Originally Posted by Wolf321
I'm an E* subscriber and live in Lebanon, MO. I have an HD TV. I've been following this forum for some time now but often get lost in the jargon. What is the best way for me to get HD, including locals? Thanks.
Put up an outdoor UHF antenna and point it toward Springfield. If your HDTV doesn't have an ATSC (HDTV) tuner, buy a set top tuner like the Samsung SIR-T451. Of course some satellite providers even have an OTA tuner in their box, like the DishNetwork's VIP series. My understanding is that Dish is going to convert their whole system to MPEG-4 over the next few years, and the VIP series receivers use MPEG-4.
Even when they offer "HD", both satellite and cable distributors rely on compression to reduce the bandwidth required. It just doesn't get any better than what the broadcaster transmits over the air. When satellite providers offer HD, they start by picking up the OTA signal, then run it over a fiber backhaul, compress it digitally, typically with MPEG-4, and then distribute it via their satellite system.
Locally, the "pickup point" for satellite providers is at the KYTV studios. KYTV and UPN are fed directly into the fiber backhaul, but all other stations are received off the air. I don't think this will change when they provide HD locals.
As far as antennas go, there is no substitute for antenna height. A giant antenna at rooftop level won't work better than a small antenna 30 or 40 feet up.
Radio Shack sells a good UHF only antenna for less than $25.