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post #1 of 29 Old 12-23-2006, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all,

I just recently bought an HDTV with a built in HDTV tuner. I currently have basic comcast cable. However, while playing with my new HDTV , I went to the TV Tuner part in the menu and decided to search for channels. To my surprise, it found 37 analog channels and 39 digital channels. I was really surprised. Among the digital channels I got two HD channels, VERY SURPRISED, which were NBC (KMTR HD 16.1) and FOX (KLSR HD 34.1).

I went to the antennaweb website to see what digital channels were offered in my area. Antennaweb did show the two HD channels I was receiving but it also showed a few others such as ABC, CBS and OPB. I was wondering why I didn't receive those other channels since, according to the site, they are within the same distance/city as the two HD channels I was receiving. Any reason for this? Will a cable tv amplifier increase their reception?

Thanks for your time guys.
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post #2 of 29 Old 12-23-2006, 08:22 PM
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I'd say your ABC, CBS and OPB broadcasters are weak or your attenna is trash. Please for the love of god do not use a cable TV amp!!!! Go onto ebay or amazon and buy yourself a Zenith Silver Sensor indoor antenna. It's the best antenna on the market and is one of the only ones out there that is actually designed to specifically receive digital signals (unlike all the copy cats). It cost about $15-20 also! Try this one first then you can move onto bigger outdoor antennas. I wouldn't be surprised if these channels are "in-the-clear" on your QAM tuner on your cable system. They would be in the 500, 600, 700, or 800. If the regular channel number was 6, say for NBC, the digital cable channels number would be 506.
Do yourself a favor and upgrade to HD cable. There are quite a few wonderful HD channels that are totally worth their weight in gold. You have the TV, now get the services to make it work!

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post #3 of 29 Old 12-23-2006, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Yea thats a great idea, after seeing those beautiful HD channels, I just might decide to get the service. However, the weird thing is I'm not using an antenna...I just connected the cable tv coaxial cable to my tv. Then using the HD tuner in the menu I did a channel search and it found all those channels I mentioned. I'm not that hdtv savvy but why shouldnt I use a cable tv amp?

Thanks for your reply.
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post #4 of 29 Old 12-24-2006, 04:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I have found the problem. I removed the splitter (5-900 mhz) which split my wall coaxial cable for internet and tv and directly connected the wall coaxial cable to my tv and viola, all the local HD channels came. I guess my new problem is now finding out which component was the culprit, the splitter or the extra coaxial cable that connected the splitter to the tv. Any suggestions, ideas??

Thanks
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post #5 of 29 Old 12-24-2006, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miniz View Post

I'd say your ABC, CBS and OPB broadcasters are weak or your attenna is trash. Please for the love of god do not use a cable TV amp!!!! Go onto ebay or amazon and buy yourself a Zenith Silver Sensor indoor antenna. It's the best antenna on the market and is one of the only ones out there that is actually designed to specifically receive digital signals (unlike all the copy cats). It cost about $15-20 also! Try this one first then you can move onto bigger outdoor antennas. I wouldn't be surprised if these channels are "in-the-clear" on your QAM tuner on your cable system. They would be in the 500, 600, 700, or 800. If the regular channel number was 6, say for NBC, the digital cable channels number would be 506.
Do yourself a favor and upgrade to HD cable. There are quite a few wonderful HD channels that are totally worth their weight in gold. You have the TV, now get the services to make it work!

1. Antennas don't care about analog or digital, period.
2. Unencrypted QAM channels will be displayed on their actual RF channels such as 84.2, 102.3, etc... Not the mapped channels as on a cable box.
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post #6 of 29 Old 12-24-2006, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htpw16 View Post

Ok, I have found the problem. I removed the splitter (5-900 mhz) which split my wall coaxial cable for internet and tv and directly connected the wall coaxial cable to my tv and viola, all the local HD channels came. I guess my new problem is now finding out which component was the culprit, the splitter or the extra coaxial cable that connected the splitter to the tv. Any suggestions, ideas??

Thanks

First question would be what channels were the new found HD channels on compared to the first couple you picked up? The 3.5 dB of loss in the splitter could be pushing the higher channels off the deep end.
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post #7 of 29 Old 12-24-2006, 10:53 AM
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[quote=bfoster]1. Antennas don't care about analog or digital, period.
2. Unencrypted QAM channels will be displayed on their actual RF channels such as 84.2, 102.3, etc... Not the mapped channels as on a cable box.[/QUOTE

1. While your first point is true, some antennas such as the Silver Sensor are designed better then others to pick up ATSC broadcasts. There is reason why the Silver Sensor is used as the benchmark by the FCC... because it works the BEST!

2. Depends on the cable system. Some remap onto higher channles even for QAM tuners.

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post #8 of 29 Old 12-24-2006, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htpw16 View Post

Ok, I have found the problem. I removed the splitter (5-900 mhz) which split my wall coaxial cable for internet and tv and directly connected the wall coaxial cable to my tv and viola, all the local HD channels came. I guess my new problem is now finding out which component was the culprit, the splitter or the extra coaxial cable that connected the splitter to the tv. Any suggestions, ideas??

Thanks

Your splitter is the problem. It is "chopping off" the higher end of the spectrum. Replace is with a 5-1000Mhz splitter. I'd bet your cable company will install or provide one free of charge if you ask.

"PLEASE HELP STOP HDTV ABUSE! FEED YOUR HDTV AN HD SIGNAL!"
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post #9 of 29 Old 12-24-2006, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miniz View Post


1. While your first point is true, some antennas such as the Silver Sensor are designed better then others to pick up ATSC broadcasts. There is reason why the Silver Sensor is used as the benchmark by the FCC... because it works the BEST!

2. Depends on the cable system. Some remap onto higher channles even for QAM tuners.

1. Cute marketing, but you suggest it not knowing whether the OP is 6 or 60 miles from a transmitter.

2. I may be mistaken, but I have yet to hear of a QAM tuner without a cablecard installed that will map channels.
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post #10 of 29 Old 12-24-2006, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miniz View Post

Your splitter is the problem. It is "chopping off" the higher end of the spectrum. Replace is with a 5-1000Mhz splitter. I'd bet your cable company will install or provide one free of charge if you ask.

Pretty good troubleshooter you are

You could probably count on one hand the number of cable systems in the country that use any frequency higher than 870 MHz.
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post #11 of 29 Old 12-24-2006, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Will using a signal booster (i.e. Motorola Signal Booster etc), then using the auto search for channels, increase the number of digital channels I can receive or is that just a myth?
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post #12 of 29 Old 12-24-2006, 08:00 PM
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Answer post #6 and I'll tell you. :-)
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post #13 of 29 Old 12-24-2006, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
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The first HD channels I got were 16.1 and 34.1 (NBC and Fox), after solving the splitter issue, the new HD channels were:

PBS 10.1
ABC 9.1
CBS 13.1

According to antennaweb there are 3 more channels:

32.1 CW 69.8 miles
22.1 i 69.8 miles
49.1 MNT 69.8 miles

The farthest HD channel I'm currently getting is 10.1 (PBS) and it is 69.9 miles away.
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post #14 of 29 Old 12-24-2006, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htpw16 View Post

The first HD channels I got were 16.1 and 34.1 (NBC and Fox), after solving the splitter issue, the new HD channels were:

PBS 10.1
ABC 9.1
CBS 13.1

According to antennaweb there are 3 more channels:

32.1 CW 69.8 miles
22.1 i 69.8 miles
49.1 MNT 69.8 miles

The farthest HD channel I'm currently getting is 10.1 (PBS) and it is 69.9 miles away.

Somehow I'm not surprised!

"PLEASE HELP STOP HDTV ABUSE! FEED YOUR HDTV AN HD SIGNAL!"
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post #15 of 29 Old 12-24-2006, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Will a signal booster allow my tv to detect these 3 more channels?
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post #16 of 29 Old 12-24-2006, 09:42 PM
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If you are receiving these channels from your cable company and not an antenna the distances on antennaweb mean nothing. The first thing you should do is look at the local thread for your area and see what others are getting on your cable system.

You can find your local thread here;

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=453241
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post #17 of 29 Old 12-25-2006, 01:43 AM - Thread Starter
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This is a little off subject. My HDTV has an optical audio output. I was wondering, if I used an optical audio cable to connect my digital speaker system, will the speakers even output audio for non digital channels? I know the digital channels will have enhanced/better quality audio, however, will I end up with no sound with the non digital channels?

Thanks.
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post #18 of 29 Old 12-26-2006, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I have another question. When using a signal amplifier, is it preferable to place it before or after the splitter (for tv and internet)?

Thanks.
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post #19 of 29 Old 12-26-2006, 04:31 PM
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An amplifier will be ineffective on channels such as CW as the HD counterpart is not carried on the cable system in the Eugene/Springfield area. Only OTA.

The optical cable will not output analog audio.
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post #20 of 29 Old 12-26-2006, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
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So if I were to subscribe for HD channels with comcast, then in that case they would send me the HD signal for channels such as CW?

Also, any antenna suggestions for stations that are over 40-50 miles away? or are outdoor antennas the only way to get those stations? I bought this crappy hdtv indoor antenna from radio shack which only got me 3 digital channels.

Thanks.
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post #21 of 29 Old 12-26-2006, 05:56 PM
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If the local channels haven't made a deal with your local cable company to provide their HD feeds, then yes, OTA is your only other option. You may need a large outdoor antenna to get them, but it depends on the terrain and broadcast signal amoung other things.

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post #22 of 29 Old 12-28-2006, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I was thinking of subscribing to Comcast's digital cable plan. However, I was wondering, since my HDTV already has a digital tuner, do I still need/rent Comcast's digital cable box?

Thanks.
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post #23 of 29 Old 12-28-2006, 08:26 PM
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No... as long as all you desire are local channels.
Hook it up and see what you get.
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post #24 of 29 Old 12-28-2006, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I was actually thinking of subscribing for digital cable then declining the use of the cable box due to the built in tuner I have. So you are saying I won't bet getting the same channels (ESPN, TNT etc)? just the local ones?
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post #25 of 29 Old 12-29-2006, 05:15 AM
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It depends on what your cable system decides to encrypt. Hook up the cable to your TV tuner and do a scan. Then, see if you want the box or not.

Comcast is taking a liberal viewpoint of FCC requirements. They may supply OTA in SD (standard def station remodulated for digital on cable), but encrypt the OTA HD version to force you to use the STB anyway.

When (if) you get your STB, be sure to connect via HDMI (or DVI to HDMI + audio) for a truly great picture. There are a lot of threads on this forum for cabling. Search and you shall find.
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post #26 of 29 Old 12-30-2006, 11:09 PM
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to the person who found digital channels on the hdtv with the built in tuner.

my parents just got a sony 60 dlp tv with a built in tuner, they picked up the comcast hdtv box (which likes to freeze up with some frequency), i had plugged a second cable from a splitter into the vcr so they could still record, and another cable running to the comcast box.

i did a channel scan and like you it picked up all the analog cable channels and a number of digital cable channels which happen to be the same ones that we paid the extra $10 to get with the hdtv box.. The only caveat was there is no program info or guide...
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post #27 of 29 Old 12-31-2006, 10:07 AM
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Using the tuner in your TV may get you a whole bunch of digital and some HD channels on cable or it may get you very few to none at all. It varies by region and cable system. If it does get you even some, the downside is that you cannot record it. Please bin the 80's VCR. There is no reason to hold onto one. It cannot record HD in HD. I would rent a HD STB with HD DVR from your cable company or go buy an HD Tivo (series 3) with CableCard. Both are great ways to view and record all in HD.

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post #28 of 29 Old 01-02-2007, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeekGirl View Post

It depends on what your cable system decides to encrypt. Hook up the cable to your TV tuner and do a scan. Then, see if you want the box or not.

Comcast is taking a liberal viewpoint of FCC requirements. They may supply OTA in SD (standard def station remodulated for digital on cable), but encrypt the OTA HD version to force you to use the STB anyway.

When (if) you get your STB, be sure to connect via HDMI (or DVI to HDMI + audio) for a truly great picture. There are a lot of threads on this forum for cabling. Search and you shall find.

HD Locals are NOT encrypted on comcast systems. They are considered part of limited basic.
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post #29 of 29 Old 01-03-2007, 06:27 PM
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You are correct. I was wrong. I was relating to some discussions last year when ComCast first started HD broadcast channels in the Philly area. It's no longer relevant.
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