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post #361 of 3600 Old 01-09-2005, 04:21 PM
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I just usually get a 100' roll of RG-6 from Radio Shack. Pretty cheap and seems to work just fine and already has the ends on. Years ago I got a hex crimper and later got a coax stripper so I can put connectors on as well. I normally run the coax with the pre-made end outside and then if I have extra once I get it inside I cut it and put a new connector on it.

100' RG-6

Dennis
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post #362 of 3600 Old 01-09-2005, 04:37 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Sevenfeet
Nevertheless, it makes no sense why I can get NBC with the 4228 sitting on the floor of my home theater, and get nothing outside 15 feet higher in the air. I'm probably going to explore the possibility that I have a lousy coax cable in the mix since it's entirely possibly it could be impeding the signal.

You're right that's suspicious, maybe indicating a connection problem. Antennas usually have 300 ohm output, to which you connect a balun (converts twinlead to coax). Check any 300-to-75 ohm balun to make sure it's OK and doesn't have a switch in the wrong position.

Likewise check the preamp for any switches, esp any that select 300 vs 75 ohm output. If there's a selectable FM trap, disable it.

Inspect the antenna terminals and feed lines to make sure nothing is bent or shorted.

While watching a visible station, unplug your preamp power. The signal should fade or go away. That's one way to check preamp function and connections. If there's no difference, that could indicate the preamp isn't working right. Results may be more obvious on analog -- I've never tried it on digital.

Make sure all your coax is 75-ohm RG-6, not 50-ohm RG-58.

If you have a multimeter you can check for a broken or shorted conductor on the coax. For each coax segment, disconnect from TV and preamp. First check for a short from center conductor to the F connector. Then on one end short the center conductor to the F connector and check for low resistance on the other end.

I'd definitely suggest trying analog.
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post #363 of 3600 Old 01-09-2005, 06:40 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by jdm1
You're right that's suspicious, maybe indicating a connection problem. Antennas usually have 300 ohm output, to which you connect a balun (converts twinlead to coax). Check any 300-to-75 ohm balun to make sure it's OK and doesn't have a switch in the wrong position.

Likewise check the preamp for any switches, esp any that select 300 vs 75 ohm output. If there's a selectable FM trap, disable it.




The 4228 comes with a balun but it isn't necessary with the pre-amp. I did have to find some wire (lamp cord) to hook the 300 ohm terminals from the antenna to the amp since for some strange reason, it didn't come with one. The output of the pre-amp is 75 ohm only, so no way to get that wrong. I'll check again the FM trap setting...I didn't set it one way or the other.

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Inspect the antenna terminals and feed lines to make sure nothing is bent or shorted.

While watching a visible station, unplug your preamp power. The signal should fade or go away. That's one way to check preamp function and connections. If there's no difference, that could indicate the preamp isn't working right. Results may be more obvious on analog -- I've never tried it on digital.

Make sure all your coax is 75-ohm RG-6, not 50-ohm RG-58.

If you have a multimeter you can check for a broken or shorted conductor on the coax. For each coax segment, disconnect from TV and preamp. First check for a short from center conductor to the F connector. Then on one end short the center conductor to the F connector and check for low resistance on the other end.

I'd definitely suggest trying analog.

I'm now thinking that one of the coax wires I used is defective. If memory serves me correct, it's one that I took out of my Comcast loop because the Comcast tech thought it was not completely effective. I wasn't smart enough to throw it out and I think I reused it. I'll go pick up some more cable and see what happens. In the meantime, I'll hook it back up with some short cables and via the analog connection and see what's out there.

Rick
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post #364 of 3600 Old 01-09-2005, 07:30 PM
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Once football season is over, we could always have an "antenna party" and all come over to "help" get this figured out

Better still, do it on the first non-football Saturday so you would be set for the super bowl.

Dennis
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post #365 of 3600 Old 01-09-2005, 10:10 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Sevenfeet
Nevertheless, it makes no sense why I can get NBC with the 4228 sitting on the floor of my home theater, and get nothing outside 15 feet higher in the air. I'm probably going to explore the possibility that I have a lousy coax cable in the mix since it's entirely possibly it could be impeding the signal. It's the major difference in all my tests today. I'd have to either buy a pre-made roll of 100 ft, or buy a spool, a crimping tool and a wire cutter and relearn how to do this (I haven't crimped coax in over a decade).

This may be a longshot, but I've "walked" an antenna on my property and found several hot and cold spots moving 75 feet laterally. The general rule of thumb is higher is better, but deep in the hills of Bellvue, who knows?
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post #366 of 3600 Old 01-10-2005, 06:21 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by McTNN
This may be a longshot, but I've "walked" an antenna on my property and found several hot and cold spots moving 75 feet laterally. The general rule of thumb is higher is better, but deep in the hills of Bellvue, who knows?

I went back and reread the article on the subject at hdtvprimer.com and I'd say it's probably not that much of a long shot. We probably do have a lot of hot and cold areas around here and I didn't have my wife try more than one spot on the roof (cable was too short to move much). Jon J's house is also farther away from the hill-in-question which helps in his ability to pick up the refracted signal, while my house is literally sitting on the bottom section of that same hill, which makes things more difficult. My neighbors house to the north has the advantage of a higher roof line (15-20 ft) but I don't think his house is blocking the signal since I think the proper vector is to the east of his house.

Since I've shown I can get a signal from Channel 4's tower on my property (inside the house no less), I haven't given up complete hope, but it may take a lot more trial and error to determine a proper placement. I wish there was some way to prop up the antenna on the roof without having my poor wife have to stand up there, but I think it's probably the most expediant way in the end.

Rick
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post #367 of 3600 Old 01-10-2005, 06:38 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by dwynne
Once football season is over, we could always have an "antenna party" and all come over to "help" get this figured out

Better still, do it on the first non-football Saturday so you would be set for the super bowl.

Dennis

Hey I wouldn't turn that down. Hey, where's that pizza delivery number?

Rick
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post #368 of 3600 Old 01-10-2005, 06:40 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by jhstn58
Also, did you use an amplifier? If so, which one?

No amp here but my coax run is < 30-ft. I've read that amps are best at boosting a signal due to long cable runs but not as good for boosting a weak signal from a antenna reseption standpoint. Take that with a grian of salt because it's just something I read on the net and have not tested myself!

Last night while watching 24 in HD OTA the signal dropped out about 5 different times for no longer than 1 sec. and then came back. Would this be a weak signal indication or could it of been something on the stations end?
(sidenote: I have never watched 24 before, yeah, I know, where have I been.... MAN OH MAN, I'm hooked now!)

Does anyone know if there is a way to see digital signal strength on a Sony 34XS955?

Ronnie
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post #369 of 3600 Old 01-10-2005, 07:01 AM
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Drop outs are caused by multipath in almost all cases. Your signal level must be running very close to the threshold of your receiver. I have the same problem here with channel 8 from Knoxville. A signal meter and moving the antenna around is almost the only way to get the antenna in correct location to eliminate problem. An amp most likely will not help for it also amplfies the multipath and can actually make matters worse. Don't know what antenna you have but a more directional will also solve multipath problems.

Don't know about the Sony. I'd think there should be. Another possible remedy if you can get another FOX affiliate at your location. I get 2 here Greenville and Knoxville had no drops on either. Good Luck.
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post #370 of 3600 Old 01-10-2005, 07:29 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Ronnie Ferrell

Does anyone know if there is a way to see digital signal strength on a Sony 34XS955?

Ronnie

I'm thinking the only way we're going to solve this is to get an OTA tuner from the store...unfortunately we've both seen that a lot of built in OTA tuners in TVs don't have signal strength meters....not helpful.

Rick
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post #371 of 3600 Old 01-10-2005, 07:39 AM
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Wally World now carries an HD tuner for < $200 and they have a generous return policy (my wife tells me).

Dennis
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post #372 of 3600 Old 01-10-2005, 07:42 AM
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Link to Wally World tuner

I have seen these in a couple of the stores with my own two eyes. I would assume they have a signal strength meter....

Dennis
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post #373 of 3600 Old 01-10-2005, 08:54 AM
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I also noticed that WTVF shut down their subchannel during the Colts-Broncos game today. Very nice of them, it definitely increased the PQ. Also, there was way less pixellation during fast motion


Does everybody agree that PQ looked better? I noticed that the 5+ subchannel has been off for a week and was hoping for better PQ, but I don't think we got it. My guess is that although the 5+ channel is off (or static), the freed bandwidth isn't being used for the main channel.

I could be wrong. At the very least, we need to contact WTVF and thank them for killing the multicast.

-Reagan

The truth doesn't care whether you believe it.
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post #374 of 3600 Old 01-10-2005, 09:37 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by dwynne
Link to Wally World tuner

I have seen these in a couple of the stores with my own two eyes. I would assume they have a signal strength meter....

Dennis

I used it for a few weeks before I got my 811 tuner from Dish. It does have a signal strength meter, but it is just bars, not numbers.

It seemed to perform as well as my 811 tuner in picking up OTA signals. And they do have a 90 day return policy (I had no issues whatsoever returning mine).
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post #375 of 3600 Old 01-10-2005, 10:59 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Reagan
Does everybody agree that PQ looked better? I noticed that the 5+ subchannel has been off for a week and was hoping for better PQ, but I don't think we got it. My guess is that although the 5+ channel is off (or static), the freed bandwidth isn't being used for the main channel.

I could be wrong. At the very least, we need to contact WTVF and thank them for killing the multicast.

-Reagan

To me the PQ was much better. As a matter of fact, it looked so good that I checked to see whether the 5+ channel was off. Since it was, I am attributing the increase in PQ and the decrease in pixellation to the increase in bandwidth. Maybe I'm wrong

Alex
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post #376 of 3600 Old 01-10-2005, 12:55 PM
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This is way off topic but:

Does anyone know where I can pick up the "Digital Video Essentials" DVD locally?

Thanks for any info!


Ronnie
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post #377 of 3600 Old 01-10-2005, 02:20 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Ronnie Ferrell
This is way off topic but:

Does anyone know where I can pick up the "Digital Video Essentials" DVD locally?

Thanks for any info!


Ronnie

Tower Video sometimes carries it. If you go to the one on West End check the Japanese anime DVD section, which is nearest to the street. There is a specialty video section next to it, which often carries DVE or Avia.

Rick
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post #378 of 3600 Old 01-10-2005, 02:28 PM
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Thank! I'll swing by on my way home.

I only have the "Sound & Vision" setup disc by Ovation. It is a stripped down AVIA DVD with the addition of DTS test tones. Worth the price for the DTS test tones but I need some of the video test patterns it lacks.


Ronnie
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post #379 of 3600 Old 01-10-2005, 03:36 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by dwynne
Link to Wally World tuner

I have seen these in a couple of the stores with my own two eyes. I would assume they have a signal strength meter....

Dennis

I have one. It does.

(it's a decent box - not exceptionally sensitive but works pretty well. Disclaimer: I only have a SD display.)

Doug Smith W9WI
Pleasant View, TN EM66
http://www.w9wi.com
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post #380 of 3600 Old 01-10-2005, 09:43 PM
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OK, an update. I went by Home Depot today and got 100 ft premade spool of RCA branded RG-6 coax cable. After my wife retired for the evening, I brought the antenna out of the garage and proceeded to try some tests. Also, the coax cable going from my pre-amp to the TV is a known 3ft coax cable provided earlier by Comcast.

First, I decided to try hooking up the antenna to the analog input on my TV to see if I could bring in the stations in north Nashville at all. First, I disconnected the pre-amp from power and ran through the stations (ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, FOX, WB and UPN). ABC and PBS came in pretty well considering how crappy analog TV looks in general on a modern HD set. Keep in mind that the CM 4228 antenna isn't even rated for VHF stations, so a VHF antenna could obviously do better. But ABC and PBS are close to me...not a hard test. NBC was looking pretty miserable. CBS was non-existant and all other Sinclair UHF stations weren't discernable either.

So I plugged in the pre-amp. At this point, NBC came in a lot better. And I learned something about multipath...it was generally bad in my house...not surprising since I live in an area surrounded by hills and fairly close homes. As I turned the antenna completely around, I discovered I got better pictures if I aimed the antenna directly at any of my neighbors homes. ABC and PBS did not benefit from the pre-amp...not surprising since their tower is so close.

Then I went to the Sinclair stations. I chose WB-58 first since it had a "picture"...and that was using the term loosely. The signal was generally crappy all around with lots of snow, but recognizable audio. Turning the antenna in different directions got similar results to aiming at Channel 4...multipath reflections could be picked up and used in analog mode, even pointing in the opposite direction of the tower where my neighbor's house sits to the south, and further beyond that the hills of Edwin Warner Park. After a while, I found directions that got a picture, but a pretty horrid one.

FOX-17 and UPN-30 were about the same...discernable with the pre-amp plugged in but generally crappy snowy picture all around...not encouraging for a digital lock. Turning the antenna got pretty much the same results as dealing with Channel 4, only that picture was a lot clearer.

One surprise was CBS. I wasn't expecting to see any results given the distance and the lack of a good VHF antenna, but the CM 4228 brought it in anyway...with better quality than the Sinclair stations, but not as good a quality as NBC. But we all know that digital CBS in Nashville is no where near the power of analog CBS, so I can't use that as a predictor.

One more experiment I tried was raising the antenna closer to the ceiling (12 ft) to recheck the interference I was seeing the other night. Sure enough, all northern channels immediately lost most of their signal, meaning I do likely have some metal in the roof of the next room of my house to the north, which is about at the level I had the antenna.

So I unplugged the antenna from the analog connection and went back to digital. I decided to try Channel 4 again. Although I could get a lock to the station, I noticed that the rotation angle that I could get the station was very limited. The range was about 15 degrees or so almost due North....strange since the station is 33 degrees to the north east. Due north is also another neighbor's home with a higher roofline...go figure. FOX, UPN, WB and CBS were all no shows regardless of the antenna direction...not surprising but disappointing.

Last I checked for hot and old spots. And again, HDTVprimer.com was right on the money. Switching back to digital Channel 4, I noticed that there were certain parts of the south side of my theater room where I would lose Channel 4, but regard it again when I walked the antenna north.

So I look forward to testing the antenna again outside to see what the gain difference is. I'm also debating about going back to Randolf and Rice to get the CM 7777 pre-amp since it can do 3 dbs better in the UHF department and .2 dbs better in the noise department than the CM pre-amp I'm using now. Given what I'm seeing, I probably need all the help I can get.

And as usual, I appreciate suggestions from the group.

Rick
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post #381 of 3600 Old 01-11-2005, 06:13 AM
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Anyone watch "24" Monday night on 17 HD OTA? Was the FOX17 logo about 3/4 of the way off the screen in the corner on your set? I thought I had acidentally set my set to zoom, but it was set to "full". I do not remember it being like that on Sunday night.

(just making sure it's not my TV...)


Ronnie
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post #382 of 3600 Old 01-11-2005, 06:41 AM
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I recorded 24 but haven't watched yet. I can not take the commercials.

Anyone know of an off-air tuner/DVR set top combination that does not have a satellite receiver in it?

JAB
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post #383 of 3600 Old 01-11-2005, 08:28 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by JAB99
I recorded 24 but haven't watched yet. I can not take the commercials.

Anyone know of an off-air tuner/DVR set top combination that does not have a satellite receiver in it?

JAB

I ASSUME you mean an HD tuner/DVR - since otherwise you could just get a stand alone Tivo

LG does make an HDTV tuner/PVR - the model LST-3410a, they own the Zenith brand name now and market a similar (or the same) model as the Zenith HDR230.

Reviews are here:

http://www.hometheatermag.com/pvr/704lg/
http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/art...&page_number=1
http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/art...ber=1&preview=

Looks pretty spendy, but the MSRP on an HDTivo is $1000....

Dennis
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post #384 of 3600 Old 01-11-2005, 08:50 AM
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Originally posted by dwynne
Looks pretty spendy, but the MSRP on an HDTivo is $1000....

Available from Solid Signal and Value Electronics for $850. After cash and programming credits from DirecTV, it's down to less than $500.

I bought mine from Solid Signal.

When news breaks...we fix it.
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post #385 of 3600 Old 01-11-2005, 12:50 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Sevenfeet
multipath...it was generally bad in my house... I'm also debating about going back to Randolf and Rice to get the CM 7777 pre-amp since it can do 3 dbs better in the UHF department and .2 dbs better in the noise department than the CM pre-amp I'm using now...

Maybe you've already seen the below antenna tests. If not, here they are. The 4228 had good gain, but not great multipath rejection vs a UHF yagi.

If your problem is multipath, the biggest UHF yagi might help. The CM 4248 or 91XG from AntennasDirect might help. http://www.antennasdirect.com./LongRangeAntennas.htm

Don't know about the 7777. The below "fringe reception" link mentions a preamp made by Research Communication with a 0.4db noise figure (vs the 7777 2.0db). However their web site is down right now.

Interestingly the 4228 was the only UHF antenna that provided significant gain on VHF hi band (channels 7-13).

Your analog tests were interesting. You're just in a very tough location. The yagi might work, finding a hot spot might work.

Ultimately your only options might be Comcast cable (do they have HD locals?), getting waivers for satellite HD feeds from the main networks, or waiting about a year for DirecTV's new satellite which should have capacity for HD locals.

http://www.atechfabrication.com/test...st_results.htm
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/G...yA.html#fringe
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/comparing.html
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post #386 of 3600 Old 01-11-2005, 01:53 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by jdm1
Maybe you've already seen the below antenna tests. If not, here they are. The 4228 had good gain, but not great multipath rejection vs a UHF yagi.

If your problem is multipath, the biggest UHF yagi might help. The CM 4248 or 91XG from AntennasDirect might help. http://www.antennasdirect.com./LongRangeAntennas.htm

Don't know about the 7777. The below "fringe reception" link mentions a preamp made by Research Communication with a 0.4db noise figure (vs the 7777 2.0db). However their web site is down right now.

Interestingly the 4228 was the only UHF antenna that provided significant gain on VHF hi band (channels 7-13).

Your analog tests were interesting. You're just in a very tough location. The yagi might work, finding a hot spot might work.

Ultimately your only options might be Comcast cable (do they have HD locals?), getting waivers for satellite HD feeds from the main networks, or waiting about a year for DirecTV's new satellite which should have capacity for HD locals.

http://www.atechfabrication.com/test...st_results.htm
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/G...yA.html#fringe
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/comparing.html

I've been noticing the multipath issues, but it's not too hard to eliminate ghosting with the proper orientation. Still, the overall signal strength that's my problem and it may not be solveable with this antenna. I always thought that a deep fringe yagi may be more appropiate in my circumstance, but I want to give this antenna a fair shot before I gave up, especially since Jon J has had good luck with it. But he's further back from the hill than I am so he's in a better position.

BTW, this whole exercise was started because of the Sinclair Broadcasting's policy of witholding their DTV signal from the cable companies without payment...a blatent violation of the FCC's must-carry rule IMHO. I have relatives coming into town for the Super Bowl and I'd like to have this in FoxHD if I can. Since I already have Comcast for local HD coverage (ABC, NBC, CBS) anyway, if they could carry Fox in thei market, I wouldn't even be trying this. But they can't, so here I am.

Rick
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post #387 of 3600 Old 01-12-2005, 05:13 AM
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Originally posted by Ronnie Ferrell
Anyone watch "24" Monday night on 17 HD OTA? Was the FOX17 logo about 3/4 of the way off the screen in the corner on your set? I thought I had acidentally set my set to zoom, but it was set to "full". I do not remember it being like that on Sunday night.

(just making sure it's not my TV...)


Ronnie


It's not your TV. They didn't have their bug during the Sunday broadcast, but it was there for Monday night's. I saw just as you did, way down in the lower, right-hand corner, partially off screen. I am actually glad some of it was off screen.

But I really wish they would go with the same size bug, but clear like their regular one. Or don't have it at all like Sunday night.
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post #388 of 3600 Old 01-12-2005, 05:59 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Paul Rich
It's not your TV. They didn't have their bug during the Sunday broadcast, but it was there for Monday night's. I saw just as you did, way down in the lower, right-hand corner, partially off screen. I am actually glad some of it was off screen.

But I really wish they would go with the same size bug, but clear like their regular one. Or don't have it at all like Sunday night.

I figured out what they are doing. They have their bug placed in the far corner of the overscan image. I messed with the HSIZ/HPOS and VSIZ/VPOS in the service menu to verify this.

I also agree the bug should be a transparent embossed stamp like everyone else's...


rf
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post #389 of 3600 Old 01-12-2005, 10:14 AM
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Does anyone live in the Hopkinsville area and have you had any luck with the Nashville locals? DTV supplied me with a Winegard GS-2200 antenna and all I get is 2-1,2-2, and 17-1. Will a preamp help? My antenna is on the roof with about a 60' run of coax. Or do I need to get a different antenna? The installer said mine was the 3rd install in town and none had worked at all. I messed around with mine and finally got 3 channels but those still fade out at times.
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post #390 of 3600 Old 01-12-2005, 10:22 AM
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The channels you receive form an interesting combination. 17-1 is north of town and 2-1 is south of town and behind many hills from you.

If you can get 17-1, you should also receive 30-1, 58-1 and 5-1 since they transmit within 500 yards of one another.

When news breaks...we fix it.
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