Do newer HDTVs provide better reception than older tvs? - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

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HDTV Technical

JHawk's Avatar JHawk
04:26 PM Liked: 10
post #1 of 12
03-26-2013 | Posts: 226
Joined: Oct 2001
Feels like a stupid question so it probably is.....my situation is I have an old Zenith EDTV hooked up to a Antennas Direct - ClearStream 2V Long-Range HDTV Antenna. This is at my lake house which is about 35 miles from the nearest station. Generally I get the 3 major networks most of the time. My Zenith is on its' last legs and I'm wondering if I can expect "better/more consistent" reception from a newer tv.

I realize that the antenna is the most important but was curious if changing the tv will make a difference.

TIA,

JHawk

On the road to the Final Four......again :-)
jjeff's Avatar jjeff
04:44 PM Liked: 105
post #2 of 12
03-26-2013 | Posts: 10,025
Joined: Nov 2007
Comparing to your set, which is quite old I'd say yes. I don't know that I'd say sets of the last couple years are better than one another but they have come along quite a bit since the days of EDTV.
I'd say the biggest gain is in how they handle multipath but even low signal strength seems to have gotten better in the last couple years.
rabbit73's Avatar rabbit73
05:38 PM Liked: 16
post #3 of 12
03-26-2013 | Posts: 915
Joined: Apr 2008
Your question is not stupid.

During the transition from analog to digital TV, the CECBs (coupon eligible converter boxes) generally had better tuners than TVs because they needed to meet the tuner specs to be eligible for the coupon program. The TV tuners have now caught up, but there are still some differences between tuners from brand to brand and within a brand.

The tuner specs for TVs are not published, so I use a test setup to compare the performance of my tuners. I connect the coax from the antenna to a variable attenuator and then to a splitter which feeds two TVs. I then make the signal weaker by adding attenuation to see which set is able to decode the weaker signal as indicated by pixellation, picture freeze, and finally dropout.

This test gives me an indication of which tuner is more sensitive and, to some extent, which is better able to handle multipath reflections, and is similar to the test in the link in my signature.

What does the tvool report for the lake house look like? The tvfool system lately only seems to respond to coordinates. I have read that it is having problems with the Google map system when using an address, so I use Bing maps to obtain the coordinates to enter into the tvfool system.
tylerSC's Avatar tylerSC
07:29 PM Liked: 110
post #4 of 12
03-26-2013 | Posts: 4,435
Joined: Jun 2010
Newer generation TVs have more sensitive tuners in most cases.
RCbridge's Avatar RCbridge
10:16 AM Liked: 15
post #5 of 12
03-27-2013 | Posts: 1,911
Joined: Jul 2002
Just curious how is the reception on your present TV on all channels?
JHawk's Avatar JHawk
01:27 PM Liked: 10
post #6 of 12
03-27-2013 | Posts: 226
Joined: Oct 2001
My cabin is located on a lake midway between Kansas City and Topeka. Just outside the backdoor toward KC (east) is a pretty good sized hill (by Kansas standards:p) that has lots of trees. As such I can rarely get any of those stations although once in a while in the winter I can get CBS. I have my antenna facing west toward the lake and by using TV Fool to help I have it aimed so I can get CBS,ABC and NBC from Topeka. However a very small change in the antenna location,ie, a big gust of wind, and I get pixelation of CBS and sometimes ABC.

My wife is hell bent on no antenna on a pole so hence the one I am using which is attached on the corner of the deck.

My old Zenith EDTV could probably last a while longer so maybe I'm just looking for an excuse to upgrade the tv. Having said that, if the newer sets have better tuners then it is probably worth it.

JHawk
Rammitinski's Avatar Rammitinski
02:34 PM Liked: 20
post #7 of 12
03-27-2013 | Posts: 17,437
Joined: Sep 2005

So it's a multipath or blockage issue? I don't know how much a new tuner is going to help if the situation's caused by a hill or trees.

 

Ask your wife if she'd prefer gambling on a new, expensive TV, having a monthly, Limited Basic (locals) cable bill, or putting up with an antenna on a pole. biggrin.gif


JHawk's Avatar JHawk
04:09 PM Liked: 10
post #8 of 12
03-27-2013 | Posts: 226
Joined: Oct 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

So it's a multipath or blockage issue? I don't know how much a new tuner is going to help if the situation's caused by a hill or trees.

Ask your wife if she'd prefer gambling on a new, expensive TV, having a monthly, Limited Basic (locals) cable bill, or putting up with an antenna on a pole. biggrin.gif

Well I know what would happen to the pole if I got one......and it would definitely be where the sun doesn't shine:)

There really isn't a tree issue when pointed toward the west..... but the Topeka stations are located so that multipath could be a problem I'm afraid. I'm certain there is little hope for getting the KC stations to the east.

JHawk
clarkf's Avatar clarkf
12:23 PM Liked: 10
post #9 of 12
03-28-2013 | Posts: 32
Joined: Jan 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHawk View Post

Well I know what would happen to the pole if I got one......and it would definitely be where the sun doesn't shine:)
JHawk

Well..... I don't know if the pole would do any good in the basement
Otto Pylot's Avatar Otto Pylot
01:59 PM Liked: 290
post #10 of 12
03-28-2013 | Posts: 7,793
Joined: May 2004
Years ago when HDTV STBs were available for HDTV-Ready tvs (no internal ATSC tuners), LG probably made the best ATSC tuners. I used one on my Sony CRT and it worked perfectly. So when we bought our first flat panel, we went with LG and it too has been flawless for OTA tv. That being said, I think most newer tv's today, if you purchase a major mfr (LG, Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Toshiba), all have good ATSC tuners so the tv will not be the issue, it's the antenna. The best reception possible is outside, rooftop, at least 30' from ground level, possibly with a rotor. The antenna type will be determined on what your local towers are broadcasting, what you want to pick up, and their geographic coordinates to you. TVFool will give that information and from that you can determine the best type of antenna for you. Terrain is also an issue; hills, buildings, trees (with or without leaves), etc. There are indoor solutions as well but they are more problematic than an outdoor, rooftop, antenna.
JHawk's Avatar JHawk
10:26 PM Liked: 10
post #11 of 12
04-02-2013 | Posts: 226
Joined: Oct 2001
Just as a follow up....I bought the 39" Toshiba that Best Buy has on sale this week and replaced the Zenith EDTV. Happily now I can get all the Topeka and KC broadcast stations. I did not have to do anything to the antenna. I'm guessing that when the trees on the hill to the east get their leaves I may not get as good of reception of the KC stations.

I donated the Zenith(that thing weighs a ton) to a local charity for displaced families and they were very appreciative so this whole adventure has been a win-win.

Thank you all for your help and suggestions.....it's certainly not cheaper to buy a new tv but in the end I got the reception I wanted without having to get a new antenna as well.

JHawk
Doctego's Avatar Doctego
06:18 AM Liked: 41
post #12 of 12
04-03-2013 | Posts: 748
Joined: Nov 2012
Glad that you found a solution and got someone to take your old TV.. When I moved a few years ago, I couldn't give away my older TV. I even put it on the curb on a busy street and had no takers. Maybe things would have been different if I tried to get rid of it after Hurricane Sandy (it was years earlier) but I ended up having to take it to the dump for "recycling".
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