How to get OTA signal onto HTPC/XBMC? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-10-2014, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm considering dropping cable, but would like to have basic tv as an option when on my HTPC. I already have a HDHRPrime, but its crazy stupid comcast wants me to pay $35 for these OTA channels. I doubt I can use my prime, but what other devices are out there that can take OTA signal and use w/ HTPC

Is this what the HDHR (regular) is for? Would I also need to buy an antenna?
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-10-2014, 05:36 PM
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That's a busy question. I've had much better luck keeping the analog composite world seperated from the digital part. This has resulted from the impact that the HTPC concept has put on the video card makers and some semblance of a device to marry it all together. OTA broadcasts are free and unless an expensive tuner card is used, getting the content into the PC is problematic. Many newer PC units now have HDMI output ports but none I know of have HDMI inputs. Many fabulous units exist for studios and production work but are 20 times more expensive than any HTPC. Mixing HDMI parameters on an HTPC often leaves letterbox, huge side bars and all manner of format problems with the media that is not exactly compatible. All kinds of internet streaming boxes are hot now, along with netflix, etc subscriptions and a plethera of content from movies to series, new and old. As more and more HT hardware becomes "smart" the need for external devices or connections can be managed through a "streaming director" (router) to run multiple paths to multiple devices with one input stream.
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-10-2014, 05:45 PM
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Well, OTA means Over the Air, which means buying an antenna, mounting it in your attic or on your roof and pulling in whatever channels you can. The only channels you can get OTA are NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, and other assorted local channels. Go to antennaweb.org. and put in your address and it will tell you what channels you can expect to pickup from your location.

The HDHR requires that you have cable service which it then distibutes to the devices on your network. I'm, honestly, not that familiar with it, just what I read after a quick Google search, but that's my understanding. So if you cut your cable the HDHR will become useless to you.

In order for your HTPC to utilize the OTA signal it needs a TV Tuner card installed. Hauppage makes decent cards for ~$100.
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-10-2014, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjoe1975 View Post

Well, OTA means Over the Air, which means buying an antenna, mounting it in your attic or on your roof and pulling in whatever channels you can. The only channels you can get OTA are NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, and other assorted local channels. Go to antennaweb.org. and put in your address and it will tell you what channels you can expect to pickup from your location.

The HDHR requires that you have cable service which it then distibutes to the devices on your network. I'm, honestly, not that familiar with it, just what I read after a quick Google search, but that's my understanding. So if you cut your cable the HDHR will become useless to you.

In order for your HTPC to utilize the OTA signal it needs a TV Tuner card installed. Hauppage makes decent cards for ~$100.

That's not correct.

The HDHR allows you to connect an antenna and receive over the air content (ABC, CBS, etc). No cable service is required.

The HDHR Prime needs a cable card and at least basic service.
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-11-2014, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjd420nova View Post

That's a busy question. I've had much better luck keeping the analog composite world seperated from the digital part. This has resulted from the impact that the HTPC concept has put on the video card makers and some semblance of a device to marry it all together. OTA broadcasts are free and unless an expensive tuner card is used, getting the content into the PC is problematic. Many newer PC units now have HDMI output ports but none I know of have HDMI inputs. Many fabulous units exist for studios and production work but are 20 times more expensive than any HTPC. Mixing HDMI parameters on an HTPC often leaves letterbox, huge side bars and all manner of format problems with the media that is not exactly compatible. All kinds of internet streaming boxes are hot now, along with netflix, etc subscriptions and a plethera of content from movies to series, new and old. As more and more HT hardware becomes "smart" the need for external devices or connections can be managed through a "streaming director" (router) to run multiple paths to multiple devices with one input stream.

That's a busy answer.

OTA in the US is all digital, ATSC (1080i) now, except for a very small number of very small local markets where NTSC is still in use.

All OP need is to switch from SDHRP to regular SDHR (aka dual) with an antenna and done.

OTA is an acronym for Over The Air meaning that somehow the signal has to be captured, and what better device to capture Over The Air signal than antenna? So, yes, OP, if you don't want to pay $35 for basic broadcast TV, than you need to build/buy antenna.

Depending on your location, you may get a ton of channels with a simple youtube/coat hanger antenna, or you may require a 500 foot mast to get half a dozen channels. It is all location dependent. .
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-11-2014, 10:02 AM
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This is basic HTPC stuff. Everything received OTA is now digital and requires an ATSC tuner to receive it. Virtually every PVR app out there will work with OTA channels. XBMC uses the Windows Media Center services to provide guide data and recording. You need to get live TV working in Windows Media Center in order to use pvr.wmc and server.wmc with XBMC for watching and recording TV channels. Otherwise, you can just use Windows Media Center for these functions.
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-11-2014, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevedawg85 View Post

I'm considering dropping cable, but would like to have basic tv as an option when on my HTPC. I already have a HDHRPrime, but its crazy stupid comcast wants me to pay $35 for these OTA channels. I doubt I can use my prime, but what other devices are out there that can take OTA signal and use w/ HTPC

Is this what the HDHR (regular) is for? Would I also need to buy an antenna?

One other suggestion, call Comcast and see if they offer a basic "lifeline" tier. It should be a lot less $$ and is typically not something they advertise, so you'd have to call them to get that rate.
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