OTA vs. Sat HD Local (1 Viewer)

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Weezknight

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 10, 2006
628
0
Philly 'Burbs, PA
Has anyone seen anywhere a comparison of local HD OTA versus the HD locals that E* is offering, in terms of overall quality? A friend of mine just left Comcast and had to start getting his HD OTA, and the difference was noticeable.

I'm upgrading to a 211 and I'm just wondering if having the LiL's in my area is going to actually degrade the quality of the OTA I'm getting right now? Is it possible, even though I'd be paying for the LiL's via DVRAdvantage with HD, to tell the 211 to just use my OTA signal for local HD?
 
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KAB

SatelliteGuys Master
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Lifetime Supporter
Sep 20, 2005
20,608
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Fishers, IN
Has anyone seen anywhere a comparison of local HD OTA versus the HD locals that E* is offering, in terms of overall quality? A friend of mine just left Comcast and had to start getting his HD OTA, and the difference was noticeable.

I'm upgrading to a 211 and I'm just wondering if having the LiL's in my area is going to actually degrade the quality of the OTA I'm getting right now? Is it possible, even though I'd be paying for the LiL's via DVRAdvantage with HD, to tell the 211 to just use my OTA signal for local HD?
OTA will always have the minimum amount of compression, OIOW, always better image.
 

ncted

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Jul 4, 2004
5,274
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Durham, NC
In my limited experience it isn't as simple as OTA is always better. If the OTA station is sending a full-res, high bit-rate signal, then the difference is barely noticeable. My local CBS station is a good example. They send out a good signal, so the LIL looks very good as well. Whereas my local NBC station is marginal, so the LIL looks even worse. As the old saying goes, "garbage in, garbage out." In any case, both the LIL and OTA look better than whatever TWC did to the source when I had cable.

Ted
 

flyingsquirrel

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 27, 2007
332
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Not so fast!

If it is reasonably simple to put up an OTA antenna, I would ALWAYS recommend it. AND I would always subscribe to locals through DISH.

1) subscribing to Dish gives you access to program guide info, which is invaluable.

2) Over the air gives you access to subchannels that Dish does not carry. Most are CRAP, but some are mildly interesting.

3) For all channels EXCEPT CBS O&Os, OTA picture quality will be better provided you get a signal strength higher than 70 or so. This is because Dish does reduce the bit rate on every other local HD channel they rebroadcast. By Contractual agreement with CBS, Dish does not reduce the bit rate of CBS owned and operated stations and in Chicago, the Dish picture of CBS is pristine.

In particular, here in Chicago, the ABC and NBC station HD signals on Dish just Suck. Much better and more reliable OTA.

4) For those times when you get "Rain Fade" on satellite channels, you will still be able to see the local stations.

5) If you have a DVR (why a 211?) you can record 3 programs at once with OTA.

6) With OTA, You can get PBS and Independent locals in HD. Dish does not carry Channels 9 and 26 where I live. Without OTA, I would miss many Cubs, Sox and Bulls games in HD that are broadcast on these outlets.

7) If you are one of those people that likes to turn the sound down on network NFL broadcasts and listen to the home team description on Radio, you can do this with OTA because it is not subject to the 23,000 mile delay.

8) When you set up the antenna, go for a signal strength in the 80s on all channels at a minimum. When it rains, the signal strength drops about 10-15%. If it drops into the mid 60s, you will lose the picture.

So doe some research on antennaweb.org and get a ladder!
 

PopcornNMore

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 20, 2005
3,635
128
Gibsonia, PA
Not so fast!

If it is reasonably simple to put up an OTA antenna, I would ALWAYS recommend it. AND I would always subscribe to locals through DISH.

1) subscribing to Dish gives you access to program guide info, which is invaluable.

2) Over the air gives you access to subchannels that Dish does not carry. Most are CRAP, but some are mildly interesting.

3) For all channels EXCEPT CBS O&Os, OTA picture quality will be better provided you get a signal strength higher than 70 or so. This is because Dish does reduce the bit rate on every other local HD channel they rebroadcast. By Contractual agreement with CBS, Dish does not reduce the bit rate of CBS owned and operated stations and in Chicago, the Dish picture of CBS is pristine.

In particular, here in Chicago, the ABC and NBC station HD signals on Dish just Suck. Much better and more reliable OTA.

4) For those times when you get "Rain Fade" on satellite channels, you will still be able to see the local stations.

5) If you have a DVR (why a 211?) you can record 3 programs at once with OTA.

6) With OTA, You can get PBS and Independent locals in HD. Dish does not carry Channels 9 and 26 where I live. Without OTA, I would miss many Cubs, Sox and Bulls games in HD that are broadcast on these outlets.

7) If you are one of those people that likes to turn the sound down on network NFL broadcasts and listen to the home team description on Radio, you can do this with OTA because it is not subject to the 23,000 mile delay.

8) When you set up the antenna, go for a signal strength in the 80s on all channels at a minimum. When it rains, the signal strength drops about 10-15%. If it drops into the mid 60s, you will lose the picture.

So doe some research on antennaweb.org and get a ladder!

I agree 100%. Excellent reasons for having both OTA and satellite local channels.
 

Weezknight

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 10, 2006
628
0
Philly 'Burbs, PA
If possible I would keep the OTA locals, the 211 has the built in tuner but Dish only gives you 3,6,10 and 29!!

Thanks for this info. I'm only about 10 miles from Limerick, and right now with my 811, I get everything between 75%-95% (except for WHYY 12, which never comes in).

I had a feeling that OTA would be the preferred method, but I wasn't sure if I could turn "off" the 211's LIL reception in favor of the OTA.
 

KAB

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 20, 2005
20,608
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Fishers, IN
Thanks for this info. I'm only about 10 miles from Limerick, and right now with my 811, I get everything between 75%-95% (except for WHYY 12, which never comes in).

I had a feeling that OTA would be the preferred method, but I wasn't sure if I could turn "off" the 211's LIL reception in favor of the OTA.
You could lock them out if you wanted, but you are in control. Just don't tune into them.
 
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havok019

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 30, 2005
75
0
Don't forget, if your TV does PIP native, you can have Picture-in-picture-in-picture with a dual tuner HD receiver and a OTA connection. This was very handy for college football season. . .of course, the wife just rolls her eyes when she walks in to the room with 3 college football games on the big screen.
 

grb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 7, 2005
809
0
Southern CA
8) When you set up the antenna, go for a signal strength in the 80s on all channels at a minimum. When it rains, the signal strength drops about 10-15%. If it drops into the mid 60s, you will lose the picture.

I recently removed my Voom receiver from my TV equipment because I had lost 2 HD channels (CBS abd PBS). The receiver would reboot whenever I switched to one of these channels and the channel would never come in. Apparently, they are increasing the information sent through the airwaves and the Voom receiver was not programmed for this.

I had a high signal on my locals with the Voom receiver because it has an amplifier. I hooked up the antenna to my 622 and the signals were much lower. I have several in the low to mid 60's and some in the mid to high 50's. Only a couple of the mid to high 50's pixilate -- all the others come in great, even during rain storms. So I think you can easily get away with signals in the 60's.
 

DishSubLA

SatelliteGuys Master
Apr 9, 2006
5,286
1,141
I compared my locals with PIP and swap, side by side, and, in Los Angeles, I could not perceive any difference in the resolution; they were virtually identical. The only difference I did notice was that the color red of the red lettering on a shirt was a tiny bit different between Sat and OTA. Obviously, Dish employs lossy compression technology, but I still could NOT perceive ANY difference in the sharpness of the picture and detail between Sat and OTA on Late Night with David Letterman airing on KCBS. Quite frankly, after hearing all the complaints here, I was surprised to see Dish doing such a great job in preserving HD LIL PQ. I think your sat HD LIL quality will vary by DMA.
 

oljim

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 9, 2003
677
1
Beaufort SC
I recently removed my Voom receiver from my TV equipment because I had lost 2 HD channels (CBS abd PBS). The receiver would reboot whenever I switched to one of these channels and the channel would never come in. Apparently, they are increasing the information sent through the airwaves and the Voom receiver was not programmed for this.

I had a high signal on my locals with the Voom receiver because it has an amplifier. I hooked up the antenna to my 622 and the signals were much lower. I have several in the low to mid 60's and some in the mid to high 50's. Only a couple of the mid to high 50's pixilate -- all the others come in great, even during rain storms. So I think you can easily get away with signals in the 60's.

The reason for thedrop in signal is your Voom rec. had DC voltage out for the amp in the Voom ant. the dish rec. does not. Get a power supply for the amp and get the signals back up.
 

ncted

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Jul 4, 2004
5,274
3,577
Durham, NC
I compared my locals with PIP and swap, side by side, and, in Los Angeles, I could not perceive any difference in the resolution; they were virtually identical. The only difference I did notice was that the color red of the red lettering on a shirt was a tiny bit different between Sat and OTA. Obviously, Dish employs lossy compression technology, but I still could NOT perceive ANY difference in the sharpness of the picture and detail between Sat and OTA on Late Night with David Letterman airing on KCBS. Quite frankly, after hearing all the complaints here, I was surprised to see Dish doing such a great job in preserving HD LIL PQ. I think your sat HD LIL quality will vary by DMA.

The MPEG2 OTA employs is lossy, or rather, can be and probably is, just like the MPEG4 DISH transcodes to. Lossless 1080i requires very high bitrates for any encoding scheme, in the neighborhood of 332Mbps to 818Mbps.

Ted
 
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