Over the air... really?

larrykenney

Thread Starter
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Mar 16, 2004
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San Francisco, CA
I've been amazed in the past few weeks at how many people don't know that OTA TV exists. They know about cable and satellite TV, and now are hearing about TV via the internet, but a friend did a survey here locally in San Francisco and a large number of people didn't know that you could connect an antenna to your TV set and get beautiful HD pictures. (What did they think that tall Sutro Tower was used for?) I think it's time for TV stations to publicize the fact that you can get free TV really easy by simply buying an antenna... or would that upset the cable and satellite operators too much?

Are people in other parts of the country similarly unaware of OTA TV?
 

danristheman

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Jan 25, 2011
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Same way here people that are younger than me say they watch it over the internet I tell them you can get it for free with an antenna they are dumbfounded. People can be so stupid sometimes. They are so used to paying for TV they are not used to having a tv antenna.
 

spongella

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May 12, 2012
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Larrykenny that is a great topic starter.

I brought in a rotatable OTA antenna and set it up in one of our conference rooms at work. Even though only a few TV stations were pulled in, the workers were amazed at the clarity of the signals and knew very little about this way of receiving TV. But I don't think any of 'em would consider putting up an OTA antenna as they already have cable or satellite service.
 

. Raine

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Aug 6, 2013
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It's that way here, a lot of people ask me about my TV antennas and don't know you can still receive OTA channels.

You're absolutely right, the OTA stations should advertise the fact that they can be received OTA better.
 
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jscud

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Dec 25, 2005
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Broadcast stations get paid by cable and satellite to have their content disributed. What economic incentive do they have to advertise free OTA? The people who should be advertising are the ones who supply and install OTA hardware like antennas and OTA DVRs.
 

Trip

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Are people in other parts of the country similarly unaware of OTA TV?

Yep. When I was in college, my roommate brought a friend over and I happened to be tinkering with one of my antennas. She asked what it was, I explained about OTA TV and I got a response I will never forget as long as I live.

"Is that legal?"

- Trip
 

kittyhas1000legs

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Aug 8, 2012
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People are a little more aware of it out here. Even at Walgreens we get a fair number of people buying the As Seen On TV junk antenna option, so I try to steer them to the cheaper rabbit ears. A fair number of people here live where cable isn't available, so it's dish(es), OTA, or nothing.
 

jayn_j

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Sep 29, 2003
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Back to Larry's original question.

One thing to consider. The broadcast stations earn money from the cable and sat companies, based on the number of subscribers. This is becoming a serious source of income. While it used to be pennies per subscriber per month, lately it is dollars per subscriber per month. This provides incentives for stations to emphasize their cable presence and not the OTA one. The transmitter is simply a cost of doing business these days in order to keep the license.
 

localclassictvfan

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May 26, 2015
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Lafayette, Louisiana
I've been amazed in the past few weeks at how many people don't know that OTA TV exists. They know about cable and satellite TV, and now are hearing about TV via the internet, but a friend did a survey here locally in San Francisco and a large number of people didn't know that you could connect an antenna to your TV set and get beautiful HD pictures. (What did they think that tall Sutro Tower was used for?) I think it's time for TV stations to publicize the fact that you can get free TV really easy by simply buying an antenna... or would that upset the cable and satellite operators too much?

Are people in other parts of the country similarly unaware of OTA TV?
Crazy that they know about Cable and Satellite but can get better stuff over the air and don't realize it. 4 of my 7 sub nets are on cable but I still have my UHF antenna....IN the areas of Louisiana I travel plenty of Antenna's...
 
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localclassictvfan

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May 26, 2015
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Lafayette, Louisiana
Yep. When I was in college, my roommate brought a friend over and I happened to be tinkering with one of my antennas. She asked what it was, I explained about OTA TV and I got a response I will never forget as long as I live.

"Is that legal?"

- Trip
Tell her if you put an antenna up and get channels its LEGAL.....DUH LOL......
 

harshness

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May 5, 2007
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They know about cable and satellite TV, and now are hearing about TV via the internet, but a friend did a survey here locally in San Francisco and a large number of people didn't know that you could connect an antenna to your TV set and get beautiful HD pictures.
As problematic as OTA in the Bay Area can be, it's no wonder that so many don't bother to acquaint themselves with it.
 

spongella

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May 12, 2012
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Probably the only way folks would know about OTA TV is from the few-and-far-between commercials advertising their antennas. Most of those antennas seem to be indoor large flat-patch types though.

And we don't have many TV repair shops around here - just one in our whole county who would do antenna installations.

Best thing I like about OTA is "regionalism" - watching local small-town news (e.g. Channel 69 from Allentown, PA) and advertisements from small local businesses like wood stove stores, plumbers, dentists, candy shops, auto repair shops, etc.
 
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dishnet_tech

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Feb 18, 2010
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OTA is great for free locals, PBS channels, and maybe a handful of others. Unfortunately, not everybody is in a position to receive ota signals, especially after the signal went from analogue to digital. There's also a wide range of antenna equipment and prices. The good things that make sat and cable so attractive to people are somebody else doing the installation, local channel availability, and so many other popular channels provided that aren't available ota. It's just more convenient. And, finally, it seems the industry may be moving towards more a la carte packaging where you have a lil more control

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