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Posted 19 August 2004 - 07:53 AM
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.
Posted 19 August 2004 - 08:42 AM
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.
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*.
Posted 19 August 2004 - 09:14 AM
Posted 19 August 2004 - 11:08 AM
Posted 20 August 2004 - 08:03 AM
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.
Posted 20 August 2004 - 08:20 AM
Posted 20 August 2004 - 08:56 AM
Posted 20 August 2004 - 04:37 PM
Posted 20 August 2004 - 06:19 PM
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.
Posted 21 August 2004 - 07:00 AM
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.
Posted 21 August 2004 - 03:51 PM
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