Originally posted by Don Andres
1.) OTA: can I even get a signal? There are hills around here that may be in the line of sight. How do I find out without buying gear, setting it up and then return it if I can't receive the signals?
2.) DirecTV or Comcast: I currently have digital cable and I'm not overly impressed with the content I get for the $90 or so I pay them every month. As everybody knows - no local HD channels either and who knows when they will finally deliver. So I guess my question is if DirecTV is any better wrt content and pq?
Welcome to AVSForum!!
1) Check out http://www.antennaweb.org
and tell us more about your specific location in the Issaquah area.
2) I gave up on AT&T Cable (now Comcast) some time ago and switched to DirecTV. I never had digital cable but my son did and it was terrible compared to my DirecTV. We also subscribe to DirecTV local channels so we can record programs on our DirecTV with TiVo receivers/PVRs.
Comcast is more likely to eventually provide local channels since DirecTV lacks bandwidth to provide local HDTV local channels in even the major markets. But if you can get OTA (over the air) HDTV with an antenna, you should.
One simple test you could try is to tune in analog channel UHF 16 (broadcasts from Queeen Anne Hill, where KOMO, KIRO, KING and KONG digital transmitters are located) and analog UHF channel 22 (from Capitol Hill, with KCTS, KSTW/KCPQ and KTWB digital). If you get a passable picture on those 2 UHF channels from your antenna, you stand a good chance of receiving most of the local digitals OTA with your same antenna. Even if the analog UHF channels have ghosts, the digital signals from the same sites will be ghost-free and better quality than you might expect, even when not broadcasting actual HD programs.
Good Luck. Ask more questions if needed. Use PM if you want. There are many Seattle area folks on the forum that have a wealth of experience to share.