HDTV Technical

DrDon's Avatar DrDon
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If you'd like to add to this FAQ, please do the following. Click on the POST REPLY button (don't use the quick reply window). Type the FAQ in the TITLE space. Then answer the FAQ in the message window. I will assemble the questions into the first post of this thread and link each one to the post that contains the question and answer.


1. Do I need a special antenna to receive HDTV?
2. How can I find out how much antenna I need?
3. Do I need a rotator?
4. Do I need to ground my antenna?
5. Are OTA digital broadcasts all UHF?
6. What are the VHF channels?
7. What are the UHF channels?
8. Is a station's digital signal transmitted on the same channel as its analog signal was?
9. If I'm tuning to ch 45 to watch HDTV, why does the display say 7.1?
10. What's better: more antenna or a pre-amp?
11. What is "multipath?"
12. How useful are dish clip-on antennas and other unconventional antenna solutions?
13. Is analog reception an indicator of how good digital reception will be?
14. My TV says it's HD Ready. Why can't I tune to any digital stations?
15. I was getting channel x yesterday, but today it's gone. What happened?
16. I plugged my HDTV into my cable system and didn't get anything. Why?
17. Are there other sites I can go to to learn more?
18. Are there sites other than antennaweb I can use?
19. What is NTSC, ATSC, QAM and CableCard?
20. What do I do if my Homeowner's or Condo Association prohibits external antennas?
DrDon's Avatar DrDon
06:24 AM Liked: 290
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No. Digital television signals occupy the same part of the television spectrum as analog television signals always have. Any antenna technology that worked for your trusty old television will work for digital. That said, digital is an all-or-nothing proposition. Where you may have been able to live with a fuzzy or ghosty signal on your analog TV, your HDTV may not be able to lock on. You may need more antenna. Depending on how far away from the towers you live, you may can get by with a pair of rabbit ears or you may need to invest in a rooftop antenna.

If you already have an old VHF/UHF rooftop antenna, it should work just fine. You may need to replace the coax running to it and/or add a pre-amp, depending on your specific situation. You can find out more by asking around in your local thread:

Local HDTV Info and Reception

and this:
United States THREAD INDEX - Find your local discussion thread HERE

You can also ask on this thread:
The Official AVS Antenna Topic!
DrDon's Avatar DrDon
06:27 AM Liked: 290
post #3 of 248
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Start by going to www.tvfool.com and entering all of your information, or at least your zip code. You'll get a list of all of the available stations, analog and digital, the distance they are from you, the direction they are from you and the actual digital channel they broadcast on. It is only a guide. You may need more or less antenna depending on a host of variables, including terrain, nearby structures and so forth.

www.antennaweb.org is another simular antenna guide, but not as good.
Ennui's Avatar Ennui
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The antennaweb output will show if stations are widely separated in azimuth direction; if stations are more than 20 degrees compass direction apart and more than 30 miles away, in general, you will need to adjust your antenna. "High gain" antennas are very narrow in azimuth sensitivity. The half power points (3 db down) even down to 5 to 10 degrees in some cases for very high gain antennas.

If only two directions are of interest, it is possible to "gang" two antennas in different directions but with a 3 db loss and with the possibility of inteference.
greywolf's Avatar greywolf
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Be sure to check your local building codes as these can vary from place to place. Generally though, good information is available at the following:



AVSforum member Signal posted the following helpful sites. Dish and antenna masts have the same grounding requirements.

National Electrical Code - Search for "dish" http://forums.nfpa.org:8081/necfaq/necsrch.htm

The information there also applies to antenna grounding. In the 2002 code update, if a water pipe is used, it must be all metal and connected to the electrical panel within 5ft of where the pipe enters the building. The connection to the pipe from the lightning arrestor/ground block and from the antenna/dish mast must also be within 5ft of the pipe's entry.

Preventing Damage Due to Ground Potential Difference

PSIHQ - Grounding Requirements

Probably the most important parts of grounding are to ground the antenna mast and to bond any separate grounding rods to the main building ground. These are safety issues.
Nitewatchman's Avatar Nitewatchman
04:17 PM Liked: 16
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VHF and UHF Channels 2-51 are to be used for OTA DTV/HD broadcasting after analog shut off. Current UHF TV channels 52~69 are being reallocated for other uses.

However, the suitability of Lo-VHF channels 2-6 for DTV is currently in question and it may turn out to be the case that very few stations will end up on channel 2-6 after analog shut off.
Nitewatchman's Avatar Nitewatchman
04:35 PM Liked: 16
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There are two bands for OTA VHF television channels :

VHF-LO = Channel 2-6 = 54-88MHZ

VHF-HI = Channel 7-13 = 174-216MHZ

Typical outdoor VHF/UHF combo antennas are designed for reception of all TV channels, including VHF Channel 2-13 and usually are also designed for FM broadcast band(88~108MHZ) reception. The longest elements(rods) on the antenna are for reception of VHF-LO TV channels+FM, as the lower the frequency, the longer the wavelength.

There are also VHF/FM "broadband" antennas available designed for reception of VHF TV channels 2-13 and FM, as well as antennas designed for VHF-LO band only, and for VHF-HI band only.

"Rabbit Ears" are currently the most effective VHF indoor settop antenna available.

Note that when seperate VHF/UHF antennas are used, a VHF/UHF joiner is required to combine the antennas if the use of a single feedline is desired.
Nitewatchman's Avatar Nitewatchman
04:41 PM Liked: 16
post #8 of 248
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Current UHF TV band :

Channel 14-69 = 470-806 MHZ

Post-transistion UHF TV band(After analog shut off) :

Channel 14-51 = 470-698MHZ

Note that Channel 37(608~614MHZ) is not used for TV broadcasting, as it is allocated for Radio Astronomy.
richard korsgren's Avatar richard korsgren
05:48 PM Liked: 10
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Thru years with FM and VHF, I have found that using a bigger antenna and getting more height on same is much better than a pre-amp. From my experience, a pre-amp helps to hold onto the signal you have at the antenna head but does not magically bring in a much stronger signal. In many cases, a rotator comes in very handy to direct the antenna right at the incoming signal. (more)

Pre-amps do more than overcome line loss, however:
Originally Posted by NightHawk View Post

STB's and receivers are not designed with maximum sensitivity in mind. Sensitivity is determined by system noise figure and the average STB is estimated to have a 7 dB noise figure. The better ones today may achieve 5 dB. Add to those numbers a 2 to 4 dB dB cable loss. A properly installed, mast-mounted pre-amp can set the system noise figure to equal the NF of the pre-amp and almost completely negate not only the cable loss but the relatively poor NF of the STB. Instead of of a system NF of 9 to 13 dB we can have with very little work a system NF 2.5 dB. This represents a very substantial advantage to the consumer living 50 miles from a half-power DTV transmitter. While I agree the best place to start for those folks is the highest gain antenna possible, a pre-amp is a legitimate next step for long-range reception regardless of cable loss.

Televes and Winegard and Channel Master all make very good antennas that last a long time. I have a Televes antenna and it looks very handsome as well and very well built. Always buy a little more antenna than you think you need. That extra will come in handy in bad weather. It can not hurt! Happy viewing and listening. By the way, a good place to find out about antennas and to buy them is at 'stark electronics'.
richard korsgren's Avatar richard korsgren
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Multipath is a signal taking different routes to arrive at your location. The main signal comes directly from the television station's transmitter to your antenna. But that signal may also bounce off of a nearby building or an airplane flying overhead. That bounced signal arrives at your antenna a split second later. With analog TV, this results in a "ghost;" a second, faint, image to the right of the main image. In digital television, receivers are designed to reject some multipath signals, but strong ones can wreck the signal enough that your tuner can't decode the digital signal. One sign of a digital multipath problem is a receiver that shows full signal strength, but acts as if it's barely getting any.

Directional antennas, like the ones common to rooftops, are designed to reject bounced signals. And some receivers are better at rejecting multipath than others.

A rooftop antenna should be grounded properly and the connections to be weatherproofed as well. (Attic antennas are not required to be grounded). The wire carrying the signal should be checked, maybe, yearly to see that all connections are sound and tight.

Attic antennas may work if the transmitters are no more than 15/20 miles away. But the attic, itself, may cause more multipath. (Your mileage may vary: some AVS Members have reported solid reception at farther distances using attic antennas) Trial and error is the best thing here. Each installation is different. A clean line of sight is important to the transmitters, of course. UHF antennas work for UHF stations and VHF antennas work for VHF stations. In some areas, you may need a combo antenna since some digital stations in those areas may be on VHF frequencies.
Nitewatchman's Avatar Nitewatchman
10:32 PM Liked: 16
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No. Stations have been assigned a separate channel for their digital broadcasts. Each TV station has two transmitters. One for analog and one for digital.

The actual channel number corresponds directly to a 6MHZ wide range of frequencies that is used by the signal. It is also the channel number referred to in the "Frequency Assignment" column in the results for your location from www.antennaweb.org.

It is sometimes important to know the actual channels for your local digital stations. Two of those reasons are :

#1). So you know whether to use a UHF, VHF or a combination of VHF/UHF antenna(s).

#2). In order to "scan in" an individual station so your receiver can use it, some receivers require you to input the actual channel number. Some receivers will also allow you to tune directly to the "actual" channel via direct access tuning to access the programming, either via a Major channel number, or a major/minor channel number combination, such as "28.3". Note that the minor channel x.3 in this case reffers to a MPEG2 program stream number.

With analog OTA reception, The "actual channel number" for any given analog station is what we are used to directly tuning to. For example, WNBC-TV analog in New York, NY transmits on VHF channel 4(66~72MHZ), and OTA viewers in NYC area tune their analog TV directly to channel 4 to receive them.

With digital OTA reception, WNBC-DT(digital) New York, NY currently actually transmits on UHF channel 28(554~560MHZ). Or, another way to say it would be WNBC-DT transmits on RF(Radio frequency) TV channel 28. But, with most receivers, viewers will need to tune to a virtual remapped channel 4.1, or 4.2 to watch programming from WNBC-DT. For more info, see "9. If I'm tuning to ch 45 to watch HDTV, why does the display say 7.1?. "

Note that after analog shut off, some digital stations will be moving to a different channel than they are currently transmitting on. For example, at the current time, KABC-DT, Los Angeles, CA is broadcasting digitally on UHF channel 53, but will switch their digital transmissions to VHF channel 7 after the DTV transistion is complete and analog shut off occurs.
Nitewatchman's Avatar Nitewatchman
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Within their signal, digital stations send channel remapping info via something called "PSIP". PSIP stands for "program and system information protocol" -- see here for more info : http://www.psip.org/ . Note that stations can, and do send quite a bit more info besides virtual channel remapping info via PSIP, such as Time/date info as well as Electronic programming guide.

In most cases, the virtual "remapped channel" number is the channel you will see displayed on your TV, when you tune to a local digital/HD station, and in most cases is the channel you'll tune to in order to watch that station.

In most cases, in discussions on AVSforum the virtual, "remapped channel" number is usually what we use when we list digital station channel numbers, and is also what is referred to in the "channel" column in your results for your location at www.antennaweb.org.

Virtual channel remapping via PSIP allows stations to keep the channel branding which exists for their current, analog station even though the actual channel* the digital station is broadcasting on is different currently, or may be a different actual channel number after analog shut off occurs. It also allows viewers to use the same channel number for the digital station they are used to using for the analog station.

* - For more info See 8. Is a station's digital signal transmitted on the same channel as its analog signal?

An important thing to remember is that the "remapped channel" is a "virtual channel" and has nothing to do with the actual channel/frequency the digital station is broadcasting on. Therefore even though it may appear when you tune to say, channel 4.1 that you are tuning to a VHF channel, the station may actually be broadcasting on a UHF channel/frequency and the tuner in your receiver/set is actually "tuning" not to channel 4, but to the actual channel the station is broadcasting on, even though it displays "4.1" on the screen.

For example, WNBC-DT(digital) New York, NY remapped channel is 4, although WNBC-DT actually transmits on UHF channel 28(554~560 MHZ).

Also, with Digital TV, "remapped" channels are displayed in the following format :

[ X.x ] X = Major remapped virtual channel number, and x= minor remapped virtual channel number .

A station will have one major remapped channel number, and, with multicasting can run several different program services on several different minor channel numbers. For example, WNBC-DT New York has the following remapped virtual channels :

4.1 for NBC/NBC HD/WNBC programming
4.2 for NBC "weather Plus"

In most cases the remapped major channel number will be the same as the analog station's channel number. For example, WNBC-TV(analog) transmits on VHF channel 4(66~72MHZ), WNBC-DT(digital) remapped major channel number is also 4, even though the digital station actually transmits on UHF channel 28(554~560MHZ).

One problem with virtual channel remapping is that an OTA only DTV receiver must be getting a "good enough" signal to acheive a signal lock from the station in order to receive the PSIP information from the station in order for the channel remapping to be accomplished. So, in some cases it can be difficult, and cumbersome, to adjust the antenna for reception of different stations while only using the "autoscan" feature of the receiver to "find" stations in your area. However, luckily, most, if not all receivers do have the capability to allow the user to either :

#1).Tune manually directly to the channel the station is actually broadcasting on via "direct acess tuning".

#2). Access a "channel edit" screen that will allow you to manually select actual channel numbers for broadcast stations in your area so that the PSIP info from the station will be "saved" when you achieve a signal lock on the station of interest.

#3) Via a menu option, to specify the Actual channel number the station is broadcasting on in order to "scan in" the station so you can view the signal meter on the receiver while adjusting antenna accordingly, or an option that will allow you to add/scan in a number of "new" channels without deleting previously "scanned in" channels.

It is often necessary to have these options not only for adjusting your "rabbit ear" antenna, but also so you will be able to "scan in" stations in different directions from your location given for example, the use of a directional antenna with rotor.
greywolf's Avatar greywolf
08:48 PM Liked: 10
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12-09-2005 | Posts: 7,086
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Another tool for locating stations near you:

Here's a page that discusses putting up antennas:

You can find general information on how antennas work and a glossary of terms here:
Bill Johnson's Avatar Bill Johnson
09:37 PM Liked: 10
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Agree with Pat and of course it would have to be carefully worded. Don't want Doc to have to fly back from New Dehli to defend the Forum against a suit filed by high priced antenna lawyers.

And separately have to say it: Pat's 2nd cited link seriously undercuts mileage once in a while possible using attic antennas (with no qualifiers).
Nitewatchman's Avatar Nitewatchman
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For analog reception, a lot of these antenna solutions work well, mostly because the signals they're designed to receive are largely VHF. Analog televisions are also very forgiving. A weak signal can look a little fuzzy. A slight ghost isn't that bothersome. But digital television is an all-or-nothing proposition. Instability in the signal can result in no picture at all. For this reason, dish clip-on antennas, "whole house wiring" antennas and other unconventional solutions may not work well with digital television. For more information, see section #2 here:

greywolf's Avatar greywolf
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The things that always bothered me about clip ons is they are relatively low gain folded dipoles which are size dependent for best frequency fit, and are bidirectional but cannot be aimed.
Wendell R. Breland's Avatar Wendell R. Breland
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12-12-2005 | Posts: 4,408
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For richard korsgren: In reference to your post #9. There can be situations where a antenna with a narrow beam patten will be desirable. This will usually entail a larger antenna with higher gain. If one has overload problems with a higher gain antenna the overload problem can be remedied by inserting a pad (6-12 dB) in the line.

PS - A compliment to the thread and all the post- Very Good Work

Wendell R. Breland Retired Technical Services Supervisor MAETV - MPB Click Red or Green Below For More Info
DrDon's Avatar DrDon
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12-18-2005 | Posts: 12,800
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It can be, but not always.

Pre-transition, some DTV stations ran at a lower, or reduced power, which makes it hard to tell since the analog station was running full blast. Some stations may still have their DTV antenna much lower on their tower or on a different tower altogether.

Still others have analog and digital channels at different ends of the band. An analog station at UHF22 may have come in rock solid while its DTV signal at, say, UHF-62, won't.

Then there's the case of VHF analog stations with UHF digital counterparts. In those cases, prior analog reception is no guarantee of digital reception at all.

I'd go with a directional outdoor antenna, mounted as high as possible, and try a DTV tuner from a source that has a good return policy.

Bottom line is you have to try it to know.

(Originally posted by Ken H in another thread)
sregener's Avatar sregener
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12-21-2005 | Posts: 3,085
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HD-Ready sets are just that - ready to receive HD programming from another source throught DVI, HDMI or component cables. They have no internal digital tuner needed to receive and decode OTA signals. An external Set-Top-Box is required.

If you're shopping for an HDTV that doesn't need a set-top box, look for "HD Built-in" or "built-in ATSC" tuner. ATSC is the digital standard used by over-the-air broadcasters. Don't trust the ads. Google the make and model number to see if the set you're interested has a built-in ATSC tuner. Better still, check the appropriate Displays forum right here on AVS.

Note that a "built-in NTSC" tuner only means that the set can receive standard analog television broadcasts.
sregener's Avatar sregener
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12-21-2005 | Posts: 3,085
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If you were receiving a station that you don't normally get, the atmospheric conditions that helped you get the signal yesterday have changed.

If the station is one you are supposed to get, there are a few possibilities.

1) The station is having a problem. Consult your local thread in the Local HDTV forum.

2) Your antenna is having a problem. This is unlikely if you're still getting other stations properly, but there are some failures that are frequency-dependent.

3) The station has changed their PSIP information. PSIP is a protocol that tells your receiver how the broadcaster is sending the data, as well as including program information. If this changes, some tuners won't rescan the PSIP information when you tune the channel, so they try to find data that isn't organized the same way. Sometimes tuning to the 'real' digital channel (the actual one they're broadcasting on digitally, not the virtual one idenified as x-1) corrects this. For other receivers, you need to do a complete channel rescan.
DrDon's Avatar DrDon
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post #21 of 248
12-30-2005 | Posts: 12,800
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TVs and Set Top Boxes that exclusively tune over-the-air digital television won't receive HDTV over cable because cable systems use a different system. Broadcast stations transmit using ATSC protocols while cable systems transmit HDTV using QAM. Some tuners and televisions will get both ATSC and QAM. Check the specifications in your owner's manual to be sure. Satellite STBs will not receive QAM. Some cable systems encrypt some or all of their HDTV signals, so even QAM tuners won't display the channels. For that, you'd have to use the cable company's STB or a cablecard equipped STB or HDTV.

Conversely, you can't hook the cable company's STB up to an antenna to receive over-the-air HDTV for the same reason.

(clarifications welcome)
bdraw's Avatar bdraw
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02-07-2006 | Posts: 2,543
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Not sure if you want to add this but I wrote a short little article with pictures of an example.
Nitewatchman's Avatar Nitewatchman
06:38 PM Liked: 16
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03-08-2006 | Posts: 6,287
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In addition to bdraw's excellent article, Here are a couple more links concerning #17 that some folks might want to look at(probably moreso the article in Sound+vision mag ) :

HDTV over the Air, from Sound and Vision Magazine(page 1 of 3)

I dunno about this one -- It keeps talking about "High definition" antennas, although otherwise it seems OK ...

An introduction to High Definition Off air antennas from about.com

4/3/06 Update :

Here is A blog of a TV antenna design engineer at Winegard. In addition to several other articles related to DTV transision, there are several excellent articles concerning OTA digital reception :

OTA HDTV Reception Q&A

Also, several excellent articles on OTA reception and antennas can be found in the "HDTV antennas and Reception" section in Right sidebar here :

videobruce's Avatar videobruce
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Post deleted since the owner of 2150 stopped supporting his site.
DrDon's Avatar DrDon
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post #25 of 248
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From a post elsewhere by Ken H:


TV / Digital TV / Cable / DBS
Tuners 101

In addition to old style analog TV, there are three ways to receive Digital TV and HDTV; over the air (OTA), cable, and DBS. Here is a rundown on the various types of TV tuners available:

NTSC = Legacy analog TV
Receives VHF and UHF band, which determines antenna type required. Found in select HDTV's, select DTV tuners, select DBS tuners, CableCARD, PC cards.

DTV = Over the air Digital TV, which includes HDTV
Receives VHF and UHF band, which determines antenna type required. Found in select HDTV's, CableCARD, stand alone DTV STB, CableCARD, PC cards, USB tuners. Also known as ATSC tuner, HDTV tuner, 8VSB tuner.

QAM = Cable modulation system for DTV
No antenna required, just hook up cable to tuner. Most all cable systems offer the local HD channels they carry 'in-the-clear', viewable with a QAM tuner. Digital tier HD (ESPN HD, Discovery HD, etc.) and premium HD (HBO HD, Showtime HD) are almost always encrypted and not available to view with a QAM tuner. Found in cable STB's, CableCARD, select DTV tuners, PC cards, USB tuners, and select HDTV's. No DBS. Note that not all cableco's carry all the available local HD on their systems, which is when a DTV tuner and antenna would come in very handy.

CableCARD = Conditional access or cable TV
Cable companies supply for a monthly fee, usually $5 or less. In some areas a CableCARD is included with the programming subscription. The CableCARD goes into a CableCARD host device, like an HDTV with CableCARD compatibility, or the discontinued Sony HD DVR's. Once installed, you receive all cable subscribed channels without a cable box; analog, digital, HD, premium, etc. The downside of a CableCARD is that it can not provide pay per view, video on demand, or interactive program guide; all of which are available with cable HD STB and HD DVR (HD recording ability). CableCARD tuners also include QAM, DTV, NTSC tuners. No DBS.

tru2way = 2nd gen conditional access for cable TV
In addition to the capabilities of a 1st gen CableCARD host device, tru2way adds pay per view, video on demand, cable interactive program guide, and Switched Digital Video (SDV); standard CableCARD are used. tru2way devices currently include a few HDTV's, with stand alone boxes and more HDTV's expected at some point in the indefinite future.

Cable Set-Top-Box (STB) = A cable QAM tuner with conditional access
Receive all subscribed cable channels. No NTSC, DTV, DBS. CableCARD not needed for older units, CableCARD required for newer units.

Digital Transport Adapter (DTA) = Used primarily by Comcast at this time, a cable QAM tuner without conditional access that allows viewing of 'Standard Basic' cable channels. DTA's are used in areas that have had analog channels previously found on 1-99 reduced to the 'Limited Basic' tier, usually less than a total of 20.

Direct Broadcast Satellite STB = Either a DirecTV or Dish Network receiver or DVR
Receive all subscribed DBS channels, and also includes an DTV tuner (with the exception of the new DirecTV H21 receiver and HR21 DVR). Some include an NTSC tuner. No QAM, CableCARD.

Biba's Avatar Biba
04:09 PM Liked: 10
post #26 of 248
08-16-2006 | Posts: 1
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Old New Kid On The Block: I'm so old I listen to FM and watch 'regular' TV. Hey, what do you expect from a guy who is currently restoring a '58 Afla Spider for a client? Recently bought a (used) 27" Sony Trinitron WEGA. Seller and his friend set it up, I added an indoor antenna, and it worked superbly. Now, depending (apparently) on how the planets align, some stations come in great, other's suck beyond major sucking. I'm between 9.2 and 9.9 miles from all of the major antennas on Mt. Wilson (So. Cal). Bought an indoor VHF/UHF/HDTV programable antenna from Radio Shack (please no booing), and set it up in the afternoon. By evening everything had changed. I have no (visual) interference from here to Mt. Wilson, yet it is a hit or miss affair when I sit down to watch TV at night. Either a great or lousy picture, depending on the station, and no matter how I adust the antenna.

Is there a way to put in a period so I can get channel 4.1 rather than 41?

I live in an industrial unit and currently have access to my roof (currently being reroofed). What outdoor antenna should I get (though I really don't see why I need one being this close and in line of sight to Mt. Wiilson)?

I've noticed gain control (whatever that is) on Radio Shack antenna makes the picture worse when increasing it.

Went to AntennaWeb. Is the Frequency Assignment supposed to help me in some way?

Would also like to hook up my FM's to the antenna. Dooable? Radio Shacks diplexer got one star out of five. Not good. I want to split the incoming signal from roof antenna to three TV's and two FM radios. Again, dooable?
videobruce's Avatar videobruce
06:26 AM Liked: 160
post #27 of 248
08-17-2006 | Posts: 15,319
Joined: Dec 2002

Went to AntennaWeb. Is the Frequency Assignment supposed to help me in some way?

Higher the frequency the less range (usually). But why not get the full story here (three posts up);
Ahmed Farooq's Avatar Ahmed Farooq
09:35 AM Liked: 10
post #28 of 248
09-26-2007 | Posts: 1
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Step 1; Go here and enter your zip code, then click 'search';

We operate iBegin, and I thought most users would find this of interest: http://geocoder.ibegin.com/downloads.php [the entire US ZIP Code database in an easy to download format]
videobruce's Avatar videobruce
08:51 AM Liked: 160
post #29 of 248
10-31-2007 | Posts: 15,319
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Ahmed Farooq; I use to use the Tiger server for the lat. and long., but it was too outdated and didn't include Canada. Someone from Ontario pointed me to this which is a nice improvement. My hats off to you and your database.

One thing; when you enter a US zip code, the results on the third line duplicates the Longitude, not the zip code. Canadian Postal codes aren't affected.

BTW; welcome to the forums.
VeryFewforums's Avatar VeryFewforums
08:04 PM Liked: 10
post #30 of 248
11-04-2007 | Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2007
I have a Panasonic plasma with a ATSC tuner and a roof top antenna. Yes I am amazed at how many free digital channels are available but unfortunately like all tuners it is a matter of -aim your antenna for the best trade off - and start tuning. Once tuning is completed I can get some of the Boston channels but there are many more channels that I can not receive as digital signals are very directional. I live closer to Providence RI and some channels are also located in the local cities of Worcester, New Bedford and even up in New Hampshire. If my tuner allowed me to retune in individual channels I could get them all perfectly with a rotator but NO because it is a one scan deal. I then bought a Sat box with built in ATSC tuner for my mother further north and found even the Boston channels were too directional to allow reception of even the big 5 (NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS and FOX) all at once. After playing with the best signal strength for a couple of hours I found I had to give up on getting digital NBC on 4-1 and the CW if I wanted her to get 2-1, 2-2 and all the 44's (-1 thru -4). These still came in as Analog but once the big switch is over she'll actually get less channels than she did with Analog. Perhaps our goverment doesn't care that Senior citizens who can't afford cable or Sat can't tune in the main channels even with a roof top antenna due to the -one scan and your done- issue with the tuners. I assume the discount DTV boxes will work this way. The general public also doesn't know that SD on a set under 27" looks great and they don't need to replace these smaller sets with digital ones (the land fills are filling up for sure) as the digital tuners will make the picture fantastic near DVD quality. The manufacturers should design these tuners to allow moving of the antenna to get the more directional signal. I also found the cheapest rabbit ears worked better than the most expensive amplified set top antenna I could find.

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