Originally Posted by 57
But, if someone already has gone to the bother of getting Cable or SAT, which 90% of Canadians have, then they are not going to "bother" buying a digital STB, cable, antenna, mast, etc and spending a day or two installing them, integrating this all into their existing hardware, or have someone do all of this for them at a cost of say $500-1500 including equipment (depending on STB, antenna, PVR capability, mast, etc).
It's a lot of effort and a fair bit of $...
I thought exactly the same as you last fall, that the cost of an OTA installation would involve a tower, rotator, antenna plus a lot of wiring. You're quite right, it would have cost over $1000. I decided it was too much money and trouble and gave up on the idea of HDTV OTA.
However, there is another solution I'm about to go to, which can work for some people. Oddly enough, the origin of the solution appeared right on Digital Home Canada, beginning with jeneral's thread about his OTA experiences with a $60 Radio Shack antenna in Mississauga.
It turns out you can buy an ATI HDTV Wonder for about C$200. The thing that amazed me was that for almost all of the GTA, the included (cloned?) small Silver Sensor antenna is able to pull in all the Buffalo HDTV transmitters. A small indoor UHF antenna appears to work in Mississauga, central Toronto and all the way north to Markham.
For me, that changed everything. Instead of paying $1000+ plus a lot of trouble for a tower installation, just buy an HDTV Wonder, put the little antenna near a window, and you have all the available HDTV OTA channels.
I'm paying about $45/month for Rogers cable. So if you already have a PC and 20" monitor, paying $200 for an HDTV Wonder means you'll get a fast payback on the expenditure.
But I think everything depends on your personal taste on how you choose to receive content.
For me, it's OK to use the Internet to read the news, since I don't think there's a 24 hour OTA news channel (too bad about ABC News Now). I don't watch many movies, so lack of OTA PPV isn't a factor for me personally. For the occasional movie like Revenge of the Sith, I use legacy HDTV PPV, I go to a theater and buy a ticket. ;->
So I think OTA HDTV using an HDTV WOnder is an option for someone who isn't a heavy TV viewer, is situated in a favourable signal reception location and doesn't mind watching TV on a PC. For me, it came down to a value decision, was TSN, CNN and Discovery Channel worth $500/year? But it was a close decision.