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Just setup DirecTv service but do not have OTA setup. Do I need both? Is there much a picture quality difference between teht wo? My DirecTv service comes with local programming. Thanks.
 

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You do not need both, but it is nice to have both for; 1) backup, 2) OTA is free, and 3) generally, OTA does provide a better picture. I have had DTV for many, many years and have always had, and used, OTA.
 

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And, depending on where you live, you might find there are OTA channels you cannot get on DirecTV. For example, I'm in Detroit and can receive Toledo stations. Helpful when Detroit pre-empts a show I like for news, weather or a Billy Graham special. And I don't think they carry Canadian stations. We get CBC over the air, here, too.
 

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Most likely you have newer receivers that don't have ATSC tuners in them, what models did you get?
 

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Yes, you should always have OTA. In the event of severe weather, OTA will be there to give you news and information, while satellite ussually goes out. And the picture quality difference is HUGE. I also don't think satellite carries all the digital subchannels, do they?
 

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"And the picture quality difference is HUGE."


It's not that huge, at least in my market, D* is doing a pretty good job of carrying my locals and I've seen plenty of other comments backing that. It is very useful as a back up and/or sub channels though.
 

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You can also get the AM21 add on for the HR21 if you want the ability to record them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjones73 /forum/post/15475431


You can also get the AM21 add on for the HR21 if you want the ability to record them.

Good point.


Has anyone checked the quality difference? Is OTA really that much better?
 

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Assume you mean HD service.


I have both and would recommend if getting OTA is easy to get. Quality here is about the same, -OTA better - but more subchannels on OTA if you are intersted in that aspect. If you have other markets close that is also a plus for OTA.


I agree with having both is good for if one is down the other may be watchable. ABCHD has been MIA for days here OTA, but I can watch on D*. My FOX D* pixelates alot, but OTA is rock solid.
 

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Alpanguy, where are you at? I think that might have a lot to do with the diffence in quality. I have compared my local channels that I get using the AM21 to my locals over DirecTV and I see very little difference at all here in Peoria, IL. Actually DirecTV tends to break up a little less often because I am using an indoor antenna for OTA that isn't the greatest. The only reason I even use the AM21 is becuase I can use it to get locals that DirecTV doesn't carry (the CW is a subchannel here so DirecTV doesn't carry it).


It's also nice to have OTA for during heavy storms like the others mentioned.
 

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I put up an old fashion antenna just for the built in TV tuner, works great for bad weather situations, and gives me an option during big games, which at times the picture is superior to what Directv provides.
 

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I had an OTA with C-Band which of course you couldn't get locals with, and again with VOOM and Dish in FL. When we moved to AZ it was just Dish. There is a HUGE difference in picture quality with HD and digital with an OTA over satellite and cable. It's uncompressed for one and just because PBS has 2-3 channels doesn't qualify as compression imho.


Jeff
 

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OTA is almost always going to be at a higher bit rate. The real numbers don't lie. Having said that, the only time I see any difference is for some live sports/events. Quality has much to do with the production of what you are watching.
 

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Time for accurate information on receiving local HDTV channels:


Cable/DBS/Fiber/IPTV providers most always get the local HD signals the same way OTA viewers do, using an antenna and DTV tuner. This means a local viewer using an antenna and DTV tuner can get the OTA signal in it's most pristine form, before any additional processing by the provider.


- In the case of DBS, the local OTA signals are always reduced in some form.

- For cable, it can vary. At best they can provide a signal equal to what the antenna and DTV tuner can receive, but never any better.

- The major IPTV system, AT&T U-verse consistently reduces HD image quality compared to the OTA signal.

- Verizon FiOS does not reduce HD image quality from any source. They provide a signal equal to what the antenna and DTV tuner can receive, but never any better


To answer the OP, it can never hurt to have an OTA setup. First, the signal is better (or worse case 100% equal) as all other sources. Second, it's the most reliable way to receive TV, more reliable than all other providers. Third, it's free.


Further, when using a DTV tuner and antenna, you can receive all the channels in your area, some of which may not carried by other providers. In some cases, depending on where you live, you may be able to pick up a second TV market with an antenna and DTV tuner.
 

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Ken H, that is all very good information, but it depends on one thing. Being able to set up an OTA antenna and getting good reception at your home.


Sometimes people leave in places where they cannot set up an OTA antenna to get very good reception. If you have an OTA antenna with 50-60% signal strengths your OTA picture is likely to be much worse than what you would get from DirecTV or cable, who can place their antenna's in better locations than yours.


I'm not saying that OTA setups are a bad thing, or not needed. They just aren't always feasible in some situations.
 

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Ken, another OTA advantage: DTV is not a mature technology and problems often occur, either with equipment or the operator. With OTA, you're taking a huge potential source of reception troubles out of the chain - the cable or sat operator. With a pay TV provider, if you have problems (and you will), you don't know if the problem is on your end, the local station or the cable/sat provider. OTA eliminates the cable/sat provider variable.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by arxaw /forum/post/15485025


With a pay TV provider, if you have problems (and you will), you don't know if the problem is on your end, the local station or the cable/sat provider. OTA eliminates the cable/sat provider variable.

How do you know that people will definitely have problems when using Pay TV? Yes, I admit, I do have occasional problems on my cable, but that doesn't mean everyone does. Three of my co-workers (2 use satellite and 1 uses Fios) said they never had a single problem.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerstalker /forum/post/15485019


Ken H, that is all very good information, but it depends on one thing. Being able to set up an OTA antenna and getting good reception at your home.


I'm not saying that OTA setups are a bad thing, or not needed. They just aren't always feasible in some situations.

Obviously, OTA reception is location specific, but not perhaps to everyone, especially to someone just getting onto HDTV.


Receiving local DTV stations is an art as much as a science, but a very high percentage of those living in the US are able to do so.
 
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