How about an Antenna to get off the grid?

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How about an Antenna to get off the grid?

Postby lilaclily » Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:32 pm

This Roku business has me thinking that I can get off the grid more and more. Is getting an indoor antenna a hassle? I want to get of the cable completely. I hardly watch TV as it is, so a lot of channels are not important. I did a search and found out that I do have local antenna service. As long as I can get the news to make sure that the world is not coming to an end that is all i really care. However, I am used to comfort. Do I need to have an antenna on each television and will the tv work in a different way? I guess these might be dumb questions, so who better to ask?

Thanks my Roku friends. 8)
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Re: How about an Antenna to get off the grid?

Postby kc8pql » Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:59 pm

See this thread.
http://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=36591
If you're within roughly a 20 mile radius of a city an indoor antenna may be all you need.
Go here and enter your information and it will tell you exactly the type of antenna you'll need, which stations you'll be able to receive, and the direction they are from your location.
http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx
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Re: How about an Antenna to get off the grid?

Postby paulhite » Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:02 pm

I don't know what "local antenna service" means. But I have an antenna and a Roku box and that's all I use. I only have one TV and one antenna and one Roku box is all I need. I made my own antenna. Google it... there are lots of sites about homemade antennas.

Subscribe (for free) to Roku Newscaster channel. Then NEWSCASTER->NBC->NBC:Nightly News gives you access to NBC's National News. It is usually updated with the current day's program around 8:00 Eastern time. They do sometimes skip a day on weekends but they are very good for weekdays. There are other options on newcaster as well. This is how I watch the news.

I used to watch The Tonight Show just to catch Jay's Monologue. Now I watch it the next day on Hulu+. After the monologue I skip to the end to catch the musical act.

News and The Tonight show were really the only reasons I wanted the antenna. I may get rid of the antenna.
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Re: How about an Antenna to get off the grid?

Postby lilaclily » Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:43 pm

This is very helpful. It seems that I need a small multidirectional antenna.. anyhooo I guess that means I need an antenna on the outside of my house? if that is the case and I get an outside antenna how does each tv connect to this thing hanging in the roof. Each one connects by some cable device?? Does it use a lot of electricity to hae an antenna?
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Re: How about an Antenna to get off the grid?

Postby Village Idiot » Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:41 pm

lilaclily wrote:This is very helpful. It seems that I need a small multidirectional antenna.. anyhooo I guess that means I need an antenna on the outside of my house? if that is the case and I get an outside antenna how does each tv connect to this thing hanging in the roof. Each one connects by some cable device?? Does it use a lot of electricity to hae an antenna?

I had used that same link a yr ago and it showed i could get 6 OTA tv stations. None of which appealed to me.
What i did was get an antenna from
http://www.antennasdirect.com/store/cle ... ennas.html
mine is the clearstream4
then i got a Zenith DTT901 converter box
http://zenith.com/products/set-top-atsc ... ox/DTT901/
and now i get around 40+ OTA channels.
I live midway between Chicago & Milwaukee so my OTA channels are half &half between them.
I hope this helps.
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Re: How about an Antenna to get off the grid?

Postby kc8pql » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:29 pm

lilaclily wrote: It seems that I need a small multidirectional antenna.. ?

In that case, definitely try a set of rabbit ears first. Try Radio Shack. If they don't do the trick you can return them. All OTA antennas connect to the antenna coax connector on the back of the TV. Yes, they all still have one.

Most antennas are passive. They use no electricity. Some are amplified, and use a small amount of power from a wall wart. Amplified antennas can be helpful to boost the signal in fringe areas.

From the AntennaWeb site:
Go to AntennaWeb.org, select "Choose an antenna" and enter your address, housing type, and surroundings details. When looking at the results page, select "show digital stations only". The type of antenna needed for each DTV station is listed in the left hand column. If AntennaWeb shows the colors blue or violet are needed for an outside antenna to get a particular station then it is virtually certain that an indoor antenna will not work for that station. If it shows light green it is unlikely that an indoor antenna will enable reception of that station. However, if AntennaWeb shows red, then perhaps an amplified indoor antenna will enable reception of that station, but it may be tricky. If it predicts that you will need a yellow or green antenna then there is a good chance that, depending on your specifics, the right indoor antenna will work.
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Re: How about an Antenna to get off the grid?

Postby hammerpocket » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:19 am

Village Idiot wrote:then i got a Zenith DTT901 converter box

That's a good converter, but that kind of box is only necessary if your TV doesn't have a built-in digital tuner.
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Re: How about an Antenna to get off the grid?

Postby wendyshinyo » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:58 am

I have one small indoor antenna (Terk) that does an excellent job (I'm within 20 miles from local xmitters). The HD signal is much better than what I had from Dish HD or what neighbors have from Time Warner Cable. I split the output and used an existing cable coax run (plus 2 additional runs) to run the OTA signal to 5 TVs/PC tuners. It works great.

With 2 PC tuners and Windows Media Center, I also have DVR capabilities to handle recording of 2 different programs at once. I cut the cord in April 2010 and I only get happier and happier. I added a small Acer Revo PC to the mix as a streaming option (better quality for Justin TV feeds, sports feeds, and feeds from things like Aljazeera) plus dedicated WMC recording-playback option.

Go for the OTA antenna for sure. The posts here are right. Get some rabbit ears to check it out. You will be surprised!
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Re: How about an Antenna to get off the grid?

Postby Village Idiot » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:26 am

hammerpocket wrote:
Village Idiot wrote:then i got a Zenith DTT901 converter box

That's a good converter, but that kind of box is only necessary if your TV doesn't have a built-in digital tuner.

Neither of my two tv's worked without it.
So i made one tv strictly for Roku and the other just for OTA. ( different rooms )
Both TV's work great so why replace them ?
I have poor eyesight so HD really doesn't do much for me.
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Re: How about an Antenna to get off the grid?

Postby kc8pql » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:48 am

wendyshinyo wrote:I have one small indoor antenna (Terk) that does an excellent job (I'm within 20 miles from local xmitters). The HD signal is much better than what I had from Dish HD or what neighbors have from Time Warner Cable. I split the output and used an existing cable coax run (plus 2 additional runs) to run the OTA signal to 5 TVs/PC tuners. It works great.

With 2 PC tuners and Windows Media Center, I also have DVR capabilities to handle recording of 2 different programs at once.
Go for the OTA antenna for sure. The posts here are right. Get some rabbit ears to check it out. You will be surprised!

My setup is quite similar to yours, except that I'm about 35 to 45 miles to the transmitters. I use the amplified version of this antenna.
It's mounted on the side of my house under the eave about 12' off the ground and pointed toward most of the towers.
I bought mine through Amazon for about $70.
http://www.winegarddirect.com/squareshooter-ss1000-ss2000/winegard-square-shooter.asp
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Re: How about an Antenna to get off the grid?

Postby lilaclily » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:03 pm

I asked several technicians in my area. They have told me that it does not work very well in my area. I do live a bit far. One tech told me that he is no longer doing it because the digital change has made it harder to pick up a good signal. I think i will stay with the cable. I do pay the very minimum because I watch almost all through Roku and online.
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Re: How about an Antenna to get off the grid?

Postby kc8pql » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:44 am

lilaclily wrote:I asked several technicians in my area. They have told me that it does not work very well in my area.

If they're over 40, I'd believe them. If they're under 30, maybe not... :D
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Roku2 XD 3050X, Roku2 XS 3100R
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Re: How about an Antenna to get off the grid?

Postby lilaclily » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:53 am

:D
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Re: How about an Antenna to get off the grid?

Postby gonzotek » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:59 am

Seriously, a small and cheap antenna may be enough to get the channels you need. I'd try it, even against the advice of local 'experts', just to try it. If the store you purchase from has a semi-liberal return policy, all it could cost, at worst, to find out if it'll work for you is the cost of gas to get to the store and back twice. I have cable downstairs, but the rest of the old (but new to me) house is unwired for cable/networking. Until I have the time to do the job, I am very happily using my upstairs hd set with a cheap (<$30) antenna to receive quite a lot of news, network prime time and late night programming.
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Re: How about an Antenna to get off the grid?

Postby fallsmatt » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:44 am

It's all about how far you live from the transmitters, and what the terrain is like between you and them. If there are major hills or mountains between you and the transmitters, or you live down in the bottom of a valley or right at the foot of a hill, over the air (OTA) reception will be difficult.

Go to tvfool.com and 'check your address for free TV'... that will give you most of the answers you need! One piece of antenna advice... most digital TV stations are now on UHF, so check that out on your results from tvfool, and if that is the case, make sure you get an antenna that specializes in UHF signals. You might be surprised how many channels you can get!

Let us know your results!
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