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Getting HD locals via DTV or OTA

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by vachief, Jul 23, 2007.

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  1. vachief

    vachief AllStar

    Jul 17, 2007
    I will soon be upgrading to HD and I was wondering if there is any difference in the quality of picture that I will get between getting my locals from DTV or getting them OTA via an antenna. If it matters, I am in the Washington DC metro area.

    WIll DTV give you a free antenna when they upgrade your dish/receiver if you ask?
    If not, would the installer install it for you if you purchase one before they come out?
  2. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    As to quality, some will argue ota is better because there is less compression involved. Will you notice a difference in your viewing? Hard to say.

    As to quantity, almost all markets have more ota stations than what DirecTV offers, and many markets have more HD locals than DirecTV offers (such as PBS). So you will probably have access to more local stations using an OTA antenna. Whether or not they are stations that matter to you is a different question.

    DirecTV will almost certainly not provide an ota antenna. An installer may or may not be willing to put it up. They don't get paid for doing that, so a polite request accompanied by a gratuity might make it happen.

    However, the other issue with ota is that you will also need a separate coax cable for it. You will have to negotiate with the installer to see if you can get that done.

  3. Michael D'Angelo

    Michael D'Angelo Lifetime Achiever

    Oct 20, 2006
    As carl6 said with a OTA you will have a few more HD local channels. But as far as the quality goes. To me if OTA is a 10 out of 10. Then DIRECTV MPEG4 is a 9.5 out of 10. I don't even use my OTA anymore.
  4. machavez00

    machavez00 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 2, 2006
    The only OTA channels I use are the ones not carried by D*. The D* HD channels are MPEG4 and use less disk space for recording than the OTA (MPEG2) channels do. I flipped between the two and there is no difference in the Phoenix D*/OTA to me
  5. n-spring

    n-spring Legend

    Mar 5, 2007
    Also keep in mind directionality of signal. Check out this web site to determine what kind of antenna you need and in which direction it should be pointed.

  6. stiffi

    stiffi Legend

    Jul 13, 2006
    If I were you, I'd get the locals from DTV and use an indoor antenna to pick up the extra OTA stations you won't get from DTV. I noticed you're in DC. With the area being pretty flat, you can probably pick up a few stations with an indoor antenna.

    I personally have both, but I had a roof antenna to start with. The only thing I use the antenna for now, is to get the network sub-channels to occasionally check the live weather. I think if I could pick up 1 network with an indoor antenna, (just to watch the live weather) I would be happy with that, along with the DTV locals.
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