As I continue to research HDTV options, I came across an interesting site (AntennaWeb.org) that shows what free HDTV broadcasts are available in a given area, and what type of antenna is the best choice for picking up the broadcasts.
I am not really inclined to climb up on my steep roof (it was an adventure getting up there, right after Joseph was born, to fix a leak over the sunroom) to install an outdoor antenna, and then run a cable through the attic, and eventually through my 100+ year-old plaster walls. Nope. Not so much fun.
So I am looking for a decent indoor antenna, which could tide me over for a few months until I make a decision to stick with charter or switch to DirectTV.
4 thoughts on “Free HDTV”
Depending on where you are and the topography between your home and the transmitters, you may get away with a Silver Sensor.
The tricky thing is if different channels are in different directions and you have to point the antenna each time you change the channel.
I can’t get reception so I get basic cable from Comcast with a $5 lease for an HDTV box. But if I want their HD DVR, I would have to sign up to a much more expensive package and pay like $10-12 rental for the box.
So I have the Direct TV DVR with a 250 GB drive (vs. 160 GB for the Comcast DVR). Later this year, they will put up new satellites and promise 150 HD channels. Right now, channels like MTV, CNN and FX on HD are hard to get anywhere. That should change.
As for the TV, boy LCDs have come down a lot. I think the right way to approach it is to get something now with the expectation that you may want to upgrade 4-5 years later.
Even sets which come out later this year will offer incremental improvements in picture quality as well as important features like HDMI 1.3 and support for refresh rates at multiples of 24 Hz.
The latter will be important for Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players which will eventually output movies at the proper frame rate (24fps). PS3 for instance is suppose to get a firmware update in the future for this.
Make sure the store you buy has a good return policy (no restocking fee) in case there are issues. One thing I hear about is lag when playing games. That’s more with DLP but LCD can have issues with motion artifacts and ghosting if the refresh rates aren’t high enough. That shouldn’t be an issue with brands like Sony or Sharp though.
wco – I will write more about my purchase later, but I after more research last night, I went with the Sony model. I am looking at this just like you said – this may be my “2nd” TV in another 3-5 years.
If you are looking for an indoor antenna, HDTVa is the most popular model. Check out the hdtv antenna reviews, you will see that people are most happy with HDTVa and zenith zhdtv1.
For what it is worth, I have not come across a decent (and not too expensive) indoor antenna at the local electronics stores. It is not like there is that much going on with HD on the local airwaves, and I am already enjoying Discovery HD, so no reason to go local yet.
I do think I will have to do Direct TV before football season if Charter does not finally pick up the NFL network. I was going to get rid of my land-line (Bell South phone) to save about $500/year, but it looks Direct TV requires a land-line … so no changes yet.