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post #11521 of 11544 Old 04-22-2017, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post
With those huge signals you should never have problems. Is this something that has always been a problem or just started up? Every station or only some?

If the DVR never has a problem it sounds like the TVs have poor tuners in them and they don't handle multipath very well. Multipath is more of a problem with antennas not mounted outdoors. Are the TVs all very old?
The tv is from 2008ish. I didn't have any problems initially. This started about a year ago and has been an annoyance, but seems to have got worse recently. Problems are on all channels, but some days there are no problems at all
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post #11522 of 11544 Old 04-23-2017, 05:42 AM
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Are there trees or adjacent buildings in the immediate signal path?
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post #11523 of 11544 Old 04-23-2017, 06:35 AM
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Threads merged so perhaps some members more familiar with Boston suburbs can assist.

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post #11524 of 11544 Old 04-23-2017, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post
Are there trees or adjacent buildings in the immediate signal path?
Good question about the trees.
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post #11525 of 11544 Old 04-23-2017, 07:12 AM
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This does sound like a tree issue. You may have no choice but to mount the antenna on the roof.
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post #11526 of 11544 Old 04-23-2017, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by cpyne View Post
I'm wondering if anyone can give any pointers on what may be causing reception problems that I intermittently see. Here's my info....

- 1 story ranch in Ashland, MA - about 30 miles west of Boston.
- Antennas Direct DB4 antenna in the attic
- I'm running coax from the attic through a 4x splitter that goes to 3 TVs and a DVR
- I often see blocky/pixilation on the main TV we watch, but I've never seen it on shows recorded on the DVR. The other 2 TVs we rarely watch via antenna, but I've seen some bad signals there too.
Does this happen on all channels or just some? If some, please list. Which way does your antenna point?
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post #11527 of 11544 Old 04-23-2017, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
Good question about the trees.


Wow, that's my house and actually that's the exact spot in my attic where the antenna lives. I have it pointed in the direction of the biggest green beam in that pic. (roughly 72 degrees from true north based on the tv fool report)

Problems seem to happen on all channels, (when they happen). Right now they all seem fine.

One channel though that I have problems getting all the time is WBTS, 8.1 - 8.4. This one shows a weak signal on my TVs, not like the random drop outs on the other channels which always show strong signal even when problems are happening

Given the satellite picture of my yard, would a roof antenna be my best bet? Is the DB4 antenna still a good choice? Could a bigger attic antenna help? Any other pointers?

thanks
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post #11528 of 11544 Old 04-23-2017, 07:58 AM
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Unavoidable trees usually means unavoidable reception problems.

Swapping antennas, the antenna location, adding an amp, etc are all Band Aids that each might help a bit, but it's usually illogical to expect 100% reliable reception after the signals have to go through a forest. Think on terms of Humpty Dumpty....

Keeping the antenna in the attic only aggravates the issue.
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post #11529 of 11544 Old 04-23-2017, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by cpyne View Post
One channel though that I have problems getting all the time is WBTS, 8.1 - 8.4. This one shows a weak signal on my TVs, not like the random drop outs on the other channels which always show strong signal even when problems are happening.
That is to be expected; WBTS is a low power station. It is 25 dB weaker than WHDH NBC, and is sending only 2.6 kW ERP in your direction because of the directional pattern of its transmitting antenna.
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...ALLTV%26n%3d14

http://www.rabbitears.info/tvq.php?r...ms&facid=64996

WBTS is listed on your report as having a virtual channel (display channel) number of 46.1. It should be 8.1 as you stated.
http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...&callsign=wbts

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Last edited by rabbit73; 04-23-2017 at 10:57 AM.
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post #11530 of 11544 Old 04-23-2017, 11:11 AM
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Problems seem to happen on all channels, (when they happen). Right now they all seem fine.
When the tree branches sway in the wind, the patterns of the signals that filter through the trees will vary. This is called dynamic multipath.



http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/siting.html

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post #11531 of 11544 Old 04-23-2017, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
That is to be expected; WBTS is a low power station. It is 25 dB weaker than WHDH NBC, and is sending only 2.6 kW ERP in your direction because of the directional pattern of its transmitting antenna.
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...ALLTV%26n%3d14

http://www.rabbitears.info/tvq.php?r...ms&facid=64996

WBTS is listed on your report as having a virtual channel (display channel) number of 46.1. It should be 8.1 as you stated.
http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...&callsign=wbts
Uhhh WBTS is NBC low power and WHDH is independent.
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post #11532 of 11544 Old 04-24-2017, 07:35 AM
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Uhhh WBTS is NBC low power and WHDH is independent.
You are correct and the TVFOOL report is wrong. I should not have believed the report and double checked with rabbitears.info and Wiki. If I had double checked, I would have discovered that WHDH lost its NBC affiliation on January 1, 2017.

This means that WBTS is important to you, because WMFP is only 720p, not 1080i, and WNEU is too weak.

http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...&callsign=whdh

http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...&callsign=wbts

http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...&callsign=wmfp

http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...&callsign=wneu

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Last edited by rabbit73; 04-24-2017 at 07:43 AM.
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post #11533 of 11544 Old 04-24-2017, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
You are correct and the TVFOOL report is wrong. I should not have believed the report and double checked with rabbitears.info and Wiki. If I had double checked, I would have discovered that WHDH lost its NBC affiliation on January 1, 2017.

This means that WBTS is important to you, because WMFP is only 720p, not 1080i, and WNEU is too weak.

http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...&callsign=whdh

http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...&callsign=wbts

http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...&callsign=wmfp

http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...&callsign=wneu
I don't know when it's going to happen, but the re-pack will take away WMFP's signal so people getting the WBTS LD signal is important. WNEU, too, if it's in range, but it's really not for most of Boston and the south shore. Some there get NBC from WJAR Providence. WHDH and WLVI CW will originate from the same signal, too, since WLVI was also sold. A buddy with OTA off VT 9 west of Brattleboro gets WNEU without issue yet the thing can't go into Boston!

Last edited by ejb1980; 04-24-2017 at 08:47 AM.
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post #11534 of 11544 Old 04-24-2017, 08:40 AM
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What's the schedule for this re-pack and are most of the changes going to happen at about the same time? It would be nice if it happened in the slower summer months so all the guide data kinks can be worked out before the busy fall TV season starts up.
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post #11535 of 11544 Old 04-28-2017, 06:13 PM
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SW of Boston please help choose an antenna

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e6a4299032fa25
Might a new antenna be helpful? Which one?

I am about 25 miles SW of the major Boston towers. I learned that 2.3 miles out the elevation rises above mine by 175’ (to 475'). I also have some problematic trees. My existing antenna worked most of the time to pull in the desired channels. A few weeks ago, lost a couple (before the leaves emerged). I have no understanding of antenna technology and would like a recommendation for a new antenna IF a there is an advantage over my giant old one.

Old antenna is in the attic and husband says it has to stay there. Probably 18’ above ground. This 1990ish Radio Shack enormous thing is the quintessential old style antenna, 121” long, 94” at widest with a multitude of elements. Wire runs 2 floors down and across to a splitter (less than 25’). Then it goes to 4 tvs, the furthest could be 40’. I have tried a preamp and a distribution amp and they made matters worse (Winegard HAD 200 dist amp and Winegard Boost XT LNA-200 preamp). Roof is asphalt shingles single layer on plywood.

All the channels I want are within three degrees of one another. Currently all UHF but my PBS stations are moving to low VHF 5. The “Real” channels I would like are 20(5), 30(4), 31(25), 41(56), 42(7), 19(2), 39(38), 43(44), 18. The new NBC Boston used to be fine tuning to 60.5 but no longer comes in. I was told it’s WMFP 18 and broadcasts from that major group of Boston towers. 41 is totally out now, too. 39 is iffy. 42 goes with the weather. I realize 41(56) will be gone, but I like my Modern Family reruns while it's still alive.

Any explanation of antenna specs and features would be greatly appreciated. I haven’t a clue. Tried two online store forms for recommendations but was not able to provide the level of detail I mention above. One recommendation was Televes DAT 790 #149481 http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...source=inhouse. Does the cited ‘triple boom’ really improve performance? Another site replied with a dinky thing with no low VHF.

If there is no technology that will help, perhaps a smaller antenna would allow me to move it laterally in the attic to possibly avoid trees. So, a recommendation for a suitable smaller antenna would be great. Thank you for anything you can offer.
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post #11536 of 11544 Old 04-29-2017, 03:09 AM
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booberry, a super-huge/highgain antenna probably going to help at such short/medium distance. before the repack i'd say get a smaller yagi, test pointing it a few degrees left or right of the xmitters, and maybe upwards a bit. quality preamp is a good idea if no success without. before the repack i'd say try a UHF-only preamp. test first with just one TV, no splitter, no distribution amp. look at the channel map and maybe consider uhf-only small/medium YAGI antenna if there aren't any mandatory stations on VHF-lo after the repack.
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post #11537 of 11544 Old 06-07-2017, 10:29 AM
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Hi-
It seems to me that Comcast basically ruined cable TV with their recent switch to MP4. They used to deliver most shows at 1080i and at 12-16 Mbps. They are now compressing the shows to be less than 4 Mbps and at 720P. I don't mind the 720P, but a bit starved 720P signal is often hard to watch. Streaming Netflix seems to have less compression artifacts than cable TV. Fortunately, the local networks are unaffected by this switch.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e6a4df4214eaa8

I could drop Comcast TV and just get their Internet, but that doesn't really save as much money as one would hope. At least it will remove the aggravation of paying the regional sports and rebroadcast fees. My main question is that if I go OTA, will the picture quality justify the effort? My next concern is about antennas. If I point a directional antenna midway between 245 and 312 deg will I get all 5 networks, or do I need an omni-directional antenna? I have maple and oak trees about 50-100 feet away from the house that are a little taller than my house between me and the Boston Towers. Most of the signal will not be blocked by the trees, but I worry that they could cause problems. Mainly what I want the locals for is to watch Football, so I should be perfect for the 2nd half of the season.

Thank you for any help you can give me.

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post #11538 of 11544 Old 06-07-2017, 11:10 AM
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Hi-
It seems to me that Comcast basically ruined cable TV with their recent switch to MP4. They used to deliver most shows at 1080i and at 12-16 Mbps. They are now compressing the shows to be less than 4 Mbps and at 720P. I don't mind the 720P, but a bit starved 720P signal is often hard to watch. Streaming Netflix seems to have less compression artifacts than cable TV. Fortunately, the local networks are unaffected by this switch.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4df4214eaa 8

I could drop Comcast TV and just get their Internet, but that doesn't really save as much money as one would hope. At least it will remove the aggravation of paying the regional sports and rebroadcast fees. My main question is that if I go OTA, will the picture quality justify the effort? My next concern is about antennas. If I point a directional antenna midway between 245 and 312 deg will I get all 5 networks, or do I need an omni-directional antenna? I have maple and oak trees about 50-100 feet away from the house that are a little taller than my house between me and the Boston Towers. Most of the signal will not be blocked by the trees, but I worry that they could cause problems. Mainly what I want the locals for is to watch Football, so I should be perfect for the 2nd half of the season.

Thank you for any help you can give me.
Your TV Fool report is not working for me.

As for PQ, it's light years better then cable or satellite, although some stations are starting to take the "add more channels" mantra which is nice to have the extra content, but also eats a bit into the PQ of HD. Still compared to what my neighbors suffer through with Scumcast, it's like night and day.

I shoot through trees myself and even with full leaves out, I notice minimal degradation in signal. The only time it can be a problem is if too much rain happens and leaves bend down a bit I'll get some reflection from the wet leaves, but doesn't take the picture out just some pixelation on weaker stations.
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post #11539 of 11544 Old 06-07-2017, 11:39 AM
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Your TV Fool report is not working for me.

As for PQ, it's light years better then cable or satellite, although some stations are starting to take the "add more channels" mantra which is nice to have the extra content, but also eats a bit into the PQ of HD. Still compared to what my neighbors suffer through with Scumcast, it's like night and day.

I shoot through trees myself and even with full leaves out, I notice minimal degradation in signal. The only time it can be a problem is if too much rain happens and leaves bend down a bit I'll get some reflection from the wet leaves, but doesn't take the picture out just some pixelation on weaker stations.
Thanks! Unfortunately Fox is one of the weaker stations. I will put up an antenna and check it out. What Comcast is doing with their MP4 switch is a crime. Dropping TV and even paying to stream Football (if necessary) will be less irritating and probably cheaper. After Tom Brady retires I can probably forget football, anyway.

For some reason the TVFool link fails for me too (is it the http://?), so just copy this into your browser and use it instead:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e6a4df4214eaa8
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post #11540 of 11544 Old 06-07-2017, 12:15 PM
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Actually Fox tends to be my best channel and I'm 55 miles away even though TF list it as a weaker channel. You're pretty close to the transmitters, so I don't think the trees will be too much of a headache. Although I always suggest outdoor installations, they just take a lot of the guess work away from attic installs which can temperamental depending on location in attic. Also you might want to angle the antenna up a bit as I notice you have 2-edge stations.

Yeah, Comcast is between a rock and hard place, internet demand is crushing their bandwidth and they are reaching a tipping point with how much bandwidth they can get on that coax feed. I use to work developing DOCSIS stuff and speeds are starting to approached the theoretical limit of coax. So they either need to start pushing fiber closer to homes (expensive) or start cannibalizing video feeds by compressing, compressing, and compressing more. I guess you know which route they've chosen for now.
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post #11541 of 11544 Old 06-07-2017, 06:31 PM
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Although I always suggest outdoor installations, they just take a lot of the guess work away from attic installs which can temperamental depending on location in attic.
I'd try an attic install first. If there are no issues, it's a lot easier to work in an attic and the hardware is not subjected to weather. If it doesn't work out, all you lose is a little time. I pulled in a Portland station at 70 miles with an attic install in a home surrounded by red pines.
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post #11542 of 11544 Old 06-07-2017, 08:40 PM
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Thanks for all the useful information.

I suspect fiber will not appear in my neighborhood for a long time. Perhaps if I (and a lot more people) complain and drop TV, it will accelerate the implementation of fiber in more places.

I live in a house with no attic, so the decision to go rooftop is fairly easy.
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post #11543 of 11544 Old 06-10-2017, 12:14 PM
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I am ready to buy an antenna and put it up. Do you think it is OK to use an omnidirectional antenna like the Channel Master CM-4228HD, or do I need a more directional antenna. BTW, there are some low VHF channels that I could get, but I have never watched them. I am 35-50 miles away from the Network stations I need to get (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and PBS) according to TVFool: (http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e6a4df4214eaa8)


Thanks
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post #11544 of 11544 Old Today, 04:19 AM
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I am ready to buy an antenna and put it up. Do you think it is OK to use an omnidirectional antenna like the Channel Master CM-4228HD
Should do the job, you close enough that you don't need to worry about omni. I use a clearstream-4V and works fine being 50+ away from the Boston stations.
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