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Moderatus Puisne
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Apparently NNC racing is on a broadcast channel in my area.

This sounds noob, but, uh, can I get some kind of USB antenna for my computer for the occasion that I want to watch a bike race?

I googled around a bit and there were a few devices but information was kind of spotty.
 

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Moderatus Puisne
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the link.


There are indeed a bunch of devices, of a big variety of price ranges, and there isn't much description of how to compare...

It also seems kind of expensive -- I mean, I just need some kind of basic antenna, and these devices look like you need to plug an antenna into THEM. That's what I'm missing.


Marc said:
 

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Adorable Furry Hombre
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Argentius said:
Thanks for the link.


There are indeed a bunch of devices, of a big variety of price ranges, and there isn't much description of how to compare...

It also seems kind of expensive -- I mean, I just need some kind of basic antenna, and these devices look like you need to plug an antenna into THEM. That's what I'm missing.
They need a signal input, yep. Some also have on-board FM radio tuners also.

It depends on exactly what your setup might be, and what you're wanting to do. Do you know? :)
 

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All natural
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You need a TV tuner - either a USB or a tuner card that goes into an available slot.
 

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MTBR Member
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FWIW, I have an Elgato eyetv 200 plugged into a Mac Mini. This setup is quite a few years old, but I've gotta say, I love having a tv tuner on my computer.

It's basically just the whole DVR concept I like. Being able to pause and record live tv, as well as easily setup recording schedules is awesome.
 

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Roll Out Jeremy
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If you have cable

You will only get over the air (OTA) HD content. Cable company scrambles the rest of it. The digital and OTA is cool. Just don't have your expectations too high for content....
 

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Moderatus Puisne
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Content

The only thing I was specifically looking for is access to Universal Sports, for bike racing! I'm hearing that this is available, I guess, OTA, in my area?



Fordy said:
You will only get over the air (OTA) HD content. Cable company scrambles the rest of it. The digital and OTA is cool. Just don't have your expectations too high for content....
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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Argentius said:
The only thing I was specifically looking for is access to Universal Sports, for bike racing! I'm hearing that this is available, I guess, OTA, in my area?
Universal Sports is definitely available OTA in many places--it's one of our most reliable channels here. And you will definitely have to have a tuner of some kind for your compy.

But what you can get OTA is very dependent on location and the size/sensitivity of the antenna you are using. If you have a weak antenna or poor line-of-sight to the transmitter, or are really far from the transmitter, you may have a hard time getting a given channel, if you can get it at all. And digital OTA is all or nothing--you get enough for a signal to watch or you get a black screen--no being able to live with some static on something you really wanted to watch but can't get a strong signal on. For the cable generation, it's hard to deal with the idea that a channel is being sent to you, and you can't get it, or sometimes you can get it and sometimes (because of weather, usually) you can't.

Most antennae are kind of directional. Ours receives in kind of a figure 8 so we get what's in front of it and what's behind it (it's like a flat panel), while some are more unidirectional. This means that to get a wide range of channels, unless they're all coming from the same place, you have to split the difference and decide which channels you want most and point your antenna there. We got lucky and most of the OTA channels in this area come from SSW or NNE, so we hit them all pretty well.

Also, if you get an exterior antenna for your "TV", you don't need a special antenna for digital broadcasts/HD. They're all the same so don't pay extra.
 

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Moderatus Puisne
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks, that's a help.

There is easy access to a portion of the roof from a window in the closet, so, if I needed to mount a small antenna outside, that would not be too hard.

I would be okay with a little static, that would be better than the 8 fps, 320 x 200 "live feed" that I sometimes find on cyclingfans.com.

Black screens, blah!


bikeboy389 said:
Universal Sports is definitely available OTA in many places--it's one of our most reliable channels here. And you will definitely have to have a tuner of some kind for your compy.

But what you can get OTA is very dependent on location and the size/sensitivity of the antenna you are using. If you have a weak antenna or poor line-of-sight to the transmitter, or are really far from the transmitter, you may have a hard time getting a given channel, if you can get it at all. And digital OTA is all or nothing--you get enough for a signal to watch or you get a black screen--no being able to live with some static on something you really wanted to watch but can't get a strong signal on. For the cable generation, it's hard to deal with the idea that a channel is being sent to you, and you can't get it, or sometimes you can get it and sometimes (because of weather, usually) you can't.

Most antennae are kind of directional. Ours receives in kind of a figure 8 so we get what's in front of it and what's behind it (it's like a flat panel), while some are more unidirectional. This means that to get a wide range of channels, unless they're all coming from the same place, you have to split the difference and decide which channels you want most and point your antenna there. We got lucky and most of the OTA channels in this area come from SSW or NNE, so we hit them all pretty well.

Also, if you get an exterior antenna for your "TV", you don't need a special antenna for digital broadcasts/HD. They're all the same so don't pay extra.
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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9,416 Posts
Argentius said:
I would be okay with a little static, that would be better than the 8 fps, 320 x 200 "live feed" that I sometimes find on cyclingfans.com.

Black screens, blah!
Yeah. It kills me when there's a storm rolling through and suddenly half the channels are "weak or no signal".

On the upside, if you get the channel, it's crystal clear. No static at all.
 

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Adorable Furry Hombre
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30,945 Posts
Argentius said:
Thanks, that's a help.

There is easy access to a portion of the roof from a window in the closet, so, if I needed to mount a small antenna outside, that would not be too hard.

I would be okay with a little static, that would be better than the 8 fps, 320 x 200 "live feed" that I sometimes find on cyclingfans.com.

Black screens, blah!
Remember there are antennas, and there are antennas. A good (read more expensive) antenna will get more channels more reliably. Look for one that is powered.
 
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