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Will new digital TV's pull local stations with rabbit ears?

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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:28 AM
Original message
Will new digital TV's pull local stations with rabbit ears?
Edited on Mon Jul-25-11 10:29 AM by raccoon

Or maybe even without rabbit ears?


If so, I'd like to get rid of my cable. I only watch local network stations and pbs anyway.






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Morning Dew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:30 AM
Response to Original message
1. sure.
signal is signal.... rabbit ears will do the trick.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. See: The Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005
Edited on Mon Jul-25-11 10:37 AM by WinkyDink
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. Yeah, there is a shit load of problems...
but the new TVs are capable of picking up all the signals.

Most of the TV stations out there now broadcast once again in the same part of the spectrum they once did, but you will find a few stations that opt to say they are channel 12 and yet are really in the part of the spectrum occupied by channel 13.

Rabbit ears should work. IF you still have UHF stations in your area, rabbit ears are not short enough to pick those up, so you need a loop, just like the old days.

They really should have had analog HD OTA, instead of digital. Or at least figured out a way to repeat the signals so that you could get better reception.
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #10
17. I should note, however, that the problem with analog HD...
is that you can't compress it, so you have to eat up more bandwidth to do it.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #10
22. I cannot get one station without a digital cable box. The company is RCN.
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
2. They do, but they suck ass.
Edited on Mon Jul-25-11 10:33 AM by originalpckelly
And not in the good way.

Unless you precisely calibrate the length of the antenna dipoles (the rabbit ears) and aim them at the direction of the antenna of the station you are trying to receive, don't do it. If you do, however, I'd recommend an amplified antenna, and placement of the antenna next to a window, at the highest level you can place it.

Even with a +50dB amplified antenna aimed almost precisely at the mountains in CO, I still cannot get a reliable signal.

But if you live fairly close, you'll probably be OK.

Just look up the location of the antennas in Google Earth, and see how close you are. The closer you are the less amplification you need.

However, I'd still say that most people will get the shitty break up of the signal, which unlike older analog signals, completely cuts off almost every time it happens.
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #2
11. the main reason for that is they cut the power of the transmitters.
what used to be fringe reception on analog would work because the picture just got snowy. with digital it's all or nothing.
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #11
16. It's not just that, it's that the signal is a digital one...
and it's failure mode is different from an analog signal.

There were experiments a long time ago with HD analog, and it I'm guessing would have been better.

If they could figure out a way to repeat the signals, like with a wifi mesh network, that would be best. You would be able to repeat the signal, with the only real penalty being increased latency, which for a one way broadcast doesn't matter as much.
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
3. It should work if you're in signal range. Some of the digital antennas, basically
similar to rabbit ears, are of a different design.
See http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_25?url=search-...
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. It is carried over the same signal band in most places.
It's not at all different from that perspective. But the problem of the new signal is that it is digital, and the way it fails is to completely shut off or be so unenjoyable, that it deeply impacts the viewing experience.
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:35 AM
Response to Original message
5. My $10 rabbit ears pull in 12 stations here in Austin.
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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:38 AM
Response to Original message
7. I have been able to get both DC and Baltimore stations which are within
25-30 miles away with a simple rabbit ear antenna.
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Speck Tater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
8. I got a an antenna at sears
that pulls in 8 digital stations here in remote rural Oregon. It works very nicely. Well enough that I cancelled my cable.

It's a little flat white box about 8 or 10 inches square that sits on a bookshelf out of sight.
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Gidney N Cloyd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
9. My cable was out half the weekend so I broke out the rabbit ears. Digital is problematic.
With analog, a weak signal means poor reception, maybe a little snowy. With Digital, a weak signal means no reception or off-and-on (and-off-and-on-and-off-and-on- ) reception. I was constantly fiddling with the antenna and even the good channels dropped out now and again.
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. If you have rabbit ears, the lengths of the "ears" (dipoles)...
must be 1/4 the wavelength you are trying to receive, with the ears perpendicular to the direction of the source of the signal for best reception.

The problem is that each station is at a different direction, though most of the transmission towers in a lot of places are clustered together to make things easier.

And you have to put the antenna next to a window, that helps. And put it as high as you can get it.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
12. The TV I have is all over the air. The one upstairs is cable. I get 15 channels from
a home made folded dipole antenna. I'd probably get more channels if the antenna was not in the basement.

Recently I changed antenna design to PVC. There's a lot of good designs on youtube (search: DIY HDTV antenna). My first was the coat hanger antenna on youtube.
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WI_DEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
14. I just got rabbit ears for my TV and it worked pretty well
I live in downtown Madison, so have a good signal.
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Blues Heron Donating Member (397 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
15. depends
Edited on Mon Jul-25-11 10:47 AM by Blues Heron
we used to get PBS no prob, but since the switch it barely comes in. placement of rabbit ears is key. digital is VERY finicky, much more so than analog which would just fuzz up a little. Digital breaks down very badly and the sound channel goes out first.
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
18. I'm lucky I guess.
I can see the mountains the TV transmitters are on from my house. I just stuck a bit of wire in my TV's antenna input and it worked.

With analog TV I used to get all sorts of ghosting and interference from nearby high voltage power lines so digital is better.
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. I envy you.
If you ever invested in a normal antenna, you'd probably have a great signal. Just make sure you don't get an amplified system. If you're that close, chances are there is a lot of power in that signal.
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 11:53 AM
Response to Original message
20. Maybe. It Depends on How Strong the Signals Are
Stations that used to be on 2-5 have moved into high UHF territory which has far less range than the 54-88 mhz low VHF band.
I used to pick them up with rabbit ears. Now I need a top-of-the-line roof antenna and amplifier system.


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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
21. Dropped my cable when I bought my house last June. Built an HTPC.
Edited on Mon Jul-25-11 11:56 AM by Roland99
Get locals from Orlando (and a few from Tampa off the back of my antenna in my attic)

Get streaming content from Hulu, Netflix, the major networks, etc.


Depending upon your distance from the towers, you'd probably need more than just rabbit ears. Check out high-VHF/UHF antennae from ChannelMaster. Never been disappointed with a CM antenna.

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Ratty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
23. Yes. Depending on where you live, etc.
When I got my digital TV I watched local stations with only rabbit ears. I could get all of them. It was interesting to discover the concept of "sub channels." The local PBS stations had some mighty interesting sub channels.

But your luck may vary. One problem with digital is that if a signal is weak or there is interference you won't just get a snowy picture that you can often watch anyway. Chances are you won't get anything at all. With digital it's usually all or nothing.

You could probably find a set top converter for pretty cheap on Craigslist if you want to try it before you buy a new TV. Or maybe a friendly neighbor will let you try out their TV with some rabbit ears to see what reception's like in your area.

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