Question: Digital Converter Box/Antenna Combos, Cable Service required?

#1
My parents tell me they need a digital tv converter box and antenna , once it it setup then they will be able to receive a few channels. Is this true? They don't subscribe to an analog or digital cable service at all, that is why I'm thinking they won't get any channels but I beg to differ since I haven't found the correct information.

If so, what are some good converter box/antenna combos or is the antenna even needed at all?

Thanks in advance!
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
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#2
My parents tell me they need a digital tv converter box and antenna , once it it setup then they will be able to receive a few channels. Is this true?
:welcome: hhsgraphicarts, Yes! Very possibly more than only a few.

They don't subscribe to an analog or digital cable service at all, that is why I'm thinking they won't get any channels but I beg to differ since I haven't found the correct information.
FREE OTA reception does not require any prior or current subscription to any paid service.

If so, what are some good converter box/antenna combos or is the antenna even needed at all?
To find out for your parents what channels are available free over the air, please go to the TV Fool website, type in their address and maximum potential height above ground where they will have their antenna located. Then, post the resulting URL here for us to study. That website will automatically conceal their personal information.

From that report, we can make appropriate suggestions about the converter box and antenna type they will need to use.

Jim
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
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#3
YES, most people can get more than a few channels. I get 30, 10 of them in HD.

Post the info from TV fool and we'll help you out.

Also, you only need a converter box if you have an older (analog) TV, you can buy a box for about $50. If you have a newer digital TV, no box is needed.
 
#4
It never ceases to amaze me that so many intelligent people have been bamboozled by the satellite and cable television providers. Yes, people in most areas of the country are capable of enjoying FREE over-the-air television by using a simple antenna system. Ironically, the quality of HD over-the-air broadcasts is superior to cable and satellite HD transmissions. Yes, your parents will need an antenna to receive over-the-air broadcasts unless they're within a couple miles of the transmitters. In that case, they may be able to receive stations with an unfolded paperclip inserted into the converter's antenna jack.
 

dkreichen1968

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#5
I get 25 English language channels (not including 6+ Spanish channels) including ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CW, MyNetworkTV, and PBS in HD quality that makes the HD from local cable or satellite companies look like junk. If you have a newer HDTV with a digital tuner all you need to receive free TV is an appropriate antenna. If you have an older analog or "HD ready" TV you need a converter box.

Here are some converter boxes.

AccessHD Digital to Analog Converter Box, 1080D - Walmart.com

Walmart.com: RCA Digital TV Converter Box: TV & Video

Digital Stream Digital-to-Analog Converter with Pass-through : Converters | RadioShack.com

Antennas range from simple $10 rabbit ear-loop indoor combos to large roof top models depending on distance from the broadcast towers.
 
#6
Thanks for the insight, I'm surprised the networks would allow it...

Here is the tvfool report.

TV Fool

We have an older TV (Pre-2005?) so I would need both the converter box and antenna to get the channels, correct?
 
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dkreichen1968

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Staff member
#7
Well, free TV was around before pay-TV, but now with digital broadcasting it can compete with pay-TV once again.

According to the notes at Rabbitears.info KSBW is going to be carrying ABC as a multicast channel soon. Otherwise you currently have NBC, CBS, Fox, CW, and PBS plus some others. Yes, you would need a converter box, but you may only need a rabbitear/loop antenna like a RCA ANT111. Your broadcast towers are to the south-east, and your antenna will work best near a window on that side of the building.

Add to that that KYMB carries

THIS (Movies)
MeTV (coming soon... Like TVland only better)
The Cool TV (24/7 Music Videos)
America 1

And KMBY carries NBC-Universal Sports.
 
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MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
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#8
Thanks for the insight, I'm surprised the networks would allow it...
Allow it? They're fighting to keep it! It's the cable companies, FCC, and cell phone companies that don't want FREE OTA TV to live.

We have an older TV (Pre-2005?) so I would need both the converter box and antenna to get the channels, correct?
Yes, both a box and antenna. Refer to dkreichen1968's list of converters to choose one. dkreichen1968 is probably right about only needing a loop antenna to get TV, but I do prefer a good antenna mounted permanently outdoors or in the attic for stable reception.

Here is the tvfool report.
TV Fool
Your TVfool is promising, even though you are at a "default" height of 5 feet. I suggest you place it about 20 ft up if possible. The biggest problem I see is VHF-hi channel 8, but it's your strongest signal so it should not be a problem. I'm thinking either an Eagle Aspen 2-Bay Uhf Antenna or an Antennas Direct DB4 pointed @ about 145 degrees magnetic would get most of your major stations.
 
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dkreichen1968

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Staff member
#9
Yes, both a box and antenna. Refer to dkreichen1968's list of converters to choose one. dkreichen1968 is probably right about only needing a loop antenna to get TV, but I do prefer a good antenna mounted permanently outdoors or in the attic for stable reception.
If you have a satellite dish mounted high up on the south side of the building it can be converted for OTA by replacing the dish with an over the air TV antenna. The Winegard FreeVision FV-HD30 antenna would work well in that case. Or the Winegard HD1080
 
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MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
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#10
If you have a satellite dish mounted high up on the south side of the building it can be converted for OTA by replacing the dish with an over the air TV antenna. The Winegard FreeVision FV-HD30 antenna would work well in that case. Or the Winegard HD1080
I will try to post a picture of how I did that here at home. You will need a "sleeve" from the chain link fece dept. of your hardware store, as most antenna mounts are a bit too small for the J-pipe dish mount.
 

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