Calling all resident (PITTSBURGH) antenna experts!! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-20-2002, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
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I've had an IMPOSSIBLE time of getting the three local digital stations by way of roof antenna. I'm able to get one...that's it. I've about reached the end of my rope. (For a complete "read"...start on pg. 3 under BLITZBURGH at: http://www.***************.com/ubb/u...;f=55;t=000436 )

Anyhow...if ANYONE knows of someone in the Pittsburgh,PA area that REALLY knows what they're doing regarding OTA then PLEASE let me know.

Meanwhile...as other local channels will be going digital by months end...here's another question.

In referring to TitanTV.com, I see a number of channels will be going digital by the end of this April or first of May. Question...can I "assume" that the digital carrier channel's broadcast TOWER is at the same location of the channel's analog broadcast tower?

I suspect the answer is yes OR no...maybe OR maybe not. That said, in the event the answer to some channels is YES then let me ask you a bonus question. IF I'm able to pull in a decent analog signal and IF the digital tower is in the same general vicinity...do you think my liklihood of pulling in the digital channel is good?

Or, like most antenna reception issues...is it all simply a hit and miss?

PS...and PLEASE...if anyone knows of a truly good OTA specialist in Pittsburgh...let me know...thanks.
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-20-2002, 10:09 AM
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I'm not a resident, anymore (I WAS, and am still a Steeler fan!!), but let me see if I can help until one comes along.

No, it's not a safe assumption that the analog and digital antennas are in the same place. You'd have to call each engineer and ask. Some, to comply with the FCC, have put a low power transmitter on the roof of the studios, which may be several miles from the analog transmitter. You CAN get this information from the FCC's website, but -- trust me -- it's easier to just call.

Next: What kind of roof antenna do you have? All of PGH's DTs are UHF. No UHF component to your roof antenna means it doesn't help. If you don't have a UHF or it's a weak single loop, try combining it with a double bow-tie antenna. You can probably hang it on the same mast.

Where do you live? If the antenna's directional and you're between the transmitters, you'll always have to rotate the antenna to pick up the various stataions. However, if that's the case, you're probably close enough to them to get away with rabbit ears.

OTOH, if you're sitting at the bottom of a hill in Carnagie, the multipath could drive you nuts.

So, if you get a second, post where you live and the type of antenna you're working with. Somehow, we'll all get you going.

Doc

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-20-2002, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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DrDon...thanks for the reply...

If you want the FULL story of all that's been going on...starting from pg. 3, go to: http://www.***************.com/ubb/u...;f=55;t=000436

For the Reader's Digest version: bottom line was this...I'm a first generation DirecTV customer, since '94. Since the wife wanted local channels for weather I had the best Radio Shack (RS) antenna installed. I live in Cranberry Twp., PA 16066 and my "plan"...particularly my house, sits down in a valley...but then you know that western PA is all hills and valleys. The three primary channels are about 25 -30 miles away as the crow flies and all are southeast from my house. Anyhow...all I could get was "snow" so I told her if she wanted weather reports to open the front door for the most current and accurate report...LOL.

Fast forward to this past November and I got a Pioneer Elite 610HD. I got a Panny TUHDS20 receiver and, being ever the ignorant one, thought I'd get any local DIGITAL channels through it...period. I had NO idea in today's technological age I'd be required to STILL use a roof top antenna to pull in HD signals.

I got Radio Shack to come out and they were...sorry, but true...worthless to me. Heck, they didn't even know what component video was, etc.

I did alot of research and found a local company by the name of Digital Visions and while they were light years ahead of me and Radio Shack...they were well behind folks on here and on The Home Theatre SPot. Anyhow...after much research and trial and error...hit and miss...I went with the Channel Master CM 4248 YAGI and 7775 pre amp.

Bottom line was absolutely no improvement from before. No...the installers from Digital Visions had no signal strength meter or any other high tech equipment to locate any "sweet spots"...indeed if there are any on the top of my house.

Now...keep in mind...these installers were the best I could find and after several hours from several different trips and at $80 an hour this has all gotten to be a bit more expensive then I can justify to myself...let alone the wife.

Still...I am convinced the three signals can be had but ONLY by a truly experienced antenna man or woman with all the right equipment. If you know of any...PLEASE LET ME KNOW.

Thanks...
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-20-2002, 11:57 AM
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It's that valley that's killing you. OTOH, you have a really directional antenna. I'm assuming you have a rotor on that bad boy. With digital, five degrees can make a ton of difference.

That being said, there are some tricks you could try we ham radio operators have used. If there's a water tower or tall building on top of a hill, aim at that. You may need to get a small TV and your receiver and just make camp on the roof for a while until you find the "sweet spots." Or you may have to wait until the stations put up higher transmitting antennas and/or use more power. In Cincy, the NBC affiliate just hung a new antenna up on their tower. Made all the difference.

Good luck
Doc

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