Well I got my first taste of HD last night. Get this, im in 43314, 40+ miles from the Columbus transmitters. Everyone tells me I'll need a large amplified array antenna on the roof. I went out looking for a large indoor\\outdoor tube sytle antenna. The guy at servex pretty much refused to sell me anything. I tried explaining the math to him, then I lied and told him my "buddy" lived about a mile away and had the antenna I was looking for and he got good reception, he still said it was impossible. He said he lived in the same area as me and could not get reception with anything but an array. I admire his service and unwillingness to sell me something I didnt need (in his mind) but to refuse to even let me look, jeeze.
So, I went to radio shack. They dont carry anything like im looking for, just set top and array. Not wanting to go away empty handed, and with a 30 day no ?'s return policy, I picked up a set top unit. Its basicaly rabit ears with a 12" circle in the middle, like an AWACS airplane, and the UHF antenna rotates in there.
I also stopped by walmart and picked up a phillips MANT940 amplified, boasting whatever db. Well I go home and plug in the RS unit, at first im dissapointed, think I cant find anything. I decided to put it on autoscan while I went to find a location for the Phillips. Came back to find the TV sitting on NBC 4.1 in HD
. I also have CBS, WOSU-HD and FOX in HD, and several other digital channels. Turns out it was sheer luck, because moving the antenna even a bit will knock them off.
Well I got to looking and the MANT940, while it says is amplified and has a power injector, does not come with an amp!?! what a ripoff. Is there anypoint in trying this from the roof without an amp? Its probably 30+' at the eves
The RS unit comes with an RF remote for the rotator, so im thinking about just mounting it in the attic, I checked, the remote will reach it there. It would get it from 6" off the ground to about 25 and remove the whole house the signal has to get through to just one wall. The only problem with the RS unit is it just has 12 settings for rotation, so no real way to know the angle at which its pointing.
As far as HD on this TV, its nice, theres a definite quality diffrence, looks awesome on WOSU nature programs, but not so much that I would never go back to SD. I dont think I would be willing to pay more than $10 a month for the HD cable, though I would like Discovery-HD..
The only new drawback to the set is the lack of a signal meter for OTA antenna B'casts. That and it makes the N64 look like an atari...