[mythtv-users] Hardware questions

stuart stuart at xnet.com
Thu Oct 23 14:11:14 UTC 2008

George Mari wrote:
> Bobby Gill wrote:
>> Getting a bit confused here.. would I wind up buying this antenna and,
>> having zero experience with this stuff, get someone from a store to install
>> it? How much am I probably looking at total?
> I'm in the Chicago area, and put up an antenna in my attic last year. 
> You cannot find an antenna installer in the phone book, at least not 
> around here.  Depending on the store, they may or may not offer 
> installation service.  For a $100 antenna, I have heard of at least $200 
> extra for installation.  This is part of the reason I did it myself, and 
> put it up in the attic.  (I didn't want to risk working on my roof.)

I would find out what the actual broadcasting frequencies will be after 
the switch.  If all will be in the upper frequencies and you are in a 
good reception location you could get by with very little for ATSC OTA 
reception (i.e. rabbit ears).

In the above mentioned region, CBS broadcasts their ATSC signal on a low 
frequency channel (3) which many people can not see.  After the 
superbowl they will shift to a higher frequency.  Recall the higher the 
frequency the shorter the antenna elements you need ... the smaller the 

BTW, after the superbowl, AFAIK, we will all have to rescan as many 
stations will be switching their frequencies.

Unlike NTSC which drops out gradually with distance from the 
transmitter,  you will either get or not get an ATSC signal.  There is a 
small point where you will suffer errors and the picture will pixelate 
(not tear or get fuzzy) but much more likely it will either work or not 

> I would suggest a trip to avsforum.com, in the OTA section, find the 
> thread for your locality, read, and ask questions.  The knowledge will 
> be tailored for your area, which is helpful for OTA.
>> Also, let's say I get it up and running and have an HD tuner... I can use my
>> desktop PC as mythfrontend just as I do now with cable TV, right? My desktop
>> plays back HD stuff no sweat.
> Yes.

Humm, I gave up trying to play HD on a single core system and built a 
duel core SBE for HD playback & recording.  I still have issues w/a 
single core MBE I run when it does commercial flagging while offering up 
HD programming.  However, I don't think the MBE has a processor issue 
even though it's single core.  Still trying to figure this out.

Are you sure you are playing back HD?  If you are using cable TV the 
only real way of recording HD from cable that I know of is to use one of 
those hard to find component video sampling cards (i.e. the ones w/three 
video inputs).  Humm, I guess I'm going to correct my self in the same 
breath ... I think if you have clear QUAM signals in your cable TV feed 
a QUAM tuner in your PC can pick up those stations as well.  But are you 
sure they are still HD?  Some ATSC stations broad cast using 1080i and I 
thought some cable companies transcode them down so they can get more 
through the cable.  It's all very confusing, isn't it.

Good luck...

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