Seattle, WA - OTA - Page 16 - AVS Forum
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Local HDTV Info and Reception > Seattle, WA - OTA
lkinley's Avatar lkinley 10:40 AM 12-04-2003
Well guys, I got my LG 3100A yesterday and this is one cool STB!

This was my first experience with HDTV in my house. I still have the CM4221 antenna leaning against one of the speakers in the room and I got all locals on the initial channel scan! Chalk up another Silver Firs area success story.

This is a very nice unit. The PQ is incredible on my Panny 50" plasma and channel changing is quite fast. This unit allows the native signal to be sent to the TV, which I am doing. I also tried forcing output to 720p, but I could not tell a difference.

Enterprise in HD was pretty stunning, too bad the story wasn't compelling enough to keep me on that channel My wife and I watched the scenic HD loops on KCTS last night -- very much a window effect on those shots, but the brightness seemed to be cranked up too much on that content -- blacks were very grey. I believe these were produced back in 1995, so that may explain it via being early produced content.

After watching the OTA channels for a while, I hooked up Comcast to the box and reran the channel scan. This STB is QAM enabled, and I was able to pick up all the advertised HD channels and then some. Comcast must be very close to an agreement with KING and KONG, because I was able to watch these channels last night on 112-1 and 112-2, respectively. However, there were several times that the signal dropped out or pixelated on both channels so it is not quite ready. I don't watch it, but West Wing looked really good.

I also picked up ESPNHD, and several other SD channels that are being put on the wire in QAM. I found the History Channel, which I thought was odd. Lots of music channels, too. LOTS. Some with the SD banner page explaining the artist/song/etc, some not.

Now I just need to get that antenna put in the attic!

-Lance

felthove's Avatar felthove 10:43 AM 12-04-2003
Congrats.
longing's Avatar longing 02:50 PM 12-04-2003
Just wanted to give a heads up for the people in Monroe. I got my stb and the RS $20 uhf antenna w/rg59 hanging out the window hooked up, and got king, kiro, komo, fox, and wb during the day. From what i've been reading pbs only broadcasts at night, so I hope to get it as well. One I get my antenna mounted on top of my roof and use rg6 I think I'll be good to go. Right now I'm watching it on a 9" tv/vcr combo till the theater room is done. So, in closing, anyone wondering about Monroe, you should have sucess. Wha who.

-Mason
weebling1's Avatar weebling1 04:53 PM 12-04-2003
Quote:


origionally posted by Ikinley Enterprise in HD was pretty stunning,

Your picking up UPN?!?! thats amazing reception! Sounds like that LG 3100A is a truly superior box. Did you view INHD & INHD2?
lkinley's Avatar lkinley 05:01 PM 12-04-2003
Quote:


Originally posted by weebling1
Your picking up UPN?!?! thats amazing reception! Sounds like that LG 3100A is a truly superior box.

Yep, at about 50% signal strength. The antenna is just leaning against the tower speaker pointed in the general direction of Seattle! I did not expect to get UPN given that they directionally broadcast to Tacoma.

It's weird, because the LG box was reported to be less sensitive than the Samsungs due to better multipath filtering.

I'm certainly not complaining!

-Lance
lkinley's Avatar lkinley 11:13 AM 12-05-2003
Anyone else have problems during Scrubs and ER last night on KING? The signal strength would jump from 80% to 30% and the picture/sound would drop out and pixelize.

I have a hard time believing this is a reception problem when the signal strength drops that much for 1-2 seconds. No other channels were having problems.

-Lance
RickE's Avatar RickE 11:50 AM 12-05-2003
Quote:


Originally posted by weebling1
Your picking up UPN?!?! thats amazing reception! Sounds like that LG 3100A is a truly superior box. Did you view INHD & INHD2?

I'm even farther north than Silver Firs, Up in the eastmont area (almost all the way down into the valley) and I'm blocked by a 400' hill, and I get UPN, WB, Kong, pretty good. No King, Fox, and I only get Kiro and Komo sporadically. This just using a myhd-100 card, which isn't known for being one of the best recievers for weak signals.
Rick
quarque's Avatar quarque 02:43 PM 12-06-2003
Quote:


Originally posted by lkinley
Anyone else have problems during Scrubs and ER last night on KING? The signal strength would jump from 80% to 30% and the picture/sound would drop out and pixelize.

I have a hard time believing this is a reception problem when the signal strength drops that much for 1-2 seconds. No other channels were having problems.

-Lance

Lance - this is most definitely a "reception problem" and a rather common one. The station power output is extremely steady. Most likely you are receiving a reflected signal as either your primary source or as interference. If it is worse on windy days I would look for nearby trees. Most people have to hunt around for the best antenna location because it is always a compomise between the various towers and reflections of each.

Larry
weebling1's Avatar weebling1 10:32 PM 12-06-2003
OTA is driving me mad!

I on the other side of the valley and currently get KOMO, KING, KIRO, KONG, KCTS (spotty), and WB, BUT I want to watch ENTERPRISE!

I was watching Leno the other night when the image froze ( with him sitting at his desk) and stayed that way for 5-10min. reception thing? or anyone else see that?
Tivopaul's Avatar Tivopaul 11:12 PM 12-07-2003
Weebling--

I saw the same thing on Leno the other night....sound continued but frozen picture. So it wasn't a problem with your setup. I was wondering the same thing -- thinking it was maybe a multipath or antenna problem --when I saw it. Good to know it wasn't.
lkinley's Avatar lkinley 09:56 AM 12-08-2003
Quote:
Originally posted by quarque
Lance - this is most definitely a "reception problem" and a rather common one. The station power output is extremely steady. Most likely you are receiving a reflected signal as either your primary source or as interference. If it is worse on windy days I would look for nearby trees. Most people have to hunt around for the best antenna location because it is always a compomise between the various towers and reflections of each.

Larry

Yeah, I moved the antenna and it is better now. It is still in the room with the TV, but up on the mast leaning against the wall I'll be putting it in the attic this week, so hopefully going through less walls and being higher up will fix it.

The last couple of days, I cannot get KONG no matter what I try, which is strange since KING comes in just fine.

-Lance
weebling1's Avatar weebling1 07:45 PM 12-08-2003
Quote:
Origionally posted by Lance
The last couple of days, I cannot get KONG no matter what I try, which is strange since KING comes in just fine.

KONG's signal is lower power (per Budget_HT post pg11) I used to have difficulty getting it myself with a CM4228. Getting that antenna higher and focusing it for KONG might solve everything.

My current status: using a CM4228 AND CM4248 in can get almost everything broadcast locally (no UPN & occasional breakup on 9-1 and 9-5 *NOT 9-4* )

I've had to remove 9-2 and 9-3 from my channel list. When I tune to them (or 9-5 off hours)while their not sending picture but saying *digital signal*, my SIRT165 goes into spontaneous reboot mode. Anyone else experience that one? Doesn't happen on any other stations (hmm...conspiracy theory...)
felthove's Avatar felthove 08:38 PM 12-08-2003
I'm in the same boat.

My Dish 6000 freaks out when I go to the PBS chennels while they aren't broadcasting and removes all channel 9 info from my favorite channels guide. Sometimes it goes so far as to nix them from my available channels guide and I have to add pbs again manually.

Maybe it's a conspiracy to get back all the free riders that didn't contribute to this year's pledge drive?
highvista's Avatar highvista 09:30 PM 12-08-2003
Quote:
When I tune to them (or 9-5 off hours)while their not sending picture but saying *digital signal*, my SIRT165 goes into spontaneous reboot mode. Anyone else experience that one? Doesn't happen on any other stations (hmm...conspiracy theory...)

My SIR-T165 does the same thing with the KCTS sub-channels when they have what looks like a carrier without data. I've read elsewhere that this is a known issue with the SIR-T165. It has something to do with bad PSIP (?) data. Something HDTV-ish that I'm not clear on. I've also heard that the broadcasters can fix this, if they're asked to, though I'm not sure just what to ask for.

Maybe when HDTV becomes more mainstream all the broadcasters will get this stuff right.
Budget_HT's Avatar Budget_HT 10:52 PM 12-08-2003
I am luckier I guess. My Hughes E86 and RCA DTC-100 handle the evening lack of 9-2 (SD) and 9-3 okay. The HD comes in on 9-2 after the SD 9-2 shuts down.

Of course, the Hughes E86 pays little attention to PSIP data since it gets program guide data only from DirecTV via satellite for the OTA local analog and digital channels. I used to get KCTS-HD on both 9-2 and 9-5 on the E86, but the 9-5 went away a few weeks ago and I did not bother to investigate, since all I lost was redundancy that I did not need.
Grampa's Avatar Grampa 01:20 AM 12-09-2003
What a great thread! Terrific information, but I wasn't able to find my neighborhood discussed. I have a DTV on order, and I'm wondering what kind of antenna would work best. I live on Capitol Hill (16th E. just south of E. Aloha), so I'm quite close to the CH towers and not far from the QA towers. Right now, I just have a pair of rabbit ears, which are in the basement (Radio Shack powered VHF/UHF, looks like a small laptop with a knob and rabbit ears). I'm able to get good reception of the local analog stations (4,5,7,9,11,13 [if I rotate a bit], 16 [snowy], 22, 33 [snowy] and 51). I was hoping I could just get one of those antennas that clip on to the satellite dish on the third floor roof, about 30' up.

I'd be grateful for any suggestions.
weebling1's Avatar weebling1 03:16 AM 12-09-2003
Quote:
origionally posted by felthove:
Maybe it's a conspiracy to get back all the free riders that didn't contribute to this year's pledge drive?

I know I'm starting to feel guilty when watching all those "Over *all manner of places around the world*". I think they have the best demonstration of HDTV available in Seattle. KOMO news and Monday Night Football a close second. I wish the primetime network shows would get the hang of it. They do look good, but not knock your socks off good. Think it's 'cause the same show has to be shown for the SD crowd, or filming/directing technique to be learned?

Grampa:
Heck! That close you should pick it up with your fillings! I'll bet your right about using a simple antenna, but I'm guessing you'll need to point it UP toward the middle or higher of that antenna. Wait till the in town guys and resident gods chime in. Do you already have an Over The Air receiver/decoder?

Quote:
origionally posted by Budget_HT:
I used to get KCTS-HD on both 9-2 and 9-5 on the E86, but the 9-5 went away a few weeks ago and I did not bother to investigate, since all I lost was redundancy that I did not need.

Do you mean you get those two channels on DirectTV? Because 9-1 programing is definitely not what I see on 9-5 most of the time. (and i've never seen anything on 9-2 & 9-3)
lkinley's Avatar lkinley 09:55 AM 12-09-2003
Quote:
Originally posted by weebling1
KONG's signal is lower power (per Budget_HT post pg11) I used to have difficulty getting it myself with a CM4228. Getting that antenna higher and focusing it for KONG might solve everything.

My current status: using a CM4228 AND CM4248 in can get almost everything broadcast locally (no UPN & occasional breakup on 9-1 and 9-5 *NOT 9-4* )

I've had to remove 9-2 and 9-3 from my channel list. When I tune to them (or 9-5 off hours)while their not sending picture but saying *digital signal*, my SIRT165 goes into spontaneous reboot mode. Anyone else experience that one? Doesn't happen on any other stations (hmm...conspiracy theory...)
KING-DT = 960kW
KONG-DT = 700kW

It's not THAT much lower power....Although KONG's antenna is 70ft lower than KING.

I, too, removed 9-2 and 9-3, but only so I didn't have to go through them while channel surfing. Those channels caused no problems for my LG DTV box.

Attached is a spreadsheet I put together that has info on the Puget Sound DTV locals.

-Lance

 

puget sound ota.zip 3.111328125k . file
Attached: puget sound ota.zip (3.1 KB) 
felthove's Avatar felthove 10:03 AM 12-09-2003
Thanks Lance -- that's great.
Grampa's Avatar Grampa 11:08 AM 12-09-2003
Quote:
Originally posted by weebling1
Do you already have an Over The Air receiver/decoder?

No, I just have a standard TV right now. I ordered the new LG LST-3510A, mostly because of its DVD with a DVI connection, but then I started reading about OTA HDTV. I have to admit that there is not much on TV that I watch (I'm a Netflix addict). At first I viewed the tuner as an added bonus, but now I'm thinking it will be fun to see what channels I can pull in. From what I've read here, multipath may be my biggest problem. Also, the two main signal sources are about 120 degrees apart, so a single directional antenna could be a problem.
quarque's Avatar quarque 08:12 PM 12-09-2003
Quote:
Originally posted by Grampa
No, I just have a standard TV right now. I ordered the new LG LST-3510A, mostly because of its DVD with a DVI connection, but then I started reading about OTA HDTV. I have to admit that there is not much on TV that I watch (I'm a Netflix addict). At first I viewed the tuner as an added bonus, but now I'm thinking it will be fun to see what channels I can pull in. From what I've read here, multipath may be my biggest problem. Also, the two main signal sources are about 120 degrees apart, so a single directional antenna could be a problem.

That 3510A looks really nice and an interesting packaging of technologies. Were you able to find it for less than $500? I too use Netflix a lot but there is nothing like HD on a good set. As far as antennas, you're in the *crap shoot* zone. Buy cheap and try all possible locations and orientations. I think RS brought back the double-bowtie design, but hell a piece of wire might work as well. Give us a report on the 3510A when you get it going.
drewba's Avatar drewba 09:10 PM 12-09-2003
For anyone in the Seattle area looking for a STB, Circuit City in Southcenter has a bunch of open box specials. I don't remember all of them, but they started at $219 for a Zenith HDV420. There were a couple of others in the $250 range as well.
Grampa's Avatar Grampa 09:36 PM 12-09-2003
Quote:
Originally posted by quarque
That 3510A looks really nice and an interesting packaging of technologies. Were you able to find it for less than $500? I too use Netflix a lot but there is nothing like HD on a good set. As far as antennas, you're in the *crap shoot* zone. Buy cheap and try all possible locations and orientations. I think RS brought back the double-bowtie design, but hell a piece of wire might work as well. Give us a report on the 3510A when you get it going.

No, that's the amount I paid (it was advertised at $100 more). It's supposed to ship Thursday. I'll be interested to see how it looks on my screen, but my projector is technically not HD. It's XGA (1024x768), and projects 16:9 material on a 1024x576 panel. Nevertheless, DVDs do look great on it. No matter how good the TV looks, I'm not likely to watch it unless I find some content I enjoy.

Since I now get decent reception with the antenna in the basement, I would think putting it on the roof will only make it better.
Budget_HT's Avatar Budget_HT 08:06 PM 12-10-2003
Quote:


Originally posted by weebling1

Do you mean you get those two channels on DirectTV? Because 9-1 programing is definitely not what I see on 9-5 most of the time. (and i've never seen anything on 9-2 & 9-3)

I meant that I receive them OTA. The redundancy that I mentioned applies to channels 9-2 (evening) and 9-5 both being the identical HD programming.

KCTS 9-1 is a simulcast of their analog programming (available in SD as SE9 from DirecTV).

9-2 and 9-3, in the daytime, are additional KCTS channels that are also available on cable (I can't remember which is which).

9-2 and 9-5, in the evenings, are KCTS-HD and are actually the same HD programming. Different receivers seem to map to either 9-2 or 9-5 for KCTS-HD. The HD programming is mostly different from 9-1 and their analog channel 9. But there are times when they have the same programming. I have seen some PBS examples.

Just a reminder: DirecTV does not provide any local HD channels, but the DirecTV HD receivers all have OTA tuners in them, allowing you to get OTA HD channels with an antenna. Most of the newer receivers have an integrated channel list that can mix OTA, DirecTV and cable channels together for channel surfing. Some newer receivers also provide the DirecTV Advanced Program Guide (APG), which provides program guide data for all DirecTV channels, all OTA DT and HD channels, most OTA analog channels and some cable channels that are NOT otherwise available from DirecTV. In other words, they do not provide guide data for cable channels that are also in the DirecTV lineup, with the exception of OTA (local) channels provided via cable. Those have been my observations with my Hughes E86 and its APG.
farmalloc's Avatar farmalloc 01:29 AM 12-11-2003
Quote:


Originally posted by lkinley
Anyone else have problems during Scrubs and ER last night on KING? The signal strength would jump from 80% to 30% and the picture/sound would drop out and pixelize.

I have a hard time believing this is a reception problem when the signal strength drops that much for 1-2 seconds. No other channels were having problems.

-Lance

Sorry for the late reply I just came across this area of the AVSFourm

I too had that problem that week. KING is my second strongest signal, no matter where I move the antenna I always pick it up. It seems to be really stable these days. For a while a few months ago they seemed to have a switching problem where the program would be in HD then it would goto a commercial and when they came back it would remain non-HD. Dunno it could also be my hardware. But I aside from the hiccup last Thursday they have been perfect.

Anyone know what happened to KING's HD news? They used to have what seemed to be 1 HD camera that they used sporadically (the long shot of both anchors). However now they don't ever seem to use it anymore.

KOMO's new on the other hand is rarely not in HD, it is very nice.
dancook's Avatar dancook 02:01 AM 12-11-2003
Quote:


Originally posted by Grampa
What a great thread! Terrific information, but I wasn't able to find my neighborhood discussed. I have a DTV on order, and I'm wondering what kind of antenna would work best. I live on Capitol Hill (16th E. just south of E. Aloha), so I'm quite close to the CH towers and not far from the QA towers. Right now, I just have a pair of rabbit ears, which are in the basement (Radio Shack powered VHF/UHF, looks like a small laptop with a knob and rabbit ears). I'm able to get good reception of the local analog stations (4,5,7,9,11,13 [if I rotate a bit], 16 [snowy], 22, 33 [snowy] and 51). I was hoping I could just get one of those antennas that clip on to the satellite dish on the third floor roof, about 30' up.

I'd be grateful for any suggestions.

Like Grampa, I live quite close to Seattle transmission towers, although I am on the south slope of Queen Anne rather than in Capitol Hill. I have line of site to the 3 QA towers, although I am so close to them that the angle subtended by the three is not trivially small. To be specific I live on the west side of Queen Anne avenue, close to Kinnear Park and a few blocks downhill from Kerry Park (the popular viewpoint/overlook).

According to antennaweb.org I should use a red (medium directional) or yellow (small multi-directional) OTA antenna. The answers are very dependent on whether I say there is a large reflective building in my area.

If anybody else has knowledge of best antenna for south slope Queen Anne residents, and whether I have a decent chance for reception, I'd appreciate it.
Grampa's Avatar Grampa 10:15 AM 12-11-2003
Dancook, have you tried the UHF antenna that probably came with your standard TV? Since HD uses the UHF frequencies, that might give you an idea of what kind of reception you will get. If you don't have your receiver yet, I read somewhere that channel 16 analog picks up the QA towers, and 22 analog picks up the CH towers. I get great reception of 22, even from the basement, but 16 is snowy, and I need to fiddle with the antenna to get that. With HD, it's my understanding that you either get it or you don't, and I won't know that until I get my receiver.
quarque's Avatar quarque 09:08 PM 12-11-2003
Dancook - sounds like you are almost "under" the towers. The signal level from direct radiation might be quite low because of the transmitter's radiation pattern. They are genrally designed for horizontal propagation, not vertical. You will likely get a ton of reflections. So, perhaps a coat hanger? I have no idea what would work the best.
farmalloc's Avatar farmalloc 11:42 PM 12-11-2003
Anyone else not getting HD while watching ER tonight. I am getting a great signal strength and channel is tuning with no problem. Instead of filling my 16:9 screen as it normally does it looks like a 4:3 broadcast in letterbox.

I am using my HTPC with MyHD 120 as the tuner.
nodrog2's Avatar nodrog2 07:22 AM 12-12-2003
The picture looked HD quality but as you say itwasn't 16:9. CC was there, so if they could get with KOMO and trade info maybe we could have the best of both worlds.
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