Computers & Electronics

OTA HD Digital TV Converter?

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  • Nov 6th, 2013 2:35 pm
[OP]
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Aug 21, 2003
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OTA HD Digital TV Converter?

I picked up some HD antennas from Dollarama for $3 each.

I can't find my digital tv converter for my old HD TV.

Anyone know where I can get OTA HD Digital TV Converter on the cheap?
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Dec 7, 2012
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halcyon wrote: I picked up some HD antennas from Dollarama for $3 each.

I can't find my digital tv converter for my old HD TV.

Anyone know where I can get OTA HD Digital TV Converter on the cheap?
I bought one from Canadian Tire a while back for $49.99
http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/3 ... ?locale=en

NCIX has one on sale for $44.99 (until Oct 09)
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=87254 ... omoid=1317
[OP]
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EdT586 wrote: Those are not HD, HD digital to analog boxes cost over $200, which is why it is cheaper to buy a new HDTV !
$200? The box I got was about $80-100. I just can't find it right now which is why I'm looking for the cheapest possible alternative I can find.

That NCIX one looks like a possibility. Was hoping to find something around the $30 range but I guess I'm being a little too hopeful.
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Sep 13, 2011
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ANALOG HD WTF ?,
If you have a newer tv you will have an ATSC receiver built in. If you dont, then your tv is not HD ( in 95% of the case).
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Oct 26, 2008
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elgros4 wrote: ANALOG HD WTF ?,
If you have a newer tv you will have an ATSC receiver built in. If you dont, then your tv is not HD ( in 95% of the case).
These HD/digital/analog discussions always get confusing - depends if we are talking about the TV itself, a set-top box, the transmission signal, or the TV station's broadcast.

I think the OP has one of those 5% of mid-2000's HDTVs that only have one coax input and that is for a digital cable source.

His TV is HD because it can display HD from DVD sources and from cable/IPTV/Sat. sources as long as a set-top box is connected that has its own ATSC tuner.
It doesn't support an analog signal from an antenna to display a HD OTA transmission from a TV station without an additional box - which the OP has mislaid.

If he had a slightly later HDTV it would have 2 (or 3) tuners and 2 coax. inputs, one labelled 'antenna', and one labelled 'cable'.
(The 3rd. tuner, a QAM one, would decode digital transmissions from the provider if they were unencrypted - which I don't think they are anywhere in Canada.)

We have 2 coax. inputs and 2 tuners now because the U.S. mandated that people must be able to watch their local stations over the air if they choose once the migration to HD broadcasting took place.
Because there were delays in HD implementation, and because the U.S. requirement for an ATSC tuner in TVs was phased in by screen size over several years, we in Canada have some mix (5%?) of HDTVs without.

As an aside, the $3 Dollarama 'HD antenna' is really no different from an old UHF loop antenna that could have been connected to a 1990's CRT TV (along with a VHF antenna).
If the nearby TV station is broadcasting in HD the $3 antenna and the right coax input is all you need to receive the HD picture on a HDTV.
If they are broadcasting in standard definition then you get that on your HDTV with the $3 antenna.

To add to the confusion, cable companies completed their own conversion from analog to digital transmission simultaneously - although the process started for them many years before.
And now people who still have old CRT TVs need their own variation of what the OP is looking for - the reverse - a digital to analog converter.

In summary, there should be really no need for set-top boxes with current TVs as everything could be accommodated in the TV itself.
But the industry likes to keep additional sources of revenue from selling extra boxes.
[OP]
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macnut wrote: These HD/digital/analog discussions always get confusing - depends if we are talking about the TV itself, a set-top box, the transmission signal, or the TV station's broadcast.

I think the OP has one of those 5% of mid-2000's HDTVs that only have one coax input and that is for a digital cable source.

.....
Yup. You nailed it. My TV is terribly old and I'm surprised it's survived to this point. In the end, it's a screen that outputs in HD (1080i or 720p) 43" or so. By next year I'll have something respectable but for now, this has done the job when we were living in a downtown condo.

And yes, it's so old that it doesn't even have an ATSC tuner inside it that can convert a digital OTA signal. Hence why I'm looking for a TV converter on the cheap. Most TV's that has been built in at least the past 5 years will have it's own tuner built in so most people don't have to worry. I may just tough it out without any cable or OTA for the next few months until we move... we'll see what I can find.

Thanks for the informative post though.
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Feb 15, 2008
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Given any thought to just buying a TV tuner card for your computer and hooking it up?

Hauppauge HVR-1250's are available on eBay for $20-$25 from Hong Kong vendors. And the tuner on mine is better than the ATSC tuner in my LG HDTV (42" 42LV3500).

Once you have that hooked up, you can hook the computer up to the TV and watch through there.

This might be a decent alternative. And if you want to be even more sophisticated, you can record using MS Windows Media Centre. Or go as far as to set up a full-fledged mythtv setup on Linux if that's your cup of tea.
TodayHello wrote: ...The Banks are smarter than you - they have floors full of people whose job it is to read Mark77 posts...
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Jan 18, 2007
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You can also get USB ATSC tuner, if you can hook a PC, laptop, or netbook into your TV via HDMI, DVI, or VGA.

Re-posted from my tuner thread
Ustauk wrote: For those of you who just got a RCA HD antenna from Dollarama/XSCargo, or who have a more impressive over-the-air ATSC HD antenna/setup: Memory Express has this Kworld ATSC USB TV Stick for $29.99; pricematch against the Newegg listing ($24.99) and you should be able to get $23.74 plus shipping if you have no Memory Express near you, or pick it up instore if you do. eBay is around the same price, as far as I can tell.

The nice thing about the stick is it comes with digital video recorder software; over-the-air HD signals are unencrypted, so you can record them without any issue.

It also allows you to have multiple windows open for different programs; for example so you could watch the hockey game and a show at the same time.

This unit comes with a small antenna, but I think the RCA would be better then it by a fair bit.

Manufactures website
Image

You can use the TV software that comes with the stick, but if you'd rather use Windows Media Center as your tuner software, here are the instructions and files neccessary to hack it to work in Canada. I can confirm this works. The nice thing about this is that you can manually enter channels; that way, you can enter all the channels known to be in your area that did not show up on the initial scan, and then move the antenna around until you get signal on the troublesome channels.
Ustauk,
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Mark77 wrote: Given any thought to just buying a TV tuner card for your computer and hooking it up?

Hauppauge HVR-1250's are available on eBay for $20-$25 from Hong Kong vendors. And the tuner on mine is better than the ATSC tuner in my LG HDTV (42" 42LV3500).

Once you have that hooked up, you can hook the computer up to the TV and watch through there.

This might be a decent alternative. And if you want to be even more sophisticated, you can record using MS Windows Media Centre. Or go as far as to set up a full-fledged mythtv setup on Linux if that's your cup of tea.
Yeah, this is what I do now. Although, I went with the SiliconDust HDHomeRun. A nice little unit with a dual tuner. Newegg seems to have them as ShellShockers fairly regularly and you can get it for about $60.

Although, I had trouble with Windows Media Center. I use nPVR instead, and it works well and is free. Throw in comskip, and it's better than watching on a TV. I installed MythTV on my Linux partition, but I haven't played around with it. Seems like it requires a bit more detail to set up and I don't use Linux enough to bother playing around with it.

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