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Fellow HDTV HTPCers:

I'm considering making the leap to HDTV through the HTPC for the front PJ. I'm not really interested in watching on the 36" XBR, although I'll hook that up too, depending on...

- Real world signal strength. I live in La Grange, 20 miles west of the city. What can I expect in reception using an indoor (possibly in the basement family room) antenna?

- Channel and programming availability. Is there a problem with Channel 2? My cable (Comcast analog) and OTA Channel 2 sucks.

- Picture quality. I'm mainly interested in sporting events - football, Final Four, auto racing, maybe some ER or the like. I'll be projecting on a 72" wide DaLite screen through DVI from my Plus Piano 3100 with MyHD. Resolution on the Piano is 1024 x 768. I presently use an S-Video deck straight through to the PJ. Watchable, but mainly because its big.

What are your experiences with HD in the Chicago area? I've seen HD at the Oak Brook Tweeter on a plasma screen and the PQ was awesome. I don't expect that at 90", but any input will help with my decision.

Thanks,

Jim S.
 

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Pianojim:


Actually, the answers to all of your questions are already here, on this forum. Try doing searches using the following terms:


"Chicago"


"WBBM"


You should find some very lengthy and very detailed threads which do deal with your questions, and some from folks who live close to LaGrange, for comparison purposes. Be sure to set your clock way, way back. You will find some threads with more than 1000 postings on WBBM alone, going back two years. You will also find threads on Chicago's ABC, NBC, WB, UPN, and much more. And, lots of posts on Comcast Cable high def in Chicago, too, and many on various antenna results.


In general...


The tough station to get is still CBS - WBBM's digital channel (channel 3). This has improved for most, with the new antennas, but it still eludes others. Note that it is a VHF signbal, so a UHF-only antenna will usually not work.


PBS is also a bit tough for some, but only in spotty areas.


There are people who can get them all at your distance, and even further. But, there are people who cannot get them, too.


If you can go outdoors, and high up (with an antenna), you will greatly improve your chances.


My indoor one could not get WBBM or PBS, even with an attic install. Yet it did get all others, on the floor of my first floor home theater setup. A cheapo $4.99 set top antenna, UHF-only.


My outdoor one (VHF/UHF) up my roof now gets all. I am 28 miles from the antennas, and I am south of you (southern most edge of Orland Park, very close to LaGrange Road and I-80).


But, for the best info, do a search.


-Bruce in Chi-Town
 

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I have a 147 year old antenna on my roof that gets everything crystal clear. Obviously the antenna isn't that old but it came with the house which is 51 years old and was previously owned by the folks who had it built. Since they were in their 90's I am guessing that they didn't spend money on things like antenne unless they had to and judging by the appearance, it is at least as old as I (33yrs). I am 25-30 miles south of the antenne and am using a Hughes HTL-HD and all is well. Maybe someday FOX will join the 21st Century and switch to HD and DD 5.1.
 
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