Thinking about going OTA and streaming only.. what do I need?

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by TinKC, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. Nov 2, 2011 #1 of 22
    TinKC

    TinKC New Member

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    Nov 15, 2010
    Kansas City
    We're thinking about cutting our cord to Time Warner and using only OTA channels, Netflix streaming & Hulu Plus. We have 3 Premieres. We've never had problems with streaming capabilities on our Premieres.

    Any links to some tutortials or info for people that aren't too tech-savvy to set this up? Any advice?

    Would I still have to have the Cable Cards from TW to get OTA?
     
  2. Nov 2, 2011 #2 of 22
    Hilltopper06

    Hilltopper06 New Member

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    Nov 16, 2010
    No you will not need Cable Cards to receive OTA but you will need a good antenna. I found a small inexpensive outdoor antenna and placed it in my attic. I literally cut the (DirecTV) cords in the attic and combined with a splitter so now the antenna signal goes to all of my rooms.

    With Netflix and my Season Passes I have not missed cable much (some sporting events) but the savings are incredible and well worth it!

    Good Luck!
     
  3. Nov 2, 2011 #3 of 22
    kturcotte

    kturcotte Active Member

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    Dec 8, 2002
    Portland, ME
    Before you do it, check out this website: www.tvfool.com and put your address in. It'll tell ABOUT what channels you should be able to get OTA, and what size/type antenna you need, as well as the directions of all the channels. You may be in a great spot to pick up all the channels you want, or you may need a giant roof antenna.
    With Hulu+ though, it might not be that big of a deal.
     
  4. Nov 2, 2011 #4 of 22
    replaytv

    replaytv gun talk ignore list

    4,401
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    Feb 20, 2011
    Denver ish...
    I have used OTA for the last 20 years, and every since it went digital it is 'here today, gone tomorrow'. That is OK, as I have 3 Tivos going using different antennas, so I usually get the show, and if I don't, it will be on again some other time. It is weird that a channel that I get fine for weeks will not be working the next week even though I haven't moved the antennas or anything else. Friends and family have the same problem. But none of us have any of the suggested 'best' antennas on the roof, so I guess it is our fault. My brother has one in the attic, and it doesn't work very well when the roof is covered with snow. (The only show that is really important to me usually is the Denver Broncos, but they are losing this year so bad, I find myself lucky if I miss the show.)
    I was talking to the Tivo rep who says that he is 70miles north of me, and he says that he gets all the Denver stations fine, so go figure.
     
  5. Nov 2, 2011 #5 of 22
    Jeff_DML

    Jeff_DML Member

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    Mar 2, 2009
    weather effects reception and with digital it is like you said, all or nothing usually. Analog you would at least get a fuzzy channel that was watchable.
     
  6. Nov 3, 2011 #6 of 22
    TinKC

    TinKC New Member

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    Nov 15, 2010
    Kansas City
    Hmmm, we live in a suburban/slightly rural area. Not any tall buildings or trees in the area, so it is really windy most of the time. I'm wondering if I should subscribe to the basic package from TW for the local programming, I believe it's about $10 a month. If I do that, will I still need the cable cards ?
     
  7. Nov 3, 2011 #7 of 22
    Jeff_DML

    Jeff_DML Member

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    Mar 2, 2009
    I would plug your address in tvfool that someone mentioned above. Maybe you can mount inside your attic or on top of the tv with rabbit ears. If outside and windy then you just need a good mount for your antenna.

    TiVo guide does not support cable without using a cable card. So you would lose most of the functionality and would have to set manual timers.
     
  8. Nov 3, 2011 #8 of 22
    kturcotte

    kturcotte Active Member

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    Dec 8, 2002
    Portland, ME
    TW's basic service might not even work, I'm not sure. Here, they're getting rid of the analog channels and going digital only. However, they said the basic package won't work with the Tivo because digital channels require a cable card, and they don't give out cable cards for just the basic package. Not sure if that's right, or if they can even do that (I'd think the FCC wouldn't allow it), just what I was told.
     
  9. Nov 3, 2011 #9 of 22
    Jeff_DML

    Jeff_DML Member

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    Mar 2, 2009
    FCC rule is that OTA channels need to be sent in the clear on cable. But cable company can move them around whenever they want which requires a rescan. TiVo without guide is pretty limiting anyways. Basically if you go basic cable then get a cable card, usually $2 a month right?
     
  10. kturcotte

    kturcotte Active Member

    1,160
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    Dec 8, 2002
    Portland, ME
    Yeah, a cable card here is $2.50 a month, but they said they don't give out cable cards for the basic, $15 a month package.
     
  11. Jeff_DML

    Jeff_DML Member

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    Mar 2, 2009
    that is lame but I guess not surprising, don't think there is any FCC rule for that:eek: I am OTA and satellite(about to be canceled )
     
  12. kturcotte

    kturcotte Active Member

    1,160
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    Dec 8, 2002
    Portland, ME
    I also found out it doesn't include the HD versions of the local channels either, just the SD versions. If you want HD locals through TW here, you have to shell out their $65 a month for digital cable.
     
  13. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

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    Jan 29, 2011
    SE Ohio
    In an urban setting you should try sticking a cheap antenna in (or near) the window to see what you get. Modern digital tuners are amazing in what they can sort out. If that doesn't work, you can consider cable options.
     
  14. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

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    Sep 21, 2004
    To answer the original question. You need a TiVo with lifetime and a Roku box. Those two put together will give you a great OTA dvr and a great internet connected streaming device.
     
  15. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    6,936
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    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    The good thing is you can try both OTA and using your TiVos with OTA without giving up cable. Run both for a month or so to see if you have issues. If you decide to purchase an outside antenna the wind really should not be a big deal. But as others have said you can start with an indoor antenna or an outside one mounted in your attic. If you end up going with a roof mounted one and really are in a high wind area you will likely want a rotator so you can fine tone it without going on the roof if the wind moves it.

    I am OTA only, in a high wind area with trees and no line of site to the towers, which are about 35 miles as the crow flies and find it workable.

    Good luck,
     
  16. Aero 1

    Aero 1 Active Member

    582
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    Aug 8, 2007
    its called tropospheric ducting. you should be fine for the next 6 days ;)

    http://www.dxinfocentre.com/tropo_wam.html
     
  17. TinKC

    TinKC New Member

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    Nov 15, 2010
    Kansas City
    So I cannot use my TiVo as a DVR for OTA channels if I don't have cable cards?
     
  18. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

    7,066
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    Sep 21, 2004
    Sure, just plug an antenna into the antenna input. Cablecards are only required to tune digital cable.
     
  19. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    6,936
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    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    Just for some reference; when people say OTA around here they are talking about what you actually receive from an antenna.

    It gets someone what confusing because your cable provider maybe rebroadcasting many of the same channels you could be getting with an antenna.

    So I will answer your question 2 ways:

    1. If you connect an antenna to your TiVo you do not need cable cards to receive any channels being received through the antenna and your TiVo will be able to provide guide data and record them again without any cable cards.
    2. If you are talking about channels being provided by your cable provider "in the clear" on a basic or lifeline package then yes you do need cable cards if they are digital channels and yes the Major Network channels rebroadcast by your cable provider in HD are digital.

    Again as I said above you can setup your TiVo to record from both an antenna and your cable provider if you want to test out how well recording OTA works for you.

    Good Luck,
     
  20. snickerrrrs

    snickerrrrs Tech-no Guide

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    Mar 30, 2006
    Southern...
    I just picked up a Premiere at a thrift store for $15 (no remote but we have several Directv peanuts and one Glo remote). So to use the Premiere for anything I'd need to activate Tivo service for $240 a year or $500 lifetime? And I'd need a Roku because Premiere doesn't support streaming?
     

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