Originally posted by paulbehnke
I am about to buy a RCA F3810. I currently have TW cable. In reading all the previous post I have come to the conclusion that I need is a good UHF antenna, a hunk of cable, mountings etc and I should be able to start watching and listening (5.1?) to HDTV. I live in Live Oak and should have a straight shot at the Elmendorf antenna farm. Good guidance is urgently reqested!
From Live Oak to the TV towers down near Elmendorf should be about 30 miles. You will point your antenna almost straight south to get most of these channels. Try www.antennaweb.org
for a map of where the local broadcast channels are.
The receiver in the RCA F3810 is an internal version of the old RCA DTC-100. This was one of the first HDTV receivers, but it has been consistently one of the highest quality receivers out there. You should not have too much trouble with reception at your range. I live a little north of Lackland AFB, just west of 410 and Potranco. I've been able to get perfectly acceptable reception of all of the local stations with just an indoor Radioshack double bowtie antenna. Radioshack discontinued this model, but it's worth looking around for it on close out. Otherwise, Channelmaster makes a clone of this same antenna and Circuit City carries the Zenith version of the Silver Sensor UHF antenna. Either of these alternatives should offer excellent, low hassle indoor reception.
If you really want to do things right, you can't go wrong with too much antenna. I have a Channelmaster 4248 yagi and Channelmaster preamp mounted on my chimney. It gives me more signal strength than the indoor antenna, but the picture quality is identical. I am this close
to getting acceptable reception of Austin's WB station. With your closer proximity to Austin, you may be able to get a couple of the Austin stations with an outdoor antenna and a rotator. You may not, due to a small ridge around San Marcos.
The local Sinclair owned Fox and WB stations are supposed to go on air with pretty low power and only 480i sometime next month. PBS is slated to go on air with modest power on VHF channel 8 on May 1st, 2003. I don't know whether you'll need an outdoor VHF antenna or if you'll be able to get by with rabbit ears once KLRN goes on the air.
Don't know whether you have cable or satellite, but both have HDTV to offer. Assuming you have Time Warner Cable of San Antonio, TWC offers HBO HD, Showtime HD and KENS-DT. You can get the HDTV box for free if you're a digital cable customer, so that might be worth pursuing. Likewise, the RCA F3810 has a built in HDTV DirecTV receiver, so you could go with DirecTV for HBO HD, Showtime HD and the always popular HDnet from Mark Cuban. With either option, you could still use your HD receiver and over the air antenna to get all of the local stations.
Hope this helped you out. If you have any more questions, just ask.