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At long last, my local stations will soon be going online with their HD programming. The ABC affiliate begins HD broadcasts next month. I want to get these OTA, and although I'm relatively close to the transmitters (25 miles or less), the terrain is hilly and I'm in a valley. To test my ability to get OTA signals, I hooked up a Radio Shack amplified indoor antenna directly to my Tosh HDTV to see if I could pick up the stations' current analog broadcasts (all UHF). In all cases, I got relatively strong reception with good audio and little snow. However, on all stations, ghosting was evident and varied from slight to considerable.


My questions are these: with digital signals, will ghosting be a problem or not, and given the above description of my reception, should I be able to receive HD programming OTA? I don't want to invest in an STB if I can't get OTA, and I don't want a rooftop or attic antenna. If I have to do the latter, I'd rather go with a sattelite system with an OTA module. What's the widsom of the forum members on this one? Any help appreciated.
 

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If you're getting strong analog signals, ghosting or no, then you should get fantanstic digital reception. With digital, there is no "ghosting" or lines or interference or anything - it's essentially the same technology that makes DSS and DVD work. If the signal is good enough for a lock, the quality will be perfect.


You'll be amazed!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by JRC:
If I have to do the latter, I'd rather go with a sattelite system with an OTA module.
I cannot comment on anything else, but this statement doesn't make sense. If you get a satellite system with an OTA module, you still need to hook an antenna up to the OTA module, if you want to get HD OTA. You can get CBS-HD through the satellite, provided you get a waiver from your local affiliate. As of yet, it is not possible to get any other network's hdtv feed by any means other than OTA, using some type of antenna.


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You will probably be ok with a radioshack double bowtie or silver sensor. Both are indoor antennae that I have had success with and are very inexpensive. The RS bowtie was $14 or so and is very commonly available.


If I were you I'd go ahead and buy an STB and spend a few days experimenting. If it doesn't work acceptably, return it. Just make sure you purchase from somewhere with a good return policy. Also, if you get a directv or dish STB, DO NOT activate the card, only use the OTA functions.


If you are getting a strong picture with little noise (snow/static) but a lot of ghosting, you want an antenna that is good at multipath rejection (like the Silver Sensor) if your signal is weaker but not ghosting badly, go with the more powerful radioshack. Ghosting is an issue with digital TV, but not too worrisome. I get my analog UHF channels very poorly, but I can get most of the DTV channels coming from the same transmission tower with very rare dropouts. I'm also in a valley and have poor line of site to the towers, which are about 20mi away.


jake
 

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IIRC, ghosting = multipath = possible problem.


My personal analysis of the situation is that if you're within range, pretty much nothing is going to tell you for sure whether or not you'll get an acceptable signal. I've heard stories of people just plonking a UHF antenna on top of their TVs and getting a strong signal, and people who live a mile from the tower with a rooftop antenna who had problems.


I have a refurb Panny set-top on its way, and if I can't get a good signal, I'm going to sell it on eBay for (probably) more than I paid. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif You could just buy a box from a local retailer and return it if necessary, too.


Alex
 

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Ghosting is multipath

That means problems

Period


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