View Full Version : HDTV antenna
08-16-2012, 07:00 PM
Does anyone have one? Would you recommend it?
They've come down a lot in price and I'm thinking of getting one. My primary motivation is to save money -- I'm just sick of paying so much $$ for a zillion cable channels that I don't watch. And for the odd program that isn't available via OTA, they're almost always available via download and/or streaming.
08-16-2012, 07:02 PM
We have one. The HD is beautiful, and free :)
I think our antenna cost $70. (Don't believe "digital antenna"- if you have a converter box, anything picks up digital- you just get an all or nothing signal, no grainy lines). Even after the "digital transition" we could pick up Channel 9 on teeny rabbit ears (but that was it...)
The HD antenna picks up a ton of sub-channels, so we get all kinds of weather and music stations too.
I find I still watch a lot of TV, just way less crap, and way more PBS.
If you have specific questions, ask-- and I'll ask my husband. I don't know anything about it except it is really large, and up in the attic.
08-16-2012, 07:16 PM
Well since London Drugs has it on sale for $49.99 and they have an excellent customer service / return policy, I'm almost certainly going to buy one now and try it for myself.
The one thing I'm most concerned about is how it will connect with my DVRs. Both the old converter boxes and the new cable digital boxes were/are problematic with VCRs/DVRs because you had to set the channel # from the box. So you could only set to record a program if you first manually set the channel number on the box. Highly problematic for someone who records as much as I do. But if it works more like a direct cable, where it's the tuner in the DVR or TV that picks the channel ... then I'll be a very happy camper indeed.
08-16-2012, 07:36 PM
I think the reason we put it into the attic was because that was where the cable all comes together. So, while I've never seen it- my understanding is that it somehow plugs into the cable, and then the cable connects to all the TVs.
We have a DVR on the computer (Windows Media Center?) and the TV does not need to be set to the channel to record. In fact, we can watch something separate. The converter box is not connected to the computer- so we have one channel that doesn't come in on the computer, so we have to watch it on the converter box.
You will take your chances on channels you can get. Until we bought a larger antenna NBC was too far away to pick up (VHF doesn't carry as far. If you are UHF, you should be good). I don't know exactly what that something else was. But 90% of our TV was perfect, and free is a nice incentive. Cable prices are ridiculous.
www.antennaweb.org will give you an idea of what you need to pick up what.
08-16-2012, 07:45 PM
I get 5 digital channels over the air with an atennae we've had for 10 years. You don't need a special antennae, if you already have one- but you do need to fiddle with it because the digital signals are highly directional. Three of the channels I get, I could not get if I bought a satellite package, and cable is not available where I live. I can't imagine paying for my TV signal, and yet not getting decent local news.
It is very simple to record- you just put the antennae into your DVR and out to your TV. Record whatever channel you want, and watch whatever channel you want.
Also- the digital picture is often MUCH better over the air, if you have a high quality TV. Cable and Satellite companies will split the signal quality to use less bandwidth, whereas over the air it makes no difference, so I get most network shows and PBS documentaries in Blueray quality picture.
08-16-2012, 07:48 PM
You don't need a special antennae
Well, you MIGHT- but I agree, try what you have first. Depending on where the signals are coming from, you could be good to go. (Ours all come from very far away, and opposing directions. We needed an expensive antenna- but still less than a month of cable. Without it we only got 1 channel, even when we upgraded we were missing NBC- but now we get all the main channels and a ton of other random stuff.)
08-16-2012, 07:53 PM
Well, you MIGHT- but I agree, try what you have first. Depending on where the signals are coming from, you could be good to go.
Yes, you are right about that- some people have preset turning devices on their antennaes to change the channel, and some people have more than one antenna.
I worried a lot, before the digital changover, but our TV has been great since then. Before the changover I haunted these two sites, and they are great resources for anyone wondering how over-the-air TV would work for them.
eta- just to give you some idea- our stations are all in the blue to violet (far away) zone, and we use a $99 antenna that came with an amplitude booster, and our signals are clear as a bell. If you are in the yellow or green zone, then you should have it easy.
08-16-2012, 11:37 PM
We used one since the requirement went in place. It was an irritation - we had to adjust it for almost every channel. We watched almost no live tv - just Netflix. But TV isn't a priority for us normally so we lived with it.
We recently went to cable - the bill is the same as phone and internet - no increased cost. In two years when our deal is up, if it can't be matched we will cancel.
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