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View Poll Results: How Do You Mostly Receive Broadcast TV?
Terrestrial OTA 275 42.70%
Cable 179 27.80%
Satellite 136 21.12%
Online 30 4.66%
I don't watch broadcast TV 24 3.73%
Voters: 644. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-19-2013, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
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First, there was terrestrial over-the-air (OTA) television broadcasting. Then came cable and satellite delivery. And now TV programming can be accessed via online streaming and downloading.


With such a wide range of options, which do you mostly use to watch broadcast TV at home? Of course, you might well utilize more than one delivery system, but which one do you use the most, and why? Or do you eschew broadcast TV altogether?


Terrestrial OTA




I don't watch broadcast TV

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Old 02-19-2013, 05:52 PM
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I'm using Terrestrial OTA because it's free broadcast.
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:45 PM
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I have DirecTV solely for NHL Center Ice and NFL Sunday Ticket. I've tried NHL Gamecenter Live and I found the video quality to be abysmal and Sunday Ticket is the only way I can watch my Packers every Sunday. DirecTV does gouge me but it's a premium I'm fine paying for (at least for now.) My biggest complaint with DirecTv is the video quality at times.

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Old 02-19-2013, 07:01 PM
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I would say 65% cable and 35% streaming online. That online portion is growing quickly though and I'd dump cable if I could get sports live via streaming.
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:08 PM
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1. Cable- had it at my parents' house, at college, and now in my apartment. Comcast, College fed by Charter, Comcast
2. Online
3. I have used OTA for backup to cable after storms occasionally, but not often
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:57 PM
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Lol - I'm probably in the very small minority, but I do not receive any TV at all - Zip, Zilch, Nil. For me, there is no longer anything of interest to watch on either broadcast or cable channels. I finally dropped my satellite service altogether months ago, since I never really watched anything when I had it - just a waste of money paying for the service. I have not even bothered to install an indoor OTA antenna for basic TV reception. 9 months ago I had the cable company remove their line from the telephone pole to my house because I never used cable in my home in the 5 years I've lived there (and because I needed to remove a very large broken branch from a storm-damaged tree that was laying on the line!) - so now my house does not even have a physical connection to the local cable service. No OTA, no cable, no satellite - and I really have not missed watching television at all...

Instead, I have an internet radio in my bedroom, an AM/FM radio in the kitchen, and a Ham radio transciever at my computer desk. cool.gif

Besides - I have plenty of unwatched movies and TV series in my projection theater to keep me occupied; at last count, I have over 250 unwatched Blu-rays and a half-dozen TV series box sets in my collection, all still sealed in plastic wrap! redface.gif

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Old 02-19-2013, 09:37 PM
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been OTA for years long as can receive the BIG 4 (Fox,NBC,CBS,ABC),i cant complain.mostly watch sports anyways.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:57 PM
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Satellite. OTA is out of reach for me.

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Old 02-19-2013, 10:18 PM
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I have cable TV exclusively for broadcast TV. I would like to get into streaming through services like NetFlix, but right now I simply have a wired Internet connection in my bedroom and enough devices hooked up to my TV out in the living room already. Once I move into a bigger place, I might feel more inclined to re-evaluate everything.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:29 AM
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I have OTA and Cable. We do watch some cable channels. But when we watch Network television (which is the majority of the time) we ALWAYS watch via OTA rather than Cable. The picture is just plain better. For static images there is no detectable difference. When things start to move however, the OTA image is significantly better than the Cable image. smile.gif

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Old 02-20-2013, 05:41 AM
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I use satellite. With a full house of family, one being a 4 year old and the other being my wife, it just doesn't make sense for me to cut the cord right now. When there are more legal live streaming channels over the net and not "on demand" it would make more sense and I would probably cut the cord. Not everyone wants to have to babysit the tv and select the next show, have to walk in every 30 minutes when my daughter throws a fit because her Dora the explorer turned off. A lot of times the TV is left on as background noise.

DirecTV IMO offers some of the better PQ when it comes to broadcast. We have Dish/DirecTV and TimeWarner availible in our area, and dish is great as well but did not offer soem of the selections we wanted at the time. Time warner is terrible, we moved back briefly, their equipment is garbage and everything looks so compressed to me.

Also I have had some of the best customer service with DirecTV as well and I am a pretty tough customer wink.gif

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Old 02-20-2013, 05:42 AM
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Primarily through cable/IPTV (U-verse). But, if it is sports (such as Sundays during the football season and the Super Bowl itself, and NHL hockey) I will switch over to the good ol' rabbit ears. cool.gif

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Old 02-20-2013, 06:12 AM
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Satellite only. Directv offers the best quality programming in my book.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:30 AM
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I only have basic (SD) cable, and there is quite a bit my wife watches, and the Disneys/Nicks etc for the kids, but I would say a good 75% or more of our regular viewing is the broadcast nets, which I record in HD over-the-air on the Tivo.

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Old 02-20-2013, 06:42 AM
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Cable… but I’m really thinking about ditching Comcast for OTA even more than before b/c now they’re charging $2 for the digital converter that was “free”. I have older CRT sets in the bedrooms that don’t have the digital tuners… just the concept of it ticks me off. However, they’re the only internet provider worth a darn in my area.

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Old 02-20-2013, 07:01 AM
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We currently get basic cable with our Comcast internet and watch broadcast TV in HD via clear QAM. I'm not sure if that will change in the future:

If Comcast decides to encrypt the broadcast channels I'll be hooking up to the unused antenna in the attic.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by steve1971 View Post

Satellite only. Directv offers the best quality programming in my book.

I'm satellite-only too, and the PQ is far better than cable, but I only recently moved to a place with decent OTA reception, so I haven't compared satellite to OTA. 90% of network content is fine on satellite, but the compression does show when I'm watching sports. Will I see an improvement with broadcast sports if I go OTA (I'm most interested in NFL and NCAABB)? More importantly, it the improvement noticeable enough that it's worth $50 and the hassle of installing an HDTV antenna on my roof?

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Old 02-20-2013, 07:31 AM
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I'm in Europe, and have pay-TV satellite in my main viewing location, but in other places I use OTA and/or non-pay satellite. (In lots of European countries the main OTA broadcasters are also available subscription-free on satellite - either available with no encryption, or via a non-subscription viewing card)
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:33 AM
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Satellite mostly. Online for backup. I live in an area where I can't receive decent ota. I've tried repeatedly over the years but am always left out in the cold.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:36 AM
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I dropped cable over two years ago and get excellent OTA reception (better PQ than HD cable) with an attic antenna. I time shift network primetime shows using a CM-7000PAL OTA DVR so I can skip through commercials. For movies and other variety I stream Netflix using a ROKU (which also gets hundreds of free channels, of which I'm only interested in a dozen, or so, much the same as when I had hundreds of cable channels.

Other than the cost of 12 Mbps DSL broadband (which I would have for PC use, regardless) my total outlay for TV entertainment is eight bucks a month for Netflix.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:37 AM
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Direct TV, I finally have it hooked up to the internet and now i have on demand too. It's not t cheap however. Oh well. Wife wants to go with internet only TV. Will see/

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Old 02-20-2013, 08:01 AM
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My area can't tune any OTA. I checked Antennae web also and confirmed.

I have never paid for TV services but there is a coax cable that runs to my house and I get stuff like ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS and a few others in HD.

All I watch is football though so I put my Samsung HDTV tuner (H260f) away till fall and by then those channels may be encrypted.

Apart from NFL, I don't watch TV period and I actually plan to ignore football too next year if possible.

Shows I discover and like, I buy on Blu eventually.

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Old 02-20-2013, 08:09 AM
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I have DirecTV and really like the service I get. I would get OTA but I wont get many channels with where I am located from what I understood by going OTA to save money. I dont like netflix as I find myself looking for something to watch more than I am actually watching anything and half the time the material on there is only OK and the quality to be horrible.

So I pay the extra money to have a premium channel and record all the newer movies there to watch when they come out with 5.1 audio in HD.

Trying to enjoy the simple things in life.


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Old 02-20-2013, 08:52 AM
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I use OTA mainly due to how little I watch TV. I mostly buy movies and watch them. The only drawback for me is that the local sports teams are not my teams so I have to go to some place like Buffalo Wild Wings to watch my teams.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:42 AM
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Now that we're in our sixties, doing OK financially, and the nest is empty, convenience and freedom from hassle trump most other concerns. While we use most of the usual online resources for content, the combination of cable and a TiVo HD form the core of our TV entertainment. Because it gives us access to most of what we want, because it's easy, because the quality is acceptable, because we can afford it.

The distinction between broadcast TV and cable channels is mostly not meaningful to us (although the roof antenna that was on our house when we bought it in 1976 is still hooked up and works well for digital OTA, and is available as a backup).

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Old 02-20-2013, 09:43 AM
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DirecTV is our main source but the breakdow is:
  • DirecTV 60%
  • Online Streaming 30%
  • OTA 10%

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Old 02-20-2013, 10:12 AM
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DirecTV for main local-market network broadcast stations, plus outside OTA antenna on a rotator for:

- U.S. OTA broadcast stations in several adjacent markets (for different sports games, overcoming sports blackouts, and overcoming network preeemptions from special-event local programming)
- 5 neighboring Canadian OTA broadcast stations that cannot be delivered via satellite for legal/contractual reasons
- Local market OTA broadcast stations not carried by DirecTV at all, or not carried in HD by DirecTV
- Local market and adjacent-market OTA broadcast subchannels (-2, -3 subchannels carrying ThisTV, MeTV, Weather channel, etc.) not carried by DirecTV
- Occasional time-shifting through multiple-market PBS stations
- Overcoming satellite rain fade during summer thunderstorms
- Overcoming any contractual dispute between an OTA broadcaster and satellite provider resulting in temporary removal of an OTA broadcast station from the satellite-delivered lineup
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:19 AM
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OTA only in our house for about 6 years (a couple months with TWC...dropped it like a hot potato) $14 double bow-tie radio shack in the family & cheap RCA rabbit ears in my "Boom-Boom" room. Have a 2 disc rental/streaming with a logitect revue or xbox360 for Netflix. We spend most of our time warching PBS (4 channels..1 is Spanish-don't watch it). I keep up with college football, Texas Longhorns & Dallas Cowgirls. I have missed out on the College Bowl games for the last few years...all were on ESPN. No big deal though. I only have TWC for their Roadrunner (have turbo & get 24/2 speeds) & that is almost $68...been with 'em too long, on regular pricing...already called, doesn't help & no other choise in my County.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:24 AM
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DirecTV...used to have cable, sat, and OTA, but I tired of turning the rotor to get an acceptable signal with OTA, and dumped cable because of limited bandwidth and lack of HD + quality issues, and I love DirecTV, having used it for 19 years now, with great local, incl PBS and 3D + 1080P offerings.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:41 AM
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OTA for the last 4 years for the locals(ABC,NBC,CBS,FOX,PBS,CW). I also have a dual TV tuner in my computer and using WMC can record tow addiotional OTA channels at the same time. I just canceled DIRECTV which I had been using since 1994. The few shows that I had to watch on DirecTV , I will now get either from VUDU or Amazon. I figure a net savings of at least $190.00 a year by dropping DirecTV with additional net savings of at least $24.00 in succeeding years.
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