Is an HD antenna all an HD-ready set needs?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Unspeaked, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. Unspeaked macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #1
    If you've got an "HD-ready" TV (one without a built in HD tuner) and you buy one of those $30 HD antennas, is that all you need to pick up off-the-air HD broadcasts?
     
  2. CaptainWOW macrumors member

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    Aug 12, 2007
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    San Diego
    #2
    Yep.....

    What you get OTA is pretty hit or miss though. It depends heavily on the terrain of the surrounding area.

    If you live in a relatively flat area you should be fine. But, in an area that has rolling hills (like in N. San Diego where I live) the signals can be hard to get.
     
  3. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    #3
    No.

    If your TV has a built-in ATSC tuner, then all you need is a set of rabbit ears. But if your TV doesn't, then you need to buy an external tuner box.
     
  4. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #4
    You still need a tuner to get the HD signals. Such as a cable box. If you had a built in tuner then all you would need are over the counter basic rabbit ears.
     
  5. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #5
    The BBC ran a HD test service for a group of people surrounding the Winter Hill tower. AFAIK they had regular Freeview boxes and could pick up and display the signal.

    A box was needed but it was just a regular Freeview one (albiet with component/HDMI output).
     
  6. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Chicago, Illinois
    #6
    You still need a tuner. Mine came with one built in and all I use is an amplified antenna. I get tons of channels over the air and they all look a lot better than HD cable. My advice to all my friends who bought HD sets is to ditch their cable companies. Many have and none regret it.
     
  7. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

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    #7
    don't forget the cables. you can have that 800HP skyline GTR, but with out a clutch...what fun is it? ;)
     
  8. Unspeaked thread starter macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #8
    OK, so these reply bring up two more questions:

    1. Why are some rabbit ear antennas marketed as "HD" and some not? I assumed only the "HD" ones could pick up the HD signals.

    2. If you need a tuner anyway, are external tuners available? Where would they plug in - the cable in or the HDMI jack? Would and HD antenna still be needed, making it:

    HD Ready TV > External HD Tuner > HD Antenna

    And, roughly speaking, how much do they cost?
     
  9. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #9
    To the best of my knowledge, "HD Antennas" are a gimmick. HD uses the same spectrum as standard TV. HD Ready is basically a monitor, it needs a second source to get the signals. You can use it as a monitor and watch DVD's and play video games but to get TV signals you need a tuner.
     
  10. Unspeaked thread starter macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #10
    Yes, I understand the HD Ready part. As far as I can tell, there's three types of TVs being sold right now:

    1. HD TVs (with built-in HD tuners)

    2. HD Ready TVs (with the available slot/port/jack/whatever to add an external tuner)

    3. Non-HD TVs (which can't use a tuner even if you wanted)

    Does that third group exist, or am I totally off on this?

    And again, is it even possible to buy an external HD tuner yet, or does the product not exist? I've looked around and don't see anything, but I may just be looking in the wrong places.

    (Apologies for my utter lack of knowledge with TVs - I know my fair share about Macs, but I'm clueless about TVs!!)
     
  11. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #11
    That's for the UK. Things are very very different in the US.

    HD and Digital TV in the UK is a nightmare...
     
  12. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #12
  13. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #13
    Ah, I thought it was a HD in general question, not US centric.

    It is a bit of a mess. I was up at friends house today setting up their new TV. Some monster 46" £2k effort full of so many features that I (the local computer fixer and helper) had to explain how to do stuff on it! Which included getting Freeview set up. So many people still don't have digital yet we're happy to switch off analogue.
     
  14. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #14
    No- you do need an amplified antenna to get a decent HD signal. Like this: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage...tenna&lp=5&type=product&cp=1&id=1171058630563

    I got one with my TV when I bought it. They plug into a regular electrical socket. I unplugged mine once to see if I really needed it, and yeah I did.
     
  15. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Los Angeles
    #15
    Actually all digital b'cast signals (including HD) uses a different spectrum of the airwaves than analog TV. Once analog b'casts are stopped in early '09 those frequencies are going to be auctioned off.


    Lethal
     
  16. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #16
    Isn't HD still using UHF.
     
  17. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    #17
    Yes, but only part of it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UHF#United_States_2

     
  18. Unspeaked thread starter macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #18
    So is everyone going to need a box like the one posted by MacNut for any non-HD TVs they have after 2009?
     
  19. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #19
    This is where the confusion comes in, all over the air analog broadcasts will stop, if you have cable you are all set.
     
  20. live2tell macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #20
    my hd tv hasen't got digital
    how come the image looks fuzzy when i plugged in the indoor antenna in the tv set is it because the antenna is not hd or because the antenna is a ****** antenna what do you recommend anyone? and if you are a expert in this and you know what i'm talking about which antenna would you recommend to give you high quality picture link it to me so i can buy it thank you
     
  21. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #21
    The antenna doesn't effect the picture quality at all. With digital, you're either going to get a perfect picture or no picture at all.

    Make sure your TV is set up to use the digital (ATSC) tuner and not the analog (NTSC) tuner. If you're using the analog one you'll get a crappy fuzzy SD picture.

    My HDTV has a simple button on the remote that switches between Digital and Analog. Make sure you're set on digital and you should get a good picture. If your channel numbers are like 10.1, 10.2, 12.1 etc then you're receiving a digital signal. If they are just numbers (10, 12) then you're getting an analog signal.
     

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