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Discussion Starter #1
We are probably dropping cable TV service in November and hooking up an OTA antenna. I understand that I need to connect an optical cable from the TV to my Onkyo 709 AVR. To watch TV and listen through the AVR do I select the TV input and then control the volume with the AVR?

Any other tips for an OTA setup?
 

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According to its manual, the TV doesn't sport HDMI A.R.C., so you need to connect digital audio as you suggested. Since "Viera connect" seems to be just Panasonic's name for HDMI-CEC, you might be able to use it to control audio output via TV or your AVR completely from the TV. Just turn "Viera Link" on in the TV and HDMI-CEC on in the AVR.
Then, to switch audio out, select "Viera Link" -> "Audio Output" -> "your AVR". If it works as it ought to, you can turn the volume up and down with the TV's remote.
Your proposed method should work in any case, even if Viera Link a.k.a. HDMI-CEC fails…
 

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We 'cut the cable' a couple years ago, streaming most of our material and an OTA for local channels. If you have not chosen an antenna yet, this is the one we use with great results:

Antennas direct ClearStream4 HDTV Antenna:
http://www.amazon.com/Antennas-Direct-ClearStream4-HDTV-Antenna/dp/B001BRXW74/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378581755&sr=8-1&keywords=antennas+direct

Note, that pretty much any outdoor antenna will work, so if you already have one, it will be fine. This one just has a smaller footprint than some of the large mutli-element type.

As eyespy39 stated and you, yes, you'll have to connect the audio to your AVR to get audio through your system with your current setup.
 

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As an even less expensive option to some of the OTA antenna options out there to purchase there are many DIY antennas that work great. I built one for under $5 and it works awesome. Used aluminum foil, metal clothes hangers, scrap wood, and a cheap 75 ohm coax balun. I wish I remembered the site where I found mine, but it's one of the antennas with the four "Vees" on each side.
 

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Warning depending on where you live check your channel listings to see if your local stations are all on UHF
or some could be using VHF bands all still digital but some HD small footprint OTA's will have a problem receiving VHF channels below 7 and 6. This is why I went with a Channel Master all band 100 inch boom.
 

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Warning depending on where you live check your channel listings to see if your local stations are all on UHF
or some could be using VHF bands all still digital but some HD small footprint OTA's will have a problem receiving VHF channels below 7 and 6. This is why I went with a Channel Master all band 100 inch boom.
Very good point! All of our HD channels are on the UHF band. I did have a large boom antenna up before, but was unsightly and for our area the compact version works great.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for all the replies. I am considering a Winegard HD 7694P High Definition VHF/UHF antenna to install on the roof or a Mohu Leaf antenna to try indoors. Plus I am waiting for a quote from an installer for his opinion of what antenna to use and how much to install it on the roof.

All the broadcast towers are in the same area so one antenna should work.

TV fool report

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id=46aecba9964d0a
 

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There is another advantage if you get a rotor to go with your all band and thats to look up the nearest town or city outside of yours and see if you can pick it up because certain weather conditions I can get Austin and Bryan College Station from my North Houston residence.
 

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Note that digital channels can be harder to pick up than the old analog channels. Anything in between you and the transmitter tower, such as hills or buildings, can attenuate the signal greatly. I suggest getting the largest antenna that you are comfortable putting up. If the transmitters are not in the same general area you will need a rotator. Changes in seasons can make a difference if you have trees in your yard - leaves can also attenuate the signal. Be sure you can reliably get the OTA channels before cutting the cable.
 

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As an even less expensive option to some of the OTA antenna options out there to purchase there are many DIY antennas that work great. I built one for under $5 and it works awesome. Used aluminum foil, metal clothes hangers, scrap wood, and a cheap 75 ohm coax balun. I wish I remembered the site where I found mine, but it's one of the antennas with the four "Vees" on each side.
I built two antennas in 2006 / 2007 after learning that our local networks were pumping out HD pictures that looked as good as DVD's - Both are still in use, one in the attic and one mounted outside on the chimney. I'll edit and add some pics and more info when I get some PC time.
Note : an antenna is an antenna, there is no such thing as an HD antenna!

Sent from my DROID2 GLOBAL using HT Shack
 

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if you keep basic cable & have a QAM tuner on your TV, you can get all your locals on HD...maybe worth it, depending on how expensive it is in your area...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
if you keep basic cable & have a QAM tuner on your TV, you can get all your locals on HD...maybe worth it, depending on how expensive it is in your area...
We looked into that. Our bill would go down 20 dollars if we did that. Dropping TV all together would save us 70 dollars. We have Uverse and it requires an STB For every TV and a monthly fee for each STB.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Looking at getting a TIVO to go with the OTA antenna. An antenna installer mentioned that with the TIVO you may be able to output over component and HDMI at the same time to 2 different TV's. Does anyone know if you can watch live TV over one output and recorded TV over another output at the same time?

The installer said we might avoid having to pay for 2 tivo's and the subscription for 2 this way.
 

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We have a pair of TiVo’s previous-generation models for OTA / DVR and have been pretty happy with them, save some glitches with the Netflix navigating.

It really wouldn’t be of much use to send the TiVo’s HDMI and component video out to two separate TVs, as they‘d both be receiving the same signal. AFAIK you can record one show and watch another - at least you can with ours; I’d be surprised if they had changed that. But independent viewing for two TVs will require two units.

Actually, the monthly service fee is for the on-screen guide and automatic recording capability. The OTA models will act as a tuner and DVR irrespective of subscribing to the service. You’d just have to do any recording manually.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter #17
We have a pair of TiVo’s previous-generation models for OTA / DVR and have been pretty happy with them, save some glitches with the Netflix navigating.

It really wouldn’t be of much use to send the TiVo’s HDMI and component video out to two separate TVs, as they‘d both be receiving the same signal. AFAIK you can record one show and watch another - at least you can with ours; I’d be surprised if they had changed that. But independent viewing for two TVs will require two units.

Actually, the monthly service fee is for the on-screen guide and automatic recording capability. The OTA models will act as a tuner and DVR irrespective of subscribing to the service. You’d just have to do any recording manually.

Regards,
Wayne
I spoke with TIVO. A box won't output from both tuners to two TV's.
You must subsribe to the TIVO service for the boxes to work.

Looks like our best option if we want to use TIVO on two TV's is get the new Roamio box and a mini. That would cost us $21 a month and the purchase of the boxes ($300).

We may go old school and not even use a DVR. That will be like growing up in the 60's and 70's! Except we wouldn't have to smack the TV to get reception.
 

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I assume you know to run the antenna through a surge protector...just mentioning it since no one else has. A lightning strike would reck your day.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The second installer talked about that. I never would have thought about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I assume you know to run the antenna through a surge protector...just mentioning it since no one else has. A lightning strike would reck your day.
Can you recommend a good surge protector? I assume the TV signal would pass through the protector without any loss of TV signal? Would the antenna still need to be grounded as well?
 
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