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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I suppose I should count myself lucky that I have no fewer than four different places I can source my hdtv content, and no doubt it's ungrateful to complain, but I'll be damned if I can decide where to get my HD content! I've got this beautiful Runco 930 and nothing any better than DVD to look at, so can anyone in Phoenix shed any light on where (and why) I should source my HD content? My choices are OTA (I'm in the "yellow" small antenna zone, and everybody is in the same direction with no obstructions to speak of), cox digital cable, DirecTV, or DishNetwork. I am a current DTV subscriber, but pissed at them for reasons I won't go into, so I don't attach any value to that fact. I currently use TiVo, so PVR capability is absolutely critical, but I'm perfectly happy to settle for non-HD only PVR via Replay, SA TiVo, or whatever. I'll also need to get "regular" cable-like service from cox, dtv, or dish, so getting it all from one place is compelling, but I've heard that OTA is really the way to go for the best HD signals. Can anyone who has actually seen/used one or more of these options help me choose, or at least rule out? I subsribe to both HBO and showtime, so HD HBO/SHO would be cool, but not at the expense of crappy HD locals. I am not an HTPC user, and please don't try to convince me to be one (I like my Focus CS-1 and standalone DVD player, thankyouverymuch), but I'm not morally opposed to a dedicated PC as an hdtv server, so long as it will be a set-it-and-forget-it kind of affair. I know those hardware bits aren't strictly related to "reception" but it may bear on someone's recommendation. What I *really* want to know is who gives the best HD in Phoenix- local OTA, COX DIGITAL, DTV, or DISH.



Thanks..


Dan
 

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I went with cox when they started their HDTV service here in Phoenix. I think the quality is fantastic. I get kaet, ABC, Discovery HD, HBO East and West, and Showtime.


The image is great with no dropouts. THe 5.1 audio is great with very few drop outs.


The only drawback was the $500 purchase for the HD receiver. Not a big deal, but many people prefer a monthly rental.
 

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And I have an outside OTA antenna with rotor (but I find I don't need to use the rotor with the antenna pointed towards South Mountain) for sterling reception of all OTA channels. And DirecTV for HBO, Showtime and HD-Net. And a Dish 6000 which I use only for Discovery HD.


You simply need to look at the available choices and costs and choose your poison!!!


But with an OTA antenna, hey, I get NBC with several great HD shows (The Tonight Show, Crossing Jordan, etc.) and Warner Bros with several great HD shows (including Smallville and Everwood) which you don't get with Cox!!! And of course with DirecTV I get HD-Net.


And with my Samsung SIR-T165 and JVC D-VHS combo I can record any digital or HD programs from local digital/HD channels, too!!!!
 

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Dan,


Sounds like you need to figure out what HDTV you get from where. The 2 DBS providers will not have your local DTV/HDTV stations. You can only get them from OTA or cable.


Try reading the HDTV Programming Synopsis and then you'll have a better idea of what to do.
HDTV Programming Synopsis
 

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Following are local digital channels available in Phoenix. I've listed by

the remap to the analog ch # done by my HD receivers. The digital channel #, prior to remapping, is in ( ) if I remember it. And I've listed some favorite s hows I watch:


3-1 independent 480i digital Never watch this channel, except does carry Diamonbacks games


5-1 (17-1) CBS 480i digital (sucks, no HD 1080i here in Phoenix)


8-1 (29-1) PBS 1080i (many HD 1080i programs) PBS has some great HD stuff.

8-2 (29-2) PBS 4:3 kids programming


10-1 (31-1) FOX 480p 16:9 (I think programs are upconverted at local stations) "24" in 480p 16:9


12-1 (36-1) NBC 1080i "Crossing Jordan" "Law and Order" "The Tonight Show" all in HD


15-1 (56-1) ABC 720p "Alias" , "The Practice", "8 Simple Rules", and "According to Jim" all in HD

15-2 (56-2) ABC 4:3


45-1 (26-1) UPN 480i 16:9 I watch "Enteprise" on the analog channel with

JVC D-VHS VCR because the digital channel sucks big time! Same is I want to watch away Phoenix Suns game, I'll watch the analog channel anyday.

45-2 (26-2) UPN 480i 4:3


51-1 (5101) PAX 480i? Never watch this channel.


61-1 (49-1) Warner Bros 1080i "Smallville" and "Everwood" in HD.


_____


Cox Cable only carries of the above local digital/HD channels PBS 8-1 and ABC 15-1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great! THat was exactly the information I needed. The bottom line in Phoenix seems to be that for the widest selection of digital material, you definitely want OTA for the networks (the weenies at Meredith broadcasting notwithstanding), and then it's a tossup as far as premiums go.


Thanks!


Dan
 

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"10-1 (31-1) FOX 480p 16:9 (I think programs are upconverted at local stations) "24" in 480p 16:9 "


Steve - since when has "24" been in 480p locally? I'll need to check it out next week!


- Rod
 

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I don't know how far you are from South Mountain but you can probably get better signal OTA than I can, I live in Apache Junction and I use one of those little indoor RCA antennas, it beats that Terk 55 anytime! (and you don't even have to go up on the roof!)


I get HBO, Showtime and HDNet via Directv also and I'm waiting for the day when Discovery HD shows up on the channel guide.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Rod Rebello
"10-1 (31-1) FOX 480p 16:9 (I think programs are upconverted at local stations) "24" in 480p 16:9 "


Steve - since when has "24" been in 480p locally? I'll need to check it out next week!


- Rod
"24" started in 16:9 480p two weeks ago here on FOX 10-1. And no its not as good as HD, but its not bad, either. I read somewhere though that with FOX, the upconverting is done at the local station, not by FOX. But to me the picture looks a good amount better than the previous 14:9 one the local 10-1 was broadcasting. Before, I recorded the analog channel for "24" as it looked so much better, now I watch or record the digital 480p version.
 

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Oh - a word re Cox. I have an inside source. Says Cox had sold several thousand HD boxes, but took many back for refund as customers didn't want to keep them. He suspected problem is not enough HD channels. Me, I also suspect problem is many of these customers perhaps have "el cheapo" HD compatible displays, or small displays, and the HD picture just isn't so much better than their DVDs. Whereas on my big screen 80" wide front CRT projector, HD sure is NICE!! My source says he thinks Cox is trying to free up more bandwith for even more HD channels here in the coming year - although this is simply informed speculation at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Maybe they'll sell off those returned boxes at a discount...
 
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