Originally Posted by cbrian3
I've often thought about cancelling my Comcast service - and often wondered how good the OTA signal is. I don't even know how to go about getting OTA signal. I'm sure I need to buy a box or something? How many channels can expect to get from it? Is it possible to hook up a Tivo so I can record my weekly fav shows?
To recieve Over the Air broadcasts you'll need an antenna connected to the antenna coax terminal on your tv. You can go to Antennaweb.org and plug in your zip code to find out what type of antenna will work best in your area and which way to point it.
OTA will limit you to reception of your local broadcast stations only--no CNN, ESPN, etc. The good news is that those HD channels you do receive will have only been compressed once, by the tv station itself, with no additional compression done by your cable or satellite provider so pq should be at least as good, usually better. If your familiar at all with antenna reception of old-school analog you know that as the signal gets weaker the picture deteriorates proportionally. With today's digital broadcasts there's a sort of "cliff effect"--the picture will be flawless down to a certain signal strength, then it just craps out almost entirely. In my experience with digital and analog ota, at the point where a digital signal starts to break up an analog signal of the same strength is a sea of snow with colored shadows moving around in the background. LG sets should have very good OTA tuners since LG bought out Zenith and got their patents--Zenith pretty much invented the digital broadcast system adopted by the FCC.
Your set also has a QAM digital cable tuner. This will receive any digital channels off your cable system that are not scrambled by the cable provider. Just run the cable directly from the wall to the tv's coax input, bypassing the box. Most cable systems scramble all channels except the local broadcasters, so again this will mean giving up CNN, ESPN, etc.
After connecting the antenna or cable to the set you have to go into the setup menu and do a channel scan--you'll be prompted to select either ant (or sometimes "air") or cable prior to the scan actually taking place, be sure to make the correct selection. After scanning channel numbers will be different from what you're used to on the cable box. OTA channels will be the local stations actual channel number with a -1,2,3 etc after the main number. -1 is the HD feed, the others are subchannels with different programming that you did not get on your cable box.
Tivo does make an HD dvr that will operate from OTA signals--I have one, having given up satellite a couple of years ago and it works very well, much easier to use than the Comcast box my brother-in-law is dealing with.