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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am about to purchase a HDTV-ready TV and will upgrade from standard cable to either digital cable (Cablevision iO) or satellite TV (DirectTV). Both services offer HDTV programming as long as you have a high definition cable box (cable) or a high definition receiver & a 3 LNB satellite dish. Will either service allow the ability to receive OTA HDTV such as CBS, ABC, etc? And how can you get ESPN-HD?
 

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I haven't heard of any HD cable box that includes an OTA tuner. You would need a separate OTA HD STB in addition to your HD cable box to get any local HD channels that are not carried by your cable company. However, your cable company will probably be able to eventually offer all the local HD channels available in your area once they negotiate for the rights, so you may not need an OTA STB for that long, but who can say?


All Directv STBs include an OTA HD tuner and merely need to be connected to the appropriate UHF or UHF/VHF antenna as long as you are not too far from the transmission towers and don't have any major obstructions between you and them.


As for ESPN HD, none of the major cable or satellite providers have yet to reach agreement with Disney to carry ESPN HD. Some smaller cable companies have been able to work deals, but for some reason the big guys are all playing hardball. With the pending sale of Directv to Rubert Murdoch's company, there's no telling when Directv and Disney will work it out. And I have no idea where your cable company stands in its negotiations.


Hopefully progress will be made in time for ESPN Sunday Night Football in HD. I know I want SNF in HD and so do a lot of other people.


If your cable company has as many HD channels right now as you can get via OTA and Directv (remember Directv only has 4 HD channels) and you're happy with their customer service, etc., I'd go the HD cable route. Cable clearly has more potential to carry more HD channels than Directv will ever be able to carry due to the bandwidth limitations of satellite systems. But, if you cable company is like mine (Charter) and hanging on the edge of bankruptcy and making continual promises to roll out HD cable and never making it happen, get your HD via Directv and OTA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Crash_Corrigan, thanks for your response.


So here is what I have:


Digital cable Cablevision iO in my area offers HBO, Showtime, MSG and Fox Sports NY in HD. The digital cable/HD box is offered at no additional charge (less installation) but I will need to purchase a separate STB to receive OTA. DirectTv offers HBO, Showtime, HD PPV, and HDNet. I will need to purchase a tuner, connect a UHF/VHF antenna, and satellite dish to receive both HD via DirectTV and OTA.


Since there is no "startup" cost and commitment to any hardware purchases, I will try Cablevision iO first and determine the quality of the reception on all channels and if it is what I need. If I am satisfied with Cablevision iO, I will purchase the STB for OTA. If I am not satisfied, I will switch to DirectTV.


And I need to take into consideration the various packages offered by both services.
 
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