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Newbie help - dtv over the airwaves?

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Anonymous
November 9, 2004 2:42:37 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.digital-tv (More info?)

Hi folks,

I'll admit it up front: I am a stubborn guy with a 15-yr old Panasonic
TV, picking up reception from a roof-mounted antenna. I have no
interest in getting cable or satellite, and no plans to get an HDTV.
But, I recently read that I can probably pick up digital signals from
the airwaves, and I happen to live in an area where there are plenty of
stations broadcasting digitally.

So, I'm trying to find out what I'd need to pick up digital broadcasts
with as little trouble and expense as possible. Since I don't want to
purchase a new TV (unless absolutely necessary), I imagine I'd need some
kind of set top box, but heck if I can find one on the web, and I know
very little about this.

What equipment would I need, and where can I get it cheaply? :-)

Thanks,
Dave

More about : newbie dtv airwaves

Anonymous
November 9, 2004 10:17:57 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.digital-tv (More info?)

On Mon, 08 Nov 2004 23:42:37 -0600, Dave N
<daven@mailinator.com> posted:

>So, I'm trying to find out what I'd need to pick up digital broadcasts
>with as little trouble and expense as possible. Since I don't want to
>purchase a new TV (unless absolutely necessary), I imagine I'd need some
>kind of set top box, but heck if I can find one on the web, and I know
>very little about this.

<http://www.hdtvpub.com/searchprodsbasic.cfm/cat_decoder...;

Over the air Digital TV in the USA (includes SDTV, EDTV and
HDTV) is always ATSC format.

Cable and satellite systems may or may not use ATSC format
Digital TV.

Kirk Bayne
alt.video.digital-tv Home Page
<http://www.geocities.com/lislislislis/avdtv.htm&gt;
Anonymous
November 9, 2004 3:16:07 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.digital-tv (More info?)

Dave N wrote:
>
> Hi folks,
>
> I'll admit it up front: I am a stubborn guy with a 15-yr old Panasonic
> TV, picking up reception from a roof-mounted antenna. I have no
> interest in getting cable or satellite, and no plans to get an HDTV.
> But, I recently read that I can probably pick up digital signals from
> the airwaves, and I happen to live in an area where there are plenty of
> stations broadcasting digitally.
>
> So, I'm trying to find out what I'd need to pick up digital broadcasts
> with as little trouble and expense as possible. Since I don't want to
> purchase a new TV (unless absolutely necessary), I imagine I'd need some
> kind of set top box, but heck if I can find one on the web, and I know
> very little about this.
>
> What equipment would I need, and where can I get it cheaply? :-)
>
> Thanks,
> Dave


Dave:

It should work IF you have a S-Video video in on the back of your

older TV set....

You need: Walmart $198 Digital set Top Box with S-Video Out
or for a poorer Picture, Composite Out

S-Video Cable of 6 ft or so...
(Your older Analog TV set must have S-Video port In)

A pair of Red & White Audio Cables

What type of Roof Antenna do you have? UHF
preferred...
A UHF or Combo antenna as most Digital/HD programs
are on UHF channels 14 thru 59
A channel master 3021 ($25) 4 bay bow tie covers
channels 6 thru 59, VHF (6-13 OK), UHF (14-59
superb reception) use indoors requires no metal
siding!

Use of RG-6 dual shielded antenna Cable, not RG-59...

To get local available Dig/HD channels in your area....

go to http://www.antennaweb.org And Enter your

5 or 9 Digit Zip Code....

Last Column is the Digital Channel Number...

Note Distance & Direction to Dig/HD Tower location.

0 Deg is Due North... 90 Deg is due East...

IF directions are all over the map (bad), Rotor needed?
Related resources
Anonymous
November 9, 2004 10:02:51 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.digital-tv (More info?)

Dave N <daven@mailinator.com> wrote:

>... I'm trying to find out what I'd need to pick up digital
> broadcasts with as little trouble and expense as possible.

1. Go to your local Walmart or http://www.walmart.com
2. Buy the US Digital (USDTV) tuner for over the air broadcasts
(cost: ~200 bucks).
3. Connect it to your existing antenna and existing TV.
4. Scan for local digital channels.
5. Enjoy.
Anonymous
November 9, 2004 11:50:44 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.digital-tv (More info?)

"Dave N" <daven@mailinator.com> wrote in message
news:Xns959BDCD8CC0B3davenmailinatorcom@216.196.97.142...
> Hi folks,
>
> I'll admit it up front: I am a stubborn guy with a 15-yr old Panasonic
> TV, picking up reception from a roof-mounted antenna. I have no
> interest in getting cable or satellite, and no plans to get an HDTV.
> But, I recently read that I can probably pick up digital signals from
> the airwaves, and I happen to live in an area where there are plenty of
> stations broadcasting digitally.
>
> So, I'm trying to find out what I'd need to pick up digital broadcasts
> with as little trouble and expense as possible. Since I don't want to
> purchase a new TV (unless absolutely necessary), I imagine I'd need some
> kind of set top box, but heck if I can find one on the web, and I know
> very little about this.
>
> What equipment would I need, and where can I get it cheaply? :-)

Welcome, newbie.

Besides the one for sale at Wal-Mart, Samsung has marketed several set top
boxes
that do Antenna-IN and Video OUT, which should serve your needs. (You can
run the video into a VCR channel modulator if your TV is only RF-in.) It
happens
to be a Samsung that I bought earlier this year for under $250 at a
"Tweeter"
store in Southern CA.

Do a Google search for:

ATSC "set top box" Samsung

and that should find things.Of course, if you drop the Samsung, you'll get
everybody's
products. "ATSC" is the key. It stands for Advanced Television System
Committee,
the group that developed the present US digital broadcast system. Expect to
need a
good antenna for consistent reception. The fifth generation chips, shown
earlier this
year in prototype gear, do a much better job with multipath reception, but
they're
not on store shelves, yet.

http://www.atsc.org/faq/faq_general.html

Here's a clip from an ebay page:

Samsung SIR-T151 HDTV Receiver with Dolby Digital DTV Decoder by SAMSUNG
(Rate it)

Samsung SIR-T165 HDTV Terrestrial Receiver by SAMSUNG (Rate it) $479.99

Sylvania 6900DTD High-Definition Terrestrial Set-Top Box/DTV Receiver by
Sylvania (Rate it)

Motorola High-Definition Off-Air Receiver (HDT101) by Motorola (Rate it)
$285.99

(Dunno why two of them have prices and two don't; the 151 is the one I got.)

Get one. Get *something*. It's worth it.
Anonymous
November 10, 2004 11:12:16 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.digital-tv (More info?)

Sal M. Onella wrote:


> Samsung SIR-T151 HDTV Receiver with Dolby Digital DTV Decoder by SAMSUNG
> (Rate it)
>

>
> Motorola High-Definition Off-Air Receiver (HDT101) by Motorola (Rate it)
> $285.99
>


I won one each of these. The Motorola has better RF performance.
The Samsung has a better user interface, but beware that certain
stations can lock up older ones requiring a firmware
download from Samsung. Don't buy a Samsung unless you can
return it for credit if it locks up the first try.

Doug McDonald
Anonymous
November 10, 2004 8:31:37 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.digital-tv (More info?)

"Dave N" <daven@mailinator.com> wrote in message
news:Xns959BDCD8CC0B3davenmailinatorcom@216.196.97.142...
> Hi folks,
>
> I'll admit it up front: I am a stubborn guy with a 15-yr old Panasonic
> TV, picking up reception from a roof-mounted antenna. I have no
> interest in getting cable or satellite, and no plans to get an HDTV.
> But, I recently read that I can probably pick up digital signals from
> the airwaves, and I happen to live in an area where there are plenty of
> stations broadcasting digitally.
>
> So, I'm trying to find out what I'd need to pick up digital broadcasts
> with as little trouble and expense as possible. Since I don't want to
> purchase a new TV (unless absolutely necessary), I imagine I'd need some
> kind of set top box, but heck if I can find one on the web, and I know
> very little about this.
>
> What equipment would I need, and where can I get it cheaply? :-)
>
> Thanks,
> Dave

Go to a store and look at the output of one of these receivers on a standard
tv before purchase. I highly doubt that the benefit would be worth it. DTV
in a resolution a tv can display might be better but not enough for the
money. If you have a monitor that can display 1024X768 or greater and have
a1GHZ or greater CPU a better solution might be an HDTV card for your
computer.
Anonymous
November 11, 2004 7:13:46 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.digital-tv (More info?)

"T Shadow" <knone@zilch.com.invalid> wrote:

> ... Go to a store and look at the output of one of these receivers on
> a standard tv before purchase. I highly doubt that the benefit
> would be worth it.

Even on an analog set, the PQ improvement is worth it if OTA ghosts are
a problem on some channels. Speaking from experience, the USDTV
(walmart) tuner works quite well in such areas. And a newer model will
be available soon that works even better in such areas.

With digital, you also get extra channels often not available on
analog. 24/7 local news & traffic, local weather radar, ABC NewsNow,
PBS sub channels,to name a few....

An advantage to the cheap walmart tuner: If you buy one and don't like
the results, just return it for a full refund. All you're out is a
couple of trips to a bigbox store.
Anonymous
November 11, 2004 9:08:49 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.digital-tv (More info?)

<not@127.0.0.1> wrote in message news:Xns959E686775B63not@151.164.30.44...
> "T Shadow" <knone@zilch.com.invalid> wrote:
>
> > ... Go to a store and look at the output of one of these receivers on
> > a standard tv before purchase. I highly doubt that the benefit
> > would be worth it.
>
> Even on an analog set, the PQ improvement is worth it if OTA ghosts are
> a problem on some channels. Speaking from experience, the USDTV
> (walmart) tuner works quite well in such areas. And a newer model will
> be available soon that works even better in such areas.
>

Guess I should have added YMMV. He didn't say he had a PQ issue. Some are
having problems with DTV too. Especially those that are really close to the
Xmitters. Lack of tuner selectivity and/or multipath I guess.

> With digital, you also get extra channels often not available on
> analog. 24/7 local news & traffic, local weather radar, ABC NewsNow,
> PBS sub channels,to name a few....
>
Forgot about this. I'm only getting 3 extra stations on PBS that are SD(1
that I actually watch). Fox is only showing one channel at a time so unless
the converter could change it to SD when they are Xmitting HD it would be
unviewable. The show description and next show description would be a bonus
too if the staions actually used it.

> An advantage to the cheap walmart tuner: If you buy one and don't like
> the results, just return it for a full refund. All you're out is a
> couple of trips to a bigbox store.

Haven't shopped for one of these. Was going by this post:

>>> You need: Walmart $198 Digital set Top Box with S-Video Out

ATI HDTV Wonder can be had for about $160. You can actually see a sharp HD
quality picture and have PVR too. I have an ATI HDTV Wonder and wouldn't
even consider a converter but then I'm a techie and getting the software to
work was abit of a pain. Its not for everyone just wanted to point out
another option.
Anonymous
November 12, 2004 1:08:04 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.digital-tv (More info?)

Honestly, Dave, you will see no difference in the quality of your
television, unless you experience quite a bit of ghosting or snow.
With Digital reception, you will notice that they will be elimated
completely.

I have a seven year old Sony 52" in our living room. We just
purchased a 26" LCD HDTV monitor for the bedroom along with an
over-the-air (OTA) set-top-box (STB). Wonderful picture on the new
HDTV monitor using a DVI connection from the LG LST3510 receiver to
the monitor. (The picture is in the "WOW, WOW, WOW. How could I ever
have watched TV in any other way?") However, moving the receiver to
the older Sony and using the component (RBG) video input that it has,
no difference in quality of picture could be noticed over what we
receive with basic cable. The picture was of the "So what's the
difference?" Same antenna, same receiver, only difference was the
television. The older analog 4:3 NTSB sets that display 480i will
show only what it's capable of, even with component hookups. The only
thing was, no ghosts. I'm not going to spend the money to buy an OTA
STB for digital for that television.

I spent all day last Saturday moving tv's around, thinking about
putting the new 26" in the living room, and selling the 52". We've
decided that we need the larger picture in the living room. The LCD
is back in the bedroom, and the living room is waiting until we can
afford the much larger price tag of a 46"+ HDTV. (I caught my wife
daydreaming yesterday about what one hanging on the wall would look
like, so it might not be too far off in the future.)

For the past 20 years that I've lived in this house, we've used an
antenna. Last March we got cable. Even the cable on the basic analog
service has some ghosts, while the digital tier does not. It (cable)
is a better picture than with the NTSB OTA tuner, and we get a larger
choice of what to watch.

However, one item to keep back for future reference. As soon as Jan
1, 2006 (this date could be pushed back) the FCC has mandated that all
analog broadcasting stop and be replaced with digital. In order to
continue receiving your television with an antenna over the air you
will be required to purchase said box, or a new TV with a digital
tuner.

Hope this helped.
Russ


"Dave N" <daven@mailinator.com> wrote in message
news:Xns959BDCD8CC0B3davenmailinatorcom@216.196.97.142...
: Hi folks,
:
: I'll admit it up front: I am a stubborn guy with a 15-yr old
Panasonic
: TV, picking up reception from a roof-mounted antenna. I have no
: interest in getting cable or satellite, and no plans to get an HDTV.
: But, I recently read that I can probably pick up digital signals
from
: the airwaves, and I happen to live in an area where there are plenty
of
: stations broadcasting digitally.
:
: So, I'm trying to find out what I'd need to pick up digital
broadcasts
: with as little trouble and expense as possible. Since I don't want
to
: purchase a new TV (unless absolutely necessary), I imagine I'd need
some
: kind of set top box, but heck if I can find one on the web, and I
know
: very little about this.
:
: What equipment would I need, and where can I get it cheaply? :-)
:
: Thanks,
: Dave
:
Anonymous
November 12, 2004 2:20:02 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.digital-tv (More info?)

"kw5kw" <qwerty.kw5kw@swbell.net.qwerty> wrote:

> ... As soon as
> Jan 1, 2006 (this date could be pushed back) the FCC has mandated
> that all analog broadcasting stop and be replaced with digital.

This is not true and never has been. The original date was at the
*end* of 2006, and was never a hard cutoff date. Latest date is
sometime ~2009 or later.....
Anonymous
November 12, 2004 1:00:31 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.digital-tv (More info?)

"Sal M. Onella" <salmonella@food.poisoning.org> wrote in message
news:D 6hkd.246648$a85.137726@fed1read04...
>
> "Dave N" <daven@mailinator.com> wrote in message
> news:Xns959BDCD8CC0B3davenmailinatorcom@216.196.97.142...
> > Hi folks,
> >
> > I'll admit it up front: I am a stubborn guy with a 15-yr old Panasonic
> > TV, picking up reception from a roof-mounted antenna. I have no
> > interest in getting cable or satellite, and no plans to get an HDTV.
> > But, I recently read that I can probably pick up digital signals from
> > the airwaves, and I happen to live in an area where there are plenty of
> > stations broadcasting digitally.
> >
> > So, I'm trying to find out what I'd need to pick up digital broadcasts
> > with as little trouble and expense as possible. Since I don't want to
> > purchase a new TV (unless absolutely necessary), I imagine I'd need some
> > kind of set top box, but heck if I can find one on the web, and I know
> > very little about this.
> >
> > What equipment would I need, and where can I get it cheaply? :-)
>
> Welcome, newbie.
>
> Besides the one for sale at Wal-Mart, Samsung has marketed several set top
> boxes
> that do Antenna-IN and Video OUT, which should serve your needs. (You can
> run the video into a VCR channel modulator if your TV is only RF-in.) It
> happens
> to be a Samsung that I bought earlier this year for under $250 at a
> "Tweeter"
> store in Southern CA.
>
I bought a Samsung SIR-T451 set top box from Crutchfield, a mail-order
electronics dealer in Charlottesville, VA. Although it does not receive
analog NTSC signals, it works well, even with a 15 year old analog TV. I too
am taking baby steps into the digital world. You don't need S video
connections (although they do produce better results).
Anonymous
November 12, 2004 11:47:43 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.digital-tv (More info?)

>I bought a Samsung SIR-T451 set top box from Crutchfield, a mail-order
>electronics dealer in Charlottesville, VA. Although it does not receive
>analog NTSC signals, it works well, even with a 15 year old analog TV. I too
>am taking baby steps into the digital world. You don't need S video
>connections (although they do produce better results).

So what kind of connection DO you have between the SIR-T451 and
your TV? A/V cables (three RCA plugs colored red, white, and
yellow)? (one step down from S/Video, but probably not too bad).
I don't think the TV I replaced the current one with HAD that type
of input, though. It might have been about 15 years old.

RF coax? (tune your TV to channel 3 or 4)? (Ick! You probably
lose a lot of quality this way).

Gordon L. Burditt
Anonymous
November 12, 2004 11:47:44 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.digital-tv (More info?)

Gordon Burditt wrote:
>
> >I bought a Samsung SIR-T451 set top box from Crutchfield, a mail-order
> >electronics dealer in Charlottesville, VA. Although it does not receive
> >analog NTSC signals, it works well, even with a 15 year old analog TV. I too
> >am taking baby steps into the digital world. You don't need S video
> >connections (although they do produce better results).
>
> So what kind of connection DO you have between the SIR-T451 and
> your TV? A/V cables (three RCA plugs colored red, white, and
> yellow)? (one step down from S/Video, but probably not too bad).
> I don't think the TV I replaced the current one with HAD that type
> of input, though. It might have been about 15 years old.
>
> RF coax? (tune your TV to channel 3 or 4)? (Ick! You probably
> lose a lot of quality this way).
>
> Gordon L. Burditt



Cable style & OTA Box / TV Interface connections:

Best:
HDMI Digital Video and audio Can be HD 1080i or 720p
DVI Digital Video only Can be HD 1080i or 720p
Component Analog Video only Can be HD 1080i or 720p
S-Video Analog Video only Is 480i SD
Composite Analog Video only Is 480i SD RF Coax
Worst
Anonymous
November 13, 2004 12:40:29 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.digital-tv (More info?)

"Gordon Burditt" <gordonb.wfdv2@burditt.org> wrote in message
news:cn37hf$2aa@library2.airnews.net...


> So what kind of connection DO you have between the SIR-T451 and
> your TV? A/V cables (three RCA plugs colored red, white, and
> yellow)? (one step down from S/Video, but probably not too bad).
> I don't think the TV I replaced the current one with HAD that type
> of input, though. It might have been about 15 years old.
>
> RF coax? (tune your TV to channel 3 or 4)? (Ick! You probably
> lose a lot of quality this way).

I have absolutely the worst possible connection on mine, but since I'm
just playing with it on my garage workbench, who cares?

I have the composite video out of the STB going to the video input of a
VCR and the RF coax (Ick! Yes, Ick!) to the TV RF input. The TV is
a 1980's junker (whose CATV tuner only reaches Ch 36) but the
pictures are still simply terrific.

My old junk TV doesn't have any other inputs and *STILL* the picture is
better than analog delivery. I did bring my STB into the house once and
connect it to the S-Video input of my 35-inch Sony (CRT) TV. I guess
I'm spoiled by a good cable company because I didn't really notice any
difference with S-video. Maybe I should play with the sharpness control
and see if I can get a little more picture detail from the S-video.
Anonymous
November 13, 2004 12:53:48 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.digital-tv (More info?)

"Gordon Burditt" <gordonb.wfdv2@burditt.org> wrote in message
news:cn37hf$2aa@library2.airnews.net...
> >I bought a Samsung SIR-T451 set top box from Crutchfield, a mail-order
> >electronics dealer in Charlottesville, VA. Although it does not receive
> >analog NTSC signals, it works well, even with a 15 year old analog TV. I
too
> >am taking baby steps into the digital world. You don't need S video
> >connections (although they do produce better results).
>
> So what kind of connection DO you have between the SIR-T451 and
> your TV? A/V cables (three RCA plugs colored red, white, and
> yellow)? (one step down from S/Video, but probably not too bad).
> I don't think the TV I replaced the current one with HAD that type
> of input, though. It might have been about 15 years old.
>
I have the A/V cables with the RCA connectors.

> RF coax? (tune your TV to channel 3 or 4)? (Ick! You probably
> lose a lot of quality this way).
>
I tried RF coax on another TV set. Not the way to go, unless there is no
other option.
Anonymous
November 13, 2004 2:35:25 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.digital-tv (More info?)

gordonb.wfdv2@burditt.org (Gordon Burditt) wrote:


> RF coax? (tune your TV to channel 3 or 4)? (Ick! You probably
> lose a lot of quality this way).

I agree with "ick", but OTA DTV, even on ch 3/4 RF out beats snowy,
ghosty, blurry NTSC any day. Not sure if it beats a good clean cable
feed, but that's a rarity in many places. And the OP doesn't have
or want cable - just OTA.
!