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OTA doesn't do:

- Numerous Specialty/language/news channels (mentioned before and not available OTA)
- VOD
- IPG (I don't believe)
- PPV
- TMN
- HD DVR - once you have a DVR, it'd be "impossible" to "go back (unless you go for a kludgy D-VHS or for an HTPC (beyond the capabilities of most people) I haven't watched anything live since the late 1970s.

Then you've got a significant investment in recorder, STB, antenna, cable, (amp & tower if necessary). So "Free" TV is not really that free, especially if you need to pay someone to install it all, like most people do with cable (see the recent thread on the "average person").

If all you want is 20 or so channels, those packages from the service providers are hardly expensive and the option is there for more channels if you want them.

Again, I can see the draw for some people, but I don't believe the average person is going to give up the many options he has, to go solely OTA.
 

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stampeder said:
...while viewing DTV OTA.
Why do you think people who get their signals via Sat or Cable would even "bother" with OTA?

I know we already had this discussion in another thread and I know you're a firm believer in OTA, but I believe that most people will simply not bother, even if OTA were available in their area.

Yes, a select few "videophiles" WILL bother.
 

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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 $...
 

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I think we agree. I have thought about this myself on occasion. Right now, I've got more TV than I can watch and I've got good PQ.

If I lived in a "non-Rogers" area, I'd certainly consider it, but I'd probably look at BEV too.
 

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Don't forget about HD specialty stations though. In a few years there'll be a lot of HD specialty stations and you can't get those OTA. Sports and Movies are the "big drivers".

One thing we can be sure of, it'll be interesting to see how all this shakes out by 2010.
 

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Additional CATV digital STBs are selling for $50-100 with $100 credit, so essentially the cost is pretty small (for non-HD). If you're talking HD, then the cost is indeed higher. My understanding is that OTA STBs are not that cheap.

For your conundrum, I guess a second antenna?
 

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One item on the horizon for Cable is a multi-room PVR, which would help for people who require more STB for various TVs.

I guess another OTA "problem" is if you've got an OTA PVR setup (I believe there's one for about $1000 or so), how do you know where to point the antenna if you have a "directional" issue?

Would the OTA STB have a memory for rotor postion? I suppose you wouldn't be able to watch one channel and record another if they were in different directions, if these have two tuners. If only one tuner, then it's not such an issue, but you still have to ensure proper antenna direction. How is that done for various channels?

The Cable STB with two tuners can record 2 programmes and allow you to watch a previously recorded programme.

...just another thing NOT to worry about with Cable...
 

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Several comments.

1. HD cable channels are not always compressed. It depends on the service provider. For example, with Rogers all the channels from 501-531 are uncompressed, meaning that the OTA signal (up to 19.4 Mbps) is "passed". I'm not sure if Shaw compresses their HD or not.

2. Please put your location in your profile, it'll help us comment.

3. Are you close enough to those stations to receive them?

4. Some of the HD stations on Cable are not available OTA.

5. On a 26" TV, I doubt you'd notice a difference.
 

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mjm70 said:
That is going to set you back a good $150 for basic, or if you want the HD box, you are stuck paying over $700 for the unit. Yes it comes with a PVR option.
Your prices are a bit out of date. Most of the SD digital boxes can be had for $50-100 and you often get a credit of $100, so the box is either free or -$50.

The non-DVR HD STB is about $300, while the HD DVR can be had for about $500. Again, as a new subscriber you often get credits.

You stated that you cannot get various OTA channels via Cable. I believe there are only a couple of OTA channels that are not on Cable. As for the number of cable channels that you cannot get OTA, those number in the hundreds.

I'm not trying to "sell" cable, I'm just trying to "clarify" some of your claims/statements.
 

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...there really won't be any excuses anymore for HD satellite/cable around here.
I have the following "excuses":

TMN-HD
M-HD
TSN-HD
SportsNet-HD
Raptors-HD
Score-HD
Discovery-HD
A&E-HD
Timeshifts-HD (4 of them)

And that's today. In 2008 that number may double or quadruple.

I agree with you that there's a lot of OTA-HD in the "GTA". LA may have more channels, not sure.

For me, however, the channels you've listed comprise a very small segment of my HD viewing, with significantly more of my HD viewing coming from the channels in my list, especially TMN, Discovery. For other people, I'm sure the sports channels are high on their list.

For a select group of people, OTA may meet their total viewing needs, however, I don't see the demise of Cable or Sat any time soon due to the specialty channel selection.

And that's only the HD channels. I get close to 400 channels, 90% of them SD.
 

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As soon as you have 2 channels, there's more on TV than you can watch yourself. What those 400 channels brings you is a selection. Also remember that many households have more than one viewer, therefore, while I'm watching a programme that she may not be interested in, she's watching her home makeover shows, etc. (sorry to be so stereotypical, but it was to make a point)

I would actually prefer to subscribe a-la-carte, to the channels I usually watch - which would likely bring the list down to 20 or so, however, the "basic amount" must be paid to service providers, therefore the additional channels are a true bargain at only pennies each per month.
 

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Timeshifting can have the following "advantages", even with a DVR.

- some different programming (often local, or a different sports event)

- some features that the "other" channel doesn't have - for example ABC Buffalo doesn't have DD5.1, while Seattle does.

- Some "corrections" when mistakes are made in the first broadcast. (this has happened when the first airing is not HD, or is not DD5.1, or is not complete, etc.

- It also allows for "non-live" broadcasting of programmes that were "live" on the earlier timezone. This allows for rateshaping of the recording which can often eliminate the compression artifacts (mostly macroblocking) associated with live programming. I saw a massive example of this on last years Grammy's.

- for DVR users, it offers recording flexibility - for example, there are sometimes (not often) three programmes on at the same time I wish to record. By using the timeshifting channels, I can set one recording for a later, non-conflicting time. I also like my DVR to record while I'm not watching TV, therefore I set it to record most programmes in the western timezone after I've gone to bed.

...and yes, we are talking about "legit" signals.
 
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