Digital Antenna Is GO!

April 23, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Posted in Missy | Leave a comment

We’ve removed the cable from the back of the TiVo, and plugged in the antenna.

The antenna we chose is this indoor HDTV antenna from Monoprice. We’d been looking at a variety of options on Amazon, but Monoprice came highly recommended by Leo Laporte over at TWIT. And for our first test antenna, a 4-star rated model for $17.39 at Monoprice seemed like a better risk than spending $50 for the similar-looking Terk at Amazon.

It’s surprisingly small — smaller than a DVD/game case. In fact, here’s a game case to compare:

Yes, that’s a bunch of stuffed frogs sitting next to the TV. Long story short, we started with one stuffed frog cat toy, and the collection has grown. And yes, Bioshock 2 was awesome.

We looked up our channel availability over at AntennaWeb and found out that most of the local networks broadcast from about 25 miles away, at compass headings varying from 58° to 63°. Fortunately, I have a compass program on my phone, so we were able to set the antenna with its flat face pointing to 60°. Then we unplugged the cable and set the TiVo to go through its setup cycle. About 30 minutes later, TiVo found about 40 high-def over-the-air channels, got the program listings over the internet, and we were good to go.

I opted to go through the channels and cull out all of the stations en Español, which turned out to be quite a few. I also got rid of the set of what we call K-GOD stations. We’re left with ABC, CBS, FOX, CW, MyTV, ION, about two dozen PBS stations, and some miscellaneous independent stations. Notice one missing from the list? Channel 2, NBC, doesn’t come in. We’re getting a signal strength of 0-40 (out of 100) no matter where we put the antenna, so until we cough up extra money for a stronger antenna, we’ll get NBC content through Hulu or NBC.com. (That Hulu link goes to our profile there; you can see our stuff and add us as a Hulu friend.) Not that big a deal; I think the only NBC show we watch is The Biggest Loser.

The TiVo was smart enough to transfer over our season passes for all shows on channels we’re now getting through the antenna. So instead of American Idol recording on HD cable channel 1135, TiVo automatically set it to record on antenna channel 35-1. You go, TiVo!

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