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Analog Angle

Over-the-Air TV Broadcasts: Making a Comeback

Bill Schweber
MeasurementBlues
MeasurementBlues
10/26/2017 4:26:40 PM
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Newbie
OTA signal repacking
Those with cable/satellelite won't care, but those who use OTA will have to rescan their stations over the next few years as TV frequencies get repacked to open spectrum for wireless communications.

Even the rabbit ear might make a comeback as some TV stations are moving fown to the former analof RF channels.

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MeasurementBlues
MeasurementBlues
10/26/2017 4:24:34 PM
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Additional use for OTA antenna
You can always connect an atnenna to a spectrum analuzer to use for EMI troublshooting.

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MeasurementBlues
MeasurementBlues
10/26/2017 4:22:46 PM
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TV: Just not worth anything
We have cable, but I could easily live without it. The only thing I watch, which requires cable, are local MLB games and often, I just listen on the radio becuase I can't spent time in front of the screen.

Other family members watch TV, usually online from Hulu, Netflix, and a few other apps (ipad) or browser (laptop). But these services don't keep shows on forever, so we have to TVs for recording. The OTA TV records onto DVDs. The TV with cable records to VHS. But, these recordings are just for backup in case a show is removed from online. So, most of the DVDs and tapes are never watched.  

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Victor Lorenzo
Victor Lorenzo
9/11/2017 6:30:17 AM
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Re: OTA fan
In the case os Spain you can still receive many channels OTA (digital TV, not anymore Analog TV). But their content quality is, at most, poor. I can only recall one good tv show, it is called "Quèquicom" (whatwhohow) and is broadcasted by the local Catalonian TV. It covers interesting scientific, nature and history topics for all audiences.

We have netflix at home, it indeed has a huge amount of content, but we effectively run out of quality content to see, at least according to our standards ;).

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cookiejar
cookiejar
9/7/2017 9:58:45 AM
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OTA fan
  We've never had cable or satellite, only OTA, using a VCR to time shift since the early 80s.  The newer VCRs could automatically skip commercials - nice.  The beauty of recording is you can quickly scan a program to see if it's worth your time to watch.  I find that most that I've recorded, even in my field of interest aren't worth my time.  You can get that way as you get older and time gets more precious.

  We live in the boondocks and are fortunate enough to get over 30 OTA stations with our 8 bay bow-tie antenna with preamp, which we simply mounted just outside a window.  Decent UHF antennae are a lot smaller than the VHF fringe models. 

   I enjoy watching OTA HD, which has much higher quality than the overly compressed cable, satellite and Internet signals and was thrilled when ChannelMaster introduced its DVR+.  It can be programmed to record 2 OTA channels simultaneously in full high quality HD, while you watch a third with your TV's tuner.  And no monthly fee!  It can use an external USB hard drive which can hold 180 hours of full HD on 1TB.  This forces  you to delete the programs you'll never watch again instead of letting the VHS tapes pile up.
   The DVR+ picks up its program guide off air or off the Net.  It also features an ever growing access to on-line services, which you cannot record, duplicating smart TVs.  Unfortunately the one step backward is you have to fast forward through the commercials manually, which soon becomes second nature.  Why don't remotes use the simple game style joystick switches?

  I've found it immensely frustrating to be stuck in a hotel with nothing of interest to watch when you only have cable.  We are creatures of habit.

  My big fear is that the stations I watch will turn off their transmitters.  PBS, 125 miles away, has cut back on its power, now making reception flaky at times.  In Ontario Canada, the educational network TVOntario has shut down 122 of its OTA transmitters leaving only 1 in Toronto, then changed its mind and now there are 9.  This move forces many of their viewers to cable or satellite if they don't have broadband Internet.  It's the God given duty of entrepreneurs to turn free lunches into cash cows, so why do they call it the free market?



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DaveR1234
DaveR1234
9/6/2017 1:20:56 PM
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Re: Cord cutter and Dish ditcher here!
Jon, I'd love to cut the cord myself, but a few questions: do Netflix and/or Hulu give access to current shows on FX, Sci, Fox News, A&E, USA, and the normal networks: ABC, NBC, CBS?  Do the shows have to be watched when broadcast or can you download them after they are normally shown?  Is a DVR available to record the shows that are not downloadable?

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steve.taranovich
steve.taranovich
9/6/2017 1:19:12 PM
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Re: hiii
Welcome @smactechnical----I trust that you will be contibuting technical comments about our many blog topics that will benefit our audience. I see that your profile is an advertisement of your services to help with Apple Mac users' problems---I will allow that in a profile, if and only if, you--the member, contributes good tech information on our blogs and never advertises with links in any of the comments---this will result in immediate deleting of such comments as well as deleting the membership of any member who does this on Planet Analog. We have far too many of such occurances on good tech sites such as this and I welcome you as a true Analog contributor

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jonharris0
jonharris0
9/6/2017 8:42:35 AM
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Cord cutter and Dish ditcher here!
I went back to OTA TV about 6 years ago before the new trend really took off.  I haven't looked back.  We actually ditched our satellite dish so I consider myself a dish ditcher as well as a cord cutter since we'd cut the cord on cable TV before going to satellite.  Now we enjoy the local programming and use Netflix and Hulu.  I found myself flipping through endless channels with nothing on that I wanted to watch with pay TV.  Now we just flip on Netflix or Hulu when we want to and watch what we want.  It is a MUCH better approach.  The only downside for me is live sports, specifically college football.  I supplement Netflix and Hulu with SlingTV only during the season and then turn it off.  I don't regret at all going to OTA. 

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vbiancomano
vbiancomano
9/1/2017 12:40:28 PM
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Blogger
Free TV---as it ought to be!
I'm still with OTA and don't regret it. I particularly liked the old analog black-and-white TV and enjoyed the adventure provided by weak signals----e.g., heavy "snow" on the screen made it seem as if an NFL game was being played in a storm. And old (analog) OTA gave an excellent alert of an e-skip opening to the midwest at 2-meter VHF (amateur radio).

One drawback of OTA in recent years, however, has been the arrival of the "death merchants," as I call them (don't know if this is the case with cable or satellite). Few commercials anymore are of the Kellogg's Frosted Flakes variety. No, the commercials are a steady barrage of negativism: What lawyer or hospital to seek out when you contract a terminal disease. But, it opens up a possible project for the EE to design some circuitry to at least mute the audio during such times!

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