Hooking up OTA, how to

Templeton0543

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 31, 2014
176
36
Central California
I am part of the channel dispute with Scripps, and looking into getting set up with OTA. Things have changed since I last had an antenna 30 years ago! I have a Hopper 3 setup, and found, but not ordered yet, an indoor digital antenna on Amazon and want to hook it through the H3 so I can record stuff. Reading through the My Dish info I see there is an adapter gizmo that goes between the H3 and the antenna ($58!), do I need it too? It's twice the cost of the antenna or is it an antenna too?
 

crodrules

The Happy Pessimist
Pub Member / Supporter
Jun 14, 2014
5,726
4,309
North Central Ohio
I am part of the channel dispute with Scripps, and looking into getting set up with OTA. Things have changed since I last had an antenna 30 years ago! I have a Hopper 3 setup, and found, but not ordered yet, an indoor digital antenna on Amazon and want to hook it through the H3 so I can record stuff. Reading through the My Dish info I see there is an adapter gizmo that goes between the H3 and the antenna ($58!), do I need it too? It's twice the cost of the antenna or is it an antenna too?
The adapter goes in-between the antenna and the Hopper. The antenna connects to it by coax, and then the adapter plugs into a USB port on the Hopper. Do not waste your money ordering through mydish! An identical dual-tuner adapter (except in a white case) is available through AirTV (also owned by Dish) on AirTV's website for only $29.99, and it is the model used by many members here. Also, you do not need to waste money on the indoor antenna, either. I have the exact same model that Dish offers, sitting unused in my closet. Dish sent it to me during one of these local channel disputes, but it did not work for me since I am too far away from the stations. I can send it to you for free if you cover the cost of shipping. If you call Dish to complain about the dispute, they may also offer to send you one of these antennas, absolutely free.
 

Ranger933

New Member
Jun 9, 2020
4
4
Austin
The adapter goes in-between the antenna and the Hopper. The antenna connects to it by coax, and then the adapter plugs into a USB port on the Hopper. Do not waste your money ordering through mydish! An identical dual-tuner adapter (except in a white case) is available through AirTV (also owned by Dish) on AirTV's website for only $29.99, and it is the model used by many members here. Also, you do not need to waste money on the indoor antenna, either. I have the exact same model that Dish offers, sitting unused in my closet. Dish sent it to me during one of these local channel disputes, but it did not work for me since I am too far away from the stations. I can send it to you for free if you cover the cost of shipping. If you call Dish to complain about the dispute, they may also offer to send you one of these antennas, absolutely free.
What is the model number for the $29.95 OTA adapter from AirTV?
 

907TECH

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 29, 2018
288
303
Alaska
OTA reception has changed less than you think in 30 years. Signals are still received the same way, and there have been no technical breakthroughs in antenna design. Indoor antennas are useful for strong signals with towers that are not far away, but they suffer on weaker signals and with VHF reception. Before buying equipment that may not work where you live you should check your address to see what will work where you live. Also there is no such thing as a digital antenna, any antenna can receive any TV signal digital or analog though analog is rarely used today. The best resource for signal analysis online is rabbitears.info which is partnered with this forum. Or if you find it too complicated just post your zip code.
 

delta_charlie

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
May 12, 2008
660
94
I have been using OTA for many years, one thing really great about getting your locals by OTA is you will also get all the sub channels. Depending on location that can be a lot. Some are really good too. If you invest in a better outdoor antenna some may be very strong and will punch through the worst thunderstorms. Can be very nice if your watching a game or local news and the Dish drops out during bad weather. (provided what you want to watch in on the local stations).
 

Tampa8

Supporting Founder
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 8, 2003
17,864
7,269
Tampa/Eastern Ct
To get an idea of what channels you can expect to get, easily, or not so easily with an antenna etc do not use TV FOOL, they are no longer updated and reliable. Antennaweb is ok but I don't find it as informative.

But the best resource is hosted right here! Use Rabbit Ears they have excellent maps and tools.
 

Ypsiguy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 5, 2019
231
193
Ypsilanti, MI
What RF channels are your locals on? All UHF or some on VHF and UHF?
What is the distance and direction to your desired transmitters?

Answering those questions will help you to select the right antenna.

RabbitEars.info will help you determine it.
 

Ypsiguy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 5, 2019
231
193
Ypsilanti, MI
I have been using OTA for many years, one thing really great about getting your locals by OTA is you will also get all the sub channels. Depending on location that can be a lot. Some are really good too. If you invest in a better outdoor antenna some may be very strong and will punch through the worst thunderstorms. Can be very nice if your watching a game or local news and the Dish drops out during bad weather. (provided what you want to watch in on the local stations).
I get 47 channels OTA on the western suburbs of Detroit. 27 of which are what I consider “usable” ones. Ones like H&I, MeTV, ThisTV, Laff, Ion, Buzzr, etc. I distribute them throughout the house over two master antennas covering UHF and high VHF. It’s better than Comcast limited basic cable and NO monthly bill. Best part is when I lose Dish due to bad weather I still have TV to watch. I now only use Dish for the major cable nets via the Flex Pack.

You are 100 pct correct, sir.
 
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crodrules

The Happy Pessimist
Pub Member / Supporter
Jun 14, 2014
5,726
4,309
North Central Ohio
I would begin by asking DISH to supply the antenna and adapter free of charge. Never hurts to ask.
Normally, I would agree. However, Dish will just supply whatever they happen to have in stock, which may be the older model Hauppauge dual-tuner OTA adapter. Trust me, you do not want one of those. They are prone to overheating, reception can be flaky, and even getting all of the available OTA stations scanned in the first place can be a time-consuming nightmare.
 
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bnewt

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 6, 2003
1,191
232
Shepherdsville, Ky
I have been using OTA for many years, one thing really great about getting your locals by OTA is you will also get all the sub channels. Depending on location that can be a lot. Some are really good too. If you invest in a better outdoor antenna some may be very strong and will punch through the worst thunderstorms. Can be very nice if your watching a game or local news and the Dish drops out during bad weather. (provided what you want to watch in on the local stations).
that is an advantage to receiving your locals via OTA
however if you are an older, climbing a ladder, and running the cable can be a chore, especially if you want to make it look neat and out of the way
antennas can also be a pain in the butt due to high winds
 

crodrules

The Happy Pessimist
Pub Member / Supporter
Jun 14, 2014
5,726
4,309
North Central Ohio

delta_charlie

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
May 12, 2008
660
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that is an advantage to receiving your locals via OTA
however if you are an older, climbing a ladder, and running the cable can be a chore, especially if you want to make it look neat and out of the way
antennas can also be a pain in the butt due to high winds
Concern over climbing a ladder is a very valid point. If one is unsure or unsteady on a ladder then they should not risk it. People get hurt, something badly by slipping or falling off ladders.. If that is the case they would still have the option to hire and get the install done for them. Concerns over wind would mostly apply to VHF antennas as they are much larger. Research on what antenna is needed for the location in question will let one know if they can get by with a UHF only or maybe a UHF/High VHF antenna. For example here in Central Florida almost everything is on UHF. Only NBC is on high VHF so I picked a small UHF antenna that can also pick up high VHF. It works great on everything but NBC. Can get NBC most of the time but it breaks up during bad weather.
 
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cosmo_kramer

Master of my Domain
Pub Member / Supporter
Oct 13, 2005
19,579
14,073
41.605N, -72.879W
I would begin by asking DISH to supply the antenna and adapter free of charge. Never hurts to ask.
Agreed. Last fall, when I upgraded my HWS and 1 Joey to an H3, a Joey 3, and added 2 wireless Joeys there were a few members here who had successfully had Dish install an OTA setup for free. I asked for it and Dish installed it, no charge. This is the antenna they installed:



Doesn't hurt to ask.....
 

bnewt

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 6, 2003
1,191
232
Shepherdsville, Ky
Concern over climbing a ladder is a very valid point. If one is unsure or unsteady on a ladder then they should not risk it. People get hurt, something badly by slipping or falling off ladders.. If that is the case they would still have the option to hire and get the install done for them. Concerns over wind would mostly apply to VHF antennas as they are much larger. Research on what antenna is needed for the location in question will let one know if they can get by with a UHF only or maybe a UHF/High VHF antenna. For example here in Central Florida almost everything is on UHF. Only NBC is on high VHF so I picked a small UHF antenna that can also pick up high VHF. It works great on everything but NBC. Can get NBC most of the time but it breaks up during bad weather.
I put my antenna up about 20 years ago
at 63 still wouldn't be afraid to do it again now, except I have no one to help me. My dad has passed on and the neighbor that helped me has also passed.
Funny thing is, that one time I did hire someone to install a yagi antenna & combine it with my present antenna, his ladder fell and tore off my gutter. Funny story now, but it wasn't funny at that time.
 
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