HD OTA Receivers - THE Solution for high definition "ready" TVs Many early high definition TVs were sold as "HD Ready" - which meant they are capable of displaying HD signals if connected to an HD source. Those sources can come in the form of HD set-top boxes (STBs), satellite TV receivers or the new HD DVD players.
HD set-top box OTA receivers Almost all broadcast stations in the US are now transmitting high definition signals along with their regular standard definition (SD) signals. Broadcast signals when properly received continue to offer the one of the best signal qualities available for your TV. The limited bandwidth available to satellite TV and cable providers forces digital compression of the signals in order to squeeze as much programming as possible into the available space on their particular satellite or cable system. That same digital compression introduces digital artifacts into the television image. You may recognize digital artifacts as a "blurry blockieness" during rapid motion of an on-screen object. I for one sure don't like seeing that on my TV.
Digital set-top box/STB HD OTA receivers eliminate 99% of unwanted digital noise. Digital set-top boxes receive signals via an antenna from local broadcast stations and that signal is free for the taking with no subscription needed. All you need is a receiver and properly aimed antenna of the proper reception ability. Broadcast stations as a whole allocate a much higher signal bandwidth ratio than cable or satellite. That allows for a picture that has great detail and clarity. If you have an HDTV Ready set an HD STB could be your answer. Click here to compare deep discounted HDTV OTA Receivers at Amazon.com
Satellite TV receivers - a hybrid solution Most HD satellite receivers from Dish Network or Direct TV also receive over the air signals as well. Those receviers must be connected to an indoor or external antenna however they do allow reception of the aforementioned OTA HD signals. Those signals (as also mentioned above) are of higher quality than those delivered from the satellite providers. I recommend purchasing a receiver similar to the Dish Network VIP model line. I have one in my home and it provides an exceptional signal and is relatively easy to set up and use. It is not the only model of hybrid HD OTA/satellite TV receiver available - but it does come highly recommended from yours truly. Regardless of the model - a hybrid HD satellite TV box is a great HD OTA receiver solution.
Digital Cable Boxes - if you have no alternative Some people are unable to have an external antenna or satellite dish for various reasons - among the most common reasons is either being obstructed from a line of sight to necessary satellites or broadcast towers or having some sort of screwy neighborhood association/apartment community restrictions against external erections (yes - I said erections). For those poor souls (and I'm terribly sorry if you among them) the only alternative is cable television. If you do have to go the cable route you may find solace in knowing that digital cable signals are far superior to their analog counterparts. Digital signals - despite their inherent artifacts - are free from the grain and signal noise which I find soooooo terribly distracting with analog cable. Most digital cable providers also offer high definition PVRs which are highly convenient. If you have to go with digital cable over an HD OTA Receiver at least do yourself a favor and get an HD DVR.