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For experiment, a rabbit ears with loop for uhf ($5 to $10) would be the best. Basement is not the best, but what you could do is connect a lenght of coax to your little antenna and put it somewhere high outside in direction of the transmitter (location from tvfool). The cable can run through a door or window. That should give you a feel of what you can get from an external antenna. Best to do the test on a clear day for better reception.

Else, if you still want an indoor antenna, bests are listed in the chart. But again basement is not ideal.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Oh I like this! It'll give me something to play with on the software side - recording a station etc. Thanks for the tip. I'm liking this experiment more and more. So far it's a lot easier than both my wife and I expected.
 

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You don't need to drill a lot of holes. Use the existing cables that are already run for your Cable TV. Just need to get the one outdoor cable to the splitter, probably in the basement.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Gents I picked up a cheapy antenna tonight for fun and connected it to my plasma downstairs. Within 5 minutes I had the best looking CBC picture I've ever seen. Love the uncompressed picture. That and the french CBC were the only channels but that's all I needed to see...

This has definitely increased my interest in the OTA forums so I'll be getting caught up over there.

Hey Johnnysmoke. If I still have rogers internet will I be able to use the existing cable coming into the house and not affect my Internet? If this is documented somewhere already forgive me for as king and you can point me in the right direction for some reading.

You guys have me seriously thinking about throwing up a temporary setup outside to get me through the winter until I can spend more time rigging the antenna higher up in the spring.

OTA will be the perfect complement to what we have going on so far with the internet options.
 

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If you are going to use a HTPC the other option is to get an HD HomeRun tuner. This is a network device that you can attach to your LAN. Therefore you could put it in your attic as long as you can get CAT-5 to your attic. This could mean less drilling of holes and less problems with signal level drops caused by long RG-6 antenna cable runs. It will also allow you to record/watch two channels at once since it has two tuners.
 

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There is no need to get a CAT5 up to the attic. All that is required is power for the HD HomeRun and a wireless access point. Another option is an eave, gable or chimney mount and a small antenna such as a Channel Master 4221HD.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
ScaryBob. Here's what I'm thinking of doing short term to kick off my OTA project.

* Order the CM4221HD (and possibly the CM7777 preamp from what i'm reading for Ottawa???)
* Get the EyeTV One for the macBook (ATSC usb tuner)
* Use the spare room upstairs in the house as a place to temporarily setup the antenna and macbook.

The door to the attic is in this room so if I was going to do an attic install the antenna wouldn't have much higher to move up from the test location.

The chimney is also close to this spare room so if I do end up outside its quite close.

Here's my TVFool charrt
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id=3cf449cd8a4780

I don't want to get too off topic here as I'm moving into more OTA discussions but figured since we have it going I'll ask here.


The HD HomeRun tuner totally fits the way we consume tv in the house now so that is a great find. Slingboxes + PVRs were the norm in the house today when the cable was on :)
 

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There is no need to get a CAT5 up to the attic. All that is required is power for the HD HomeRun and a wireless access point. Another option is an eave, gable or chimney mount and a small antenna such as a Channel Master 4221HD.
That may be the case but I personally don't trust HD video over wifi. Wouldn't you need a wireless bridge at the HD HomeRun since it does not have wireless capabilities built in?
 

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You are probably correct about that. Two HD streams might not be possible even with a wireless N router.

Bucketo, sounds like a good plan. My hunch is that you will end up with a chimney mount to get those one edge stations clearly and reliably. My only concern is that the EyeTV One could be a waste of money in the long term. A more general purpose solution would be a better idea. In the long term, I would be looking at two antennas and two dual tuner cards in a small PC or two HDHomeRuns (or similar devices.) I would point one antenna at 10° and the other, placed higher, at 110°. Note that the HDHomeRun might not be the best solution since it is ATSC only. I would not bother with a preamp initially. It might no be required.
 

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bucketo said:
I don't want to get too off topic here as I'm moving into more OTA discussions but figured since we have it going I'll ask here.
Yep, now that you've caught on to OTA please take the following steps listed here: http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=125161. Afterwards you can use the HTPC forum to discuss your computer-based requirements and questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Hey bob,

What I'm thinking with the eyeTV dongle is it gives me the ability to sit in the highest room in the house with the antenna to play / tweak for the digital channels. My Panny Plasma is in the basement, a long ways away and I'm not ready to decide on running cables just yet :) I don't have a tv I can bring up to the spare room with an ATSC tuner in it.

I guess my other option is to pick up an HD Homerun Single for $79 and setup a little test network in the spare room. I'm trying to avoid cables in the house and keep the cost down in the short term. Plan can expand in the spring for sure.
 

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I'm very interested in your project, bucketo!

Posting here to ensure I keep up on your developments, since I'm also interested in dropping Red cable for OTA, supplemented via the internet.
 

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been looking into lowering my rogers bill also. my digital vip service is included in my condo fees, but, im thinking of dropping the movie network package ($17) and switching netflix.ca to netflix.com. after paying for a proxy/vpn service i think id only save about $10/month.

trying to decide if it is worth it.
 

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A good quality VPN service alone will cost you more than $10 a month plus Netflix and you're paying more than a movie package.

Even a mediocre VPN service will cost you $5 to $8 a month.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Well it'll be a week tomorrow since we cut the cable and I have to say so far so good.

* I missed throwing Sportscentre on in the morn before work but soon found alternatives - ipad sports apps etc.
* We've blown our 95 Gb limit with Rogers this week. This includes a lot of Netflix time from the xmas holidays so we really won't know what our true usage will be w/o cable until next month. We spent a lot of our free time during the holidays with Netflix :)
* Hulu Plus is getting a good work out on the PS3. The only real drag in this area is CBS is not a Hulu partner and not all Hulu shows can be streamed to the PS3 that are available on the website... There are enough for it to be annoying.
* With the advice of a few guys in this thread I did a massive amount of OTA research and got my big toe wet with it. I've posted details over in the OTA threads: http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?p=1211278#post1211278

* The only time the Rogers set top when on this week was for my wife to watch recorded shows and I checked in to Setanta on the weekend. Our cable doesn't officially end until mid Feb.

So it's going good. I think we're going to be fine, can't see us going back, we're actually having fun getting it all setup. Interesting enough, Netflix USA is what's actually getting most of our primetime "hours" now. My sports fix was attended to by CBC HD OTA on Saturday for hockey and tonight I had CTV OTA on to watch the NFL games. We're going to use CTV OTA to record as many of the CBS shows as we can as they aren't big on the streaming from their website (last 1-2 episodes only, no hulu etc). Our tv watching schedule is quite erratic so websites that only have 1-2 recent episodes doesn't really work well for us. That's where Hulu Plus comes in, fair amount of the shows have all the current season available, as does Netflix of course.
 

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You are probably correct about that. Two HD streams might not be possible even with a wireless N router.
G can handle 1 stream (you really only get about 20-25mbps out of '54'g), N should be able to easily handle 2, with a conservative estimate of 50% available bandwidth on half-duplex mode (75mbps).

And before anyone says 'no, G won't work', I have an HDHR. and I've streamed every channel without issue. Good quality signal and hardware are required, but that shouldn't be an issue if you're buying new.

Remember, you're not streaming the uncompressed video data (like an HDMI cable), you're streaming a max 19.4mbps MPEG2 file.
 

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Well you guys have inspired me to cut my cable as well. I have until the 14th to enjoy it. Then it will be unfamiliar territory as I have had cable for the last 17 years. :eek:

I have rough plans to infill with OTA, ATV2 (Netflix) and websites but nothing etched in stone. Before I called I felt like I was a junkie trying to quit. All sweaty and nervous. Videotron (my drug dealer) tried their best to keep me with a $150 credit. I feel cleaner already. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Jake,

Totally hear you on the analogy! haha. Our cable finally goes away officially next Monday. I've only used it a couple times on the weekends for Setanta (which i'll sub to online after next week)

We've been using an OTA antenna to record shows off CTV with much success. It covers about 30% of the shows my wife watches.

Netflix (usa) is filling in the "entertain me" gaps that cable tv used to. My wife also uses hulu plus to watch her favorite shows like Bones and House.

I think she's actually more excited about the whole experiment than I am. I guess I can stop calling it an experiment as we're not going back to traditional cable.

One thing I did learn this week is if you cancel your cable and then try to sell a Rogers box that you've owned, you actually can't take the box off your account until the cable cancellation goes through. I ran into this on Friday and they won't let me take the box off my account so the purchaser can activate it. He has to wait until my cable officially cancels next week.

I told Rogers to make a note on my account that this is another reason I won't be coming back - all the red tape.

Keep us posted in how it goes :)
 

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Keep in mind that almost all of the Local TV Netowrks have online streaming as well..

Any idea what you bandwidth usage is yet, as i am considering it as well..

Even if i move to the unlimited business internet (for $124 a month with a commitment) it's may be cheaper than Cable and Extreme plus.
 

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Bucketo I will.

I might pick up a DVR. Heck when I sell my PVR it should cover the cost. The networks web portals are pretty lean. I doubt they will ever deliver anything close to HD online. I was checking out SNL on Global and it was pretty poor. But it will do in a pinch. Or until I am setup better.

I also have plans to pick up Teksavvy cable so I will have a better cap (90GB) for flixing.

I am not a sports watcher (occasional hockey on CBC or Olympics). Both I will be able to get via OTA eventually.
 
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