Lehigh Valley, PA HDTV - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 164 Old 07-09-2005, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Since my last post under the Philadephia, PA section and being recommended the AntennasDirect 91XG, the antenna has now been installed and is being amplified with my Radio Scrap "30db" pre-amp.

Although now from where I'm located (dense tree cover to my south) I'm able to lock in KYW 3.1 and a PBS station here and there and Scranton stations are SCREAMING in at 93-100%. Although I'm still trying to get FOX29-DT, NBC10-DT out of PHL. They blink in on my DirecTV HD receiver up to 30, but blink around 10,20,0.

Has anyone tried or know if a stacked array of 91XG's into a preamp will make a difference?

Here's what I'm thinking, Add a second 91XG at the bottom of my rotating mast and run both antennas into a dual-input Channel Master CM0264DSB amp.

(or)

Does anyone know of a good amp to replace my RS 30db that may make a difference?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 164 Old 08-30-2005, 06:52 PM
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Where are all the HD Lehigh Valley PA folks? With RCN and SECTV in the area bringing you cable HD, its mighty quite in here.
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post #3 of 164 Old 10-08-2005, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netstalker View Post

Since my last post under the Philadephia, PA section and being recommended the AntennasDirect 91XG, the antenna has now been installed and is being amplified with my Radio Scrap "30db" pre-amp.

Although now from where I'm located (dense tree cover to my south) I'm able to lock in KYW 3.1 and a PBS station here and there and Scranton stations are SCREAMING in at 93-100%. Although I'm still trying to get FOX29-DT, NBC10-DT out of PHL. They blink in on my DirecTV HD receiver up to 30, but blink around 10,20,0.

Has anyone tried or know if a stacked array of 91XG's into a preamp will make a difference?

Here's what I'm thinking, Add a second 91XG at the bottom of my rotating mast and run both antennas into a dual-input Channel Master CM0264DSB amp.

(or)

Does anyone know of a good amp to replace my RS 30db that may make a difference?

Thanks!

The two antennas would have to be stacked so that the distance between is about 20 inches. The leads from each antenna must be equal in length and must be joined with a splitter to a single downlead. Expect about 3 db improvement with two antennas, which is twice the signal. There are better preamps out there but they are a little(!) expensive.

The Blonder Tongue unit is very nice at about $200 including the power supply, but it has fairly low noise level. Unit is CMA-UC and can be found at Multicominc.com The other one is a Sitco PA24 Series Preamp, which has lower noise level and is available at simplicitytool.com but I don't know the price.

Height is always a solution if you can go higher. My setup uses a BT VHF antenna and two stacked Finco UHF yagis with Finco preamps, on a tower that is 50 feet above the ground. I can get 34 digital channels and 37 analog with reliability. I did pick up one digital tv broadcast from Newport News VA. I still do not get reliable reception of 6 or 10 from Philly, since my antennas have a sharp cutoff past channel 59. I watch NBC off channel 8 (58) in Lancaster.

Eph
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post #4 of 164 Old 10-23-2005, 03:47 PM
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I just ordered a CM 4228 to receive HD stations in Philly. I'm on top of a hill & hope to pull in Philly stations. Any advice?

confused:

Update: mounted the 4228 & much to my surprise pulled in 11 digital stations at compass 161degrees.
Picked up Wilmington, DE & NJ station (without rotor).

I'm more that pleased with the flat design of the ChannelMaster antenna & the great reception.

Directv; HD Tivo; Panny 42" EDTV series 7, commercial.

My next endevor is the computer hookup to the Panny.

Good luck to all in Lehigh Valley. By the way, I live on a hilltop, close to I-78 & rt. 100.

Happy, Happy ! Better reception than *tv !
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post #5 of 164 Old 11-08-2005, 11:55 AM
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Our posts get buried in the Phila. thread, so maybe someone will see this...

Has anyone heard from RCN when we might see more HD channels? It's frustrating not getting INHD since that's where the HD hockey games from OLN show up. We haven't had any HD additions since Comcast Sportsnet was added 18 months ago.
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post #6 of 164 Old 11-08-2005, 12:05 PM
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Don't know about RCN, but you might want to check this thread--

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=600812
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post #7 of 164 Old 11-18-2005, 04:18 AM
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I'm in Bethlehem up the hill from Lehigh University. The hill blocks all of the Philly stations (even analog and FM) but I get all of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton stations just fine with nothing more than a $39 Terk TV3 indoor antenna.

WNEP 16-1 (1280 x 720p)
WNEP 16-2 (704 x 480i)
WYOU 22-1 (1920 x 1080i)
WBRE 28-1 (1920 x 1080i)
WLVT 39-1 through 39-4 (all 704 x 480i)
WVIA 44-1 through 44-4 (all 720 x 480i during the day, 1920 x 1080i during primetime on 44-1 and the subchannels go off air)
WOLF 56-1 (1280 x 720p)
WSWB 56-2 (704 x 480i)
WBPH 60-1 and 60-2 (704 x 480i) (I deleted these)
WFMZ 69-1 (704 x 480i)
WFMZ 69-2 (704 x 480i) (Accuweather)
WFMZ 69-3 (1920 x 1080i) (I have never seen anything other than a black screen/pink noise broadcasted on this channel for as long as I have owned my HDTV)

I didn't even know there was a Lehigh Valley thread.
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post #8 of 164 Old 12-15-2005, 07:06 AM
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Just switched over to a Cable Card from a Motorola HD STB (RCN). I'm in Bethlehem. The quality of the image coming from the direct feed to the TV is MUCH improved, especially on the non-HD digital channels. Before, the STB was feeding my TV an image on the non-HD channels that was worse than the one directly from the line. With the Cable Card installed, my TV is doing the work and doing it much better.

Just for reference:
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post #9 of 164 Old 12-16-2005, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyersfan View Post

Has anyone heard from RCN when we might see more HD channels? It's frustrating not getting INHD since that's where the HD hockey games from OLN show up. We haven't had any HD additions since Comcast Sportsnet was added 18 months ago.

I'm a recent convert from Dish Network. I've not heard of any plans from RCN, although I did get a notice that my programming bill is increasing by $10 in 2006.

The quality of their HTDV signal is awesome, IMO. Like you, though, I want more HDTV channel choices.

What are some other good HDTV channels lacking on RCN?
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post #10 of 164 Old 12-25-2005, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgwaters View Post


What are some other good HDTV channels lacking on RCN?

I know the most obvious one to me is ESPN2HD. To have ESPNHD and not the other is quite silly, IMHO.

I've also heard that Universal HD has some good programming on, but I'm not sure if that's a D* exclusive right now.

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post #11 of 164 Old 01-31-2006, 03:57 PM
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While RCN hasn't added any new HD channels in the Lehigh Valley, at least we now get more HD movie channels as part of our 'New Digital Vision' package. We already had HBO, and I've recorded more off the other HD movie channels in three weeks than off HBO in 3 months.
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post #12 of 164 Old 04-11-2006, 06:42 AM
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Attn: RCN users in the Lehigh Valley. If you didn't already notice, we finally got a new channel - TNT-HD has been added as channel 178. I don't want to get my hopes up, but maybe it's a sign of more channels being added soon.
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post #13 of 164 Old 07-02-2006, 10:31 PM
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Hi all,

I just moved into a new house in Easton. I was hoping for some feedback on whether to go satellite or cable for the most reliable HD programming. I am leaning towards satellite just based on the lack of HD programming variety available in the area via RCN and SECTV.

Also, off topic but I could use some feedback on what provider is best for offering the highest speed internet regardless of price.

Thank you very much in advance.
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post #14 of 164 Old 07-03-2006, 07:15 AM
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Lack of variety? I don't have them myself but SECTV's HD lineup looks outstanding. It's pretty unusual to see both HDNet and InHD, but they have 'em.

As far as best high speed internet, if you can get RCN two-way, the Mach10 is outstanding. We have been extremely satisfied with their connection and rarely have trouble. There have even been rumblings in the dslreports forums about Mach20 (20mb down, 1mb up) coming soon to the Lehigh Valley.
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post #15 of 164 Old 07-05-2006, 06:29 AM
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I switched from Dish Network's HD package to RCN about nine months ago. At the same time, I changed from Verizon's 1.5mbs/128kbps DSL to RCN's 7mb cable modem package. I've not regretted the decision.

I changed from Dish to RCN for two primary reasons: local HD channels and a rental HD DVR. I would have had to add a larger and more unsightly dish to pick up the Philly or NY channels in HD. And although there are a lot of (mostly-positive) opinions about the Motorola 6412 and even a dedicated, ongoing message thread on it on this forum, I've found it to be an incredibly powerful device. I just wish it didn't run hot enough to fry an egg on. ;^)

I've noticed a dramatic increase in speed from DSL to cable modem; of course, I was almost 15,000-feet from Verizon's CO--about as far away as possible. I haven't yet opted for RCN's Mach10 package, as the 7mb tier seems fast-enough for me at this point.

Since leaving Dish, I've noticed that they've added more HD channels. At this point, I'm still pleased with RCN's HD offerings; of course, I won't complain if/when RCN starts adding more HD channels. ;^) And I still haven't seen anything from Dish that comes close to competing with RCN's Motorola 6412--for rental or purchase.
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post #16 of 164 Old 07-05-2006, 09:00 AM
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Thank you very much for your replies.

I apologize about my "lack of variety" comment, it is just less than what I was used to. Also, 15 or so HD offerings from RCN or SECTV (according to their websites) is in fact a few channels short of Dish Network's 30 HD channels. The major channels missing for me would be ESPN2, Universal HD, and TNT HD (SECTV has this one though) that it seems like I can only pick up through Dish Network.

However, I definitely will have to do Dish Network because of the International channels which is a must for my family. Therefore, my question is to sign up for DishNetwork and load that up with everything, or to use DishNetwork for specialized channels only and use RCN for SD and HD type channels. Is there a picture quality, reliability advantage by doing the latter?

cgwaters mentions that local HD channels was a reason for the change, doesn't Dish Network offer local HD channels? What is the difference? Also, what is the difference with the DVR? I have never used a DVR type device before, but it seems like both Dish and RCN offer a "similar" (atleast functionality wise) device.

Finally, regarding the Internet, I was looking at the RCN Mach package as well, I think I will go with it. I apologize for the lengthy email, but would greatly appreciate any feedback. Thank you very much for your time.
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post #17 of 164 Old 07-09-2006, 06:44 PM
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RCN might not show it on their web site, but they do offer TNT-HD in the Lehigh Valley. It was the most recent addition. No ESPN2-HD is a glaring omission, tho.

I really don't think you'll be disappointed with the RCN cable modem service. If you purchase your own cable modem, that'll reduce your monthly rate slightly. I think it's $3/month credit for owning your own modem.
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post #18 of 164 Old 11-09-2006, 10:51 AM
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Anyone else notice last night at 9pm that RCN was broadcasting a West coast affiliate on ABC-HD, instead of WPVI (Philadelphia)? Instead of "Lost", there was a talk show by the name of "By the [San Francisco] Bay" being broadcast. Fortunately, I remembered quick-enough to change over to the SD WPVI channel.

I've also noticed the last few weeks that SNL (on the Philly NBC HD affiliate) has had lots of pixilation for the first couple of minutes, starting at 11:30pm until about 11:40pm.
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post #19 of 164 Old 11-09-2006, 11:19 AM
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How bizarre - we have RCN in Allentown and did not see that problem. We watched all of the ABC primetime shows in HD without a single glitch.

Speaking of RCN, we'll be getting an HD-TiVo soon and need cable cards installed. I can't wait for that installation. I'll report here with a success or failure story.
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post #20 of 164 Old 11-09-2006, 01:56 PM
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I live in Bethlehem. During each commercial break, I kept changing back to the WPVI HD ABC channel, but it was still broadcasting that talk show. By the time "The Nine" came on, however, the content was back to normal.

Do you have an HD DVR now? I have the Motorola 6412--the rental unit from RCN. The HD-TiVo looks very impressive, but seems outrageously priced.
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post #21 of 164 Old 11-09-2006, 02:21 PM
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Yes, we have the 6412 phase III. I was satisfied with the old software, but I absolutely HATE the Passport Echo software. Yes, it looks much nicer and in some ways is easier to use, but it got rid of my most used feature "list by channel". The only way to browse upcoming shows is by the 2 hr. grid or search by title/category. It also has a 60 minute buffer on each tuner. While that sounds like a great feature, I can rarely pause both streams without the unit freezing and rebooting. I used to do this quite often on Sat/Sun during the football games. Also, that large buffer means I can save even fewer programs and 120gb was just barely serviceable to start with.

Wish me luck with the CableCard installation. I'm afraid I'll need it.
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post #22 of 164 Old 11-14-2006, 08:38 AM
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Yes, I agree that the Passport Echo software appears to be a big step backward. I have yet to find anything that I would consider to be much of an improvement. Do you know if many people have complained? I have a few times, when talking with their tech support. Is it a matter of discussion/complaint on any of the forums here?

Yes, I'm curious to hear how your CableCard install goes.
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post #23 of 164 Old 11-14-2006, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slosh View Post

I'm in Bethlehem up the hill from Lehigh University. The hill blocks all of the Philly stations (even analog and FM) but I get all of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton stations just fine with nothing more than a $39 Terk TV3 indoor antenna.

WNEP 16-1 (1280 x 720p)
WNEP 16-2 (704 x 480i)
WYOU 22-1 (1920 x 1080i)
WBRE 28-1 (1920 x 1080i)
WLVT 39-1 through 39-4 (all 704 x 480i)
WVIA 44-1 through 44-4 (all 720 x 480i during the day, 1920 x 1080i during primetime on 44-1 and the subchannels go off air)
WOLF 56-1 (1280 x 720p)
WSWB 56-2 (704 x 480i)
WBPH 60-1 and 60-2 (704 x 480i) (I deleted these)
WFMZ 69-1 (704 x 480i)
WFMZ 69-2 (704 x 480i) (Accuweather)
WFMZ 69-3 (1920 x 1080i) (I have never seen anything other than a black screen/pink noise broadcasted on this channel for as long as I have owned my HDTV)

I didn't even know there was a Lehigh Valley thread.

I am from the Poconos area,Brodheadsville off of rt33.......
Bought a big Winegard Vhf/Unf antenna......
I was picking up the VHF HD stations out of scranton,CBS and NBC
Now I am only getting NBC and lost CBS on the VHF side...
I just corrected a problem with the UHF part of my antenna and I am
Only getting the PBS stations on 44-1 thru 44-4 signal on my Plasma is 2 or 3 out of 10 on my Plasma...
Hummmm wondering why I cannot get ABC,Fox from Scranton?????Since I am getting PBS out of there?
I also bought a Winegard 8700 pre-amp that brings in the analog a tad better,But I want HD and not analog..JohnnyT
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post #24 of 164 Old 11-20-2006, 06:21 PM
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I've successfully migrated from the Moto 6412 to an HDTiVo with two CableCARDs. The RCN tech was here for under 40 minutes. As expected, he'd never seen an HDTiVo and I basically walked him through the installation. Good thing I paid $30 for that privilege.

I insisted that we do one card at a time. Once the first card was inited and confirmed working, we tried the second one. He had to have that card hit twice, but after the second hit it also worked properly.


On a more general RCN note, apparently we now get the National Geographic HD channel. While it has no guide data, channel 177 is NGCHD. The TiVo also has no guide data for TNTHD, channel 178, but I expect that can be resolved fairly quickly.
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post #25 of 164 Old 11-30-2006, 10:33 AM
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Just found this forum. Hi all.

I currently pull in SECTVs basic HD offering using the HD tuner on my HDTV - which means I currently don't pay the $9.95 per month for a HD tuner. However, I'm thinking about paying the $19.95 so I can get SECTVs expanded HD offering (including ESPN and ESPN2 and NFL).

I've got a few questions:

1) What make/model of STB does SECTV provide? What is it's picture quality like compared to your TV's internal tuner? (I've got a 67" Samsung HLR6768W if anyone has a similar set for comparison)

2) I see they've got a CableCARD offering as well - would that be the better option, and what make/model of CableCARD would it be?

3) A third offering is a STB with DVR, which sounds pretty interesting as I don't have a DVR at the moment - again, any ideas what make/model this would be and what the picture quality is like?

4) About a week ago SECTV moved the FOX HD, NBC HD and another channel (can't remember which) from the channel/sub-channels 110-1, 110-2 and 110-3 up to 120-1, 120-2, and 120-3 (if you're pulling them in with SECTVs STB or CableCARD I'm guessing the channel number for you won't have changed since the box will convert it to a "normal" channel number). Since they did that I'm getting a bit of pixellation and break-up in the sound - which is probably attributable to slightly more signal attenuation at the higher frequency. Did anyone else notice a degradation of these channels about a week ago?

Anyway, glad to have found this forum.

Naz
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post #26 of 164 Old 12-14-2006, 04:03 AM
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Hi All -
Just found this forum for the Lehigh Valley HD dudes. I just bought a Panasonic 50" Plasma 720p on Black Friday. Its working great. Since its primarily for watching DVD movies (right now I'm using only an upconvert dvd player but plan on getting an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray player soon), I only have standard Service Electric cable going into the back for very limited TV watching like New Year's football games etc.
My question is this. I only pay for SECTV's basic cable which is like $50 a month with taxes. I have it split via an amplier to about 7 tv's in the house including the plasma. I left the TV with the built in HD tuner QAM scan the all the channels. To my knowledge, it isn't picking up any digital channels. I'm aware that unless you pay for the digital or HD service, you won't get anything but I've heard that some cable suppliers include this free sometimes for basic. I've tried a Philips OTA antenna but my home theater room with the plasma is in my basement and I can't pick up ANYTHING except I think 69 news in 480i with it. I was thinking of the Terk antenna that one doesn't even have an amplier and the one I had did. Any thoughts here?
Anyways, glad to have found this group!
Dave
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post #27 of 164 Old 01-07-2007, 06:07 PM
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You should be able to get the stations from Scranton.......
You should buy a Good UHF antenna for around $90....Antennas Direct 91XG should work great,,,its the best that I heard of and I should be expecting mine this week.....Brodheadsville is a tad hard to get alllllll the signals with my Winegard 7042p...JT
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post #28 of 164 Old 01-24-2007, 07:10 PM
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I just purchased Channelmaster 4228 for my new Panasonic TH42PX60U. I plan to take it out on my roof this weekend and start to look for HDTV stations. I'm located near Lehigh Stabler campus so I assume I can only get Philly stations. Anyone able to pick up NYC stations from LV area? I figure Scranton is out since its on the other side of south mountain.

Any suggestions or info would be helpful. I'll post updates as they happen. Looking forward to stuporbowl in HD!

1/28/07:
Hooked up CM 4228 to a NTSC TV looking for analog stations. I figure if I can get analog UHF stations, there is a good bet I can get HDTV stations to lock in. Surprisingly, the best reception (aside from 39 & 69) are from Scranton, 16,22,28. 29,17,48 from Philly are ok, but have shadows. NYC stations wouldn't come in at all. BB delivers my Panny tomorrow, I can't wait.

2/1/07:
Panasonic plasma looks great, even with NTSC channels. Walked my roof last night with CM 4228 on a 10ft mast and was able to get 3.1 (CBS) from philly with 88% signal. My son said it looked great, I couldn't see it because I had to hold the antenna on the roof. We didn't try Scranton & NYC yet because it was dark and cold. Next up is mounting the antenna, planned for Sat.

2/5/07:
Mounted CM 4228 on my 2nd story roof, positioned it toward Philly and was able to get 3.1, 6.1, 6.2, 10.1, 10.2, 17.1, 17.2 48.* (church stuff) and 60.* (more church stuff). HD is great. Had superbowl in HD. Then the cable went out in 4th qtr and everone piled into the one room with OTA HD, no lie, it was wierd. 17.2 is a cool music video channel, live stuff from early days, interesting mix. Next up is install the rotor and see if I can get Scranton and NYC.

2/13/07:
Installed rotor. Picked up 39.1 and 69.1. Also picked up 16.1, 22.1, 28.1 44.1 and 56.1 from Scranton/Wilkes Barre. 56.1 is huge cause its Fox. Watched AI in HD tonight, real tears and moles and stuff. More importantly, Daytona in HD on Sunday. Can't figure out how to get TH42PX60U to set OTA stations from different directions. Gonna try NYC next, but it's a long shot. Signals are weak from SC/WB (30-40%) at 57mi. NYC is 72mi. I may need to get the CM preamp the guru at the other forum recommends.
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post #29 of 164 Old 01-27-2007, 01:26 AM
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I'm over by the Lowes off 78 and rt33. I'm also curious if anyone around here can pull in NYC channels. Please let us know.
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post #30 of 164 Old 02-08-2007, 12:02 PM
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Hi guys. I've been posting on the Philly thread for awhile now but I'm looking for an answer to a simple question; namely, is anybody out there receiving programming on OTA 39-4. This is WLVT's "39-4 DLC" channel.

I get the signal, but no programming. It just shows up as "off-air." Their schedule shows programming, but I get nothing. I'm getting 39-1 and 39-3 just fine, but no programming on 39-4.

Thanks
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