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sweaty 07-24-2008 03:31 PM

Over the Air Digital TV
When over the air broadcasts go all digital, will the picture and sound be as good as cable and satellite? How about channel selection? Will it be true HD? What equipment will I need to recive this?

chris75 07-24-2008 03:50 PM


Originally Posted by sweaty (Post 142679)
When over the air broadcasts go all digital, will the picture and sound be as good as cable and satellite? How about channel selection? Will it be true HD? What equipment will I need to recive this?

Do you have an antenna now? Digital is NOT HD... If you dont use an antenna now, then dont even worry about it.

bofusmosby 07-24-2008 10:20 PM

Digital is the method of broadcast. HD is the high resolution (detail) of the broadcast (picture). If you are on Sat, or cable TV, it wont even effect you right now. If you are using an antenna, then I am sure you are familiar with a snowy picture. Well, in digital, there is a complete absence of snow, the picture will either come in perfect, or not at all. Also, you may experience picture "freeze" at times with a weak signal. Not all stations will be broarcasting in HD, but all full power stations will be transmitting in Digital only starting Feb 19th, 2009. Some will be in HD, while other will still be in SD (standard definition). As long as it is a strong transmission, and you have a good antenna, the digital transmissions will look great. Most are already broadcasting in the digital format, as well as analog.

sweaty 07-25-2008 06:52 AM

I refuse to pay for cable or satellite because 95% of the content is junk. I have an old, rusty antenna with an outdated 2-wire coming down from it. It sounds like it would be worth updating. Any recommendations on equipment?

RippySkippy 07-25-2008 07:08 AM

Before buying equipment...GET THE COUPON!
I went to the local wally world where they have a couple of different converter boxes. I believe they ended up costing around $9 each after the coupon. Every household is entitled to 2 coupons, beyond that and you have have purchase them.

By going digital we added 5 stations, a couple of weather 24X7 and public TV. The picture is very clear, and is an immediate noticeable improvement compared to STD air. I live about 2 miles from 3 major transmission towers...and it still made a difference.

DAGS for DTV 2009, you'll get a load of information.

bofusmosby 07-25-2008 07:23 AM


You might want to up-grade your equipment. You should check with a local TV shop, to find out what would be best in your area. You definately want to use coax cable though. Less signal loss.

chris75 07-25-2008 03:21 PM

Here is an excellent site to get you started.

fburke 08-05-2008 04:04 AM

You will need a converter box for your TV unless you’re TV has a digital tuner. 300 ohm twin lead will not work you will need 75 ohm coax… go with RG56 and stay away from RG59..It has too much signal loss over distance.

You will also need to replace your antenna; your current antenna is not designed to pick up digital signals.

Digital transmission will only give you standard definition unless you have an High Definition TV….Digital picture quality will be much better than analog so to you it might actually look like high definition where your use to the noisy analog pictures.

Draw back is depending on where you are, if you have some channels that you can pick up but may be a little snowy because of weak signal but still watchable…say goodbye to them….no such thing as a snowy picture in the digital world it’s either on or off…no in-between….signal amplifiers still need a minimum amount of signal to work correctly if their is too much noise the converter box will not be able to convert the information.

bofusmosby 08-05-2008 07:27 AM

A lot of our customers are using their old outside antenna to pick up their digital channels, and at least in Tampa, seems to be working pretty good. As stated before, the weak stations may not come in at all in digital. Thats one of the big draw-backs of the digital, compared to the analog transmissions. You might not be getting any snow, but you also might not be getting any station either.:(

YerDugliness 08-07-2008 03:37 PM

I own 2 homes, one near Houston, TX where the reception should be just fine over a digital converter, but the other is in SW Kansas where there are no TV transmitters within 60 miles, most are about 80 or 90 miles away!

I'm wondering if the digital signal might offer better reception in these fringe areas--anyone have any experience in this area?

Also, for the home in TX, I'd like to find a DTV converter with high quality outputs for the video (S-video might be OK, but I'd really rather use the 3 wire hookup (component?--I always get component and composite mixed up--DO NOT really want a converter with the single "yellow" cable output), plus I would like to have a digital audio output so I can use the digital surround sound processors in my Onkyo DD/dts 6.1 and Onkyo DD/dts 7.1 receivers.

Must admit I haven't done much research yet! Just found this board, have been posting in electrical and plumbing, but my real interest is in home theater, so I'll be checking this area more now that I know it's here!

Thanks in advance for whatever information you might be able to provide!


bofusmosby 08-07-2008 07:15 PM

I'm afraid that in Kansas, your reception might be difficult to say the least. To give you an example, here in Tampa, CBS is channel 10. In analog, its snowy, but it is watchable. With a digital converter box (on rabbit ears) it does not come in at all. Not being familiar with your area, it would be best to talk to a local TV repair shop in Kansas. They might have just the thing to bring in those stations. If all else fails, you can always get one of those small sat. dishes. I am not familiar with all the digital converter boxes out right now, but I do believe that some of them have component outputs. Now, as far as the digital audio, there may be some, but I don't know if they are the ones that the $40 coupon is for.

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