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post #181 of 15311 Old 05-03-2003, 12:04 AM
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stupid AVS preview eating long post... here we go again:

Is anyone having continued problems with ABC 11 HD station? I see many references to it in the past couple pages of this thread. But since I just joined the ranks of HDTV users yesterday, I want to confirm that it isn't something specific to my situation. I get Fox, NBC, CBS, WB all with great signal strength (minimum high 80's and CBS was 96-100% most of the night). UPN is barely there in the low 70's. I can't get a picture at all with ABC and the signal meter ramps up and down, from 0% up to sometimes ~75% and then immediately back to 0%.

Since I actually ordered the HDTV PC cards to put in a customer's desktop that I am building, I wanted to test these cards out to make sure they were working. So I made a mad dash to radio shack this afternoon. Got the VU-75XR 50 inch boom antenna and have it mounted on the tripod stand on my patio. No preamp, just a straight 25 foot length of good RG-6 to the tuner card in the computer. Would a preamp help the ABC station issue (as well as UPN)? Would it be too much for the channels that are already coming in well??

please provide any and all assistance. If you are having problems with ABC 11, please let me know. Thanks!!

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post #182 of 15311 Old 05-03-2003, 04:02 PM
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TTT

btw.... I actually got brief flashes and one second blips of a picture and sound today, but that's it. I actually oriented the antenna directly at the ABC tower (which is at 168 degrees according to antennaweb's site, whereas all the other stations are supposed to be at 166 degrees). still no go....

Is anyone else having problems with ABC??? anyone?? Bueller?? Bueller??

off to Rat shack to buy one of their preamps to see if I can get better signal....

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post #183 of 15311 Old 05-03-2003, 04:57 PM
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ABC works fine for me (zip 27703) in general. My particular problem a few days ago was that our local ABC affiliate stopped broadcasting sound during Charlie's Angels for some reason.

I'm using a Pannasonic HD tuner with a Silver Sensor antenna inside my house. I wonder if the HD card for the PC isn't as sensitive as a stand alone tuner. It's either that or your further from the tower than I am or have more obstructions, or have a building that built differently than mine, or your not holding your tongue the right way, etc, etc, etc.

Antenna placement and location are so variable that your next door neighbor could be having better luck than you and it might not tell you anything. Just as an FYI, NBC is my problem. I can only get it once in a while, but since the only thing we watch is West Wing, and it doesn't look like it's broadcast in widescreen HD anyway, it's not a big deal. We just TiVo it and watch it later.
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post #184 of 15311 Old 05-03-2003, 05:09 PM
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thanks for getting back to me... at least I know it is not everyone and the problem lies with me. Now I can try to adjust and see if I can get a better signal within my limitations... I'll have to give the other HD tuner card a try to see if it works any better.... thanks for the help!!

got rat shack's best antenna mounted amp.... had absolutely no impact on ABC signal strength... but it sure does have an impact on the other stations... it made them all worse, no matter how low or high I turned the gain. I can't receive signals from nbc, fox, wb anymore with the amp in the loop.... guess I can return it to rat shack, huh???

this really sucks because the one station that I actually really want to work is ABC!!! Grrrr!!

I am at 27606 and I do have tree limbs pseudo blocking line of sight.... and I am not exactly on top of a mountain either.... but it really is strange how it works wonderfully with the other stations, but not with ABC or UPN....

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post #185 of 15311 Old 05-03-2003, 06:39 PM
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A good antena will almost always help more than an amp. If the signal is crap, then the amplifier just gives you louder crap. '-)

You might search this forum and the HDTV hardware forum. There are a number of threads on antenna strategies. The Channel Master antennas seem to get good reviews. You'd have to get one mail order though, which makes in harder to return.

Circut City has the Silver Sensor I use. I can't guarentee it will help, but you could always return it if it doesn't work.
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post #186 of 15311 Old 05-04-2003, 06:03 AM
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ssangste

I'm using a tuner card in my HTPC combined with a ChannelMaster 4228. Until I mounted the 4228 on the roof I had recurring reception problems. I also had no success whatsoever with the RS pre-amp. After mounting the 4228 on the roof my HD reception has been very stable, including ABC with the (observed) exception of loss of sound during CA noted above. I am approximately 17 miles from the broadcast tower farm. I can also receive WUNC fine by orienting the antenna as needed.
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post #187 of 15311 Old 05-04-2003, 11:04 PM
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ok... today was a very interesting day....

I tried a few things today that don't make any sense to me...

In the process of adjusting antenna angle to hopefully get better reception, I turned the antenna completely 180 degrees in the opposite direction away from the towers. From 4pm this afternoon until 9:02PM, I got absolutely perfect reception for UPN and ABC without a single dropout, and had absolutely no signal on CBS, NBC, FOX, and WB. It's almost as if I was getting some sort of reflection off the outside wall on my second floor patio in order to receive ABC and UPN (the antenna was now pointed directly at the wall). I was very excited that I would be able to entertain this evening for everyone coming over to watch the season finale of Alias (ever since everyone has watched Alias on my 115 inch CRT based screen, no one wants to watch it any other way..... I figured adding in HDTV would really make their jaws drop)....

But obviously some atmospheric condition changed, because since 9:02pm I have been unable to get ABC or UPN anymore (and I continue to not be able to get CBS, NBC, FOX & WB). Constant dropouts again....

After reading other threads, I think ABC and UPN may have problems with multipath when the antenna is correctly aligned at 166 degrees. If I look at their analog counterparts, I have a serious ghosting problem.

I think I may have to look into an antenna stack next to see if I can alleviate the problem and get more stable reception...... I'm also going to order a CM 4228 to see if that will help. Good thing Radio Shack takes stuff back....

what does everyone think?? did anyone have problems with ABC tonight??

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post #188 of 15311 Old 05-05-2003, 05:06 AM
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ssangste - No problems with Alias last night for me. I'm sure you've read that there are sometimes dead spots with HDTV reception and that the higher the antenna the more likely you are to receive a good signal. Just as a point of interest, with the CM 4228 and the leaves out on the trees behind it now, the 4228 is nearly invisible from the street.
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post #189 of 15311 Old 05-05-2003, 08:27 AM
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audio - thanks for getting back to me.... it sucks to have watched Alias in SD after seeing that glorious picture in HD.... a living room full of people agreed with me

the problem I have is that I'm very limited on antenna placement. I live in a townhome/apartment community. They have no problem with me putting up some gawdy antenna array, I'm just not allowed to bolt anything down, drill holes, etc. nor can the antenna be placed anywhere other than my patio area. So I can have it sticking out from my patio area, I'm just not allowed to put it on a mast and raise it in the air, or mount it to the roof.

Do you know anyone locally that specializes in antennas and has a spectrum analyzer? I'd like to see what's going on with my signals to see if it is even possible to get these channels given my severe placement limitations. Might be more prudent than just random trial and error with a bunch of different antennas. Thanks again!

ETA: does anyone know the exact location of the towers? I am trying to figure that out to see if I can get an elevation plot, as well as determine just how far away I am from the towers. thanks!

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post #190 of 15311 Old 05-05-2003, 12:15 PM
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Try http://www.100000watts.com/searches.html for the exact locations of the stations. Also, www.antennaweb.org will give you some compass headings from your location and tips on what antenna to buy. In general, the towers are near Garner just off US 70. All the analog and digital stations are located on one of 3 approx 2000 foot towers within a 1 mile radius there. The only excption is PBS which is in Chatham County. If you drive toward the beach on 70 or I-40 you will see them.

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post #191 of 15311 Old 05-05-2003, 01:19 PM
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thanks for the info. It came in handy. Wow.... I'm further away from the tower than I thought.....

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post #192 of 15311 Old 05-05-2003, 07:41 PM
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Since I have adjusted my antenna I can pull in channels:
15 PAX
27 WB
49 FOX
52 ABC
53 CBS
55 NBC
57 UPN
59 PBS

I am using an Access DTV card and a Silver ??? antenna in my attic. I live about 1/2 mile from NC State

After many tweaks I have it so that all the channels except 15 come in almost perfectly.
I plan to do some further antenna/amp testing. I will let you guys know what I come up with.
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post #193 of 15311 Old 05-05-2003, 08:01 PM
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ok.... I'm discovering that this antenna thing is really flaky

I added in the rat shack 15-1711 indoor amp into the equation, played with antenna positionning and voila! I am getting ABC with a good signal. UPN is still a no go, but it is getting close. I need 75 percent minimum on my HDTV tuner card in order to keep a steady picture. WB, FOX, NBC, & ABC are all pretty steady in the mid-high 80% range. CBS is in the high 90's. UPN, while not getting a picture, is in the mid 60's. I've only had about 4 dropouts all night on various stations.

It's obviously cloudy and rainy here this evening. Is this causing the change to allow me to get a better signal? I know cloud cover helps the signal, but I thought rain hurt things because of it's reflectivity issues. Can the cloud cover cut down on multipath issues?? I suppose time will tell. All I know is I bought all the materials to construct a boom and mount two rat shack 15-2160 UHF antennas in a horizontal stack. I think I'll hold off for a few days to see what happens with this latest round of changes and how much different weather affects things.

Also, what's the deal with WB22? I thought they were broadcasting Everwood and Smallville in High Definition.... it looks like they are only broadcasting 480i on the digital signal. I know Charlotte broadcasts in true high def and I was really looking forward to watching Smallville in true high def.... who do we complain to in order to get them to hurry up and start broadcasting in 1080i??

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post #194 of 15311 Old 05-05-2003, 11:58 PM
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What channels are TWC offering and how is thier HD service?


I looked but couldn't find anything.
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post #195 of 15311 Old 05-05-2003, 11:58 PM
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...
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post #196 of 15311 Old 05-06-2003, 04:01 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by bigslowrock
What channels are TWC offering and how is thier HD service?


I looked but couldn't find anything.

I have DirecTV now, but when I had TWC, the HD channels they had were:
ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox (not actually HD), PBS, HBO HD and Showtime HD.

Time Warner Cable Chapel Hill/Durham Lineup

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post #197 of 15311 Old 05-18-2003, 04:30 PM
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Hi All,
I been wondering for a long time about the WB and UPN local stations. Does anybody know when these stations are going to start broadcasting HD programming.
Thanks!

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post #198 of 15311 Old 05-19-2003, 05:08 AM
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I think some of that will depend on when the people making the shows do them in HD. Both those stations are broadcasting digital, but the HD depends on the program. I can't think of a single thing on UPN that's in HD (not even Enterprise), but on the WB I think Smallville and a couple of other things are in HD. I'm hoping Angel will be in HD next season, just 'cause I *really* wanted Buffy in HD, but that would be the next best thing.
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post #199 of 15311 Old 05-19-2003, 05:51 AM
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Well, the WB and UPN stations are Sinclair ownerd so my guess is that they will start broacasting HD right about the time Michael Powell busts down their door and beats them with a baseball bat. In other words, not for a long time.

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post #200 of 15311 Old 05-30-2003, 01:31 PM
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I don't know if my earlier post about those CBS "It's All Here" commercials prompted the change or not, but I'm glad to see WRAL mixing in some different HDTV commercials. Thank you, WRAL!
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post #201 of 15311 Old 05-31-2003, 10:20 AM
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Techru,

Have you heard anything about the availability of the SA3250HD?

Thanks!
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post #202 of 15311 Old 06-06-2003, 07:53 AM
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jim007 - Sorry for the delayed response, I've been away for a week on a business trip.

The latest news on the SA 3250HD is that they had to have all the units upgraded because of a software problem with the EPG. The EPG is software from Pioneer, and there was some problem with memory buffers or something that made it incompatible with the guide. So, the updated software has to be programmed into the memory chips.

The latest ETA, based on the ship-to date means that they will be available in the 2nd week of July.

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post #203 of 15311 Old 07-01-2003, 09:07 AM
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Anyone tried to get HDTV who lives in the chapel hill/carrboro area? Sounds like we're a long way from the towers if they're in Garner. I'd love to get OTA HDTV instead of having to pay TimeWarner huge $ every month.
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post #204 of 15311 Old 07-01-2003, 09:09 AM
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I am right outside of Chapel Hill and can find everything OTA except WB. (If anyone can give me some tips on finding WB, I'd appreciate it!)

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post #205 of 15311 Old 07-01-2003, 11:36 AM
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batorok - just making sure that you know about your legal rights of getting HD without subscribing to digital cable. Basic cable and fee for the box is the max they can charge you for the local HD channels - cable act from -92. You also have the right to get HBO and SHO-HD only without the package and or digital cable. You probably know and don't want to pay for basic cable, but I want to make sure that you do know.
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post #206 of 15311 Old 07-01-2003, 03:36 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Techru
jim007 - Sorry for the delayed response, I've been away for a week on a business trip.

The latest news on the SA 3250HD is that they had to have all the units upgraded because of a software problem with the EPG. The EPG is software from Pioneer, and there was some problem with memory buffers or something that made it incompatible with the guide. So, the updated software has to be programmed into the memory chips.

The latest ETA, based on the ship-to date means that they will be available in the 2nd week of July.

Thats nice news. I will take a drive in a few weeks.
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post #207 of 15311 Old 07-01-2003, 03:55 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by mhdiab
batorok - just making sure that you know about your legal rights of getting HD without subscribing to digital cable. Basic cable and fee for the box is the max they can charge you for the local HD channels - cable act from -92. You also have the right to get HBO and SHO-HD only without the package and or digital cable. You probably know and don't want to pay for basic cable, but I want to make sure that you do know.

I've called TW about getting just the HD channels but they said I had to get at least the digital tier. I'd love to get the locals HD without using an antenna! How do I make them aware of these facts?

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post #208 of 15311 Old 07-01-2003, 04:49 PM
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keefer37 -

Just tell the CSR that you want to rent the HD box, but you only will subscribe to BASIC cable service. If they still say that you have to have Digital Tier to get the HD, tell them that's against the Law since the Cable Act of 1992 clearly states that only Basic service is necessary/required.

If the CSR still gives you greif, tell him/her that you wish to speak to a supervisor/manager. Tell them the same thing. This should settle it.

If this still doesn't work, tell them you want to speak to someone in the HD dept. and that if they don't give you satisfactory service you will be calling the Attorny General's office.

It really shouldn't have to go this far, as they are WELL AWARE that if you request HD and Only Basic service, they have to let you have it. They just don't want it well known, as they obviously loose big bucks!

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post #209 of 15311 Old 07-01-2003, 06:51 PM
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Thanks, I'll look into this and let you all know what happens with it.

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post #210 of 15311 Old 07-02-2003, 11:08 AM
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I just got a phone call from my friend at my local TWC office in Lumberton NC. He said he just got a memo that DiscoveryHD will be added July 8th on ch. 280. Our cable comes from the Fayetteville hub which is part of the Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville devision.

I do trust this guy. I've spoke with him atleast twice a week for the past 3 years. If I have a problem with my signal he's the only one that I can depend on to have it corrected before the end of the day, usually within an hour if it's at their end. If he told me this, that's what the memo said that the head office sent him.
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