Sunday, February 17, 2008

DTV channels OTA in Boston

There are way more digital channels you can receive for free OTA (over the air) with impromptu antenna in Boston than there are in Toronto. I counted 23. Well.. if you'll exclude duplicates it's anyway at least 20, comparing to just 5 in Toronto.

My mobile HDTV toolkit

That was my first HDTV hunting tour (not that I visited Boston only for that, but rather had training there and got my equipment with me). So here is what I got:

- Laptop. Nothing fancy, old Dell Latitude D610

- WinTV HVR 950 - barely bigger than memory stick and turns my laptop into HDTV TV. All you need is to stuck it into USB port and attach an antenna. It comes with a software that turns your laptop into TV and VCR. I payed about $100 for the thing.

- Cables and antenna. Got a thin cable and matching transformer from home, wires for the antenna got from Air Canada's headsets they kindly gave me for the flight.

Here are laptop, WinTV stick, headsets remains (sorry for picture quality) and antenna itself.

Antenna this time is not a beer can antenna, but simple folded dipole, made from copper wire. I put a quoter next to it so you'll have an idea on dimensions. Worked good enough for me.

My room was on a 23rd floor (big advantage) of Cambridge Marriott but facing North, so all the Boston stations were blocked by hotel building itself and at times I got better signal for New Hampshire ones.

Tryed several locations for antenna, including right on the window, on the bed, table and book, used as a stand, on the floor. Last one appeared to be the best (and pictured) I suppose the metal window frame worked as sort of reflector there.

List of Boston HDTV/DTV channels

Below is the list of all channels I was able to receive.

Name AKA Channel Phys. channel
WMFP-DT Infomercials ? 62.1 18
WMFP-DT 62.2 18
WGBH-HD 2.2 19
WGBH-SD 2.1 19
WCVB-DT Channel 5 Boston (ABC) 5.1 20
WBZ-DT 4.1 30
WFXT- DT Fox 25 News Boston 25.1 31
Worship 68.4 32
IONLife ? 68.3 32
qubo 68.2 32
ION 68.1 32
WNEU-DT Telemundo affiliate 34.1 34
WZMY-DT MyTV New England 50.1 35
WSBK-DT TV 38 38.1 39
WLVI-DT New England CW56 56.1 41
WHDH-HD Channel 7 News Boston 7.1 42
WHDH-SD 7.2 42
World 44.2 43
Create 44.3 43
Kids 44.4 43
NHPTVHD New Hampshire Public TV 11.1 57
NHPTVD1 11.2 57
WMUR-DT WMUR 9 – New Hampshire News 9.1 59

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