[mythtv-users] Digital Television In US

James C. Dastrup jc at dastrup.com
Tue May 16 16:53:05 EDT 2006

> I'm wondering, besides digital cable (SD), and HDTV, what ways are there to
> get digital television in the United States, in Standard Def? 

I'm not sure I totally understand the questions. If you can receive over-the-air 
digital signals, then just watch the SD channels. Not all are HD.

Digital television isn't limited to only SD or HD, so it would be difficult or impossible
to find an SD-only digital source. (Cable and satellite are typically just converting 
an analog source to digital and touting it as "digital"). If you are watching true 
digital TV (digital source to digital TV), you get both SD and HD. It is up to the 
broadcaster to decide what to output. Most networks will provide two channels, 
an HD and an SD channel, both digital. (4 is analog, 4-1 is HD, 4-2 is SD, etc). And 
then it's up to you on which channel you want to watch.

> I find it
> absurd that the only way to get digital SD is to go from a digital cable box
> to an analog line into a capture card. 

I get digital SD over an antenna into a pcHD3000.  Of course, I don't normally
watch the SD channels, only the HD channels, but both are available.

> Isn't there some way of getting
> digital SD over arial transmissions (like DVB-T) or through a HD cable box,
> without having to convert back to analog? 

See comments above

>I know that there's some free
> DVB-S stuff for the US, and that apparently some channels support DVB-T in
> the US (though there seems to be no way of finding out, short of calling the
> station or buying a DVB-T card yourself).

If you want to find out what free digital signals are in your area, go to


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