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Old 05-28-2009, 05:38 AM
 
Location: Pacific Beach in San Diego, California
267 posts, read 1,171,781 times
Reputation: 129

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I'm about ready to make the leap. I'm getting rid of my $70 a month Time Warner cable bill.

I just got rid of my old school 12 year old 27 inch CRT television back in September 2008. I replaced it with a 47 inch HDTV. What a great addition it's been. Thanks to the astounding clarity of HDTV I've been watching programs that never used to hold my interest. Things like Padre's baseball and American Idol. Hey, I can live without Padre's baseball if it comes down to that.

I feel good about cutting the ties with Time Warner. But I'm not sure what to expect with an HD antenna here in our region. Anyone have any feedback they can share with us? If so...

How many channels do you get and which ones?

What kind of antenna do you have?

How's the reception on a scale from 1 to 10, is it crystal clear cable-like or worse?

I live in Pacific Beach.

Compact antenna info kit for n00bs like me and others out there who are thinking about telling their cable company to GO STICK IT:

What about Antennas? | NBC San Diego (http://www.nbcsandiego.com/station/digitaltv/What_about_Antennas.html?corder=&pg=1#comments - broken link)
RadioShack Product Reviews and Ratings - Indoor - Indoor VHF/UHF/HDTV Antenna with RF Remote Control from Radio Shack
Terk - Indoor Amplified HDTV Antenna - HDTVA (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7322587&st=terk+hd+antenna&lp=4& type=product&cp=1&id=1118844608800#tabbed-customerreviews - broken link)
RCA - Indoor Off-Air HDTV Antenna - ANT111
TV Fool
Walmart Philips MANT940 Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna Customer Ratings & Reviews - Top & Best Rated Products
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:18 AM
 
19 posts, read 88,779 times
Reputation: 16
Right now there are only about 10 channels available. So its not like you're getting everything you had before.

Reception is 100% clear. Although unlike before you cannot recieve part of a signal because it will become pixelated or you won't get sound.

I purchased a coverter box. And still use the old rabbit ears antenna. So don't think you automatically need an hd antenna. Although you should see better performance with one.
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Pacific Beach in San Diego, California
267 posts, read 1,171,781 times
Reputation: 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by VF1s View Post
Right now there are only about 10 channels available. So its not like you're getting everything you had before.

Reception is 100% clear. Although unlike before you cannot recieve part of a signal because it will become pixelated or you won't get sound.

I purchased a coverter box. And still use the old rabbit ears antenna. So don't think you automatically need an hd antenna. Although you should see better performance with one.
I'm gonna run Tivo with Netflix so I can stream movies from the Internet, and receive whatever station programming I am able to reel in with an HD antenna.
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:26 PM
 
Location: San Diego
5,319 posts, read 7,855,723 times
Reputation: 3376
I purchased two Zenith DTT901 converters (using Gov't $40 Coupons) for my two TVs and reception has been pretty good.

I use two different model rabbit ears antennas with built-in signal boosters for my two TVs - a Philips 55db indoor antenna, and a Philips 25db.

Reception is about equal from both, but it takes a lot of playing around with them to get the best reception.

First I try to find the best location in the room for strongest reception. This involves distance from TV, height from floor, and proximity to nearest window. Any one of these can affect the signal.

Then I play with the telescoping antennas to find the best height and best
direction to point them.

Then I play with the UHF antenna to rotate it and point it in best direction.

Then I play with the signal booster knobs on the antenna.

Then there is the factor that whenever your body is near or touching the rabbit ears antenna, it affects the reception, so you have to take that into account as well.

It's a lot of work to get everything just right. And then even when everything seems to be working ok, it still sometimes will lose reception or have weak reception on certain channels at different times of the day.

So it is far from perfect.

I'm in the Clairemont/Mission Bay Area, and I can receive around 10 stations:

6.1 (a FOX affiliate - weak - difficult to receive)
8.1 ABC (sometimes has weak signal)
10.1 CBS (sometimes has weak signal)
10.2 CBS - Spanish Station (sometimes has weak signal)
15.1 PBS
15.2 PBS - Spanish Station
39.1 NBC
39.2 NBC Weather (fixed screen with weather info)
39.3 NBC Sports (not major league sports - just special events, skiing, biking, etc)
69.1 FOX

Overall, I'm very happy with it, especially not having to pay a Time Warner bill each month.

Whenever the channel reception is good, it is crystal clear - DVD quality, even on my older 27" tube set.

But the big downside, is when you lose the reception in the middle of a favorite show. This happens once in a while.

Another downside is if you are using a VCR to record shows, you need to pass the Converter into the VCR, so you set the Converter to the channel you want to record. It's not like the old days, when you could use the VCR's built-in TV tuner to record from any station simply by programming it. Now everything revolves around whatever station the Converter is tuned to. So you have to watch whatever channel you are recording, unless you buy an extra converter for your VCR. And even then, you still won't be able to program your VCR to tape multiple channels while you are away.
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:26 AM
f_m
 
2,289 posts, read 7,527,432 times
Reputation: 869
You should go to antennaweb.org to determine your location relative to transmitting towers. Most of the them are located in the same region, except the CW (formerly Fox) transmitting from Mexico.

I have a Antennas Direct DB8, which is among the largest I could get for the price range. Can get everything except the CW, since I'm over 30 miles away from it, although once I mount it properly I might be able to see it.

I'm using a HDHomerun LAN based HD tuner (with Windows Media Center). It is a dual tuner so it can record 2 shows or let you watch 1 while you record another. Or two people can watch 2 different shows.
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:05 AM
 
Location: San Diego
35,136 posts, read 32,128,390 times
Reputation: 19673
It's the same channels as rabbit ears. That's why I got cable in the first place.
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Yucaipa, California
9,729 posts, read 18,416,726 times
Reputation: 6432
A rooftop antenna is your best bet. I live 70 miles east of L.A. & with just rabbit ears i would only pick up a few staions.
Im receiving over 70 stations with a rooftop antenna.
The converter box says i have 95 stations but some of them are the same channel (11.1, 11.2, 11.3, etc).
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:23 PM
 
Location: San Diego
5,319 posts, read 7,855,723 times
Reputation: 3376
Quote:
Originally Posted by steel7 View Post
A rooftop antenna is your best bet. I live 70 miles east of L.A. & with just rabbit ears i would only pick up a few staions.
Im receiving over 70 stations with a rooftop antenna.
The converter box says i have 95 stations but some of them are the same channel (11.1, 11.2, 11.3, etc).
I'm in the Clairemont section, and I have amplified Rabbit Ears, and I was previously using them indoors and getting so-so reception.

Then I moved the Rabbit Ears outside, and reception became much better. I picked up a few more stations as well.

Will eventually get a rooftop antenna.

A new broadcast station goes live on Jan 1st called Antenna TV. Will have shows like All in the Family. Read about it here:

What is Antenna TV? - Antenna TV

You may need to re-program your tv to pick up this new channel. In San Diego, it is on 69.2
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Yucaipa, California
9,729 posts, read 18,416,726 times
Reputation: 6432
Quote:
Originally Posted by RD5050 View Post
I'm in the Clairemont section, and I have amplified Rabbit Ears, and I was previously using them indoors and getting so-so reception.

Then I moved the Rabbit Ears outside, and reception became much better. I picked up a few more stations as well.

Will eventually get a rooftop antenna.

A new broadcast station goes live on Jan 1st called Antenna TV. Will have shows like All in the Family. Read about it here:

What is Antenna TV? - Antenna TV

You may need to re-program your tv to pick up this new channel. In San Diego, it is on 69.2
I reprogrammed my tv last week. Im looking forward to the new tv network that will only be available to antenna users only (for now).

I wish i could pick up whitesprings tv but the signal from L.A.is too weak. I did get it for awhile in late 2009 but not anymore.
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:57 PM
 
418 posts, read 1,111,117 times
Reputation: 388
How does any man live without ESPN? Or is there a lot of cable channels that one can get live over the internet now?

Does anyone here yet just use the internet with their TV to watch movies and shows? If so, what all can you get just through you internet connection? Is that the same as WebTV? Or is that something more involved?
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