Testing reception w/o STB - AVS Forum
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Old 04-23-2002, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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I would like to test the possibility of OTA reception at my location. I am only 9 miles from the Mt. Soledad antennas and probably 20 from border antennas (Diablo?) in San Diego but the terrain around here is not like Kansas.

I read that one could use reception of standard UHF stations broadcasting from the same locations as the HDTV stations could be used as a guide. Is there a way to test signal strength of the specific HDTV stations using a variety of antenna types w/o expensive test equipment?
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Old 04-23-2002, 08:53 AM
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Signal strength translates into less noise in an analog picture. Directionality translates into fewer ghosts in an analog picture. When checking various antennas the goal is to get rid of the ghosts. DTV signals will come through ghost free reception where the analog signal is very noisey.
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Old 04-23-2002, 02:00 PM
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It's wise to preview reception before you invest a lot of money in a screen. Note that a digital TV station on an older analog set looks like there's no signal there at all--just snow.

If you can clearly see Mt. Soledad, Mt. San Miguel, and Mt. San Antonio (Tijuana) from your roof, you can use just about any UHF antenna with a lead-in to your old analog TV set. If you live on a mesa and getting good reception indoors now, you could try a Radio Shack UHF dual bow-tie, #15-623.

If you don't have an antenna but are ready to invest, Western Radio Electronics promised me they would be stocking some nice outdoor UHF-only antennas by Winegard.

What you need to achieve is reception of a sampling of UHF stations from each of the three sites. A map you print out from http://www.antennaweb.org will help you figure out the orientation to each site.

I favor trying to receive K35DG (UCSD-TV 35) from Mt. Soledad. It's somewhat weak, but if you receive even a snowy whisper of a signal, you'll probably have enough for decent digital reception on channels 25 and 55, the KGTV-DT-ABC and KFMB-DT-CBS services.

From Mt. San Miguel, you should receive a strong signal from KNSD 39. Reception of KNSD-DT-NBC 40 is a challenge to digital tuners because it is so much weaker than the adjacent channel 39, but I have reports that some tuners are coping with this. With a strong channel 39 signal, you should receive KSWB-DT-WB 19 and KPBS-DT-PBS 30 as well.

From Tijuana, look for signals on channels 21 and/or 27. This should assure reception of XETV-TD-FOX 23.

Be sure to use a high quality RG-6/U coaxial cable. You'll probably have to have a rotator as well, darn it.

Check out my web page for more tips: http://www.kfmb.com/hdtv.php

Have fun!

Gary Stigall, Sr. Engineer, KFMB-TV/DT CBS San Diego
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