Hello fellow Columbus HDTV fans!
I'm very new to this arena and have been purchasing bits and pieces from eBay to dabble in HDTV. So far, so good but I have a few questions....
First, I've done all the research on antennaweb.org and all of the stations appear to require a yellow antenna for me. I've repeated this research on the other online "guides" and had very similar results. Therefore, I purchased a Samsung SIR-T151 on eBay for $100 and grabbed an open box Turk TV42 antenna at Best Buy for $35. I installed the antenna, added a diplexer inside, and had a great initial look at HDTV...
Now, having said that, here is my listing from antennaweb.org :
* yellow - uhf WTTE-DT 28.1 FOX COLUMBUS OH 271° 17.5 36
* yellow - vhf WSYX-DT 6.1 ABC COLUMBUS OH 271° 17.5 13
* yellow - uhf WOSU-DT 38.1 PBS COLUMBUS OH 325° 18.3 38
* yellow - uhf WCMH-DT 4.1 NBC COLUMBUS OH 279° 17.8 14
* yellow - uhf WBNS-DT 10.1 CBS COLUMBUS OH 279° 17.8 21
* green - uhf WWHO-DT 53.1 UPN CHILLICOTHE OH 228° 34.1 46
My review of these channels (during prime time on a clear night):
Fox 28 - have never seen a signal of any type or strength, never received audio
ABC 6 - I get flashes of HDTV images, no audio, and every time I tune to this channel my receiver seems to "lock up" and I can't do anything... after a few seconds, the "lock up" ceases for a few seconds and allows me to change channels
PBS 38 - Wow, 5 channels of HDTV some evenings - all with digital audio... comes in clear and strong - high signal strength. Earlier in the day, though, I often see no signal, no audio, nothing.
NBC 4 - One of my favorite stations and I typically see a strong signal. Two channels, one being the regular NBC programming and the other being a weather feed. Last night, however, I noticed some intermittant black screens and audio cutouts... not sure if it's a coincidence but it seemed to only happen when I walked into my kitchen - which sits just inside where the antenna is mounted to the DirecTV dish.
CBS 10 - Strong audio and video every time I've tuned to this channel. I wish I could say the same about each of the others.
UPN 53 - Great signal last night, no signal the night before. I don't watch much UPN programming so I'm not sure that I care much about this signal but thought I'd report my success/lack thereof.
As for my questions:
1. Do broadcasters send signals from their HDTV towers even when nothing is being broadcast in HDTV? It seems that CBS 10 does, and maybe NBC 4 - but the others seem to be hit and miss for me. The PBS 38 report above is a good example of this.
2. Is there anything I can do to boost my antenna? It's supposed to be amplified and most of the user reports I've read say that it's a decent unit... and as you can see, I'm not terribly far away from any of the towers and the terrain is very flat toward the west between my house and the towers.
3. My dish is mounted low on the back of the house facing west/southwest. Would this effect my antenna performace theoretically? It's possible for me to put a larger antenna in my attic or even mounted to the rear of the house at a higher level - but I'd rather use the current configuration.
4. How much difference do the HDTV receivers make? Since I bought a cheap unit used from eBay, could this hinder my ability to receive the signals or am I just doing without some of the bells & whistles of the higher cost units?
5. This question is a bit goofy but the receiver I bought came without a remote control. Are there cheap aftermarket remotes that I could pick up to program my nicer Sony programable remote? My Sony is older than the receiver I bought, thus it doesn't have any codes for HDTV receivers
Thanks for any and all replies!