I got a robo-call from Comcast Saturday telling me that ALL channels will soon be encrypted digital and that I would need a DTA for each set to see anything.
I only got CC for internet- watch OTA and Dish-sat mostly. I don't know if it's even worth keeping CC-basic if I'm going to have to hassle with DTAs.
I'd loved to dump CC completely but these days broadband internet is a virtual necessity.
I just signed up to ask about OTA reception in the GGE (Golden Gate Estates) area, see if anyone knows what kind of setup I'll need.
I'm only really interested in ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX, anything else I would consider a bonus. I want to get the signal over to 2 TVs. I would prefer an attic mounted setup though I do have tile shingles, not sure if that'll cause serious problems with reception. I was thinking of getting an AntennaCraft HBU22, sticking it in the attic and splitting it to my 2 TVs, that sound do-able?
The thing about my area is that I'm surrounded by tall pine trees. No idea how badly all these long needle pines will degrade a signal, has anyone out here had any success?
I currently use PRISM at the house but given that we barely watch TV and everything we watch is either on Netflix or the local channels, I'd rather go OTA and save a few bucks.
If you do have questions about PRISM though, I could probably answer it since I've had it for a few years now.
There are probably at least half a dozen antennas that should work well. A UHF Yagi like the 42XG or the MXU47 would work as would almost any four or eight bay. If you want a compact antenna that you can buy in a local store, you could go with a ClearStream 2 (or 2V) or a ClearStream 4.
Tiles on the roof will have an uncertain amount of signal attenuation. You might need to be prepared to mount the antenna outdoors if needed.
Got a U4000 4 bay antenna, it ended up being the cheapest at the time of purchase. In the attic with no amp I got 3 actual stations solid and 4 were cutting out frequently (I'm not counting the virtual channels since technically they ride the same "actual channel" right?).
I hadn't ordered the preamp yet so I stopped by Home Depot and they only had a distribution amp that had a ~4db gain to it. So I bought it just to see how much an amp would help me out. The stations that were cutting out improved enough that they were fairly solid, though their signal was still pretty low on the diag tool but at least they weren't cutting out and I picked up one more station. Total of 17 virtual channels. I'll return the dist amp and replace it with that preamp. So now I pickup everything in the 330-340 azimuth minus the last two which are too weak to pickup.
I was pretty worried that the vast swath of pine trees between me and the towers was going to make it ridiculously hard to get a signal and TBH at first I thought I was correct as my Toshiba refused to find anything at all during my scans. It wasn't till I tried my Sony Google TV in the bedroom that I figured out it was just the junk tuner in my Toshiba causing my headaches.
I just returned to Bonita Springs for the 2014/2015 season and all my (formerly) clear QAMs say "scrambled signal". I re-scanned, the TV picked up the same QAMs, i.e. 3-1 for WGCU, but they say scrambled. The only QAM that's not scrambled is my condo development's info channel.
Really pissed if this is true - no HD football tomorrow
ETA: I'm reading that Comcast has a DTA with HDMI out and the HD locals can be enabled upon request. Any local experiences with this?
ETA: I exchanged one of my SD DTA's for an HD DTA at the N Naples "Xfinity" store. 30 minute wait. Only 6 of 9 counters were staffed even though this is peak time for snowbirds returning for the season. Better than the tiny office that was in Bonita, but still crowded. I gave up trying to argue that the HD locals should be enabled for free and am now paying a $10/mo "HD Technology Fee" to enable the HD channels. I tried using the online chat support before I went to the store, apparently India based, very slow, and ultimately useless. The agent placed an order for the HD DTA and said for a fee of $15 I could pick it up within an hour. I thought this was some some of "express pick up" fee, and I was happy to pay $15 not to wait in line. Unfortunately this was not the case, I waited 30 minutes at the store just like everybody else. The agent at the Comcast store said they don't usually charge the $15 for the in person pickup, so essentially I got scammed by the Indian chat agent. After I got the HD DTA hooked up and activated, none of the HD channels were appearing, so I called the 800 number and after a couple minutes wait, an American agent activated the HD channels immediately.
Last edited by paule123; 11-23-2014 at 02:28 PM.