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Old 01-27-2009, 11:29 PM
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this is a great thread to lurk in- you learn a lot.

but i have to say, mentioning on avsforum a secret tool that lets you capture a broadcast data stream and analyze it is like waving a red flag in front of a bull.

it sounds like you have to be an actual broadcast engineer to have access to this magic power. how does a mere mortal obtain such a thing?
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by stretch437 View Post

... how does a mere mortal obtain such a thing?

Have you tried Google?

"Plasma TV ... so called because in order to afford one, you're going to have to sell your blood." -- Ed Helms, The Daily Show.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by bobby94928 View Post

The only coordination needed is that they all agree to go, otherwise it won't work.

Agreed, for the all the Bay Area stations. But why is coordination with Reno, Nevada a requirement?

Chuck
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:14 AM
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I reworked my uhfblogspot antenna (4-bay, 8 whisker 2x4 design) per the thread regarding antennas elsewhere on AVS Forum. Antenna discussion:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...php?p=15591683

Going to the longer 9" design (vs. the 7" design), I am able to pick up KNTV and the other 2 NBC stations. Looking at a map, my north facing Marina apartment is almost due north of Mt. San Bruno and only a little bit east of Sutro. I'm still not getting the mid-UHF (24 and 30) stations KGO (pre-transition) and KQED. I'll investigate further if this is a function of antenna design, workmanship, or positioning of antenna (regarding the latter, last night I wasn't able to tune in KGO or KQED using my Radio Shack rabbit ears/loop, either, and I have generally gotten KGO using the rabbit ears/loop setup).

I'll experiment further as I have the time...not sure I'll do this pre- or post-Super Bowl as I don't want to upset my reception of NBC for now. I still haven't built a reflector yet. Perhaps I'll put my creation up on the roof as a "squatter" antenna, but then again I'm not too sure how the building manager would react. Plus I'm enjoying the fun of trying to build a low-cost indoor antenna that picks up all the major networks.

One thought I've had is that if I can get this to work, it might be an interesting volunteer project to help out the "elderly and the poor" that the news media talks about as having been sluggish getting the coupon. Do these reporters understand the extent of the "antenna issue"...that is, the previously fuzzy / snowy analog signal is often completely dark for some locations in digital?
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by GGSkater View Post

I reworked my uhfblogspot antenna (4-bay, 8 whisker 2x4 design) per the thread regarding antennas elsewhere on AVS Forum. Antenna discussion:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...php?p=15591683

Going to the longer 9" design (vs. the 7" design), I am able to pick up KNTV and the other 2 NBC stations. Looking at a map, my north facing Marina apartment is almost due north of Mt. San Bruno and only a little bit east of Sutro. I'm still not getting the mid-UHF (24 and 30) stations KGO (pre-transition) and KQED. I'll investigate further if this is a function of antenna design, workmanship, or positioning of antenna (regarding the latter, last night I wasn't able to tune in KGO or KQED using my Radio Shack rabbit ears/loop, either, and I have generally gotten KGO using the rabbit ears/loop setup).

I'll experiment further as I have the time...not sure I'll do this pre- or post-Super Bowl as I don't want to upset my reception of NBC for now. I still haven't built a reflector yet. Perhaps I'll put my creation up on the roof as a "squatter" antenna, but then again I'm not too sure how the building manager would react. Plus I'm enjoying the fun of trying to build a low-cost indoor antenna that picks up all the major networks.

One thought I've had is that if I can get this to work, it might be an interesting volunteer project to help out the "elderly and the poor" that the news media talks about as having been sluggish getting the coupon. Do these reporters understand the extent of the "antenna issue"...that is, the previously fuzzy / snowy analog signal is often completely dark for some locations in digital?

I think the UHF issue deserves more media coverage. None of the networks that I've seen have addressed this. All the pieces I've seen on DTV transition focus on folks that are fairly close to transmitters and only need a converter box.

I'm in Santa Rosa, and we've never had great UHF reception from Sutro here. So, consequently most folks who wanted reception from Sutro just put up antennas that
were mainly for fringe+ VHF and some have broadband antennas, like I did, which would get local UHF, but not Sutro... VHF travels better, and we were able to get all our major networks from Sutro. Now, those folks in Santa Rosa that don't try to optimize their UHF reception, will only be getting ch. 7 and maybe 11/12 after the switchover...

- DFGY
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:01 PM
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Coverage of the differences between VHF and UHF reception has indeed been sparse although KCRA 3 has said that some viewers will lose their OTA signal when they turn off their VHF transmitter.

The other problem that I've never heard a word about except on these forums is the multipath issue. I've seen countless posts that say all but one or two stations come in fine from the same antenna farm and it gets blamed on weak signals when it's just as likely to be multipath.

Chuck
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by xortam View Post

Have you tried Google?

ah- just did. looks like the lite version is free. well that settles that. could be fun!
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:25 PM
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Did you hear what happened in Congress today?
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...H0CeQD960F5M00

Republicans blocked the postponement proposal; but, there may be another vote next week which may only need a simple majority to pass... Sheeewiz...

- DFGY
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post

Coverage of the differences between VHF and UHF reception has indeed been sparse although KCRA 3 has said that some viewers will lose their OTA signal when they turn off their VHF transmitter.

The other problem that I've never heard a word about except on these forums is the multipath issue. I've seen countless posts that say all but one or two stations come in fine from the same antenna farm and it gets blamed on weak signals when it's just as likely to be multipath.

Chuck

Hi Chuck,

I've seen some info. out there that says that the 8vsb modulation is prone to multipath and that's on the receiver/tuner end. And I know a guy in Arizona that says his DB-8 works better at eliminating it than his previous 43XG, which he had up for awhile... I debated long and hard as to which one to put up; either the DB-8, which I have in the garage, or the 91XG. I just took a guess that the 91XG would be better because of it's very narrow beamwidth... I guess I'd have to put the DB-8 up in the air to know for sure... And experiment with other TV tuners...

- DFGY
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:32 AM
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Here are some "off the top of my head" comments on several topics recently mentioned here. Maybe some of my experiences will help others who are reading this thread.

First on the DTV delay... I was extremely happy when I read that the House voted against the delay. Fantastic news! Then I read later that they can reintroduce the bill next week and vote on it again with out needing the 2/3 vote. My elation disappeared.

Regarding VHF and UHF reception and the various antennas used, I've tried several different antennas here over the years... everything from Radio Shack Super Fringe models to the AntennaCraft D9000, various UHF only antennas, etc. Some of the antennas were terrible, where I couldn't even pick up the stations from the hills above Fremont just 35 miles away. Some were huge, some were small, most didn't work well.

One I've stuck with for picking up all of the Sutro stations is the Antennas Direct SR-15. It's small, very well built, and it works! It's the only one that has worked for picking up ALL of the stations from Sutro from ONE position. The other antennas all had to be moved a few degrees one way or the other to get certain stations, then I'd lose others. The Channel Master 4228 is bad in that respect. For example, I couldn't find a place where I could get both KGO on 24 and KPIX on 29 with the 4228. SR-15... no problem. I've locked the SR-15 in and get all 11 stations.

I have tied the SR-15 in with a Winegard 3113, cut for channel 12, which I bought for KNTV when they were transmitting from Loma Prieta. When they moved to Mt. San Bruno I just turned it a bit to the west. So with the SR-15 and the 3113, I get all of the Sutro stations plus KNTV solid for OTA recordings.

I've found the Channel Master 4228 to be the best of all of them at bringing in the distant stations. It doesn't have quite as narrow a beam width as the 91XG (which I'd like to try, but haven't) but it seems to do a great job at picking up all of the the stations that are outside the local area. A couple of the Sacramento digital stations come in like they're locals. KMAX on 21 is stronger than the four stations transmitting from the South Bay (49, 50, 51, and 52) and KVIE on 53 is solid most of the time, too. Other Sact'o stations come and go depending on conditions. I've yet to pick up KOVR on 25 and, of course, KSPX is impossible because of KPIX on 29.

I've got two CM4228's on the roof, one toward the west at the front of the house, one toward the east at the back. One thing that is quite noticeable is the difference in signal strengths from the two of them for various stations. The one in the back gets the Mt. San Bruno stations much stronger than the one toward the front, even though we're only five miles away. The one in the front, on the other hand, does much better at getting the Mt. Diablo and Sacramento stations than the one in the back by about 2 to 3 db. Both do about the same for the South Bay stations and KTLN in Novato. The one in the front does better for 23 and 54 up in Sonoma County. I find all that to be quite interesting.

Some have mentioned how Hi-VHF is the best for distant reception. I really haven't had a chance to do much testing there with digital, but I did get KNTV-DT solid from 55 miles away when it was on Loma Prieta. I'm too close to Sutro to pick up the Sacramento analog stations due to adjacent channel overload. I used to get KOVR 13 with a snowy picture until KNTV moved to Mt. San Bruno, then I lost it. 2 covers 3, 5 covers 6, and 9 covers 10. I hoping that after the analog stations on Sutro go off I'll be able to pick up low power 8 from Mt. Diablo and 9 and 10 from Sacramento. Since I get several of the Sacramento UHF digital channels, I think I will.

Now some comments on the various receivers I've got. My original receiver in a 2001 Sony XBR 2 is terrible at picking up weaker stations compared to the receiver in my newer 2008 Sony XBR 4, and my best receiver is the one in the Insignia Converter box. (Too bad it's only SD.) The receiver in the Dish ViP-622 DVR is about the same as the newer Sony XBR 4. The three computer receivers, Hi-Pix in the PC and two USB plug-ins for the lap top, a WinTV 950 and a Fusion 7, are all in between the two Sonys as far as sensitivity. The Fusion 7 is the best of the three. Yeah, I've got 7 digital receivers in the house, and it's fun to compare their differences!

The converter box must have the latest generation chip in it, because it can receive and hold stations better than any of the other receivers. It seems to be more sensitive and able to handle multipath much better... but it has a couple flaws. It has to detect and decifer the PSIP ID information from a station before it will put it in the list and show a picture, and you can't tune it to a sub-channel until it's got the station listed.

The new Sony, on the other hand, will show the picture and sound from a station without getting the PSIP info, and I can tune to the sub-channels with it. For some weaker stations you can get them by tuning to the -3 sub-channel and they'll show up with solid picture and sound. So with the tuning capabilities of the Sony and the sensitivity of the convert box, I've had fun pulling in the more distant digital stations.

Larry
SF

My complete SF Bay Area DTV Station Lists: http://www.choisser.com/sfonair.html
Lots of Broadcasting links and information: http://www.choisser.com/broadcast.html

Check out photos and info on my antennas: http://www. larrykenney.com/tvantennas.html

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Old 01-29-2009, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Kenney View Post

Here are some "off the top of my head" comments on several topics recently mentioned here. Maybe some of my experiences will help others who are reading this thread.

First on the DTV delay... I was extremely happy when I read that the House voted against the delay. Fantastic news! Then I read later that they can reintroduce the bill next week and vote on it again with out needing the 2/3 vote. My elation disappeared.

Regarding VHF and UHF reception and the various antennas used, I've tried several different antennas here over the years... everything from Radio Shack Super Fringe models to the AntennaCraft D9000, various UHF only antennas, etc. Some of the antennas were terrible, where I couldn't even pick up the stations from the hills above Fremont just 35 miles away. Some were huge, some were small, most didn't work well.

One I've stuck with for picking up all of the Sutro stations is the Antennas Direct SR-15. It's small, very well built, and it works! It's the only one that has worked for picking up ALL of the stations from Sutro from ONE position. The other antennas all had to be moved a few degrees one way or the other to get certain stations, then I'd lose others. The Channel Master 4228 is bad in that respect. For example, I couldn't find a place where I could get both KGO on 24 and KPIX on 29 with the 4228. SR-15... no problem. I've locked the SR-15 in and get all 11 stations.

I have tied the SR-15 in with a Winegard 3113, cut for channel 12, which I bought for KNTV when they were transmitting from Loma Prieta. When they moved to Mt. San Bruno I just turned it a bit to the west. So with the SR-15 and the 3113, I get all of the Sutro stations plus KNTV solid for OTA recordings.

I've found the Channel Master 4228 to be the best of all of them at bringing in the distant stations. It doesn't have quite as narrow a beam width as the 91XG (which I'd like to try, but haven't) but it seems to do a great job at picking up all of the the stations that are outside the local area. A couple of the Sacramento digital stations come in like they're locals. KMAX on 21 is stronger than the four stations transmitting from the South Bay (49, 50, 51, and 52) and KVIE on 53 is solid most of the time, too. Other Sact'o stations come and go depending on conditions. I've yet to pick up KOVR on 25 and, of course, KSPX is impossible because of KPIX on 29.

I've got two CM4228's on the roof, one toward the west at the front of the house, one toward the east at the back. One thing that is quite noticeable is the difference in signal strengths from the two of them for various stations. The one in the back gets the Mt. San Bruno stations much stronger than the one toward the front, even though we're only five miles away. The one in the front, on the other hand, does much better at getting the Mt. Diablo and Sacramento stations than the one in the back by about 2 to 3 db. Both do about the same for the South Bay stations and KTLN in Novato. The one in the front does better for 23 and 54 up in Sonoma County. I find all that to be quite interesting.

Some have mentioned how Hi-VHF is the best for distant reception. I really haven't had a chance to do much testing there with digital, but I did get KNTV-DT solid from 55 miles away when it was on Loma Prieta. I'm too close to Sutro to pick up the Sacramento analog stations due to adjacent channel overload. I used to get KOVR 13 with a snowy picture until KNTV moved to Mt. San Bruno, then I lost it. 2 covers 3, 5 covers 6, and 9 covers 10. I hoping that after the analog stations on Sutro go off I'll be able to pick up low power 8 from Mt. Diablo and 9 and 10 from Sacramento. Since I get several of the Sacramento UHF digital channels, I think I will.

Now some comments on the various receivers I've got. My original receiver in a 2001 Sony XBR 2 is terrible at picking up weaker stations compared to the receiver in my newer 2008 Sony XBR 4, and my best receiver is the one in the Insignia Converter box. (Too bad it's only SD.) The receiver in the Dish ViP-622 DVR is about the same as the newer Sony XBR 4. The three computer receivers, Hi-Pix in the PC and two USB plug-ins for the lap top, a WinTV 950 and a Fusion 7, are all in between the two Sonys as far as sensitivity. The Fusion 7 is the best of the three. Yeah, I've got 7 digital receivers in the house, and it's fun to compare their differences!

The converter box must have the latest generation chip in it, because it can receive and hold stations better than any of the other receivers. It seems to be more sensitive and able to handle multipath much better... but it has a couple flaws. It has to detect and decifer the PSIP ID information from a station before it will put it in the list and show a picture, and you can't tune it to a sub-channel until it's got the station listed.

The new Sony, on the other hand, will show the picture and sound from a station without getting the PSIP info, and I can tune to the sub-channels with it. For some weaker stations you can get them by tuning to the -3 sub-channel and they'll show up with solid picture and sound. So with the tuning capabilities of the Sony and the sensitivity of the convert box, I've had fun pulling in the more distant digital stations.

Larry
SF

Hi Larry,

I always enjoy reading what other folks are experiencing with their OTA reception and equipment. Here's a nice CECB (coupon-eligible converter box) chart that you might find interesting. Maybe you already have a link to it on your site, I forget... but, it's worth mentioning again:

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

I also have the Insignia (same as Zenith) and it's a much better box than some of the other brands out there. It also allows manual adding of channels in a way that is compatible with OTA antenna rotors.


- DFGY
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:50 AM
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Hi Larry,

Just a couple of notes. KSPX digital is on 48 so you probably can't get it because KSTS analog on Mt. Allison is too strong. Even though I'm mostly blocked to KSPX analog on 29 which transmits from near Placerville, it still causes interference to KPIX digital.

Maybe you're having trouble with KOVR 25 since KGO is on 24 and KTSF is on 26. Talk about a strong signal sandwich! Those will go away if we ever have the transition.

How about KXTV on 61? Any luck there?

Can you get KSBW 8? If so you might be able to get their digital channel when they switch to 8.

Has anyone noticed that KTNC digital 63 is off the air for like a week now? I wonder if they've gone off the air to finish installation of their channel 14 antenna? They're already strong here on 63 so I expect them to be really strong on 14.

Chuck
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DEEPFRINGEGUY View Post

Hi Chuck,

I've seen some info. out there that says that the 8vsb modulation is prone to multipath and that's on the receiver/tuner end. And I know a guy in Arizona that says his DB-8 works better at eliminating it than his previous 43XG, which he had up for awhile... I debated long and hard as to which one to put up; either the DB-8, which I have in the garage, or the 91XG. I just took a guess that the 91XG would be better because of it's very narrow beamwidth... I guess I'd have to put the DB-8 up in the air to know for sure... And experiment with other TV tuners...

- DFGY

Very narrow beamwidth is relative to what your problem is.

Walnut Grove is nearly due west of here over two ridges and I have several hilltops from the northwest to northeast that are hot spots for Walnut Grove and therefore great reflectors that cause severe multipath. When I point my antennas to the reflections I get strong signals but the picture is completely destroyed by multipath so the reflections are useless. The only low multipath direction is pointed right at Walnut Grove.

One 91XG doesn't have enough off pointed rejection to make OTA useful though. Averaged over the 8 Walnut Grove stations, one antenna gave me about 80% of the time reception. That's not really good enough to depend on OTA. So I went to two 91XGs. This was a huge improvement. Now the average over 8 stations is more like 99%. If I discount KCRA on its low tower, it's more like 99.9% of the time.

After the transition I'll need to re-evaluate channels 6, 10, and 40 on their new frequencies. I know KCRA will be much improved when it's antenna is installed on the KMAX tower because that and the KOVR tower are the best here.

It's uncertain whether I'm going to be at this location for the long term or not. If it does turn out that I expect to be here for years to come, I plan to change out my 50' guyed tower for an easier to work on 72' crank-up tilt-over tower and will likely go to 4 91XGs to really give a knockout blow to the multpath.

Chuck
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:18 PM
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Very narrow beamwidth is relative to what your problem is.

Walnut Grove is nearly due west of here over two ridges and I have several hilltops from the northwest to northeast that are hot spots for Walnut Grove and therefore great reflectors that cause severe multipath. When I point my antennas to the reflections I get strong signals but the picture is completely destroyed by multipath so the reflections are useless. The only low multipath direction is pointed right at Walnut Grove.

One 91XG doesn't have enough off pointed rejection to make OTA useful though. Averaged over the 8 Walnut Grove stations, one antenna gave me about 80% of the time reception. That's not really good enough to depend on OTA. So I went to two 91XGs. This was a huge improvement. Now the average over 8 stations is more like 99%. If I discount KCRA on its low tower, it's more like 99.9% of the time.

After the transition I'll need to re-evaluate channels 6, 10, and 40 on their new frequencies. I know KCRA will be much improved when it's antenna is installed on the KMAX tower because that and the KOVR tower are the best here.

It's uncertain whether I'm going to be at this location for the long term or not. If it does turn out that I expect to be here for years to come, I plan to change out my 50' guyed tower for an easier to work on 72' crank-up tilt-over tower and will likely go to 4 91XGs to really give a knockout blow to the multpath.

Chuck

Good morning Chuck,

Agreed. Antenna configuration should match the situtation.

I get KMAX really well in analog here. I'm assuming that it's going to be one of
really good digitals after the switchover; hoping KCRA will be too

I think if you go up to 75' you might just find that you won't need 4 XG's. I'll bet your neighbor is going to love that!

How did you get those up there on that 50 footer anyway? Helicopter?

- DFGY
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Larry Kenney View Post

Here are some "off the top of my head" comments on several topics recently mentioned here. Maybe some of my experiences will help others who are reading this thread.

First on the DTV delay... I was extremely happy when I read that the House voted against the delay. Fantastic news! Then I read later that they can reintroduce the bill next week and vote on it again with out needing the 2/3 vote. My elation disappeared.
SF

I've read the bill allows broadcast stations to switch to digital earlier than June if they chose to do so. I wonder why many news articles no longer mention this? I've read Hawaii has switched to digital.
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Larry Kenney View Post

One I've stuck with for picking up all of the Sutro stations is the Antennas Direct SR-15. It's small, very well built, and it works! It's the only one that has worked for picking up ALL of the stations from Sutro from ONE position. The other antennas all had to be moved a few degrees one way or the other to get certain stations, then I'd lose others. The Channel Master 4228 is bad in that respect. For example, I couldn't find a place where I could get both KGO on 24 and KPIX on 29 with the 4228. SR-15... no problem. I've locked the SR-15 in and get all 11 stations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Kenney View Post

I've found the Channel Master 4228 to be the best of all of them at bringing in the distant stations. It doesn't have quite as narrow a beam width as the 91XG (which I'd like to try, but haven't) but it seems to do a great job at picking up all of the the stations that are outside the local area.

Interesting observations you've shared regarding the 4228! I really appreciate your detailed comments.

I've only recently installed a CM4228 in San Jose, and I have no complaints. I have it pointed in the general direction of Sutro, judging by my Boy Scout compass.

With the receiver in my brand new Panasonic Plasma, I'm able to pick up the following (in order of virtual channel):

KTVU (56)
KRON (57)
KPIX (29)
KGO (24)
KQED (30)
KNTV (12)
KDTV (51)
KOFY (19)
KRCB (23) hit-or-miss
KTSF (27)
KMTP (33)
KICU (52)
KCNS (39)
KBCW (45)
KSTS (49)
KTEH (50)
KCSM (43)
KKPX (41)
KFSF (34)
KTLN (47) on occasion

Granted, several of those are non-English stations I won't be watching anyway. However, counting all of them, 20 digital stations with a 4228 is more than I had hoped for. I'm quite pleased with it.

I'm curious why your 4228 won't pick-up both KGO on 24 and KPIX on 29 without rotating it? They're both coming from Sutro, right?

Also, what are the 11 stations you're pleased about getting with your SR-15 locked down?

Regards,
Scott
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by pt123 View Post

I've read the bill allows broadcast stations to switch to digital earlier than June if they chose to do so. I wonder why many news articles no longer mention this? I've read Hawaii has switched to digital.

I heard that too. Good point. Eureka, CA is all digital now, I heard. They stayed on VHF-Low because of all the mountainous terrain up there in Humboldt...

I think Hawaii's smart to do that. People will adapt.

- DFGY
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Old 01-29-2009, 03:02 PM
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The 4228's a great UHF antenna. One of the very best. But also very heavy. I bought a DB-8, which has similar spec's but only weighs about 5 lbs. with hardware... then I decided not to use it and went with the 91XG (4.5 lbs.)...

You're getting some great reception there. Where abouts are you?

- DFGY
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Old 01-29-2009, 03:09 PM
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You're getting some great reception there. Where abouts are you?

Thanks for the reply!

I'm just NW of the intersection of Hwy 85 & 87 in south San Jose, around the corner from the Oakridge Mall.

Regards,
Scott
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:57 PM
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Hi,

A couple of quick questions that I'm hoping you experts could help me with?

1) I currently can pick up ch. 8, 28, and 40 analog with my antenna in fremont and was wondering since 8 is based santa cruz way and 28 and 40 are called low power does that mean they wont reach fremont when they go digital because of what is called the cliff effect?

2) are there any new scheduled stations for the bay area? I saw on Larry's great site many new listings but they all seem to be in the valley?

3) since from what I've read some of you work for stations so I was wondering if some body could explain why so many non english speaking networks are being picked up as sub channels instead of some of the promising english ones such as this tv, Retro or .2?

4) does anybody know why some stations are missing channels (ex. 20.1, 20.4 but no 20.2 or 20.3)

Thanks in advance for any answers providing they are greatly appreciated
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bettygunn View Post

Hi,

A couple of quick questions that I'm hoping you experts could help me with?

1) I currently can pick up ch. 8, 28, and 40 analog with my antenna in fremont and was wondering since 8 is based santa cruz way and 28 and 40 are called low power does that mean they wont reach fremont when they go digital because of what is called the cliff effect?

I lived in Fremont for a long time in the Ardenwood area so I'm pretty familiar with what you can receive there. KSBW 8 is in the Monterey DMA and transmits from Fremont Peak just NE of Salinas. It has a pretty good signal in Fremont. It's currently digital on 10 but will revert to 8 at the transition. I would expect you could receive it now along with KCBA FOX 35 which is on 13 and staying there. Low power stations are not currently required to switch to digital at the transition.

Quote:


2) are there any new scheduled stations for the bay area? I saw on Larry's great site many new listings but they all seem to be in the valley?

I'm not aware of any new stations for the valley which is my prime area these days. Which ones are you referring to?

Quote:


3) since from what I've read some of you work for stations so I was wondering if some body could explain why so many non english speaking networks are being picked up as sub channels instead of some of the promising english ones such as this tv, Retro or .2?

Good question! Some of the English speaking stations have foreign language sub channels but none of the non English speaking channels have English sub channels. With these start-up networks it would seem like a golden opportunity for these stations to pick up these new networks and run them on a sub channel. There's a lot of bandwidth going to waste with all these Spanish channels running a single 480i channel.

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4) does anybody know why some stations are missing channels (ex. 20.1, 20.4 but no 20.2 or 20.3)

Maybe someone else has a better answer but I think they can pick any sub channel number they want. I don't think skipping one means anything.

Chuck
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by scottndsky View Post

Thanks for the reply!

I'm just NW of the intersection of Hwy 85 & 87 in south San Jose, around the corner from the Oakridge Mall.

Regards,
Scott

I forgot to ask. Did you get one of the new 4228's or one of the old-style?

- DFGY
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:47 PM
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I forgot to ask. Did you get one of the new 4228's or one of the old-style?

I picked up a used one (the original CM4228 model) on craigslist earlier this month. Some guy in Saratoga switched to AT&T U-Verse, so he off-loaded his antenna + 5' mast for only $40. It was in great shape so it looked like a pretty good deal. Would you agree? ;-)

Cheers,
Scott
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:09 PM
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Hello,
I am heading over to a friends house for Superbowl and we're trying to set up an additional viewing area for the game. He's got DTV with only 1 HD box so we're considering setting up an OTA set. I'm bringing over my 32" Vizio and am looking for some low cost advice for a one day setup. He lives in Pleasant Hill close to downtown (not in the hills). What are the odds of us getting a good HD signal for the game? Any advice on picking up signal and/or antenna type would be excellent...thanks!

Chris
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by DEEPFRINGEGUY View Post

I think if you go up to 75' you might just find that you won't need 4 XG's. I'll bet your neighbor is going to love that!

How did you get those up there on that 50 footer anyway? Helicopter?

- DFGY

DFGY,

In order to clear the first ridge I'd have to be up at 105' and that's not going to happen. It's not the gain I need, it's the multipath rejection. The more antennas you phase the weaker the side lobes are.

I've been in the ham radio game for 40 years and there are always a few neighbors who hate antennas. I don't want to sound mean, but the only way I can deal with them is too ignore them. I have a ham friend who put up a 40' tower and the neighbor's wife was so distraught that they moved. I don't understand the "I hate antennas" mentality.

Even out here in a rural area on 10 acres with the nearest neighbor 400' away and the next two nearest 800' away, I'm still getting hints that they don't like antennas. I'm sorry people but there are no antenna ordinances in the county and no one has a right to a view.

If you saw the images I posted earlier, you can see the work platform just below the top of the tower. From there I can reach the antennas. I use a winch with wire rope to crank the mast down with the rotor removed to reach the top antennas. All of this is why I'll eventually switch to a crank-up tilt-over tower that allows access to the antennas while standing on the ground.

Chuck
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cleguluche View Post

Hello,
I am heading over to a friends house for Superbowl and we're trying to set up an additional viewing area for the game. He's got DTV with only 1 HD box so we're considering setting up an OTA set. I'm bringing over my 32" Vizio and am looking for some low cost advice for a one day setup. He lives in Pleasant Hill close to downtown (not in the hills). What are the odds of us getting a good HD signal for the game? Any advice on picking up signal and/or antenna type would be excellent...thanks!

Chris

I looked at the 3D transmitter overlays for KCRA and KNTV for the area. The chances look to be about equal for either depending exactly where you are. Signals are adequate but not terrific. It looks like some sort of outdoor antenna will be necessary. If you could find a UHF antenna and get it up to rooftop level, it looks like you'd have a decent shot at KCRA.

Good luck,

Chuck
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by scottndsky View Post

I picked up a used one (the original CM4228 model) on craigslist.org earlier this month. Some guy in Saratoga switched to AT&T U-Verse, so he off-loaded his antenna + 5' mast for only $40. It was in great shape so it looked like a pretty good deal. Would you agree? ;-)

Cheers,
Scott

It sounds like a reasonably good deal for both of you. The newer design is supposed to pull in VHF-HI even better than the old design (KGO, KNTV for you), but I still haven't talked to anyone that has tried one yet...

The old design, from what I've read, has been around since the 50's and they say it's the antenna that kept Channel Master in business...

Maybe we can get Larry to buy one of the new ones and tell us how good it is?
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:33 AM
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The newer design is supposed to pull in VHF-HI even better than the old design (KGO, KNTV for you)

Yes, I've read the same thing about the CM4228HD as well. I seem to be getting KNTV just fine on 12. However, I'm a little concerned about KGO when they move from 27 to 7. I guess I'll find out next month, or June, or somewhere in between! ;-)

Regards,
Scott
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by scottndsky View Post

Yes, I've read the same thing about the CM4228HD as well. I seem to be getting KNTV just fine on 12. However, I'm a little concerned about KGO when they move from 27 to 7. I guess I'll find out next month, or June, or somewhere in between! ;-)

Regards,
Scott

When KGO did a test in the middle of the night, several months ago, I received their digital signal on channel 7 just fine on my old 4228. I don't think you'll need to sweat it.

Bobby 

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Old 01-30-2009, 01:30 PM
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I'm in an area of Vallejo, I only get Analog Ch.10 & 13 from Sacramento, I can't get those stations in Digital

If you tried during the day to get 10 (61) and 13 (25) digital they might have been off the air. They've had to go off during the daytime on weekdays so that a new antenna for KTFK for channel 26 could be installed on the tower where their antennas are located. KTFK is moving from Mt. Diablo to the Walnut Grove site with the other Sacramento/Stockton stations on transition day... whenever it is. They're back on the air by 5 pm. Try in the evening.

During this time, KMAX is carrying the SD signals of both KXTV and KOVR on 21-2 and 21-3 with virtual channel IDs of 10-4 and 13-4.

Larry
SF

My complete SF Bay Area DTV Station Lists: http://www.choisser.com/sfonair.html
Lots of Broadcasting links and information: http://www.choisser.com/broadcast.html

Check out photos and info on my antennas: http://www. larrykenney.com/tvantennas.html

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