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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Currently, we have following:

2 ROOMS with 2 TVs.


TV-1: Samsung 46" LED UN46C6300

TV-2: Samsung 40" LCD LNT4065F


Cable Provider: Comcast - Basic Cable ($13.99/month) with HD DVR ($15.99/month).


I'm tired of paying $30/month and I would like to go the OTA route or connect cable directly to TV (does that involve any cost?).


My Current location: Zipcode 08830


So what do i need to get local channels OTA in HD, and ability to record them (preferably up to 2 channels simultanously). Any DVR models recommended?.


End goal is to save $29.98/month in basic cable + HD-DVR box costs.



I appreciate all the advice.


Thank you

- Iselin Girl
 

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I would say the easiest and cheapest way to start is to pull out an old pair of rabbit ears and hook it up to one of your TV's, do a scan for channels, and see what you can get. If you live in an area with strong enough signals, that may be all you need, you might not need a rooftop antenna.


If you want to be able to record, you'll need a DVR. Here's a good one that doesn't require a monthly fee: http://www.dishnetwork.com/dtvpal/dvr.shtml Although at $300, it'll be 10 months before you break-even.
 

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You could turn in the DVR and save that fee right off the bat. I would do what was suggested regarding an antenna...hook one up and check.


Yes, if you keep cable, there will be a cost. If you buy your own DVR, you'll have to pay for that too.


You could also go to a website called tvfool and put in your information and that will give you a good idea of what you could expect to receive in OTA signals and a recommendation for an antenna type.
 

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If you can't find the DTVPal DVR, which has been out of production for awhile now, the newer version of that (same unit, basically) is the Channel Master PalDVR (more info on both models in the "HDTV Recorders" forum).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm attaching below the info I found about the channels available in Iselin/NJ. Seems like they are mainly coming from Empire State Building (ESB), Manhattan. With Line of Sight approximately 21 miles.


But, are they HD channel, or just digital standard defination channels?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by njiselin /forum/post/19647384


I'm attaching below the info I found about the channels available in Iselin/NJ. Seems like they are mainly coming from Empire State Building (ESB), Manhattan. With Line of Sight approximately 21 miles.


But, are they HD channel, or just digital standard defination channels?

Invest in a cheap indoor antenna and find out. Looks like you have plenty of signal.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by njiselin /forum/post/19647384


But, are they HD channel, or just digital standard defination channels?

Most of them are HD. Certainly ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, MyN and CW are HD. Probably also ION, Tel[emundo] and Uni[vision], in New York. Independent stations are likely to be SD only. Also, most stations with HD channels also have one or more subchannels in SD, so you'll get a lot more total channels than a simple list of stations seems to indicate.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by njiselin
I'm attaching below the info I found about the channels available in Iselin/NJ. Seems like they are mainly coming from Empire State Building (ESB), Manhattan. With Line of Sight approximately 21 miles.


But, are they HD channel, or just digital standard defination channels?
With your TVFool results, try this good performing budget antenna:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2103077


To avoid interference, keep it away from computers and other wireless devices. Near a window or NE-facing wall would be best.


If that works well, consider investing in an OTA DVR:
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_6597000...tml?search=dvr

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Channel-Ma...D-DVR/13968952
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by njiselin /forum/post/19646632



So what do i need to get local channels OTA in HD, and ability to record them (preferably up to 2 channels simultaneously). Any DVR models recommended?.


End goal is to save $29.98/month in basic cable + HD-DVR box costs.



I appreciate all the advice.


Thank you

- Iselin Girl


If you have a decently spec computer or have a network you can use your computer(s) with a product called a "SiliconDust HDHomeRun tuner". aka HDHR.


What makes this product different from *99.99% of other recording devices out there is the HDHomeRun is "network device" meaning on your network it can be accessed from ANY computer on your network.



Each unit has (2) tuners EACH and you can ADD multiple units as needed to give you MORE tuners.

(I currently have (2) units giving a total of 4 tuners to select from)


Cost? I bought about 1.5 years ago was $120 IIRC- got one about two weeks ago off Newegg.com for around $80 shipped.



PROS:

HDHR connects via Ethernet, so NO opening of the PC is needed.

Use it with Windows, Linux, Mac PC.

Can be used with laptops, desktop - any computer. P4 2.8ghz or faster for HD player IIRC.

HDHR(s) can be accessed from ANY computer on your network.

Additional tuners can be added as NEEDED.

Tuner is easily replaceable in the unlikely effect of a tuner failure.

Long term costs: failure of the tuner out of warranty - cost is only $65.

Storage space is easily and inexpensively increased as you're using a computer.

You can configure to store recordings on your server.

You do not void the warranty by increasing hard drive space. -Opening the DTVPal DVR and most other units voids warranty.

You can burn DVD's of recordings

You can use other apps as a Media Center solution - other units you are stuck with whatever GUI the unit has.

The Microsoft Windows Media Center (WMC) app is updated on a regular basis.

The WMC guide data is FREE.

There are small apps and tweaks you can do to WMC to customize it to your liking.

SiliconDust has a support forum.

Unit itself is physically very small

Reliable- Alot of people report they've had the unit running for years and they've never had to touch it.


Cons:


It's not free.

I'm not getting any money off each unit sold.

The status lights on the front of the unit are not labeled. PWR, Ethernet Sync, Tuner 0 (#1), Tuner 1 (#2)...

(Because the device is so reliable it would be "nice" to have status lights plainly labeled for those of us that have hundreds of devices to manage...)

Would be nice if a mini-trouble-shooting guide was on label on bottom of unit..

(EG: This light blinking means xyz, Solid light means xyz...)

Comes only off-white, unless you buy the $300 tech unit.

(Most A/V stuff and computers have been BLACK for years.)



PS: While you can use the HDHR's with XP_MCE_2005 if you're running Vista, Win7 home premium or above it has Windows Media Center built in and the guide is a heck of lot better and more detailed, and reliable than the DTVPal DVR.


Google SiliconDust HDHomeRun , Newegg and read the reviews... Unit has been in production several years & the company has a support forum for those having issues- again unlike the DTVPal DVR.


.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by arxaw
Another HDHR "con"....: it requires windows.
No it doesn't...it works in MythTV on Linux and SageTV and EyeTV on Mac. Back when it first cam out, it was supported in MythTV first, and Windows support was added later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
First of all. thank you everyone for the help so far.


I do not mind investing in OTA HD DVR, but I would also like to know more about setting up a PC/server for DVR as my husband is a Linux System Architect (very savvy with windows servers too) and I myself being a computer science geek can definately play with it.


It will be a fun project to be completed in christmas holidays!!
 

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If you're interested in using your computer, head over to the HTPC forum here on AVS Forum. The main HTPC forum is for Windows HTPC's, and there's a HTPC Linux forum as well. I myself much prefer Linux, and run MythTV on it. Fully automatic commercial skipping (a feature of MythTV) rocks!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by njiselin /forum/post/19659626


First of all. thank you everyone for the help so far.


I do not mind investing in OTA HD DVR, but I would also like to know more about setting up a PC/server for DVR as my husband is a Linux System Architect (very savvy with windows servers too) and I myself being a computer science geek can definately play with it.


It will be a fun project to be completed in christmas holidays!!

MythTV is a wonderful system for a PVR, but just because it is free does not mean it is cheap in time or money. To go this route, one must consider it a hobby.
 
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