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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since the NY local networks are already being carried by D*; is it worth the wait and/or expense to add an OTA antenna into the mix. I realize I am missing programming from CW and PBS; but will it be worth the hassle of installing an OTA and maybe experiencing problems with the HR20 I don't currently have.

I've been on the fence with this decision for months; and now that OTA seems close; I'm wondering if I should bite the bullet and go for it.

Thoughts/Opinions?
 

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Vinny said:
Since the NY local networks are already being carried by D*; is it worth the wait and/or expense to add an OTA antenna into the mix. I realize I am missing programming from CW and PBS; but will it be worth the hassle of installing an OTA and maybe experiencing problems with the HR20 I don't currently have.

I've been on the fence with this decision for months; and now that OTA seems close; I'm wondering if I should bite the bullet and go for it.

Thoughts/Opinions?
I think it really depends on whether anything on CW or PBS is worth watching to you. Also whether you'd like to see any of the subchannels (e.g. Weather Plus) that are not carried by D*. For me I need OTA because I can't get FOX or CBS from D*.
 

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hmmm.

Maybe we should combine this into one: Does OTA matter to your market?

http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=72091

I have been wondering if the hassle of installing an antenna is really worth it myself.

The only reason I could justify it, is if I didn't have to pay for my local channels through D*.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
jaywdetroit said:
hmmm.

Maybe we should combine this into one: Does OTA matter to your market?

http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=72091

I have been wondering if the hassle of installing an antenna is really worth it myself.

The only reason I could justify it, is if I didn't have to pay for my local channels through D*.
You shouldn't be paying for your HD Local Channels. HD Locals are free.
 

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Vinny said:
Since the NY local networks are already being carried by D*; is it worth the wait and/or expense to add an OTA antenna into the mix. I realize I am missing programming from CW and PBS; but will it be worth the hassle of installing an OTA and maybe experiencing problems with the HR20 I don't currently have.

I've been on the fence with this decision for months; and now that OTA seems close; I'm wondering if I should bite the bullet and go for it.

Thoughts/Opinions?
Advantages of OTA-HD over your MPEG-4/HD-Locals:

1. PQ (Picture Quality). The Gold Standard of PQ is OTA-HD and is likely to remain so for quite some time. Your MPEG-4/HD-Locals from D* are transcoded from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4...there is loss. Available bandwidth on D* is limited, so all HD on the satellites is bit-starved (further degradation). HD as delivered via D* is at best HD-Lite compared to OTA-HD, in most cases.

2. Immunity from signal loss: OTA-HD (unless you are in a fringe area) is much less vulnerable to signal loss from precipitation.

3. Sub Channels and PBS (I don't think PBS-HD is carried yet by D*). There is wonderful programming on PBS, and the video quality is stunning.

The expense of adding OTA-HD to your current setup is minimal. A good antenna for local OTA-HD is the U-75 from Radio Shack. It is only about 25 bucks. It has a 40" long boom and a corner reflector, so it has a small footprint, but very good gain.

Go to antennaweb.org, plug in your zip code and see what kind of antenna and where it needs to be located in order to receive your locals via OTA-HD. You might find you don't need an outside antenna, or you might be able to put the U-75 in your attic. Some people do well (if within 15 to 20 miles of a good transmitting site), with nothing more than a Sliver Sensor (do a google for it), mounted a few feet from the TV itself.
 

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I have found it nice having NBC Weather Plus with my H20; especially since D* only provides the national broadcast of The Weather Channel. This is channel 4-2 in the NY area.

ABC also has some subchannels in the NY area that do all weather and one that is just 24 hour news.

WNJN also has somewhere around 5 digital subchannels, one of which is nothing but kids programming all day (nice if you have kids I guess).

Anyway, OTA is worth it for me just for the subchannels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
hasan said:
Advantages of OTA-HD over your MPEG-4/HD-Locals:

1. PQ (Picture Quality). The Gold Standard of PQ is OTA-HD and is likely to remain so for quite some time. Your MPEG-4/HD-Locals from D* are transcoded from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4...there is loss. Available bandwidth on D* is limited, so all HD on the satellites is bit-starved (further degradation). HD as delivered via D* is at best HD-Lite compared to OTA-HD, in most cases.

2. Immunity from signal loss: OTA-HD (unless you are in a fringe area) is much less vulnerable to signal loss from precipitation.

3. Sub Channels and PBS (I don't think PBS-HD is carried yet by D*). There is wonderful programming on PBS, and the video quality is stunning.

The expense of adding OTA-HD to your current setup is minimal. A good antenna for local OTA-HD is the U-75 from Radio Shack. It is only about 25 bucks. It has a 40" long boom and a corner reflector, so it has a small footprint, but very good gain.

Go to antennaweb.org, plug in your zip code and see what kind of antenna and where it needs to be located in order to receive your locals via OTA-HD. You might find you don't need an outside antenna, or you might be able to put the U-75 in your attic. Some people do well (if within 15 to 20 miles of a good transmitting site), with nothing more than a Sliver Sensor (do a google for it), mounted a few feet from the TV itself.
Thanks for taking the time to respond. Your reply helps a lot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
PoitNarf said:
I have found it nice having NBC Weather Plus with my H20; especially since D* only provides the national broadcast of The Weather Channel. This is channel 4-2 in the NY area.

ABC also has some subchannels in the NY area that do all weather and one that is just 24 hour news.

WNJN also has somewhere around 5 digital subchannels, one of which is nothing but kids programming all day (nice if you have kids I guess).

Anyway, OTA is worth it for me just for the subchannels.
Thanks! Food for thought.
 

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hasan said:
Advantages of OTA-HD over your MPEG-4/HD-Locals:

1. PQ (Picture Quality). The Gold Standard of PQ is OTA-HD and is likely to remain so for quite some time. Your MPEG-4/HD-Locals from D* are transcoded from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4...there is loss. Available bandwidth on D* is limited, so all HD on the satellites is bit-starved (further degradation). HD as delivered via D* is at best HD-Lite compared to OTA-HD, in most cases.

2. Immunity from signal loss: OTA-HD (unless you are in a fringe area) is much less vulnerable to signal loss from precipitation.

3. Sub Channels and PBS (I don't think PBS-HD is carried yet by D*). There is wonderful programming on PBS, and the video quality is stunning.

The expense of adding OTA-HD to your current setup is minimal. A good antenna for local OTA-HD is the U-75 from Radio Shack. It is only about 25 bucks. It has a 40" long boom and a corner reflector, so it has a small footprint, but very good gain.

Go to antennaweb.org, plug in your zip code and see what kind of antenna and where it needs to be located in order to receive your locals via OTA-HD. You might find you don't need an outside antenna, or you might be able to put the U-75 in your attic. Some people do well (if within 15 to 20 miles of a good transmitting site), with nothing more than a Sliver Sensor (do a google for it), mounted a few feet from the TV itself.
Let me add to the mix: If you are anywhere near an airport as I am, you will suffer signal loss on OTA due to multipath interference. My OTA signal is in the flightpath of Dulles Airport and whenever a plane crosses in between my antenna and the towers, the picture pixelates. This will drive you nuts.

OTA is not immune from signal loss in this cass.

MPEG4 from Directv does not suffer this problem and was a lifesaver for me.

I still use OTA however for the sub-channels and channels not carried by Directv.
 

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jaywdetroit said:
The only reason I could justify it, is if I didn't have to pay for my local channels through D*.
Vinny said:
You shouldn't be paying for your HD Local Channels. HD Locals are free.
Your HD Locals are part of your "Locals" package.
So if you are gettting SD Locals (which you are paying for, in the base package).

You are also "technically" paying for your HD Locals.
 

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We have Weather Plus from NBC, then we also have a weather station from the ABC channel out here as well. I mostly like OTA for the PBS options though. There is one show I watch on CW, but I could live with it in SD (unhappily). It's the sub-channels that matter most to me and that's a personal decision if it's worth it to you. The antennas are relatively inexpensive (compared to the rest of the get up!), but can be a pain to install. My house already had a 20' mast on the rook with a KAGI style antenna on it (like 90% of the houses in our area), so I just added an 8-bow UHF on to the same mast to get all of the HD stations (most are in the UHF range, not the VHF range. KAGI antennas are better for VHF).

But, when i first put it up (before there was an HD-DVR!), one of the local stations broadcast on a VHF band my UHF antenna would pick up, so I needed both antennas. My TV has two antenna ports, so it worked great. The station was in the middle of moving to a new transmitter location, so just after i received the HD-DVR years ago, I was able to pick up all the stations on the one, over-sized UHF antenna.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Earl Bonovich said:
Your HD Locals are part of your "Locals" package.
So if you are gettting SD Locals (which you are paying for, in the base package).

You are also "technically" paying for your HD Locals.
I guess I should have said paying "extra for HD". Thanks for clarifying.
 

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cawgijoe said:
Let me add to the mix: If you are anywhere near an airport as I am, you will suffer signal loss on OTA due to multipath interference. My OTA signal is in the flightpath of Dulles Airport and whenever a plane crosses in between my antenna and the towers, the picture pixelates. This will drive you nuts.

OTA is not immune from signal loss in this cass.

MPEG4 from Directv does not suffer this problem and was a lifesaver for me.

I still use OTA however for the sub-channels and channels not carried by Directv.
That's an interesting and potentially important point...although the later generation tuners in the HR20 are supposed to handle multi-path much better.

If the airplane reflection is really strong, resulting in complete cancellation of the signal, then nothing will help it but a highly directional antenna...which by its nature puts the airplane reflected signal quite a bit down the side lobes of the directional antenna, thus minimizing the multi-path.

Good point, however.
 

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hasan said:
That's an interesting and potentially important point...although the later generation tuners in the HR20 are supposed to handle multi-path much better.

If the airplane reflection is really strong, resulting in complete cancellation of the signal, then nothing will help it but a highly directional antenna...which by its nature puts the airplane reflected signal quite a bit down the side lobes of the directional antenna, thus minimizing the multi-path.

Good point, however.
Previous to the HR20 and H20 that I also own, I had a Samsung SIR-TS160. The Samsung did not handle multipath interference well at all. Your picture would go out for at least three to four seconds before it came back. Thats loss of picture and sound.

The H20 and HR20 is much improved, but there is still at least one to two seconds of time before the picture will reform.

Unfortunately there is nothing that can really be done. I called Winegard when this first happenned with the Samsung and they told me the solution was to "move".

So, MPEG4 via the AT9 dish is a real benefit to people who live in the flightpath of an airport.
 

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hasan said:
Advantages of OTA-HD over your MPEG-4/HD-Locals:

1. PQ (Picture Quality). The Gold Standard of PQ is OTA-HD and is likely to remain so for quite some time. Your MPEG-4/HD-Locals from D* are transcoded from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4...there is loss. Available bandwidth on D* is limited, so all HD on the satellites is bit-starved (further degradation). HD as delivered via D* is at best HD-Lite compared to OTA-HD, in most cases.

2. Immunity from signal loss: OTA-HD (unless you are in a fringe area) is much less vulnerable to signal loss from precipitation.

3. Sub Channels and PBS (I don't think PBS-HD is carried yet by D*). There is wonderful programming on PBS, and the video quality is stunning.

The expense of adding OTA-HD to your current setup is minimal. A good antenna for local OTA-HD is the U-75 from Radio Shack. It is only about 25 bucks. It has a 40" long boom and a corner reflector, so it has a small footprint, but very good gain.

Go to antennaweb.org, plug in your zip code and see what kind of antenna and where it needs to be located in order to receive your locals via OTA-HD. You might find you don't need an outside antenna, or you might be able to put the U-75 in your attic. Some people do well (if within 15 to 20 miles of a good transmitting site), with nothing more than a Sliver Sensor (do a google for it), mounted a few feet from the TV itself.
+++ Well said!
 

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As a long time D customer, upper westchester county, I final made the switch to HD. since the HR20 were back order I was given an H20 to tide me over. After reading discussions on this forum and avs about over the air signal I installed a OTA in my attic. The PQ is fantastic and 9, 11, 13 seem to have a great deal of HD content. Plus the Sd subchannels are useful. The expense is minamal (an antenna, a length of coax and possibly an amplifier (I'm 40 miles from the empire state building, 13 and 4 are a bit tough to receive In my location, but it seems better as the days get colder, go figure). Certainly worth the effort. The added plus, when the HR20 ever works the way it suppose to, you should be able to record two stations and watch one. correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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magellanmtb said:
The added plus, when the HR20 ever works the way it suppose to, you should be able to record two stations and watch one. correct me if I'm wrong.
That's what the manual says, but we have been told here that the manual is incorrect about that. 2 recordings at once maximum, regardless of the source.
 
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