Over the air HDTV and HD radio ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 08-16-2009, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi, I'm new to over the air HDTV and radio.

My questions are:

Do I need an HD antenna of some sort to receive local channels in HD?
Are any other channels (otehr than local) available in HD over the air?

I assume that the antenna is not the indoor type available at the local Walmart, etc. If not, then what type of antenna should I be looking to fit - and will this be indoor or outdoor?
Will it need to be mounted high up on, say, a chimney etc?

Will this allow me to receive HD radio - or do I need a different/separate antenna for radio ?

What cabling should I use for the TV and the radio antenna?

Apologies for all the questions at once.
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post #2 of 20 Old 08-16-2009, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naughtybutnice View Post

Do I need an HD antenna of some sort to receive local channels in HD?

Antennas for receiving HDTV are the same kinds of antennas that people have been using for TV all along. If it says "HD" on the box, it's purely for marketing.

Quote:


Are any other channels (otehr than local) available in HD over the air?

If you mean stuff like CNN, ESPN etc., no. What you can get over the air in HD is ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS, CW, MyNetworkTV (maybe not all of these depending on your location and/or your antenna), plus maybe some local independent stations.

Quote:


I assume that the antenna is not the indoor type available at the local Walmart, etc. If not, then what type of antenna should I be looking to fit - and will this be indoor or outdoor?
Will it need to be mounted high up on, say, a chimney etc?

What kind of antenna you need depends on whether your channels are UHF or VHF or (usually) both, how far you are from the transmitters, whether there are any obstacles like hills or mountains in the way, etc. If you're within 15 miles or so, a small indoor antenna will often work, for UHF at least. VHF can be more difficult.

Go to http://www.tvfool.com/ and enter your exact location and post the results here (they won't reveal the exact location) and someone will probably give you more specific advice.

I don't know enough about HD radio to address your questions about that.
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post #3 of 20 Old 08-16-2009, 08:59 AM
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"HD" radio uses the same operating frequencies as "regular" FM radio.

If the antenna works for "regular" FM, it will work for "HD" FM radio.

Same situation as for digital TV and HDTV. You just have to match up the frequencies in use (along with distance and terrain concerns) with the correct antenna in either case.
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post #4 of 20 Old 08-16-2009, 09:03 AM
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OTA digital signals can easily have multi-path problems caused by reflections of the signal of off of other buildings. So antennas that are highly directional and therfore reduce the posssibility of mult-path interference have been developed and are sold as "HD" antennas. Of course these "HD" antennas should only be installed if all of your OTA digital signals are coming from the same location.
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post #5 of 20 Old 08-16-2009, 10:04 AM
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... and you do know you need an HD Radio capable receiver/tuner, right?.

As for receiving "Other" channels OTA. As indicated by jtbell, you will get "locals". But... depending on your local broadcasters, many multicast. So, you may get additional channels (but IMO, most are a useless waste of bandwidth.).

An antenna is an antenna. There is no special antenna for HD or digital signals. Just the right antenna for your location/distance/terrain. Whether analog or digital, multipathing can be a problem, although with analog, the problem appears as "ghosting" and may be tolerable. With digital, it will present itself as dropouts (blocking/pixellating) which is intolerable IMO.
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post #6 of 20 Old 08-16-2009, 10:16 AM
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One caveat with respect to HD radio: At present, radio stations are restricted to broadcasting their digital signal at 20dB below their authorized analog power. That means you might get an acceptable signal from a station in analog without being able to lock on the HD signal. If you want to get the digital version of the station you might need an outdoor antenna or at least a carefully oriented indoor dipole instead of the ferrite rod on the back of your radio. Depending on the station you like, the effort may or may not be worth the trouble. I have made the effort and found HD radio very much to my liking.
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post #7 of 20 Old 08-16-2009, 10:47 AM
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Im working on an FM/IBOC (HD Radio) Antenna Guide, just getting started with it. Though you may already find some value in it, links to other informative sites for researching, overview of commercially available products, links to HD Radio tuners and reviews, that type of thing.

EV's Best Top Rated FM and HD Radio Antenna Guide & Reviews

Good advice from these folks, so far. You may want to post both your FMfool and TVfool, so that others can make better recommendations and more personally taylored advice for you.

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post #8 of 20 Old 08-16-2009, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Picspop View Post

One caveat with respect to HD radio: At present, radio stations are restricted to broadcasting their digital signal at 20dB below their authorized analog power. That means you might get an acceptable signal from a station in analog without being able to lock on the HD signal.

Not disagreeing, curious... so, how does the lower power affect cars with HD Radio tuners/receivers?

Same antennas, right? So, based on your info, one could assume that stable reception over a distance is not equatable to analog FM reception.

IMHO... for the home listener, most already have satellite/cable/FiOS music channels that have the same quality.
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post #9 of 20 Old 08-16-2009, 11:45 AM
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With the HD radio signal, it works just like a HDTV signal. You either get the signal or you don't. Since HD radio signals broadcast at lower power levels, you may get an excellent analog radio signal in your location, but the digital signal may not be receivable. I found that out in my home when experimenting with an HD home radio hooked up to my outdoor antenna. Most HD radios will switch automatically into analog mode if the HD signal on the same frequency can't be decoded. However, that makes for an annoying listening experience if the signal switches from digital to analog constantly while attempting to decode a weak signal. Same situation happens in either a car or home receiver.

Unfortunately, HD radio is not really 'HD.' When referring to the 'IBOC' (In-Band/On-Channel) system used on the radio dials in the U.S. HD actually stands for 'Hybrid Digital' meaning the digital signal is piggy-backed on top of (or actually using the sidebands of) the analog frequency. Since there isn't enough bandwidth to effectively broadcast the digital signal, the quality of the digital signal ranges from that of a pretty good MP3 file to a rather horrible sounding MP3 file. IMHO an excellent quality analog FM signal sounds better than an IBOC digital presentation of the same programming any day of the week.
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post #10 of 20 Old 08-16-2009, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, all of the above helps.

How do I post my TVfool here?
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post #11 of 20 Old 08-16-2009, 12:14 PM
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When you're viewing the TVFool results, just copy/paste the URL into a message. That will be sufficient.

-- Kevin
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post #12 of 20 Old 08-18-2009, 09:01 AM
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On the TVFool results page, look for the bolded link for sharing results. Copy & paste it back here.

For FM, go to:
http://fmfool.com
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post #13 of 20 Old 08-19-2009, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I saved to desktop and tried copying and pasting but wouldn't work?

Dont see anything in bold that will allow sharing?
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post #14 of 20 Old 08-19-2009, 05:45 PM
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If you've saved the ".png" file to your desktop, you can attach it to a post by uploading it to AVS. When you're writing a post, a bit below the message-composition box there's an "Manage Attachments" button. Hit it and you'll get a dialog which lets you choose ("Browse") a file on your computer, then upload it to the AVS server. The result will look something like this.
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post #15 of 20 Old 08-21-2009, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok Thanks I'll try that. How do I omit my address as that's showing on the 'fool' ?
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post #16 of 20 Old 08-21-2009, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naughtybutnice View Post

How do I omit my address as that's showing on the 'fool' ?

Should already be obscured - to just your ZIP code.

Here is mine:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...23c51d6ecdfd6f

If you are really paranoid keep in mind if anyone wanted to figure out your address it is pretty easy since distance to multiple transmitters are shown. Simple triangulation pinpoints your address.
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post #17 of 20 Old 08-22-2009, 06:06 AM
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More help:

AVS HD Radio Forum: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forum...ysprune=&f=154

Over-the-air FAQ: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=611957

And, for fine tuning, check your local thread. Index here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=453241

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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post #18 of 20 Old 08-23-2009, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tschmidt View Post

Should already be obscured - to just your ZIP code.

Here is mine:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...23c51d6ecdfd6f

If you are really paranoid keep in mind if anyone wanted to figure out your address it is pretty easy since distance to multiple transmitters are shown. Simple triangulation pinpoints your address.

Got it. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

More help:

AVS HD Radio Forum: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forum...ysprune=&f=154

Over-the-air FAQ: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=611957

And, for fine tuning, check your local thread. Index here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=453241

Nice - just what the doc ordered.
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post #19 of 20 Old 08-25-2009, 07:08 PM
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jtbell supplies very valuable and patient answers.
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post #20 of 20 Old 08-26-2009, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naughtybutnice View Post

...Dont see anything in bold that will allow sharing?

1. Enter your address and a rough estimate of antenna height, to find available local channels.

2. On the results page, the bolded link for sharing results will be near the top of the page.


Your address will not appear on the results page.
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