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Old 07-14-2003, 06:37 AM
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I thought the cable HD STB (Motorola 5100) rental was more like $10 per month or $15 plus taxes if you want additional digital (but non-HD) channels.

Sam's Club (East) had OTA Samsung SRT-150's (or 151's ?) last weekend for under $300. I can't comment on whether this is a good STB or not. I think Circuit City has a OTA Zenith STB at a much higher price. I have an RCA DTC-100.

If you can get channel 43 NTSC at your location with a barely passable signal you should get OTA HD okay. Channel 43 NTSC shares the same antenna with the digital counterparts of channel 6, 10, and 43. The channel 8 and PBS antennas are nearby.

Can you bail out of Comcast without additional fees? (probably)
Can you return the SRT to SAM's if you don't get good results? (don't know)
Can you return the Zenith to Circuit City if you don't get good results? (probably)

You might consider renting for a while until the OTA STB's drop in price. There is a FCC digital tuner mandate that if allowed to stand will drive down the price of OTA digital tuners over the next few years. The ideal tuner would have NTSC, ATSC, and digital cable (QAM) ready to go.
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Old 07-14-2003, 09:59 AM
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Thanks for your input, it gives me several things to ponder.

I do not know the exact charges of Comcast. I am planning on making the move mid August just before the new season of tv starts and of course SEC football on CBS.

I just thought the rent route would be a good alternative now with price drops and anticipated hardware improvements coming down the pike over the next several months.
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Old 07-26-2003, 02:20 PM
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I am still sitting on the fence...

The real $64000 question for us is: how many NCAA and NFL football games can I expect to see in HD? I'd love it if NASCAR would broadcast in HD, but it doesn't look like that will happen any time soon. Outside of football season, I don't really watch much TV.

If there is enough football (especially UT) available in HD, then I am probably going to go for it.

Gerald

Please pray for peace.
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Old 07-26-2003, 03:29 PM
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What digital signals are now 24-7????

In real life I am Dot Mongur champion of the International Pacman Federation. I don't play the game, I operate it.....no dot is safe from me....

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Old 08-22-2003, 04:56 PM
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TWC-SA will be bringing me a new Pace micro HD box with active DVI in the morning! This is one sweet little unit, & has component pass through as well. I will post some thoughts after I play awhile. It's GOT to be better than the 3100HD! I saw one at Bjorns today, and demo'd it with a 60" GW LCD. The DVI looked pretty dang good. I have a Pioneer Elite Pro-630HD W DVI, and it probably won't look as good due to being a CRT.

"I promise I'll never die." - Gary Johnston
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Old 08-23-2003, 07:17 AM
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Patrick,

You haven't heard anything about the hi def DVR that TWC's supposed to offer, have you? Back in July the TWC customer service reps were saying it could be out in September, but I haven't heard from them since.

Jim

Free over the air HDTV + Tivo HD + Netflix for Blu-ray and streaming = Bliss
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Old 08-23-2003, 06:57 PM
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I picked up an Explorer 8000 DVR for my bedroom tv a month ago and am using the hell out of it. I must say though that it has many quirks and foibles that still need to be worked out before they bring out an HD model. Don't be surprised if it's not out by the end of this year.

jr
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Old 08-24-2003, 11:10 PM
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Can someone please post an update regarding signals in Knoxville/Maryville? My TV arrives Wednesday 27th and I am curious. I assume since everyone quit posting that everything must be wide open now.

It says online that I should be able to get them with a small multidirectional antenna except for WB.

I live in Maryville and used the antennaweb site to find out I needed the smallest antenna. Is this pretty accurate?
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Old 08-25-2003, 07:00 AM
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The antenna's that "antennaweb" suggests are usually correct; however, if you are in the bottom of a valley or in a "concrete canyon" you'll need more antenna. If I had to choose an antenna I'd get a small directional antenna and mount it outside if at all possible. From Maryville all of the Knoxville stations will be in the same general direction.

Because channel 43 (NTSC) shares the same antenna as WBIR-DT and WATE-DT I suggest that you use NTSC reception of channel 43 as a clue. Some ghosting can be tolerated but you should have a noiseless signal (no snow). The ATSC receiver will correct for some ghosting but too poor a signal will cause picture freezing.

In general, Blount county should have no problems receiving any of the DTV stations from Knoxville. I would bet that you can get WB okay also.

A surprise for me was that I can get a stable signal from WB but I can't get a watchable NTSC signal due to ghosting. This from NE Knox county.

The minimum operating time for DTV stations is 12 hours per day. Most are on for longer times and all are on during the evening. Minimum operating times increase to 18 hours April of 2004.
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Old 08-25-2003, 07:24 AM
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Well, the Monkey (contract installer) for Time Warner came by Saturday to "install" this box. He stood there and looked at my equipment rack & shook his head! Then, he whipped out a component cable to install the DVI box. "NO, no, NO!" I said, "where's the DVI cable?" He said, "do what?". I told him what it looks like, & he went out to the truck and returned with one. I ended up installing the darn thing. It's a pretty cool little unit! I am using the DVI to my Elite 630HD RPTV. The analog signals look like crap, as expected. The HD looks better than component, quite a bit better. It also allows the digital channels aspect ratios to be manipulated. No more switching inputs between HD & cable like on my 3100HD. It also has optical AND coax audio outputs. Very small box as well, and BLACK not grey. I am still monkeying around with it, but so far, so good. As far as the Explorer 8000 HD box, no news yet. My current 8000 is acting up. It won't fast forward HBO recordings without locking up. Everything else works fine. CRAZY.

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Old 08-25-2003, 10:48 AM
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Thanks for the reply, I just purchased a Samsung SIRT T351 Tuner at Sears. I am looking forward to seeing the DVI in action!
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Old 08-26-2003, 10:42 PM
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I'm just curious, do they stop broadcasting over the air in Knoxville late at night and you get "NO SIGNAL"? All I am getting right now is WB-20 at 12:42am.
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Old 08-27-2003, 06:11 AM
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The transmitters use a considerable amount of electrical power. Until there is an sizable audience to support this cost, there is no economic justification for duplicating the programing that is also available from other sources i.e. over the air NTSC, etc. Between 1AM and daylight the potential DTV audience is very small.

BTW, current regulations mandate an increase to 18 hours or so next April.
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Old 08-27-2003, 07:31 AM
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So does this means that the reason it says no signal right now is they shut it off until a certain time of day? What time does WBIR, etc come on? I noticed that WB20 was on all night.
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Old 08-27-2003, 07:55 AM
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WBIR-DT operates from noon until the end of Leno. So far as I know, WATE-DT operates from 6AM or so until midnight. I think ch43's digital operates about 12 hours per day.

Regardless, these hours increase in April.
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Old 08-27-2003, 12:22 PM
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WB-20 looks like it runs about 24 hours a day. I am getting the signals now, I was a little worried because I tested it out analog in my Bedroom to setup the reciever so everything is ready when the TV gets here today. I am getting a good signal with that Zenith inside on top of the shelf so I should be set.

For those reading in Maryville, the Zenith Arrow shaped antenna works well here for me on one level house.
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Old 08-27-2003, 02:50 PM
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Where can we find out the HD schedule for our area, they don't seem to be very good at posting what is simulcast online. I assume we can get Smallville tonight in all it's glory?

Thanks for answering all my questions.
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Old 08-27-2003, 07:29 PM
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I am getting some sound breakup on WB-20. Smallville was the first HD show I sat down and watched! It looked great but toward the end, I started getting some funky sounds out of my Sony sub, and some mild breakup, I checked the signal and it was 8 bars (looks like 10 are the max) I have the new Samsung T351. What does the sound breakup mean? I just noticed that NBC is doing it as well on Law and Order, it was fine, and then all of the sudden, the sub kicked on and started making some distorted noise.

I read somewhere were 100 percent signal was not possible, I assume I am getting enough.

I bought 4 antennas and the little Zenith Arrow shaped one does the best, although I have to turn it to get WB. I wonder if I would do better with another indoor antenna?
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Old 08-28-2003, 07:01 AM
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Hard to say what is causing signal breakup but fiddling with the antenna is the first step. Antennas like to be in free and clear air.

I'd use the quality of the NTSC signal from ch43 (or for that matter from NTSC 10 or 6) as a clue for antenna orientation. Adjust for minimum ghosting and stable picture. This trick is possible because ch43 shares the same antenna as several of the digital stations.

If I only had the ATSC tuner for reference I'd try to determine where the extremes are as you point the antenna. That is, I would turn the antenna slowly in one direction until the signal starts to breakup then sweep back the other direction thorough the best signal strength until the picture is lost in the other direction. Then the middle of that arc is probably the best antenna orientation even if the signal strength isn't at absolute max.

The receivers really need a "quality" indication instead of a simple signal strength indication.

BTW, I personally like the TitanTV.com site for both TV guides. You can tell the site how you are viewing and get listings for cable, digital cable, OTA DTV etc. The OTA DTV usually is accurate regarding which shows are in HD.
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Old 08-29-2003, 10:26 PM
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I picked up WPXK 54 PAX tonight with the Zenith indoor antenna. Pretty cool! It says online that I would need a blue antenna code.
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Old 09-04-2003, 11:12 AM
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Hooray, I finally have all HDTV stations coming in here in Maryville. First, I bought a new UHF Channel Master 4 bow tie OTA antenna which brought in all networks except PBS and CBS. No rotational orientation could get the signal above 30. At this strengh, I recieved a breakup of signal most of the time. I invested in a CM7775 UHF amp and now get ABC, NBC, FOX, WB, and PBS at 100% (on my Hughes E86) and get CBS at 58 - 72%.

I am thrilled, Looks great on my Sharp 9000u HDTV front project and Stewart 100" diagonal screen. The PBS channel looks as good as HDnet. I want more !!

I have notice that CBS has been having trouble with audio breakup (picture is rock solid) this week. Anyone else noticed this?
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Old 09-04-2003, 02:48 PM
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I am getting the audio breakup as well. I posted the before. I am just using a Zenith indoor antenna. I was able to pick up WPXK 54 PAX with the Zenith indoor antenna by pointing it in the right direction.

They just picked up my Hitachi, now I have to find a new TV.
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Old 09-06-2003, 10:32 AM
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Ok here is my problem.


I am a current direct TV owner. I just received my new Three LNB dish. I stay in a apartment and when I first got direct TV a buddy of mine helped me install the dish. Well the dish is about one and a half stories up. My bud has moved out of the area and I dont own a ladder. Can someone help me by installing this dish for me. You wont have to do any drilling just placing the dish on the mount. I am willing to pay you for your time and effort.


Please pm me if you know anyone who can help.

Thanks alot
BJ
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Old 09-06-2003, 08:06 PM
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I installed my first Directv satellite dish several years ago, but the installation of the new HDTV dish with 3 LNBs is more complicated. When I bought the new dish apparently the installation was included because they sent someone from East Tennessee Satellite Company to do the installation, and I was not charged for the installation. The dish must be alligned in 3 different axis to get all 3 satellites. I think it would be very difficult to do an installation without special instrumentation. I would call East Tn. Satellite Co.
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Old 09-06-2003, 08:24 PM
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Are there anymore tennis fans in the area that also love HDTV that have been frustrated by the lack of coverage by WVLT-DT in HDTV. I had been looking forward to coverage of the U. S. Open Tennis in HDTV. All of the CBS portion of the coverage has been publicized to be in HDTV. Unfortunately on the weekends when CBS has the coverage of the tennis our local station is carrying syndicated football games which means we have no access to the HDTV coverage. That's OK and I understand that because that's what apparently pays the bills. Thank goodness the coverage was available on WB 20. I thought it would be nice if WVLT-DT would carry the tennis, but they didn't. I think only a total of CBS HDTV coverage of 11 minutes has been available in Knoxville.

Now tonight when the women's final was televised I was sure that there would be HDTV simulcast on WVLT-DT, but alas I was disappointed again. I had earlier in the week planned to have some tennis fans to watch the HDTV on the big screen. Thank goodness I didn't have guests over to watch the tennis in HDTV. I tried to call the station, but you can't talk to a real person on the weekend. I wonder if someone in the control room just forgot to throw the switch, or if it was just not available on the satellite to the station. I remember from reading other threads from other cities who had network OTA HDTV a year or two ago there were many examples of the same sort of thing happening. It's Deja vu.

Tomorrow is the men's final, and I would like to invite people over to watch it in HDTV. Anyone else frustrated.
Larry Raulston
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Old 09-07-2003, 09:32 PM
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Well, the U.S. Open Men's final was not in HDTV in Knoxville although we were reminded several times during the telecast that the HDTV simulcast was sponsored by RCA. It was stretched 480i. I guess no one else in Knoxville really cares. It's really strange though that the CBS Sunday Night Movie was in HDTV or at least most of it was. It was if someone at the station forgot to throw the switch. I tried to call them, but they don't answer the phone on the weekends. I glad I didn't have that party for tennis fans to watch the finals in HDTV.
Larry
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Old 09-09-2003, 04:17 PM
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Larry, I also was very disappointed......


Which leads me to the next issue.....Comcast is no longer carrying the HD feed of the local CBS affil.

No problems all summer but a couple of weeks ago.....no more....


I called Comcast to see what was up and they said they are in Negotiations with Comcast.....

I had no idea there was even an issue....

anyone know whats up? I know most of you all are OTA guys....I have had good luck with Comcast HD until now....


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Old 09-09-2003, 09:46 PM
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I am an OTA guy with a Samsung 351 and a Channel Master 3000 antenna. I am getting CBS ok as well as channel 10 but channel 6 and 42 are not coming in good at all.

I did not think with me being only 7 miles from Sharp's Ridge that I would have a problem. The 3000 is omni directional so I would not think position would be a problem.

The antenna is only about 6 in above my metal topped chimney and I am thick woods. Is that my problem?

Should I purchase a uhf amplifier. the antenna has a built in amp but obviously it is not getting job done.

Are all stations transmitting at full power now?
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Old 09-09-2003, 11:06 PM
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Well in my looking around, I think I got one of my questions answered. Since I have the Channel master 3000 and it has a cheap built in amplifier, I can't effectively add another one so it would appear that I need to send the 3000 back, order one that is directional and for uhf channels. Then if that does not work, I will need to purchase an amplifier.
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Old 09-10-2003, 06:45 AM
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The problem with omni-directional antennas is that they are more subject to ghosting than directional antennas. You may have plenty of signal strength but if the signal is very ghosty the receiver will not be able to lock on to the signal. My DCT-100 gives a "weak signal" indication for this condition even though the problem is multipath. If you watch the signal strength indication and find it bouncing all over the place that may be an indication of multipath (ghosting).

You may also find that your omni-directional antenna is not perfectly non-directional. You may find that only a slight repositioning will help some channels (perhaps at the expense of others). Getting the antenna away from the metal capped chimney could help. Antennas work better away from metal and in the free air.

Dense foliage will weaken UHF signals especially when the leaves are wet.
A clue that this might not be a problem where you live is that you can receive ch 10-DT (RF channel 31).

Channel 6, 10, and 43 DTV (RF channels 26, 31, 34) all share the same antenna and so come from the same direction.

I use an old RS antenna that is over 20 years old along with a rotor. I have changed the coax and balun at the antenna and can receive WKOP, WATE, WBIR, WTNZ, and WBXX. I can't get the PAX station. I have to turn the antenna to get WBXX. All the others are pretty much on the same axis. I don't live in a restricted neighbor so antennas are not a problem. Positioning of this antenna was touchy (again multipath) until I lowered the antenna getting it away from some limbs.
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