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post #4801 of 4970 Old 03-04-2012, 01:39 PM
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Does anybody have a recommendation for an antenna installer in Springfield?

I've had it with Comcast and am cutting the cord.
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post #4802 of 4970 Old 03-06-2012, 04:44 AM
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I've seen this posted on the Chicago Comcast thread in the last couple weeks, but yesterday I received the official notice: Springfield will join the ranks of the all-digital Comcast markets around June 5.

And I hope sometime after this Comcast could realign their digital cable lineups by putting SD channels between 2 thru either 499 or 599, then HD 600 and above (as there's more SD than HD channels last I checked). The Music Choice channels could be placed from 550-595 before the HD channels begin. Perhaps channels on digital basic/Digital Economy levels could be placed in the 100's range (other than the Music Choice). (BTW, I'm one of those cheap people that is not willing to spend money on a new HDTV until my 8 1/2 year old Emerson, which still works great, goes out--even though I have the money to spend on a new TV if needed).
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post #4803 of 4970 Old 03-06-2012, 05:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highlifelight View Post

Does anybody have a recommendation for an antenna installer in Springfield?

I've had it with Comcast and am cutting the cord.

There is a guy out on East North Grand Ave. just as you get to the curve, before it becomes Ridge Ave. As for cutting the cord, you will only get ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS 14, the sub for the fox, sub for CBS, NBC's music channel sub. Not very many choices for here in Sangamon county, when it comes to OTA.

And actually with the best Indoor amplified that Radio Shack sells, you can pick them all up, without having to put an antenna on top of your home, or if you wish, you can place one up in your attic. The towers are close enough that you get good signal quality for all of them. You of course will never be able to pick up St. Louis, and out of Peoria, you can pick up 25 & 31, since how their towers sit up on a hill on 474.
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post #4804 of 4970 Old 03-06-2012, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highlifelight View Post

Does anybody have a recommendation for an antenna installer in Springfield?

Really if you don't have a steep roof &/or don't mind doing a little bit of climbing, you could actually put up a nice outside antenna yourself. You do NOT even need a rotator in Spfld to get all stations; if you would tell us about where you live, I can give you approx pointing instructions - but for the most part, you just need to aim the antenna toward the east. (WSEC actually transmits from the J'ville area, but is SO strong, will work fine coming on the backside of the antenna)
See more points below...

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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

As for cutting the cord, you will only get ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS 14, the sub for the fox, sub for CBS, NBC's music channel sub.

You'll also get the CW-HD, as well as it's sub THIS-TV. (comes from the same tower site as WAND-NBC)
Oh yea, the 24 hour weather on the WAND sub, too. (the "music sub" is actually on the WICS-ABC sub & is called "The Country Network", & has nothing to do with NBC)
Should be no problem also getting WILL-12 PBS as well...as long as you get an antenna that ALSO does VHF (high) band as well. WILL is on physical ch 9 now - as well as WCFN-49 is on physical ch 13, which is what you'll need to get CBS-HD (49.2) & MNT. So again, just go with a mid-sized V/U combo antenna (shouldn't even need a pre-amp outdoors) & you'll be all set for everything.

There's also the 2 subs on BOTH PBS stations as well (World & Create) which are the same on both PBS stations.

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Not very many choices for here in Sangamon county, when it comes to OTA.

Actually, considering other markets larger than us have far FEWER choices, we ain't actually doing too bad around here! And keep in mind other than MNT, every one of the major nets we get here ARE actually in HD - again, better than some other markets our size.
I'm shocked that we actually got ME-TV on 55.2 - which I've been watching out of Chicago for years now. (via DirecTV) WAY better than TV Land is/was now...

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And actually with the best Indoor amplified that Radio Shack sells, you can pick them all up, without having to put an antenna on top of your home, or if you wish, you can place one up in your attic. The towers are close enough that you get good signal quality for all of them.

Unless you are on the east side of town, you really should go with at least an attic antenna; but preferably on the outside. (The attic in most homes cuts down on the signal strength by about 1/3)
It does NOT have to be a (BIG) 40' tower; a simple eave mounted antenna pointed toward the east will work quite nicely to get everything we have here. (even WILL-PBS out of Urbana) But DO keep in mind both the WAND-NBC & WBUI-CW towers are in Argenta (east of Decatur) so they are a little weaker than the other (Spfld) stations/towers.

While not my first choice, here's a Rat Shack antenna that would work fine outside & possibly attic:

http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=3739595

Here's also a Winegard antenna that will work fine, the HD7694P. (smallest one will suffice)

http://www.winegard.com/kbase/upload/1450290.pdf

Since either of these does not do VHF-Low band (2-6) the elements are NOT as wide as typical V/U combo antennas, so it's easier to carry & put up. They have a coax balun, so all you need to do is run coax directly from it to your TV & you're all set to cut the cord!
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post #4805 of 4970 Old 03-06-2012, 08:13 AM
 
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I am on the West side and actually a piece of bare coax stinger of about two feet works better than most cheap antennas. Will not get CW or PBs, but you get everything else.

Even with tthe $50 indoor antenna from Radioshack, that my neighbor across the street has, he gets everything in the market. You just have to aim towards St. John's and you get everything.
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post #4806 of 4970 Old 03-08-2012, 12:26 PM
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First off, thanks for the quick replies, fellas! I'm mostly a novice when it comes to OTA, so I appreciate your patience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

There is a guy out on East North Grand Ave. just as you get to the curve, before it becomes Ridge Ave. As for cutting the cord, you will only get ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS 14, the sub for the fox, sub for CBS, NBC's music channel sub. Not very many choices for here in Sangamon county, when it comes to OTA.

And actually with the best Indoor amplified that Radio Shack sells, you can pick them all up, without having to put an antenna on top of your home, or if you wish, you can place one up in your attic. The towers are close enough that you get good signal quality for all of them. You of course will never be able to pick up St. Louis, and out of Peoria, you can pick up 25 & 31, since how their towers sit up on a hill on 474.

I tried a couple different antennas inside my attic (if you can even call it an attic, it's just insulation and not much room to move up there), and I fed the signal into a HDHomerun, and observed the reception levels, and it was pretty much universally bad. I really tried hard to make it work.

You don't happen to have the name or number of this gentleman on North Grand avenue, do you? I will go explore otherwise, no big deal.

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Originally Posted by dishrich View Post

Really if you don't have a steep roof &/or don't mind doing a little bit of climbing, you could actually put up a nice outside antenna yourself. You do NOT even need a rotator in Spfld to get all stations; if you would tell us about where you live, I can give you approx pointing instructions - but for the most part, you just need to aim the antenna toward the east. (WSEC actually transmits from the J'ville area, but is SO strong, will work fine coming on the backside of the antenna)
See more points below...

Unless you are on the east side of town, you really should go with at least an attic antenna; but preferably on the outside. (The attic in most homes cuts down on the signal strength by about 1/3)
It does NOT have to be a (BIG) 40' tower; a simple eave mounted antenna pointed toward the east will work quite nicely to get everything we have here. (even WILL-PBS out of Urbana) But DO keep in mind both the WAND-NBC & WBUI-CW towers are in Argenta (east of Decatur) so they are a little weaker than the other (Spfld) stations/towers.

I'm awaiting neck surgery and having some physical issues that prevent me from feeling very confident about getting on the roof. In about three months, sure, but I'd like to have it done before then, if at all possible. I'd just feel a lot better about paying a professional to have it done right the first time (making sure signals are strong, etc), and feed the same line coming in the house that cable is currently using (after it is disconnected, of course).

Just as a point of reference here, I am nearby the intersection of Dirksen and Stevenson, on the south side of town, not far from laketown.

I will indeed take a look at your antenna suggestions and greatly appreciate your help!
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post #4807 of 4970 Old 03-08-2012, 01:15 PM
 
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Point your Antenna Towards S&K at Dirksen and S. Grand. Your subdivision, you need to get it above that old growth trees around your homes.

It is Ba Ha communications.
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post #4808 of 4970 Old 03-09-2012, 08:14 PM
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According to RabbitEars, WICS's sub is still The Country Network. TheCoolTV is only on WICD. So if you had your heart set on TheCoolTV, you're out of luck, since the Champaign satellites will be almost impossible to get with any consistency.

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post #4809 of 4970 Old 03-10-2012, 12:55 PM
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You are very much correct about all that; corrected my post...

It's weird that Sinclair did those 2 subs like this in OUR DMA (only)...while in others around us (KDNL-30 STL & WYZZ-43 Bloomington, to name 2) that did NOT already have any other subs, they put BOTH subs on their stations...
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post #4810 of 4970 Old 03-23-2012, 05:40 PM
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Hello DX! Tonight's storm caused a very strong band opening. Ones like this make me wish I had a better antenna. Anyway, Decatur, Terre Haute, and Indianapolis accounted for. Three first timers: WXIN, WEIU, and WAWV. For WXIN and WAWV, that's just first on digital, for WEIU, I think that's first ever. As for suspected partials, we have something on channel 14 (almost certainly WTIU, given how many other Indy/Bloomington stations I got), something on 9 (almost certainly WILL, but I've never had luck with VHF), something on 10 (most likely WTHI, but again, VHF), something on 19 (WUSI seems most likely, as the band was open to the south, as testified by WEIU), something on 21 (almost certainly WFYI), something on 24 (RabbitEars was no help, there's no nearby 24, so the closest I could find on digital 24 on Wikipedia was WPTA out of Fort Wayne), something on 27 (most likely WIPX, I'm a bit surprised it wasn't above the receiver threshold), something on 28 (most likely WYZZ), and something on 42 (probably WCLJ, possibly WNDU).

I'm a bit disappointed that I'm still unable to say I've finally tuned in an ION station (though I know I'm not missing much), and, with this being the strongest opening I've seen since I started keeping a logbook, I'm disappointed that I wasn't able to confirm any stations outside of Champaign/Decatur/Springfield, Bloomington-Normal/Peoria, and Terre Haute/Bloomington/Indy). I strongly suspect that this is the best I'll be able to do with this equipment. Anyone else catch any DX?

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post #4811 of 4970 Old 04-15-2012, 09:32 PM
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Tonight's severe weather reminded me of my frustrations with local news in Champaign. For instance, as far as WAND is concerned, it seems like WAND has completely forgotten Vermilion County exists and that they've got a repeater here. As the storms started rolling into Danville, I tuned in to see what we were in for. WAND was covering the Decatur area, understandable with the tornado watch and all, but the radar image was zoomed into just Decatur, Charleston, etc. for a good 30 or 45 seconds, never switching out to the whole viewing area radar. That reminded me of some previous storms, where we've even had large hail and funnel clouds, and WAND didn't even interrupt 17.2 for us. So 10 o'clock comes round, and I'm still wondering about the storm, so I tune into WICD. Nope! It's Sunday, so WICD's newscast is Springfield centric (so is the news at 9 on WCCU for that matter). I ended up switching to WCIA. I don't have anything against WCIA, except for the fact that it's the one Champaign/Decatur Big 4 station I can't get reliably. Which, of course, means that I'd rather not rely on it for emergency weather news. And, even without severe weather, all the weekend newscasts, except for WCIA, cover Decatur and Springfield more than Champaign and, especially, Danville, so it barely counts as local news anyway.

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post #4812 of 4970 Old 04-29-2012, 04:45 PM
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[quote=TimfromSpfdIL;21740858]I've seen this posted on the Chicago Comcast thread in the last couple weeks, but yesterday I received the official notice: Springfield will join the ranks of the all-digital Comcast markets around June 5.

I got a similar notice from Comcast in Springfield about 7 days ago. It states that all tv's will have to be connected to either a digital receiver(DR), digital adapter (DA) or CableCard device by June 5, 2012 or you will not get all of the Comcast channels that you pay for with Comcast's new all digital platform. I already have my two analog TV's connected to DA's and my HD plasma connected to a DR. That part is not a problem.
I split one of my Comcast cable lines after coming out of the wall outlet with one cable going directly to the plasma tv and one to the Comcast DR to the DVD player/recorder(with a digital tuner) to the plasma tv. I did this so that I could get the major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and PBS) in HD with my plasma tv QAM tuner with the direct cable connection thanks to good advice from dishrich,which I appreciate.
QUESTION 1: With this Comcast change, will I lose the capability of seeing the major networks in HD with my plasma tv with my current wiring setup?

On a second Comcast cable outlet I have a cable going from the outlet to a Comcast DA to a DVD player/recorder (non digital tuner) to the analog tv.
QESTION 2: Will I still be able to record with this DVD recorder(non digital tuner) as I do now with Comcast's all digital platform and the fact that the DVD recorder is not digital?

Thanks for any advice.
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post #4813 of 4970 Old 04-30-2012, 05:04 AM
 
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Jimhighdef, they stated that over two years ago, that every tv needed either a stb or DTA. Your only choices with Comcast, is either drop it and run like the majority did, or are doing, or get their box and wait for them to keep making open promises, that they will never fullfill.

And yes, you need a digital set-top, because once they flip the switch, whichever decade or century that will be, all you will get is a message that in order to receive said channel, you need a box, contact Comcast @ such and such number.
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post #4814 of 4970 Old 04-30-2012, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

Jimhighdef, they stated that over two years ago, that every tv needed either a stb or DTA.

Except back then, it was ONLY for expanded basic subs; now they are finishing this up for ALL (limited) basic subs - so that there will be NO analog left whatsover.

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Your only choices with Comcast, is either drop it and run like the majority did, or are doing, or get their box and wait for them to keep making open promises, that they will never fullfill.

????????
(If you mean for the fact this IS happening - yes, ALL the (last) remaining analog goes bye-bye on 6/5.
Hopefully, more HD will be following very soon...)

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And yes, you need a digital set-top, because once they flip the switch, whichever decade or century that will be, all you will get is a message that in order to receive said channel, you need a box, contact Comcast @ such and such number.

All limited basic channels (both SD & HD) WILL remain available in clear QAM - which is stated quite plainly on the notices that just went out. But, that could change later...see next post.

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QUESTION 1: With this Comcast change, will I lose the capability of seeing the major networks in HD with my plasma tv with my current wiring setup?

Yes, however, you may need to rescan your plasma, if they move QAM's around, which is very possible.

HOWEVER...I will tell you that Comcast IS in the process of requesting a waiver from the FCC, to allow them to encrypt EVERYTHING, including the clear QAM (HD) local channels. But, they are also coming out with an HD DTA, which will allow you to get the HD locals back. No word on if subs can get these (HD) DTA's as part of "3 free DTA's" limited subs already get...but I would be willing to bet they WILL be.

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On a second Comcast cable outlet I have a cable going from the outlet to a Comcast DA to a DVD player/recorder (non digital tuner) to the analog tv.
QESTION 2: Will I still be able to record with this DVD recorder(non digital tuner) as I do now with Comcast's all digital platform and the fact that the DVD recorder is not digital?

If you really mean you're using a DTA, then yes, this setup will NOT change after the analog shut-off.
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post #4815 of 4970 Old 05-02-2012, 08:04 PM
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I wanted to thank you guys for the advice I got in this thread. I'm getting basically all the locals now, in HD, except for the PBS stations (weirdly enough), but I will be doing some more tweaking soon. I google "springfield il antenna installer", got a phone number for some supposed experts, and a guy came out (after forgetting my appointment and me badgering him). The guy was **clueless**. I ended up asking him not to come back and ordering the "Eagle Aspen Dtv2Buhf Directv 2-Bay Uhf Antenna" from Amazon.

I connected it to the coaxial that was already running up to the roof from my unused Dish network dish! It was perfect. I then have it running directly into the house and into a PC running windows media center, which feeds two Xbox 360's as Windows Media Extenders. Wife is happy, I'm happy, all is well.

Anyway, new question. Do any of you have experience with Free-to-air satellite service? I've been reading about it, and it seems relatively cheap to implement and use (well, free to use, minus electricity). I realize that most of the stations are foreign and that many stations come and go, but it sounds fun to me. Further, if any of you dabble in this area, are any of you in Springfield and have your setup going? I'd love to be able to talk to you, maybe let me check out how you've done it and how it looks? And if that wasn't enough, whether there is an expert in this area for installs?

Anyway, thanks again guys, loving my setup.
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post #4816 of 4970 Old 05-03-2012, 08:21 AM
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Which PBS are you trying to get, WSEC or WILL? WSEC, I believe, should be an easy catch in Springfield proper, but with its transmitter in Jacksonville, it'll be harder to catch in the towns east of Springfield. WILL will be harder, a combination of its distance and VHF frequency.

As for FTA, I've looked into it but never played with it yet. As far as foreign language content goes, there's not much that I've seen that interests me, it's predominantly southeast Asian with a dash of Arabic for good measure, not as much of the European languages. Most of the good stuff is encrypted and limited to people living overseas. That said, I'm pretty sure you can get just about any American OTA network (even the small ones you've never heard of). Have you decided on a C-band or Ku-band (or dual band, for that matter) dish? The Ku-band dishes are a lot smaller but are missing a lot of C-band's content. Satellite placement is also critical, you may want to pay a professional installer for it. As for receivers, I have no suggestions, beyond perhaps a receiver with a DVR. If you do go through with it, let us know how it works out and what you manage to get.

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post #4817 of 4970 Old 05-03-2012, 06:47 PM
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I'm not in the area, but I am into FTA. As you say, much of what's available is foreign language, but not all of it. I have a motorized Ku dish (that's the smaller dish size) and I more or less keep it on one of three satellites, AMC9, G19, or AMC21.

AMC9 has three of the Luken networks: RTV, Tuff TV, and PBJ. (Disclaimer: I am an employee of Luken Communications.)

G19 has a bunch of religious and foreign language stuff, but has a few gems in English. The availability of Al Jazeera English on G19 is why I got into FTA in the first place.

AMC21 is where the PBS feeds are. PBS from Oklahoma and Montana are available, as well as the untouched national HD feeds and sporadic feeds. I think I watch more programming on AMC21 these days than I do with my antenna.

Then, of course, there are the wild feeds on various other satellites. Look hard enough and you can usually find news reports and live cams and things like that. And if you got a C-band dish, which is the larger dishes, then there's a ton of stuff up there.

Feel free to ask any questions you might have.

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post #4818 of 4970 Old 05-03-2012, 07:12 PM
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Quick question about your motorized dish. Is it manual or computerized control? I'm not too keen on manual control (I'd probably just stick it on one satellite unless I really wanted to change), but I've played around with a computer controlled ham radio satcom setup and really enjoyed it.

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post #4819 of 4970 Old 05-03-2012, 07:40 PM
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It's USALS. I do typically leave it on AMC21 but mostly because 9 times out of 10, that's what I'm going to be watching. Even if I move it to a different satellite for something, I put it back on AMC21 when I'm done.

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post #4820 of 4970 Old 05-06-2012, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post

I'm not in the area, but I am into FTA. As you say, much of what's available is foreign language, but not all of it. I have a motorized Ku dish (that's the smaller dish size) and I more or less keep it on one of three satellites, AMC9, G19, or AMC21.

AMC9 has three of the Luken networks: RTV, Tuff TV, and PBJ. (Disclaimer: I am an employee of Luken Communications.)

G19 has a bunch of religious and foreign language stuff, but has a few gems in English. The availability of Al Jazeera English on G19 is why I got into FTA in the first place.

AMC21 is where the PBS feeds are. PBS from Oklahoma and Montana are available, as well as the untouched national HD feeds and sporadic feeds. I think I watch more programming on AMC21 these days than I do with my antenna.

Then, of course, there are the wild feeds on various other satellites. Look hard enough and you can usually find news reports and live cams and things like that. And if you got a C-band dish, which is the larger dishes, then there's a ton of stuff up there.

Feel free to ask any questions you might have.

- Trip

Great, thanks for the response!

I'm a tinkerer, so this whole thing feels like something I would just love to play around with. I'll just lay out my concerns.

First, we had Dish Network a few years ago, and it worked fine. However, I wouldn't say we have an entirely clear view of the southern sky (which I've read multiple sites say is a prerequisite to get any of this to work). If I was able to get Dish Network, is it a reasonable assumption that I should be able to hit at least a few satellites?

Second, I just don't have the room (or probably the spousal support) to put up a "C" dish. Do you find that there is plenty to play with on the Ku dish, or do you find it lacking? This is probably a dumb question, but I wanted to ask.

Have you used Windows Media Center to control your signal? I've seen a few videos on youtube showing this method, but there just isn't a whole lot out there explaining whether it's worth it to try. Since there apparently is usually no channel guide data, there wouldn't be a huge advantage, but I would like to get the signal to my windows media extenders that way, if possible.

What's your experience with wildfeeds? This has to be the most interesting aspect to me. I've found a couple forums that post wildfeeds to sporting events, etc, and it looks great. Are you able to get much of that stuff with the Ku dish?

Thanks so much for the information, I really appreciate it.
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post #4821 of 4970 Old 05-06-2012, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by kc9hzn View Post

Which PBS are you trying to get, WSEC or WILL? WSEC, I believe, should be an easy catch in Springfield proper, but with its transmitter in Jacksonville, it'll be harder to catch in the towns east of Springfield. WILL will be harder, a combination of its distance and VHF frequency.

As for FTA, I've looked into it but never played with it yet. As far as foreign language content goes, there's not much that I've seen that interests me, it's predominantly southeast Asian with a dash of Arabic for good measure, not as much of the European languages. Most of the good stuff is encrypted and limited to people living overseas. That said, I'm pretty sure you can get just about any American OTA network (even the small ones you've never heard of). Have you decided on a C-band or Ku-band (or dual band, for that matter) dish? The Ku-band dishes are a lot smaller but are missing a lot of C-band's content. Satellite placement is also critical, you may want to pay a professional installer for it. As for receivers, I have no suggestions, beyond perhaps a receiver with a DVR. If you do go through with it, let us know how it works out and what you manage to get.

I think WSEC. I'm going to play around with the antenna some more once I finish graduate school here in a week. I really should be studying, and not thinking about this Everything else OTA comes in great, it's weird.

I'm looking at a Ku dish. I think I'll probably start making calls to professional installers here in Springfield (trying to find somebody with experience with this FTA stuff specifically). As for a receiver, I'm still researching. I'd like to just get a compatible card for my windows media center pc, and have it mixed in with all my OTA stuff. There are quite a few forums on the subject, but the receivers do not seem very user friendly, and I'm a little worried about the learning curve. I want something that can do that "blind scan" quickly, display HD content (if at all possible), and be able to manipulate a motorized dish. I'm hoping I find an installer that is himself an enthusiast.

If I am able to get this running successfully, I will happily report back with my findings.
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post #4822 of 4970 Old 05-06-2012, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by highlifelight View Post

Great, thanks for the response!

I'm a tinkerer, so this whole thing feels like something I would just love to play around with.

If you like tinkering, FTA will definitely hold your interest, I think.

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First, we had Dish Network a few years ago, and it worked fine. However, I wouldn't say we have an entirely clear view of the southern sky (which I've read multiple sites say is a prerequisite to get any of this to work). If I was able to get Dish Network, is it a reasonable assumption that I should be able to hit at least a few satellites?

In Virginia, where I lived before I moved to Chattanooga, I had to hunt to find a position where I could see both AMC21 and G19 (I decided I didn't care enough about AMC9). I did find a position where I could see AMC21 just above the tree line, and with my motor I can see from 91W to 125W. If you got Dish Network to work, though, I think you will be okay for the western satellites at least, as I think Dish is on satellites between 110W and 129W.

Depending on your view, you may be blocked from certain satellites, but it would be difficult to tell off-hand.

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Second, I just don't have the room (or probably the spousal support) to put up a "C" dish. Do you find that there is plenty to play with on the Ku dish, or do you find it lacking? This is probably a dumb question, but I wanted to ask.

[...]

What's your experience with wildfeeds? This has to be the most interesting aspect to me. I've found a couple forums that post wildfeeds to sporting events, etc, and it looks great. Are you able to get much of that stuff with the Ku dish?

I spend a fair amount of time with it. The satellites with the interesting feeds tend to be the ones centrally located, so 91W and 105W have a lot on them, for example. You will find that many times when TV stations have people live, those feeds will appear on Ku. I'm not a sports watcher, but did happen across an ESPN feed of a UVA baseball game once at 38 Mbps in 720p. Since it was otherwise available only on ESPN3 as far as I could tell, I was probably seeing it more clearly than anyone else watching.

As I am a fan of PBS, I spend a lot of time on AMC21, and I would say there's tons to watch there. 24/7 news from Al Jazeera English is good too, and was great during the Egyptian uprising.

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Have you used Windows Media Center to control your signal? I've seen a few videos on youtube showing this method, but there just isn't a whole lot out there explaining whether it's worth it to try. Since there apparently is usually no channel guide data, there wouldn't be a huge advantage, but I would like to get the signal to my windows media extenders that way, if possible.

I don't use Windows any more than I have to, so I can't say that I've used it with Media Center, but I do use it with TSReader on a regular basis. In fact, I don't own a TV these days, and do all my watching on a desktop computer. I have a USB DVB-S2 tuner and it works great for me.

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Originally Posted by highlifelight View Post

I'm looking at a Ku dish. I think I'll probably start making calls to professional installers here in Springfield (trying to find somebody with experience with this FTA stuff specifically).

I encourage you to get a 90 cm dish. The OTARD rules permit a dish up to 1 meter, and my dish is 90 cm by 99 cm, so I'm definitely within that limit.

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As for a receiver, I'm still researching. I'd like to just get a compatible card for my windows media center pc, and have it mixed in with all my OTA stuff. There are quite a few forums on the subject, but the receivers do not seem very user friendly, and I'm a little worried about the learning curve. I want something that can do that "blind scan" quickly, display HD content (if at all possible), and be able to manipulate a motorized dish. I'm hoping I find an installer that is himself an enthusiast.

If you're looking for a standalone receiver, I've tried the Openbox S9 and the Manhattan receiver, and found both to be good receivers. I own the latter, but have not used it nearly as much as I would like to have.

If you're looking for a USB tuner, I am of less help. I bought a TeVii S660 based on a recommendation from a friend and from the fact it has a dedicated driver in TSReader. It's a good receiver, but I've been having a driver issue that requires a reboot to get it working again after it stops. I imagine it's something fixable but it hasn't quite annoyed me enough to bring it to the attention of the manufacturer. It cost me $85, plus $30 shipping from Taiwan.

I'm a member over on Satellite Guys, and the folks there would probably have better suggestions on a USB tuner than I would.

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If I am able to get this running successfully, I will happily report back with my findings.

I look forward to hearing about it!

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post #4823 of 4970 Old 05-13-2012, 04:07 PM
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I have a Media Center PC with an internal tuner card. It has run flawlessly for over 2 years. I receive all of the OTA channels pretty well from an attic antenna. In the last couple of months only 17-1 WAND I have issue with. I can manually tune to the channel but I cannot record on just that channel. Ideas???

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post #4824 of 4970 Old 05-13-2012, 08:11 PM
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I wonder if it has anything to do with WAND moving back onto RF 17. Perhaps you should do a complete rescan.

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post #4825 of 4970 Old 05-14-2012, 09:04 AM
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All limited basic channels (both SD & HD) WILL remain available in clear QAM - which is stated quite plainly on the notices that just went out. But, that could change later...see next post.


Yes, however, you may need to rescan your plasma, if they move QAM's around, which is very possible.

HOWEVER...I will tell you that Comcast IS in the process of requesting a waiver from the FCC, to allow them to encrypt EVERYTHING, including the clear QAM (HD) local channels. But, they are also coming out with an HD DTA, which will allow you to get the HD locals back. No word on if subs can get these (HD) DTA's as part of "3 free DTA's" limited subs already get...but I would be willing to bet they WILL be.



If you really mean you're using a DTA, then yes, this setup will NOT change after the analog shut-off.

Thanks for the reply Dishrich. From what you are saying I will have to wait and see after Comcast's makes its changes on June 5th to see what happens and what I need to do.

Is Comcast required by law to provide the local channels in HD without having to pay extra for a HD receiver?

Did you notice that sometime after the Christmas holidays, it appeared that the DVD manufacturers such as Pansonic have decided not to make DVD recorders and DVD/VHS recorders anymore? I think Toshiba may still make a DVD recorder but forget about VHS recorders. It apears that the media industry does not want you to be able to record anything on a VHS tape or DVD disc anymore. I realize that you may be able to do it illegally or through your computer legally if you are smart enough but they are not making any Blue Ray recorders that I know of so far.
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post #4826 of 4970 Old 05-16-2012, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post

If you like tinkering, FTA will definitely hold your interest, I think.

I'm getting desperate to find an installer; I've even been contacting the independent guys who install Dish Network (and any other outfit that looks like they could help) and they're trying to tell me that I'm doing something illegal and refusing to do (while pushing their service on me).

I finished my graduate degree on Saturday and I need something to tinker with! Why is it so hard to find somebody to install a FTA dish?
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post #4827 of 4970 Old 05-16-2012, 04:55 AM
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I've installed all of my dishes myself or with the help of a friend, never with an installer. It's not too terribly difficult to set up a fixed dish, really, if you're willing to spend some time on it. My motorized dishes took several weeks of tweaking to get lined up correctly, but were also doable.

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post #4828 of 4970 Old 05-23-2012, 07:00 AM
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This is a bit off topic, but I figured it met two of the three qualifications: Champaign market, HD, just not TV.

I bought one of those iPhone/iPod HD Radio dongles on eBay for super cheap (less than $10). As an analog receiver, it meets my baseline expectations (Danville, IL/Covington, IN market reception, the Champaign Saga stations, does a pretty good job of rejecting images of WDNL, not too good of a job with Terre Haute stations, but oh well). Just on analog performance alone, I wouldn't have bought it at retail, but at a severely discounted price, it's not a bad deal. But it's a DIGITAL radio, yet I haven't managed to tune in an HD station yet. The closest I've come is this morning. The HD icon was flickering in and out for a little bit this morning during the Bob and Tom Show, but I couldn't get a fix on it.

The radio is one of those portable radios where it uses the earbuds as an antenna. I've tried a couple different earbuds, and I've tried to wrap a copper wire around the base of the earbuds (works with radios using a telescopic base antenna), all to no avail. Has anyone managed to tune in HD radio in Danville? If so, how did you manage? What equipment were you using? For everyone else, got any tips for tuning in weaker stations on those earbud antenna radios?

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post #4829 of 4970 Old 06-04-2012, 08:58 PM
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I got one hell of a surprise this weekend. When did WCCU decide to broadcast 5.1 audio? I have complained for years but they are due a big thank you for finally making the change...it's going to make my life a lot easier once the Bears season rolls around. I wonder if they had to upgrade equipment to make it happen AND if said equipment will allow them to pass through the HD signal from WFLD.
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post #4830 of 4970 Old 06-10-2012, 07:43 AM
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I got one hell of a surprise this weekend. When did WCCU decide to broadcast 5.1 audio? I have complained for years but they are due a big thank you for finally making the change...it's going to make my life a lot easier once the Bears season rolls around. I wonder if they had to upgrade equipment to make it happen AND if said equipment will allow them to pass through the HD signal from WFLD.

I was pleasantly surprised by that, too. I had been frustrated by the lack of 5.1 for a number of years, but wasn't surprised. I've been frustrated by this channel for decades, as in the past, they could seldom stay on the air for an hour without going down.

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