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post #1171 of 6677 Old 02-23-2005, 08:19 AM
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Looks like Brian is going to try this, so I'll just wait to hear, "It's alive!"

Ok. I just finished moving the second antenna. It's now pointing to Suffolk instead of Richmond. Here are my before and after signal readings on my DTC-100 (I did not check the signal meter on the HD-TIVO). For reference, a signal of 60 or higher on the DTC-100 usually gives me a solid picture.

(Digital Channel,Before,After)
-----------------------------------------
  • 3: 76,82
  • 10: 88,88
  • 13: 88,94
  • 15: 88,88
  • 27: 82,85
  • 33: 26,64
  • 43: 88,91
  • 44: 26,0

I now have a solid picture on 33 and most of the other channels also improved slightly. My two antennae are about 6 feet apart (which is technically closer than horizontal stacking should allow, but no problems so far). I had to play around with the position of the second antenna within the attic and finally set it on a box so that it's about 2 feet off the floor. The first antenna is still sitting on the floor (leaning against a box).

As always, your mileage may vary...

Brian
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post #1172 of 6677 Old 02-23-2005, 10:51 AM
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Originally posted by TJNoffy
My only concern is that it seems that the smallest of adjustments can make major changes to my reception. I'm sure that the atmospherics at the time play into it, too. For instance, after my last antenna adjustments this past weekend, I received everything but WHRO-DT. A day or two later, I wasn't getting WHRO-DT nor WTKR-DT...at all. Last night I still wasn't receiving WTKR-DT (at all), but was receiving WHRO-DT very well (along with the others I typically receive). All of these reception changes with no antenna adjustments.

This is exactly why the general population will not accept OTA reception as their primary medium. And also why HDTV will stay a novelty for the hard core enthusiast until HD content on cable dramatically improves.
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post #1173 of 6677 Old 02-23-2005, 11:06 AM
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Originally posted by BrianMitchell
Ok. I just finished moving the second antenna. It's now pointing to Suffolk instead of Richmond. Here are my before and after signal readings on my DTC-100 (I did not check the signal meter on the HD-TIVO). For reference, a signal of 60 or higher on the DTC-100 usually gives me a solid picture.

(Digital Channel,Before,After)
-----------------------------------------
  • 3: 76,82
  • 10: 88,88
  • 13: 88,94
  • 15: 88,88
  • 27: 82,85
  • 33: 26,64
  • 43: 88,91
  • 44: 26,0

I now have a solid picture on 33 and most of the other channels also improved slightly. My two antennae are about 6 feet apart (which is technically closer than horizontal stacking should allow, but no problems so far). I had to play around with the position of the second antenna within the attic and finally set it on a box so that it's about 2 feet off the floor. The first antenna is still sitting on the floor (leaning against a box).

As always, your mileage may vary...

Brian

I must say that I'm impressed with the results. Maybe my problem is that I bothered to engineer a PVC mast for my antenna mounted to a vertical support up high in the attic... I should have just leaned it against some boxes!

Jay N.
Williamsburg, VA
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post #1174 of 6677 Old 02-23-2005, 11:30 AM
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Originally posted by Digitude
This is exactly why the general population will not accept OTA reception as their primary medium. And also why HDTV will stay a novelty for the hard core enthusiast until HD content on cable dramatically improves.

I think you're right on the mark, here. This is especially true for those of us on the fringe of broadcast areas. There's no love lost between me and Cox, but if I could just tune in the local DTV broadcasts there, my life would be much simpler. But, we've come full circle here back to the subject of getting these stations on cable, haven't we?

Jay N.
Williamsburg, VA
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post #1175 of 6677 Old 02-23-2005, 02:36 PM
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It never fails. We know what the solution is for the present (not ancient history), but we are just innocent victims in a corporate struggle. :-)
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post #1176 of 6677 Old 02-23-2005, 03:14 PM
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Originally posted by Digitude
This is exactly why the general population will not accept OTA reception as their primary medium. And also why HDTV will stay a novelty for the hard core enthusiast until HD content on cable dramatically improves.



There absolutly is nothing wrong with OTA reception. I use OTA even though I have the Directv HD national feeds. I never have to touch my antenna unless I rotate it toward Richmond.


And best of all it's free and I don't have to worry about the annual cable price increases

Harold Jackson
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post #1177 of 6677 Old 02-23-2005, 03:28 PM
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Originally posted by hjriver
There absolutly is nothing wrong with OTA reception. I use OTA even though I have the Directv HD national feeds. I never have to touch my antenna unless I rotate it toward Richmond.


And best of all it's free and I don't have to worry about the annual cable price increases

Just count your blessings. You are one of the lucky ones.
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post #1178 of 6677 Old 02-23-2005, 03:34 PM
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Originally posted by hjriver
There absolutly is nothing wrong with OTA reception. I use OTA even though I have the Directv HD national feeds. I never have to touch my antenna unless I rotate it toward Richmond.


And best of all it's free and I don't have to worry about the annual cable price increases

Could you provide the particulars of your antenna set-up, please?
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post #1179 of 6677 Old 02-23-2005, 03:44 PM
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Originally posted by Digitude
This is exactly why the general population will not accept OTA reception as their primary medium. And also why HDTV will stay a novelty for the hard core enthusiast until HD content on cable dramatically improves.

You are assuming that receivers are as good as they are going to get. A bad assumption.

When receivers are better your arguments against OTA TV reception will be history. I expect one day, not too far off, you will see TV receivers with dependable reception in your cell phones. Indoor antennas will work dependably and without hassle. You will see a rebirth of portable TV applications. Congress will force the transition to digital for those who still depend on free TV for their viewing. Congress has made the political decision the free OTA television will continue to exist.

Heck, OTA analog was almost perfected before development of it stopped. I have an old Philips Ghost Canceling demo unit that virtually eliminates ghosts on analog signals for those stations broadcasting the GCR reference signal on line 19.

Were you around when FM radio came out? It drifted all over the place and was a royal pain to listen to. Then they started selling receivers with AFC and all of a sudden it was easy to listen to FM. Gads I am dating myself!

I recall reading an article many years ago that stated, without question, that the fastest modem possible over a twisted pair was 2400 baud. We installed a T1 line at our transmitter site last week that uses one twisted pair from Telco.
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post #1180 of 6677 Old 02-23-2005, 03:57 PM
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Originally posted by barrysb
Just count your blessings. You are one of the lucky ones.


Not lucky, just the result of about 50 years or so of tinkering with tv, CB, ham and now digital UHF. Back in the 50's when Richmond had only one tv station (Channel 6) a man lived in my neighborhood who installed antennas. He had a trailer with a telescoping tower like a drilling rig with an antenna on the top. He would crank it up and down untill he found the best antenna height. Higher was not always better. That's why they tell you now to go up and down and side to side a little at a time. Then when Channel 8 and 12 signed on you could buy a "Richmond Special" antenna assembly which consisted of 3 separate antennas each tuned to the channel. All one had to do was mount them on a mast, aim the correct antenna to the tower, hook them together and it was almost perfect. Of course when Fox 35 signed on....but by then cable was available in most neighborhoods.

I think now there is 2 very important things with receiving OTA. The antenna needs to be mounted outside above the roof level and reducing the signal to a level that the receiver does not see the multi-path. In most cases I can lock on anything around 40. Hopefully technology will address the mult-path in the receivers better but I'm using a RCA DTC-100 (old stuff) and it's working fine.

Harold Jackson
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post #1181 of 6677 Old 02-23-2005, 04:17 PM
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Originally posted by George Randell
You are assuming that receivers are as good as they are going to get. A bad assumption.

When receivers are better your arguments against OTA TV reception will be history. I expect one day, not too far off, you will see TV receivers with dependable reception in your cell phones. Indoor antennas will work dependably and without hassle. You will see a rebirth of portable TV applications. Congress will force the transition to digital for those who still depend on free TV for their viewing. Congress has made the political decision the free OTA television will continue to exist.

Heck, OTA analog was almost perfected before development of it stopped. I have an old Philips Ghost Canceling demo unit that virtually eliminates ghosts on analog signals for those stations broadcasting the GCR reference signal on line 19.

Were you around when FM radio came out? It drifted all over the place and was a royal pain to listen to. Then they started selling receivers with AFC and all of a sudden it was easy to listen to FM. Gads I am dating myself!

I recall reading an article many years ago that stated, without question, that the fastest modem possible over a twisted pair was 2400 baud. We installed a T1 line at our transmitter site last week that uses one twisted pair from Telco.


Quote:


Heck, OTA analog was almost perfected before development of it stopped. I have an old Philips Ghost Canceling demo unit that virtually eliminates ghosts on analog signals for those stations broadcasting the GCR reference signal on line 19.

Back in 1990 when I lived in Richmond, I bought a 35" Mits analog tv. I had a line doubler built-in. On cable it looked terrible as everyone else's did also. It had ghosts on cable channels and herringbone noise. When I moved to Mathews and hooked up my Radio Shack V/U-190 I could not believe the quality of the OTA analog channels from Hampton Roads. I was really mad then knowing that for 5 years I had to view an inferior picture because of crummy cable service. It blew up in 2001 so I bought the digital HD receiver which does not have as good PQ on SD as the Mits analog set. I'm using a 1980 Sylvania 27" in my bedroom now OTA and it has a very good picture.

Harold Jackson
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post #1182 of 6677 Old 02-23-2005, 04:49 PM
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Originally posted by Digitude
This is exactly why the general population will not accept OTA reception as their primary medium. And also why HDTV will stay a novelty for the hard core enthusiast until HD content on cable dramatically improves.

Your right.
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post #1183 of 6677 Old 02-23-2005, 06:27 PM
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Originally posted by Digitude
One of our stations engineers here made a good recommendation to simply take a portable analog TV with you into the attic or onto the roof and tune it to one of our local analog UHF stations. Then peak your antenna to minimize ghosts (multipath distortion) in the picture. UHF is UHF. Your antenna won't care if it is looking at analog or digital frequency. You can probably buy a portable TV for 50 bucks at Walmart or Costco. Way cheaper than an O'scope or spectrum analyzer.

Well, this method might help some, but don't depend on it. I've use it before without much success at my location. A look at the FCC data for each station will tell you why.

Even when digital and analog signals from the same station eminate from the same tower, the do use different antennas, often from different manufacturers, have different directional and non-directional transmission patterns, different power levels, and are located at different elevations on the tower. In fact, WHRO-TV (analog 15) still broadcasts from its older shorter tower, located literally in the "shadow" of, its new 1200 ft candelabra tower which transmits WHRO-DT (digital 16). WTKR-DT and several other DT and TV stations (WTVZ and WPAX) also broadcasts from different prongs of this central candelabra tower. It is several miles away from the tower where WTKR-TV broadcasts its Channel 3 analog signal. Finally, other VHF analog channels (10 and 13) use frequencies so much lower than their UHF DT counterparts, that no analog-to-digital correlation is possible. This is due to the fact that many UHF antennas have drastically different pickup patterns at VHF frequencies, for which they are not designed.
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post #1184 of 6677 Old 02-23-2005, 06:40 PM
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Originally posted by TByronT
Well, this method might help some, but don't depend on it. I've use it before without much success at my location. A look at the FCC data for each station will tell you why.

Even when digital and analog signals from the same station eminate from the same tower, the do use different antennas, often from different manufacturers, have different directional and non-directional transmission patterns, different power levels, and are located at different elevations on the tower. In fact, WHRO-TV (analog 15) still broadcasts from its older shorter tower, located literally in the "shadow" of, its new 1200 ft candelabra tower which transmits WHRO-DT (digital 16). WTKR-DT and several other DT and TV stations (WTVZ and WPAX) also broadcasts from different prongs of this central candelabra tower. It is several miles away from the tower where WTKR-TV broadcasts its Channel 3 analog signal. Finally, other VHF analog channels (10 and 13) use frequencies so much lower than their UHF DT counterparts, that no analog-to-digital correlation is possible. This is due to the fact that many UHF antennas have drastically different pickup patterns at VHF frequencies, for which they are not designed.

I can move my 4228 quite a lot without losing any of the DT stations. Even WTKR-DT with their reduced power. I can also watch 10 and 13 analog using it with a very acceptable picture at 47 miles distance. I still think the problems close in to the towers is too much signal/multi-path. I've played with the rotor and dropped my signals to 35 -40 and still have no problem. Normal is 70's for all except WTKR which is about 52 -54. What that told me is I really don't need a rotor. Just aim it toward the towers and it's fine. One think is curious though I get higher signal readings on FOX-43 than WAVY-10. Probably the antenna design accounts for that.

Harold Jackson
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post #1185 of 6677 Old 02-24-2005, 06:47 AM
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Originally posted by Digitude
This is exactly why the general population will not accept OTA reception as their primary medium. And also why HDTV will stay a novelty for the hard core enthusiast until HD content on cable dramatically improves.

This is my story and I'm sticking to it. The more protracted discussions I read here on antenna placement, the more I'm convinced about this. HDTV will stagnate until its content improves on cable. That's the bottom line. And I don't anticipate any major transition from cable to satellite either. Irrespective of future transmission systems improvements, free space anomalies adhere only to the laws of physics. Average Joe cannot contact his legislator and have these laws changed. People need to start bitching to the politicians about the cable providers...i.e. charging outrageous prices for a lot of crap nobody wants or watches.
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post #1186 of 6677 Old 02-24-2005, 07:00 AM
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I guess we are off subject again so this is my last post about this in this thread.

In a world built on convenience OTA is an anachronism. Heck, many people don't even cook anymore. You can talk about antenna placement and indoor vs. outdoor antennas until hell freezes over, people want the ultimate in convenience. Cable provides that service and whether we like it or not 95% of the people aren't going to fiddle around with antennas anymore! That is a reality.
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post #1187 of 6677 Old 02-24-2005, 07:24 AM
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Originally posted by robertawillisjr
I guess we are off subject again so this is my last post about this in this thread.

In a world built on convenience OTA is an anachronism. Heck, many people don't even cook anymore. You can talk about antenna placement and indoor vs. outdoor antennas until hell freezes over, people want the ultimate in convenience. Cable provides that service and whether we like it or not 95% of the people aren't going to fiddle around with antennas anymore! That is a reality.

If you can imagine DTV working without having to "fiddle" with the antenna I think you will change your mind. Remember, you guys are the early adopters who have bought the expensive stuff that is not really soup yet. When the fifth generation receivers hit the market, go out and take a look at how much better they are!

In just about every area of technology wireless is the future. Why would TV not be a part of that equation? Where is it written that every TV needs to be locked in place and attached to wires? How about in the family van, or in a cell phone or Palm Pilot, or heaven forbid at the campsite or beach?
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post #1188 of 6677 Old 02-24-2005, 07:27 AM
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Originally posted by robertawillisjr
I guess we are off subject again so this is my last post about this in this thread.

In a world built on convenience OTA is an anachronism. Heck, many people don't even cook anymore. You can talk about antenna placement and indoor vs. outdoor antennas until hell freezes over, people want the ultimate in convenience. Cable provides that service and whether we like it or not 95% of the people aren't going to fiddle around with antennas anymore! That is a reality.

At the risk of prolonging this OT thread, I'd like to take issue about people not wanting to fiddle around with antennas anymore. I might agree except for one thing - power outages. It is so great to setup a portable TV with rabbit ears and get a connection to the outside world by watching NTSC stations. I'm afraid this ability will be lost in the digital world and no one seems to care. Chalk it up to the price of progress.
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post #1189 of 6677 Old 02-24-2005, 08:19 AM
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Originally posted by barrysb
At the risk of prolonging this OT thread, I'd like to take issue about people not wanting to fiddle around with antennas anymore. I might agree except for one thing - power outages. It is so great to setup a portable TV with rabbit ears and get a connection to the outside world by watching NTSC stations. I'm afraid this ability will be lost in the digital world and no one seems to care. Chalk it up to the price of progress.


I think you have the idea. In a perfect world having everything controlled by a keypad may be good. We don't have a perfect world and more and more I see from my advancing years the ability to improvise is being lost very quickly because the younger people have been conditioned to just push a key and not to have a need to understand the "mechanics" of what they are doing. That's why people now need calculators and cash registers to figure sales taxes and how much change to give, otherwise most don't have a clue how to figure it.

Even after Isabel we were without power for 17 days, yet I had all my tv services including satellite.

Harold Jackson
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post #1190 of 6677 Old 02-24-2005, 08:51 AM
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Originally posted by George Randell
In just about every area of technology wireless is the future. Why would TV not be a part of that equation? Where is it written that every TV needs to be locked in place and attached to wires? How about in the family van, or in a cell phone or Palm Pilot, or heaven forbid at the campsite or beach?

(begin tongue-in-cheek)

OK, I have the solution (with a touch of Dilbert thrown in): We get our TV signals via cable, pump them in to a converter, send them out of an in-house broadcast antenna, and receive the broadcasts wirelessly on our OTA televisions! The best of both worlds! (Just like my Cox Internet --> cable modem --> wireless router --> wireless computers.)

I'll bet the pointy-haired boss would buy this solution!

(end tongue-in-cheek)

Jay N.
Williamsburg, VA
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post #1191 of 6677 Old 02-24-2005, 09:10 AM
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Originally posted by TJNoffy
OK, I have the solution

I used to work with a guy who lived in Portsmouth, and had some kind of dish system that the signal was transmitted to him locally. The company's installer came out and put the dish on a nearby tree! Didn't work to well.

Anybody else ever hear of this? Maybe some kind of early digital broadcast experiment?
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post #1192 of 6677 Old 02-24-2005, 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by jkhome
I used to work with a guy who lived in Portsmouth, and had some kind of dish system that the signal was transmitted to him locally. The company's installer came out and put the dish on a nearby tree! Didn't work to well.

Anybody else ever hear of this? Maybe some kind of early digital broadcast experiment?

Several years ago some company(s) were offering a microwave type service. I think it was short lived.

Harold Jackson
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post #1193 of 6677 Old 02-24-2005, 09:51 AM
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That must have been it. Dish being mounted on a tree, wonder if any squirrels got "sun-tanned".
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post #1194 of 6677 Old 02-24-2005, 10:54 AM
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Originally posted by George Randell
You are assuming that receivers are as good as they are going to get. A bad assumption.

I have full confidence in receivers getting better. I'm more worried that the pine trees in my yard won't be getting any shorter.
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post #1195 of 6677 Old 02-24-2005, 12:32 PM
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Originally posted by robertawillisjr
I guess we are off subject again so this is my last post about this in this thread.


"Topics should focus on over-the-air digital television or carriage of those signals by third party vendors such as cable or direct broadcast satellite services."

As I read that, no one is off topic.
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post #1196 of 6677 Old 02-24-2005, 08:32 PM
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Is ER on 10-1 all screwed up tonight for everyone else? Looks like my HDTiVo stopped having anything to record at 10:16. I'm still getting a good signal though. Oh well, since I wasn't watching it live I won't bother with it now.
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post #1197 of 6677 Old 02-25-2005, 04:17 AM
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Originally posted by Todd
Is ER on 10-1 all screwed up tonight for everyone else? Looks like my HDTiVo stopped having anything to record at 10:16. I'm still getting a good signal though. Oh well, since I wasn't watching it live I won't bother with it now.

10-1 was having problems for me around 9:45. I quickly switched to 17-1...

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post #1198 of 6677 Old 02-25-2005, 06:24 AM
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Please excuse my ignorance, but I just hooked up my first HDTV and have a few questions. I am using a D* H10 with a channelmaster 4228 in my attic and have scanned for local channels.

My questions are:

1. Why do I get 3 of some channels.. eg WAVY, WAVY-DT, WAVY-HD. Is the DT digital but not high def?

2. Do the DT channels ever broadcast in high def?

3. Does the HD channel always transmit high definition? I assume not because the local news is not in 16:9 format.

4. On my H10 menu, the D* HD programing has a HD icon on the menu. Will this icon appear for the OTA programs that are broadcast in high def?

5. How do I know if i am really getting an HD OTA broadcast?

Appreciate any info you have.
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post #1199 of 6677 Old 02-25-2005, 06:45 AM
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Originally posted by Lou_F
Please excuse my ignorance, but I just hooked up my first HDTV and have a few questions. I am using a D* H10 with a channelmaster 4228 in my attic and have scanned for local channels.

My questions are:

1. Why do I get 3 of some channels.. eg WAVY, WAVY-DT, WAVY-HD. Is the DT digital but not high def?

2. Do the DT channels ever broadcast in high def?

3. Does the HD channel always transmit high definition? I assume not because the local news is not in 16:9 format.

4. On my H10 menu, the D* HD programing has a HD icon on the menu. Will this icon appear for the OTA programs that are broadcast in high def?

5. How do I know if i am really getting an HD OTA broadcast?

Appreciate any info you have.

Welcome!

1. For all locals, except WTVZ/33 and WUND/2, any hi-def programming will be on channel xx-1 (i.e. 13-1). It's on xx-2 for WTVZ (33-2) and WUND (2-2). All other subchannels are in SD (standard definition). If there's no HD programming on xx-1 then you're getting upconverted analog... still looks pretty good.

2. Yes. More and more as time goes by. Only PAX (WPXV/49), isn't doing any HD...

3. No. Only when there's HD programming usually prime-time hours with a few exceptions... Jay Leno at 11:35PM on NBC, Young and The Restless at 12:30PM on CBS, more and sports programming, etc...

4. I have the same box as you but I'm not sure what icon you're referring to. In the H10's guide, it will list in a program's summary if the show is being broadcast in HD.

5. Sometimes you won't. Usually if it's 16x9, then it's HD BUT there are exceptions like the FOX News show at 9AM Sunday mornings. It's 16x9 BUT not hi-def. I believe (please correct me if I'm wrong) some of the stuff on WHRO (15-1) isn't hi-def but letterboxed content. I could be wrong. In WHRO's program summary I haven't seen "HDTV" but have seen many times "letterbox." The guide with the H10 has been pretty accurate for me. Some people might suggest TitanTV.com. Note that it states that some locals do their newscasts in HD. This is incorrect. NO ONE does...

Hope this helps. What OTA channels are you receiving? From your location you should be receiving:

2-1, 2-2, 2-3, 2-4, 2-5
3-1, 3-2
10-1, 10-2, 10-3
13-1, 13-2
15-1, 15-2, 15-3, 15-4
17-1
27-1,
33-1, 33-2
43-1, 43-2
45-1
49-1, 49-2, 49-3, 49-4

Robert F Corbin
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post #1200 of 6677 Old 02-25-2005, 07:15 AM
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Originally posted by Todd
Is ER on 10-1 all screwed up tonight for everyone else? Looks like my HDTiVo stopped having anything to record at 10:16. I'm still getting a good signal though. Oh well, since I wasn't watching it live I won't bother with it now.

Yes, it got hosed about half way through the show, although the signal stayed constant. I switched to 10-2 for a while, checking 10-1 periodically. It came back on 10-1, dropped out again, then came back in 4:3 and eventually back to 16:9 before the end.

Wanna know what happened??

Jay N.
Williamsburg, VA
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