Woodsborough Homes Association, Santa Clara, CA

Website of Woodsborough resident Wesley Dudzinski

In late September (or early October) 2013, Comcast started encrypting the Limited Basic channels in Santa Clara. This has made my digital video recorder mostly useless as it is no longer able to change the channels. Channels can only be changed on the DTA (Digital Transport Adapter) supplied by Comcast. The change has prompted me to research and implement the switch from cable TV to OTA (Over The Air) HD TV.

According to tvfool.com, it might be possible to get over 40 channels at Woodsborough
Available Channels

If you would like to use a streaming service (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Vudu, etc.) most of the newer HDTV sets already support them. If you have an older set then you need to buy a streaming device. Some Blu-ray players support streaming, example: LG BD670 player, around $65 refurbished at Amazon.
Blu-ray player

The initial, outdoor type directional antenna I have selected, have had some problems. To see all of the available channels, I needed to adjust the antenna direction. In one position, I can get about 70% of the available channels. Turning is slightly will give the remaining 30% but then I cannot see some of the other channels. The solution is multi-directional antenna. I have selected Mohu Leaf Indoor HDTV Antenna, model MH-ANT1000, around $40 at Amazon.
Indoor Antenna

The antenna has two mounting holes so you can attach it (tape it or nail it) to the north facing wall in your unit. I get around 56 channels, including at least ten non English ones. From my TV remote control, I have deleted some channels I do not want to watch (like shopping channels) but left at least one Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, and about four Spanish channels. Mohu antenna has greatly reduced but not completely eliminated the original problem, the need to adjust its direction. Without changing the direction it points to, you might have ABC or NBC but not both. Additionally, on some channels, the reception varies depending on time of the day. Sometimes, the signal breaks and makes some channels unwatchable.

If the signal stability on the channels you would like to watch is poor then get a signal amplifier. Example: 2-Port HDTV Amplifier Splitter Signal Booster, around $33 at Amazon.
Signal Amplifier

The amplifier will improve the signal stability but it will depend on your condo location. It might or might not be worth it. In my case, with the amplifier I have both ABC and NBC at the same time, without the need to adjust the antenna direction. The signal strength on a few marginal channels, varies from day to day and sometimes depends on the time of the day too. However, 90% of the available channels have the rock-solid picture quality, and day and any time. Overall, I am happy with the reception and no longer need cable TV subscription. To summarize, my setup consists of:

1. HDTV - any brand and model will do
2. Blu-ray player - model LG BD670
3. Mohu Leaf Indoor HDTV Antenna - model MH-ANT1000
4. 2-Port HDTV Amplifier Splitter Signal Booster - model PCT-MA2-2P