I've received multiple messages from DISH about the offer to install an OTA antenna for free and cut the $10/month charge for local channels. Has anyone taken them up on the offer? If so, any feedback (positive or negative)?
I see the fine print says you lose PTAT and AutoHop, but I don't use either one. Was more worried about the reliability and quality of the reception on the local channels.
Receiving OTA channels without dropout is all about signal strength and quality. I live at 1150' elevation and get 60+ channels from a 30 mile radius with this antenna mounted in my attic and connected to a distribution amp. http://www.hdfrequency.com/Cable-Cutter
I realize it's all about how well you can receive the signals. Is the antenna that they're offering good enough quality to pull in a signal reliably? Since they're providing the equipment, it's not like I have a choice to find a high quality antenna and install myself. If it's just going to be months of trouble trying to get things worked out, I'd rather just keep spending the $10.
I guess my bigger question is "Why is DISH pushing this option so hard?". Is there an upcoming change to local channel offerings that they want to move people away from getting locals over satellite?
Since I'm not Dish, I can only speculate on why they are pushing it so hard, and I'm also not privy to when contracts may or may not be up for renewal. However, logically one could assume it's to help position themselves in any future negotiations, be they one week, one month, or one year away.
I was just reading an article earlier this morning about one broadcaster making $257 million this year in rebroadcast fees alone, this up from $98 million last year. Congress caused this mess, Congress is the one that needs to fix it, and Congress seems to have no intent of doing so. So it seems Dish is taking it upon themselves, so when XYZ broadcasting turns off their channels, demanding more money, Dish's response can be "38% of our customers dropped you when given the chance to do so, another 13% just dropped you over this blackout. Bank's closed, if you think you're getting more money, go talk to Chuck U Farley".
"Nexstarâ€™s retransmission fees continue to climb -- $257.5 million versus $98.3 million a year ago."
Nexstar was responsible for a blackout almost three years ago. Dish clearly is tired of this, as quite frankly am I.
ETA: Sorry, facts a bit garbled, was thinking of another. The Nexstar dispute did not go to a blackout three years ago, and the dispute prior to that was three years. While like I said, I have no info regarding contracts, it appears they may be due.
If you connect the antenna to the TV you won't be able to record the local channels. If you connect the antenna to the Hopper via the USB OTA adapter you will be able to record the OTA channels on the Hopper. However, there is a bug with the USB OTA that has been reported by me and others that is still outstanding that causes some OTA channels to be "garbled" - picture is pixelated and sound is choppy. (I recently acquired the two channel and will be making a follow up report.) I use the OTA version because there is programming, e.g., MeTV and lots of others, that are broadcast on the digital subchannels and not carried by Dish (interesting that the local cable system carries most of them). The advantage of the OTA is that those channels can then be recorded by the DVR.
I have had the OTA module for several years and it has worked very well. When I switched to Flex several months ago, I was told that I could drop the locals and save $10 per month. I did that and immediately lost the local channel guide information which meant that I could not setup any timers for the local channels. I called Dish and was told "NO, you don't get the local guide information unless you pay the $10 per month." So I had them sign me up for the local channels and got the local guide information again. Then I read on this forum that several other people had dropped the local channels and still had the local guide information. So a couple of weeks ago, I called in and dropped the local channels again. And I immediately lost the local guide information again. So I had them sign me up for the local channels and got the local guide information. I don't know what Dish's policy is, but I know for a FACT what happens when I drop the local channels. I lose the local guide information and the ability to setup any timers for the local channels.
I receive about 17 prime channels plus their subs of which most are out of my Dish market area. Most all prime channels and subs have guide data. I do not subscribe to Dish local channels. For those locals that do not have guide data I use the TV guide app for locals on my phone and can see what is on I may be interested in. A manual timer can be setup to record a show if desired. I have a weekday timer setup in this manner for the wife's soaps.