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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Comments

Athena

" This shows up various Tivo UI limitations - it just doesn't deal with long lists of shows very well. It's incredibily tedious to scroll through the list of 5 Law and Order episodes, 5 Cold Case episodes, a dozen movies, a bunch of L&O SVU and L&O CI episodes, etc - all sprinkled on a flat list by order recorded"

1. The stand alone TiVos have more features to organize recordings.

2. You can sort Now Playing on any TiVo by title or by date (ascending or descending) with a simple code -- see the "Select-Play-Select Codes" in http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=122090

Rick F

Help - I'm technologically incompetent. I just bought the Hughes HD-DirecTV-DVR for my HD TV. What kind of off-air antenna do I need? Just a UHF? Can I use one that is semi-circular and clips on the DirecTV 18" dish? How should it be wired into the house or can I use one of the inputs on the triple LNB dish? Thanks.

Bruce Morgan

Rick, the first off-air antenna I tried was one of those clip on semicircular kind (from Terk) and it failed to work at all. Not the antenna's fault - I was just too far away for the little thing to pick up a signal.

You absolutely must visit http://www.antennaweb.org to find out what kind of antenna you need. Otherwise you are just guessing.

An HD antenna is really just a regular UHF antenna - HDTV broadcasts on unused UHF channels. Some people like to claim they have "optimized for HDTV" or some such; sounds like BS to me. Others say they are "HDTV compatible" which is true for all UHF antennas.

Note that you don't need one of those big V-shaped VHF/UHF antennas. If you only want to add off-air HD channels, and aren't going to use the antenna for other TVs in the house, then a UHF only antenna is what you need.

Yuo install the antenna like any antenna, and run the coax from the installation point to your TV. That's what I did. I put the antenna on the roof of my house. Some people can get away with an "inside the attic" installation, often hanging an omnidirectinal antenna upside down from a rafter.

Other people can get away with a UHF antenna inside, on top of their TV. Radio Shack sells a bunch, just hit their website and search for "UHF". I tried their $60 Jenson amplified UHF antenna, and it did get a few channels, but it wasn't enough.

If you can't (or don't want to) run another piece of coax - and you really should for the best signal strength - then you can combine the UHF signal with the satellite signal on one coax. To do that, you need a pair of diplexer - a little device that combines two signals into one. You use one up on the roof to combine the signals together, then you use another at the HDTV unit to split them apart.

I used diplexers for a few days before I ran another coax line. My approach was to get by with the minimum amount of fuss and hassle. I ran the second coax to try to fix the occasional breakup I saw on Channel 5-1 during moderate rain.

Radio Shack sells them in-store. They also sell antennas. So do Home Depot and Lowes.

The next step, if you can't get a good signal with a big 4228 style bowtie, is to add amplifiers. That's what I'm going to be doing next to try to avoid signal breakup on Channel 5-1 which I can still get during heavy rain.

Good luck. Let me know how it goes for you.

Pat Donleycott

I hear that DTV will significantly expand the HDTV channels by YE 2005. Do you have any additional info on that?

Thx for the nice Blog

Pat

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