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How much would/did you pay for OTA?

  • Less than $100

    Votes: 270 29.1%
  • $100 to $500

    Votes: 480 51.8%
  • $500 to $1,000

    Votes: 118 12.7%
  • The sky's the limit. I need the best!

    Votes: 21 2.3%
  • I'm broke, you insensitive clod!

    Votes: 38 4.1%
261 - 276 of 276 Posts

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It cost me about $300 in additional gear that I didn't already have (RCA 751 antenna, 2x HDHR3) in 2010. I'm not counting gear that I already had (network equipment, HTPC) as part of the initial capital outlay, but if I had it would have cost me about another ~$800.

I saved about $60/mo in cable TV fees. Over five years that's $3600.

It's an interesting point that had the cable company (Shaw) provided their channels over clear QAM, or provided a means for me to decrypt their signal for my HTPC that wasn't ugly and awkward, I might have stayed with them. As it stands, I couldn't be happier with my OTA + streaming setup. And I've converted 12 people I know to similar setups.
 

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Total ive spent about 200 bucks on a 4221 hd and a winegard AP8700, grounding rod and cable and splitters. And just last week found a DB4E and a CM4228HD out in my neighbourhood on recycling day! for Fee!
 

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Total cost of my OTA gear:

- Db4e antenna $100
- rotator $160
- cable and connectors $100
- 3 TiVo PVRs $800 each
- TiVo mini $120
- preamp $90

It is a great set up with whole home PVR and access to my recordings and live TV from enywhere in the world, but looking at it now it is overkill and if I had to do it again I would buy less expensive PVRs that are available on the market now.
 

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My current OTA gear consists of a home brew M4, preamp, 12' mast, chimney straps and 2 HDHomerun tuners. Total cost was in the neighborhood of $380. Almost two thirds of that was the 2 HDHomerun tuners. I also have a HTPC/PVR that does recording for viewing on HTPCs and media players. That was a soft cost since most of the parts are from an old HTPC. To build from new parts it would cost about $400. I won't count the HTPCs since they were in use prior to any OTA setup. The preamp (about $60) isn't really doing any good so it will get swapped out at some point, probably when I raise the antenna 5' - 10' at some point.

3 TiVo PVRs $800 each
$2400 for TiVos. :eek: I'm impressed. I thought I splurged on HTPCs.
 

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lessons learned

I finished installing my antenna two weeks ago. I am able to get stable reception for CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and PBS. I am also able to get the following channels: WORLD, ICI, Movies (5-2), CW (5-3) and CREATE. I am also able to get the anglo canadian channels that I wanted: CBC, CFCF12, Global and CITY.

I spent 3 summer weeks completing the project from start to to finish. The majority of the time was spent researching the materials needed and purchasing the parts that I could refund in case I abandoned the project. I found that the more time I invested, the more likely I was going to complete the project. Although the project costed me 720-750$, my biggest investment was time because I could have spent this time completing another home project.

reno - weather tape, 3 6ft coax cables 25.24
reno - weatherproof coax 100 45.98
mastervox - (10 foot, 1.25 in pipe,ground element) 41.54
rona - (ground rod, ground wire, ground clamp, dieletric paste) 62.5
the source - antenna + preamp 287.42
the source - chimney mounts 45.97
Assistant (14 hours at 15$/hour) 210
ground clamp (rona) 5.93
sum 724.58
 

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I am hiring an installer for my antenna. I live in Maple, Ontario, Canada. I will attempt to journal the process.

I include in my costs for an OTA install the labour of the installer, the antenna a Clearstream 4, all the necessary components (where applicable) to make sure it is well done (good coax, amplifier, preamplifier, splitters, reverse splitters, separate downleads, filters, attenuators, reverse diplexers (ok that my be a stretch :) ), good gaskets and covers/hoods, weather sealing since it is installed outdoors, a settop box (humax, TiVo, Nuvyo Table, Chromecast dongle or TV Tuner Roku, Android TV, Amazon Fire, Apple TV etc) and a 2TB HD to store content.

All necessary steps to maintain, update and care for the antenna and equipment (guide updates etc)

I contacted an installer and will keep you informed and take pictures so you can follow the journey.

The install looks like it will cost $400, the antenna equipment about $250 and the settop box $350, a 2TB HD about $100.
 

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In Orleans (Avalon area)

Professional install : $280 for a Winegard hd4400..including all material, grounding etc (mast, splitter, preamp not incl)

If preamp required, extra $120
 

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Outside of Fort Erie, ON along Lake Erie:

Just finished my upgrade from a homemade antenna on the back of my TV (12 gauge copper wire) to an outdoor mounted antenna (2 four bays).

I paid $60 for a BEST 8-bay multi-directional antenna - free shipping with promo code!

Instead of a mounting pole, I used a 40" J-bar at the peak of my roof. The J-Bar was $27 with shipping. Gives me a height of just under 40' and allowed me to re-use some previously installed Satellite mounts.

I recycled a bunch of my old satellite cable from the mounting location into my house - Free!
I also reused the grounding clamps/equipment from my satellite install.

Essentially I now receive every channel from Buffalo between 95% to 100% all the time (previously 0-90 with the wire out the back of my TV), even the small local channels for a total of 61 channels/sub-channels at 100%. I also pick up some Erie, PA stuff, and need to work on getting Toronto channels in consistently (either not receiving them or under 70%). At this time and through the recent weather, I can only guarantee the Buffalo and area channels working - however, my previous setup wouldn't always do that.

In total, 61 channels all the time, and maybe another 30 inconsistently (Toronto and Erie, PA)

I will invest in a pre-amp, amp, or larger tower next when I have saved up some extra $$$, or may purchase a DVR. Need to talk to approach those in my area with antennas to see what they are using and receive.
 

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I paid $300.00 Located In Brampton (Bovaird and Brisdale) and receiving 27 channels but not quite finished yet lol, I still need to get a Amplifier for 2 TV's so I hope to scan more channels.
 

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Installed in Chateauguay Qc

Installation of CM 4228, cabling, amp by Techno Numerique
Tablo 4 tuner device, Nexus Player hardwired to home network.

All the channels I need between OTA and the Internet.

Eckhard
 

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My costs:

CM-2018 Antenna: $71
RCA TVPRAMP1R: $30
Ideal 4 way splitter: $9
RG6-Q cable/Connectors: $40
Cabling tools: $20

I've also ordered:
CM-3414: $33 to replace the splitter

So a grand total of:
$203

My Dish bill was $104/month so at the end of March, I will have already paid myself back plus some.

I did not include my Hulu subscription into the cost, as I had that before.
 

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Its a one time Fee so even $500 will soon pay for itself.Too bad lots of folks are still unaware that OTA is mostly HD.Lots still think its all fuzzy and old technology.I personally spent a few hundred and lots of time but was fully worth it.
 

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I'm just starting out, so far my cost is a few pennies. I took a paperclip, unbent it, and stuck one end in the cable/antenna input. I'm located in Kanata North (west-end suburb of Ottawa) and am located roughly half-way between the Camp Fortune transmission tower and the one in Manotick (about 15 miles from each). Got all the stations that TVFool report said I would get with an indoor antenna except for CJOH (it's the only one that is on VHF-Hi and I take it a paperclip is not the best for VHF reception). However taking the paperclip to the upstairs TV added CJOH. We're moving next month to Kanata South, which brings me a lot closer to the Manotick station (which transmits at a much lower power -- I wasn't getting any of those stations). I intend to build an 8-bat coat-hanger bowtie antenna and likely stick it up in the attic. Then add a tablo+drive, unless someone tells me there are better options for making a PVR. Is there a general Tablo forum here?
 

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I intend to build an 8-bat coat-hanger bowtie antenna and likely stick it up in the attic.
An 8-bay will likely be overkill. A 4-bay will be sufficient. Check out the Reception Results thread for Kanata to see what other members use in west Ottawa.

DXer (in Kanata North)



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