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post #6451 of 7468 Old 01-04-2012, 09:50 PM
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I have a Samsung TXN3075WHF 30" TV that is probably 7 or 8 years old. It says HDTV 1080i Monitor on the front. When I subscribed to TWC digital service I got all of the HD channels in HD. Since I dumped cable and now get my TV programming over the air through a Digital Stream DTV converter box the HD channels are not in HD. Is there an inexpensive way that I can get the OTA HD channels in HD again on this set?
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post #6452 of 7468 Old 01-05-2012, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by MLaurel View Post

I have a Samsung TXN3075WHF 30" TV that is probably 7 or 8 years old. It says HDTV 1080i Monitor on the front. When I subscribed to TWC digital service I got all of the HD channels in HD. Since I dumped cable and now get my TV programming over the air through a Digital Stream DTV converter box the HD channels are not in HD. Is there an inexpensive way that I can get the OTA HD channels in HD again on this set?

According to what I saw here:

http://shopping.yahoo.com/2292852-sa...levision/specs

...that television does have ATSC support. Try connecting the antenna directly to the coax input on the Samsung and then do a channel scan. If the information (per the online manual) is correct, you don't need the converter box at all.

LATER EDIT: There's contradictory information about this television's input capabilities on the web. It may be that the tuner is NTSC only and doesn't have digital capabilities. It's still worth a shot to bypass the converter with a direct connection from the antenna to the F connector on the set. Otherwise, with the prices of new televisions at around $150.00-$200.00, perhaps the Samsung is due for a replacement given its age.
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post #6453 of 7468 Old 01-05-2012, 11:18 AM
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If it says "monitor" on the front, it's probably just a monitor, not a TV set. A monitor of that vintage likely is missing a coaxial cable connector on the back.

There's a rather large thread around here regarding HD converter boxes. You might want to poke around a bit and locate it.

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post #6454 of 7468 Old 01-05-2012, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by coyoteaz View Post

Same thing ABC does on their O&Os, and it's just as stupid here. Just give the bandwidth back to HD and let us enjoy a slightly less molested picture, especially with NBC carrying the Super Bowl this year.

Looks like they took your advice. 5.3 is no longer part of the KXAS lineup. I hope it helps the PQ on 5.1.
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post #6455 of 7468 Old 01-05-2012, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by re_nelson View Post

According to what I saw here:

http://shopping.yahoo.com/2292852-sa...levision/specs

...that television does have ATSC support. Try connecting the antenna directly to the coax input on the Samsung and then do a channel scan. If the information (per the online manual) is correct, you don't need the converter box at all.

LATER EDIT: There's contradictory information about this television's input capabilities on the web. It may be that the tuner is NTSC only and doesn't have digital capabilities. It's still worth a shot to bypass the converter with a direct connection from the antenna to the F connector on the set. Otherwise, with the prices of new televisions at around $150.00-$200.00, perhaps the Samsung is due for a replacement given its age.

I have a small (23") TV like that. It's got HD monitor inputs (component & HDMI) but the tuner is NTSC only If the OP wants HDTV and his TV is like mine, he needs an HD receiver. Converter boxes provide SD outputs only (RF, composite, & maybe S-video).

I haven't shopped for an HD receiver recently, but they used to cost almost as much as a new TV. If that's still true I'd either go with a new TV or a Channel Master DVR (if I could find one). It does everything an ordinary HD receiver does; plus, it's a DVR!
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post #6456 of 7468 Old 01-05-2012, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post


Looks like they took your advice. 5.3 is no longer part of the KXAS lineup. I hope it helps the PQ on 5.1.

Yes we added it back to the main channel, about 13.1m now for our .1 channel.

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post #6457 of 7468 Old 01-05-2012, 06:15 PM
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Looking to dump cable but want to check and see if an indoor antenna would work for me. I live in Flower Mound. The link to myfool.com TV signal analysis results are below:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...7fb9255d5a11a7

When I run the test on antennaweb.org it suggests a yellow antenna (but aren't they trying to sell me stuff)?. Can anyone suggest an antenna on the value side that will have both UHF and VHF (for the abc channel). I'm about 30 miles from the all of the broadcast places in Cedar Hill. I have Verizon Fios for everything right now but want to wean myself off cable but still be able to get the shows I like.
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post #6458 of 7468 Old 01-06-2012, 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Wizsop View Post

Yes we added it back to the main channel, about 13.1m now for our .1 channel.

Yay!

Question for you, are you running some sort of audio range compressor on .1? I've noticed a lot of problems with fluctuating volume levels on sports programming on NBC. Not problems with different levels for different content, but more crowd noise bouncing up and down based on levels in other channels. It's really obvious when watching football with the center channel unplugged. The crowd noises bounces around unnaturally, like it hits a limit and gets knocked down, then goes quiet and the compressor pulls the level back up, which is both annoying and fatiguing to listen to. I know the FCC is making things difficult with the CALM stuff, but if something is in use perhaps it could be backed down a few notches.
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post #6459 of 7468 Old 01-06-2012, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by internet seeker View Post

Looking to dump cable but want to check and see if an indoor antenna would work for me. I live in Flower Mound. The link to myfool.com TV signal analysis results are below:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...7fb9255d5a11a7

When I run the test on antennaweb.org it suggests a yellow antenna (but aren't they trying to sell me stuff)?. Can anyone suggest an antenna on the value side that will have both UHF and VHF (for the abc channel). I'm about 30 miles from the all of the broadcast places in Cedar Hill. I have Verizon Fios for everything right now but want to wean myself off cable but still be able to get the shows I like.

It looks like an indoor antenna should work. I'd probably start with a simple unamplified rabbit ears/loop combo. If that's all you need, great! If the rabbit ears work (for channels 8 & 52) but the loop is too weak for some of the UHF stations, I'd try a Terk HDTVi which has rabbit ears for VHF but a small LPDA for a bit more UHF gain. (The HDTVi is the only Terk model I ever recommend.)

If rabbit ears are too weak for 8 & 52, the Winegard SS-3000 has been highly recommended around here. I haven't tried it myself, but it looks like it should work reasonably well on both VHF and UHF.
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post #6460 of 7468 Old 01-06-2012, 07:55 PM
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Worth a try, but airplane flutter is going to be a real concern with most of Flower Mound having the 4th-busiest airport in the world sitting between it and Cedar Hill. More directionality might be needed to keep things from falling apart every time a place goes by.
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post #6461 of 7468 Old 01-07-2012, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by re_nelson View Post

According to what I saw here:

http://shopping.yahoo.com/2292852-sa...levision/specs

...that television does have ATSC support. Try connecting the antenna directly to the coax input on the Samsung and then do a channel scan. If the information (per the online manual) is correct, you don't need the converter box at all.

LATER EDIT: There's contradictory information about this television's input capabilities on the web. It may be that the tuner is NTSC only and doesn't have digital capabilities. It's still worth a shot to bypass the converter with a direct connection from the antenna to the F connector on the set. Otherwise, with the prices of new televisions at around $150.00-$200.00, perhaps the Samsung is due for a replacement given its age.

When I connect the coax directly to the coax input of the TV I get absolutely nothing. That's why I went out and purchased the Digital Stream converter box. But, the HD channels don't appear to be in HD. That is connecting antenna coax to antenna input on Digital Stream, then coax out of the Digital Stream to coax in of the TV. I connected the A/V outputs of the Digital Stream to A/V inputs of the TV and I get a crisp, clean picture but it still doesn't look like the HD on my Coby digital HD TV in the bedroom. Should the Digital Stream be passing video through in HD or should I just upgrade the old Samsung CRT to a new flat screen when the budget allows?
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post #6462 of 7468 Old 01-07-2012, 07:58 AM
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Yesterday I moved my antenna from the attic to the roof in hopes of picking up stronger signals on some of our favorite channels. I live in South Garland zip code 75041. The signal strength is in the 80's and 90's on most channels. The problem is KXAS, KTVT, KERA, KPXD and KDAF where the signal strength is in the 40's and 50's leading to occasional (and annoying) drop out and pixelation. I have the antenna pointed to approximately 217 degrees. Any ideas?
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post #6463 of 7468 Old 01-07-2012, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

It looks like an indoor antenna should work. I'd probably start with a simple unamplified rabbit ears/loop combo. If that's all you need, great! If the rabbit ears work (for channels 8 & 52) but the loop is too weak for some of the UHF stations, I'd try a Terk HDTVi which has rabbit ears for VHF but a small LPDA for a bit more UHF gain. (The HDTVi is the only Terk model I ever recommend.)

If rabbit ears are too weak for 8 & 52, the Winegard SS-3000 has been highly recommended around here. I haven't tried it myself, but it looks like it should work reasonably well on both VHF and UHF.


I too am in Flower Mound and have an internal mounted antenna. Be warned about the simple "if the cheap antenna works" to make your choice. We moved in just about a year ago and I was amazed at the picture I was getting on the one TV we had brought up from the other house by simply connecting a cheap antenna to the cable up in the attic (this will make sense after reading). I thought I was all set until the trees started to leaf out, the heat ripples started on the roof, the humidity raised, and then there's the water on the roof when it rains (OK, not much of an issue LAST summer ). Also, as someone pointed out, DFW traffic patterns are different in winter and summer (in general)! In April, I did the upgrade below from my cheap antenna

My antenna is in an attic in a rather tall part of a two story house. I've got about a 75-100' run of RG6 to the structured wiring closet. My newer TVs have no problems but one of my older sets (5 year gen 1 flat panel with both NTSC and ATSC tuners) has some issues at times (tuner less sensitive). Even though I followed antennaweb.org for aiming, I still relied on a signal strength meter in the stand-alone tuner for my projector to zero in on the stations and trade offs. I used a wireless webcam and a laptop to see the signal meter on the TV, taking the tuner to various locations/TVs in the house and fine tuned the aiming.

All this was added to replace the cheap antenna idea!!!! I did things in phases to make sure I wasn't over engineering. The original layout was cable to attic, to disti amp, to disti splitters. First added antenna, then pre-amp, ............

I used 1" black pipe and flange to mount the antenna (HD7697P) to the floor keeping it from any solid object on all sides (floor, roof, rafters, ...). I grounded the pole to the water line. At the end of the run from the antenna I use a 4-1 splitter to merge in multiple other VHF/UHF channels from security cameras, taking care to use channels with at least one empty to either side. I used a Channel 3/4 signal combiner with filters to add the DirecTV SD feed from the receiver. I then run to a Channel master amplifier and into the structure wiring. Some of the long runs (100+) out to the workshop and craft room I connect direct to the amplifier. The others go to 8 way distribution splitters. All unused runs are terminated with 75 ohm caps. Hope this helps!

http://www.winegard.com/kbase/upload/1450291.pdf
http://www.channelmaster.com/Televis..._7777_s/92.htm
http://www.channelmaster.com/TV_Spli..._3214_s/99.htm
http://www.altex.com/Channel-3-Signa...3-P142590.aspx
http://www.channelmaster.com/Distrib..._3418_s/94.htm
http://www.channelmaster.com/TV_Spli..._3218_s/98.htm
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=180-255
LL
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post #6464 of 7468 Old 01-07-2012, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLaurel View Post

When I connect the coax directly to the coax input of the TV I get absolutely nothing.

Further research reveals that although your Samsung unit has ATSC (digital) video format capabilities, the tuner is capable only of NTSC (analog). That's why no channels are detected since analog broadcasting is essentially gone in our market (aside from a couple of low power foreign language outlets).

Quote:
That's why I went out and purchased the Digital Stream converter box. But, the HD channels don't appear to be in HD. That is connecting antenna coax to antenna input on Digital Stream, then coax out of the Digital Stream to coax in of the TV. I connected the A/V outputs of the Digital Stream to A/V inputs of the TV and I get a crisp, clean picture but it still doesn't look like the HD on my Coby digital HD TV in the bedroom.

You and I probably have the same converter, a DTX-9950. That device outputs only standard definition. It's a great tuner and the picture is sharp but is not HDTV. It is what it is.

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Should the Digital Stream be passing video through in HD or should I just upgrade the old Samsung CRT to a new flat screen when the budget allows?

Although there are HDTV-capable converters available, given the age of your Samsung and the falling prices of new televisions, I'd hold on for now and start shopping for a new set. The newer sets have better tuners and additional features beyond what was available seven or eight years ago.
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post #6465 of 7468 Old 01-07-2012, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by re_nelson View Post

Further research reveals that although your Samsung unit has ATSC (digital) video format capabilities, the tuner is capable only of NTSC (analog). That's why no channels are detected since analog broadcasting is essentially gone in our market (aside from a couple of low power foreign language outlets).



You and I probably have the same converter, a DTX-9950. That device outputs only standard definition. It's a great tuner and the picture is sharp but is not HDTV. It is what it is.



Although there are HDTV-capable converters available, given the age of your Samsung and the falling prices of new televisions, I'd hold on for now and start shopping for a new set. The newer sets have better tuners and additional features beyond what was available seven or eight years ago.


Are you by chance a DirecTV customer? If so and have an HD package, you MAY be able to get them to provide an AM21 for free. This will add OTA stations to your DTV receiver channels and thus to your TV. Only other option is as said, buy an ATSC tuner or a new TV. The tuners are <$100
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post #6466 of 7468 Old 01-07-2012, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by rakstr View Post

Are you by chance a DirecTV customer? If so and have an HD package, you MAY be able to get them to provide an AM21 for free. This will add OTA stations to your DTV receiver channels and thus to your TV. Only other option is as said, buy an ATSC tuner or a new TV. The tuners are <$100

Not a DirecTV customer, just OTA local TV. Think I'll just wait until the budget allows and spring for a new set sometime in the not too distant future.
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post #6467 of 7468 Old 01-09-2012, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by MLaurel View Post

When I connect the coax directly to the coax input of the TV I get absolutely nothing. That's why I went out and purchased the Digital Stream converter box. But, the HD channels don't appear to be in HD. That is connecting antenna coax to antenna input on Digital Stream, then coax out of the Digital Stream to coax in of the TV. I connected the A/V outputs of the Digital Stream to A/V inputs of the TV and I get a crisp, clean picture but it still doesn't look like the HD on my Coby digital HD TV in the bedroom. Should the Digital Stream be passing video through in HD or should I just upgrade the old Samsung CRT to a new flat screen when the budget allows?

It therefore stands to reason that your TV's tuner doesn't work with ATSC (the new digital transmission standard). So to get HDTV you'll need an HD receiver (or a new TV), not a converter box. Converter boxes receive the ATSC signals but output only standard definition.

Unfortunately true HD receivers are getting harder to find. Amazon.com still has a few used Samsung DTBH260F HD receivers (the model I used before it died), but they're $150. (Heck, it was only $179 brand-new!) And I can't even find the Channel Master CM7000-PAL DVR anymore. I think I got one of the last ones.

So your best option is probably to settle for standard definition until you're ready to buy a new TV.
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post #6468 of 7468 Old 01-09-2012, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by rakstr View Post

I too am in Flower Mound and have an internal mounted antenna. Be warned about the simple "if the cheap antenna works" to make your choice. We moved in just about a year ago and I was amazed at the picture I was getting on the one TV we had brought up from the other house by simply connecting a cheap antenna to the cable up in the attic (this will make sense after reading). I thought I was all set until the trees started to leaf out....

Point taken. I should've noted that an antenna that works in the fall/winter may not work so well in the spring/summer when the wind starts blowing on those leafy tree limbs, especially since I live in a neighborhood with serious tree problems myself

At least I don't have air traffic issues! My first thought in combating that issue is an antenna with good vertical directivity. Unfortunately those antennas tend to be either tall or multi-element LPDAs or Yagis; not the sort of thing you'd want indoors.

So in Flower Mound, you may be stuck with an attic/rooftop antenna even though you "shouldn't" need one. But at least if you "invest" in a rabbit ears/loop combo and it stops working in the spring, you haven't lost too much
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post #6469 of 7468 Old 01-09-2012, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by MLaurel View Post

Yesterday I moved my antenna from the attic to the roof in hopes of picking up stronger signals on some of our favorite channels. I live in South Garland zip code 75041. The signal strength is in the 80's and 90's on most channels. The problem is KXAS, KTVT, KERA, KPXD and KDAF where the signal strength is in the 40's and 50's leading to occasional (and annoying) drop out and pixelation. I have the antenna pointed to approximately 217 degrees. Any ideas?

You live close to where I do; you're a bit further north it appears but other than that not much difference. 217 degrees on a compass is about right. You may need to adjust it a bit to "peek around" local obstructions, though.

What antenna do you have? Mine is a CM-3020 which is admittedly overkill. I bought it back when KHPK-LP was on RF 3 and actually had something worth watching; by the time I got it up, all that was left on RF 3 were infomercials . Now RF 3 is totally gone & I could make do with an Antennacraft HBU-44 or even a -33.

I'm not surprised you're having trouble with KERA but I am surprised you're having trouble with the others, especially KDAF which routinely pegs 100 on my stingy Philco STB signal meter. Could you be over-amplifying the signal? I do use an amp but then I'm splitting the signal four ways
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post #6470 of 7468 Old 01-09-2012, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

Point taken. I should've noted that an antenna that works in the fall/winter may not work so well in the spring/summer when the wind starts blowing on those leafy tree limbs, especially since I live in a neighborhood with serious tree problems myself

OTOH, if you "invest" in a rabbit ears/loop combo and it stops working, you haven't lost too much

I actually took one of those monopole slip on FM antennas you often get with A/V Receivers and BOOM, everything was amazing (in February). Look at what i ended up with in the Spring

Didn't mean to diminish or poke any bears!!!!! Typical engineer in me just spits out responses at times... You know, forget about the warning sign that says, "Engage brain before mouth "
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post #6471 of 7468 Old 01-09-2012, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rakstr View Post

I actually took one of those monopole slip on FM antennas you often get with A/V Receivers and BOOM, everything was amazing (in February). Look at what i ended up with in the Spring

Didn't mean to diminish or poke any bears!!!!! Typical engineer in me just spits out responses at times... You know, forget about the warning sign that says, "Engage brain before mouth "

That's the good thing about forums (fora?) like this: If one of us forgets about something, there's a pretty good chance someone else will spot it (especially if they've had personal experience )

I guess the worst thing would be for the OP to spend $50 on a "better" indoor antenna, and then things still dissolve into a mass of pixels every time another airplane flies over the signal path.
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post #6472 of 7468 Old 01-09-2012, 12:14 PM
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Thanks rakstr and JHBrandt for the replies. Although it may not work, I think I will try the cheap idea first. I am towards the south-end of flower mound (2499 and 3040) and not in a low elevation area, so who knows, might work. If not I can always return the product. I'm excited to try. Besides the Terk HDTVi, any other recommendations for the "cheap" route?
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post #6473 of 7468 Old 01-09-2012, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteaz View Post

Yay!

Question for you, are you running some sort of audio range compressor on .1? I've noticed a lot of problems with fluctuating volume levels on sports programming on NBC. Not problems with different levels for different content, but more crowd noise bouncing up and down based on levels in other channels. It's really obvious when watching football with the center channel unplugged. The crowd noises bounces around unnaturally, like it hits a limit and gets knocked down, then goes quiet and the compressor pulls the level back up, which is both annoying and fatiguing to listen to. I know the FCC is making things difficult with the CALM stuff, but if something is in use perhaps it could be backed down a few notches.

We do a small amount of limiting of the overall to keep the commercials from going out of control but that is all, I would say what you are hearing is probably coming from network that way.

NBC Engineering
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post #6474 of 7468 Old 01-09-2012, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

You live close to where I do; you're a bit further north it appears but other than that not much difference. 217 degrees on a compass is about right. You may need to adjust it a bit to "peek around" local obstructions, though.

What antenna do you have? Mine is a CM-3020 which is admittedly overkill. I bought it back when KHPK-LP was on RF 3 and actually had something worth watching; by the time I got it up, all that was left on RF 3 were infomercials . Now RF 3 is totally gone & I could make do with an Antennacraft HBU-44 or even a -33.

I'm not surprised you're having trouble with KERA but I am surprised you're having trouble with the others, especially KDAF which routinely pegs 100 on my stingy Philco STB signal meter. Could you be over-amplifying the signal? I do use an amp but then I'm splitting the signal four ways

I have a Antennacraft 5884. Even though the signal strength on KERA is around 58, it holds pretty steady most of the time with little fluctuation. We watch KXAS and KTVT a lot so there's a lot of complaining and cursing when they start dropping out. KXAS is currently fluctuating between 39 and 44 with occasional audio drop out and pixelation. KTVT is currently fluctuating between 34 and 40 with frequent drop outs which is a huge disappointment because it means watching Hawaii Five-0 will be a challenge at the very least. KDAF is holding pretty steady at around 59. When I moved the antenna to the roof I tried bypassing the amp but didn't get any signal to speak of on KXAS, KTVT and KPXD. So, yes I am going through an amp. Do you think it would help to point the antenna a few degrees more to the south?
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post #6475 of 7468 Old 01-09-2012, 08:09 PM
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Speaking of audio limiting and levels, I've noticed Ch 5's audio usually sounds a little lower than the other major channels, Ch 11 is louder, and if you happen to tune to Ch 29.1 KMPX hold on to your ears they must be +10dB over the average.
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post #6476 of 7468 Old 01-11-2012, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ed_in_tx View Post

Speaking of audio limiting and levels, I've noticed Ch 5's audio usually sounds a little lower than the other major channels, Ch 11 is louder, and if you happen to tune to Ch 29.1 KMPX hold on to your ears they must be +10dB over the average.

It's too bad ATSC tuners, converter boxes, etc. don't remember volume settings independently for each station. Such a simple feature would save us viewers a lot of irritation.
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post #6477 of 7468 Old 01-11-2012, 02:04 PM
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It's too bad ATSC tuners, converter boxes, etc. don't remember volume settings independently for each station. Such a simple feature would save us viewers a lot of irritation.

Yep a "volume trim" for each channel would be handy.
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post #6478 of 7468 Old 01-11-2012, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by MLaurel View Post

I have a Antennacraft 5884. Even though the signal strength on KERA is around 58, it holds pretty steady most of the time with little fluctuation. We watch KXAS and KTVT a lot so there's a lot of complaining and cursing when they start dropping out. KXAS is currently fluctuating between 39 and 44 with occasional audio drop out and pixelation. KTVT is currently fluctuating between 34 and 40 with frequent drop outs which is a huge disappointment because it means watching Hawaii Five-0 will be a challenge at the very least. KDAF is holding pretty steady at around 59. When I moved the antenna to the roof I tried bypassing the amp but didn't get any signal to speak of on KXAS, KTVT and KPXD. So, yes I am going through an amp. Do you think it would help to point the antenna a few degrees more to the south?

Well, let's see. Let's forget about KERA for the moment. They are having some issues that will hopefully be resolved soon. We can come back to them then.

At first glance the 5884 looks good on VHF but a little weak on UHF, which may explain your problems. (It was probably designed back in the "analog era" when folks didn't care about UHF as much.) I'm guessing the direct path from Cedar Hill to your home is partially blocked. If so, a reflected signal may be nearly as strong and may interfere with the direct signal. I know that's a lot of "may's" but since the signal levels are not only weak but also fluctuating I think I'm on the right track.

Yes, the easiest thing to try is to rotate the antenna. Move it toward the south a bit and recheck all the troublesome stations. If you get improvement on most of them, move it a bit more and check yet again. If things get worse, try moving the antenna in the other direction. There's a lot of trial and error involved, but the idea is to find the orientation that maximizes one signal relative to the others arriving at your antenna. (One more thing: you may have to re-tweak everything in May after all the trees leaf out.)

If that still doesn't help enough, check all your cables & connections. You may have nothing more serious than a bad cable or balun! Try connecting a portable battery-operated TV in place of your amp; if things are OK there, there's a problem "downstream" somewhere and you can keep moving the portable TV downstream until you find where the signal goes bad. If things are still bad at the amp, move upstream instead.

If you can't get a good signal even on the roof using nothing but your antenna, a short cable, and a portable TV (only try this in good weather, please!), then the only things left to try are moving the antenna or replacing it. Moving the antenna will change the relationship between the direct signal and any reflections, which could improve your signal considerably.

If nothing else works and you decide to replace the antenna, you will get plenty of good recommendations on this board! Since we don't have VHF-Lo in DFW my personal favorites are: the Antennacraft HBU series (even an HBU-22 should work where we live), available at Radio Shack; the Channel Master 2018 or 2020, available at Fry's; or the Winegard 7696 or 7698, also at Fry's. The Channel Master 4228HD (Fry's again) is also good, but it's a panel-style antenna. It's a bit weak on VHF-Hi but should be adequate for WFAA and KFWD, which have relatively strong signals in Garland.
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post #6479 of 7468 Old 01-11-2012, 06:22 PM
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So I go the Terk HDTVi from Amazon, hooked it up to the TV, and started watching local stations. After a little positioning work, I was able to get 75-92% from the stations I care about (NBC, CBS, FOX, CW, ION and even ABC). I'm getting 87% strength from ABC with the VHF rabbit ears down (not extended)...and that is the channel I was worried about. I have the antenna about 4 ft off the ground.

I did notice that many things affected the quality of the signal. It was more sensitive than I would have thought. I didn't like the fact that when someone walked by it or the computer was on in the room the signal got worse. I could see the need to have it away from all of the potential interference that could happen in a family room.

Anyways, I just wanted to test to see if it would work 30 miles from the antenna farm in Cedar Hill (I'm in Flower Mound) for my plan to slowly cut the cable.
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post #6480 of 7468 Old 01-11-2012, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

Well, let's see. Let's forget about KERA for the moment. They are having some issues that will hopefully be resolved soon. We can come back to them then.

At first glance the 5884 looks good on VHF but a little weak on UHF, which may explain your problems. (It was probably designed back in the "analog era" when folks didn't care about UHF as much.) I'm guessing the direct path from Cedar Hill to your home is partially blocked. If so, a reflected signal may be nearly as strong and may interfere with the direct signal. I know that's a lot of "may's" but since the signal levels are not only weak but also fluctuating I think I'm on the right track.

Yes, the easiest thing to try is to rotate the antenna. Move it toward the south a bit and recheck all the troublesome stations. If you get improvement on most of them, move it a bit more and check yet again. If things get worse, try moving the antenna in the other direction. There's a lot of trial and error involved, but the idea is to find the orientation that maximizes one signal relative to the others arriving at your antenna. (One more thing: you may have to re-tweak everything in May after all the trees leaf out.)

If that still doesn't help enough, check all your cables & connections. You may have nothing more serious than a bad cable or balun! Try connecting a portable battery-operated TV in place of your amp; if things are OK there, there's a problem "downstream" somewhere and you can keep moving the portable TV downstream until you find where the signal goes bad. If things are still bad at the amp, move upstream instead.

If you can't get a good signal even on the roof using nothing but your antenna, a short cable, and a portable TV (only try this in good weather, please!), then the only things left to try are moving the antenna or replacing it. Moving the antenna will change the relationship between the direct signal and any reflections, which could improve your signal considerably.

If nothing else works and you decide to replace the antenna, you will get plenty of good recommendations on this board! Since we don't have VHF-Lo in DFW my personal favorites are: the Antennacraft HBU series (even an HBU-22 should work where we live), available at Radio Shack; the Channel Master 2018 or 2020, available at Fry's; or the Winegard 7696 or 7698, also at Fry's. The Channel Master 4228HD (Fry's again) is also good, but it's a panel-style antenna. It's a bit weak on VHF-Hi but should be adequate for WFAA and KFWD, which have relatively strong signals in Garland.

Thanks for the tips. I'll give them a try when the wind stops blowing and its safe to get up on the roof again. I was wondering if I would have to revisit this project when all the trees leaf out in the Spring. We live in an older area of Garland with LOTS of very mature trees. Do you think going up higher could help? I could get a longer mast and go up another two or three feet.
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