Pros and Cons of Going OTA - Page 32 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #466 of 705 (permalink) Old 2010-08-02, 11:29 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
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I feel I'm in a Time warp. Always running behind the curve.

We only had OTA in the 70's when my friends families were getting cable. For $2.50/year (IIRC) they had lots of channels and I envied them. Funny though, I recall many of their channels had awful quality. Especially channel 10, the community channel, man, it was godawful quality.

WE moved and had pre-paid cable at the new house for 2-3 years. I got used to it, it became part of my life. Every where I lived ordering cable was easier than an OTA install. Life went on merrily this way for 20 years. My last place OTA was one, maybe two channels on a good day so cable was a no-brainer.

Things changed big when the cableco cut me off....I'm glad they did as my bill was $45/month for the basics and a few special channels. Looking back, I wish they cut me off earlier.

In mid 2007 I got BEV on a friends 'n family deal and for the price I was happy. I don't know what happened to BEV nor do I care but in 2008/2009 channels I paid for just disappeared with no credit, the speciality channels cut WAYYYYYYY back on buying programming. I'm guessing the financial crisis and the fact Canwest was broke and owned many of the specialities was the reason the programming quality died.

Things were getting ridiculous. If you want to watch CSI, don't bother to change the channel, it will eventually air...Life was running Intervention, History channel airing movies, APTN showing the MATRIX repeatedly, Showcase and Bravo were interchangeable, what a useless mess.

Guess I'll continue my BELL rant....when I moved they screwed up everything, internet, landline, satellite, billing, you name it. I spent 20-30 hours of my time on the phone, doing without services off and on for a couple months. I finally realized Bell was the problem, not the solution and I switched out my internet, landline and mobile. But we had no TV and two teenagers.

WE tried watching tv on the computer by downloading and streaming but that was a pain. We wanted a simple tv like solution. Thus my OTA hunt began. The rest is history. We have enough channels to keep us happy until the transition (we'll have more right once the hi-pwr analogs go off and the digis take their place? right?)

So pros and cons.

Pros: FREE TV! Like the 70's. Enough on to find something to watch. Not so much on you end watching just for the sake of watching. I feel like a kid again experimenting with stuff. That's really cool. Can't put a price on it.

Better pvr then BEV. My laptop now holds 125+ hours of HD content with a 1tb external hdd. I can expand that cheaply and easily with more drives. Commercials can easily be removed. I'll miss the movie channels but Netflix is coming so I can choose the movies I want. Much better.

NO dealing with Bell/Robbers ever!!! We went from $140/mo in services (tv, internet, landline) to $45/mo (phone/internet). Almost $100/mo. in MY pocket!!! That's enough coin to send us on a week long island inclusive vacation.

Cons: Speciality channels. I might miss some but since they're rapidly turning to crap in a few months it won't matter.
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post #467 of 705 (permalink) Old 2010-08-03, 08:09 AM
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You must not be a sports fan. With the recent announcement of a new Sportsnet channel it appears that no Raptors games will be available OTA so the availability of sports on OTA continues to decrease.
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post #468 of 705 (permalink) Old 2010-08-03, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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Agreed that OTA sports availability is an important issue for some folks, but not for all. He posted right after all those sports posts so that gives us our answer.

We can move on to other pros and cons safely now, I'm sure.
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post #469 of 705 (permalink) Old 2010-08-03, 03:02 PM
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The only reason I mentioned this is that there was a minor change in the OTA sports landscape that has just been announced. CBC has been carrying Toronto Raptors games but that will no longer be the case in the new season. The only OTA NBA basketball games in 2010-11 will be the games carried by ABC.
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post #470 of 705 (permalink) Old 2010-08-03, 03:10 PM
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True, I have little interest in sports. I remember years ago there was always sports of some sort available OTA on the weekends. It seems there was more variety of weekend programming OTA even though there were fewer channels.

But, in contrast, remember when MASH was on everyday from 3pm-7pm, broadcast OTA by different networks? That era sucked because there wasn't enough variety in what they broadcast daily. Now, we have the same problem with lousy talk shows all morning and again late at night. Or crappy paid programming which all but disappeared for awhile.

It got me thinking though about the future.

The networks (ABC/FOX/CBC et al.) are doomed. Look at Itunes for an example of how a company with no experience in a certain field become the delivery agent for another industry. Before you argue that in-depth knowledge of the tv industry is necessary to deliver TV programming look at Apple. They know nothing about sourcing or producing music yet they're one of the biggest delivery agents for music. Someone, if not Apple, will become the dominant delivery agent for TV of all stripes, including live sports, series, news and movies.

When the networks are killed off, and I believe they will be, OTA as we know it is dead for good. Who will pay for the OTA equipment? I doubt very much any government will step in to save OTA when they can make money auctioning off the spectrum.
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post #471 of 705 (permalink) Old 2010-08-05, 10:55 AM
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I've decided to go fully OTA!
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post #472 of 705 (permalink) Old 2010-08-05, 11:39 AM
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Come on NFL is gonna be on Fox 29 which looks awesome
in 720p progressive scan, and CBS NBC and CTV also
will have NFL in 1080i. Hopefully OTA will have a 1080p
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post #473 of 705 (permalink) Old 2010-08-05, 02:30 PM
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So what is the diffrence watching ota or cable?

ota guy, nothing on, nothing on, nothing on for six times

cable guy nothing on, nothing on, nothing on 300 times
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post #474 of 705 (permalink) Old 2010-08-05, 11:08 PM
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The difference is OTA guy isn't paying a monthly fee to watch nothing, cable guy is.Thats why there is a definate benefit to OTA.
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post #475 of 705 (permalink) Old 2010-08-06, 08:42 AM
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Location: Montreal QC
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PRO: there's still tons of good stuff on OTA Network TV. You may be surprised!

Another one of the pros to OTA is that there is still some very good entertainment value on the big networks and enough sports to keep a mainstream fan (i.e. not addict) happy. OTA still has broad (although not specialized) appeal which for most viewers in enough.

I did an experiment: I reviewed the timers set on our family PVR and realized that all but 3 shows came from non-network sources. (Holmes on Homes for myself and 2 MTV series for my kids). The remaining 95% (Vampire Diaries, Glee, Big Brother, Survivor, 90210, CSI, Simpsons , Family Guy, Dr. Oz, Ellen, Bachelor(ette), Flashpoint, Heartland, Saturday Night Live, Letterman and many more) were all on network TV channels that I could get OTA.

In the end, I looked at my monthly BEV bill of $42 and figured it wasn’t worth it for just 3 series and perhaps the occasional blip we find when changing channels… my kids have already figured out ways to watch their series online for free and I could buy the whole Holmes on Homes season DVD set to watch ad nauseum for less than one month’s bill. Once Canadian networks go HDTV, my plan is to get a Channel Master PVR and bye-bye BEV.

I recommend this study as a good exercise for anyone who wants to make the switch. I had some of my friends do this and some were very surprised with the results. Really makes you question your cable bill and if you really do need those specialized channels at that extra price. I already had one of my buddies come over to get info about my OTA setup!
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post #476 of 705 (permalink) Old 2010-08-07, 01:09 PM
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This is precisely what's going're paying $50+ monthly for a couple of ethnic, specialty sports, lifestyle, etc.

For satellite and digital cable you watch one channel per box so it is very much exactly what's going on.

OTA does change viewing behavior, I'd say most times it is for the better. No channel is worthy of $50/month

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post #477 of 705 (permalink) Old 2010-08-07, 01:28 PM
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Well to further add to my past post this home has now gone to cheapest cable plan no hd.
It has been a month now and we notice a couple of things, we do plan our OTA HD viewing more carefully as not to miss a good HD program. We have been doing more idle time things together more than before the change. We do each miss the On Demand movie access but are doing better than I first thought we would, will it continue not sure yet?
We each love the idea we are getting great hd for free
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post #478 of 705 (permalink) Old 2010-08-09, 04:20 AM
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If it were not for one particular specialty channel my parents can't get via OTA, they would have been rid of their Bell TV long ago. From their location, they get Montreal local stations, plus all the U.S. networks except ABC.
As for myself, I am a news/documentary junkie. That's the only reason I'm still paying for Shaw Cable — so that I can get PBS, news channels and CPAC. (And even then, I don't watch them all the time.) That said, I switch to antenna for local OTA digital TV. No high-def cable box for me, thank you very much.
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post #479 of 705 (permalink) Old 2010-08-09, 08:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: London, Ontario
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life without cable....

well it's been not even a week and the family is in uproar heheheh, and I am loving every minute of it.
They are so cabelized that they are oblivious to OTA and how it works. Honestly, it's been almost two years now since I have dabbled with OTA and you would think they had some kind of grasp of how it works.
I had an intervention and cleared the myth's and went over channel orientation, and placement.
I found TvZapit, an online tv guide and customized it for our local OTA broadcast and book marked it to assist my wife cope with the lost of her precious Roger guide.
I have some neat tip's for customizing TvZapit but i'll post that later.
It is so nice to see the kid's playing outside alot more now that MUCH and TeleToon are gone. I said "hey there is TVO and PBS" and I get these dirty looks like what are those channels?
I gave it three months, gezz I hope I last three weeks.
More to come later.

roof mounted 35ft UHF Antennas Direct XG91, VHF Delhi VIP 302SR, RC 6292, Tii Coaxial Lightning Surge Protection
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post #480 of 705 (permalink) Old 2010-08-14, 01:06 PM
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Min cable package for a couple of weeks and I find myself thinking about HD on cable as my OTA has a little hick up now and then but still min cable only still
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