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post #6481 of 7364 Old 01-12-2012, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by internet seeker View Post

... 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....

Yes, I suspect that will be a problem with any indoor antenna. TV signals bounce off of people's bodies and interfere with the direct signal.... As folks move around the receiver has to constantly adjust, and can't always keep up.

I'm surprised the computer being on has an effect. A computer shouldn't radiate much interference in the VHF or UHF bands. Perhaps it's due to the person using the computer, particularly if they're seated near the antenna.

Tree limbs cause a similar problem when they blow in the wind, especially if they're leafed out. Trees are so much taller than people that they affect indoor and outdoor antennas both, but outdoor antennas have higher directivity so they reject more of the reflections. That's why we were wondering if you might eventually have to go with an outdoor antenna even though the TV signals are strong enough for an indoor antenna to work OK.

Glad to hear WFAA is working OK. Anyway, your best defense is to set the antenna up high and away from where anyone might sit. Perhaps you can put it on a tall bookshelf near your TV.
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post #6482 of 7364 Old 01-12-2012, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by MLaurel View Post

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.

With VHF we used to say "the higher the better," but I suspect you're already getting WFAA and KFWD fine.

To be sure it would help with UHF, you'd have to get the antenna high enough to clear most of the trees. But if your neighborhood is like mine, that's a pretty tall order (ha ha). Luckily Garland is one of the few communities that will let you "go high" if you wish. But beware of safety issues - in my neighborhood the power lines are underground so that's not a concern, but if you have overhead power lines make sure there's no way the antenna can fall onto them! People die every year from this kind of mishap.

Since trees are different heights, raising the antenna even 2 or 3 feet may help, but less predictably. You may have to just slide the antenna up and down until you find the "sweet spot" that works best for you. And changing the height can change the optimal aim point. I'd probably try to optimize the height first, keeping the aim at 217 degrees, then optimize the aim once I'd settled on the height.
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post #6483 of 7364 Old 01-19-2012, 09:26 PM
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It's probably widely known to most in this forum, but in case you missed it, here's a press release from London Broadcasting Company (LBC) concerning their plans for KTXD/47 (RF-46):

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/lon...ion-2012-01-19

Notable is this paragraph: "LBC has entered into a long-term affiliation agreement with Weigel Broadcasting Company, and in February 2012, KTXD will become a "Me-TV" affiliate. Me-TV features a wide range of programming that audiences find comfortable and engaging. Me-TV's library includes many acclaimed series from Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution, CBS Television Distribution and NBCUniversal Television. Me-TV's line-up includes some of the most beloved television programs ever produced, now in syndication, including: M*A*S*H, Cheers, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Gunsmoke, Star Trek and Hawaii Five-O."
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post #6484 of 7364 Old 01-20-2012, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by re_nelson View Post

It's probably widely known to most in this forum, but in case you missed it, here's a press release from London Broadcasting Company (LBC) concerning their plans for KTXD/47 (RF-46):

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/lon...ion-2012-01-19

Notable is this paragraph: "LBC has entered into a long-term affiliation agreement with Weigel Broadcasting Company, and in February 2012, KTXD will become a "Me-TV" affiliate. Me-TV features a wide range of programming that audiences find comfortable and engaging. Me-TV's library includes many acclaimed series from Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution, CBS Television Distribution and NBCUniversal Television. Me-TV's line-up includes some of the most beloved television programs ever produced, now in syndication, including: M*A*S*H, Cheers, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Gunsmoke, Star Trek and Hawaii Five-O."

This is fantastic news! Of all the retro stations, Me-TV has the best (IMHO) lineup of vintage programming. Very much like WGN's lineup back in the 60's and early 70's that I was brought up on. Can't wait!

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the south-western quadrant of the Greater Krum, TX  Metropolitan Area. 

 

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post #6485 of 7364 Old 01-21-2012, 10:47 AM
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That's great news. I agree, of all the Classic/Retro Networks, Me-TV offers the best lineup. And it will be on 47.1 meaning Cable and Satellite will carry for all. Hoping the move comes on Feb 1st.

I noticed that there is some sort of partnership with Weigel Broadcasting who also owns Bounce as well as This-TV. Wonder if KTXD will be also picking up Bounce and if This-TV may move from 33.2 at some later point. Should This-TV move, what would 33.2 use as a replacement, something different like The Country Network or would they try to steal RTV?
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post #6486 of 7364 Old 01-21-2012, 11:09 AM
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Weigel has no ownership stake in Bounce, so far as I know.

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post #6487 of 7364 Old 01-21-2012, 12:22 PM
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Tribune is by far the largest affiliation deal that Weigel has for This TV. I wouldn't count on KDAF or any other Tribune station losing it unless Tribune decides not to renew the agreement whenever their "long term" deal signed in 2010 expires.
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post #6488 of 7364 Old 01-21-2012, 03:53 PM
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Trip in VA, my comment is based on Wikipedia which shows Weigel Broadcasting having 3 Network's: Me-TV, This TV & Bounce TV.

I understand little about the complicated world of television affilications and hope learn from this site. In the mean time I continue to hope RTV moves to a better signal and the Band continues to add more Networks.
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post #6489 of 7364 Old 01-21-2012, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr L View Post

Wonder if KTXD will be also picking up Bounce and if This-TV may move from 33.2 at some later point. Should This-TV move, what would 33.2 use as a replacement, something different like The Country Network or would they try to steal RTV?

I had the same thought. Even if the odds are against it, I hope KTXD can get KDAF to transfer This. As an SD-only station KTXD can give This much more bandwidth than KDAF does.

This is nearly unwatchable on KDAF. I would hope that if KDAF lets it go, they don't replace it with anything - or at least, nothing more demanding of bandwidth than a weather channel.
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post #6490 of 7364 Old 01-24-2012, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr L View Post

Trip in VA, my comment is based on Wikipedia which shows Weigel Broadcasting having 3 Network's: Me-TV, This TV & Bounce TV.

That could be a mistake. The Weigel Broadcasting article lists Bounce TV as owned by Weigel, but the Bounce TV article lists its owners as Andrew Young, MLK III, and Andrew Young III; and doesn't mention Weigel at all. And the Weigel Broadcasting article doesn't mention Bounce other than that listing (and as being aired on a couple of Weigel-owned stations).

I didn't change the Wikipedia article because I know nothing about it, but I'd invite anyone who better knows the relationship between Weigel and Bounce TV (or lack thereof) to make the appropriate updates on Wikipedia.

Incidentally, the Bounce TV article implies a possibility that Bounce may become a subchannel of several My Network affiliates. In DFW's case that'd be KDFI/27. We'll see.
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post #6491 of 7364 Old 02-03-2012, 02:45 PM
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I stumbled upon this forum and thread and am hoping you guys with way more experience can help me out. Recently ditched cable, but still want to get the networks.

I recently moved to right outside downtown dallas and currently live on the 5th floor of a massive brick and concrete building. I live on the east side of the building, and from what I can tell all the towers broadcast from west of me, meaning I don't have a clear shot of the signal.

I just went onto Amazon and looked up indoor antennas and picked up the Mohu Leaf. Got a ton of channels, however, most I don't care about. I could never get all of the network channels. i.e. I'd get ABC, and CBS, but not FOX, and NBC would be intermittent. I could adjust it, but then I'd lose ABC, but get NBC, etc. I tried installing an amplifier, didn't really do much.

So I ordered at clearstream 2, which looked a larger and seemed it might get better reception. Hasn't really made anything better. I absolutely must have an indoor antenna b/c of where I live.

From just browsing the thread, I'm wondering if the wineguard SS-3000 might be worth a shot. Seems it is recommended. One of the top reviews mentioned living in a city with concrete and brick buildings all around, which is my situation right now.

Any other advice would be greatly recommended. I'm enjoying saving $100 not having cable, but not being able to watch the networks is going to be a deal breaker with the wife, especially when the olympics are on.
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post #6492 of 7364 Old 02-03-2012, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

With VHF we used to say "the higher the better," but I suspect you're already getting WFAA and KFWD fine.

To be sure it would help with UHF, you'd have to get the antenna high enough to clear most of the trees. But if your neighborhood is like mine, that's a pretty tall order (ha ha). Luckily Garland is one of the few communities that will let you "go high" if you wish. But beware of safety issues - in my neighborhood the power lines are underground so that's not a concern, but if you have overhead power lines make sure there's no way the antenna can fall onto them! People die every year from this kind of mishap.

Since trees are different heights, raising the antenna even 2 or 3 feet may help, but less predictably. You may have to just slide the antenna up and down until you find the "sweet spot" that works best for you. And changing the height can change the optimal aim point. I'd probably try to optimize the height first, keeping the aim at 217 degrees, then optimize the aim once I'd settled on the height.


I finally found the time to get up on the roof and make some adjustments. I took a little TV up on the roof so that I could make adjustments using the signal strength meter on the digital converter box. I twisted the antenna around until I had all channels pulling in 87%-97% signal strength. Apparently I'm losing signal down the coax from the roof to the splitter in the attic. Most stations have a much stronger signal than before except for KXAS and KERA. KERA holds steady at around 55% with practically no drop outs...I can live with that. KXAS drifts up and down between 40%-45% even dropping below 40% regularly with picture loss and the "Weak Signal" message appearing on the screen. I do have the coax plugged into an amp before it goes to the splitter. Without the amp there was no KXAS or KERA at all. What now?
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post #6493 of 7364 Old 02-03-2012, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by MLaurel View Post

I finally found the time to get up on the roof and make some adjustments. I took a little TV up on the roof so that I could make adjustments using the signal strength meter on the digital converter box. I twisted the antenna around until I had all channels pulling in 87%-97% signal strength. Apparently I'm losing signal down the coax from the roof to the splitter in the attic.

How about a reminder about the antenna model your using?

Quote:


Most stations have a much stronger signal than before except for KXAS and KERA. KERA holds steady at around 55% with practically no drop outs...I can live with that. KXAS drifts up and down between 40%-45% even dropping below 40% regularly with picture loss and the "Weak Signal" message appearing on the screen.

Don't worry about the reading on KERA. Many consumer signal meters will show it to be below all of the rest. That's because of the aggressive filtering that all stations on RF-14 have to do.

KXAS is another matter since it ought to be solid, with one of the better signals in the market. How well do you get its sister station, KXTX (Telmundo) on channel 39? They're on the same tower at Cedar Hill and the reception ought to be nearly identical for these two co-owned, co-located facilities.

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I do have the coax plugged into an amp before it goes to the splitter. Without the amp there was no KXAS or KERA at all. What now?

Were these two among the stations that were reading strong on the roof? If so, I'd recommend a preamp mounted as near to the antenna as possible. If you're using a preamp that's located after the coax cable run, you're amplifying the signal after it has been degraded.

There are a number of preamps where the power supply can be used indoors with the preamp module itself located at the antenna. The power travels up the coax to the preamp module. Some of the ones I've used of this type are:

AntennasDirect CPA19
ChannelMaster CM-7777
KitzTech KT-200
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post #6494 of 7364 Old 02-03-2012, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by blueapplepaste View Post

So I ordered at clearstream 2, which looked a larger and seemed it might get better reception. Hasn't really made anything better. I absolutely must have an indoor antenna b/c of where I live.

Please post your TV Fool results so that we can better determine your location and the signal paths from Cedar Hill. Your address will remain confidential but important information such as bearing, noise margin and more will help everyone here offer informed advice.

I will mention that the ClearStream 2 is a very good antenna. I had it for several weeks before graduating to its bigger brother, the ClearStream 4. Even here in Frisco at 40 miles out, the ClearStream 2 got everything (including WFAA and KFWD, both on VHF and the little low power stations as well) when I located it in my attic.

Visit www.tvfool.com, select ">> Click HERE <<" and then follow the rest of the instructions.
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post #6495 of 7364 Old 02-04-2012, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

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.

Actually, all transmitted ATSC digital signals do have an absolute audio reference level (programmed into the PSIP data). And under the new federal CALM Act which adopted and incorporated the ATSC audio standard, ALL "peak/average" audio levels relative to the type of the audio content are set at -24 db, a 7 db offset to the theoretical -31 db output of an ATSC receive tuner. This offset is maintained at the receiver end of the process. For instance, in the past, many stations had -27 db as the reference "peak/average" level which the receive tuner would automatically reduce by 4 db to achieve the -31 db output specification.

The psychoacoustic aspects and processing aspects of audio make achieving constant average audio levels as heard by each individual's ears and interpreted by their brain between different types of programming much less between stations very difficult. However, the new law/regulations are now in effect with hard enforcement by the FCC expected to first occur this December (2012).

The proper level relative to the program content from content providers to transmission must be maintained. However, transitioning from a quiet dialogue program segment to a "bright" commercial will always be challenging. The only way to achieve that with level volume to an individual's ears/brain is with heavy intrusive audio processing which will almost always destroy the dynamic range and/or tonal balance content of the programming. And yet the dynamic range capabilities of the ATSC Dolby AC-3 digital audio system is one of its greatest attributes.

Which way do you want it? Which way do we want it? All of us in the industry struggle with that question.
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post #6496 of 7364 Old 02-05-2012, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by re_nelson View Post

Please post your TV Fool results so that we can better determine your location and the signal paths from Cedar Hill. Your address will remain confidential but important information such as bearing, noise margin and more will help everyone here offer informed advice.

I will mention that the ClearStream 2 is a very good antenna. I had it for several weeks before graduating to its bigger brother, the ClearStream 4. Even here in Frisco at 40 miles out, the ClearStream 2 got everything (including WFAA and KFWD, both on VHF and the little low power stations as well) when I located it in my attic.

Sure thing, here are my results. Again, I am on the east side of the building I live in, so I don't have a clear line of sight. Even still, being as close as I am, it seems as though I should be having better luck.

And the Clearstream does seem nice, I'm jsut not sure if there's a better one out there for my situation? Thanks for the reply and information!
LL
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post #6497 of 7364 Old 02-05-2012, 07:49 AM
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If you are in a brick, stone, concrete, or other such structure that includes ether masonry or steel, you are at the mercy of the building, not the antenna. If you're on the "wrong" side of the building, you might just as well assume you're SOL unless you get lucky and can catch a reflection off something outside.

The SS3000 would likely do best on the single VHF channel you have (WFAA) over the stock C2, but the C2 would overall do better that the SS3000 on the UHF reception. Adding the C2 VHF upgrade kit and the indoor Variable Line Amp from AD and you have about as good an indoor antenna (albeit expensive) as can be had for its relative size.
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post #6498 of 7364 Old 02-05-2012, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post

...the single VHF channel you have (WFAA)....

There's also KFWD/52 on VHF (channel 9). Its programming has gotten far better of late and might be worthwhile to get along with WFAA on virtual and actual channel 8.

(And of course, KTVT/11 continues its simulcast on RF-11 as well as RF-19. Actually 11 is is licensed facility and 19 is operating on an STA that's been around since August 2009).

In any case, blueapplepaste is a mile from the center of downtown Dallas (as shown by the distance to KLEG, atop the Bank of America Building). As you said, facing east when Cedar Hill is to the southwest is going to be a real hit-or-miss challenge for OTA. The signals are plenty hot from Cedar Hill but I can imagine at how distorted the 8VSB spectrum must appear being on the "other" (non-LOS) side, fighting metal in the structure and the multiple reflections from nearby buildings.
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post #6499 of 7364 Old 02-05-2012, 01:11 PM
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I am helping out my grandfather with his new HDTV remotely and he lives near Dallas (I am in Colorado). He actually lives in Malakoff which is in between Athens and Corsicana if you arent familar with it. If I believe the antennaweb.org, they look to be 60-75mi from the broadcast antenna location.

My basic question is about the range of those signals. Should I expect them to pick them up with a basic powered antenna?

I apologize if this has been written on in the 217 pages of this thread and I cant seem to drill down enough on a search.

Many thanks for the assistance!
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post #6500 of 7364 Old 02-05-2012, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by HateNewNHL View Post

I am helping out my grandfather with his new HDTV remotely and he lives near Dallas (I am in Colorado). He actually lives in Malakoff which is in between Athens and Corsicana if you arent familar with it. If I believe the antennaweb.org, they look to be 60-75mi from the broadcast antenna location.

My basic question is about the range of those signals. Should I expect them to pick them up with a basic powered antenna?

Most of us greatly prefer TV Fool over the dubious antennaweb (notorious for its incorrect database of facilities). In general, Malakoff appears to be well situated for receiving Cedar Hill facilities:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...0b869caa0467f8

I'd try either an AntennaCraft HBU-44 (available at Radio Shack) or a Winegard HD7696P (often found at Frys). Put it high and outside and aim it at Cedar Hill. I wouldn't even bother with the stations in Tyler/Longview/Jacksonville.

Unless there's loss in the coax run from the antenna to the receiver, a preamp isn't a must. If you do opt for a preamp, get one where the power supply is a separate unit from the actual preamp module so that the latter can be located at the antenna itself.

Here's my list of preamps I've used successfully:

AntennasDirect CPA19
ChannelMaster CM-7777
KitzTech KT-200

(That's my final post for the day -- the Super Bowl is nigh. See you all much later).
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post #6501 of 7364 Old 02-05-2012, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by re_nelson View Post

Most of us greatly prefer TV Fool over the dubious antennaweb (notorious for its incorrect database of facilities). In general, Malakoff appears to be well situated for receiving Cedar Hill facilities:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...0b869caa0467f8

I'd try either an AntennaCraft HBU-44 (available at Radio Shack) or a Winegard HD7696P (often found at Frys). Put it high and outside and aim it at Cedar Hill. I wouldn't even bother with the stations in Tyler/Longview/Jacksonville.

Unless there's loss in the coax run from the antenna to the receiver, a preamp isn't a must. If you do opt for a preamp, get one where the power supply is a separate unit from the actual preamp module so that the latter can be located at the antenna itself.

Here's my list of preamps I've used successfully:

AntennasDirect CPA19
ChannelMaster CM-7777
KitzTech KT-200

(That's my final post for the day -- the Super Bowl is nigh. See you all much later).

Thanks so much for the fast reply. Tvfool is indicating I likely need a roof/attic mount for most signals but that is not exactly plausible due to his age. What would you guess would be my success with a powered indoor antenna? I dont know the topology in that area but I expect it to be mostly flat but I could be wrong.
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post #6502 of 7364 Old 02-05-2012, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post

If you are in a brick, stone, concrete, or other such structure that includes ether masonry or steel, you are at the mercy of the building, not the antenna. If you're on the "wrong" side of the building, you might just as well assume you're SOL unless you get lucky and can catch a reflection off something outside.

The SS3000 would likely do best on the single VHF channel you have (WFAA) over the stock C2, but the C2 would overall do better that the SS3000 on the UHF reception. Adding the C2 VHF upgrade kit and the indoor Variable Line Amp from AD and you have about as good an indoor antenna (albeit expensive) as can be had for its relative size.

Quote:
Originally Posted by re_nelson View Post

There's also KFWD/52 on VHF (channel 9). Its programming has gotten far better of late and might be worthwhile to get along with WFAA on virtual and actual channel 8.

(And of course, KTVT/11 continues its simulcast on RF-11 as well as RF-19. Actually 11 is is licensed facility and 19 is operating on an STA that's been around since August 2009).

In any case, blueapplepaste is a mile from the center of downtown Dallas (as shown by the distance to KLEG, atop the Bank of America Building). As you said, facing east when Cedar Hill is to the southwest is going to be a real hit-or-miss challenge for OTA. The signals are plenty hot from Cedar Hill but I can imagine at how distorted the 8VSB spectrum must appear being on the "other" (non-LOS) side, fighting metal in the structure and the multiple reflections from nearby buildings.

Thanks for the replies guys, I'll continue to futz around with it. I might order that amplifier and see what happens. Really hoping I don't have to go back to getting cable.
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post #6503 of 7364 Old 02-05-2012, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by re_nelson View Post

How about a reminder about the antenna model your using?

Antennacraft 5884

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Originally Posted by re_nelson View Post

KXAS is another matter since it ought to be solid, with one of the better signals in the market. How well do you get its sister station, KXTX (Telmundo) on channel 39? They're on the same tower at Cedar Hill and the reception ought to be nearly identical for these two co-owned, co-located facilities.

Were these two among the stations that were reading strong on the roof? If so, I'd recommend a preamp mounted as near to the antenna as possible. If you're using a preamp that's located after the coax cable run, you're amplifying the signal after it has been degraded.

Signal on KXTX is in the 70's (72%-78%) but it is not one of the stations that we normally watch. Yes, KXAS and KXTX had very strong signals on the roof which is why I was so disappointed to see the signal strength on the sets in the house.

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Originally Posted by re_nelson View Post

There are a number of preamps where the power supply can be used indoors with the preamp module itself located at the antenna. The power travels up the coax to the preamp module. Some of the ones I've used of this type are:

AntennasDirect CPA19
ChannelMaster CM-7777
KitzTech KT-200

I'll investigate the preamps option and report back with my results. Thanks again for the help.
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post #6504 of 7364 Old 02-06-2012, 11:39 AM
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Good replies all. Let me add my thoughts:

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I finally found the time to get up on the roof and make some adjustments. I took a little TV up on the roof so that I could make adjustments using the signal strength meter on the digital converter box. I twisted the antenna around until I had all channels pulling in 87%-97% signal strength. Apparently I'm losing signal down the coax from the roof to the splitter in the attic. Most stations have a much stronger signal than before except for KXAS and KERA. KERA holds steady at around 55% with practically no drop outs...I can live with that. KXAS drifts up and down between 40%-45% even dropping below 40% regularly with picture loss and the "Weak Signal" message appearing on the screen. I do have the coax plugged into an amp before it goes to the splitter. Without the amp there was no KXAS or KERA at all. What now?

Since everything was coming in strong on the roof, it sounds as if there's something wrong with the cable going from your antenna to your amp. Perhaps there's a pinch or other damage where it enters the roof. So my next questions would be: 1) How long is that cable, and 2) How easy would it be to replace?

If it's not too long and easy to replace, that might be worth a try. If it's really long, I'd go with RE Nelson's suggestion and replace the downstream amp with a mast-mounted preamp. (I use a Channel Master 7777 preamp and it works great.) A preamp might let you "power through" a bad cable, so you wouldn't need to replace it. (Most likely, you wouldn't need your current amp anymore.)

If you decide to replace the cable, make sure to get RG-6 instead of RG-59, especially if it's over 25 feet. RG-6 is a little thicker but will lose less signal, especially at the top of the UHF band. (You'll probably want KTXD/47 once Me-TV starts.) "Quad shield" is even better but probably an unnecessary expense unless you plan on adding a satellite dish at some point.

Your low reading on KERA sounds about right; that's what I get too but it's perfectly watchable. KXAS is more puzzling; each of us seems to have a station or two that "should" come in a lot stronger than they actually do in practice. You said KXTX/39 was decent; how is KPXD/68?

If it's OK too the impairment is specifically at RF 41. You may have an "accidental" notch filter somewhere; perhaps your cable is damaged in two places about 3 inches (or an odd multiple, i.e. 9 or 15 inches) apart. At most frequencies the two impairments weaken the signal independently, but the signal will bounce from the second to the first and back again, and at RF 41 the two signals will interfere destructively and cancel out. (Could also happen if you have a 3-inch cable stub connected to your splitter.)

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Originally Posted by blueapplepaste View Post

I stumbled upon this forum and thread and am hoping you guys with way more experience can help me out. Recently ditched cable, but still want to get the networks.

I recently moved to right outside downtown dallas and currently live on the 5th floor of a massive brick and concrete building. I live on the east side of the building, and from what I can tell all the towers broadcast from west of me, meaning I don't have a clear shot of the signal.

I just went onto Amazon and looked up indoor antennas and picked up the Mohu Leaf. Got a ton of channels, however, most I don't care about. I could never get all of the network channels. i.e. I'd get ABC, and CBS, but not FOX, and NBC would be intermittent. I could adjust it, but then I'd lose ABC, but get NBC, etc. I tried installing an amplifier, didn't really do much.

So I ordered at clearstream 2, which looked a larger and seemed it might get better reception. Hasn't really made anything better. I absolutely must have an indoor antenna b/c of where I live.

From just browsing the thread, I'm wondering if the Winegard SS-3000 might be worth a shot. Seems it is recommended. One of the top reviews mentioned living in a city with concrete and brick buildings all around, which is my situation right now.

Any other advice would be greatly recommended. I'm enjoying saving $100 not having cable, but not being able to watch the networks is going to be a deal breaker with the wife, especially when the Olympics are on.

Downtown, I suspect your biggest problem will be multipath interference. The CS 2 is an excellent antenna, but it has one weakness: it's not very directional, which means it's susceptible to multipath. The SS-3000 is a smaller, lower gain antenna, but it might actually be better in a downtown environment because its "side-by-side" design makes it more directional.

The towers will be to your south-southwest (as TV Fool showed), but if you don't have direct line-of-sight in that direction, you'll have to try for a good reflection. I see you're on the east side of the building. If you have any south-facing windows, try placing your antenna there. If you have a balcony, put it out there: if you can, put it where it can see "around the corner." Otherwise, as a last resort try aiming at a building facade to your south-southeast to try for a good low-angle reflection. Unfortunately there will probably be multiple buildings and therefore multiple reflections from that direction, but at least the reflections will be static since buildings don't blow in the wind as much as trees, so if you can find a good signal it should be pretty steady.

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Originally Posted by HateNewNHL View Post

I am helping out my grandfather with his new HDTV remotely and he lives near Dallas (I am in Colorado). He actually lives in Malakoff which is in between Athens and Corsicana if you arent familar with it. If I believe the antennaweb.org, they look to be 60-75mi from the broadcast antenna location.

My basic question is about the range of those signals. Should I expect them to pick them up with a basic powered antenna?

I apologize if this has been written on in the 217 pages of this thread and I cant seem to drill down enough on a search.

Many thanks for the assistance!

According to TV Fool your grandfather is just over 60 miles out. The biggest problem at that distance will be fading: the signal will start out fine, but weaken and drop out for several seconds (usually when your favorite sports team is about to take the lead), then come back for a while longer.

An indoor antenna will be nearly useless at that distance, and a built-in amp won't help. Your best defense is to get the biggest, baddest antenna you can afford, and mount it as high as practical. I'd recommend hiring someone to do a rooftop installation, so your granddad doesn't have to deal with it himself.

The HBU-44 is a really good antenna at VHF-Hi, but may not be quite enough at UHF. If you can afford it, I'd recommend it's bigger brother, the HBU-55, or one of its competitiors, such as the Winegard 7698 or Channel Master 2020, just for the extra safety margin against fading.
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post #6505 of 7364 Old 02-06-2012, 12:00 PM
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Actually, all transmitted ATSC digital signals do have an absolute audio reference level (programmed into the PSIP data). And under the new federal CALM Act which adopted and incorporated the ATSC audio standard, ALL "peak/average" audio levels relative to the type of the audio content are set at -24 db, a 7 db offset to the theoretical -31 db output of an ATSC receive tuner. This offset is maintained at the receiver end of the process. For instance, in the past, many stations had -27 db as the reference "peak/average" level which the receive tuner would automatically reduce by 4 db to achieve the -31 db output specification.

The psychoacoustic aspects and processing aspects of audio make achieving constant average audio levels as heard by each individual's ears and interpreted by their brain between different types of programming much less between stations very difficult. However, the new law/regulations are now in effect with hard enforcement by the FCC expected to first occur this December (2012).

The proper level relative to the program content from content providers to transmission must be maintained. However, transitioning from a quiet dialogue program segment to a "bright" commercial will always be challenging. The only way to achieve that with level volume to an individual's ears/brain is with heavy intrusive audio processing which will almost always destroy the dynamic range and/or tonal balance content of the programming. And yet the dynamic range capabilities of the ATSC Dolby AC-3 digital audio system is one of its greatest attributes.

Which way do you want it? Which way do we want it? All of us in the industry struggle with that question.

Thanks; this is all good to know. But I was less concerned with volume changes coming from a single A/V source, such as a single ATSC subchannel, as much as with volume changes when switching from one source to another. As a practical matter audio volume does, and probably always will, vary among A/V sources due to factors such as different types of programming, varying levels of audio compression, LPTVs that don't have the expertise to follow the rules, non-ATSC sources (cable/satellite/DVD), etc. Enhancing TVs to remember each input source's volume setting would be far simpler than trying to standardize the entire world of A/V and, I think, useful even in the post-CALM Act era.
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post #6506 of 7364 Old 02-08-2012, 09:21 AM
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Downtown, I suspect your biggest problem will be multipath interference. The CS 2 is an excellent antenna, but it has one weakness: it's not very directional, which means it's susceptible to multipath. The SS-3000 is a smaller, lower gain antenna, but it might actually be better in a downtown environment because its "side-by-side" design makes it more directional.

The towers will be to your south-southwest (as TV Fool showed), but if you don't have direct line-of-sight in that direction, you'll have to try for a good reflection. I see you're on the east side of the building. If you have any south-facing windows, try placing your antenna there. If you have a balcony, put it out there: if you can, put it where it can see "around the corner." Otherwise, as a last resort try aiming at a building facade to your south-southeast to try for a good low-angle reflection. Unfortunately there will probably be multiple buildings and therefore multiple reflections from that direction, but at least the reflections will be static since buildings don't blow in the wind as much as trees, so if you can find a good signal it should be pretty steady.

Yeah, I went ahead and ordered the SS-3000 from Amazon - they have a great return policy, so we'll see.

I face just east, no balcony, no south facings, no anything. But I'll get it set up and see what happens...
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post #6507 of 7364 Old 02-08-2012, 09:53 AM
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My CM-3020 works well in Decatur, gets most of the Cedar Hill towers at 80 to 100% in cases. Wichita Falls is a excellent player here as well, since I have my antenna situated at 50 feet (increased from 40), I can pick up KFDX, KAUZ, KJTL, and maybe KSWO in tropospheric enhancement cases at roughly 40 to 60%.
LL

Forecaster for Decatur, Texas Storm Team
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post #6508 of 7364 Old 02-08-2012, 10:18 AM
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Yeah, I went ahead and ordered the SS-3000 from Amazon - they have a great return policy, so we'll see.

I face just east, no balcony, no south facings, no anything. But I'll get it set up and see what happens...

Hope it helps. Maybe you can set it up along the north wall so it can "see" out your window to the SSE without taking up too much of your living room. Usually I recommend setting antennas up high, but it has to "look" through a window in your case, so don't put it up higher than the window - but try to find a spot where you won't walk in front of it too much. Finding a good spot might be tough.
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post #6509 of 7364 Old 02-08-2012, 11:01 AM
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My CM-3020 works well in Decatur, gets most of the Cedar Hill towers at 80 to 100% in cases. Wichita Falls is a excellent player here as well, since I have my antenna situated at 50 feet (increased from 40), I can pick up KFDX, KAUZ, KJTL, and maybe KSWO in tropospheric enhancement cases at roughly 40 to 60%.

I have a 3020 too and love it, even though it's overkill for my location. I was looking at a 3018 at Fry's but thought, "the 3020 is only $10 more; why not?"

It'd be a good choice for HateNewNHL's granddad, except since he doesn't need VHF-Lo frequencies, I'd go with the smaller (thus easier to keep up in bad weather) 2020 instead. I edited my response above to include the 2020 as an option.
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post #6510 of 7364 Old 02-09-2012, 06:47 AM
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Hope it helps. Maybe you can set it up along the north wall so it can "see" out your window to the SSE without taking up too much of your living room. Usually I recommend setting antennas up high, but it has to "look" through a window in your case, so don't put it up higher than the window - but try to find a spot where you won't walk in front of it too much. Finding a good spot might be tough.

It did help!! I'm not so much sure that the antenna is necessarily better than the mohu or CS2, but because of its low profile/size I was able to put it directly on a window sill so that was facing outwards. The CS2 and Mohu weren't really conducive to that, as I didn't want either of those those directly blocking the window (and the wife wasn't too keen on that either!).

Right now I have the wineguard facing east-northeast out of the window towards the building across the street from me. That building has a fairly unobstructed view, so I'm guessing I'm getting a good reflection or something off that building.

Needless to say, I'm getting FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, and KERA (the ones I care about) nice and clear. Overall I have fewer channels, but I didn't really care about the Korean and Mexican channels, so doesn't bother me.

Signal strength is only ~60% for them all, but its holding there and the signal quality is great. So hopefully this will last and be the solution...
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