Dish and OTA guidance

G

glowrdr

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 25, 2009
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Minneapolis, MN
So I’ve been supplementing and making some subtle changes to my account just to save a buck and be a little more efficient. I’ve removed 3 joeys from my account and replaced with Fire sticks (for less used TVs like the garage and an office TV)

My next idea is to quit paying the $12 monthly locals access (flex pack user). I know I’ll need the OTA adaptor (will probably use the dual just for availability and compatibility). It will be easier for everyone probably for me to just list out my questions, instead of just sprinkling them throughout the post. So let me start with my TV Fool link

1) I know the OTA adaptor works with my other Joeys - does it also feed locals to my Dish Anywhere app? (Not sure what actually drives the app - my Hopper or my Dish account)

2) I haven’t done anything OTA since everything went digital. What kind of antenna do I need? Can I get away with one of the ‘thin’ ones you hang on the wall, or am I better off with a whole home solution?

3) Any recommendations for something that would attach to the Dish itself? Does this make installation easier, or is it potentially creating a problem that doesn’t exist by limiting my install point?

Thanks in advance for any assistance on this. I’m normally pretty good at researching this stuff ahead of time, but I can’t seem to find anything recent or direct to my questions. Not sure if I’m searching the wrong terms and it’s throwing me off, or if it’s one of those “What’s the best <insert random object here> rabbit holes and there’s no real right answer waiting for me to find.
 
comfortably_numb

comfortably_numb

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Your TV Fool shows most of your channels are line of sight, so I would think you should have pretty good success with the dual tuner and a good indoor antenna.
 
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pattykay

pattykay

formerly crodrules
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Jun 14, 2014
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...Not sure if I’m searching the wrong terms and it’s throwing me off, or if it’s one of those “What’s the best <insert random object here> rabbit holes and there’s no real right answer waiting for me to find.
Yes, you have gone down the rabbit-ear rabbit hole. The right solution for you really depends on your individual situation, and what kind of reception you get at your location using various types of antennas. Trial and error is the best way to see what will actually work for you.
 
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cruiser83

SatelliteGuys Guru
Feb 21, 2008
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Regarding #2, There is no specific answer as to what kind of kind of antenna you need. It will totally depend on your proximity to towers and your physical location, even down to where it's located in or outside the home can make a difference on reception. Some folks can easily get by with an indoor antenna, others need an outdoor antenna, others mount one in the attic, etc. I fumbled around with a couple indoor antennas for awhile, but it was so prone to interference from even people walking by that I finally said to heck with it and mounted an amplified outdoor antenna, even that was problematic at first when I believe I mounted it too close to the power line running to our home and it caused interference. I moved it to the other end of the house and finally got rock solid signal on all available networks. Point being, it was a lot of trial and error to get there. Also the "thin ones" are better suited for UHF frequencies and you have a couple VHF frequencies on your TV fool report, so those may be a harder to get with the thin style antennas. Ok, having said all that, you have a lot of networks at a close proximity to your location, so an indoor option may be adequate for you, all you can do is buy one and try it out.
 
charlesrshell

charlesrshell

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Jan 14, 2006
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So I’ve been supplementing and making some subtle changes to my account just to save a buck and be a little more efficient. I’ve removed 3 joeys from my account and replaced with Fire sticks (for less used TVs like the garage and an office TV)

My next idea is to quit paying the $12 monthly locals access (flex pack user). I know I’ll need the OTA adaptor (will probably use the dual just for availability and compatibility). It will be easier for everyone probably for me to just list out my questions, instead of just sprinkling them throughout the post. So let me start with my TV Fool link

1) I know the OTA adaptor works with my other Joeys - does it also feed locals to my Dish Anywhere app? (Not sure what actually drives the app - my Hopper or my Dish account)

2) I haven’t done anything OTA since everything went digital. What kind of antenna do I need? Can I get away with one of the ‘thin’ ones you hang on the wall, or am I better off with a whole home solution?

3) Any recommendations for something that would attach to the Dish itself? Does this make installation easier, or is it potentially creating a problem that doesn’t exist by limiting my install point?

Thanks in advance for any assistance on this. I’m normally pretty good at researching this stuff ahead of time, but I can’t seem to find anything recent or direct to my questions. Not sure if I’m searching the wrong terms and it’s throwing me off, or if it’s one of those “What’s the best <insert random object here> rabbit holes and there’s no real right answer waiting for me to find.
Try this antenna web site to help you figure out an OTA antenna.
Address
 
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Cypresstree

PIT MEMBER
Nov 9, 2015
192
210
Cypress
So I’ve been supplementing and making some subtle changes to my account just to save a buck and be a little more efficient. I’ve removed 3 joeys from my account and replaced with Fire sticks (for less used TVs like the garage and an office TV)

My next idea is to quit paying the $12 monthly locals access (flex pack user). I know I’ll need the OTA adaptor (will probably use the dual just for availability and compatibility). It will be easier for everyone probably for me to just list out my questions, instead of just sprinkling them throughout the post. So let me start with my TV Fool link

1) I know the OTA adaptor works with my other Joeys - does it also feed locals to my Dish Anywhere app? (Not sure what actually drives the app - my Hopper or my Dish account)

2) I haven’t done anything OTA since everything went digital. What kind of antenna do I need? Can I get away with one of the ‘thin’ ones you hang on the wall, or am I better off with a whole home solution?

3) Any recommendations for something that would attach to the Dish itself? Does this make installation easier, or is it potentially creating a problem that doesn’t exist by limiting my install point?

Thanks in advance for any assistance on this. I’m normally pretty good at researching this stuff ahead of time, but I can’t seem to find anything recent or direct to my questions. Not sure if I’m searching the wrong terms and it’s throwing me off, or if it’s one of those “What’s the best <insert random object here> rabbit holes and there’s no real right answer waiting for me to find.

Your hopper drives dish anywhere- hence ota will deliver as viewed on your hopper.

I also recently ditched Locals and three boxes in favor of three firesticks.

The family have adjusted well.

I’ve had a roof mount ota antenna from www.antennasdirect.com for 10 years. I’m 26 miles from the antenna farm but still utilize a preamp and distribution amp to get 100 plus stations here in the houston metro area.

They are very helpful.


Sent from my iPhone using the SatelliteGuys app!
 
MikeD-C05

MikeD-C05

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Nov 25, 2003
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I dropped locals too this last week and added a Tablo 4 tuner device for ota. It hooks to your router by ethernet and your antenna. Plug in an external hard drive to record 4 shows at a time. You can access it anywhere in the house or outside of the house using the Tablo app. I call it my own little Primetime Anytime for the Big 4 networks and use my DISH dual tuner ota device for recording Cw and Metv. It costed money for the Tablo and the hard drive and I bought the lifetime guide for $149.99. The best part; I HAVE FULL GUIDE DATA FOR ALL MY CHANNELS AND SUB CHANNELS. The tuner is better in the Tablo too. I now pick up two sub channels that the DISH tuner could never pick up. All channels and sub channels come in with full green bars. It works well and I love that I can now record sci fi movies off of Comet tv channel that never had guide data before. The only advice I can tell everyone is that Tablo will work well on the older Firesticks ,but NOT the 4k version. The picture is full of jitters and unwatchable. There seems to be some dispute between Amazon and Tablo over whose fault the problem is. Reminds me of DISH and Microsoft disagreement with the Web tv/DISH player that went south. The Roku sticks ,even the newest 4k with HDR works great with Tablo ,but not with DISH Anywhere app. So the Firesticks are the only ones I know of that work with DISH Anywhere app. So I switched to a Roku on my living room tv and bedroom tv where I have the hopper and 4k joey . Kept the firesticks for the other two tvs where they are no sat receivers.
 
mwdxer1

mwdxer1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 3, 2015
1,675
1,499
Seaside Oregon
With 3.0 on the horizon, we will need to get a new tuner for OTA anyway. Some Portland OR stations are looking 3.0 sooner than later. The OTA in my 211k will be obsolete after that time. Unless Dish has something decent in a receiver with a good OTA tuner, I will probably move to the Tablo too. I like everything in one place, via the 211k, but several channels have no OTA guide anyway.
 
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edisonprime

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 12, 2012
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If you guys don’t like the OTA tuners from Dish, then why not go TiVo? I have both the Dish OTA dual tuner and a TiVo Bolt on a splitter from my outdoor antenna.


Sent from my iPhone using the SatelliteGuys app!
 
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Cypresstree

PIT MEMBER
Nov 9, 2015
192
210
Cypress
I have an HD Home run connect Quatro as a back up. No DVR service set up on it yet though...


Sent from my iPhone using the SatelliteGuys app!
 
D

DishSubLA

SatelliteGuys Master
Apr 9, 2006
5,441
1,402
First, a clarification: if one drops the Dish Local into Local, will The EPG populate with OTA guide data? It used to be that Dish did NOT provide any OTA guide data unless one was also an LIL subscriber.

One thing to consider with Dish is that even with an LIL subscription, Dish still does NOT have guide data for MANY OTA services such as some of the most wanted and interesting English language OTA channels that are often a "sub-channel" of the main OTA channel. Some of the best programming and services are on the "sub-channel" and it greatly enhances the OTA experience.

So, considering the above, you might consider the TiVo OTA (NOT the Bolt; the Bolt and its service pricing is OUTRAGEOUS). The TiVo OTA is a FOUR (4) tuner DVR and includes the box and Lifetime (All-in) service for the ONE purchase price. In other words, buy the TiVo OTA and it is ready to use and record OTA forever--no additional fees ever. Believe me, there really is enough good content on OTA that Four (4) tuners is at least what one should have for OTA content.

The big advantage to the TiVo OTA is that TiVo provides guide data for ALL the channels in your area, including all those great sub-channel services that Dish does not, so you can just select it from the TiVo guide and it all works like any DVR should. With Dish's incomplete guide data, you have to set manual timers and they will be hard time, not program/show based timers, and in your list of recordings there will be no title of the show or info or thumbnail art of the show, just a whole bunch of manual recordings icons with day an time, but you won't know which recording is which show.

Getting back to TiVo, If you need to view TiVo OTA DVR in another room, there is the TiVo app for mobile devices and PC. For viewing on a 2nd TV, you can get the TiVo Mini, which is the TiVo version of a Dish Joey. The Mini also has a one-time purchase prices that includes services for Lifetime; no additional chargers after purchase.

The Tablo and others like it are also a good solution, but is designed for viewing on mobile or apps on connected devices such as Roku. It is not a bad solution, but it depends upon if you prefer a traditional DVR box that connects directly to TV (or AVR, etc) and a client such as the Mini that also connects directly to TV (or AVR, etc.), of if you are comfortable with using apps to control the system and view the content. Also Tablo does have the option of fees for their service or buying a lifetime service subscription. TiVo provides all services for the OTA model at no additional charge, ever.

Both solutions require an initial investment that is higher than the Dish solution, but the far better level of satisfaction (access and guide data/metadata to and for ALL the OTA programming with a proper DVR experience) is the pay off for what you get for the initial investment, and, again, being able to record and watch ALL the programming available on OTA with guide data makes the whole move to OTA a far better experience.

As for the antenna: my suggestion is to not waste money on experiments; just get a Yagi (those traditional type with the cross-ways elements) antenna and be done with it. Sure there are these more pretty looking flat things and smaller, more streamline designs out there, but in personal experience, and in published TESTING, those pretty looking, modern antenna that claim to have all sorts of technology perform, generally, WORSE than the good, old fashioned Yagi (and most consumer reviews support that conclusion). If you are really close to the transmitters and you have nothing in between your home and those transmitters, than some of those pretty and supposed high-tech square, and the like, antennas might do the job well enough, but if nothing better than a proper Yagi for your location, and it's a ONE-TIME purchase, not multiple purchases of antennas (and external amps) that won't do the job until after you've spent a couple hundred dollars do you, finally, get a Yagi, after all at the total price of all the experimental antennas and amps approaching $300 or more. A good Yagi for just under $100 is a good antenna. If you are further from the transmitters, then you might consider either a larger, more expensive Yagi and/or amplification.

One thing to keep in mind for getting good OTA reception is HEIGHT, HEIGHT, and HEIGHT, and OUTDOORs can make all the difference in the world. Instead of nixing that good Yagi antenna you just bought and tried out that seems not to work well and go out and buy a more expensive Yagi, first get that antenna OUTSIDE and as HIGH as reasonable, and in most cases, it brings in OTA very well, like magic. So, do check out a database like anteenaweb, etc. to get a good guide for how big or what grade of antenna you need for reliable reception.

If you want to feed more than one or 2 devices/TV's directly from your OTA antenna, you should consider amplification through a distribution amplifier. This prevents your strong signal from degrading because of too many splits to devices/TV's, etc. That is NOT the same as an external amplifier to get better gain at the antenna. Those are two different things/problems to cure.

The best of luck to you, and let us know how it all turns out.
 
V

vcr1980

SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 4, 2018
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55404
Regarding antennas. I am currently using an antenna from about 20 years ago (before digital was a thing). They market antennas now as 'HD' but an antenna is an antenna. My old antenna gets HD OTA channels on to my HD TV. The word 'HD' is just a way to sell antennas for more money. An old one works the same.

"There is no difference between a regular and a HDTV antenna. ... Any antenna can pick up HDTV signals. They are broadcast on the same frequencies that even the classic rabbit ears can pick up." (from a quick google search)
 
Jim5506

Jim5506

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If you buy a Bolt, be sure it is the OTA Bolt, the others do not have an ATSC tuner in them only Cable tuner that usually needs a cable card.

I got 2 OTA Bolts with lifetime last year for about $200 each by decommissioning a couple of my old TiVos with lifetime (one was a series 2 SD Tivo).

I am not in a place where I can compare the Bolt OTA tuner with the TiVo HD OTA tuner (strong local signals) but some have said the TiVo HD OTA had a better tuner, but TiVo will not activate an HD TiVo anymore only transfer if it is lifetime (maybe).
 

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