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Your OTA HD antenna or free/streaming TV setup

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10-22-2012, 12:39 PM
  #1
Elever
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Your OTA HD antenna or free/streaming TV setup

Cancelling cable and going with OTA free TV + online stream services like Netflix or youtube or Hulu (or gamecentre) is becoming fairly common in N.A especially in Canada where companies like Rogers/Bell are a rip-off and also have shady business practises (though I gotta admit that some of the offers in the US are fairly sweet...$25/month with whole home PVR for a decent satellite package on Dish Network, lucky).

Anyways, what's your set-up? The more detail the better in terms of what you found in your experience. If you have OTA HD antenna indoor or outdoor or attic then how many channels do you get in your area, do you have it set-up for one TV or have you managed to split the signal properly?

Which devices do you use for streaming (eg: PS3, Boxee, Roku, a wifi bluray player, Android on a stick thingy)? Do you have any specific subscriptions and how satisfied are you with your setup?


Last edited by Elever: 01-24-2013 at 12:04 PM.
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10-22-2012, 12:44 PM
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Mike Emrick
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Cable would cost about 100 dollars per month which is absolutely ridiculous for someone who wants to watch about two networks (CNN, Travel Channel). Therefore, I am forced to use an indoor antenna.

The Indoor antenna picks up 4 major networks as well as "My" and "CW" and PBS stations. Somehow this totals to 26-ish networks, since most networks have .2, .3, etc

The antenna works fine most of the time, as long as it's sunny out and there is no wind at all whatsoever. When the weather is rainy or windy, it's hilarious to get blacked out of major networks even though I live about 5 miles from the city.


Last edited by Mike Emrick: 10-22-2012 at 04:29 PM.
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10-22-2012, 02:03 PM
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^ Yeah...you need to get a different antenna. Obviously if there's a major storm outside and a tonne of interference then no antenna is gonna pick up on that but a good antenna and booster shouldn't have those problems. Maybe try elevating it more or try in the attic.

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10-22-2012, 02:04 PM
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Mike Emrick
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Well, every antenna I've used has that same issue. The digital signals are just sensitive.

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10-22-2012, 04:25 PM
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ThaDevilGirl
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I use an OTA antenna and I get 6 channels, 3 of them being in English. However I rarely watch live tv. I mainly torrent the tv shows I watch. As for the physical setup, my tv is plugged to my computer as the second display. I could buy a tv tuner to record live programming but it's not worth it in my case. if I miss a show I'll just torrent it afterwards.

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10-22-2012, 07:16 PM
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Dumped my cable when I moved in with Mrs. Berg, and haven't looked back. I get CTV, CTV2, CBC, Radio-Canada, CHCH, OMNI1 & 2, Global, and the lame-ass Christian channel that censors 90s sitcoms . I also get a few French channels which are good for brushing up on ma deuxième langue.

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10-22-2012, 07:17 PM
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Mike Emrick
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How do people get more than one CTV

Some guy gets 7 CTV's

Jeez man

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10-22-2012, 07:28 PM
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^ They overlap and are on different frequencies (channels). The CTV signal seems to be very strong in some places.

Anyways the guy above mentioned he was getting CTV and CTV2...these are two different channels. I thought CTV2 was simply a cable channel so wondering where you're located (nvm it says Ottawa on his name).

Does no one in the GTA get City TV? It seems that people inside of Toronto are getting it but not outside in the suburbs like Mississauga, seems like they have a weak signal which is a shame cos they show a bunch of the better TV shows like Community. Though tbh, I think I'll just be watching these shows online now without the commercials, there's no going back to live TV once you've had a PVR. I'm gonna miss watching a game of hockey in 70-80 mins instead of 2.5 hrs for sure.

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10-23-2012, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ixcuincle View Post
How do people get more than one CTV

Some guy gets 7 CTV's

Jeez man
With cable, you can get CTV stations across the country on timeshifting for a few dollars a month. Here in Ottawa if you subscribe to timeshifting, you'll get the CTV stations in Halifax, Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, and Vancouver. Same goes with CBC and Global.

For a few dollars more, we can get US timeshifting, but it's not nearly as extensive - just the Detroit and Seattle feeds of the big four networks.

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10-23-2012, 08:46 AM
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Mike Emrick
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That would be the equivalent of me receiving ABC or FOX from 8 or 9 different cities in America

CAn't do that here in the US

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10-23-2012, 08:49 AM
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i use a boxee box and only watch aljazeera or if they don't carry things like the american debates I watch another free station like RT.

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10-23-2012, 09:08 AM
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Technically, I still have cable, but we never use it. Only have it because we got locked into a decent deal for two years and want it for hockey, at least for now.

Anyhow. HTPC with XBMC installed. XBMC has many plugins that will get you very, very far for free, all under a unified interface. Boxee is also supposed to be great.

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10-23-2012, 11:50 AM
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My family has Shaw Satelite. We get I'd say 90% of the channels on it. Only channels we don't get are the Super channels, and a few in the 500's, and late 300's.
I tend to stream a lot of stuff on Netflix, which I will either do on my xbox. My family usually does their Netflix streaming off the Wii or Bluray player.

I watch a lot of tv online though through streams.

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10-23-2012, 03:57 PM
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If you live in a reasonably sized city, a good antenna will pick up a lot of channels. I'm about 30 miles from Pittsburgh and Youngstown, OH, and pick up almost all of the networks for both cities with an external antenna. OTA HDTV also has a much better picture since the cable/satellite companies compress the signal to hell. You'll also get the .2, .3 local channels that those companies don't provide. At my trailer in Erie, PA, I have an antenna attached to a 20 foot pole. I pickup Erie, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit (at times), and either Toronto or Hamilton. The easiest way to check is go to Walmart and get a $50 powered indoor antenna, and see what reception you get. If it sucks, just return the thing.

There are so many options to replace cable/satellite, I'm amazed it's not more popular. It can be as simple as using an Xbox or PS3 for Netflix and Hulu. Next step up is getting a Roku box, where you get much more streaming options. The best is easily an HTPC, which doesn't need to be that powerful. Pretty much any PC/Mac made in the last 5 years will work fine as long as you can connect it to a TV or AV receiver.

If you want to go really ghetto, get a Slingbox or Vulkano, and hook it up to a relative/friend's cable or satellite box they don't use. The only thing is that their Internet upload, and your download speeds need to be pretty good.

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10-23-2012, 05:16 PM
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when I was moving into my apartment, it took FiOS about 10 days to get here so I had a lot of OTA channels. I'm about 5 min from downtown Pittsburgh with traffic and I can pick up about 15 channels with a powered antenna. Wish I could remember them all, but it was your basic networks (FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS) a second network channel (CBS?), RTV (retro TV), The Weather Channel, and CoolTV which is what MTV used to be in the 80s: all videos, sometimes clusters of a certain category for an hour with the occasional concert mixed in.

If it wasn't for the sports channels, I'd have no channel jumping back to OTA-TV.

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01-23-2013, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ixcuincle View Post
How do people get more than one CTV

Some guy gets 7 CTV's
Finally picked up CTV2 on my antenna in the GTA. People are pissed about that channel because it's broadcasting from Hamilton and the way they set up the transmitter is that it's fairly weak so people in Toronto don't usually receive it. I'm closer to it (Mississauga) and still have to place the antenna in a single spot or the channel doesn't come.

Anyways a couple questions. Does anyone know of an app with a compass that's also specific to OTA channels like TVfool? I saw one called Antenna Helper but it's for the US, not Canada.

Second question about XBMC....would love some links on learning about this btw since I'm an XBMC noob. But how would I set it up on a PS3 if possible as well as on Android. Might get Android on a stick if it means getting 1channel on the TV, Sony blu-ray player can navigate to the site but can't play flash videos.

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01-23-2013, 09:13 PM
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Just moved into a new place - I'm on the ground floor and there are tall apartment blocks all around me. At my old place I was getting 15 channels (14 of them in HD), and now I get zero

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01-23-2013, 09:50 PM
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In the Niagara region and I have roof mounted a channel master eight bay pointed and buffalo and a four bay pointed at Toronto running through a mast mounted preamp. Haven't counted lately but somewhere in the mid twenties for HD-channels and that includes my Saturday night HNIC fix. Now that I think about think I still have a picture of it.


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01-23-2013, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ixcuincle View Post
Cable would cost about 100 dollars per month which is absolutely ridiculous for someone who wants to watch about two networks (CNN, Travel Channel). Therefore, I am forced to use an indoor antenna.
How times have changed

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01-23-2013, 10:01 PM
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Long Duk Dong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuietCompany View Post
Finally picked up CTV2 on my antenna in the GTA. People are pissed about that channel because it's broadcasting from Hamilton and the way they set up the transmitter is that it's fairly weak so people in Toronto don't usually receive it. I'm closer to it (Mississauga) and still have to place the antenna in a single spot or the channel doesn't come.

Anyways a couple questions. Does anyone know of an app with a compass that's also specific to OTA channels like TVfool? I saw one called Antenna Helper but it's for the US, not Canada.

Second question about XBMC....would love some links on learning about this btw since I'm an XBMC noob. But how would I set it up on a PS3 if possible as well as on Android. Might get Android on a stick if it means getting 1channel on the TV, Sony blu-ray player can navigate to the site but can't play flash videos.
You got a PS3 and another blu-ray player?

XBMC and Plex are best on a pc and great for playing back files from a computer or NAS, but they pretty much suck for streaming. Almost everything usually needs standalone apps since they don't handle flash. Do you have a bunch of movies and music already, or are you more into streaming stuff? If it's the latter, I'd just get a Roku box.

The forums for XBMC and Plex are really good. They should be able to help you out. I know they both have good apps for ios, but don't know about Android. If they don't, I'm sure they will soon.


Last edited by Long Duk Dong: 01-23-2013 at 10:07 PM.
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01-24-2013, 03:37 AM
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I'm not too concerned with the movies/music because I don't download movies and I don't care too much about speaker quality so I just listen to music from the laptop or CD player or mp3 player. It's for streaming. I've found XBMC and Plex streaming to be fairly good for 1channel type sites on the PC. I just don't know how well it would translate to android or PS3. The technology is developing, android on a stick is fairly new and hopefully improves to the point that you can stream something from XBMC on it fairly smoothly. It's only recent that XBMC became usable on android, that's why it's hard to find the info on how to get it up and running, almost as if it's in beta.

Also thinking about designing an indoor antenna but don't know which one to choose. It probably won't be any better than the indoor Terk one I have but it would be fun to build anyways.

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01-24-2013, 05:21 AM
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Mike Emrick
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Have cable in one room but too lazy to call the cable guy and have it set up somewhere else

So the "daily migration" continues

I Tell you you can't get Free Centre ICe preview on antenna though. Really liking this. Just sitting backing watching Leafs games on SportsNet with Joe Bowen. I feel Canadian

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01-24-2013, 07:30 AM
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I am debating more and more about going this way. I need to cost out what I need to get this up and running as I am not sure what to buy. If I drop sat tv and go with Netflix and stuff online I am wondering if I will get everything I want.

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01-24-2013, 07:41 AM
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I don't have cable. Costs way too much for something that's not really necessary.

I have a digital antenna, and I get all the major networks (Abc, Nbc, Cbs, Fox) and some smaller stations. But even then, the only time I watch those is probably when there is sports on.

I watch Netflix and download movies/tv shows, but I don't really spend a lot of time watching those. Hulu is garbage, I would never pay for it.

I have Gamecenter Live, and I watch hockey probably every night. All you have to do is set up a proxy, and you can bypass all blackout restrictions.

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01-24-2013, 07:47 AM
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Mike Emrick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swedish Puck Mafia View Post
I don't have cable. Costs way too much for something that's not really necessary.

I have a digital antenna, and I get all the major networks (Abc, Nbc, Cbs, Fox) and some smaller stations. But even then, the only time I watch those is probably when there is sports on.

I watch Netflix and download movies/tv shows, but I don't really spend a lot of time watching those. Hulu is garbage, I would never pay for it.

I have Gamecenter Live, and I watch hockey probably every night. All you have to do is set up a proxy, and you can bypass all blackout restrictions.
How bad is the delay

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