I need some help choosing a good HD option

StefanProdan

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jan 27, 2005
18
0
Right now, I have a Dish500 receiver with dual LNB, and a SD receiver hooked up to a TiVo. Given that I already have TiVo, I don't need any sort of DVR with HD, I just want HD to get things like football games and whatever.

I currently live in a two-story apartment with trees nearby. I can get Dish pretty clearly, but I'm not sure if I would be able to get other signals, and furthermore I'm not allowed to put anything on my roof. I don't want to officially buy any receivers from dish because they're horrendously expensive. I'd rather just buy one off eBay, and I've seen the 811s pretty cheap. It seems to me like those are the ones that are in vogue right now. My HD setup is a front projection system (Viewsonic PJ500).

I looked my address up on http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/Address.aspx
and the only thing I can get without a purple rated antenna is my local PBS channel without a purple antenna, which I don't think I can get due to my landlord not wanting anything on the roof. Anyway, I suppose I'm a little confused over how the OTA stuff works with the 811 -- does it have to get its HD signal from an OTA antenna, or it just gets additional stuff from the OTA? I have local channels on my service already, but I don't know if it would pick those up from the satellite feed as HD or not. Maybe you guys could tell me.

Also, how easy is it to activate a receiver you buy from someone else? Is it something you can do just over the phone or do they have to come out and do it? And if the satellite is pointed such that it gets the 119 and 110 satellites, will it also get any extra satellites it needs to get for HD channels if it's already pointed that way?

I appreciate the help, all this information floating around out there is somewhat overwhelming.

Thanks!
 

peid

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Dec 22, 2003
227
0
South Dakota
Pretty routine situation here, first you only need OTA antenna for your HD locals. You may subscribe to your locals on Dish, but they are not HD. Dish only offers CBS HD through satellite. All others, FOX, NBC, ABC, PBS etc need to be picked up from over the air. Since you are pretty far away, I would doubt you will get any local HD channels over the air with out a roof top antenna of some sort.

You would however be able to get all the HD channels which Dish has to offer, such as TNT, Discovery, HDNet, HDMovies, ESPN, HBO HD (If you already have HBO), SHO HD (If you already have Showtime), HD PPV, HD Event Channel, NBA HD (If you have the NBA Pass). I believe the only channel you wouldn't get would be the HD Demo Channel since it is shown on 61.5.

You could pretty easily buy a 811 receiver and start getting HD today without any changes to your actual dish on the apartment.

I have heard activating a receiver is simply calling in and making sure there is no balance on the receiver. If there is a balance, you must pay it off prior to activation.
 

StefanProdan

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jan 27, 2005
18
0
Locals or not doesn't really matter to me, but you're saying that to get any sort of ABC, NBC, or FOX affiliate at all, I'd need to pick them up OTA, so if I want those channels in HD I will have to get cable?
 

peid

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Dec 22, 2003
227
0
South Dakota
Pretty much if you can't get them over the air due to being in an apartment and not being allowed a large antenna.
 

StefanProdan

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jan 27, 2005
18
0
I see. And even with a large antenna I might not necessarily get a signal from 35 miles away, is what it sounds like.

It doesn't really sound like it's worth it then. My only problem now is that I have to figure out some cable thing to go with if I do that. The cheapest thing for HD I saw on cable was $60 month. I'm currently paying $30 a month for Dish, so that seems kinda steep.

Edit: Alternately, suppose I could get a large antenna on the roof, would that require pulling up any shingles? I think that was my landlord's main problem with it, I may be able to swing it if there's a way around that.
 

vurbano

On Double Secret Probation
Supporting Founder
Apr 1, 2004
23,813
104
Newport News, VA
StefanProdan said:
I see. And even with a large antenna I might not necessarily get a signal from 35 miles away, is what it sounds like.
35 miles is nothing. medium directional yagi probably.(theres a 25 dollar one at RS and larger ones online) Well within the range of a channelmaster 4228 also. Theyve been known to work mounted inside an attic too.
 

richard_rd

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 22, 2004
180
0
StefanProdan said:
Locals or not doesn't really matter to me, but you're saying that to get any sort of ABC, NBC, or FOX affiliate at all, I'd need to pick them up OTA, so if I want those channels in HD I will have to get cable?


No, you can get the non HD locals via the dish sat antenna, you don't need to get the non hd locals OTA.

Also CBS HD that dish offers is at there 61.5 sat location so if you wanted that channel you would need a second dish antenna pointed at that bird. Hopefully with the new bandwidth that dish is getting with the voom satalit aquisition they will move CBS HD onto the 110/119* location so we don't need second dish sat antenna to receive it
 

StefanProdan

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jan 27, 2005
18
0
vurbano said:
35 miles is nothing. medium directional yagi probably.(theres a 25 dollar one at RS and larger ones online) Well within the range of a channelmaster 4228 also. Theyve been known to work mounted inside an attic too.


According to that site, all the towers are in the violet area. Which is really weird, because it claims some Durham stations are 34.3 miles from me, but Durham is at most 15 miles from Chapel Hill.
 

skidog

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 18, 2004
402
0
Waconia, Minnesota
If you have had Dish for over a year you might be able to get an 811 for the price of them shipping it to you. I got one for 24.95 and just unplugged my 301 and plugged in the 811.
 

bpasker

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 27, 2005
177
0
Are you facing Durham? You may be able to place an amplified indoor antenna in an upper window and pick up the locals. If not installing a rooftop antenna can be done without ripping up shingles. All you'd need is a tripod and then you bolt it into the roof, granted there would be holes in the shingles if you took the tripod down, but none would be ripped up :).
 

Rocker74

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 29, 2005
53
0
StefanProdan said:
According to that site, all the towers are in the violet area. Which is really weird, because it claims some Durham stations are 34.3 miles from me, but Durham is at most 15 miles from Chapel Hill.


Antenna web told me that I couldn't get any of my locals which are 65 - 70 miles away. I bought a cheap outdoor uhf only antenna anyway, and was able to get all of my locals with 65 - 75 signal strengths. I then added booster, and now have 80 - 90 signal strengths.
 

StefanProdan

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jan 27, 2005
18
0
Rocker74 said:
Antenna web told me that I couldn't get any of my locals which are 65 - 70 miles away. I bought a cheap outdoor uhf only antenna anyway, and was able to get all of my locals with 65 - 75 signal strengths. I then added booster, and now have 80 - 90 signal strengths.

What would happen if I tried to just put an antenna on the ground? Would it get anything?

Also, are you saying that stations within 20 miles probably have a better chance for me to get them than I think?

One more thing: I've never installed a dish or antenna or anything like that. How hard is it to do, and would I have to call someone to do it for me?
 

gilber

Member
Nov 30, 2004
10
0
StefanProdan said:
According to that site, all the towers are in the violet area. Which is really weird, because it claims some Durham stations are 34.3 miles from me, but Durham is at most 15 miles from Chapel Hill.

Stefan,

Even if the AntennaWeb says the station is in "Durham", it doesn't mean its tower is transmitting from Durham. Here in the Triangle, all the networks (except PBS, which is right in your backyard overthere in Chapel Hill), transmit from some towers located in Garner, near Hwy 70. That has the advantage that it's easier to pick up all of them with a directional antenna, since you have only one direction to point to.

I have also heard of people in Chapel Hill picking up stations from Greensboro, about 40 miles away from you but in the other direction. In fact, I think you have a better chance of picking UPN from Greensboro than Raleigh.
 

hpman247

SatelliteGuys Pro
vurbano said:
35 miles is nothing. medium directional yagi probably.(theres a 25 dollar one at RS and larger ones online) Well within the range of a channelmaster 4228 also. Theyve been known to work mounted inside an attic too.

I get my locals with this antenna OTA, and I am 75 miles away from the stations. I did buy a RS preamp, but i get all my channels at least 70% or higher at 75 miles.

Edit: Speaking of Durham, that is where i get my channels from. I live in Southern VA, and WRAZ is the hardest to get but I still get it.
 

vividere

Member
Oct 15, 2004
13
0
Minnesnowta
How did you get a free 811?

Skidog mentioned paying only shipping to get an 811.

Awhile back I took advantage of the "Dishing it up" offer and had to pay $5/month lease plus I had to subscribe to the HD package for $10/month. I don't want the HD package any longer but want to keep the 811 and they won't let me keep the 811 without paying the $5 and the $10 charge. I have been on Dish Network for many years.

What did you do to get a free 811?

Lew
 
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