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post #4621 of 9595 Old 04-19-2009, 12:47 PM
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I'm new to this forum and hoping to switch from cable to OTA HDTV. I live in an apartment in Santa Monica, near 20th & Santa Monica Blvd. (90404) I can't put an antenna on the roof, so I need to find an indoor antenna that works well for my area. Any suggestions?
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post #4622 of 9595 Old 04-19-2009, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ljshapiro View Post

I'm new to this forum and hoping to switch from cable to OTA HDTV. I live in an apartment in Santa Monica, near 20th & Santa Monica Blvd. (90404) I can't put an antenna on the roof, so I need to find an indoor antenna that works well for my area. Any suggestions?


Good luck. You're 25-30 miles from Mt Wilson. Whatever you get, put in a window facing that way.
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post #4623 of 9595 Old 04-20-2009, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post

Good luck. You're 25-30 miles from Mt Wilson. Whatever you get, put in a window facing that way.

Exactly. And try to get the best performing indoor antenna you can, because digitil TV requires somewhat better reception conditions than you can get away with, using analog.
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post #4624 of 9595 Old 04-20-2009, 10:31 AM
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[quote=ljshapiro;16298800]I'm new to this forum and hoping to switch from cable to OTA HDTV. I live in an apartment in Santa Monica, near 20th & Santa Monica Blvd. (90404) I can't put an antenna on the roof, so I need to find an indoor antenna that works well for my area.

The problem is when the stations switch back to their original channels you will need an indoor antenna that can receive both VHF and UHF. The only antenna that does that is an amplified rabbit ear with an UHF loop.

Like in the old days, you have to adjust the positions and ear lengths for each channel for the best reception.

Good Luck
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post #4625 of 9595 Old 04-20-2009, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljshapiro View Post

I'm new to this forum and hoping to switch from cable to OTA HDTV. I live in an apartment in Santa Monica, near 20th & Santa Monica Blvd. (90404) I can't put an antenna on the roof, so I need to find an indoor antenna that works well for my area. Any suggestions?

Certainly not to be generous with your money, as I know you want the financial savings of turning off cable altogether for free OTA digital TV. But indoor antennas are really iffy "hit and miss" solutions for apartment and other MDU dwellers attempting to receive off-air DTV. Therefore unless the building owners supply a master outside antenna system (MATV) for the residents your much better off simply switching your cable package to only basic broadcast and avoid the hassle.
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post #4626 of 9595 Old 04-20-2009, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljshapiro View Post

I'm new to this forum and hoping to switch from cable to OTA HDTV. I live in an apartment in Santa Monica, near 20th & Santa Monica Blvd. (90404) I can't put an antenna on the roof, so I need to find an indoor antenna that works well for my area. Any suggestions?

If you have a view towards Mt. Wilson, this should not be complicated, unless you have buildings in the way.

I can get most of my locals at 51 miles w/o LOS with a $10 rabbit ear/loop combo. It is cheap to try and certainly a lot cheaper than cable. Try an un-amped version first. Amps can easily cause more problems than they solve.

I'm surprised at all the pessimistic responses above.


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post #4627 of 9595 Old 04-21-2009, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljshapiro View Post

I'm new to this forum and hoping to switch from cable to OTA HDTV. I live in an apartment in Santa Monica, near 20th & Santa Monica Blvd. (90404) I can't put an antenna on the roof, so I need to find an indoor antenna that works well for my area. Any suggestions?

I'm one block west of Bundy, between Santa Monica and Wilshire. Using my Zenith ZHDTV1 Silver Sensor pointed and angled correctly I get about 60 digital channels.

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post #4628 of 9595 Old 04-21-2009, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcon_77 View Post

If you have a view towards Mt. Wilson, this should not be complicated, unless you have buildings in the way.

I can get most of my locals at 51 miles w/o LOS with a $10 rabbit ear/loop combo. It is cheap to try and certainly a lot cheaper than cable. Try an un-amped version first. Amps can easily cause more problems than they solve.

I'm surprised at all the pessimistic responses above.

You are lucky. In much of the LA area, Mt. Wilson is not LOS.
Here in the NW San Fernando Valley (Porter Ranch area) reception of some local stations such as KCET and KTTV can be a challenge at times, i.e. when it is windy or rainy, even with good roof antennas and antenna-mounted preamps. Mt. Wilson is only 25-30 miles away LOS, but it is not quite line-of-sight. By contrast, I always felt I had good analog reception here.
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post #4629 of 9595 Old 04-21-2009, 10:59 AM
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JShapiro.

Welcome to Over The Air (OTA) television. Get the right converter box, and antenna, limit splitters, or use a switch, and use as little cable RG-6 as possible.

Cancel the cable, and listen to AM/FM radio in lieu of basic cable or a paid Satellite system. Keep money where it belongs, with you.
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post #4630 of 9595 Old 04-21-2009, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcon_77 View Post

... I'm surprised at all the pessimistic responses above.

Sorry;

Didn't mean to come off as "pessimistic" to you or the OP, though some of it was due to my being rather tired from work yesterday along with this mini (hopefully) heat wave here in L.A. which had me uncomfortable in addition to getting my allergy up. So it would probably have been better not to comment at all under those circumstances.

But since I did, then please, by all means I encourage the OP to try out all you said and best of luck. It's just in my experience and from what I've read repeatedly over time is that indoor aerial solutions are quite unreliable and a good rooftop antenna to always your surest bet for reliable OTA reception. However I realize that this is not always an option for people particularly in apartments and other MDU situations. Thus my recommendation (finances permitting of course) of a basic cable broadcast package since the OP already has the service installed.
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post #4631 of 9595 Old 04-22-2009, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljshapiro View Post

I'm new to this forum and hoping to switch from cable to OTA HDTV. I live in an apartment in Santa Monica, near 20th & Santa Monica Blvd. (90404) I can't put an antenna on the roof, so I need to find an indoor antenna that works well for my area. Any suggestions?

If you enter your location into www.tvfool.com, you'll find that your area
(like most of L.A. area) is FLOODED with strong signals from high atop Mt Wilson.
Indeed, one research firm found that 75% of Americans watched TV
using an INDOOR antenna....

The better indoor TV antennas are AMPLIFIED and DIRECTIONAL,
(to suppress multipath) rather than omnidirectional (e.g. RCA Flat Panels)
or bi-directional (typical RabbitEars+UHFLoop)....but both could work....

I would recommend the PHDTV3 amplified Silver Sensor with Rabbit Ears
for VHF and has an enclosure to protect the fragile antenna elements:
http://www.amazon.com/Philips-PHDTV3.../dp/B000B58VNM

or the Terk HDTVa Klone:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882145017

Here's the indoor antenna review thread...although EV is looking for
an OMNIDIRECTIONAL antenna due to wide variance in signal directions:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1037779


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post #4632 of 9595 Old 04-23-2009, 12:34 PM
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Livewell HD

Assuming that KABC is following other ABC O&O's, we will have to deal with an *HD sub-channel* on KABC.

ABC's picture quality isn't that great already, but it looks like it's going to only go downhill from here.

Here is the schedule:

http://livewellhd.com/feature?id=6756341

This new channel will have the same 6 programs repeating throughout the day with apparently some openings available for existing "+" programming.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_Well_HD_Network

Let the excitement begin.


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post #4633 of 9595 Old 04-24-2009, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Falcon_77 View Post

Livewell HD

Assuming that KABC is following other ABC O&O's, we will have to deal with an *HD sub-channel* on KABC.

ABC's picture quality isn't that great already, but it looks like it's going to only go downhill from here...

That will be an unprecidented move here! Two HD subchannels at once - I don't think it could possibly look very good at all. At 720p to begin with, I wonder how "HD" it could still be!
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post #4634 of 9595 Old 04-25-2009, 06:11 PM
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That will be an unprecidented move here! Two HD subchannels at once - I don't think it could possibly look very good at all. At 720p to begin with, I wonder how "HD" it could still be!

Of course this gets into the classic "which is better 720P vs. 1080i" debate, but I thought the reality is that they both transmit approximately the same amount of information as an HD standard and thus require about same amounts of bandwidth. For instance what 720P looses to 1080i in transmitted lines per frame, it pretty much regains in the 2X frame rate of 60/s as opposed to 30/s for 1080i.

However, I agree in how I do not see this as very practical since a good quality HD signal of either format is around 10-12 mb/s at MPEG-2. So one of the sub-channels is going to have to suffer some appreciable degradation here.
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post #4635 of 9595 Old 04-25-2009, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by HarrisonS View Post

That will be an unprecidented move here! Two HD subchannels at once - I don't think it could possibly look very good at all. At 720p to begin with, I wonder how "HD" it could still be!

It looks awful on ABC O&O WTVD in RDU, NC. Just discovered it today and not sure if 11.1 or 11.2 looks worse. Bad move on ABC's part. JMHO

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post #4636 of 9595 Old 04-25-2009, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by HoTatII View Post

......
However, I agree in how I do not see this as very practical since a good quality HD signal of either format is around 10-12 mb/s at MPEG-2. So one of the sub-channels is going to have to suffer some appreciable degradation here.

Hmmm interesting that you would say that. I am yet to see anything below 15 Mb/s look good, or be macroblocking free.

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post #4637 of 9595 Old 04-26-2009, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by HoTatII View Post

Of course this gets into the classic "which is better 720P vs. 1080i" debate, but I thought the reality is that they both transmit approximately the same amount of information as an HD standard and thus require about same amounts of bandwidth. For instance what 720P looses to 1080i in transmitted lines per frame, it pretty much regains in the 2X frame rate of 60/s as opposed to 30/s for 1080i.

However, I agree in how I do not see this as very practical since a good quality HD signal of either format is around 10-12 mb/s at MPEG-2. So one of the sub-channels is going to have to suffer some appreciable degradation here.

I think there is no question that 1080i can look significantly better that 720p, but only if the equipment used by the network and station is good enough to take advantage of it. And this seldom seems to be the case, with the except of the graphics used in news and weather broadcasts, etc. For example, the in-studio cameras used by chs. 2 and 9 always look a bit soft to me, although the graphics are always sharp. And most of the remote camaras, although 16:9, appear to be only SD. And KNBC still seems to use 4:3 SD remote cameras exclusively, making their HD local news something of a joke. At least KABC, although only 720p, seems to use more remote HD cameras than the others.

Anyway, let us hope that if KABC does go ahaed with this plan, they will only "starve" the second subchannel of bit rate so that 7.1 is not further degraded.
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post #4638 of 9595 Old 04-26-2009, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Falcon_77 View Post

Assuming that KABC is following other ABC O&O's, we will have to deal with an *HD sub-channel* on KABC.

ABC's picture quality isn't that great already, but it looks like it's going to only go downhill from here.

There's no assumption. KABC made a very big splash on their news programs today. By tomorrow it will be operating--if it isn't up already.

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That will be an unprecidented move here! Two HD subchannels at once - I don't think it could possibly look very good at all. At 720p to begin with, I wonder how "HD" it could still be!

I'm amazed too. I've already realized that the 1080 vs 720 could have a lot to do with what's left over for sub-channels, but I never dreamed you could have two 720s going at the same time.

I've been wondering if they are just using the wrong terminology, saying "high definition" when they meant "digital," i.e. just another SD sub-channel.

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Originally Posted by HoTatII View Post

Of course this gets into the classic "which is better 720P vs. 1080i" debate, but I thought the reality is that they both transmit approximately the same amount of information as an HD standard and thus require about same amounts of bandwidth. For instance what 720P looses to 1080i in transmitted lines per frame, it pretty much regains in the 2X frame rate of 60/s as opposed to 30/s for 1080i.

However, I agree in how I do not see this as very practical since a good quality HD signal of either format is around 10-12 mb/s at MPEG-2. So one of the sub-channels is going to have to suffer some appreciable degradation here.

I've often thought the same thing. Upon the initial debut of HDTV and upon reading the tech literature I didn't see how 1008i could possibly be better than 720p, since the 1080i requires significantly more compression. I thought it was just moving the interpolation from the receiver to the station. Now that I've seen the difference I believe my lying eyes. Even on a 720 television I'm convinced that I can see the difference, that 1080i looks better. It's subtle but I believe the 1080i looks better.

You've all read Randy Hoffner's piece, right? It made a lot of sense when I first read it, but that was way before I ever had my own HDTV. Now that I've seen the difference (or lack thereof) to me the report just doesn't play out.

Here in Los Angeles it seems that the 720p stations are running more sub-channels on the average. I had assumed the 1080 vs 720 trade-off had something to do with the ability to host sub-channels.

It will be amusing to see the signal tomorrow. I don't see how they can pull it off. But hey, let's just see it tomorrow. I've never seen two HD channels on the same carrier...

And worse, I'm a cooking enthusiast interested in healthy cooking--and their channel concept looks really sucky. I'll be amazed if they attract an audience.
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post #4639 of 9595 Old 04-26-2009, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovehound View Post

I've been wondering if they are just using the wrong terminology, saying "high definition" when they meant "digital," i.e. just another SD sub-channel.

Six of the ten ABC O&O stations have launched the dual 720p. It's not mistaken terminology.

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post #4640 of 9595 Old 04-26-2009, 08:12 PM
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Six of the ten ABC O&O stations have launched the dual 720p. It's not mistaken terminology.

Thanks! As I said it will be amusing to see it tomorrow. If it isn't already up in test mode. We shall see.
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post #4641 of 9595 Old 04-26-2009, 09:49 PM
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Not up as of this writing, er, typing. Tomorrow is another day.
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post #4642 of 9595 Old 04-27-2009, 06:45 AM
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Today is another day. It's up. Two 720P subchannels AND the 528x480 weather thing!

Zarquon's Knees, it looks crummy. It's PQ like this that led me to leave DirecTV in 1999. I find it hard to believe this is going to last. Even Bob Iger should be able to see the massive breakup on every crossfade.

Quickly eyeballing it on EyeTV's realtime bitrate counter, looks like 5 to 11 Mbps (averaging around 9) on the two HDs, and 2 Mbps on the weather thing. I would think it would actually look a little better than this at those rates. Outdated encoder?
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post #4643 of 9595 Old 04-27-2009, 08:00 AM
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Yes, they actually did it! I just checked KABC, and they indeed are carrying two 720p channels, and, as expected they both look terrible. At present, neither looks even as good as decent 480i. It will be interesting to check out their local news later today; it used to look fairly good.
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post #4644 of 9595 Old 04-27-2009, 08:29 AM
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Using the USB tuner at the office 7.2 looks simply terrible, with macro blocking most evident with simple motions (arm waving, etc.). 7.1 didn't look at bad as 7.2, but I will have to check it out on a real TV when I get home.


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post #4645 of 9595 Old 04-27-2009, 09:19 AM
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It doesn't look as bad to me as the reports above stated, but 7.1 looks noticeably degraded from yesterday if my memory is accurate. I could be wrong but at first glance 7.2 looks worse than 7.1. That could be just my imagination.
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post #4646 of 9595 Old 04-27-2009, 09:21 AM
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Now not that I condone multi casting, but just wanted to bring up the fact that any time a service is launched it tends to look terrible in the first few days (sometimes weeks) until all the bugs are worked out of it.
Of course, this may well remain terrible all along, but who knows.

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post #4647 of 9595 Old 04-27-2009, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcon_77 View Post

Using the USB tuner at the office 7.2 looks simply terrible, with macro blocking most evident with simple motions (arm waving, etc.). 7.1 didn't look at bad as 7.2, but I will have to check it out on a real TV when I get home.

Exactly my assessment so far, word for word! I also noticed horrendous artifacts as well. I switched to KTTV (also 720p) and was utterly blown away at how much better it looked!
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post #4648 of 9595 Old 04-27-2009, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by narkspud View Post

Quickly eyeballing it on EyeTV's realtime bitrate counter, looks like 5 to 11 Mbps (averaging around 9) on the two HDs, and 2 Mbps on the weather thing. I would think it would actually look a little better than this at those rates. Outdated encoder?

Nope: Single-pass "state-of-the-art" Harris NetVX encoders. On those things, 720p should be at least in the 12.5 to 14.5 Mbps range.
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post #4649 of 9595 Old 04-27-2009, 12:30 PM
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I took some screen caps of 7.1 and 7.2. The 7.1 "HD" cap was from this morning, though the field cam doesn't appear to be HD. 7.2 was from a few minutes ago.

Have a look at the hands on 7.2, where macro-blocking is evident with small amounts of motion. 7.1 was showing SD at the time and didn't appear to be suffering as much (reference cap provided).

If I get some time tonight, I will try again and save the results as .bmps, though they may be too large to upload here.

Edit: Added a 2nd cap for another LW program. Artifacts are obvious throughout.
LL
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post #4650 of 9595 Old 04-28-2009, 06:03 AM
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Attached is a cap of Dancing with the Stars last night, along with a typical TSR. 7.1 was averaging around 9.5Mbps and 7.2 around 5.5Mbps when both were showing HD programming. 7.3 was around 2Mbps. The null packet bin was still collecting around 1Mbps.
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kabc_4-27-09a.zip 2.0615234375k . file
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File Type: zip kabc_4-27-09a.zip (2.1 KB, 3 views)


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