HDTV Over The Air?

I am thinking about getting a HDTV tuner to go with my Sony "HD Ready" CRT TV. Does anyone have experience they would like to share regarding tuner brands, antenna problems, etc?


Okay, go to www.antennaweb.org to find what kind of antenna you will need. Great location and it is very useful. I have installed two HDTV antennas, one costing only $35.00 on my window sill because the tower is close and another in the Mid-West atop a roof to pull in a signal from 45 miles away. Both work well. You neet a line of sight to the tower; the signal can't go around a mountain.

The picture is fantastic and free. You will be wondering what you were missing all of these years as the signal bounced off from your house.

A word of warning. Your neighbor can get the perfect signal but yours might be bad. No reason, it just happens.
Tuner's make a big difference in pulling in the signal as well. I have one of the older rca DTC-100 tuners that sucks and a newer Zenith HD-SAT520 that pulls in the stations great. These are both for use with DirecTv as well but I did install an antenna outside which they both draw from for the couple of stations that DirecTv does not offer.

I would stick with an older Zenith or Sony tuner, in fact I am sure they are basically the same unit.

I bought this antenna from Radio Shack:


It is very directional but once you find the right spot it locks on like a mutha. I only have one tower to lock onto but if you have more than one than you would need more of these.

Good luck.
Dave; Iv'e been watching hdtv over the air for about 5 years now and the minimum antenna that worked here in the Sacramento area, about 40-60 miles from cluster of transmitter antennas is the $65.00 Radio Shack mid-level item. Keep in mind the hdtv signals are UHF so actually for HDTV thats all you need. When VHF analog goes awasy in a year or two I'll switch to the flat type with 8 dipoles on it as best compact highest-gain option with reasonable wide coverage, let us know what works for you in what city and how far from transmitters. Iv'e also found that antenna just 3-4 feet from roof works ok most places....good luck, Mike.
For an antenna www.antennasdirect.com. Don't get a Terk antenna. Samsung tuners are decent.
I have had excellent performance from the Samsung SIR-T451. While the earlier models had reliability issues, this one has been flawless for over a year. It also works with standard rabbit ears as far as 25 miles - have not tried at further distances. The only issue I have noted is that the video output is really for a 16:9 screen. If your Sony is a 4:3, it displays gray bars top and bottom, which can be annoying.
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Elizabeth, are you using a separate HD tuner (external to your TV) and if so, what kind, where did you buy it, etc. They seem to be a "rara avis" at the moment.
I got my LG HDTV tuner with PVR off of ebay. Seems the easiest place to find them for reasonable $$ atm. I live near NYC and actually quite a lot of the main programs at simultaneously broadcasted in HDTV.

I don't pay for cable and don't miss it either.
If you are into satelite tv. the latest boxes from Direct and Dish network have built in HD tuners with some of their units. That way, the one unit does both which obviously saves having an extra box. I use a HD reciever from Samsung. SIR-t151 I believe. They have made several models and they work quite well. I purchased an antenna from Radio shack for about $25.00
plus the hardware and put it on my roof. I get every channel thats out there in So. Cal. which is about 30 channels with fantastic clarity on my 90" diagonal front projector screen. I have also seen great reception from an antenna placed in the attic if you want nothing showing on the outside. It is definately worth it. I tried the indoor antennas and they didn't work for me in my location. As was said earlier, you need to have unobstructed views in the direction of the broadcasting towers.
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Thank you all for your responses, this was exactly what I was looking for.

Right now I get decent reception from towers that are clustered about 6 miles away in Kenai Alaska. With your responses I now have a warm fuzzy that HDTV reception should not be a problem through my Radio Shack VHF/UHF antenna that is 10 feet above my roof.

I am not sure what the aspect ratio of my TV is. I'll have to dig out the paperwork and check that.

Again, thank you all.