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Going from DIRECTV to OTA
Old 08-16-2014, 10:14 AM   #1
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Going from DIRECTV to OTA

How easy is it to got from Directv to OTA. For the most part, is the change as easy as connected the coax from the DIRECTV Dish to the new antenna (i.e. reusing the cabling and the grounding)?

This isn't for me but my sister who is thinking of going OTA. I told her about me putting my old antenna on ebay after I got a new one, and she mentioned she plans on "cutting the cord" too.

That's how her and I get started on projects. First with an email, then before you know, I'm building a Wonky house for a rabbit
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:49 AM   #2
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It truly is as simple as connecting the antenna to the connection on the back (side?) of the TV with a coaxial cable. Then reprograming the TV from cable to Antenna as per the owner's manual. Instant $1,200 a year saving.
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:53 AM   #3
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It can be easier. An indoor antenna works well in many cases. Just plug it into the back of the TV and auto-tune your stations, playing around with the antenna location to get the best signal.

I'm 40 miles from the nearest station in the mountains and pick it up along with stronger stations 90 miles away, with a Leaf antenna: Amazon.com: Mohu Leaf Paper-Thin Indoor HDTV Antenna - Made in USA: Electronics. Odds are she isn't in a more remote location than me, though of course she could be. I actually had pretty good luck with a simple Philips antenna but couldn't get everything I wanted.

See Another Football Season, Another OTA Indoor Antenna To Try for another recent discussion. AntennaWeb - Home may be helpful for finding your stations, figuring out if you need UHF, VHF or both, etc.

I'd start indoors before climbing on the roof to mount an outdoor antenna. Certainly outdoor will do better in almost all cases, but with digital, as long as you get a strong steady signal, getting a better signal doesn't help. If you do go outside, I would think that you could simply use the existing cabling as you ask. It could also be that she could use the indoor cabling to connect the TV into the wall coax outlet and put the antenna in another room connected to another coax outlet. I did that in my house since I have my cabling set up to distribute the signal.
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:56 AM   #4
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Also make sure the TV has a digital tuner as older TVs (Half of them in my home) have analog tuners which are not compatible with current broadcasts.
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:59 AM   #5
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but with digital, as long as you get a strong steady signal, getting a better signal doesn't help.
Yes, that is true -- digital reception is either on or off regardless of signal strength. However, I have found that when the signal strength is ~50% or below the signal is weak enough that it goes to 0% and back quite easily... and often.
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:11 AM   #6
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I decided to hold off a bit as my sister emailed me back and said they (her and her husband) don't want anything outside. Then she said, she doesn't know about this kind of stuff, but her husband does. Usually when it comes to projects he's more of the "darn, another project!" then goes to his man cave . He's actually very polite but I can sense the projects are a bit of an intrusion for him.

Anyhow, I told my sister, she might be better off then with an indoor antenna, and pretty much left it at that.

I'm afraid of heights anyhow

But it is good to know that going from Directv to OTA may be as simple as just replacing, connecting to the OTA antenna.
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:33 AM   #7
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But it is good to know that going from Directv to OTA may be as simple as just replacing, connecting to the OTA antenna.
No offense, but that statement really strikes me as funny - I guess it just goes to show how prevalent cable/dish is. Some people can't even imagine that other's are and have been OTA only?

TVs started out as OTA, and they never dropped that. AFAIK, the only TVs sold w/o tuners are the 'monitor', component style. Even today, ~ 8% have only OTA in their homes - that may be growing recently, and would have gone through a rise from the early days, but it was never zero!

We had cable back in the 80's - hated the cable company monopoly so much that we dropped it and never went back. I don't recall ever shopping for a TV and finding one that didn't have a tuner. The only concern was during the switch to digital, to make sure it was digital ready.

Reminds me of when DD saw a phone with a cord on it in an older movie - "Did they put that string on it so they don't lose the phone?"

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Old 08-16-2014, 11:56 AM   #8
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I don't recall ever shopping for a TV and finding one that didn't have a tuner.
In fact, most TVs today have dual tuners -- that's how Picture-in-Picture (PnP) is possible.

I have three tuners (HDHomeRun - Watch TV anywhere in your home and http://www.silicondust.com/wordpress...uide4_2014.pdf) between my TV and antenna so that I can record 6 shows at once (or five and watch one).
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:03 PM   #9
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No offense, but that statement really strikes me as funny - I guess it just goes to show how prevalent cable/dish is. Some people can't even imagine that other's are and have been OTA only?
No offense, but sometimes it *is* an issue.

Many satellite installations have used inline multiswitches and other things which would require removal and perhaps a little rewiring to "fix" (or at least replace with splitters) Yes, if it's good RG-6 coax the cabling itself is fine, but there could be equipment somewhere that needs to be removed, replaced or reworked. So its not always just as simple as replacing the cabling into the dish with that of the OTA antenna.

Having said that, fortunately in my current situation it *is* that simple since there is just a single 4-input grounding block going into the house with regular RG-6 and nothing else in the attic. But I've had multiswitch installations in the past which would have required a little rewiring work and removal of the splitters -- and possibly the introduction of a preamp depending on the strength of the signals coming in and how many times you split the signal throughout the house.

Any good quality RG-6 can be kept, but you *may* have to do a little work in the attic and/or on the roof.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:37 PM   #10
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I am still amazed when people who have had cable for years, see my free OTA picture and ask how come I get such a better picture from the XYZ cable company than they do.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:39 PM   #11
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No offense, but sometimes it *is* an issue. ....
OK, specific wiring could be an issue. Maybe I misread the statement - I was thinking that maybe he thought extra equipment would be needed, or something more than just getting the antenna signal to the TV.

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Old 08-16-2014, 01:17 PM   #12
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No offense, but that statement really strikes me as funny - I guess it just goes to show how prevalent cable/dish is. Some people can't even imagine that other's are and have been OTA only?...
And some folks don't understand when one doesn't have a smartphone

But I shake that off and don't get offended so easily
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Old 08-16-2014, 03:50 PM   #13
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I don't know about the people who have posted here... but the TVs that I have will allow both cable and OTA at the same time... different inputs...
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Old 08-16-2014, 04:52 PM   #14
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I don't know about the people who have posted here... but the TVs that I have will allow both cable and OTA at the same time... different inputs...
Cable through coax, or HDMI or some other type of cable through a cable box? I have seen TVs with 2 coax inputs, but don't have one and don't think they are too common. I would've loved them for my 32" secondary TVs I have for viewing multiple football games. I have to use an A/B switch to go between OTA and the second (non-HD) feed off my satellite receiver.
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Old 08-16-2014, 04:55 PM   #15
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I put a good antenna in my attic, pointed it at Cheyenne Mountain where most of the HDTV stations in Colorado Springs have put their broadcast antennas, ran the coax to the TV in the family room, and, ta-da, all the networks display with crystal-clear reception. We have a couple of TVs upstairs where I haven't run the coax yet, but they're doing fine with cheap (and I mean cheap) antennas.

This site can help you figure out what you can get: TV Fool
Enter your address, and find out more about signal strength at your location than you'd ever want to know.

We dumped DirectTV about a year ago when they got my wife's last goat with stupid billing. If one of us would have had a jones for sports it would have been tough, but Netflix and OTA are meeting our wants just fine.
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Old 08-16-2014, 05:20 PM   #16
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I don't know about the people who have posted here... but the TVs that I have will allow both cable and OTA at the same time... different inputs...
Well, of course. The TV doesn't care where the signal comes from... it will accept the proper input from any source.

The fact that Cable inserts a bunch of "*****-pocus" (Oh! That's interesting -- please mentally insert the name of a long-banished rascal) before it hands the signal off to your TV doesn't change that it is simply a UHF or a VHF radio wave -- the same as you receive directly from a antenna without the manipulation for commercial purposes.
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:29 PM   #17
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Cable through coax, or HDMI or some other type of cable through a cable box? I have seen TVs with 2 coax inputs, but don't have one and don't think they are too common. I would've loved them for my 32" secondary TVs I have for viewing multiple football games. I have to use an A/B switch to go between OTA and the second (non-HD) feed off my satellite receiver.
Cable goes into the DVR and HDMI to TV...

But, the DVR also has an input for OTA antenna...
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:59 PM   #18
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I use two Tivos, with OTA and cable (2 coax's) to each. OTA for better picture, without cable company re-processing (though I haven't actually checked to see if it's that bad). The Tivos seamlessly select cable or OTA by channel.
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Going from DIRECTV to OTA
Old 08-17-2014, 12:30 AM   #19
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Going from DIRECTV to OTA

I got an outdoor antenna from costco. Connected it to the cable tv splitter and it works perfect. The only problem is how to watch the local baseball team and Monday night football? Will buy cable for part of the year, at least it is easy to disconnect one and connect the other.
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Old 08-17-2014, 09:00 AM   #20
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I have three tuners (HDHomeRun - Watch TV anywhere in your home and http://www.silicondust.com/wordpress...uide4_2014.pdf) between my TV and antenna so that I can record 6 shows at once (or five and watch one).
I have 2 HDHomeRun dual tuners and 2 tuner adapters for a total of 6 concurrent tuners (rarely use more than 2 at a time, though).

As to the OP's problem of outdoor antennas...you might do well in the attic.

I have the HDHomeRun tuners in the attic so I get minimal cable loss (very short run of RG-6 coax). The tuners are ethernet connected to a hub in the attic and I've got a single cat-5 that goes into the household ethernet switch.
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