about the Tivo but it sounds like your talking about a stand alone unit. Why not just get a SD DirecTivo in addition to the HD receiver? It will be cheaper than getting a stand alone Tivo to use with the HD receiver. It will have better picture quality. It records the digital stream straight from the satellite so there is no picture degradation. You'll be able to watch something else while recording. The only thing you would not be able to do is record programming that is unique to the HD channels. But most of the programming that is available on HD is also available on an SD channel.

As for having the antenna installed you could probably work out a deal with the installer when he shows up to install your satellite system.

#13 OFFLINE   DCSholtis


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Posted 21 August 2004 - 03:51 PM

OK I just got such a set-up installed today. Here is what I got and my Impressions after a few hours: Basically I emailed D* last Saturday and explained I was a long time sub (9 almost 10 yrs), interested in upgrading to HD mentioned I was in the Cleveland DMA and what could they do for me. They emailed me back saying they would call me in a few days to talk about it. Monday or Tuesday I got a call and here is what they were able to do for me. I got the Phase III dish, OTA Antenna and the Sammy HD Receiver for $199 installed. $20 off of the Premier package for 6 months and the free HD pack for 6 months. The OTA antenna is a Weingard as mentioned here. Being in an area around trees Im able to pull out all 5 of the OTA stations doing digital/HD in my area. On top of that the guy ran an extra line for an HD Tivo I won over at DBSForums.com for no charge. Bluegrass Satellite did the install.
Dan Sholtis
"The Raiders will be back. I have unshakable confidence, the will to win, and I just know that the fire that burns brightest in this building is the will to win. And we will win. We will win."---Al Davis. Rest In Peace, Al

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