OT: How can people stand OTA?


Supporting Founder
Original poster
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
Columbus, OH, USA
I know this is off topic but I live in Columbus Ohio and recently disconnected cable tv (I am going to move and get E* or D* and I wanted to save some $$$) .. anyways, attempting to watch local TV via OTA is a experence to say the least. To watch 28 I must move the antenna a different direction and this causes ghosting on 34 and 53 and 4 and 6 and 10 (abit 4 and 6 and 10 come in fairly clear no matter what) How can people stand OTA? No wonder people want locals on Satellite. When I move I will be getting either lifeline cable or attempt locals on E* or D* (only problem with E* I think the SD might be too large to mount on my patio of my new place)
Here in Upstate South Carolina, my OTA stations are all in one direction except for one. I've had an antenna on the roof for five years. The picture on almost all of the OTA stations are better than LIL on satellite or cable.

I know this, because I regularly install both Dish Network and DirecTV. Very few opp for OTA, but those who do, are pleasantly surprised. In five years, I've saved $300 and continue to save as each month passes. Eventually, I will get HDTV and the same antenna will be fine for years to come.

Your situation might be different.
If you get a professional in there, it is possible to set things up without a rotor. It might be as simple as stacking a second antenna below your main antenna and then adding in a few notch filters :)

Luckily in Detroit we only have 7 local channels and all the towers are right next to each other. All my HD locals come in just fine here without a rotor.
It's situations like this where I think it will cause folks to move back to cable from DBS, unless DBS can carry LIL HD signals. Most folks are not going to want to spend hundreds of dollars to get antenna's mounted on their roofs again. Even if all transmitters are in the same direction you may need to get a roof antenna. Here in the Chicago area, the CBS affiliate is on VHF channel 3 and folks are having to jump through hoops inorder to pull them in. The station will send engineering staff out to help but only if you've got a roof antenna installed.
IT's called DIGITAL

:) All of my stations except for WB Analog come from the same hill so I don't have to rotate my antenna. All of my Analog channels come in crystal clear and the digital channels are even better, lacking the inherent noise that is Analog. Buy yourself an inexpensive OTA Digital tuner and you will be blown away by the quality of TV you will have. You can connect any digital tuner to a regular TV, they all downconvert to S-Video or Composite, heck, some even offer a coax output. After doing this, you won't want locals from Dish since they cram 12 channels/transponder and the PQ sucks bigtime.
I have always thought that if you have a good analog signal (and that isa BIG IF) then OTA analog is not sucha bad technology. In amy areas the digital signal is so weak that OTA digital is not an option.
Why do people waste money on over compressed locals ?

-When you're 100+ miles from the towers, you have no other option
-its in the EPG
-I can record it to my 508

There's 3 reasons for me :D
We should start a new thread

Why do people waste money on over compressed locals ?
The reason I initially got locals was so I could have a guide for my 6000. When Dish first put up the Portland locals, there were only 7 channels and the PQ was superb, but now they have 12 channels packed up there and the PQ is terrible. As soon as Voom gets the PVR out, I'm dropping Dish locals and selling my 501.
Thanks for all the feedback :) I will be moving in june and have the ability to put my E* system back up ( I have went without satellite for two years due to the north facing place I live in) In june ill be facing South (and the place is only 1 floor/ranch) =)

Im not sure if ill get locals with E* or not. I dont know if the SD will be something I desire (Its not the size, I just dont know if I want to deal with the hassle plus my only receiver is a 4900 which will require the adapter and I also have skyangel 61.5 which currently E* dont have a switch to combine 119/110/105 and 61.5.

I might just stick with the OTA reception, Maybe OTA reception will be better at my new place :)
Here in the Inland Empire/L.A. area the biggest compelling reasons for getting locals on Dish as opposed to OTA (which we did for about six years) are:

1- No static on lower VHF channels. PQ is OK OTA on low VHF but marred by electric noise.
2- Guide info on Dish. Never buy another TV Guide or hassle with internet lookups.
3- Recording locals on 508. Admittedly this is not a biggie as there are few things we want to record from our local channels. About 85 to 90% of our family TV time is spent watching satellite networks. Locals are mainly watched for news by me and soap operas by my wife. The kids would never notice if locals disappeared tomorrow.
rad said:
Most folks are not going to want to spend hundreds of dollars to get antenna's mounted on their roofs again.

This is just like the person who asks, "What is the monthlyMore important is HOW MUCH WILL THE CAR COST OVER ITS ENTIRE LIFE? payment on the car?" and NEVER pays it off.

My Stand Alone Tivo works fine with any satellite service and records OTA. I bought the lifetime service three and a half years ago for $199. It has paid for itself twice, when compared to the montlly fee for LIL locals and recurring Tivo fees.

Also, when I go HDTV. I am ready for OTA. And, I am sure that TIVO will offer an upgrade, when NTSC locals are eliminated. They did last year for the second generation Tivo, but I didn't bite.

Since I pay by the year on Dish AT60, I am still paying the equivalent of $22 per month and have not experienced the February 2004 price increase. Where else can you get service that cheap? All of my OTA is perfectly clear.
Reasons for prefering OTA over cable or satellite are many, here are mine:
1) No CSRs to fool with
2) No ever-rising monthly fee
3) No commitments to a plan
4) No down grade penalty
5) No putting up with loss of programming due to fights between providers

Of course, this limits me to less than 10 signals to choose from, however, since I grew up at a time when there was only 1 local channel or only 1 channel per network, namely 3, the fact that I cannot receive 200 or more channels does not bother me in the least.
I've been watching OTA for over a year now since I moved to the LA basin, but I'm not exactly the typical TV viewer. ;) I don't watch TV all that much, and I watch it even less when I don't have 100 channels to flip through. I mostly watch the news on KTLA in the morning and in the evening; the only other show I watched regularly was The Apprentice.

It's much more fun to waste my time surfing the web than it is to waste it watching TV. :)
I'm 30 miles north of Boston. I'm using a RatShack antenna and I'm getting all the locals. FOX and ABC crap out sometimes on me so I'm going to get a better antenna. The PQ on a good set while using OTA vs. cable or Satellite is no comparison. OTA blows them away. Locals on Dish and Adelphia are both just as terrible as all there other channels.
well here in the central adirondacks there is little choice, ota from around 60 miles south, or cable. and the cable has yet to be upgraded (ie 35 channels, just as bad as ota) and of course directv is not planning to offer locals from that city, so...ota is the only way to go with directv.
OTA signal

What kind of antenna are you using? If you get locals with Directv or Dish they won't be in HD. I put up a Winegard antenna and pick up all the Milwaukee locals(all in same location). SD & HD is beautiful. Not the over-compressed crap from Directv or Dish.
To clarify, the adirondacks are in northern new york, and I am using a amplified winegard at about 20 feet, which proves to be good at receiving stations from about 60 miles away. I also have seen some Canadian stations, near 100 miles due to propagation.

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