Boston, MA - OTA - Page 359 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #10741 of 10762 Old 03-19-2015, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by pburgh View Post
I've done a bit of research on OTA signals up here in NH, but I'd like to hear if anything has had success pulling CBS and NBC out of Boston? Our house is located in Merrimack near Exit 8/10 on Route 3. We're in the woods a bit, but quite close to 101A. I'm considering using a 91XG on my roof, paired with a hdHomerun Extend > Media Center. I'm pretty sure getting ABC out of Manchester will be fine with a dedicated antenna (VHF), but I'm concerned about buying a bunch of UHF equipment for CBS/NBC and having it not work.

Can anyone in NH comment on the strength of the Boston signals to Merrimack?

Thanks!

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...f1f03de8614ada
I'm in Epping NH and easily pull from Boston all the stations and they 50+ from me, so you should have no problem based on your tvfool report as your 20 miles closer. Here's mine for comparison

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...f1f05c8abb5905

I use The ClearStream 4 Ultra Long Range UHF Antenna and I do preamp. I'm picking up the following with excellent signal strength:

Station City
WGBH-HD 2.1 Boston
WBZ-TV 4.1 Boston
WCVB 5.1 Boston
WCSH-HD 6.1 Portland
WHDH-HD 7.1 Boston
PrimeHD 11.1 Durham
WPXG-DT 21.1 Concord
WFXT DT 25.1 Boston
WSBK-TV 38.1 Boston
WGBX-TV 44.1 Boston
WLVI-TV 56.1 Cambridge
WMFP 62.1 Lawrence
WUTF-DT 66.1 Marlborough (hit or miss)
WBPX 68.1 Boston

I actually can't get WMUR in Manchester, because the mountain at Pawtuckaway State Park blocks me.

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post #10742 of 10762 Old 03-19-2015, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bac522 View Post
I'm in Epping NH and easily pull from Boston all the stations and they 50+ from me, so you should have no problem based on your tvfool report as your 20 miles closer.
That is very helpful, thank you! Do you find your reception changes between seasons with the foliage? I've got mostly tall pines around me, but there are some oak and maple trees that fill in come Spring.
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post #10743 of 10762 Old 03-19-2015, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by pburgh View Post
That is very helpful, thank you! Do you find your reception changes between seasons with the foliage? I've got mostly tall pines around me, but there are some oak and maple trees that fill in come Spring.
Same setup as me, lots of pines with some broad leaf trees for me as well. I don't see significant drop in signal through out the year...at least I didn't on my old antenna. I was using an el-cheapo Lava antenna for the last 2 years, but this years brutal winter destroyed it, so I've just recently installed (like last week) the Clearstream.

The Clearstream, with pre-amped gets much better signal strength than the el-cheapo Lava did, so I don't expect any problems with signals once the leaves come in...although with the way this winter is going probably won't see spring until at least August !

The main goal in going OTA is as high as possible and I strongly suggest outside installation...attics, while appealing for ease of install can be a multi-path signal nightmare for antennas. I initially tried my attic with limited success, went to the peak of my roof and it was like night and day in terms of signal strength!
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post #10744 of 10762 Old 03-19-2015, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bac522 View Post
I'm in Epping NH and easily pull from Boston all the stations and they 50+ from me, so you should have no problem based on your tvfool report as your 20 miles closer. Here's mine for comparison

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...f1f05c8abb5905

I use The ClearStream 4 Ultra Long Range UHF Antenna and I do preamp. I'm picking up the following with excellent signal strength:

Station City
WGBH-HD 2.1 Boston
WBZ-TV 4.1 Boston
WCVB 5.1 Boston
WCSH-HD 6.1 Portland
WHDH-HD 7.1 Boston
PrimeHD 11.1 Durham
WPXG-DT 21.1 Concord
WFXT DT 25.1 Boston
WSBK-TV 38.1 Boston
WGBX-TV 44.1 Boston
WLVI-TV 56.1 Cambridge
WMFP 62.1 Lawrence
WUTF-DT 66.1 Marlborough
WBPX 68.1 Boston

I actually can't get WMUR in Manchester, because the mountain at Pawtuckaway State Park blocks me.
I'm in Merrimack and am using the same antenna setup. I use a CM7777 preamp, and have two HDhomeruns connected to a Win7 HTPC. My Clearstream4 is mounted in my attic. No issues getting signals out of Boston, I get all the channels (including subs) on the above list and receive WMUR without issues as well.

I've been running this setup for about 5 years now and am surrounded by a fair number of trees. The only time I've had issues receiving a signal was this past February when the snow on the roof caused enough attenuation to kill reception for a week or so.
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BDP-83 EAP (first 50)
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post #10745 of 10762 Old 03-19-2015, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bac522 View Post
The main goal in going OTA is as high as possible and I strongly suggest outside installation...attics, while appealing for ease of install can be a multi-path signal nightmare for antennas. I initially tried my attic with limited success, went to the peak of my roof and it was like night and day in terms of signal strength!
Thanks. My plan is to use a gable mount on the highest roof on my house. It's about 20' up and facing towards Boston. Thankfully, my surveillance PoE router is right inside the wall there and I can get my hdhomerun connected to my network and to the antenna without much fuss.

I'll be ordering the parts today or tomorrow. Will report back with a success story, hopefully.
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post #10746 of 10762 Old 03-19-2015, 08:22 AM
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Nice, looking forward to hearing the success...I'm a HDhomerun user too..throw in slingtv and I've got a great cable replacement solution..eat "you know what" Comcast !
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post #10747 of 10762 Old 03-20-2015, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by pburgh View Post
Can anyone in NH comment on the strength of the Boston signals to Merrimack?
I'm in Milford using an old style CM 4228, WBZ and WHDH come in fine. Looks like our stats are worse then yours so should be fine. We use separate UHF and VHF-Hi antennas. The VHF point NE to pick up WMUR (very strong works with a paper clip on the coax) and WENH.

Trees are higher then the roof but except for the weakest Boston stations works well.

I've posted setup on my web site if you are interested in the gory details:
http://www.tschmidt.com/writings/Outdoor_TV_antenna.pdf

/tom
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post #10748 of 10762 Old 03-20-2015, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Tschmidt View Post
I'm in Milford using an old style CM 4228, WBZ and WHDH come in fine. Looks like our stats are worse then yours so should be fine. We use separate UHF and VHF-Hi antennas. The VHF point NE to pick up WMUR (very strong works with a paper clip on the coax) and WENH.

Trees are higher then the roof but except for the weakest Boston stations works well.

I've posted setup on my web site if you are interested in the gory details:
http://www.tschmidt.com/writings/Outdoor_TV_antenna.pdf

/tom
Great to hear, and thank you for commenting! I've ordered a HDHomeRun Connect, DB8e, and a CM7777 (just in case). Hope to get it all installed next week. Going to try attic mount first, then move outside if it doesn't work well enough.
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post #10749 of 10762 Old 03-20-2015, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by pburgh View Post
Going to try attic mount first, then move outside if it doesn't work well enough.
That is certainly worth a try, much easier to work on it in the attic then having to get up on the roof.

Good luck with your project. Be interesting to see how it works out.

/tom
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post #10750 of 10762 Old 03-26-2015, 01:04 PM
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So I got my DB8e mounted in my attic and found that I wasn't getting any signal to my tuner when running through the CM7777. I removed the CM7777 from the chain and 32 channels showed up. I went through the process of testing the voltage on the power inserter, cables, etc... everything looked good at ~22 VDC all the way up to the preamp connection point. So either the amp was dead over overloading (I'm leaning towards overloading). In any event, it was returned.

I've swapped it out for an RCA TVPRAMP1R. Here's what I see when testing the signals in the hdhomerun config (gui) app:

Channel | Signal Strength w/o Preamp | Signal Quality w/o Preamp | Symbol Quality w/o Preamp | Signal Strength w/ Preamp | Signal Quality w/ Preamp | Symbol Quality w/ Preamp

2.1 80%/98%/100% 100%/98%/100%
4.1 73%/98%/100% 100%/98%/100%
5.1 78%/98%/100% 100%/100%/100%
7.1 50%/51%/100% 91%/57%/100%
9.1 61%/45%/0% 46%/41%/0%

So... it is clear that the TVPRAMP1R is helping my UHF channels. 9.1 (WMUR) isn't coming in, so I'll have to set up something separate to get VHF.

Now, on to my problems! I have pixelation/stutter on my UHF channels. They're very nice looking, but every now and then the screen will show a few jaggies and/or the sound will break up. It reminds me of when my signal was too weak on my Ceton cableCARD tuner. I see this even on 5.1 which seems to be my highest-quality channel. What could be causing this?

I'd like to get my 7.1 stats up as well. I'm still hoping to keep the DB8e inside. I could try a CM7778 and see if that changes things, but I was attracted to the TVPRAMP1R because I will have to run a separate VHF antenna, and this preamp combines the signals for me.

Any ideas? Thanks!

EDIT: I'll throw an idea out there... could my network traffic be causing the pixelation? According to the hdhomerun gui, it appears the streams are around 16 mpbs. I have a surveillance system on the same network consisting of six 720p cameras. These devices are all 100 base-T, but they exist on my gigabit network.

Last edited by pburgh; 03-26-2015 at 01:33 PM.
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post #10751 of 10762 Old 03-26-2015, 01:29 PM
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decades showed up this week. binging right now!
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post #10752 of 10762 Old 03-26-2015, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pburgh View Post
So I got my DB8e mounted in my attic and found that I wasn't getting any signal to my tuner when running through the CM7777. I removed the CM7777 from the chain and 32 channels showed up. I went through the process of testing the voltage on the power inserter, cables, etc... everything looked good at ~22 VDC all the way up to the preamp connection point. So either the amp was dead over overloading (I'm leaning towards overloading). In any event, it was returned.

I've swapped it out for an RCA TVPRAMP1R. Here's what I see when testing the signals in the hdhomerun config (gui) app:

Channel | Signal Strength w/o Preamp | Signal Quality w/o Preamp | Symbol Quality w/o Preamp | Signal Strength w/ Preamp | Signal Quality w/ Preamp | Symbol Quality w/ Preamp

2.1 80%/98%/100% 100%/98%/100%
4.1 73%/98%/100% 100%/98%/100%
5.1 78%/98%/100% 100%/100%/100%
7.1 50%/51%/100% 91%/57%/100%
9.1 61%/45%/0% 46%/41%/0%

So... it is clear that the TVPRAMP1R is helping my UHF channels. 9.1 (WMUR) isn't coming in, so I'll have to set up something separate to get VHF.
Aim a Y10-7-13 (or Y5-7-13 if you are tight for space) between WMUR and WENH and you will get both well. Your TVPRAMP1R has a separate vhf in, so no need to buy a joiner or use an AB switch. You'll probably pick up channel 8 in Portland as well. WENH is one of the top PBS stations with Prime, Explore, World, and Create channels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pburgh View Post
Now, on to my problems! I have pixelation/stutter on my UHF channels. They're very nice looking, but every now and then the screen will show a few jaggies and/or the sound will break up. It reminds me of when my signal was too weak on my Ceton cableCARD tuner. I see this even on 5.1 which seems to be my highest-quality channel. What could be causing this?

I'd like to get my 7.1 stats up as well. I'm still hoping to keep the DB8e inside. I could try a CM7778 and see if that changes things, but I was attracted to the TVPRAMP1R because I will have to run a separate VHF antenna, and this preamp combines the signals for me.
What happens to the HDHR levels when you see pixelization? Are they peaking or falling off?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pburgh View Post
EDIT: I'll throw an idea out there... could my network traffic be causing the pixelation? According to the hdhomerun gui, it appears the streams are around 16 mpbs. I have a surveillance system on the same network consisting of six 720p cameras. These devices are all 100 base-T, but they exist on my gigabit network.
I don't think this could be the problem, but run a cable from the antenna to a tv to isolate signal issues from network issues.
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post #10753 of 10762 Old 03-26-2015, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by wizwor View Post
Aim a Y10-7-13 (or Y5-7-13 if you are tight for space) between WMUR and WENH and you will get both well. Your TVPRAMP1R has a separate vhf in, so no need to buy a joiner or use an AB switch. You'll probably pick up channel 8 in Portland as well. WENH is one of the top PBS stations with Prime, Explore, World, and Create channels.


What happens to the HDHR levels when you see pixelization? Are they peaking or falling off?


I don't think this could be the problem, but run a cable from the antenna to a tv to isolate signal issues from network issues.
UPDATE: I had a chance to check the HDHR levels while watching the various channels. There are times when the signal quality drops 1-2% and pixelation occurs (signal strength and symbol quality remain the same), but there are also times when the levels stay static and pixelation occurs. Seems like I need to figure out why my signal quality is not static. As you said, I will have to test with a direct connection to my TV to rule out any network issues.

Yeah, I'll pick up a Y5-7-13. Thanks!

I'll see about a direct rg6 run to the tv... my antenna is quite a distance from the TV.

Last edited by pburgh; 03-26-2015 at 05:58 PM.
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post #10754 of 10762 Old 03-27-2015, 02:46 AM
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100' of properly terminated coax is a great tool for cord cutters...ironically, I guess.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/100-FT-RG6-C...-/151135962640
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post #10755 of 10762 Old 03-27-2015, 03:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pburgh View Post

2.1 80%/98%/100% 100%/98%/100%
4.1 73%/98%/100% 100%/98%/100%
5.1 78%/98%/100% 100%/100%/100%
7.1 50%/51%/100% 91%/57%/100%
9.1 61%/45%/0% 46%/41%/0%

.
You do know ch 2 is really ch 19 with ch 4 being ch 30 ch 5 being ch 20 and ch 7 actually ch 42
Channel 9 is actually ch 9 as is ch 11
25 is 31,38 is 39,44 is 43,50 is 35,56 is 41,62 is 18 and 68 is 32
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post #10756 of 10762 Old 03-27-2015, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pburgh View Post
I have pixelation/stutter on my UHF channels. They're very nice looking, but every now and then the screen will show a few jaggies and/or the sound will break up. It reminds me of when my signal was too weak on my Ceton cableCARD tuner. I see this even on 5.1 which seems to be my highest-quality channel. What could be causing this?
I have noticed this same issue more frequently during the past week. For me (and maybe you too) the cause is over amplification. Be leery of meters that say 100%. It is possible that clear weather, no winds, no leaves gets a super signal to your shiny new antenna. Then the pre-amp is actually blowing it up. Over amping is just as bad as low signal quality.
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post #10757 of 10762 Old 03-27-2015, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by DocSmith View Post
I have noticed this same issue more frequently during the past week. For me (and maybe you too) the cause is over amplification. Be leery of meters that say 100%. It is possible that clear weather, no winds, no leaves gets a super signal to your shiny new antenna. Then the pre-amp is actually blowing it up. Over amping is just as bad as low signal quality.
You know, I was wondering about weather, however, today is pretty crummy (cloudy and rainy). I noticed jaggies on my channels this morning, so I decided to run a new cat5e line to my HDHR directly from my R7000 router. This bypasses two network switches compared to my original configuration. Result... the jaggies are gone.

Update: I tried a few different network configs and it seems the only one that results in 100% jaggie-free channels is wiring directly to the R7000 router. I'm fine with doing that... very happy to have nailed down the problem without much fuss!

Last edited by pburgh; 03-27-2015 at 06:13 AM.
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post #10758 of 10762 Old Today, 06:07 AM
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Usually ATSC signal propagation gets much worse in warm/wet weather.
Many of us HDTV 'long distance OTA' people have to rely on cable during warm weather. :|







*** warning , next section is not OTA-related except if you consider it as a mandatory 'backup' to OTA, maybe ***

Comcast does offer limited-basic tv service for $10/month for internet-subscribers, which seems reasonable to me, even though infinitely more costly per month than the OTA/antenna setup.
My original pre-amp died after about 20 years, so I suppose that cost must be factored in too, $70 every 20 years for a pre-amp...
Comcast always include at least 1 free cablecard and 1 free DTA with limited-basic tv service.
I wish I could rely on OTA HDTV year-round, but even with optimized RF/pre-amp setup, it was unreliable for about 1/4 of each year for me, including hot summer days.

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post #10759 of 10762 Old Today, 06:11 AM
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Can't say I see that, my OTA has been rock solid though out the year...maybe I've been lucky.
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post #10760 of 10762 Unread Today, 03:06 PM
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It'd be nice if people commenting on reception would include location. I'm in Danville, NH and my reception is impacted by weather and season, but not much...

2 PBS Boston: solid year round
4 CBS Boston: solid year round
5 ABC Boston: solid year round
7 NBC Boston: solid year round

8 ABC Portland (VHF): affected by weather
9 ABC Manchester (VHF): solid year round
11 PBS Durham (VHF): solid year round

25 Fox Boston: affected by weather
38: MyTV Boston: solid year round
44: PBS Boston: solid year round

50: WBIN Derry: sketchy; better in winter

56: CW Boston: affected by weather
62: WMFP Boston: solid year round
66: WUTF Boston: solid year round
68: WBPX/ION Boston: affected by weather

Last edited by wizwor; Today at 03:48 PM. Reason: forgot 56
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post #10761 of 10762 Unread Today, 03:19 PM
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I did in a prior post a few post earlier, but I'm about 20 miles north of you in Epping...I see little signal change throughout the year and I do routinely check signal levels for curiosity sake on my Silicondust Homerun.

Actually I find it surprising that you're having trouble with Fox, I've never had a problem with Fox even when my antenna was covered this winter by 4' of snow!

I do have trouble with 66, but my antenna isn't really pointed towards Marlborough. Also 68 is rock solid for me too and haven't seen problems during bad weather...although I admit I don't watch 66 a lot. I don't get 50 at all, wrong direction for me.

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post #10762 of 10762 Unread Today, 03:49 PM
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It's pretty minimal. If I am going to have problems, they will be with WBIN, WMTW, WBPX, WLVI, or WFXT in that order.
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