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High Def over bunny ears?
Old 01-20-2007, 10:37 AM   #1
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High Def over bunny ears?

So DW and I are chafing at our low contribution rate to our retirement portfolio, and looking to get Draconian on our spending. I've been eating a packed lunch every day so far this year, and it's working well, home cooked meals etc. and we will probably come in about half of the usual monthly food bill. We are now looking at our utilities and cable is looking next to go. We cut HBO first and found we didn't miss it after a couple of weeks, now we are looking to cut T.V. altogether from the bill and pair down to an offer from our phone company for phone and internet @$40/month. My question is, can you get HIgh definition via bunny ears? I heard that was part of the law congress passed, but is it feasible, or do you have to live within 30 feet of the tower? Either way, cable is gone, but I wanted to see if anyone had explored this ( I've already sunk the fixed cost of the HIgh def t.v., seems like it's worth exploring).
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?
Old 01-20-2007, 10:45 AM   #2
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
My question is, can you get HIgh definition via bunny ears? I heard that was part of the law congress passed, but is it feasible, or do you have to live within 30 feet of the tower? Either way, cable is gone, but I wanted to see if anyone had explored this ( I've already sunk the fixed cost of the HIgh def t.v., seems like it's worth exploring).
If the signal strength is good enough, yes.

Go to this website http://www.antennaweb.org/ and enter your address (give your neighbor's address if you want ). It will tell you the direction, location and freq of every over-the-air station in your area, whether they are digital (HD capable), and what type of antenna you will need to get a good signal.

You're welcome.

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Re: High Def over bunny ears?
Old 01-20-2007, 10:48 AM   #3
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?

Oh yeah, you will also need to have a HD receiver if it isn't built in to your set...

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Re: High Def over bunny ears?
Old 01-20-2007, 11:50 AM   #4
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?

yeah, it's not built in, so the start up costs look steep. According to the site, I need the large, contribute to SETI type rig to get most of the channels, that along with the HD reciever could push this into multiple hundreds of $$. But it would probably only take six months to make the money back...
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?
Old 01-20-2007, 11:55 AM   #5
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?

Personally, I think you need to live more in the present moment. The future comes awfully fast. TV is harldy a splurge! Get what you want for godsakes! Live today, you might be dead tommorrow.
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?
Old 01-20-2007, 12:24 PM   #6
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?

I think you'll need new bunny ears too.

like these
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?
Old 01-20-2007, 01:03 PM   #7
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?

Hey, that looks really good, wab! Thanks! at $30 bucks, it's hard to argue with the reviews and take the gamble. Now I just need to find a reciever (since my HDTV is just a monitor).
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?
Old 01-20-2007, 01:08 PM   #8
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?

Everyone needs bunny ears

Find out what your cable company offers in the way of basic analog cable. Some offer the "first 13 channels" (basically abc/nbc/cbs/fox, maybe cnn or a couple of those) and some have the "first 25" where you get espn and a couple of others. Generally a lot cheaper than the 40/60 channel 'extended basic' and often unadvertised unless you ask for it.

You can also do what we used to do. Buy a basic series 1 or series 2 tivo with lifetime service on ebay. Then that becomes your user interface and you can switch between basic cable, basic directv and basic dish network using their promo deals, then cancelling when the promos expire. You can usually get good prices on a six month deal and usually they require that you havent been a customer for the past six months.

You wont have a lot of channels but the tivo will hoover up anything you're interested in to watch at your leisure.

Other option is to call your current provider and tell them you'd like to cancel because its more than you want to pay and that you're just going to use an OTA. Appear open to sticking around if theres a deal and ask for one. "Do you have any retention deals or specials?". Avoid getting pinned into getting a deal for buying a higher level more expensive service.

95% of the time they'll give you the six months $19.99 for extended basic cable or $10 off a month for the satellite basic services. Touch and go on getting it two or three times in a row as I hear some of the providers wont offer serial 'deals' back to back.

Last time I called I got them to give me the internet for $29/mo for a year instead of 57/58 and $25/mo for cable for six months.

Even if you have little problems, call and constructively complain. Directv had a problem with their tivo's for the last month or so and some programs didnt record properly. I called and told them it was pretty annoying and that we didnt get a few of our regular shows, would they give me a credit for my troubles? $20/mo for six months.

All that having been said, plenty of providers will just cancel you and send you off. It never ceases to amaze me that a company will agree to take no money instead of some money from a customer.
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?
Old 01-20-2007, 01:50 PM   #9
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?


The HD "terrestrial" receivers are $200 or less (e.g. http://tinyurl.com/2ht5de).

The idea of an "HD antenna" is kinda a marketing scam. Digital TV signals
are broadcast on the various UHF frequencies. Thanks to compression,
several stations, including one HD one, will fit in the same bandwidth as was
formerly allocated to a single UHF station. So the "HD antenna" is simply a
UHF-optimized antenna. Once you can get all the stations in digital, you have
no need for a VHF antenna anymore. One exception is if the only recorder you
have is a VCR, you may want to connect a VHF antenna to it so you can get
those analog stations for recording purposes. Of course, DVD recorders are
now very affordable, so you may want to just use that for your recording
purposes as well. Also, once analog goes away (soon), it may be that the
analog frequencies start having digital stations assinged to them.

I second the recommendation of antennaweb.org, and also recommend
soldsignal.com as a source for antennae and other gear.

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Re: High Def over bunny ears?
Old 01-20-2007, 01:58 PM   #10
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?


Also, not sure why you'd want to receive TV anyhow. It really sucks.
It sounds trite to say ... But formerly I think there were TV dramas worth
watching, like "NYPD Blue" and "West Wing". Now about the best you can
do is "Grey's Anatomy", ok but not in the same league IMHO. About the
only network TV I watch besides PBS in the Letterman/Ferguson silliness.

The best stuff is on HBO. But don't pay those cable bills, sign up for netflix,
paying less, and watch stuff like "Deadwood" and "Sopranos" on your own
schedule.

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Re: High Def over bunny ears?
Old 01-20-2007, 03:29 PM   #11
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?

Well, we want to get just the basic 13 channels, but we'd like to get them in HD, not analog, and we thought OTA was the only way to go. My cable company makes you buy their extended cable package first, then you can get Hi Def on top of it. :P.

We were considering putting some of our proceeds to a netflix/blockbuster subscription, between that and hi def PBS we would be golden. I'll call the cable company and see what they say.
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?
Old 01-20-2007, 03:32 PM   #12
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyShackleford

soldsignal.com as a source for antennae and other gear.
Sorry, that would be solidsignal.com ...

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Re: High Def over bunny ears?
Old 01-20-2007, 03:43 PM   #13
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?

So I went to fry's and bought a vhf/uhf combo ant. with a 25db signal amplifier built in. No dice - no signal. Just to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong, tried it on my upstairs analog t.v. and can just barely get CBS - very fuzzy. I think I'm just in a bad place for a signal. The website posted said I needed a maximum gain megalithic outside ant. about thirty feet wide with E.T.'s speak and spell hotwired in to stand a chance of getting more.

I'm going to call my cable company and see if they'll cut me a deal on basic cable w/high def.
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?
Old 01-20-2007, 03:49 PM   #14
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?

FWIW, we pay $20/mo for Dish Network's family package.

And google FTA satellite for some wild and crazy fun. (I recommend the ViewSat VS2000 Ultra.)
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?
Old 01-20-2007, 04:00 PM   #15
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?

Wow, yeah, we just got off the phone with Cox, they will reduce us to the 13 channels plus 7 high def channels on Monday. But our savings is only $27. So instead of $120 a month we are paying $93 for:

Phone - In state free and long distance 5 cents
High Speed internet
Cable

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Re: High Def over bunny ears?
Old 01-20-2007, 04:57 PM   #16
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?

Just note that some channels dont broadcast in HD at all.

The ones that do, only some program content is actually broadcast in high definition.

Of those, some are SD thats just upconverted to 720p (or whatever).

Next thing you'll note is that on the channels that are high def, with shows that are really high def...that you can see the dang makeup on a lot of the actors and football players are even uglier in HD.

I guess a lot of actors are pushing for fancy "high definition makeup" paint jobs now that their shows are in HD.
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?
Old 01-20-2007, 08:25 PM   #17
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyShackleford
Also, not sure why you'd want to receive TV anyhow. It really sucks.
It sounds trite to say ... But formerly I think there were TV dramas worth
watching, like "NYPD Blue" and "West Wing". Now about the best you can
do is "Grey's Anatomy", ok but not in the same league IMHO. About the
only network TV I watch besides PBS in the Letterman/Ferguson silliness.

The best stuff is on HBO. But don't pay those cable bills, sign up for netflix,
paying less, and watch stuff like "Deadwood" and "Sopranos" on your own
schedule.

We do the same thing and dont have cable....dont forget Entourage...I just finished season 1 and 2 on dvd...pretty funny....even the good shows on network tv like house come out on dvd pretty darn fast...
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?
Old 01-20-2007, 10:12 PM   #18
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
FWIW, we pay $20/mo for Dish Network's family package.

And google FTA satellite for some wild and crazy fun. (I recommend the ViewSat VS2000 Ultra.)
wow. i just spent 2 hrs searching forums. can you eityher answer here or pm me some more info? how hard to hook up? how much did you ivest? how much time to keep getting keys to unlock the channels? what kinds/how many channels do you get?
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?
Old 01-21-2007, 08:58 AM   #19
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?

Dish network was the worst customer experience of my life. Bad equipment, bad installation, lousy local channel picture quality, and they tried to screw me when I canceled. Theres a good reason why they've been successfully sued by a number of state attorney generals offices.

Price looks great, but read every word of every piece of fine print before you sign anything. You'll be required to perform every contract to the letter.
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?
Old 01-21-2007, 11:18 AM   #20
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Re: High Def over bunny ears?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Dish network was the worst customer experience of my life. Bad equipment, bad installation, lousy local channel picture quality, and they tried to screw me when I canceled. Theres a good reason why they've been successfully sued by a number of state attorney generals offices.

Price looks great, but read every word of every piece of fine print before you sign anything. You'll be required to perform every contract to the letter.
Sorry to hear it. We've been with Dish for 7 years at two houses, and they've always been responsive. The Family Package at $20 has everything we want (except HGTV), and it even includes several cool channels not inlcluded in the 120 package we had (DIY, science channel, etc).

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefed
wow. i just spent 2 hrs searching forums. can you eityher answer here or pm me some more info? how hard to hook up? how much did you ivest? how much time to keep getting keys to unlock the channels? what kinds/how many channels do you get?
Fed, didn't you already have a brush with the law? Stay away from this stuff, d00d. They'll probably make an example of you.

Anyway, google is your friend. The truth is out there.

Reciever was about $170. Interface is a little geeky. USB makes flashing new firmware a breeze. "Autoroll" makes key management hands-off. Setup is trivial if you have an existing dish, and I try to stay legit by maintaining my subscription. It's just for hobby/educational purposes!
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