The Jist of this page:
HDTV is way better than the old standard def… once you go HDTV it is hard to watch anything again in standard def television (referred to as SDTV). Yet everyone hates the satellite and cable companies that nickel and dime you for every component needed to get HDTV… like the extra monthly fee for the “HDTV Set Top Box” to the extra pricing tier you need to pay on top of their basic plan to receive the HDTV programing… you know that doesn’t cost the cable companies as much as they charge… an extra $14.99 for this $10.99 for that… it quickly adds up every month to the point of being ridiculously expensive for television, you could buy a small car with the monthly payment most people make on their cable bill… Instead it feeds the greedy bastard CEO’s of Comcast and other providers… It pisses you off doesn’t it…. Well… it pissed me off too… that is why I created this informational page…
What if I told you there are two alternatives to getting HDTV without paying the cable companies any extra fee’s, and that is also legal… one of these alternatives could even eliminate your cable bill all together… that’s right free TV. Now I am not trying to say these methods are the cats meow compared to paying for a service provided by someone such as Comcast, the each have their pro’s and con’s, as does Comcast and other paid providers. I’ll try to briefly go over these methods on this page, but click on the links of the various methods below to go to their own respective page on my site that will go into further beginner’s explanation of them.
~ Over The Air Antenna (or OTA): This is not your dad’s old analog antenna, we are talking digital and total free after setup. Digital has many benefits over the old analog signal, including embedded programing guide for each channel, and superior HDTV picture quality in most cases.
~ QAM Tuners:: Many people might not know this method of getting an HDTV feed. This utilizes a “hidden” stream in your cable providers feed that they are required to push by FCC law. You have to pay for the very basic feed, but you will be able to receive HD signals without renting their equipment every month as long as you have a QAM tuner. Read more about QAM Tuning Here
~ $$$ Your satellite of cable provider $$$ no one likes paying all their fees, but they are a method to getting HD, and they provide more than just TV that you are paying for but may not realize it.
This is where things branch off:
What most people don’t realize is that these cable and satellite companies have morphed over the years to provide the end user more than just a television feed… they offer various components on top of your TV feed that you are paying for to access if you rent a set top box from them… The major three components as follows:
~ DVR functionality
~ On Demand Content
~ Electronic Guide Date (the menu that tells you what is on what station at what time)
Still… there are various alternative ways to get these components with the alternative feeds mentioned above (ie. TiVo, Media Center, OTA Embedded EPG, and others). Click on one of these links if your interested in learning how to get these components with either OTA or QAM. This Page is just going over the two main alternative ways to get HDTV television signal feeds. My point is… their is a positive reason for dishing out ungodly amounts of money to a cable provider every month. The nice thing (and bad thing) about it is you are paying them for a service. Because of this, if they don’t meet your expectations you can always get them on the phone to yell at them… it is their problem when you have a problem, they are responsible for all your feeds and components. Although the methods mentioned on this page are less expensive in the long run, ultimately you are the one in charge of trouble shooting if something does not work. Fear not however, as it is all pretty simple once you understand it, and there is a huge support group that can answer just about anything… they are called the internet… check out this page to see various forums and blogs I frequently visit to learn about new products, idea’s, and the occasional support. [ bear with me as I have not created my links page yet… coming soon ]