Cheap HDTV antenna? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 15 Old 05-09-2005, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
KnickNut3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
EDIT: Now that I know I just need a set top box thanks to the response, I was hoping some people would suggest the cheapest STB that doesn't suck. I'm just looking for normal HDTV OTA reception (if it has the potential for cable, that may help for the future, but isn't necessary at the moment). I looked at the big thread of links, but I can't tell the quality, good value ones from the crap. Looking to spend only enough to get the job done right. Thanks for the suggestions.




Hello. Sorry for the noob-like post, but I'm having trouble finding simple information and am new to the HDTV world...

My family just bought an HLP5063W. We won't be updating to digital able, so I'd like to get a simple antenna that will receive HDTV signals. I live 25 miles outside of NYC, so according to antennaweb.org I won't need a huge antenna to get the job done. I'd optimally like something I can just put near the TV (on an outside window) so I don't have to put it outside and run wiring, etc.

I tried just simple rabbit ears just to see what I could get, but I didn't get anything in HD. Sorry if that was a stupid assumption to make, but I got the impression that "even a coat hanger" could receive HD if connected to a brand new HDTV.

So, my question is, what's the cheapest way to get a decent HDTV feed into my new TV? (emphasis on cheapest, with decent quality--I'd like HD but a pristine screen is not worth $500)

Also, there's a big, 25 year old antenna on our roof that I believe has an output in our basement. If I run a wire and get it to the TV, are there any special receivers/tuners I need? How would this situation differ?

Thanks so much for the help.
KnickNut3 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 15 Old 05-09-2005, 08:14 PM
AVS Special Member
 
sregener's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Southeast MN
Posts: 3,085
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally posted by KnickNut3
My family just bought an HLP5063W. We won't be updating to digital able, so I'd like to get a simple antenna that will receive HDTV signals.

I tried just simple rabbit ears just to see what I could get, but I didn't get anything in HD. Sorry if that was a stupid assumption to make, but I got the impression that "even a coat hanger" could receive HD if connected to a brand new HDTV.

So, my question is, what's the cheapest way to get a decent HDTV feed into my new TV?

Also, there's a big, 25 year old antenna on our roof that I believe has an output in our basement. If I run a wire and get it to the TV, are there any special receivers/tuners I need? How would this situation differ?
The 25-year-old antenna should work just fine for you.

However, your television does not have a digital tuner, which means you need to buy an HD set-top-box and connect the antenna to that, and then run either component or DVI/HDMI cables to your HLP5063 in order to watch digital signals.

You can pick up used HD tuners on eBay for under $100, or there are several other options for around $200-$250. A good place to start is the HD STB info on this forum.
sregener is offline  
post #3 of 15 Old 05-10-2005, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
KnickNut3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
OK, thanks. I was under the impression that my model had a built in digital tuner.

Not sure if the family's up for a $200+ investment right now. (Makes no sense, they invest in a $2000 TV and are now content with a grainy picture and don't want to spend another dollar.) I'll see what I can find. Thanks again.

P.S. I can just use the regular wire from the antenna to go into the STB, right? It's only after it's been received digitally that it has to go through DVI/HDMI cables
KnickNut3 is offline  
post #4 of 15 Old 05-10-2005, 10:22 PM
Advanced Member
 
the_bear89451's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 678
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
You need to check to see if the antenna is UHF or VHF to match your needs (check local forums). Whatever wires connect the antenna now should work, RG6 is preferred. I think the STB will easily pay for itself once you cancel your cable service.
the_bear89451 is offline  
post #5 of 15 Old 05-11-2005, 07:52 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Suntan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Twin Cities
Posts: 7,142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Liked: 49
Cheapest stb that doesn't suck -> Pretty much the deffinition of the USDTV Box from Walmart at $200. Good tuner and great PQ. Changes channels quickly too.

Does not have DVI/HDMI though, only composite, svid and component.

If you don't like it, Walmart return policy is good as well. However, I doubt you will want to take it back once you have true HD running to your set.

-Suntan
Suntan is offline  
post #6 of 15 Old 05-11-2005, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
KnickNut3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally posted by Suntan
Cheapest stb that doesn't suck -> Pretty much the deffinition of the USDTV Box from Walmart at $200. Good tuner and great PQ. Changes channels quickly too.

Does not have DVI/HDMI though, only composite, svid and component.

If you don't like it, Walmart return policy is good as well. However, I doubt you will want to take it back once you have true HD running to your set.

-Suntan
Thanks for the suggestion. That was the one I actually clicked on and looked at.

Quote:
You need to check to see if the antenna is UHF or VHF to match your needs (check local forums). Whatever wires connect the antenna now should work, RG6 is preferred. I think the STB will easily pay for itself once you cancel your cable service.
Um, why would I cancel my cable service? This will only give me 7 public stations in HD--I still need cable for every other TV in my house, and for the other 80 stations I receive (right?). Any suggestins on how to check what type of antenna it is? (Sorry for the ignorance.)
KnickNut3 is offline  
post #7 of 15 Old 05-11-2005, 11:22 AM
Senior Member
 
jmrobbins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Cary, NC,USA
Posts: 337
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
All HD stations use UHF only.
UHF is line of site and is affected by everything in it's path. I found a Channel Master 4 way Yagi at ACE hardware( ask for it at counter) for just $25. It has very good gain and is small. You may have to mount it on the roof but you could try the attic first. I first tried a Radio Shack VHF/UHF and it didn't have enough gain to lock in. I live in a very tree dense area. If you live out west, you could probably get by with small loops.
jmrobbins is offline  
post #8 of 15 Old 05-11-2005, 11:46 AM
AVS Special Member
 
mjones73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: North East, MD
Posts: 7,945
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally posted by jmrobbins
All HD stations use UHF only.
Not exactly, some stations are VHF depending on where you are... Antennasdirect has a nice listing on them on their site...

http://www.antennasdirect.com/vhf_hdtv_stations.html

Matt
Please don't PM me with technical questions that should be posted in the forum.
mjones73 is offline  
post #9 of 15 Old 05-11-2005, 01:44 PM
Advanced Member
 
the_bear89451's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 678
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally posted by KnickNut3

Um, why would I cancel my cable service? This will only give me 7 public stations in HD--I still need cable for every other TV in my house, and for the other 80 stations I receive (right?). Any suggestins on how to check what type of antenna it is? (Sorry for the ignorance.)
The lower the channel number the bigger the antenna. So, UHF antennas have small close together elements and VHF antennas big spread apart elements. The combo antennas look kind of like a arrow with widely varying size elements.

If you are going to pay for cable, you could just as easily get your HD from cable. That way you could rent a STB, giving you more time to decide what you want or new technology to comes out. Or you could buy a combo QAM OTA STB.
the_bear89451 is offline  
post #10 of 15 Old 05-11-2005, 03:49 PM
AVS Special Member
 
miniz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Small Town X, HDTV Land
Posts: 2,267
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
For a receiver= Sony HD200, Zenith 520 or Hughes HTL-HD. All run $95-200 on ebay. you do not need DirecTV or a card to access your locals on any of these receivers. They all have gen. 4 tuners, which work great.
Antenna=Zenith Silver Sensor.

"PLEASE HELP STOP HDTV ABUSE! FEED YOUR HDTV AN HD SIGNAL!"
miniz is offline  
post #11 of 15 Old 05-11-2005, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
KnickNut3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally posted by the_bear89451
If you are going to pay for cable, you could just as easily get your HD from cable. That way you could rent a STB, giving you more time to decide what you want or new technology to comes out. Or you could buy a combo QAM OTA STB.
Well, paying for cable is ~$24 more per month, so a solution for under $200 would break even in less than a year. (Plus, may be an easier sell for the familiy.)



Thanks for all the suggesitions. I'll check them all out.
KnickNut3 is offline  
post #12 of 15 Old 05-12-2005, 06:00 PM
Member
 
Jwalter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 144
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I just received an email from the CES mailing list and US Digital is selling refurb recivers for $125.

You can e-mail them directly at: sales@usdtv.com
I don't work for them, but I think this is a pretty good price. they sell these same ones at Walmart for $195.

Then get a DB2 antenna from Antennas Direct for $39. A great, compact UHF antenna.

http://www.antennasdirect.com/DB2_Indoor_antenna.html

and you are up and running for $165.
Jwalter is offline  
post #13 of 15 Old 05-13-2005, 08:00 AM
Advanced Member
 
the_bear89451's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 678
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
While the US Digital box is well prices, KnickNut3 would benefit for a box with QAM (plans to keep his cable) and DVI/HDMI (has a fixed pixel display).
the_bear89451 is offline  
post #14 of 15 Old 05-13-2005, 08:21 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Suntan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Twin Cities
Posts: 7,142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Liked: 49
And your suggestion of such a STB is?

btw, my usdtv gives wonderful PQ via component on my 7uy plasma (fixed pixels and all.)

-Suntan
Suntan is offline  
post #15 of 15 Old 05-13-2005, 09:28 AM
AVS Special Member
 
mjones73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: North East, MD
Posts: 7,945
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
The LG 4200A and the Samsung 451 both meet those requirements I believe.

Matt
Please don't PM me with technical questions that should be posted in the forum.
mjones73 is offline  
Closed Thread HDTV Technical

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off