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Now that I have gotten hooked with the HTPC bug, I've been thinking about either adding one of the HD tuners or upgrading my DISH to HDTV. My question, before I spend $400 on a card, is how far can I expect to get off-air reception? I am about 45 miles from the Boston transmitters. Is it reasonable to expect acceptable reception from this distance, or should I just stick to the satellite? A roof or attic mounted antenna is not an obstacle.
 

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Hi Woodyh:


___I have an attic mounted (Radio Shack’s largest for whatever that’s worth) antennae and am ~ 41 miles as the crow flies from the Sears tower where most OTA digital content is being broadcast from. I have no problems from a HiPix in a GeForce based HTPC but the digital content is what I would consider lacking. My DISH 6000 has only three channels of HD (one is simply a looped demo) and about the only thing I enjoy watching in HD because of the butchery coming out of both the Showtime and HBO feeds is “Band of Brothersâ€. HBO in particular feels the need to fill a 16:9 screen no matter what the films original AR was and I detest this more than most, maybe? You can expect to see 480 upconverts as well. In any case, if you are not going to record or time shift HD or digital content from your OTA sources, I have read here in the forum that the Dish 6000 OTA Digital TV add-on is supposedly available at Sears for just $99.00. It is another alternative albeit without nearly the capabilities of either a HiPix or AccessDTV card at a very rather attractive price if available.


___Good Luck


___Wayne R. Gerdes

___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.

___ [email protected]
 

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Wayne,


Thanks for your assistance in my first post on the forum. I have found your advice invaluable and is nice to have a nearby Illini with your knowledge base. I have made the plunge and have all components inroute now (with exception of IR). Looking foward to the HTPC building challenge.


Hopefully you get to occassionally stop off in our community instead of wizzing by on your way elsewhere. If you have a moment, do you think you could give me a quick overview of what Chicago stations/programs broadcast a digital OTA signal? Anything worth watching OTA?


Thanks again,


Bill (hinsdale)
 

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Hi Bill


Have you checked out www.titantv.com? If you haven't, it's a great web site for US addresses. Unfortunately it just tells me that I have no stations in BUF transmitting in Digital yet.
 

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Thanks. Great link.. answered all my program questions.. looks like pretty slim pickens OTA and on DTV.


Anyone know if its true that CBS wbbm-DT is going live tommorrow in Chicago as is reported on TiTanTV? That would certainly add some watchable shows.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Interesting. I just checked out the link for channels my area, and it makes me wonder why I would want HDTV Shopping channels.


xcel, thanks for the input. I haven't been around OTA TV for a long time, and couldn't remember if 45 miles was considered a long distance for UHF or not. I think I'll give it a try. Now all I need to do is read all the archived posts on the HDTV cards and see which one I should get.


Bob
 

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I just built my HTPC with a HiPix card. I put up a VHF/UHF antenna on a 14 foot pole in my backyard, and I can receive NBC, ABC, UPN, and PBS; with a slight turn of the antenna between channel changes. :( I am in the midst of building a home made UHF only antenna, hopefully this will give me a wider reception area, and I won't have to spin the antenna to receive the various networks.


Paul
 

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Granted, our house sits on a hill at roughly 600' elevation and there's nothing between us and their towers but open water, but we're receiving all of the San Diego stations' DTV signals clear as a bell using nothing but the HiPix card and a cheap loop antenna. That's a hop of almost 150 miles. For what it's worth, even SDTV (standard definition) signals are vastly superior in picture quality to the regular analog signals, which continually fade in and out.
 

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One point you have to remember is that with digital, you are either going to have a signal, or not. No snowy pictures. Range will be less than current system. Also with the major investment for cable companies to lay fibre optic cable, will be quite a while and most assuredly more expensive for HD Cable.
 
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