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Old 01-04-2015, 10:02 PM   #21
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Dropping cable TV was on my to do list over the holiday break. I purchased two different OTA antennas, one was the classic style, the other was a flat plane "digital" antenna. Unfortunately, I was only able to pull in FOX and NBC with either antenna. I tried several locations in the house and I used a 25' piece of RG6 to stick the classic style antenna outside on the deck but that didn't help. The only thing I haven't tried is putting a mast on the roof. I am barely 30 miles away from a city with broadcast towers for all 4 networks plus PBS, but none of the stations from that city were picked up by the two antennas that I tried. Interestingly, the tower for the NBC station that I can pick up is almost 50 miles away, but it's in a different direction.

Best Buy has a number of powered antenna options and it would be easy to return something if it didn't work out. Has anyone had good luck pulling in remote stations over the air? If so, can you share what worked for you? It's winter here now, so going up on the roof isn't going to happen. My other plan is to call Comcast and ask for a better rate.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:27 PM   #22
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Dropping cable TV was on my to do list over the holiday break. I purchased two different OTA antennas, one was the classic style, the other was a flat plane "digital" antenna. Unfortunately, I was only able to pull in FOX and NBC with either antenna. I tried several locations in the house and I used a 25' piece of RG6 to stick the classic style antenna outside on the deck but that didn't help. The only thing I haven't tried is putting a mast on the roof. I am barely 30 miles away from a city with broadcast towers for all 4 networks plus PBS, but none of the stations from that city were picked up by the two antennas that I tried. Interestingly, the tower for the NBC station that I can pick up is almost 50 miles away, but it's in a different direction.

Best Buy has a number of powered antenna options and it would be easy to return something if it didn't work out. Has anyone had good luck pulling in remote stations over the air? If so, can you share what worked for you? It's winter here now, so going up on the roof isn't going to happen. My other plan is to call Comcast and ask for a better rate.
Did you go to antennaweb to see what direction the towers are?

Having one put outdoor would most likely help. My sister had Dish (or DirectTV, I get them confused) and ended up having her husband put an OTA antenna where the dish antenna was and that worked out well for her.

As for me, my antenna is indoors and I've tried several (including the popular Mohu Leaf) which I put by the window. The antenna that I settled on which gives me the best results is by a company called HD Frequency. There's a $99 antenna and one for about $50 that they carry.

http://www.amazon.com/Frequency-Outd...s=hd+frequency

Amazon.com: HD Frequency Cable Cutter Indoor Outdoor HD Digital TV Antenna - Mini (CC-17M): Electronics
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:40 PM   #23
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Did you go to antennaweb to see what direction the towers are?
I have used that site. When I tried putting the Wingard FreeVision antenna outside on my deck railing, I aimed it in the direction of the broadcast towers that are 31 miles away, but with no better luck. So far, the flat plane antenna, located indoors, has worked the best, but neither antenna has even attempted to tune those stations which the website says I should have good reception for.

I don't have an old satellite dish to use to hold my HD antenna, but I wish that I did. If I decide to go that route I'll have to buy a mast and mounting hardware to put it up on the roof and I'd really rather avoid that if I can. Sadly, it appears that my house isn't located where I can just throw up something and go back to watching free TV.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:53 PM   #24
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I have used that site. When I tried putting the Wingard FreeVision antenna outside on my deck railing, I aimed it in the direction of the broadcast towers that are 31 miles away, but with no better luck. So far, the flat plane antenna, located indoors, has worked the best, but neither antenna has even attempted to tune those stations which the website says I should have good reception for.

I don't have an old satellite dish to use to hold my HD antenna, but I wish that I did. If I decide to go that route I'll have to buy a mast and mounting hardware to put it up on the roof and I'd really rather avoid that if I can. Sadly, it appears that my house isn't located where I can just throw up something and go back to watching free TV.
Any big trees in the line of sight of the antenna to the direction the stations are?
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:07 PM   #25
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Any big trees in the line of sight of the antenna to the direction the stations are?
Yes. I don't have a clear shot from my deck in any direction really. The FOX transmitter is less than 20 miles away, so I think it tunes in with almost anything. The oddity is pulling in the NBC affiliate that is further away than the NBC station located in the city that has all 4 networks and a PBS station.

I'll probably take one more crack at it by purchasing a powered antenna from Best Buy. Maybe I'll check the reviews for the units that they carry in the local store and then try the best one out. I wouldn't mind paying up to $100 for something that works.
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:22 PM   #26
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Yes. I don't have a clear shot from my deck in any direction really. The FOX transmitter is less than 20 miles away, so I think it tunes in with almost anything. The oddity is pulling in the NBC affiliate that is further away than the NBC station located in the city that has all 4 networks and a PBS station.

I'll probably take one more crack at it by purchasing a powered antenna from Best Buy. Maybe I'll check the reviews for the units that they carry in the local store and then try the best one out. I wouldn't mind paying up to $100 for something that works.
Trees are always the issue with OTA antennas. You may get better reception after dark, however. Give the powered unit a try and see what happens.
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:26 PM   #27
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Cut cable 4 or 5 months ago. Use roku, chromecast for tv with a subscription to Hulu (about $8/mo) for access to tv shows and movies. Use Ooma for landline phone service...about $3.85/mo unlimited local and long distance calling. Still have to pay evil cable co for broadband (about $65/mo) but for a total of about $80 a month, I have TV shows, movies, sports, unlimited telephone, and wifi. I still think it's too much, but better than the $140/mo I was paying.
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:47 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by NoiseBoy View Post
I have used that site. When I tried putting the Wingard FreeVision antenna outside on my deck railing, I aimed it in the direction of the broadcast towers that are 31 miles away, but with no better luck. So far, the flat plane antenna, located indoors, has worked the best, but neither antenna has even attempted to tune those stations which the website says I should have good reception for.

I don't have an old satellite dish to use to hold my HD antenna, but I wish that I did. If I decide to go that route I'll have to buy a mast and mounting hardware to put it up on the roof and I'd really rather avoid that if I can. Sadly, it appears that my house isn't located where I can just throw up something and go back to watching free TV.
I went from homebuilt coat hanger type to Wingard FreeVision to the HD Frequency. Did try the Mohu Leaf too briefly but for me that didn't do any better then the coat hanger. The HD Frequency is the only one where I can consistently get CBS. There's a lot of trial and error with OTA.

Some folks install the antenna in an attic, so if you have one then you won't have to do any roof climbing.
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Old 01-05-2015, 01:29 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by NoiseBoy View Post
Yes. I don't have a clear shot from my deck in any direction really. The FOX transmitter is less than 20 miles away, so I think it tunes in with almost anything. The oddity is pulling in the NBC affiliate that is further away than the NBC station located in the city that has all 4 networks and a PBS station.

I'll probably take one more crack at it by purchasing a powered antenna from Best Buy. Maybe I'll check the reviews for the units that they carry in the local store and then try the best one out. I wouldn't mind paying up to $100 for something that works.
I do OTA on one TV and I found if I do the setup scan at night I get more channels then I do when I run it in the daytime. The channels come in well all day, but for some reason 4 of them get skipped when I run setup in the daytime....
YMMV
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:39 AM   #30
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It's my understanding that live streams on WatchESPN are only available if you get ESPN as part of a cable or satellite TV subscription. Internet-only subscribers get access to ESPN3 only. I believe that is true for all providers. Here's a link to their explanation. So I'm curious how you were able to watch the College Football Playoffs.

I'm not a huge sports fan, but I watch one or two NFL games every week on network TV during the season. I can't watch Monday night except when the local team is playing, when it's also available OTA. I usually watch one college game every Saturday on network TV if I'm not attending one of the local games live. Local pro basketball and baseball is a little harder to find OTA, but there's plenty available for my limited needs. I also go to 10-15 MLB games live every year. I prefer baseball live vs TV, but that does get expensive. My son and I go to a sports bar 2-3 times per year when there's something we really want to watch that's not on network TV. We watched a couple ESPN college bowl games that way recently and had a great time.

Yes, there are online streams available for pretty much any live sport anywhere in the world. But these are most likely illegal and certainly of very low streaming quality, if they work at all. I stay away from these for both reasons. For the hardcore sports fan who appreciates HD, cable or satellite is your only viable option for now. I'm not hardcore enough to justify the additional cost. Hopefully, we'll get more a-la-carte options in the near future as hordes of people cut the cord and migrate to streaming.
I agree with what you read about ESPN. The Charter website says the same thing. But I can tell you that yesterday I went to WatchEspn.com and watched live sports that said they were on ESPN. Just now I watched Sports Center live, which is an ESPN show. I did this on both my PC and my Roku. And again, I watched the College games. I tried ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN News and they all say that my subscription does not allow. ESPN and ESPN3 work. A gift from Charter?
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:27 AM   #31
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I agree with what you read about ESPN. The Charter website says the same thing. But I can tell you that yesterday I went to WatchEspn.com and watched live sports that said they were on ESPN. Just now I watched Sports Center live, which is an ESPN show. I did this on both my PC and my Roku. And again, I watched the College games. I tried ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN News and they all say that my subscription does not allow. ESPN and ESPN3 work. A gift from Charter?
Perhaps. Could also be a promotional offer of some type. Or an error, which will be fixed at some point. I've also heard that ESPN is available via WatchESPN to Xbox Live members... and perhaps other similar non-ISP providers (Roku?).

I'm on Verizon FiOS. I just checked and I can only get ESPN3, which is mainly high school basketball, Lacrosse, and Cricket. I get user authorization error on any other ESPN channel or content like Sports Center.

I can watch replays of almost all ESPN content, including for example, the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. But no live content except for the much-anticipated Cricket match later today between Sri Lanka and New Zealand. And the ever-popular, "Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest."

Anyway, I would suspect that for most cord-cutters (i.e. internet-only subscribers), WatchESPN is only going to provide ESPN3 content, which is unlikely to get most US sports fans too excited.
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:57 AM   #32
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For those of you having difficulty receiving OTA signals with an antenna, you might try what I did. When I called my ISP (Verizon FiOS) to cancel TV and phone, I told them I'd be using Netflix and OTA for network TV. They informed me there was an unadvertised "broadcast tier" TV service that would give me a "double-play" discount, resulting in a LOWER cost than internet alone. The broadcast tier is actually much more than just the local network channels, as it includes WGN, the Weather Channel, etc... about 25-30 usable channels in all. I jumped on it. It was $5/mo cheaper than internet alone, provided more channels than I can get OTA, and saved the expense and hassle of an antenna. I get very reliable 1080p with 5.1 surround sound and no STB expense. I'm 35-40 miles from most of the transmitters and surrounded by trees and some hills. So, this saved me from my planned purchase of a very large antenna that I was going to mount on a 25-ft mast attached to the fireplace. May not be an option for you, but it's worth a phone call. DW was just happy to keep me off the roof.
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:35 PM   #33
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Expanded Cable and basic internet are included in my HOA fees, but I do pay a few extra dollars for faster download rates. Love my Roku! Also now playing with the Amazon Fire:TV think which is very much like the Roku.
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:56 PM   #34
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Currently paying $141/mo, Directv, two premium channels (HBO and Showtime). Just got a notice in the mail today that prices are going up starting Feb 5th. Unbelievable! My wife wants Tennis channel, and Directv has the best Tennis programming so I am sticking with DTV. I would love to go OTA and save myself a bundle.


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Old 01-05-2015, 07:18 PM   #35
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I went from homebuilt coat hanger type to Wingard FreeVision to the HD Frequency. Did try the Mohu Leaf too briefly but for me that didn't do any better then the coat hanger. The HD Frequency is the only one where I can consistently get CBS. There's a lot of trial and error with OTA.

Some folks install the antenna in an attic, so if you have one then you won't have to do any roof climbing.
Thanks for the report. I think I have 3 options to explore:

1. Call Comcast and try for a better rate.
2. Try the "best" antenna that I can pickup locally (so it's easy to return)
3. Try the HD Frequency. I do have an attic.

From my latest Comcast bill, "Among these price changes, we have itemized a Regional Sports fee for customers receiving Digital Starter service tiers and above to offset the rising costs of distributing regional sports networks."

In other words, everyone, not just sports fans, are going to be paying more for sports programming.
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:13 PM   #36
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Thanks for the report. I think I have 3 options to explore:

1. Call Comcast and try for a better rate.
2. Try the "best" antenna that I can pickup locally (so it's easy to return)
3. Try the HD Frequency. I do have an attic.

From my latest Comcast bill, "Among these price changes, we have itemized a Regional Sports fee for customers receiving Digital Starter service tiers and above to offset the rising costs of distributing regional sports networks."

In other words, everyone, not just sports fans, are going to be paying more for sports programming.
If you order the HD Frequency through Amazon and need to return, that shouldn't be difficult either. I kept the HD frequency, but did order and return the Mohu Leaf via Amazon. On the return reason I simply said the antenna wasn't any better than my coat hanger home built one. (If you say you changed your mind as the reason, you'd end up paying return shipping).
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:44 PM   #37
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Speaking of standalone TV offerings, This was in the news today:
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Dish to offer new live online TV, with ESPN, for $20 a month
Televised sports are the biggest reason cable and satellite customers donít cancel their subscriptions for online alternatives, surveys show. That gives cable and satellite companies little incentive to stream games online.
But Dish Network is betting its future on a stand-alone streaming service that includes the most popular TV sports network, ESPN, and a dozen other top channels for just $20 a month, with no cable or satellite subscription required.
HBO is also planning to do this, so perhaps this wave has momentum...
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:58 PM   #38
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I heard HBO may offer in line with the Game of Thrones Season premier.. I can only hope.. the only thing I can't figure out how to get around is MSNBC, not sure if anyone knows of any options there, but I think I'm stuck either getting basic tv and paying for that or just dealing with not getting it..which I'd miss morning stock ticker and interviews on squak.
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:35 AM   #39
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I heard HBO may offer in line with the Game of Thrones Season premier.. I can only hope.. the only thing I can't figure out how to get around is MSNBC, not sure if anyone knows of any options there, but I think I'm stuck either getting basic tv and paying for that or just dealing with not getting it..which I'd miss morning stock ticker and interviews on squak.

I have the MSNBC app on my iPad and then I stream to my tv via my apple tv. The app has a link to the MSNBC live feed. The nice thing is that you get music instead of the commercials. Watched the Ed Schultz last night. Cut the cord in November and I have not looked back. Luckily, my indoor antenna picks up the networks and PBS. Future HBO stand alone Apps and the possibility to buy ESPN for college football season will seal the dal for me. So glad that I am not giving comcast any of my money.
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Old 01-06-2015, 09:40 AM   #40
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Our local NBC affiliate is in a dispute with DirecTV. After hearing that NFL games are available online, I spent a couple hours searching for the NBC game this weekend (Pitts/Bal) but the only site I found, Liveball.TV wanted to install a player that set off my anti-virus. Any tips?
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