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HD antenna recommendations.

Old 02-08-14, 01:17 AM
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HD antenna recommendations.

Cost not an issue, dropping cable so within a few months I'll be ahead anyway. I live in Las Vegas so I'd figure we'd get a good selection of channels. Want an antenna that would deliver the best quality, most channels, and easy to set up.

How do these antennas work with Tivo devices and such? I would guess each recording would have to be set up manually?
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Old 02-08-14, 08:54 PM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

Go to antennaweb.org to find out the size and type antenna you need. And don't fall for "HD" marketing hype, the best antennas are usually under $50 and not all that fancy.

Tivo works fine with an antenna. You connect it to the internet and it downloads its own guide and all the standard features are the same. This is how Tivo started.
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Old 02-08-14, 09:09 PM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

I've used ClearStream antennas with rather good results. I think mine was around $40 or so and you can get them for $25 or less I think. The latest is Antennas Direct ClearStream4 antenna which is around $100 I think, but I'd invest in a good tuner.

Biggest consideration is do you have a good digital tuner, separate from your television. A good tuner will grab signals much better and easier with a good antenna.
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Old 02-08-14, 10:47 PM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

So I have channels in yellow, green, light gree, red, and blue. What do I look in the antenna description that will give me all of those?

So I need the antenna, the Tivo, and something called a digital tuner? Off to Google Digital Tuners ....
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Old 02-08-14, 10:54 PM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

Isn't the Tivo a digital tuner?

Oh and how do you setup an antenna with 3 TVs?

Thanks!

Last edited by GatorDeb; 02-08-14 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 02-09-14, 07:58 AM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

Yes, Tivo has a digital tuner. And "good" as Polizei mentioned can be illustrated thus: Tivo HD (Series 3) has a good tuner, Tivo Premiere has a crap tuner, Tivo Roamio has a great tuner. Note that Tivo charges for their service, I think it is $15/month for a new customer atm.

Use a splitter for 3 TVs. But you probably already have that set up if you have been using cable. Just run the antenna into the cable line outside. The line must be split in your house somehow.

For antenna choice, this page describes it. Get an antenna that matches the "farthest" color, so looks like a medium directional. http://antennaweb.org/Info/AntennaInfo.aspx Simplest probably to look at the distance it gives you because when shopping on the internet they usually describe the range in miles rather than the industry color codes. You should also make sure about direction. Most large cities locate all the TV towers in the same area so antennas can just point in that direction. But if you have more than one direction to look at, you'll need an antenna that can do that.

The one mentioned above should work, although their cheaper DB4 should also be fine. Or maybe the 2 series (DB2, Clearstream2) if you are close enough, I think the "2" is actually the medium distance. The other major players are Winegard and Channel Master. Any of these 3 companies make excellent antennas.
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Old 02-09-14, 03:57 PM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

Any decent TV antenna should work for HD. How big depends on where you are relative to the broadcast towers and repeaters (in my case I'm in a very remote mountainous location where repeaters are a must). If you are a long way from the broadcast source and have a long coax run, I'd suggest a TV signal amplifier. I use this one:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00..._ya_os_product

It allows me to pull in a digital station that is 65 miles from my house, in addition to ones that are 14 and 23 miles. Be aware that if stations are closer or stronger, too much amplification is not good and will distort the signals. More is not always better. Technical stuff:
Spoiler:
The amplifier needs to go on the antenna mast — best — or between the antenna and the first node in the coax line leading into the house. The power is provided via the antenna coax using a T junction and a little 7 watt transformer that plugs into the wall. This sort of amplifier will not work if used near the TV on a long coax run. Its purpose is to increase the signal strength for long coax runs. In my case I have the antenna thirty feet up in a tree with a long run into and through the house.


My biggest surprise when changing to digital TV from analog was that the digital signals, both SD and HD, can be received more clearly and from much longer distances than the old analog ones.

I wasn't happy with the info at antennaweb.org for my area back when I switched to digital three years ago (perhaps it is better now). I preferred www.tvfool.com

So far as DVRs are concerned, if you don't want to pay subscription fees to Tivo or similar outfits, you can get a DVR that is designed for Over The Air (OTA) use and has no need for a connection to phone lines, internet, or anything else.

FWIW. I don't like pay TV and have never subscribed to cable/satellite. Ever. Many people might be surprised how much money they could save each year by dumping cable/satellite. Even way out here in the boondocks.

Last edited by lizard; 02-09-14 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 02-10-14, 09:08 AM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

I've been running Tivos over the air for a number of years now. I use the same old antenna I used to get over the air analog TV back in the day. I get a beautiful picture, of course it helps that I live about 30 miles from NYC.
Just plug your antenna in to the feed that was coming in from outside for your cable and the wiring should already exist to each TV that you had cable on. Easy Peasy. Tivo will need to be connected to the internet soemhow to download the guide data. If the OP doesn't already own a tivo, make sure you get the right one, as not all units will work with OTA. I currently have a Roamio basic and an HD. I believe only the base model roamio will support OTA.
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Old 02-10-14, 03:10 PM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

And if you want an OTA DVR without paying a monthly fee like the one TiVo requires, consider picking up the Channel Master DVR+. You supply your own external hard drive, so storage capacity is unlimited.

As far as antenna is concerned, it depends obviously on a lot of factors. Distance to transmitters, obstacles like hills that might be in the way, even the construction of your house. I've been using a Mohu Leaf antenna with great results. It's frequently on sale at Amazon for $25.
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Old 02-11-14, 10:47 AM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

Originally Posted by Mr. Salty View Post
And if you want an OTA DVR without paying a monthly fee like the one TiVo requires, consider picking up the Channel Master DVR+. You supply your own external hard drive, so storage capacity is unlimited.

As far as antenna is concerned, it depends obviously on a lot of factors. Distance to transmitters, obstacles like hills that might be in the way, even the construction of your house. I've been using a Mohu Leaf antenna with great results. It's frequently on sale at Amazon for $25.
I remember seeing a writeup on the DVR+ a while back. Looks like it is finally shipping. The only question I had on that, as I have on any DVR, is what is the interface like. I've tried some pretty shitty systems before, and nothing has come close to being as easy to use as Tivo.
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Old 02-11-14, 11:33 AM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

Originally Posted by jjcool View Post
I remember seeing a writeup on the DVR+ a while back. Looks like it is finally shipping. The only question I had on that, as I have on any DVR, is what is the interface like. I've tried some pretty shitty systems before, and nothing has come close to being as easy to use as Tivo.
I've not used a TiVo, but the interface on the DVR+ is pretty slick. The box is made by Echostar, parent company of Dish Network. They've made their own DVRs and receivers for years, so they know what they're doing.

I just decided when I cut the cable that I didn't want to pay a monthly fee for the DVR. I've only been using the DVR+ for about three weeks, but I've really been enjoying it. It probably isn't as refined as a TiVo, but it's not bad by any stretch of the imagination. And hey, I'm saving $15 a month.
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Old 02-12-14, 09:48 AM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

Originally Posted by Mr. Salty View Post
I've not used a TiVo, but the interface on the DVR+ is pretty slick. The box is made by Echostar, parent company of Dish Network. They've made their own DVRs and receivers for years, so they know what they're doing.

I just decided when I cut the cable that I didn't want to pay a monthly fee for the DVR. I've only been using the DVR+ for about three weeks, but I've really been enjoying it. It probably isn't as refined as a TiVo, but it's not bad by any stretch of the imagination. And hey, I'm saving $15 a month.
Is the searching name based, or do you have to navigate through the guide to find shows?
What is $15 a month?
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Old 02-12-14, 11:05 AM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

Originally Posted by jjcool View Post
What is $15 a month?
Two Blu-ray Discs? $180 a year (about enough to pay for the DVR)? Some people are thrifty and don't waste money on unnecessary subscriptions and fees. They even brown bag lunches rather than eating out. That is the whole point of dumping cable/satellite and going to OTA programming, after all.

Yes, if you've money to burn $15/month is no big deal. But I'd rather be frugal and retire young (which I did at age 45 many years ago). It is just a different mentality I guess. It is also why I hang out in the BD Bargains forum. I've been using a Channel Master 7000 to time shift OTA TV programs for more than three years. It has its quirks but it works well enough. Before that I had been using a VCR to do the same thing since 1980; the DVR is an enormous improvement. So, it depends on one's perspective.
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Old 02-12-14, 02:14 PM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

Originally Posted by jjcool View Post
Is the searching name based, or do you have to navigate through the guide to find shows?
What is $15 a month?
It's name-based. If you connect the DVR+ to the Internet (via Ethernet or Wi-Fi), the guide data is provided by Rovi and goes out two weeks, pretty much like a satellite receiver.

The $15 a month refers to what you have to pay for TiVo. If I'm cutting the cord I want as few monthly fees as possible, otherwise I might as well be paying for satellite or cable.

In my case, I already subscribed to Amazon Prime for the shipping. I also started subscribing to Hulu Plus for $8 a month. Between those two subscriptions and the OTA DVR+ I pretty much have access to everything.

Originally Posted by lizard View Post
Two Blu-ray Discs? $180 a year (about enough to pay for the DVR)? Some people are thrifty and don't waste money on unnecessary subscriptions and fees. They even brown bag lunches rather than eating out. That is the whole point of dumping cable/satellite and going to OTA programming, after all.

Yes, if you've money to burn $15/month is no big deal. But I'd rather be frugal and retire young (which I did at age 45 many years ago). It is just a different mentality I guess. It is also why I hang out in the BD Bargains forum. I've been using a Channel Master 7000 to time shift OTA TV programs for more than three years. It has its quirks but it works well enough. Before that I had been using a VCR to do the same thing since 1980; the DVR is an enormous improvement. So, it depends on one's perspective.
Exactly. I have the money, but started to get fed up with constant increases as my satellite subscription passed $100 a month. Even after reducing the programming level it felt like I was paying a fortune for nothing. Channels that I used to enjoy are nothing but a wasteland of reality programming and conspiracy theories.

The DVR+ works really well. I don't need to pay another monthly fee just for guide data.
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Old 02-14-14, 09:42 AM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

Originally Posted by lizard View Post
Two Blu-ray Discs? $180 a year (about enough to pay for the DVR)? Some people are thrifty and don't waste money on unnecessary subscriptions and fees. They even brown bag lunches rather than eating out. That is the whole point of dumping cable/satellite and going to OTA programming, after all.

Yes, if you've money to burn $15/month is no big deal. But I'd rather be frugal and retire young (which I did at age 45 many years ago). It is just a different mentality I guess. It is also why I hang out in the BD Bargains forum. I've been using a Channel Master 7000 to time shift OTA TV programs for more than three years. It has its quirks but it works well enough. Before that I had been using a VCR to do the same thing since 1980; the DVR is an enormous improvement. So, it depends on one's perspective.
Not new release Blu rays, that's for sure. Other than that, you don't really answer my question.

Originally Posted by Mr. Salty View Post
It's name-based. If you connect the DVR+ to the Internet (via Ethernet or Wi-Fi), the guide data is provided by Rovi and goes out two weeks, pretty much like a satellite receiver.

The $15 a month refers to what you have to pay for TiVo. If I'm cutting the cord I want as few monthly fees as possible, otherwise I might as well be paying for satellite or cable.
Thanks for actually answering my question. When I was paying monthly for my tivos, I only paid $10 so I wasn't sure what the $15 was you were referring to.

Good to hear that you can search by names. That was one of my biggest hangups with some of the cable company dvrs that I have tried. If I wanted to record soemthing, I would first have to find it somewhere in the actual guide, rather than being able to search by name. When my tivos go, I will look into the Channel master
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Old 02-14-14, 11:41 AM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

Originally Posted by jjcool View Post
Good to hear that you can search by names. That was one of my biggest hangups with some of the cable company dvrs that I have tried. If I wanted to record soemthing, I would first have to find it somewhere in the actual guide, rather than being able to search by name. When my tivos go, I will look into the Channel master
Quick update to the OP as well as on the Channel Master:

I'm loving the Mohu Leaf antenna. I had to reposition is a bit to get a good signal with the local ABC affiliate, but once I did it's been great. It's about as thick as a piece of posterboard, so it can easily be concealed behind a picture. Of course, whether it works for you is going to depend on how far you are from your local stations.

With the Channel Master, the only problem I initially had was some connectivity issues with the Ethernet. The company sent me a download link for a beta firmware update and that fixed the problems.

The guide data is provided by Rovi (formerly Macrovision) and is quite thorough. It goes out two weeks and is searchable. The DVR+ is currently smart enough to not record reruns, but the name-based recordings work really well. And if there's a show I really want to keep, I can take the external hard drive to my computer and transfer recordings to my PC.
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Old 02-15-14, 01:34 PM
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I use the same antenna for digital broadcasts that I had before for analog and it works fine:


I did add a signal amplifier to help with the long coax run, as I mentioned upthread. My roof is steel so putting it in the attic wouldn't work and I didn't want to put it on the roof for fear of lightning and a reluctance to put holes in my roof. In fifteen years the antenna hasn't been struck by lightning. So far. (It is well grounded and I believe that it sheds charge like a lightning rod. Lightning is very common here in the mountains, although we don't get as much as Florida. Some of my forest trees have been struck and lightning scars on trees in the neighborhood are very common.)
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Old 02-16-14, 08:50 PM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

Originally Posted by Mr. Salty View Post
And if there's a show I really want to keep, I can take the external hard drive to my computer and transfer recordings to my PC.
What type of file are the recordings?
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Old 02-17-14, 09:41 PM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

Originally Posted by jjcool View Post
What type of file are the recordings?
I don't know for sure because I haven't tried it. I did have to install a driver on my computer so that the linux drive is recognized, but people over at AVS Forum have been saving recordings. It may be a while before I have anything I want to back up like this, but I like knowing that I have the option.

You can also use multiple hard drives with one DVR+, should you need to swap them out.

I've been very pleased so far with how well it operates. The menus are clean and straightforward, and the records have been completely glitch-free. (I'm using a 1TB Western Digital drive.)
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Old 02-18-14, 10:56 AM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

Originally Posted by Mr. Salty View Post
I don't know for sure because I haven't tried it. I did have to install a driver on my computer so that the linux drive is recognized, but people over at AVS Forum have been saving recordings. It may be a while before I have anything I want to back up like this, but I like knowing that I have the option.

You can also use multiple hard drives with one DVR+, should you need to swap them out.

I've been very pleased so far with how well it operates. The menus are clean and straightforward, and the records have been completely glitch-free. (I'm using a 1TB Western Digital drive.)
Good deal. I just upgraded one of my Tivo HDs to a roamio and couldn't be happier with it. Nice to see another viable option to Tivo that doesn't involve having to deal with the bullshit involved with a HTPC.
One more question, if you don't mind. Can the DVR+ be networked? With my Tivos, I can transfer recordings between tivos and my computer. Is that possible with the DVR+?
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Old 02-18-14, 01:58 PM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

No, that isn't possible, at least not yet. But Channel Master has said it's coming out with companion devices in the next few months that will allow you to stream from the DVR+ to other TVs in your house. I don't whether that will allow streaming to a computer or not.
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Old 02-19-14, 11:40 AM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

Originally Posted by Mr. Salty View Post
No, that isn't possible, at least not yet. But Channel Master has said it's coming out with companion devices in the next few months that will allow you to stream from the DVR+ to other TVs in your house. I don't whether that will allow streaming to a computer or not.
Good to know that they are working on that type of functionality. Streaming from box to box would work for me, provided it was going from DVR to a DVR. Key for me is having enough tuners to be able to record possibly more than two shows at once. If I can transfer/stream between the downstairs DVR and the upstairs one, that essentially gives me 4 tuners. Likewise, being able to transfer/stream from/to a computer is important to me. more so from the computer.

Thanks for taking the time to answer all my questions Mr. Salty.
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Old 03-12-14, 08:07 AM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

Does any one have experience with

Winegard FreeVision FV-30BB HDTV Antenna

http://www.amazon.com/Winegard-FreeV...+leaf+ultimate

Need to know how it compare with the Mohu Leaf antenna

Thinking of dumping Comcast after their recent stupidity/greed of scrambling basic channels

Thanks
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Old 03-12-14, 12:20 PM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

It's probably a little stronger than the Leaf for reception. But I don't have evidence for that, just its appearance.
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Old 03-12-14, 02:14 PM
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Re: HD antenna recommendations.

You might want to ask over here: http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=81

Probably the best forum there is for OTA stuff.
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