When is OTA needed?

bayzbol44

bayzbol44

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 25, 2005
82
0
Carpentersville, IL
I keep reading threads about OTAs. When are they needed? I live in a suburb of Chicago. According to the E* website, it says that I should be able to get my CBS, NBC, Fox and ABC in HD. I believe WGN carries some of their stuff in HD. Would I need a OTA to get this in HD? How does that work? IF it is installed, how will my 622 receiver now it is installed?
 
G

garys

SatelliteGuys Master
You put up an old style antennia (although anyone selling them term them as HD Antennias) and wire it to the back of the 622. Add local channels under system setup and you get digital/HD channels that are offered Over The Air (OTA) in your area. You could possiblely get more network channels than what E* would be offering you (at least at the moment) Check antenniaweb.org/ for more info pretaining to your specific area.
 
bayzbol44

bayzbol44

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 25, 2005
82
0
Carpentersville, IL
Thanks. So I only need this if there are local channels that are in HD that are not carried by E*? I think most of them are carried by E* so I don't think need this. I think Comcast Chicago has some ball games in HD, but from what I understand the OTA would not pick that up, right?
 
osu1991

osu1991

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Sep 4, 2004
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Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
You would also want the antenna for any subchannels that your local stations may broadcast, as dish will only have the main channel and in most instances the OTA feed is going to look better than the sat feed. The antenna feed also provides an extra tuner source to record from if you have timer conflicts.
 
Cold Irons

Cold Irons

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Dec 7, 2005
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Fredericksburg, VA
Reasons to add an antenna for the 622 to get OTA networks even though you can get the same channels via the Satellite:
1) the OTA locals PQ is much (much) better than the same locals from Dish Satellite
2) gives you more options for recording network shows (you'll be able to record 3 network shows in HD at the same time).
3) putting up an antenna is relatively cheap.
4) if, for some reason, the locals from the Satellite aren't working, you can still watch the OTA channel (happened to us last night - some temporary problem with the DC local channels).

In general, just gives you more options
 
bayzbol44

bayzbol44

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 25, 2005
82
0
Carpentersville, IL
Thanks! This helps a lot. Sorry, a few more questions...How much should I be paying for a OTA? How does this become a 3rd tuner? How "easy" is it to install for a person who has never messed with this type of stuff? Does PQ mean picture quality? What is a timer conflict? Will my installer install a OTA?
 
osu1991

osu1991

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 4, 2004
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Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Cost depends if you want indoor or outdoor. Go to antennaweb.org and put in your address and it will tell how far you are from the tv transmitters and what type of antenna is recommended for your location and the direction to point the antenna. The OTA tuner is a separate tuner from the 2 satellite tuners in the 622, so you could record 2 sat hd channels and 1 OTA hd channel all at the same time. Tuner conflicts are when you don't have enough tuners to record shows that are all on at the same time. The antenna will just screw into the back of the 622 just like the sat cables and you will scan for the local channels from the menu screen. PQ is picture quality.
 
CochiseGuy

CochiseGuy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 6, 2006
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Cochise County, Arizona
bayzbol44 said:
Thanks! This helps a lot. Sorry, a few more questions...How much should I be paying for a OTA? How does this become a 3rd tuner? How "easy" is it to install for a person who has never messed with this type of stuff? Does PQ mean picture quality? What is a timer conflict? Will my installer install a OTA?

Local channles on E* are $5 add'l. per month, Over The Air is free. If you pay E* for locals and add OTA to your 622 you OTA channels are inserted in the 622 programing guide right next to the E* channel number so you get the programing guide for OTA. If you don't pay E* for locals, your OTA channels are listed but just with the description "digital programing. For me it wasn't worth the $5; I just use the TitanTV.com programing guide & plan ahead.

I have a 211 & am not an expert on the 622, but the 622 has 3 tuners - 2 for sat. reception so you can watch one channel & record another. PLuging in an OTA antenna coax just makes use of the 3rd tuner in the unit. Ask your E* retailer to quote you for installing OTA at the time of the dish installation. They have a little OTA antenna they can install on the dish that may or may not work for your location.

To know best what OTA channels are available & what antenna type will work best for your location, go to www.antennaweb.org & key in your street address & zip code.

Good luck! :)
 
Cold Irons

Cold Irons

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Dec 7, 2005
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osu1991 & CochiseGuy pretty much covered the questions. I needed an outdoor antenna (45-50 miles from my Wash DC locals). I used antennaweb.org to find the distance & direction from where I live. I can't really remember, but my OTA antenna + a pre-amplifier was probably a little less than $100. I did all the work myself - depends on how willing you are to climb up on the roof & mount the antenna - if you are not comfortable with that kind of work, I'd hire someone to do it.

As far as using it as a 3rd tuner - it's all built into the 622. Once you have the antenna & "scan for OTA channels" on the 622, the OTA channels will appear right in the program guide. For example, my NBC OTA is channel 4 & in my program guide, I have:
004-00 = Local NBC channel 4 HDef from Dish Satellite
004-01 = Local NBC channel 4 HDef from OTA antenna
004-02 = Local NBC channel 4 digital "subcarrier" channel w/the weather forcasts

So the antenna stuff is pretty seamlessly integrated into the 622. When you want to record something, you can choose either the OTA or Satellite channel.
 
bayzbol44

bayzbol44

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 25, 2005
82
0
Carpentersville, IL
Thanks everyone for the information. I may end up doing this, because it sounds like it is worth it. However, I will have to pay someone to do it. I will check out that website to see if they give good recommendations.
 
VegasVoomer

VegasVoomer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 3, 2004
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Las Vegas
I'm using a $15 adjustable rabbit ears from Home Depot. I get every digital local there is around here. Even better then the one on the roof that Voom installed.
 
lakebum431

lakebum431

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Sep 5, 2005
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I would also suggest trying out something cheap first. I'm using an indoor one from Radio Shack that works great!
 
bayzbol44

bayzbol44

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 25, 2005
82
0
Carpentersville, IL
Maybe I will go ahead and try an indoor one first. I will just make sure I can return it. I just found out my cousin works for E* installation, so I may end up sending him up there to install the OTA. Thanks again everyone for your assisance.
 
B

Barry Erick

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 27, 2004
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Dallas
Even, on my 811 vrs Samsung 5687, the ota on the Samsung tuner is better than the OTA via the 811 tuner. But OTA either way is much better than any of the compressed LITE HD's on DISH. Especially Locals.
 
bayzbol44

bayzbol44

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 25, 2005
82
0
Carpentersville, IL
Thanks. I started looking at some of the antennas at a couple of stores. Should I be looking for a certain type of wiring so it can hook up to the 622? Am I still going to be able to receive the HDTV channels on a HD REady TV?
 
B

bhelms

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Feb 26, 2006
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An outdoor OTA antenna will use the same RG-6 type cable as the sat. signals. (I recommend the quad shield type for OTA signals, others disagree.) It is even possible to combine the OTA signals and the sat. signals into the same cable, but I recommend running separate cables if you can - gives you more options. A "HD Ready" TV probably does not have a tuner in it so you would need a separate OTA tuner, or just use the tuner in your sat. receiver...
 
bayzbol44

bayzbol44

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 25, 2005
82
0
Carpentersville, IL
Thanks. So if I get this antenna with "RG-6" cable and hook it up to the 622 receiver, I should still get HD local channels, even though it is a HD Ready TV? I am assuming the receiver is what is converting it into a HD signal?
 
Cold Irons

Cold Irons

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Fredericksburg, VA
Yes - the 622 receiver is "converting" it - the OTA tuner inside the 622 means that your HD monitor (without a tuner) will get the channels from the antenna.

Your HD ready monitor will just get a HD signal from the 622 - it doesn't know & doesn't care if the transmission originated from a Satellite or from OTA signal via the antenna.
 
bayzbol44

bayzbol44

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 25, 2005
82
0
Carpentersville, IL
I took the suggestion of trying a "cheap" indoor antenna. I went to system setup, local channels and did a scan for channels. It didn't find any the first time and then I moved it and it found 5 other ones. Should I move this antenna around to find out if I can find more? I am not supposed to manually add them, right, since I did the scan? What is a good antenna strength?
 
bayzbol44

bayzbol44

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 25, 2005
82
0
Carpentersville, IL
Anyone know if it is worth keeping this antenna I bought if most of the channels I am finding are less than 70 signal strength?
 

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