anyone from Ma use a digital antenna?
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anyone from Ma use a digital antenna?


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Old 08-20-2013, 06:50 PM   #1
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Default anyone from Ma use a digital antenna?

I got fed up with being screwed by Verizon so I started exploring options.
I both my own cable modem and wireless router (both top of the line) and a roku player.
Comcast is due to install on Thursday and I should be getting everything I had with Verizon with faster internet for 1/3 of the cost.
I'm still thinking I can do better than $60/month.
Digital cable antennas run anywhere from $50-$200. I'd like to avoid making multiple purchases and returns. I know I can hack the roku player and run the feed through it and I've checked the FCC maps and it Looks like I'd get the major channels. So the question is anyone local know what antenna works best ? What channels do you get? Are there any better options?
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:40 PM   #2
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There are a few "sizing" factors to consider.

How far away from the transmitters are you?

Are most / all of the stations transmitting from the same tower (i.e., in Chicago, most stations are from the Sears tower or Hancock building ... makes antenna pointing easy) - otherwise you'll need something like the "flying saucer" antennas that are omni-directional, or an antenna rotator.

Where will the antenna be located in/on your building? If you are in a fairly urban area and the broadcasters are spread out, the "flying saucer" style antennas work OK. Remember for something like that, you'll need a cabling path, and the best coax you can afford (like RG/6 quad-shield, good connectors, and the tools to properly terminate it).

Be careful buying something that has an "amplifier" because the AMP is frequently at the TV end ... meaning it "amps" the noise right along with the signal ... i.e., you get nothing extra by having the amp. IF you need an amp, it should be as close to the antenna as possible (it can be powered from the TV end of the cable, as long as the cable is good enough to not have so much loss as to eat all the power before it gets to the antenna.

If you're not technical or unfamiliar with the hardware, it would be worth your while (IMO) to hire a professional installer. They can also usually come out with equipment to evaluate what you need (and then move to IWBC - "It Would Be Cool" - hardware.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:57 PM   #3
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If you are talking about (Free) Over The Air (OTA) reception, it's easy.
And there is plenty of free resources available.

I used OTA exclusively for HD when I lived near Seattle.

ScottMac is on target. but a few changes out here (near Seattle)

Transmitting antennas are at different headings (direction from me).
Hills and valleys make some distance charts worthless.

Top of the Hills get good signals. I am about 50 miles from antennas (not a problem), but have big hill that blocks ALL SIGNALS here. sucks.

A couple of links you can follow to find YOUR information. both are downtree, but you can find the home page yourself.

http://www.antennaweb.org/Address.aspx
http://www.hdtvmagazine.com/programming/broadcast-market.php?dma_name%5B%5D=Seattle-Tacoma

You will also find it easy to search for and build DIY antennaes.

My favorite site for purchasing is http://www.solidsignal.com/cview.asp?mc=03&d=over-the-air-tv-antennas-supplies&c=TV Tuner Cards
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:11 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. You gave me alot to go over and consider.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:16 PM   #5
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Interesting the first link gave me completely different information than the FCC.
Looks like an antenna may not be an option here.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:25 PM   #6
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Hey Thanks again guys. Your links have led me to other options. It's amazing what you can do with this roku player.
Looks like I'll be getting most of the cable channels for the huge monthly cost of $0 and I'm still learning more.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:48 PM   #7
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Another reason for OTA is that it's encoded as MPEG2, virtually all cable TV and IPTV (like U-verse) uses MPEG4 / H.264 ... more compression, generally more artifact / loss of detail.

For sports with a lot of motion / action, digital OTA will be as good as it gets.
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