Spurned TWC Customers Pick Up Antennas For CBS OTA

Dave Zatz —  August 12, 2013

mohu-leaf

As the Time Warner Cable CBS retransmission spat drags on, impacted cable subscribers (or is that former subscribers?) have resorted to HDTV antennas and free OTA broadcasts, if RadioShack’s surge in sales is any indication. And, should you find yourself in a similar situation, let me recommend the amazing Mohu Leaf (~$40). We tend to shy away from hyperbole, but prior to the Leaf review unit I sporadically received a single major network over-the-air… but the Leaf’s stellar reception capabilities have brought the full gamut of broadcast television into my kitchen and allowed me to evaluate Simple.TV (despite AntennaWeb indicating need for a rooftop solution). Its thin profile and reversible black/white presentation also allows for subtle yet effective placement around the house. Of course, your mileage may vary, dependent on a multitude of factors, but I’m a believer.

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6 responses to Spurned TWC Customers Pick Up Antennas For CBS OTA

  1. That’s an interesting correlation.

    I never considered going OTA. Instead, I added the RSS feeds for CBS shows to my torrent program so they automatically download. Just another chip in the wall separating me from cutting the cord entirely.

    I only pay because I have the money and feel I _should_ pay. It’s the adult thing to do. But when they take away that option… shrug. They’re forcing my hand.

    When my tivo dies, will I buy a new one or just cancel cable TV? Hmm. Difficult to say.

  2. Bent Ears Audio Laboratories August 13, 2013 at 9:31 am

    So a few people are *FINALLY* going OTA? All I can say is WELL IT IS ABOUT BLOODY TIME!!! My wife and I made the not-too-difficult decision to dump paying for TV in 2005 and we haven’t missed a damn thing. Way back when (and I’m referring to the late 70s when cable first hit my neighborhood), the primary benefit of paying for TV was to enjoy commercial free programming. That never happened – except for the pay on top of the pay TV channels such as HBO and the like. On the regular channels, there have always been commercials. Over the years the frequency and length of the breaks – the overall commercial “density” has steadily increased to the point where my wife and I literally forgot what show we had been watching. It is the commercials and the commercials ALONE which drove us as customers away from cable. It is a monumentally stupid thing to pay $100/month for 22 minutes of commercials per hour.

  3. Dave – thanks for the link (though you could have at least linked to one of RadioShack’s antennas…..;))

    The other thing that most people don’t know about OTA HDTV is that it’s actually higher quality, because it’s uncompressed. The signal you get from cable or DSL or whatever is usually compressed, so you MIGHT be getting 1080i, on a good day, instead of full 1080p.

    Also, as an FYI, the RadioShack Antennacraft brand antennas are pretty impressive – we test them ourselves, in a testing lab here at our Fort Worth headquarters, through a number of impressive tests. At least I was impressed when I found this out.

    Disclaimer: I work at RadioShack on the Social Media Team. I’ve been a reader here for years, and just wanted to chime in.

  4. Thanks for the chiming in, Ricky. Here’s where Radio Shack’s indoor antennas can be found. And when it comes time to pick up the new iPhone, Radio Shack has historically offered the most efficient trade-in program — my wife has used it twice to upgrade. How’s that for an endorsement? ;)

  5. Ricky, you’re not getting 1080p on any broadcast networks, over the air or not. You may be right about the compression but I’m fairly certain that there are currently no broadcast networks that broadcast in 1080p.

  6. OTA is absolutely compressed, a 6MHz channel using 8VSB modulation can effectively carry ~18-19Mbit/s after encoding and error correction, which is nowhere near what you need for uncompressed video. Some cable companies recompress the incoming streams in order to fit more channels into their headends available spectrum.

    Further, the original ATSC specs for broadcast did not support 1080p60, which effectively meant no one could broadcast 1080p content OTA for a whole bunch of logistical reasons. The most recent specs support 1080p60 via h.264, but I am not sure if many (any?) receivers actually support that, and I am certain no one is broadcasting it.