boadcast HDTV Receiver
August 9, 2008 6:32 PM   Subscribe

I have HDTV w/out a tuner. I don't really want cable or satellite however; it looks like the Samsung DTBH260F is the only recommended receiver. Is there any other [good] receivers on the market? Moreover, a receiver for somebody on a budget...
posted by comasight to Technology (7 answers total)
What is your definition of "good"? What do you need?

Due to analog TV going away soon, the market is starting to flood with cheap OTA HDTV receivers. If you have Radio Shack in your area, they have several for under $60, but at that price point you only get RCA/SVGA hookups.
posted by bizwank at 7:15 PM on August 9, 2008

I don't get very good TV reception in my apartment, despite it having a line of sight to the Sears Tower. So, I just download my TV shows from Usenet instead. (Bittorrent is also good.) It's much easier than watching TV, and there are no ads. Speaking of which, I was at a friends house recently and noticed the TV -- ads are on for half of the show and are about 6dB louder than the program audio. Combined with the fact that they just show the same 2 ads over and over again, I'm never watching TV again.

The Internet. It's the future :)
posted by jrockway at 7:47 PM on August 9, 2008

Response by poster: i agree with both Bizwank and iockway, and do d/l a lot of my content however; sometimes live TV is still the way to go. for example, this weeks Olympics games. Moreover, until comcast improves it's download speeds or hula [or whatever] decides to stream real HD, that voice in the back of head says, this could look nicer. In addition, people should have a higher encoding rate for Usenet... really, come on people, when i download anything out britten, it's so much clearer.
posted by comasight at 8:05 PM on August 9, 2008

even if you do have hdtv, would one of those boxes they're selling for analog tvs without cable work for you, too? Mine was only $20 with the gov coupon.
posted by Kellydamnit at 8:05 PM on August 9, 2008

The cheap boxes that they're selling now due to the DTV switchover generally only have outputs appropriate for analog standard def TVs.
posted by zsazsa at 8:12 PM on August 9, 2008

You really don't want to cheap out unless you _know_ the unit you're looking at has one of the newer sensitive chips. The older chips don't deal with multipath nearly as well as the new ones.

Personally, I'd buy a TiVo HD now that they're down to $200, but I'm a fanatic.
posted by wierdo at 11:23 PM on August 9, 2008

Look, here's what you do:
Buy an econo-converter. Use it until Christmas. Donate it (How many homeless shelters out there have an old tube tv? Lots.) You can even write it off on your taxes.

Then, buy a better converter, since Christmas this year (consumer-wise) will be more about HDTV than ever, and with the deadline in February, there will be lots of converter boxes available on the cheap, and some will have a pretty decent feature set for the price.

If that doesn't work for you, sell your DVD player (and VCR if you still have one) on craigslist (or donate them!) and buy one with an integrated ATSC tuner (more commonly found on DVD/VCR combos). It'll work okay (but not fabulously). Now you have the luxury of waiting for better quality tuners to hit more affordable levels, and in the meantime you've got a nice new piece of kit that you can continue to use even after you get a fancy-pants new converter. And if you have blank VHS tapes or DVDs, you can do some good old-fashioned time shifting. Or convert all your $REALTIVE's old tapes to DVDs (a time-intensive but low-cost gift idea!)

Here's what you don't do:
Spend middle-of-the-market money on an decent converter and use it for years. Because when you finally switch it out, you'll really be kicking yourself for putting up with first gen crap for so long. Seriously.
posted by terpia at 8:59 AM on August 10, 2008

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