Originally Posted by dcanoli1
Okay, here we go!
Bought my husband a Toshiba 30HF85 for F/D. It was HD-Ready. After doing some research, we decided we would upgrade to a Sony 30" with the tuner already built in. (One reason was that Adelphia wanted $15/mo. for an HDTV DVR with only THREE HDTV stations! RIDICULOUS!)
Now, we know with a built-in tuner, we would have to hook up an antenna to receive local HDTV broadcasts. Here are my questions.
1) We are in blue and violet zones. Will we also need an amplifier?
2) When my husband went to buy the t.v. today, Best Buy told him not to spend the extra money on a built-in tuner because it would be redundant in a year. Thoughts?
3) I'm reading that the CM 4228 is the antenna most of you prefer for our area. Any thoughts?
Hello. Welcome to the forum and the world of HD. Take note that what you are trying to receive are local ATSC broadcasts, ie OTA (over the air) DTV (digital television). Versus the old NTSC (analog broadcasts) which we've all grown up with. So a DTV tuner will let you pick up the "digital stations", as antennaweb.org states it, some of which will be in HD, others only in SD.
1) antennaweb.org doesn't even show me as being able to pick up any DTV channels where I am. Yet, at the encouragement of another forum member in another thread, I threw up my Terk TV36 antenna anyway, and I can get all the DTV channels in the Atlanta market just fine, albeit on the fringe of sufficient signal strenght. But that's the glory of DTV. If you can get just enough of it, you've got all of it.
But that's with a direct 50' cable dragged from the attic through the house. When I try to use the existing coax runs the previous owner had through the house for their DirecTV, I loose about half the stations. So I am looking into an amp solution, or maybe just rerunning cable.
As that kind of shows, you won't really know till you try. If you're in the purple and blue for "digital stations", it'll come down to how long the cable is and how good the DTV tuner is, etc. But don't go running an amp until you try without it first.
2) Well, I'd say I wouldn't buy a TV just for the built-in tuner, but if you want a TV and it's got a built-in tuner, I'd use it. If you like the Toshiba, then just get a set top box. I use the LG Electronics LST-4200A, a very well regarded OTA STB (it tunes both ATSC, aka DTV, and NTSC, aka analog, broadcasts; although you'll never watch an analog broadcast again once you have DTV going). You can get that for less than $300 on the web. [I recommend you do not buy a Samsung set top box, just my two cents, although that's a commonly marketed model]
Looking at Crutchfield, the Sony 30XS955 is $400 more than the Toshiba 30HF85. That's mroe than the cost of a high quality DTV set top box. But if the extra $100 to have an all in one solution is worth it, then there you go.
As for should you pay for an integrated tuner now? Well, you're going to have to pay for one in the box or outside the box. And any set top box you can buy today is going to be just as "redundant" down the road as the tuner in the box, in case the guy does have his crystal box properly waxed.
3) Channel Master is very well regarded around here. I don't know where you'd buy one, or what they cost. I decided on a whim to go buy an antenna and Circuit City had the Terk TV36 and TV38 outdoor antennas. So I bought a TV36. Works perfectly fine. Do not waste your money on any other Terk product though. And even the TV36 and TV38 are a generic design which can be bought under other brands for less, if you take the time to look around. Channel Master, Radio Shack, even an RCA model at Wal-Mart.
Being in the Atlanta market, all the DTV channels are in the UHF band except NBC. That's on channel 10 (it'll still come up as 11-1 and 11-2 on your DTV tuner though). Which is VHF, not UHF. The CM 4228 is a UHF antenna. Will it get channel 10? I don't know. Maybe others using the CM 4228 in the Atlanta market will confirm it will get 10 just fine, if strong enough. My Terk TV36 is a VHF/UHF/FM antenna, so it's a much larger footprint than the CM 4228. On the channelmaster.com web site, mine is like a CM Advantage 3017.
The CM 4228 is nice for UHF only markets because it has very good UHF pick up (spec'd 60 mile range) and it's very compact.
So in summary, you may or may not need an amp, adding a set top box to your Toshiba or just swapping for the Sony is really a toss up decision, and the CM 4228 may or may not be sufficient depending on if it can pick up channel 10 (NBC) well.