How To Receive the Superbowl in HD For Free
You purchased a new HDTV and want to see the Superbowl in HD. Here are ways you can see the game if you currently do not receive the local CBS high definition station in your area.
To see the local CBS over-the-air broadcast in HD (and other local HD broadcasts) you will need two pieces hardware (a HD tuner, its probably built into your set and an antenna). You also must investigate where your CBS station is located.
HDTV Tuner- Does your set have one inside?
If you purchased an HDTV made after April 2006 and its picture is 25Ã¢â‚¬Â or larger it has a built-in HDTV tuner! However you may have thought you bought a HDTV but you really purchased an Ã¢â‚¬Å“HD MonitorÃ¢â‚¬Â (they are tunerless). How do you know which one you have? The easiest way to tell is to look at the back of the HDTV and see if it has a female Ã¢â‚¬Å“FÃ¢â‚¬Â type jack. The Ã¢â‚¬Å“FÃ¢â‚¬Â connector is a threaded female jack that is used to connect a coax cable. If it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have one you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have an HDTV with an built-in HD tuner, you have an HD monitor, in which case you will need to purchase a separate over-the-air (OTA) HD tuner to receive the Superbowl broadcast in HD. They are made by several companies making HD OTA tuners (including Samsung) and they are available at the local big electronics retailers (Best Buy, Circuit City etc.). Do a search on their respective websites to determine what they sell.
Once you have determined that you have a true HDTV with a built-in HDTV tuner, or purchase a separate HD tuner you need to learn where the local CBS stationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s transmitter is located and their Ã¢â‚¬Å“primaryÃ¢â‚¬Â channel number ( called frequency assignment).
There are two ways to do this. Google the stations call letters, they probably have a website that provides this information. If they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t, go to antennaweb.org and enter your zip code. A listing of all the local channels will appear. Find the CBS digital station and go to the last column on the right labeled “frequency assignment”. This is the actual channel number of your local station. The columns to the left of frequency are miles to the transmitter and orientation from your home. There is also a color code that will help you determine the gain and type of antenna you need.
If you are within 30 miles of the transmitter you may be able to use an indoor antenna (other factors such as terrain, adjacent buildings and obstructions and height of the antenna placement are all factors that will determine reception). If your local CBS station is in the UHF band (primary channel is 14 or above) I suggest trying the Philips Silver Sensor (model PHDTV1). It is available from Circuit City for $24.99. I have had great success with this product.
If you receive the HD signal, with an indoor antenna, but it breaks up into tiles or drops out from time to time, you may try to add an inline signal amplifier. I use a Winegard DA-1009 (available at LNL.com for $65.00); Radio Shack also makes one for $59.95 (cat #15-2507), though I have not tested it.
If your CBS local digital station is in the VHF channel band (2-13) you can try a set of rabbit ears indoors. They are available with and without built-in amplifiers at Radio Shack.
If you have still have an old roof antenna give it a try, it may work. If it receives analog signals it will probably do a fine job with digital. Again, adding an amplifier may help if the signal comes in but breaks up.
If your digital stations are all in the UHF band, but are too distant for the Silver Sensor, I have had the best success with Ã¢â‚¬Å“bow tieÃ¢â‚¬Â type of outdoor antenna (4 bay model for up to around 35 miles from the transmitter or an 8-bay bow tie for up to about 65 miles distance). They are available at a number of on-line retailers and LNL.com. You will also need to purchase coax cable to run between the antenna and the HDTV. You should use type Ã¢â‚¬Å“RG-6Ã¢â‚¬Â.
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