PDA

View Full Version : Digital broadcast TV?


Hulk
10-13-2010, 12:18 PM
When we moved to our house in 1998, we were disappointed to find that over-the-air reception here was so bad that we were forced to get either cable or satellite TV. I tried rabbit ears and I also bought a powered antenna from Radio Shack. Nothing improved the signal enough to get a decent picture.

However, I'm getting fed up with paying my DIRECTV bill. We're also starting to get 50% of our content over the Internet via streaming (mostly from NetFlix, but I'm planning to try Hulu Plus when they invite me to the beta test).

So I'm wondering: with the transition to digital broadcast TV, might my signal be improved?

Question 1: Is having a weak signal less of an issue with digital broadcast TV?

Question 2: Can my HOA prohibit me from installing a TV antenna on my roof? I never went full boat and bought a big antenna. This thing (http://store03.prostores.com/servlet/dennysantennaservicestore/the-132/HD-Stacker-Antenna-VHF-fdsh-UHF-fdsh-FM-fdsh-digital-fdsh-HD/Detail) is only $99:
http://store03.prostores.com/dennysantennaservicestore/media/01/a20792b1298577d7264efd_m.JPG

Question 3: If my HOA can ban me from installing an antenna on my roof, does putting a TV antenna in my attic impede its effectiveness significantly?

60wag
10-13-2010, 12:36 PM
HAve a look at this site and plug in your location:

http://www.fcc.gov/mb/engineering/maps/

It should give you a good estimate of the signal strength you get. A roof top antenna will have much more gain than any small indoor unit. If you have room in your attic for a fullsize unit, it might get you where you want to be. That double array in the picture is overkill for the metro area. I recently ordered a Channelmaster CM-2018 to replace a 20 year old Radio Shack antenna. My reason for replacing the antenna is a bit odd as it worked great most of the time. someone in my neighborhood has a really noisy air conditioner that wipes out my reception when the AC is on. Some of the channels have a high enough signal strength to beat out the noise while some are still affected. I'm hoping that a bit more antenna gain might get me over the hump.

DaveInDenver
10-13-2010, 12:41 PM
Have you tried plain old rabbit ears? Our signals are very good since the majority of the stations are now located on the super antennas on Lookout Mt. At our house I'm getting -20dBm to -30dBm signal strength with just rabbit ears.

I will be putting an antenna on the roof, though, to get it out of sight. But I've found I will only need a dipole (I'm doing a folded dipole to make it even smaller) and not a yagi. MUCH easier to get out of sight.

With the stations collected pretty closely you could point a yagi at Lookout inside your attic or garage and still get good strength.

rover67
10-13-2010, 01:56 PM
Interesting that you are getting a lot of station sBruce...

we got this one:

http://www.winegard.com/kbase/upload/MS-2000.pdf

and it really sucks. it is even on a mast about 20' above our roof. Only major network we get is CBS. Do you guys get all the stations? maybe my proximity to the CU Dorms kills my signal..

60wag
10-13-2010, 02:17 PM
I'll have a spare antenna, or possibly two, if you want to try something different. When the noisy air conditioner is off, I get all of the broadcast stations. My antenna is on a 10foot pole on top of a one story house. Lookout Mountain is at a direction of 168 deg from my house - almost behind Table Mesa but not quite.

Uncle Ben
10-13-2010, 02:18 PM
Interesting that you are getting a lot of station sBruce...

we got this one:

http://www.winegard.com/kbase/upload/MS-2000.pdf

and it really sucks. it is even on a mast about 20' above our roof. Only major network we get is CBS. Do you guys get all the stations? maybe my proximity to the CU Dorms kills my signal..

I have a powered digital antenna in the attic. When I first upgraded from the generic non powered ring we had solid lock on many channels. Lately, (about 3 or 4 months) channel 7 - 001-003, and 9 - 001 are too weak to lock but we still have many others. As much as I hate the ided of an antenna outside I think thats my next move.

DaveInDenver
10-13-2010, 02:31 PM
Do you guys get all the stations?
The one we have is linked below. We get 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 20, 31, 59 very solid. It drops out briefly if I walk in front of it, but it's sitting on the floor behind the TV stand, at the ground floor in the middle of the house. Horrible location. I don't get 12 very well, but this tower is way up Deer Creek Canyon and I have no visibility to it.

http://www.amazon.com/RCA-ANT301-Amplified-Indoor-Antenna/dp/B00008V6JO

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31HB51RBYGL._SS500_.jpg

Hulk
10-13-2010, 02:36 PM
HAve a look at this site and plug in your location:
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/engineering/maps/


Thanks. I will check this out.

Have you tried plain old rabbit ears? Our signals are very good since the majority of the stations are now located on the super antennas on Lookout Mt. At our house I'm getting -20dBm to -30dBm signal strength with just rabbit ears.

When we first moved to Denver, we lived in the same apartment complex that Dr. Schlegs lives in now, at Dayton & Arapahoe. We had great signal with our rabbit ears.

Then we moved to our house near Holly & Dry Creek, and the rabbit ears were terrible. We're at the very bottom of our neighborhood (mobile phone reception is terrible at our house as well).

Do you need less signal strength with digital or is the same strength needed?

With the stations collected pretty closely you could point a yagi at Lookout inside your attic or garage and still get good strength.

I have a powered digital antenna in the attic.... As much as I hate the ided of an antenna outside I think that's my next move.

So how much does putting an antenna in an attic impede the signal?

Uncle Ben
10-13-2010, 02:42 PM
So how much does putting an antenna in an attic impede the signal?

Digital signals are short compared to the old analog signals. When we built the house we put a huge Winegard beast in the attic and got all VHF, UHF and even FM stations in the area clearly. When everything went to digital we struggle to get all the normal VHF broadcast stations but now we got a bunch more UHF stations. The attic definatly impedes digital signal I suspect!

Shark Bait
10-13-2010, 02:48 PM
I'm waiting to see what Google TV looks like. :D

DaveInDenver
10-13-2010, 03:26 PM
Do you need less signal strength with digital or is the same strength needed?
Digital TV is obviously a digital mode. Think back to your ham knowledge, what is a primary advantage of digital modes, such as CW (Morse), PSK31, etc.? Higher signal to noise ratio. So yes, digital TV reception can tolerate a more marginal signal and still get an acceptable picture. The old U.S. standard was NTSC, which is essentially a multiple signal AM mode.

The need for a lower signal strength works in favor of the broadcaster, too. They might be using lower power transmitters now so that an individual TV that had an OK picture before will still have an OK signal now. When you are talking about replacing a 500 KW xmitter with a 100 KW, that's a major savings in electricity. If that means a typical TV used to need -20dBm to get a good picture and can now deal with -35dBm, they'll be happy to lower their power.
Digital signals are short compared to the old analog signals.
Digital TV broadcasts still reside in the VHF-low, VHF-high and UHF bands. Most of the channels that were in the VHF-low have moved to VHF-high and UHF, so you don't need the super big antennas anymore. The bulk of TV here in Denver now sits at about 174-215 MHz and 470-650MHz. A dipole with length of about 31.44" and 12" is about right for Denver.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_broadcast_television_frequencies

The reason for the FCC push to ATSC was that each channel can take up less bandwidth now and so some of the old analog spectrum has been reallocated. But the channel centers haven't all moved to UHF and so most of the same propagation limits still exist like before.

Hulk
10-13-2010, 03:50 PM
Digital TV is obviously a digital mode. Think back to your ham knowledge, what is a primary advantage of digital modes, such as CW (Morse), PSK31, etc.? Higher signal to noise ratio. So yes, digital TV reception can tolerate a more marginal signal and still get an acceptable picture. The old U.S. standard was NTSC, which is essentially a multiple signal AM mode.

The need for a lower signal strength works in favor of the broadcaster, too. They might be using lower power transmitters now so that an individual TV that had an OK picture before will still have an OK signal now. When you are talking about replacing a 500 KW xmitter with a 100 KW, that's a major savings in electricity. If that means a typical TV used to need -20dBm to get a good picture and can now deal with -35dBm, they'll be happy to lower their power.

Thanks, Dave. You confirmed what I thought concerning lower signal strength. And you added something I hadn't considered: reduced transmitter power.

I'm going to give an antenna a try, I think. I like DIRECTV just fine, but the cost is high compared to how much we actually use it.

DaveInDenver
10-13-2010, 04:03 PM
Thanks, Dave. You confirmed what I thought concerning lower signal strength. And you added something I hadn't considered: reduced transmitter power.

I'm going to give an antenna a try, I think. I like DIRECTV just fine, but the cost is high compared to how much we actually use it.
We gave up DirecTV a few years ago for the same reasons and with analog TV + Netflix DVDs it wasn't too bad. Now with DTV + Netflix DVDs and Streaming + Hulu it's even less of an issue. The only thing cable/DBS gets you is a lot more sports, but even that I just head down to the bar to watch the Buffs (who are generally on Fox Sports or ESPN). Yeah, with all the hassle they got over the towers on Lookout I'm sure lower powers would be something they would love. Caveat: I don't know that they are lower power, just speculation.

Beachboy
10-13-2010, 05:58 PM
we got a antenna that we brought from Costco ($49.00) that is pretty small on the side of our ranch in Castle Rock. We get all the signals, even during storms. I agree, I hate paying for TV and most of the stuff on cable is junk.

Caribou Sandstorm
10-13-2010, 06:30 PM
I would love to keep my 80 bucks a month vs. give it to Direct TV, but I love DVR......watching this thread very carefully even still.

Hulk
10-20-2010, 02:00 PM
Excuse the dumb question.

I have been asking some of my neighbors whether they are using antennas in their attics. Several of them have said, "You need a digital antenna now."

My thought has been that a yagi antenna shouldn't work any differently whether the information received is analog or digital as long as the frequency hasn't changed. Right?

Another reason that I ask is that a friend in another neighborhood has a big antenna on her house that she isn't using. I can probably get it for free.

I know this seems like an idiotic question. Sorry.

SteveH
10-20-2010, 02:46 PM
Old TV antennas were designed to receive UHF and VHF analog signals. Digital TV goes out on the UHF spectrum, so newer antennas are now optimized for this.

My old rooftop antenna (with amplifier) works great for Digital (and analog) TV. You're fine with an old rooftop antenna, in my opinion, as long as it's not corroded or in poor shape.

DaveInDenver
10-20-2010, 02:46 PM
EM waves don't care if your 175MHz carrier is modulated with analog or digital information. The marketing of 'digital' antennas is just to capitalize on the confusion.

DaveInDenver
10-20-2010, 02:56 PM
Old TV antennas were designed to receive UHF and VHF analog signals. Digital TV goes out on the UHF spectrum, so newer antennas are now optimized for this.
No, no, no!

Sorry. :-)

Digital TV does use more UHF spectrum than we used to, but a lot of TV still resides in high band VHF. So in that sense you might need a better UHF antenna (e.g. wider bandwidth potentially), but several stations are still in the 174-215MHz region just like before. For example channel 9 up here in Denver (KUSA) was on the old analog 9 at 181MHz but is now at digital 9 at 187 MHz. OTOH, some of the very high end UHF analog stations lost their spectrum, so a number of channels 52 and higher actually went down in frequency and are now easier to receive with existing UHF antennas that were optimized for analog channels 14 to 50. For example the old channel 59 in Denver went to RF 43, which means it's much closer to channel 31 and so comes in stronger than before with my marginal UHF loop that I tuned for FOX31 (I love The Simpsons!).

Now down in the Springs it is true that (I think) all of your major networks are now on UHF. So for you having no VHF only means you might lose PBS or something.

60wag
10-20-2010, 03:09 PM
The one I ordered from Channelmaster is for UHF and VHF high. Hopefully they won't be moving any channels into VHF low.

Speaking of Channelmaster.... The first antenna arrives and the box is split open. It appears that the hot melt glue didn't stick very well. I open the rest of the box and all of the parts are there, nothing fell out of the open box. So I go to unfold the array and a piece falls off in my hand. A plastic insulator that is part of the connection terminal is cracked. So I call up Channelmaster and inform them of the damage. The send me another antenna.... the second box a arrives split open and the plastic terminal is broken in the same place. I don't think the crack is due to the box failure but more likely an assembly rivet is crushed down too far cracking the plastic. I talked to them again but they haven't decided what to do yet. This is get annoying. I'll see what they can do to make me a happy customer. Gluing the plastic back together should fix it but I shouldn't have to do this. Its a good thing the old antenna is still functional.

bomber22
11-15-2010, 03:26 PM
http://www.1saleaday.com/
this might help

leiniesred
11-16-2010, 09:48 AM
I don't think we've ever had cable TV or dish. We've only used the yagi antenna in the attic. It is a big sucker. Barely fits up there. Biggest one I could find at radio shack 10 years ago.

When I moved in, I saw the HOA prohibited outdoor antennae. The HOA is long dead now and take a look. You see parabolic antennae mounted externally on almost every house!

If the HOA gives you static (hi-hi) about your eternally mounted yagi tell them you want all the external parabolic antennae removed from everyone's house too.

"Digital" antenna. Hmm; Reminds me of when they were labeling plain old computer speakers, "MP3 ready."

We don't watch much TV. We certainly watch more HULU, Discovery Channel, and History Channel online than OTA broadcast TV. Frankly, OTA sucks pretty hard. It is about evenly split between Spanish language, evangelical, and English language channels. All channels are riddled with commercials too. When we stay at a hotel, I notice that there is the same "nothing on the TV" crap on cable as OTA, just a lot more of it.

I don't have a list of channels we get OTA out in Aurora, but it is more than the 3 fuzzy channels we had growing up in Michigan. *shakes his old man fist* OK, now I have to go outside and tell some whippersnappers to get off my lawn.

Hulk
11-17-2010, 01:27 AM
http://www.1saleaday.com/
this might help

Hmmm, what did I miss? It's a heart monitor watch now. :(

Red_Chili
11-17-2010, 10:46 AM
The one we have is linked below. We get 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 20, 31, 59 very solid. It drops out briefly if I walk in front of it, but it's sitting on the floor behind the TV stand, at the ground floor in the middle of the house. Horrible location. I don't get 12 very well, but this tower is way up Deer Creek Canyon and I have no visibility to it.

http://www.amazon.com/RCA-ANT301-Amplified-Indoor-Antenna/dp/B00008V6JO

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31HB51RBYGL._SS500_.jpg
Hmmm, price is right but looks like the reviewers hate it for the most part...

I got this one:
http://www.amazon.com/RCA-ANT111-Basic-Indoor-Antenna/dp/B000HKGK8Y/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1290013655&sr=1-3

DaveInDenver
11-17-2010, 11:15 AM
Hmmm, price is right but looks like the reviewers hate it for the most part...
Hmmm, bunch of random people on Amazon or a person you actually know. Shrug. We've had it forever but our sample size is two house, one in Arvada and the other in Denver. IOW, not exactly fringe reception areas. Not to mention that I usually try and take care of my stuff. Not that I don't break things, but it sat/sits on top of a TV and never moved much and so it has not broken (yet).
I got this one:
http://www.amazon.com/RCA-ANT111-Basic-Indoor-Antenna/dp/B000HKGK8Y/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1290013655&sr=1-3
A lot of people like the ANT111, too. Building broadcast TV antennas just ain't rocket science. I mean they had rabbit ears more or less perfected by like 1965.

Hulk
05-16-2011, 04:25 PM
Make you own TV antenna (http://www.tvantennaplans.com/)

Caribou Sandstorm
07-28-2013, 03:46 PM
Fast forward....

We are done with DirecTV. Too expensive and Ben has figured out how to channel surf. I think there is another thread in here but can't find.

Marco is your antenna still the best one to get? I also will do Netflix via the TV and what ever else works well.

rover67
07-29-2013, 09:33 AM
I went to a regular antenna like Hulk posted at the beginning of the thread. That small circular one didn't work very well.

Also, I built one like Matt posted in post 26 for the fun of it and it actually worked really well. I used coat hangers.

Hulk
07-29-2013, 11:55 PM
I got an enormous old-school TV antenna off the roof of some friends, free. They were glad to have me remove it. With a little careful flexing, I got it up into my attic. It's now wired to 2 TVs (on 2 different floors) in my house, and it works great. Digital over-the-air broadcast quality is great. Also it's FREE!

I literally did everything for free, using old materials that I had saved from other stuff: all the cable, the splitter, plus the free antenna from my friends.

Chris, the reception from your house will be even better than mine, since you are significantly closer to the broadcast antennas.

Most of the TV we watch, however, is from Netflix or Hulu Plus. We spend about $8/mo. on each of these services. We also rent a couple of RedBox BluRay DVDs every month.

nuclearlemon
07-30-2013, 06:53 PM
anybody have issues with channels you've blocked coming back into rotation? i'm getting pretty f'n sick of having to go back in and block azteca...both my tvs do it :mad:

Caribou Sandstorm
08-01-2013, 06:06 PM
Ok we are doing this!

Just ordered digital roof antenna and cancelling Directv..

From some of my research, looks like I can tap into my Directv cable splitters that go into the house. So skipping the attic solution, so I don't have to drill wholes.

So next step is figuring out the receiver/TV connections. Can I use the Directv reciever if they don't want it back? Right now I am getting everything in from Directv, then into my Yamaha HD receiver then out to the TV.

Hulk
08-05-2013, 09:50 PM
From some of my research, looks like I can tap into my Directv cable splitters that go into the house. So skipping the attic solution, so I don't have to drill wholes.

This should work just fine.


Can I use the Directv receiver if they don't want it back? Right now I am getting everything in from Directv, then into my Yamaha HD receiver then out to the TV.

I doubt you can use the DirecTV receiver for anything. But you should be able to go directly into your TV, assuming that it has a built-in digital tuner. Then send the audio out to your Yamaha receiver.

Caribou Sandstorm
08-06-2013, 10:27 AM
This should work just fine.



I doubt you can use the DirecTV receiver for anything. But you should be able to go directly into your TV, assuming that it has a built-in digital tuner. Then send the audio out to your Yamaha receiver.

Thanks Matt! Yep the DirecTV receiver has been cut off. That was a great phone call, "nope, just cancelling, thanks" Melinda and I have gone through some withdrawls but my new antenna arrived yesterday.

I was thinking of installing it at the highest point on the roof like off of the back of the chimney. Would be great if I could install it just above the DirecTV dish though. Do I need line of sight with Downtown or Lookout Mtn?

Also, Ben was getting pretty good at surfing channels and then getting scared off by commercials. Melinda and I were just commenting on how relieved we were feeling to be back in control of what the kids were watching.

For us, we just don't need the violence in our house and it always feels like it is lurking behind the next commercial. I really enjoyed watching sports and the bummer about that is they have the worst commercials.

We are sort of considering a 14.00 Tivo account, so that we can have the same DVR capability as we did with DirecTV. Might wait on that until we see what kind of channels we get with the Antenna.

Caribou Sandstorm
08-06-2013, 02:37 PM
Ok so why stop there...

Decided to switch from Century Link to Comcast internet. Faster, more reliable and 20.00 less per month. Canceling land line also since we only use it for ADT. ADT has a cell service now, 15.00 per month additional and 99.00 for installation of the new panel.

Comcast has 25mbps for 29.00 per month for internet.

With dumping Directv, Century Link and picking up Comcast internet/ADT wireless service, we save close to $2000.00 per year. There is our family vacation! next year.

wesintl
08-06-2013, 04:22 PM
2k you were spending on internet and TV? that's a lot of porn.

Jacket
08-06-2013, 04:36 PM
I need to do this. Keep posting the details....

Caribou Sandstorm
08-06-2013, 04:40 PM
I need to do this. Keep posting the details....

What about the porn or savings on porn?:D

MountainGoat
08-06-2013, 05:00 PM
Who the hell spends money on porn? :hill:

Caribou Sandstorm
08-06-2013, 05:00 PM
All done and set!

ADT shows up Thursday to install new panel with wireless.. 99.00 install fee is allegedly a good deal, as it was 279.00, bla, bla, bla.... But 15.00 per month for this additional service with ADT, is $35.00 less than my Century Link land line and one less bill to deal with.

Comcast shows up Thursday afternoon to install cable from alley way to house, one hole to drill (yikes, ugh..). Putting that right in the :Princess:'s office location, so Melinda gets the best internet connection and I don;t have to hear that the "wireless internet is not working"

Then I run 2 cat 5 lines (do you still call it that?) from the modem/router, one to the internet enabled DVR in the family room and one to the WII in the basement for that TV. Connect my wireless N router to the new modem, as well, so I get wireless to my office.

Digital Antenna is here so gotta get that installed this weekend. There goes my Crested Butte weekend plans..

Finally thinking about TIvo still.. that would be 14 per month vs. 80 to Directv, still not a bad deal. And with all my install charges, I am still ahead of what this months bills would have been.. We like TIVO/DVR cause we can watch the news channels when we want and skip commercials. I am thinking that is gotta be worth 14.00 per month.

Am I missing anything?

A lot of work but saves a bunch and keeps us in control of what the kids are watching

nakman
08-06-2013, 05:13 PM
Good work, Chris! We keep the land line just for the alarm as well... we don't have ADT and last I checked they didn't have a cell phone option, I should look into that again.

And if you're running the cable yourself get CAT6 line, not CAT5. It's one notch bigger, same 8 colors, but my success rate with terminating the ends is much higher with the 6 than it was with the smaller 5. Do you have a crimper? You can borrow mine, I have a bunch of ends too... lmk I could bring it down tomorrow.

Jacket
08-06-2013, 05:21 PM
What about the porn or savings on porn?:D

"I got a stack of nudie books this high."

Caribou Sandstorm
08-06-2013, 06:58 PM
"I got a stack of nudie books this high."

LOL, at least you got to keep yours, mine got tossed when we merged households.. Had to throw out classics from 1998-2002.... It was a sad day.:) Wait, I've said to much, haven't I..



Tim, I was going to buy pre-made lengths but is that crazy expensive?

Caribou Sandstorm
08-06-2013, 11:10 PM
How are u guys getting sound from your laptops to your TV?

I am running an HDMI cable from laptop to receiver and then receiver to TV. I have the picture but sound coming from laptop.

Also, have you noticed the free lineup of channels from Verizon? ESPN, etc.. They are all doing this. Pretty cool.

DaveInDenver
08-07-2013, 12:17 AM
When I connect my computer, a Mac in my case, it shows up in Systems Preferences under "Sound" then under "Output". When the HDMI cable is plugged in the TV shows up (called "LG TV" in my case) as an available device and I just select it. I can alternatively use AirPlay to stream the audio in iTunes but that requires the use of another device. For that I have a little Airport Express that I stream to through the stereo.

nakman
08-07-2013, 09:30 AM
Tim, I was going to buy pre-made lengths but is that crazy expensive?

Yes can be more expensive if you buy retail, and harder to run since you have to shove the connector through every hole- so your hole is a lot bigger. Just depends on what you're doing, you may be fine with pre-made lengths and that's a lot easier. If you have time, you'll save just as much money ordering the stuff on line- same with HDMI cables, those things are ridiculously expensive in the store, much cheaper on line.

theboomboom
08-07-2013, 11:04 AM
YIf you have time, you'll save just as much money ordering the stuff on line- same with HDMI cables, those things are ridiculously expensive in the store, much cheaper on line.

www.monoprice.com

Hulk
08-07-2013, 11:06 AM
I was going to buy pre-made lengths but is that crazy expensive?

I bought a giant spool of Cat5 wire and terminated into a wall jack like this one (http://www.homedepot.com/p/CE-TECH-Ethernet-Wall-Plate-White-216-8C/203717916#.UgJv32RgYag). Look cleaner than having a cable coming out of the wall, and then I can plug in whatever standard length of cable I need to connect my various computers/media devices.

Caribou Sandstorm
08-07-2013, 03:02 PM
Update..

We are adding Apple TV to our mix. My lap top is about 5 years old and it is kind of klunky hooking up an HDMI cable to it and setting this on the floor.

Plus the image quality (could be speed of current Century Link) is not great.

Apple TV is small, hooks to the TV with HDMI, then we can wirelessly connect our MAC, Iphones, Ipad. We have unlimited data with Melinda's Iphone with ATT. I have an Iphone, Ipad with Verizon. Verizon has a ton of channels we can stream at no additional cost. Espn, Golf channel have relationships with Verizon customers, no additional charge.

Not sure if I have to use data vs home wifi service, guessing they don't have a lock on that. Heard about Amazon prime restrictions from Barry, but we are not huge movie buffs anymore. We have just enough time to squeeze in the Nightly news, local news, The daily show, flipping out or Interior Therapy, Kitchen Cousins and Sports center.

Caribou Sandstorm
08-09-2013, 04:57 PM
Update...

ADT wireless rocks! Got a new panel for 75.00 vs. 99.00, pulse and no additional monthly fee.

Comcast came today finally and getting 25MBPS download and 5 upload which I think was faster than what I was getting for upload with Century.

Wireless router reaches my office in the garage with pretty good band width, so that is a relief. I helped install cable so it was mounted nice and clean. Funny how they welcome you climbing on the roof vs them.

I think I was wrong about the Verizon free channels, have not figured that out but going to try to get that figured out, asap.

Have not installed the digital Antenna on the roof yet, that is next. Tomorrow.

DaveInDenver
08-09-2013, 05:34 PM
Not sure what was wrong with your DSL, at our old house we got 40/7 for the same price (although we paid a $5 naked DSL fee because we did not have a land line) as our 20/5 Comcast is here. I miss DSL, never got the 6PM bandwidth peer crunch and was consistent speed. Ping speeds were much higher, too. We ditched the land line when we got the DSL in 2004. That was one nice thing about Qwest, they had no legacy hang-ups about POTS and were happy to sell us just the DSL.

I did a variance analysis on our old DSL and over a sliding 24 hour period the average download speed only varied about 15%, IOW the slowest it would typically go was about roughly 32 Mbps. Our cable will swing from full bandwidth at peak to less than 30%, going as slow as 4 or 5 Mbps, although usually the variance is in the 40% to 50% range.

You can be watching a movie that starts in HD and as people come home Amazon will pause several times to renegotiate slower and slower streams.

I'd have DSL but Centurylink only offers a 7/0.684 top speed at our house, which was a non-starter when running AutoCAD over a VPN.

Comcast's recommendation is to upgrade to a business account, the only way they'll guarantee bandwidth and uptime. We're considering it but it's kind of maddening and quite a lot more than our Qwest/Centurylink DSL was.

BTW, I run an Asus RT-N66U router. Super range, particularly on 2.4GHz, and very fast. I flashed it with TomatoUSB firmware so the QoS is very configurable, which helps tremendously with streaming and bandwidth control.

Caribou Sandstorm
08-09-2013, 06:08 PM
Dave, as usual all really helpful. Had to read that post like 3 times.

I just signed up for Hulu plus. I think that is really a good deal, especially with kids.

For us I think the magic bullet is Comcast-Apple TV-Hulu Plus-Netflix-Digital cable on the roof. A lot of work to get there but we are saving min. $160.00 per month. Right now that is huge for us. My new job does not have a company car and I am paying my own cell bill. And my base is smaller, so saving this amount really helps with the monthly bills.