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It seems like a step backward to me. I remember when my parents first got Directv in the 90’s and we couldn’t get the locals by satellite. There was an antenna on their roof and so we hooked that up. It sucked. Then we bought a $100 powered antenna and I remember what a PITA it was installing that in our attic and running the cable to the unit. And it still wasn’t great. Then you could get locals through the satellite and it was so much easier and better.

Jump forward to the past couple years and I know that you can get HD OTA by an antenna, but is it easier than my previous experience? I was waiting until I could get HD locals through the satellite before getting an HDTV. Well Cincy now has them and I just bought my HDTV last week and the HR20 is getting installed today. But I hear so many people complain about not getting OTA HD through the HR20. I understand that there is some compression in the HD feed coming over the satellite, but is OTA really that much better? And is it easier than it used to be?

Please school me in OTA.
 

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mtnagel said:
It seems like a step backward to me. I remember when my parents first got Directv in the 90's and we couldn't get the locals by satellite. There was an antenna on their roof and so we hooked that up. It sucked. Then we bought a $100 powered antenna and I remember what a PITA it was installing that in our attic and running the cable to the unit. And it still wasn't great. Then you could get locals through the satellite and it was so much easier and better.

Jump forward to the past couple years and I know that you can get HD OTA by an antenna, but is it easier than my previous experience? I was waiting until I could get HD locals through the satellite before getting an HDTV. Well Cincy now has them and I just bought my HDTV last week and the HR20 is getting installed today. But I hear so many people complain about not getting OTA HD through the HR20. I understand that there is some compression in the HD feed coming over the satellite, but is OTA really that much better? And is it easier than it used to be?

Please school me in OTA.
OTA is not enabled yet but will be in near furture, from what I read on this forum. OTA is better quality, but again, they're saying MPEG-4 has a good picture also. As I have not received HR20 yet, I can't really say which is best. I receive my locals from OTA by antenna in attic on HR10, also east coast feeds.
 

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mtnagel said:
It seems like a step backward to me. I remember when my parents first got Directv in the 90's and we couldn't get the locals by satellite. There was an antenna on their roof and so we hooked that up. It sucked. Then we bought a $100 powered antenna and I remember what a PITA it was installing that in our attic and running the cable to the unit. And it still wasn't great. Then you could get locals through the satellite and it was so much easier and better.

Jump forward to the past couple years and I know that you can get HD OTA by an antenna, but is it easier than my previous experience? I was waiting until I could get HD locals through the satellite before getting an HDTV. Well Cincy now has them and I just bought my HDTV last week and the HR20 is getting installed today. But I hear so many people complain about not getting OTA HD through the HR20. I understand that there is some compression in the HD feed coming over the satellite, but is OTA really that much better? And is it easier than it used to be?

Please school me in OTA.
1. The best PQ available from the HR20 will be OTA (higher bit rate). yes, the differences are obvious to me. HD via D* can at best be called HD-Lite, due to low bit rates.

2. More channel choices (HD Locals via satellite will not carry any/many sub-channels

3. OTA is much less subject to rain/snow fade than via satelllite (in most cases)

4. HD-Locals might be many months coming to your local area.

For me, the issue is PQ.

Is it easier? I wouldn't know. I never considered it even remotely difficult. I have had outside antennas at every location I have lived since the mid 1950's. Our transmitter complex is in one location about 27 miles from me. We get outstanding signals on all but one channel that is low power, and even it comes in HD fine most of the year. (They also have a terrible engineering staff).
 

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Depending on where you live (proximity to broadcast towers) and if your HD tv has an ATSC tuner, You should be able to rcv HD OTA! The HR20 ATSC tuner is not enable yet, but if you just bought HDTV then it probably has a tuner! It may be as easy as installing an indoor uhf antenna or a small outdoor one! check @ antennaweb.org!
 

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mtnagel said:
is OTA really that much better? And is it easier than it used to be?
Yes, it is better. The difference is noticable--how significant depends on your equipment and eyes.

Easier--yes, with the digital tuners you either get a signal or you don't. There is no snow/fuzz/etc. If a signal is weak it may pixelate in and out, but if it is strong enough to be locked in it is perfect. Many locations can get decent reception with a pair of radio shack rabbit ears. If you're willing to put up an attic or roof antenna, you can often get other out of market stations. I get Greensboro/Winston-Salem (local) and can pick up almost all of the Charlotte channels. Every once in a while you get the option of a different sporting event since it is a different market.

Biggest advantage--DirecTV will not carry all the available local channels (PBS and independents) much less the subchannels. Subchannels (AKA multicasting) rob some of the bandwith from the main HD channel which is bad, but some stations do a pretty good job with providing decent content on their subchannels. My local PBS runs 4 or 5 channels--one is always kids, one is education/how to, one is the regular--and the good thing is they shut them all down during primetime to give full bandwith to the HD feed. NBC has a really goofy "weatherplus" on most stations. I like the 24hr radar loop a couple of stations run--it can't take much bandwith, but is handy when you hear thunder to check exactly where the storm is headed.

During the NCAA basketball tournament some CBS stations will show alternate games in SD on a subchannel.

If you are unclear about the subchannel concept, it is pretty easy. Then channels are tuned OTA with a "dash" or "period" input. Example, if my local NBC is channel 12, then main HD is 12.1, and the weatherplus is 12.2. Other channels might be 9.1 (HD), 9.2 (SD) 9.3 (weather radar) etc. Complicating things is the fact that channel number doesn't match the actual frequency it is broadcasting on, but your tuner will scan for available channels and put them where the should be (called remapping.) It is completely up to the station what they want to offer. We just need to convince them not to waste bandwith on junk so our HD looks as good as possible

Hope that helps! OTA=Good!!!
 

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finaldiet said:
OTA is not enabled yet but will be in near furture, from what I read on this forum. OTA is better quality, but again, they're saying MPEG-4 has a good picture also. As I have not received HR20 yet, I can't really say which is best. I receive my locals from OTA by antenna in attic on HR10, also east coast feeds.
DIgital OTA is a whole different ballgame then old analog OTA. Since it's digital, you either get a great picture, or it is breaking up. THere's no snow, ghosting, etc. (Some of the older recievers did have ghosting problems, but this has been corrected).

Anyway, In my area (STL) I'm seeing about the same quality between my OTA locals and the MPEG4 locals. No diff that I can see, they both pixelate during fast movements. Hopefully the MPEG4 feeds will improve over time.
 
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