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Rogers did announce that they are serioulsy investigating the CableCard and expect to have it in 2005. Their problem is that it isn't 2-way.
 

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Yeah, that's not expected until a later revision. However for many people that have no use for VOD or PPV it's a serious convenience item. My next TV will support one.


Sometimes the FCC's way of doing business is beneficial to the consumer: "You WILL broadcast HDTV, or else. You WILL support cable cards, or else."
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by intrac
Don't believe what Rogers is telling you. If you have an ATSC tuner, you can receive OTA HD. You don't need anything else except an external UHF antenna.


They could be referring to a CableCard -- which some of the newer receiver/monitors have. The CableCard eliminates the Rogers STB (but doesn't do VOD).

Thanks Intrac!


Ignore my ignorance but what is CableCard, STB or VOD? I know PPV means pay per view. Is the Scientific Atlantic HD/digital tuner from Rogers a CableCard?


Can I get Rogers to turn on the HD signal in the RG6 line and plug it into my ATSC tuner to get HD?


For the UHF antenna, I am assuming you mean buy this:

Gemini ZHDTV1 HDTV-UHF Digital Indoor Antenna

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...&n=574568&no=*


I can always buy one to try out....but RadioShack does not seem to carry it....any suggestions on where to buy?
 

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VOD = Video On Demand. It's the ability to stream video from the cable company to your cable box in real time. Pause, rewind, and so on. Picture it as the benefits of renting a video without having to actually go out to get the video.


STB = Set Top Box. A generic term referring to anything used to receive television signals external to the actual display device. Could be any sort of cable box, DVR (Digital Video Recorder like ReplayTV or TiVo), off the air HDTV receiver, satellite receiver, and so on.


Cable Card = a new system where televisions will come with a special slot that can take a card (obtainable from the cable company) that allows you to receive encrypted digital cable, such as HDTV or premium channels. Digital cable boxes will not have this, the whole system is actually designed to replace the need for those very boxes.


Remember years ago when you had to rent an anaog cable box to receive any sort of cable TV? They were eventually phased out, and soon enough digital cable boxes will be phased out as well. The problem is that the current Cable Card system isn't two way, so it can't communicate with the cable company. So no VOD and PPV.


Rogers transmits HDTV in encryped QAM. HDTV is always broadcast over-the-air in 8VSB, and the two systems are not compatible. Now, you can buy off-the-air HDTV receivers that support both 8VSB *and* QAM, units designed specifically for receiving some channels from the cable company, but alas none of them support *encrypted* QAM as used by Rogers.


So, what it boils down to is if you want to get HDTV from Rogers you have to either rent their cable box, or buy a TV supporting the Cable Card system and wait for them to start supporting it.
 

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Thanks! This helps alot. I have 2 options:


1. stick with regular cable analog cable with Rogers and add UHF Antenna to receive some OTA HD channels in my area (already have ATSC tuner). But I don't think there is any sports (sportsnet or TSN) in OTA HD in Toronto....


2. upgrade Rogers cable to digital/HDTV, rent their box and get encrypted QAM HD


BTW...I was told that OTA HD will actually have better picture quality than Rogers HD since it is one less filter. Is this true?
 

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Daniel, An excellent summary.


One other thing to keep in mind -- OTA doesn't have any of the specialty channels like HBO, TMN, ESPN, TSN, etc. that you get from Cable or Satellite. OTA will give you only the networks in HD.


Also, the set has to have CableCard capability built in. Most new sets in the US are now sold this way.


The indoor antenna that ITR is looking at probably won't get you the WNY OTA channels unless your located in a high-rise facing the lake. It'll probably receive only the Toronto locals when most start HD broadcasting.


By the way, it looks like the SilverSensor which I believe is available locally.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by intrac
OTA has better picture quality than either cable or satellite -- no compression.

It depends on the channel and what they are broadcasting at the moment. With the OTA channels I've seen data rates from 11 to 19.2 Mbps for a broadcast.


Whereas with cable, since they still haven't killed the analog feed, they have a bandwidth problem for digicable, so they try to squeeze each channel as much as possible to maximaze channel lineups, so picture quality suffers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
ITR,

try Radio Shack TV/HDTV/FM INDOOR ANTENNA 15-1880 $59.99 in Canada.

I used this antenna for a while here in Mississauga. I just had it sitting on a couch, facing a wall. I picked up all local and a couple of WNY HD channels.

I returned it after I switched to the DB8 outdoor antenna.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by intrac
OTA has better picture quality than either cable or satellite -- no compression.


Plus, with OTA, no sim-subbing.

thanks! BTW, what is sim-subbing? I understand compression (less or no compression is better).


I will check out the radio shack unit. Last time I went, they told me it is only sold in the U.S.!!! but will check again.


I want to compare the HD quality from OTA to Rogers myself. BTW, can I have both connected the TV at once (both Rogers QAM tuner and UHF antenna?) I only have one slot for NSTC tuner and one slot for ASTC tuner...
 

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Sim-subbing is what you get on Canadian channels, (OTA, cable and satellite services) when they carry the US program, you get the Canadianized version, complete with all the stupid interruptions and virtual stuff they add courtesy of the CRTC. (Think Superbowl).


The Rogers stuff connects either to your component, DVI, or HDMI connections for HD, not the antenna connectors. The standard cable may connect to the S video or NTSC antenna connector (depending on your HD set).


The OTA antenna connects to the ATSC antenna connector.
 

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A while ago a friend brought his HD cable box over for me to try, so we did a comparison on "Star Trek Enterprise" which was playing on City. The version I received over the air was noticably sharper and more detailed from 20 feet away on a 60" screen.


That doesn't mean I don't see the benefit of cable-based HDTV. Although somewhat inferior quality wise compared to OTA, it's a heck of a lot better than *standard* cable, and is the only way to get speciality HD channels or a west coast feed.
 

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ITR; stick with that Zenith/Gemini silver sensor! If that is Canadian, that's a good price! The lowest I have found the SS is $17 US.

Forget any overpriced RS 'thing'! Especially anything with a amp!
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Videobruce, I apologize for trying to offer some helpful advice, I'll refrain in the future.

ITR -- the Radio Shack 15-1880 is one of the best performing indoor antennas out there. I bought it after receiving advice from others on this site.
 

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3mar67; if you want to spend MORE $$ go right ahead. If the quality of RS products 25+ years ago was the same today I probably wouldn't of commented. But as of the early 90's when I worked there I saw the quality go down the tubes in the span of less than 2 years so corp. profits would go up!


That silver sensor is a no nonsense, no frills, no gimmicks antenna that even looks like an antenna! Amps/preamps don't belong in indoor antennas. GIGO!
 

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thanks for both your inputs on the antennas!


It seems like I cannot easily find the Gemini unit in the Toronto area (any stores?).

I think I can quickly pick up the Radio Shack unit and try my reception. The return policy is good so I can alwayss return it.
 

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The Cdn distributor for the Silver Sensor is supposed to be "The Next Big Think in Electronics". NBTE, P.O. Box 41098. RPO Rockwood Mall, Mississauga, Ontario, L4W 5C9
 

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Next Best Thing Electronics was run by John Golisitis at Digital Home Canada. Nice Fellow. Unfortunately, he closed down the store a few months ago.


Although the Silver Sensor may be easy to find in the US, it is harder to find in Canada. By the time one gets through paying shipping, duties & taxes, it costs almost the same as the Radio Shack jobbie.


Myself, I bought the Radio Shack 15-1880 back in March as a trial antenna. The plan was if it didn't work for me, I'd return it. Much to my surprise, I received every Buffalo & Toronto channel (except WNYO) with no need to adjust the antenna.


I read up on indoor antennas quite a bit before picking up this unit. Like you mentioned, the Silver Sensor was highly recommended, and I tried to pick one up on E-bay. However, the Radio Shack unit was also highly recommended and easier to get my hands on. The nice thing was, if it didn't work for me, I could return it for a full refund. Not so if I picked up a Silver Sensor from the US.


Don't get me wrong, if I could, I would put up a massive outdoor antenna. I'm looking to buy a new place in the new year and I'm being careful to choose a place with a nice clear line of sight
 
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