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Television Media Businesses Entertainment

Rabbit Ears To Stage a Comeback Thanks To DTV 265

Jeffrey Breen writes "Like Monty Python's Killer Rabbit, cheap indoor antennas seem harmless to satellite and cable providers. But with the digital TV transition in the US, rabbit ears can suddenly provide digital-perfect pictures, many more channels, and even on-screen program guides. Already feeling pressure as suddenly budget-conscious consumers shed premium channels, providers must now get creative to protect their low-end as well."
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Rabbit Ears To Stage a Comeback Thanks To DTV

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  • Not rabbit ears (Score:5, Informative)

    by show me altoids ( 1183399 ) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @05:57PM (#26858873)
    Rabbit ears don't pick up UHF signals; they are for VHF which is going away. It's the "loop" part of current antennas which will receive UHF.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jeffrey Baker ( 6191 )
      Interesting, but i have a rabbit ears with no loop and I pick up numerous digital channels. Moving and turning the ears makes channels cut in and out. Therefore I doubt your assertion.
      • Re:Not rabbit ears (Score:5, Informative)

        by jtara ( 133429 ) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:15PM (#26859031)

        A one-inch piece of wire or a dampened finger will "pick up" UHF, VHF, or Martian signals. It's all a matter of how well, not whether or not they do.

        The "loop" is nominally designed-for and tuned to pick-up UHF signals. The "rabbit ears" is designed-for and tuned (by varying the length of the ears) to pick-up VHF signals. But either will "pick up" both bands with some degree of success. ("Both" bands is actually a misnomer, since the VHF broadcast TV allocations span multiple ranges with holes for other services, such as public safety, etc.)

        Given that almost nobody bothers to tune rabbit-ears by adjusting their length, the non-adjustability of loop antennas, and the incredible width of the broadcast TV spectrum, most simple indoor antennas like this are essentially "random wire" antennas for most channels anyway.

    • Re:Not rabbit ears (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Burdell ( 228580 ) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:04PM (#26858927)

      In general "rabbit ears" are set-top TV antennas of any type. Also, VHF is not going away (some DTV stations will still be using VHF). Only the top part of the UHF band will no longer be available for TV stations.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Correct. And, some stations who are currently simulcasting their analog VHF channel in DTV over a UHF channel are actually moving back to their VHF frequency after the cutover. I believe they have to get special approval from the FCC to do that, though. Most are just going to stick with their UHF allotments and let the VHF go dark.
        • You don't need special approval to use channels 2 through 13. Those channels are just as valid to use as channels 14 to 51.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by evilviper ( 135110 )

          You couldn't have been more wrong if you tried...

          I believe they have to get special approval from the FCC to do that, though.

          Nope. ALL TV broadcasters have the option of continuing to use their newly alloted UHF channel, or keeping their old (sometimes VHF, sometimes UHF) channel. In either case, they had to notify the FCC long ago. There is no special requirement either way.

          Most are just going to stick with their UHF allotments and let the VHF go dark.

          Also no. Outside of Alaska, just about all broadcas

          • Re:Not rabbit ears (Score:5, Informative)

            by nabsltd ( 1313397 ) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @10:55PM (#26860623)

            ALL TV broadcasters have the option of continuing to use their newly alloted UHF channel, or keeping their old (sometimes VHF, sometimes UHF) channel. In either case, they had to notify the FCC long ago.

            Even this is more restrictive than what the FCC allowed.

            Basically, a station could request any frequency (within channels 2-51) as their final digital location, and as long as it was going to be available, they would get it. Stations with a "relationship" with an existing channel got right of first refusal, so any that asked for their old analog or temporary digital to be their final digital were always awarded it.

    • Re:Not rabbit ears (Score:5, Interesting)

      by JDevers ( 83155 ) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:06PM (#26858947)

      Not all DTV is broadcast on UHF and rabbit ears DO pickup UHF on the lower end of the spectrum. There ARE far better designs though and rabbit ears will not make a return.

      • In my area, they're staying on the VHF spectrum - better range in fairly uncluttered area.

        I get good signal >45 miles from the transmitters.

      • Re:Not rabbit ears (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ryanw ( 131814 ) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:43PM (#26859243)

        You're absolutely WRONG.

        Rabbit ears are back (at least in my house)! I am one who has realized that me and my family mostly watched "network shows". I am one who canceled my cable service and traded it for rabbit ears.

        At this time DTV looks better than cable services. Digital Cable Services look worse then analog TV and tons worse than DTV, the compression is too high.

        Rabbit ears are back baby..

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by JDevers ( 83155 )

          You should splurge the $20 and buy a better antenna. My problem isn't against antennas or even indoor antennas, but specifically rabbit ears. Why use a 1940s era antenna when there are far better and smaller designs. Check out the Silver Sensor or mount a $40 Radioshack antenna in your attic and you will get far better reception.

        • "Rabbit ears are back (at least in my house)! I am one who has realized that me and my family mostly watched "network shows". I am one who canceled my cable service and traded it for rabbit ears."

          Interesting...I find that I'm pretty much the opposite. The only thing I watch on network is the news, both local and national to mix in with cable news.

          Other than that...I'm mostly cable shows on Discovery, History and sometimes the Food Channels (food is going downhill of late tho)....and often reru

    • Re:Not rabbit ears (Score:5, Informative)

      by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:15PM (#26859043) Journal

      There are even better designs than the UHF loop. I built one of these [], and it works great, even without a reflector. Extremely easy to build too. Something even better and a little more complex would be the Grey Hoverman [].

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by bgarcia ( 33222 )

        There are even better designs than the UHF loop.

        Bah! I did a little bit of experimentation [] with different antenna designs, and found that loops seemed to work better for me than bowties. So I ended up building a quad loop antenna [], and it's been working incredibly well for me.

        Note that I live directly between Pittsburgh & Youngstown, so leaving the reflector off means that I can pick up stations from both cities simultaneously!

    • VHF is not going away. VHF-Lo (2-6) is going to be less used, but it's not going away completely. VHF-Hi (7-13) is going to be well-used.

  • DIY (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Using rabbit ears, I picked up several new stations (other cities). But with such weak signal, they cut in and out too much. "Coathanger" antenna to the rescue!

  • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:04PM (#26858929) Journal

    I don't think that rabbit ears are going to be a threat anytime soon. That PayPerView things is pretty compelling. Admittedly, in tough financial times switching to just a few local channels for free would be an option - until you look at unbundling your catv from internet and phone etc. I'm pretty certain that cable providers have a grip on how to bill this so changing really doesn't save you anything worth getting excited over.

    Now, if bundling of services with savings was not allowed, and catv ISPs were forced to act like common carriers things might be different. That doesn't look likely to happen any decade soon.

    As cynical as I am I expect that soon I'll be paying a penalty for using Vonage instead of the catv ISP version of VoIP; which is a sucky service BTW. None of the available VoIP services can compete with Vonage for features or price or price per feature in my area. No soft phone, no taking your phone modem on vacation, and North America Plan means only US and protectorates - no Canada or Mexico etc.

    My mom has DTV and during a storm it sucks. Yes, with indoor antenna it still sucked. Pixilation was devastating to viewing pleasure. It had nothing I'd switch from catv for.

    This is an interesting thought, but nothing we'll see in reality.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I don't have cable and didn't even before DTV became widely available.

      Hell, I don't even have a TV, I'm not sure I have any relevancy in this thread. I'm thinking about canceling my internet service and getting my fix from work, friends, and coffee shops.

    • With a bit of cleverness one could manage pay-per-view on broadcast tv. For example sacrifice a few channels for a rotating set of movies all requiring a decrypt (sent via the telephone).

      add a tivo to this and everyone could have dozens of movies stored, ready to play as long as they subscribed to the decrypt code.

  • by WiiVault ( 1039946 ) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:06PM (#26858943)
    The house I went to was tech savvy enough to realize our over the air HD picture was far less blocky and pixelated than the one provided by his HD cable package. If you can get locals with antenna, I would suggest it for any major sporting event. The difference is really amazing.
  • Didn't work for me (Score:2, Interesting)

    by schnikies79 ( 788746 )

    We have a small set in the kitchen with rabbit ears, after putting on the converter box I can only pick up two channels. With analog tuning I can get six. I tried the box in another room that has a jack for the outdoor antenna and it picked up everything plus new some new stations I didn't know we could get, so I decided to do a coax drop into the kitchen.

    I live about 25mi from the transmitters. Such is the life in rural America I guess.

  • I cut the cable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by asolidvoid ( 964293 ) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:09PM (#26858977)
    Here in the Bay Area I get about 42 digital channels over the air, many of which are HD. Between that and all the streamable content on sites like Hulu, and Netflix on demand, the case for paying a monthly cable or satellite fee really does seem pretty weak these days. (At least for those in major metropolitan areas.)
    • by Tacvek ( 948259 )

      Is that 42 primary channels, or is that including subchannels? If those are all primary channels, than that is an awful lot. Also, surely only a few of those are major networks. What are the rest? Do they have much good content?

  • Currently, I use a DB2 bowtie antenna since rabbit ears don't work back in end of 2005. Even with a bowtie (30 miles), sometimes I get dropouts and weak signal strengths like on KABC7's digital 53 (channel 7 for analog), KNBC4's digital 36 (horrible since Super Bowl day almost two weeks ago), etc. I am only under 20 miles to most of these stations (NW direction at 323-324 degrees heading on a compass).

    Two weeks, KABC did its digital test on 7 instead of 53 and shutting down its analog channel 7 for 15 minut

    • by Shelled ( 81123 )

      I use the DB2 on a microphone stand, antenna four feet off the ground, pointed out a patio door, ground floor into a two story courtyard, 150' down the back side of a hill fifteen miles from the transmitters and still pick up reliable signal. That is, however, directly into a television. Maybe PCI tuner cards aren't design for optimum sensitivity.
      And yes, OTA digital look spectacular if source permits.

      • by antdude ( 79039 )

        Yeah, OTA digital rocks when it works. The antenna is in my upstair room (can't put it on the roof or in the attic) and face facing the wall next to the window on its left (can't face the window becuase its glass has those special coating to keep heat out and it's new from last summer. I did notice downstair's folks have this Terk antenna ( ) and have very little problems with their Zeinth converter box (manufactured on April 2008).

    • By the sounds of it, you need a decent roof-mounted directional antenna. I have one and it works for getting TV from over 45 miles away.

      Of course, my antenna is longer than I am tall. []
      And I don't even need an amp!

      For you, something cheaper would work: []

      • by antdude ( 79039 )

        Yeah, I was told that but I can't put it on the roof or in the attic. :(

      • Interesting. Are these antennas directional (requiring a motor or something to turnthem) or omni-directional?

        Also, how did you mount this to your roof? Is there a mounting kit? How difficult is this? Did you DIY or hire someone?

        How did you run the wire from the antenna into the house? Does it go into some kind of splitter to go out to the different tvs in your house?

        Do you have to somehow ground these things?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Firethorn ( 177587 )

          Mounting in my case is by tower. The antenna comes with mounting hardware required to attach it to a standard antenna pole; the tower/pole and mounting for it is for you to provide.

          My antenna is very directional, yes. All of my stations are effectively in the same direction, so I'm mounted statically. My grandfather has a motor as he's located between a number of different cities, so he'll turn the antenna depending on what he wants to watch; a lot of duplication today though compared to when I was a kid

  • Even in the NYC metro area there are a number of issues that are preventing my taking advantage of this theory. The channels that have switched to DTV seem to be harder to receive, and few are broadcasting in HD even though they have HD on the cable feeds.

    I'd have to be pretty hard up to to turn off my cable subscription.

  • For consumers that use these services just for TV, they may in fact lose customers. That is why it is all about bundling. Even ATT is not happy with just your land line. They want you land, cell, internet, and cable all on the same bill. Services like comcast want the same thing, but they don't really have cell.

    In any case, I suspect that while basic cable service is important to cover costs, not much profit it made.

  • Better than cable (Score:3, Interesting)

    by indiejade ( 850391 ) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:13PM (#26859015)

    The Olympics last year were what motivated me to attempt to do the TV thing . . . so I found a very small set and got some rabbit ears. It was pleasantly surprising to discover the dual nature of the channel settings available . . . the old analog signal is still full of snow and noise while the digital airwaves really are better than cable. Channels are a little bit longer (e.g. KQED is 09-003, needs to be manually entered with the dash and all. Best of all, no monthly cable bill!

    It's likely that the cable / satellite television industry is going to take a hard hit once people figure out that the can get clarity without paying for ridiculous "service contracts" and "package deals" and "bundles".

    • by Tacvek ( 948259 )

      Interesting. My understanding was that most companies would broadcast primary content from -001, and use the other possibilities for alternate content. (Show re-runs, etc) and perhaps smaller local style channels.

      For local channels consider that some small towns have simple channels available that display high-school basketball games, and the like, the rest of the time broadcasting literally a PowerPoint presentation of a few textual slides in a a continuous loop, with a local radio station rebroadcast as t

    • by Skim123 ( 3322 )

      I envy you and others who can get good signals over the air. I live in an urbanized area (San Diego) and still (for a few more days, at least) am using the analog feed. It's a bit snowy on some channels, but watchable, and I can change between two channels very quickly (ideal for football season when there's two games on two different channels).

      The digital signal, when it comes in, is very clear and has much better picture and sound. Problem is, aside from the PBS channel the quality is horrendous. It pixel

  • by Anachragnome ( 1008495 ) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:16PM (#26859049)

    My brother hooked up an antennae at his place in LA, and now gets somewhere around 60 channels. All in perfect clarity.

    Considering how much I HATE paying a cable company for ads(what happened to Ad-supported?), this is looking very much like something I am going to try out. Fuck Comcast.

    But how will cable companies respond when broadcast stations start taking back business?

    My guess, they will start BUYING them.

    • Why would a cable company buy an expensive broadcast facility, then not broadcast?

      Seems to me, what you are getting at is that they want the programming... so they would have to buy the "network", then start dropping affiliates... but that has the same issue as buying stations and not using them, since the value of the network, is the audience of the combined affiliates.

      There are lots of shows I watch that aren't broadcast anyhow (Discovery Channel, History, etc.) So, I am stuck with cable.

      Cable su
      • I wasn't implying they would shut them down. Simply control them.

        If they can offer ad slots to BOTH mediums to a prospective client, all the better, not to mention issues of conflicting political agendas. They would also be able to maintain "exclusive" programming slots(premium programming confined to cable service).

        Closing them down would just open the market for someone else to move in.

  • Digital-Perfect (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    rabbit ears can suddenly provide digital-perfect pictures

    Measuring perfection should include the ability to degrade gracefully, and digital TV is absolute shit at that -- far worse than analog TV signals. Perhaps the worst part is that audio dropout happens much more easily than with analog signals; not only will you have tons of stations with pictures that lock up - as my parents digital cable did so often while visiting over the holidays - but you won't even be able to keep up on the story via the audio (

    • Re:Digital-Perfect (Score:4, Interesting)

      by digitalchinky ( 650880 ) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @09:51PM (#26860331)

      Unfortunately with digitally modulated signals, the receive gear can either see the synchronisation pattern, or it can not. There is no room to fit 'degrade gracefully' into this particular binary problem. The advantage here is that you can encode forward error correction on the data stream, meaning that when you do have a picture, it is actually going to look so close to being identical to the original transmission that it wont matter. Perfection here is measured in bit error rates. The lower that number the better.

      Your problem, or rather your parents problem, is antenna type and positioning. We can safely skip all the slick marketing crap once we have a grasp of the problem.

      Driving a 30 metre satellite dish, you can successfully and reliably pluck good data from a transmission more or less on the noise floor, one or two dB. It's like looking at something through a long narrow tube, you don't see anything other than whatever you are pointing it at. Rabbit ears are more or less the opposite of a nice big sat dish, in this case you have to contend with multipath signals and a very long list of other interference, so your odds of success are far more marginal.

      What can your parents, or anyone else do to get perfect reception? Invest in a slightly more expensive antenna system, pay the extra few bucks to get system that is directional - buy an antenna rotator to make life a little easier as well.

      Some people hit the sweet spot and only need a bent up coat hanger for perfect reception, others have to put a little extra effort in.

  • If rabbit ears ever come back, don't be surprised if it's delayed forever. Any plan which allows individuals to bypass cable providers is a conflict with the broadband tax credit, which explicitely requires you to pay a subscription plan for 5 megabit internet access to a major corporation, mainly Time Warner & Comcast.

    Why give money to Time Warner if you're just going to let individuals suck it away with rabbit ear TV?

  • Waste of time? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ZERO1ZERO ( 948669 ) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:30PM (#26859165)
    Why don't you guys just install a proper rooftop / loft aerial and get a decent signal without all the fiddling? In the UK all most buildings where people live have an aerial and tv points in the rooms, in the same way each room has power sockets.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by tomhudson ( 43916 )

      It's not just in the UK. We also have them in North America, in apartment buildings, etc. Of course, you can "broadcast" on channel 3 by plugging the video out from your dvd or vcr into the wall jack. One of my friends used to interrupt the Saturday morning cartoons with 5-10 minutes of p0rn.

    • Re:Waste of time? (Score:4, Informative)

      by shippo ( 166521 ) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:56PM (#26859335)

      In the US the major network affiliates generally broadcast on VHF frequencies, for which these rabbit ears are sufficient. In the UK we use UHF, which doesn't perform as well without a dedicated external or loft aerial.

      The UK used to use VHF for television, back in the days of the 405-line black & white service. BBC1 was broadcast on VHF Band I, whilst ITV was on VHF Band III. You can still see some of these aerials on the tops of some buildings; they were needed as the UK transmitters were often many miles away, although it was possible to pick up some services on an indoor aerial. These transmitters were eventually switched off in 1985.

    • "Why don't you guys just install a proper rooftop / loft aerial and get a decent signal without all the fiddling? In the UK all most buildings where people live have an aerial and tv points in the rooms, in the same way each room has power sockets."

      This was once common in ancient suburban America.

  • I get NBC, CBS, and PBS and all the crap spanish language channels just fine.

    ABC and FOX aren't broadcasting at full power yet.

    NBC is 1000kW right now and FOX is 35kW.

    Even outside of city proper, you will be able to use rabbit ears once they make the switch and start broadcasting at full power.

    • If Fort Wayne, IN, if you don't live just outside the fence of the FOX station, you cannot receive an HD OTA signal. They are broadcasting in HD only to fulfill the letter of the law, but not the spirit. (statement accurate as of about 3 months ago, but may still be)
  • I get all the local Baltimore HD channels fine with a single telescoping radio antenna located in my basement. Does need a bit of tweaking when you switch channels, but it's awfully easy to tweak.

  • to fine tune your rabbit ears with tinfoil...
  • Reduced the number of channels you get on basic cable. This is how they protect their bottom line, screw the customer.

  • I use "rabbit ears" because I'm a cheapass, and because if I had a wide variety of things to passively watch on TV, I'd slowly waste my life away... but I still enjoy PBS because it's got a good mix of very interesting shows and very bad British comedy which I have no interest in watching.

    However, the DTV transmissions are terrible, absolutely horrible, and pretty close to unwatchable. The picture is crystal clear, but has a very bad habit of breaking apart. I'll tell you, I'm excited that the opening
  • IPTV is another route providers can turn to. As an example see the package offered by [] (in French). For example a company such as Bell in Canada which currently offers DSL and satellite TV could provider IPTV to their customers. This is an important alternative they should be turning to, especially when you consider the number of apartment blocks that do not allow the installation of satellite dishes.

    When you consider the amount of junk on TV and the amount of adverts, I am not really sure I want to

  • It used to be that cable channels were for public access, religious stations and poorly scrambled movie channels (that teenage boys would still watch late at night... *cough*) More and more, cable content is proving to be equal to or even superior to what broadcast television offers. The Closer, Burn Notice, Monk, etc. are all pulling in strong ratings. Yes... Idol pulled in a 14.8 rating last week and The Closer pulled in a 3.6. But... there are three broadcast channels and a ton of cable channels. Th
    • by Skim123 ( 3322 )

      Broadcast TV won't go away... but their programming is going to focus more and more on local news and cheap "pop" programming (like Idol).

      And don't forget infomercials. I get seven channels over the ol' bunny ears. On a Sunday afternoon one station may have a football game on, PBS is showing this guy with crazy hair and a smarmy smile playing the violin to thousands of attendees, and the other five channels are showing between them two different infomercials from the possible set of: the px90 workout; the

  • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @07:22PM (#26859511)

    If you want to do DTV over the air right, you need to build yourself a Gray Hoverman Antenna. There are lots of plans for it on the net, including the hackaday sight. Takes most people a couple of hours to build and works very well. You can stick it in your attic, or just behind the telly.

    • If you want to do DTV over the air right, you need to build yourself a Gray Hoverman Antenna. There are lots of plans for it on the net, including the hackaday sight. Takes most people a couple of hours to build and works very well.

      The Gray-Hoverman is good for UHF and some VHF-Hi, but not the only choice in the build-it-yourself category; there's also the 4-bay reflectorized bowtie. The AVS forum has a whole thread on variants of that, including the "mclapp" antenna, named after the user who optimized an

  • by MattW ( 97290 ) <> on Saturday February 14, 2009 @07:33PM (#26859589) Homepage

    But even an omnidirectional antenna gets every major network beautifully. Cable is an insanely weak value proposition. A good cable package in digital is like $75+ where I am. For $900 a year, I can buy every series I watch in HD, and have a lot left over. (In my case, a heck of a lot, since I only watch one show) And I have the antenna for backup.

  • First, I will say I use antenna only for TV. My signal does break up from time to time because I have a crappy attenna and haven't bothered to correct. With the same setup, the analog channels go really bad before digital starts to break up. I will the point where digital starts breaking up it does so rapidly. It's a misnomer to say digital doesn't accomodate degraded signals at all, it's actually fairly resilient due to the error correction available in the stream. Added bonus of no DRM-like crap in t

  • First off I have been using rabbit ears and other antennas for at least a couple of year. Some places the rabbit ears work, other places the "fancy" new HD TV antenna's work. The rabbit ears part does make a difference, might just be interference. But where it is positioned effects reception. That, and AppleTV, and Netflix replaces the need for cable for me.
  • This forum has a lot of information on the subject: []

    Whilst this is specifically about Australian DTV channels, I would expect the concepts would be the same for the US implementation.

    The main things to note are that you need to have your Rabbit ears HORIZONTAL (or VERTICAL), but NOT in a V shape, and typically very short.

    The PDF linked from this posting shows you how to set your rabbit ears up: []

    Where I live w

  • Drop Kick the Cable Box:

  • VCRs? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @08:35PM (#26859933)
    One thing I don't hear much about with the chatter around digital conversion is VCRs. If my parents are going out for the evening and they don't want to miss programs, my dad will 'program the VCR'to record channel 8 from 8pm to 9pm, then channel 11 from 9pm to 10pm. They're on analog cable, so nothing impacts them (plus we're in Canada to boot), but I assume those people with analog antennas hooked up to the VCRs are losing the ability to timeshift, unless I'm missing something?

    One *in* for the Cable Companies might be to offer a cheap basic PVR along with basic analog cable. That might lure away the mom and pops who can no longer timeshift.
  • TV? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by techmuse ( 160085 ) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @08:58PM (#26860037)

    What is this TV you speak of? Is that a program that runs on a computer?

  • by zerofoo ( 262795 ) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @10:35PM (#26860529)

    I've got all three, and I watch the HD feeds off of the antenna whenever possible. The picture quality beats both other systems by a long shot.


  • by Zero_DgZ ( 1047348 ) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @11:13PM (#26860699)

    Cable companies, you want to protect the bottom line?

    Stop sending me six-page glossy advertisements first class mail every week. How much does that cost you in printing and postage? Quit begging me to upgrade to services I already have. Stop bombarding me with ads that insult my intelligence. Stop offering me "this price for six months!!!1!!" deals that will rip me off in half a year and hope in vain that I'm too stupid to notice. Stop cutting all of the channels I actually watch and moving them to premium packages. Quit reordering my channel numbers every two weeks. Stop lying about how many "HD" channels you have. Stop trying to screw me by playing billing games - my bank tells me when you cashed my check, so don't try to rip me off with fake late fees. Hire operators who are neither surly nor clueless...

    Is this so difficult?

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.