15% Of U.S. Broadband Households Have Antenna-Only TV Service

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by Megalith, Jan 22, 2017.

  1. DigitalGriffin

    DigitalGriffin 2[H]4U

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    Imagine that...greed making people go back to something that is free with better quality.

    Proud to be OTA and cord free.
     
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  2. DigitalGriffin

    DigitalGriffin 2[H]4U

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    Some older boxes are somewhat non compliant with the ATSC standard. My really old RCA DTC100 (one of the first HDTV boxes) stopped working on some of the channels after a while. It was getting the signal, but wasn't decoding it. Yet my newer boxes still worked with them.
     
  3. jmilcher

    jmilcher 2[H]4U

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    I haven't had cable since... at least 2007. I've been Ota and streaming. No regrets. I actually prefer sports Ota as they are not compressed as bad as cable/satellite
     
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  4. DigitalGriffin

    DigitalGriffin 2[H]4U

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  5. DigitalGriffin

    DigitalGriffin 2[H]4U

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    For those considering OTA, outdoor directional antennas (Bow Tie and Yagi type with a pre-amp) from Channel Master/Winegard are still the best. If you check antennaweb.org and you are getting your channels from more than 1 primary direction, you can get two and point them in both directions with a ~3dB loss for each antenna from the primary. For example, if I have a channel at 90 degrees (due east) and get 60 dB signal, if I add a second antenna pointed 0 degrees (due north) then my signal strength on the east channel will be 60dB-3db or 57dB because some of the signal from the east facing channels gets re-shot out the other antenna which is pointing north.

    The higher up you can get your antenna the better. The HOA can not deny you the right of putting up an antenna. The FCC said so.
     
  6. htpc_user

    htpc_user [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yes. And with my father-in-law's I used a metal baking rack, or maybe it's called a cooling rack, on the backside. I think it's supposed to work as a reflector. I didn't do it on my dad's because it was just a cheap, easy project one day and I had all the other materials. I still can pick up everything with it that I can on my own outdoor antenna.

    There's also some plans for a better looking one if you want to do one for indoors. I had a hard time finding it last time I searched for it. It looks kind of like a speaker stand. Also if you wanted to do a cheap one and only use it indoors you can make one using cardboard with aluminum foil covering it.
     
  7. jcollett69

    jcollett69 [H]Lite

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    A $50 antenna in Southern California gives me plenty to watch and is completely uncompressed. We have a smart TV so we have apps to HBO, Hulu, NetFlix, etc., but I really like going back to watching "whatever is on" without having to work at finding programming. Maybe its because I'm old(ish) at 47 y.o.
    If you want to see if an antenna will work for you, this site is pretty good at identifying the signal strengths and directions.

    https://www.antennaweb.org/Address
     
  8. Axiomatic

    Axiomatic Limp Gawd

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    I am in the process of cutting the cord. I bought a "Tablo" and can say definitively that it is a better "out of the home" streamer than either my Tivo or my Slingbox can do. In home it is of course fantastic too but for me the out of home use was more important.

    https://www.tablotv.com/
     
  9. PeaKr

    PeaKr Limp Gawd

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    Cable/Sat people come over and can't believe how good sports looks OTA. Redbox, netflix, and utube top off the rest of my tv needs.
     
  10. otherweeb

    otherweeb Limp Gawd

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    Got into OTA when it was still new. Cut the cable cord when they encrypted everything but locals. (before that could see SciFy, History, and some others)

    It was really annoying that the Seahawks games had a delay and were lower quality signal than OTA.
     
  11. TheHig

    TheHig [H]Lite

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    Just helped my Father join the OTA only set. He is retired now and it's an easy way to save on expenses. Sadly Big TV is also Big ISP so as more folks ditch the pay TV the internet pricing will just go up. :(

    We need more competition in fast net access now more than ever.
     
  12. steakman1971

    steakman1971 [H]ard|Gawd

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    That web site was very helpful to me when I was figuring out what kind of antennas to buy. I bought the longer range ones - partially because I installed the devices in my attic. If I put it on the outside of the house, I'd get a lot more signal quality! The roof blocks a lot of signal. This sight also gives you a good idea which way to aim the antennas - I'm using two: one is VHF, the other UHF. The transmitters are probably 35 degrees away from each other.
     
  13. jtm55

    jtm55 Limp Gawd

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    Hi All

    Been OTA for about 5 years now, and haven't looked back.
     
  14. nightfly

    nightfly [H]ard|Gawd

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    If it's that or only having a few channels, we pay for the extra channels even though we have to watch commercials. Last time I tried to go OTA, all I could get were the cbs and nbc networks and sub channels, (no fox or abc), and a few local independents. So far, Verizen tv (internet, too, though the phone service wasn't up to par for what they charged) has worked flawlessly now for 6 years. That makes it an easy choice.
    Found this site for an OTA tv channel guide, just plug in your zip code:
    https://www.aol.com/video/guide/tv/
     
  15. Gmok Bonecrusha

    Gmok Bonecrusha [H]ard|Gawd

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    Went OTA and streaming last week. Have Amazon Prime and some private channels via ROKU. Took my elderly mother a week to get used to it, but she now loves it.
     
  16. maclem8223

    maclem8223 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Contract is up in 6 months and I will definitely be going back to OTA. What's messed up to me is that to get the speeds I wanted (interwebs wise) it was cheaper to buy the bundle with cable than just Internet. Pisses me off but that is the nature of the beast. Not doing it again though. Already have the antenna and have tested it. 30 solid channels...bye Felicia!
     
  17. bman212121

    bman212121 Gawd

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    This is part of what helps make OTA possible again. Back when I switched people off OTA it was a wash to get your local channels through cable if you were already paying for internet. So removing the need to worry about the antenna placement (rotation required here) and getting an easy to use signal that all of the channels are stable on made it possible to setup a PC based DVR when using cable. If it wasn't for the PC the only other option was to keep using VHS tapes... But now cable is starting to creep the price up for even local channels to where it might be worthwhile to start looking at setting up an antenna again. One of those channel masters might be a great all in one solution for TV so you don't need multiple parts to make it work.
     
  18. El Nacho

    El Nacho Noobie Cheese

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    Alot of times its not cheaper once they add in all the fees for TV service. I've been OTA + streaming/plex for a few years now. Would never go back.
     
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  19. schlitzbull

    schlitzbull [H]Lite

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    HD antenna+HDHomeRun, Netflix, Hulu.....everything I need. If there is a game on ESPN I really want to watch, I'll take some of my savings from dropping cable and head to the bar.
     
  20. otherweeb

    otherweeb Limp Gawd

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    ABC comet & grit? That's funny. I thought they were my local affiliate's choices but they must be big mama ABC's. GOOD SHOW ABC! He can probably survive well on that.
     
  21. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yea, I don't even have that. Technically I have no TV service at all. I watch streaming content over cable internet, but no TV programing services at all. If I didn't life in the sticks I'd buy an antenna and step up to OTA broadcasting, specially for big sports events.
     
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  22. DigitalGriffin

    DigitalGriffin 2[H]4U

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    Even the sticks can get reception from 100 miles away if you are willing to put up the antenna.
     
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  23. SilverSliver

    SilverSliver [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Still paying the man. Really the only reason we keep it is for Disney now.
     
  24. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardness Supreme

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    You are right, but in our case it's a problem of distance and mountains.

    But I still get buy pretty well with internet based streaming services.

    I haven't missed the Super Bowl, the World Cup or the Olympics yet. Someone somewhere is always streaming them. Last Super Bowl it was NBC Streaming it and we used my phone and a Cromecast for the event.
     
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  25. travbrad

    travbrad [H]ard|Gawd

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    https://www.sling.com/programming/kids

    It might be slightly more complicated if you need your kids to be able to turn it on themselves though, although maybe not considering how bad the UI/input is on a lot of cable services.
     
  26. SilverSliver

    SilverSliver [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yeah, I looked at that. End of the day, I'm paying 45 for Sling or 55 for satellite, and satellite had free receivers, dvr, 4k channels, etc. Once my price per month goes back up to $100, it's harder choice. I really want a la carte pricing...
     
  27. DigitalGriffin

    DigitalGriffin 2[H]4U

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    You know how universities make you take classes to make you more "rounded" as an individual before you get your degree. You know the ones, arts & humanities. That's BS. Because you don't need to take them as an adult to get the degree. Quite frankly those departments would go bankrupt if the university didn't force you to take them. Yet a few small percentage students might need those departments. And hence why cable companies and content providers are LOATHE to give you a la carte.
     
  28. sleepeeg3

    sleepeeg3 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I get like 40 channels OTA, 38 of which are in god damn Spanish! They even get movie channels! Fucking California! Fox and NBC are only channels broadcast in English, which I use to watch sports.
    Edit: I'm probably only picking up the UHF channels from TJ and need a VHF receiver to receive the other two major networks here. Wish I knew Spanish better!

    Other than that, Netflix and Amazon Prime. Cable TV can suck my greasy balls.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
  29. Gavv

    Gavv [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I been on OTA since around 2011 and won't go back.

    Sure the channel line up isn't as impressive as cable/satellite but it works and is right for me.

    The cable/satellite companies just aren't getting what some of us are saying. Their services are over priced and not worth paying for when you get a lot of channels most will never watch. Equipment fees that don't make sense. My favorite was the treatment of existing customers verses new. It is obvious they still don't get it amwitg their "great" deals that literally suck worse than the regular deals.

    I am happy many are joining the OTA ranks. Television media needs to change and the only way it will is with continued hurting if these companies with dropped subs and not giving open access to our wallets.
     
  30. Hitti2

    Hitti2 Limp Gawd

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    I dropped cable TV.

    Have a Viewtv At-164 and atm I have Mediasonic Homeworx HW110AN Super Thin Indoor HDTV Antenna - 25 Miles Range.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I ordered yesterday a 60 mile antenna.

    [​IMG]
     
  31. Hitti2

    Hitti2 Limp Gawd

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    What's fucked up is the digital antenna will not detect Lafayette, Indiana WLFI 18.1-18.2.

    But this detects WLFI 18.1-18.2. But is all blocky and distorted, but I am sure if I moved to the window it would clear up.

    [​IMG]

    WLFI tower is 15 miles from me. And runs on a frequency called hi-v.

    RCA ANT130B
     
  32. Hitti2

    Hitti2 Limp Gawd

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    I wrote to WLFI

     
  33. spaceman

    spaceman [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yup. Been doing this for two years now. Only issue is that abc is a completely different signal source and I would need a roof antennae to get it. Not an easy project with my house. That backside of the roof requires a LONG ladder.
     
  34. Hitti2

    Hitti2 Limp Gawd

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    I 've got a ViewTV-164 and a RCA ANT1150Z amplified.

    This is a 60 mile indoor antenna and I am on second floor of a house.

    I have the antenna mounted to the top of the window at the highest point.

    I get 4 channels.

    Same channels my Homeworx 25mile antenna got.

    This is driving me bonkers.

    What could I do. I live in an apt house.
     
  35. Biznatch

    Biznatch [H]ard|Gawd

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    And the only reason this number is so low is cable companies are packaging TV & internet for cheaper than just internet so they can artificially inflate the number of subscribers.... If they stopped that nonsense, the number of subscribers would drop stupid fast and their ad revenue and content package pricing would plummet..... It's only a matter of time before they can no longer keep relying on their outdated bullshit business model and catch up with the times. But they are going to take a big hit initially since they no longer have the stranglehold on content they had 10+ years ago when TV was your only choice for content and they could stuff ads down your throat.
     
  36. Viper16

    Viper16 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Ads and higher cost of internet data usage...just like getting taxed for using certain websites/data...which is bullshit.
     
  37. bman212121

    bman212121 Gawd

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    So to help you out some, there is no such thing as a digital antenna. Antennas are antennas regardless of what they are tuning in. All of this new stuff is just utter garbage that everyone is trying to pass off as something special. That flat antenna is most likely optimized for tuning in UHF, not High VHF. Your older RCA likely has higher gain than that new thin piece of junk. The VHF portion of the old one is the "rabbit ears", and that loop in the center is UHF. VHF does better with precisely tuned Omni directional dipole (The rabbit ears) than it will with a loop. (The new RCA "HD" antenna) That said if you're only 15 miles away, you can probably tune stations in with a piece of copper cable stuck into the coax port. Unfortunately I also don't know how good the RCA brand name is anymore either. That old unit you have is likely sought after by who actually measure equipment signals because it works well. RCA used to make great stuff, I'm not so sure now...


    You probably do NOT want an amplified antenna, because that will actually cause more issues with how close you are to the tower. You'll end up overdriving the signal causing it to clip, and you'll pick up lots of unwanted interference and multipathing. (BAD) If you had the same one but unamplified you might actually get better signal levels than with an amp. As a general rule though, you always want to increase the gain of the antenna before you mess with amplifying the signal. Antenna gain can help increase the pickup of weak signals, where an amplifier takes whatever it gets and increases the strength of it. Amplifying garbage just gives you stronger amounts of garbage. All of those crappy little window "HD" antennas people are selling are designed to pick up UHF signals. I wouldn't even let you think for a second that thing is actually capable of even 30 miles let alone 60, and certainly not just taped to a window.

    EDIT: If you're curious about a DIY solution, this thread is probably enough to get you a general idea.

    http://www.avsforum.com/forum/25-hdtv-technical/1024739-how-build-indoor-vhf-antenna.html

    Those channels are on Physical channel 11, So you can probably find a calculator to "tune" either 2 pieces of coat hanger to the right length, or open up that old setup so that the long antennas are just pointed out sideways and turned to align with where the tower is. VHF is VERY Line of sight dependent, so if the two people who can get it have windows that point directly at the tower, it will work perfectly. If you're pointing your antenna out the window, but the tower is the opposite direction, you're either hoping for a good reflection (Which VHF is very picky about) or it's trying to get the signal directly through the house. Chances are the LoS and the reflections off of another building are the same strength, causing it to go crazy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017 at 8:10 PM
  38. Hitti2

    Hitti2 Limp Gawd

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    I ordered and am returning the ANT1150Z and getting a refund from amazon. Ups nisnpicking it up tomorrow. I'm sticking with a homeworx 7 dollar antenna that picks up at least 4 channels.

    The ANT1150Z stopped detecting channels yesterday. I got fed up and got on chat with amazon requested an RMA slip n ups pickup n refund.

    I should have stuck withy cable TV
     
  39. Brian_B

    Brian_B Gawd

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    I wish I could talk my wife into this, but she's addicted to Dish, and I'm addicted to sleeping with her, so...
     
  40. Kongar

    Kongar Gawd

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    I tried to get OTA signals at my new home - but we live in a geographical "hole" with no direct line of sights. I was only able to tune in CBS and some telemundo spanish channel. Very sad.

    This IMO is the only problem with the digital rollout OTA. It definitely shortened the range from the towers where you can still pick up a signal (and you can't get a bad signal and still watch it - either you've got it digitally or not). There's a lot of populated areas of the country now that used to have OTA TV in the 80s and 90s, but that is no longer the case.

    That all said - you're still getting increasing internet bills from the cable company, so it appears that cutting the cord in the end will save you nothing. My current solution I feel is reasonable. I got the "by law you have to give me the first cable card for next to nothing" cable card, stuck it in a HDhomerun prime box, and use PCs and tablets to pick the three network streams up. My HTPC is windows 7 with media center still installed, and that works far better than any cable company's DVR. This saves more than half off my cable bill because I'm not paying the $10-$15 per month per box fees for the dvrs and cable boxes. Right now I get 60 down 10 up internet, and all the cable channels (minus premiums like HBO) for $92 a month. That's a promo deal, and I just call them every year and bitch for the same price.

    That's a reasonable bill IMO for those channels and internet. The $200+ they try to get with all their BS fees and non promotional deals is not.