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What are my options for getting HD reception on my TV?

Old 11-10-05, 05:29 PM
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What are my options for getting HD reception on my TV?

I have DirecTV/tivo, and I'd like to be able to get shows in HD that are broadcast in HD.

My TV has a built-in HD-tuner/converter/decoder... whatever its called.

So I won't need the more expensive cable box that does that, right?

But I do have to get a HD-specific satelite to do so, right?

Still, the only HD-cable boxes available are the expensive ones that are for the HD-"ready" TVs and not for the ones with bult in HD.

Please educate me.
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Old 11-10-05, 05:46 PM
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The cheapest way is just to hook up an antenna and get HD over-the-air. With a built-in ATSC tuner, all you need is an antenna. Usually people prefer the rooftop ones, but I have seen quite a few people make do with a simple UHF/VHF antenna (it depends on the signal strength in your home). Although not really needed, you can get an indoor antenna "specially made" for getting HD signals (here is a $20 from amazon).

If you go the route of antenna for OTA HD, you can check out antennaweb.org to find the best positioning for your antenna (based on where the HD television towers are).

Cable companies also have a decent selection of HD channels. You don't need an ATSC tuner for that. Component-in will work just dandy.

From what I know of satellite, they don't get many local channels in HD. So you'll use an external antenna mounted on the dish for that. But I could be wrong about that.
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Old 11-10-05, 06:32 PM
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1) Direct TV HD receiver for direct tv hd shows like hdnet and discovery hd. You will need a new dish (elliptical with 3 lnb's) and the hd package.

Here is Direct TV link to HD

http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/imagine/HDTV.jsp

2) Over the air as mentioned, you will need an antenna.
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Old 11-10-05, 08:15 PM
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Hmm... not sure if I wanna pay all that extra money for just a couple HD channels I'll hardly ever watch - DirecTV's HD package includes an HD converter that kicks up the price, which I don't even need. I don't see an option for people that have built-in HD converters.

I think an HD antenna will be my best bet (I have 3 component inputs in my TV, so it should be a snap).

Now, what HD antenna/amplifier would you all reccomend? The one linked above is for UHF only.
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Old 11-10-05, 09:45 PM
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Now, what HD antenna/amplifier would you all reccomend? The one linked above is for UHF only
HD signals are UHF.
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Old 11-11-05, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by slop101
Hmm... not sure if I wanna pay all that extra money for just a couple HD channels I'll hardly ever watch - DirecTV's HD package includes an HD converter that kicks up the price, which I don't even need. I don't see an option for people that have built-in HD converters.

I think an HD antenna will be my best bet (I have 3 component inputs in my TV, so it should be a snap).

Now, what HD antenna/amplifier would you all reccomend? The one linked above is for UHF only.
I'm waiting for more channels to be added before signing up with DirectTV. I'm currently just using an inexpensive Jensen OTA with a Samsung Receiver. Luckily all of my local stations, thankfully including Fox, are broadcast within a few minutes drive from my house. The PQ quality is amazing.
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Old 11-11-05, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian Shannon
HD signals are UHF.
Then how would you get the networks' HD shows which are VHF?
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Old 11-11-05, 01:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian Shannon
HD signals are UHF.
Not all HD channels are UHF.
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Old 11-11-05, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeremy517
Not all HD channels are UHF.
Are all digital stations on UHF channels, and do I need a UHF-only antenna to receive them? What are the VHF and UHF bands anyway, and what do VHF and UHF stand for?
The Very High Frequency (VHF) band is the segment of the television broadcast band covering channels 2 through 13. The Ultra High Frequency (UHF) band is the segment of the television broadcast band covering channels 14 through 83. Currently, the vast majority of TV stations broadcasting in digital are using UHF (14 and up) channels to do so. This is not due to any technical requirement of digital broadcasting, however. It is mostly because the UHF channels were more likely to be available in most markets. Eventually, after the digital transition is complete and TV stations no longer need to broadcast in analog, they may switch and use their current analog VHF channels for digital instead. Antennas that receive UHF stations only and ones that receive both VHF and UHF are available. If you are fairly certain you won't want to get any lower channels in the VHF 2-13 range, you could purchase one that is UHF only.

http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/info.as...Q#_Ref28770295


There is a difference between a uhf channel number and a vhf channel number. The hd signal can be received with a simple uhf antenna.
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Old 11-11-05, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Shannon
Currently, the vast majority of TV stations broadcasting in digital are using UHF (14 and up) channels to do so.

[snip]

There is a difference between a uhf channel number and a vhf channel number. The hd signal can be received with a simple uhf antenna.
There is also a difference between "vast majority" and "all".

There is one station in my area that broadcasts its digital channel using VHF (even though the non-digital is UHF). Other cities in the US have DTV channels that are already using VHF also.
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Old 11-11-05, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeremy517
There is also a difference between "vast majority" and "all".

There is one station in my area that broadcasts its digital channel using VHF (even though the non-digital is UHF). Other cities in the US have DTV channels that are already using VHF also.


In order to answer the original posters question, he needs a UHF antenna because HD signals are bery directional. Exactly what space they occupy in the physical spectrum is irrelevant. If his tv has a built in tuner then he can tune the stations.

Q: Are all Digital Channels on UHF?
A: No, but currently, 91% of broadcasting DTV stations are on UHF. A few cities, such as Chicago and Las Vegas have DTV stations on VHF as well as UHF. While Many DTV stations are now occupying UHF broadcast channels, the plan may allow some broadcasters to move back to their original VHF or UHF TV channels once the transition to DTV is complete. However, this may not occur for another 10-15 years.
http://www.solidsignal.com/antennas/..._faqs.asp#faq0

Because HDTV requires extra broadcast spectrum during the transition period, it has become a topic of political controversy in the United States. Current stations have received a free channel, generally in the UHF range, on which to broadcast their digital signal, while still maintaining analog service. According to FCC rules, all full power stations on channels 2-51 must convert to digital by the beginning of 2007, with an escape clause that 85% of receivers in the service area must be "capable" of receiving digital signals. At the time of analog shutoff, one channel would then be returned to the government for sale to a new licensee, with the digital one remaining.
http://www.answers.com/main/ntquery;...efinition%20TV
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Old 11-11-05, 02:24 PM
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What is your point? I said that not all HD channels are UHF and you disagreed with me. The first Q&A you posted refutes what you said. Antennaweb refutes what you said. The station in my area broadcasting HD on VHF refutes what you said.

The real answer to what antenna to recommend is to have him look on antennaweb and see if there are any stations using VHF in his area that he doesn't want to live without. If not, a UHF-only antenna will be fine. Otherwise, he'll want one that does both (although if you live close enough and have decent LOS, a UHF-only antenna can possibly pick up your VHF stations also, but for me it cannot).
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Old 11-11-05, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeremy517
What is your point?
His point is that "UHF-only" antennas can pickup VHF HD signals. Mine does (I have the "Silver Sensor" I linked to in Post #2) without a problem.

You need a directional antenna (and best to check antennaweb.org to find where the signals are coming from), but UHF-only will work.
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Old 11-11-05, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mbs
His point is that "UHF-only" antennas can pickup VHF HD signals. Mine does (I have the "Silver Sensor" I linked to in Post #2) without a problem.

You need a directional antenna (and best to check antennaweb.org to find where the signals are coming from), but UHF-only will work.
He said "HD signals are UHF" (http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showpos...00&postcount=5) which is just not always true, which is what my point was. What he posted even says that is not always true.

As to what you said, UHF antennas won't pick up VHF for everyone. It depends on many factors, such as distance, hills, trees, buildings, etc.
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Old 11-11-05, 03:19 PM
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Yeah, this VHF/UHF thing seems pretty confusing, but I don't want you guys to fight...

Let me just ask this:

Let's say I only want to get the HD versions of a couple shows from the following channels: 2, 4, 7, 11 - what are my best options?
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Old 11-11-05, 03:28 PM
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Check out this link for your exact location

http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx
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Old 11-11-05, 03:54 PM
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Unless I did someting wrong, all that link does is tell me where I am in relation to where the TV signals come from - I still don't know what would best suite me.
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Old 11-11-05, 04:12 PM
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Look at the "antenna type" column. You can click on any entry to find out what each color means. For instance http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/antenna.aspx?color=V shows you that Violet is Large Directional with pre-amp.

Note that their listings err on the safe side.
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Old 11-11-05, 11:35 PM
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It's confusing the way the channels work until you get it. Antennaweb should also tell you the real numbers of the HD channels in question. Here, read this page for my city. It explains how the numbering works right now, and shows my local channels in the chart as examples. The real number that the channel is on is not necessarily the channel you see in your guide because they can be remapped to match the 2, 4, 7, 11 that you are used to.

http://hdtvtwincities.com/mainframe.php/channels
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Old 11-11-05, 11:47 PM
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BTW,
It may interest you that the Terk version of the Silver Sensor has a VHF rabbit ear built in. But I doubt it really helps any more than the Zenith version linked above. As mentioned, a UHF antenna can sometimes do just fine as a VHF. And I've seen comments that the Terk is no better.
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Old 11-12-05, 09:24 PM
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What I did is get a really long cord and just moved the antenna around till I got the best signal. It worked well for me as I was able to get all major OTA HD channels even by mounting in an attic.
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