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by: MarkBean January 3, 2006 2:19 PM PST

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HDTV without Comcast Box?

by MarkBean - 1/3/06 2:19 PM

Would someone please help me understand what I really need to get HDTV reception?

Im looking to purchase the Dell W3706MC 37" LCD HDTV. This unit has a built-in NTSC/ATSC tuner. Will I be able to get some HDTV channels via my basic cable subscription without using one of those horrible set-top boxes by Comcast? Comcast in Trenton, NJ is my current provider.

I went to www.antennaweb.org and confirmed that there are stations in my area broadcasting digital HDTV between the range of 3.1 and 57.1. My current cable package carries channels into the 70s. Will these .1 stations be available over the standard coax into my house from Comcast in Trenton, NJ? The cable company tells me that I must have a set-top box and the HDTV package but I felt like they were just trying to upgrade me.

I would prefer to avoid installing an antenna, but I would consider it if I can avoid giving Comcast any more money on a monthly basis. I live in a two-floor condo and am limited to what I can install. Philadelphia stations are 31m away. Should I be able to expect reception with an indoor antenna at that distance? Most of the stations I care about are at the same compass orientation so Im guessing unidirectional will work for me. Is there such thing as a decent, compact, indoor UHF/VHF antenna?

Thanks in advance!

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