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Author Topic: OTA antenna for TV?  (Read 680 times)

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Online EV607797

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OTA antenna for TV?
« on: February 05, 2018, 12:54:06 AM »
These seem to be gaining in popularity.  I bought one just to try it out for only about $30.00 and I've had marginal success.  It's one that's about like a piece of shirt cardboard in a stand so that it sits upright.  It receives power via USB and I have it sitting in a window, but the number of channels received are limited.  I get about 15 total, with most of them being sub-channels from others, and are either foreign language or home shopping channels.  Only about three are actually watchable.

I used it when tailgating at a football game in DC and it pulled in about 60 channels perfectly, so I know that it works well in a perfect environment.

I'll admit that I live in a non-metro area.  The closest metro area is about 80 miles away.  I'm in an apartment in a bit of a valley, so I'm not sure that one of these will even be an option for me.  Most of the antennae that I've seen for better reception require outdoor installation, but that's out of the question.

Does anyone have any experience with these and if so, any suggestions?
Ed Vaughn

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Online hbiss

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Re: OTA antenna for TV?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2018, 12:15:04 PM »
I happily ditched my rooftop antennas many years ago and I can't see going back. The OTA channels are on UHF and I think back to when reception was problematic at best. I know things have improved since those days because high power transmitters are commonplace and digital transmission. But still, the story seems to be that you have to be in the right place and have the right antennas to get anything you would want to watch. I don't doubt that OTA is gaining in popularity with the greedy cable companies emptying our wallets each month. But even at its best, OTA is no competition.

-Hal
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Offline liquidvw

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Re: OTA antenna for TV?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2018, 07:10:51 AM »
I tried this a few years ago.  But failed.  Bought the best most expensive one off amazon.  Hooked it up and got 0.0 channels.  Then I put it on the roof and still got 0.0.  I still refuse to pay the cable company for TV.  For me Netflix and Hulu are just fine.  I also buy MLB.tv to get my baseball fix. 

Online Keighlar

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Re: OTA antenna for TV?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2018, 11:56:37 AM »
I received a letter from Spectrum two weeks ago that they were going to turn off all the non-cable digital stations that we've been getting in our rooms that don't have a cable box.  That would mean paying for three additional boxes when my bill was already exorbitant. 

So, last week I packed up my DVR, returned it, and cancelled phone and TV.  My monthly bill dropped over $100.  For now, it's Netflix and Amazon Prime in the house. 
"And once the storm is over, you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about."―Haruki Murakam

Online EV607797

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Re: OTA antenna for TV?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2018, 12:11:13 PM »
Yeah, most cable operators have gone all-digital, meaning that a receiver of some sort is required for all TVs.  Spectrum is only charging about $3.00 per month for them, so I'm paying for one in my bedroom.  They provide one DVR for free as part of the triple play bundle.  I just wanted to do something free for my guest room.  I think I'm going to use a RoKu box to access the Spectrum app, along with Netflix in that room.  I'm not too optimistic about the OTA/HD antenna solution in this location.
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Online RATHER BE FISHING

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Re: OTA antenna for TV?
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2018, 04:10:53 PM »
I built a Raspberry PI for $65.00 and added Kodi (Formerly XBMC). Hooked it to the network and set up my favs. I get a movies, music, sports, and assorted odd shows that strike my fancy. I found an excellent blues channel out of London of all places. Netflix and Hulu round out what I want to watch.

On another whim I am buying a FTA (Free To Air) 1 meter dish and digital DVR/receiver to receive stuff from around the globe. Also has a lot of US feeds as well as Montana and Louisiana PBS feeds. It'll be a one time hardware purchase of ~$125.00.
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Online MacGyver

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Re: OTA antenna for TV?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2018, 09:15:30 PM »
Dave,

Please keep us updated on that!   :054:
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Offline silversam

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Re: OTA antenna for TV?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2018, 10:37:50 PM »
Yeah, Dave - that sounds interesting!

Sam

Online RATHER BE FISHING

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Re: OTA antenna for TV?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2018, 07:44:26 PM »
The FTA is pretty cool if you like access to world feeds. I set it up for a couple of buddies, one is married to a Korean woman and the other is married to a Vietnamese. They get TV in their language so  it's kinda cool for them to stay in touch with their culture. I like the food and geography programs. You can find a feed in almost any language. Lots of English feeds if get the motorized dish to access several satellites. That moves the cost closer to ~$200.00 or so. No monthly fees which is nice.

http://www.trackdish.com/free-satellite-tv-usa/
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Offline Skip555

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Re: OTA antenna for TV?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2018, 08:33:48 PM »
Dave that sounds interesting , I want to do it just to do it . :066:

We dropped cable 7-8 years ago . We do Netflix , Hulu and HBO go either watch on the tablet or stream to the TV with Chromecast .

Mostly we stream music with Sonos one , small house and it sounds great 

I remember listing to the blues channel from london for awhile .  Mostly we listen to WWOZ from new Orleans or a couple of All Jazz stations  . I have a bunch of music on google play that I can stream

We don't do sports so it makes it easier
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Online MacGyver

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Re: OTA antenna for TV?
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2018, 10:36:13 PM »
Reminds me of the early 10' C-Band dish days.  What type of dish is this, Dave?
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Online RATHER BE FISHING

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Re: OTA antenna for TV?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2018, 10:27:27 AM »
Sorry for the delay in responding.  Here is a how to listing of needs.

http://www.ftalist.com/started.html

Kits for receivers and dishes can be found on Amazon and EBay. Lots of websites also sell the kits minus the pole to mount the dish.
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Online hbiss

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Re: OTA antenna for TV?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2018, 11:09:19 AM »
From that list of FTA channels I don't see even one that would be worth the effort to think about doing something like that.

-Hal
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Online RATHER BE FISHING

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Re: OTA antenna for TV?
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2018, 02:32:07 PM »
Its an eclectic mix for sure. Really meant for rural applications and not for typical network fare. Kinda pick and choose the English channels to see if it is worth your effort. I sometimes turned the audio off on foreign feeds to see the video.
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Offline silversam

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Re: OTA antenna for TV?
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2018, 03:25:42 PM »
Well the English listings are a little sparse. With more money than time, I think I'll keep cable.

Thanks, Dave.

Sam

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Re: OTA antenna for TV?
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2018, 06:45:07 PM »
I remember on the old C-Band days when we were "tweaking" the receivers you could find the feeds that the networks were using for redistribution.  So for instance you'd see the live feed of the commentators and such during the time when other people were seeing the commercial breaks.
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Online RATHER BE FISHING

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Re: OTA antenna for TV?
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2018, 07:27:25 PM »
www.ftalist.com/english.php

English channels.
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