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post #31 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 08:24 AM
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I recently picked up Radio Shack's $50 Model 15-1892 indoor antenna and, to my surprise, it really works great! I live in the Olney, MD area in a townhouse and my home theater room is on the first floor. With the antenna hooked up to my Sony KDF-60XS955 I pick up the following HD stations without a problem:

2.1 WMAR
4.1 WRC
5.1 WTTG
7.1 WJLA
9.1 WUSA
13.1 WJZ
20.1 WDCA
45.1 FOX45
50.1 WDCW
54.1 WNUV

I used to have Comcast's dual-tuner HD STB, the Motorola DCT6412. Being much more of a DVD/HD DVD watcher than a TV watcher (and, like many, not being a huge fan of Comcast's high prices and poor customer service), I had been contemplating dropping Comcast for some time -- So when my Motorola box started acting up again (I was already on my third one), I decided to take the plunge and cancel my Comcast service. I had been and still am considering getting Verizon FIOS TV when it becomes availabvle in my area, but I thought I'd give an indoor antenna a shot in the meantime. I honestly did not expect it to work as well as it does.
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post #32 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 08:38 AM
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I've noticed som audio dropouts on Fox HD (5.1) on 24 the last couple of weeks. I've upgraded to the D* H20-700 DVR so that may have something to do with it, but I was curious if anybody else was having any issues. I've never had issues with FOX before.
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post #33 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badgerdms View Post

I've noticed som audio dropouts on Fox HD (5.1) on 24 the last couple of weeks. I've upgraded to the D* H20-700 DVR so that may have something to do with it, but I was curious if anybody else was having any issues. I've never had issues with FOX before.

I assume you ARE talking about OTA 5.1, not the DirecTV rebroadcast HD version? I don't know the specs on that (so-called, but that's my opinion ) "DVR". Does it have an OTA tuner? Do the discussions relating to that piece of hardware make any comparisons of the quality of the OTA tuner?

FWIW, I'm picking up flawless 5.1 OTA with a little Terk Silver Sensor clone on my S3 TiVo's OTA tuner.

*ashu*
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post #34 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 09:29 AM
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badgerdms,

Yeah, I had similar A/V issues during American Idol last night with a non-D* OTA receiver, but I thought it was multipath-related. 24 came in cleanly for me.

The funny thing is that in Houston, another Fox-owned station has had similar issues, where one receiver seems to have audio dropouts, while others have no issues. Odd.

jimrobinette,

Yeah, I remember that 30fps thinger. I brought it up twice, maybe three times, and after he knocked the idea down I didn't bring it up again. 7-3 served a decent purpose for a while, and I do appreciate his efforts, both at the station and in these threads. Yet, he did promise something different for 7-3 a long time ago, and it didn't come for all that time. The "vaporware" thing was more of a playful thing than you would think, as I sort of believed him that it would come today, and it would be good if it did. I wonder how the product, whatever it might be, will be received here. Do people like sports, and would they watch that kind of a subchannel? Or is it going to be of something else? Hmmmm....
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post #35 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

I'm also not getting audio on 11.1 or 11.2. I didn't discover the channel was missing until I tuned into the last part of Studio 60 and found I had a blank screen on all three of my HDTivos. I ended up missing Heroes and Studio 60 as a result. I found the predecessor thread to this one yesterday and discovered the PSIP issue. I then rescanned all of my local channels on all three HDTivos and can now receive 11.1 and 11.2, but still no audio as of last night. Fortunately, I also have a Channel Master 4228 aimed at DC so I changed over all of my HDTivo season passes for 11.1 to WRC-4 (4.1) until they get the problem ironed out. Apparently WBAL is still having issues that have not been resolved yet.

WBAL is still working on their PSIP issue. Right now, I don't have 11-1 or 11-2 at all, but it's coming in fine on 59-1 and 59-2 with audio.

Apparently, their PSIP generator is more of a pain than mine is to set up (and mine's not easy...)...

Mark

Mark
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post #36 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 10:52 AM
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Hey all, I'm a student at Georgetown University, on the 8th floor of a dorm (my windows face basically due East). I have a Sceptre X42 HDTV, and I'm trying to receive OTA HD channels. However, no matter what I try, I can only get reception for 6 channels:

26-1 W26HD
26-2 WETA2
26-3 WETA3
26-4 WETA4
50-1 WDCW-DT
50-2 WDCW-D2

I have tried with a GE Optima Antenna, and more recently, with a Phillips Silver Sensor. I can't get more than these same 6 channels no matter what I try. I've tried moving the antenna around to face different directions, messing with the rabbit ears on the Optima, etc. I don't get it...I'm basically in the heart of a big city, shouldn't I be able to get more channels than this? I saw a lot more on AntennaWeb. I'd at least like to get the networks, so I could watch some primetime shows and sports in HD. Any help would be appreciated, thanks.
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post #37 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 11:07 AM
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Quote:


WBAL is still working on their PSIP issue. Right now, I don't have 11-1 or 11-2 at all, but it's coming in fine on 59-1 and 59-2 with audio.

How do you tune to 59-1 or 59-2? I have HDTivos and they scan for OTA channels and set them up based on the VHF appended channels (i.e. ch 11, 13, etc.) and not the actual UHF channels.
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post #38 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

How do you tune to 59-1 or 59-2? I have HDTivos and they scan for OTA channels and set them up based on the VHF appended channels (i.e. ch 11, 13, etc.) and not the actual UHF channels.

On the Samsung receiver I have in my office I just type in "59" on the remote, and viola! there it is. If the PSIP is correct, the receiver will know that it's on "channel 11" from then on.

This process works on my Dish receiver at home, as well.

Mark

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post #39 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bornyank1 View Post

Hey all, I'm a student at Georgetown University, on the 8th floor of a dorm (my windows face basically due East). ... I'm trying to receive OTA HD channels. However, no matter what I try, I can only get reception for 6 channels

Sorry, but the other stations broadcast from an area toward Friendship Heights, to the NNW, and therefore your building blocks 'em. 50 broadcasts from NE DC, so you wouldn't have issues with that one. I don't know why you get 26 (must be on the southern area of the eastern side), but when it transfers to the new tower site with all the other stations you don't get, you won't get 26, either. So enjoy it while you can.

Good luck with your studies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

How do you tune to 59-1 or 59-2? I have HDTivos and they scan for OTA channels and set them up based on the VHF appended channels (i.e. ch 11, 13, etc.) and not the actual UHF channels.

It depends on the tuner. Some work differently than others and therefore you might be lucky, or not. Might as well try markbulla's trick.
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post #40 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

How do you tune to 59-1 or 59-2? I have HDTivos and they scan for OTA channels and set them up based on the VHF appended channels (i.e. ch 11, 13, etc.) and not the actual UHF channels.

Even though you don't get the channel in the guide, the HD Tivo should accept you entering 59-1 and tune to the channel. If you want to record on it, you need to set a manual recording. That is the way it works on my HR10. It should work the same way on a Series 3 (you didn't say which you had).
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post #41 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 12:33 PM
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So, it's Wednesday....what's on 7.3?

(Less importantly) What channel number is it for FiOS?

I'm guessing it's some kind of ABC News Now/NewsChannel 8 hybrid.
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post #42 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markbulla View Post

WBAL is still working on their PSIP issue. Right now, I don't have 11-1 or 11-2 at all, but it's coming in fine on 59-1 and 59-2 with audio.

Apparently, their PSIP generator is more of a pain than mine is to set up (and mine's not easy...)...

Mark

I received an e-mail at 1:04 PM that the audio problem was fixed but I'm not home to confirm it, is it still a problem?

Matt
Please don't PM me with technical questions that should be posted in the forum.
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post #43 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mikemikeb View Post

Sorry, but the other stations broadcast from an area toward Friendship Heights, to the NNW, and therefore your building blocks 'em. 50 broadcasts from NE DC, so you wouldn't have issues with that one. I don't know why you get 26 (must be on the southern area of the eastern side), but when it transfers to the new tower site with all the other stations you don't get, you won't get 26, either. So enjoy it while you can.

Good luck with your studies.


It depends on the tuner. Some work differently than others and therefore you might be lucky, or not. Might as well try markbulla's trick.

Is there some kind of omnidirectional antenna I could get that might pick it up? Or one powerful enough to get the signal...I'm not that far from the other side of the building.
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post #44 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJKurtzke View Post

So, it's Wednesday....what's on 7.3?

(Less importantly) What channel number is it for FiOS?

I doubt FIOS will have it for some time.
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post #45 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mjones73 View Post

I received an e-mail at 1:04 PM that the audio problem was fixed but I'm not home to confirm it, is it still a problem?

Yep - I have video and audio on 11-1, and 11-2. I'm still showing errors on their PSIP, so they may (should) still be working on it, but currently it's working on my Samsung receiver.

Mark

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post #46 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bornyank1 View Post

Hey all, I'm a student at Georgetown University, on the 8th floor of a dorm (my windows face basically due East). I have a Sceptre X42 HDTV, and I'm trying to receive OTA HD channels. However, no matter what I try, I can only get reception for 6 channels:

26-1 W26HD
26-2 WETA2
26-3 WETA3
26-4 WETA4
50-1 WDCW-DT
50-2 WDCW-D2

I have tried with a GE Optima Antenna, and more recently, with a Phillips Silver Sensor. I can't get more than these same 6 channels no matter what I try. I've tried moving the antenna around to face different directions, messing with the rabbit ears on the Optima, etc. I don't get it...I'm basically in the heart of a big city, shouldn't I be able to get more channels than this?

Yes, you should be getting more stations than this - in theory. I don't know how good the ATSC tuner is in the Sceptre X42 TV. It may be poor at handling multipath or fluctuating signals. Also, you are getting only 2 stations, not 6. The sub-channels only count as 1 station. The sub-channels are all part of the data streams from WETA-DT 26 and WDCW-DT 50.

You have a good UHF antenna with the Silver Sensor. Some ATSC tuners allow you to directly enter the digital channel number and will map to the station if it can lock onto whatever it finds. Do you get anything on the signal strength meter for channels 34, 35, 36, 39, 48? (check the 1st post in this thread to see which stations these are under the orange colored column).

The Silver Sensor is moderately directional so find the best clear spot with the least obstruction and aim it towards NW DC. If you have a tall building behind you, you could aim the antenna at that to try to pick up reflected signals. The rabbit ears won't help as those are for longer wavelength VHF channels and all the local stations currently digitally broadcast on UHF channels.

Just how far are you from the broadcast towers in NW DC? Enter your actual street address into antennaweb.org and report back here on the miles and direction. One possibility is that the signal is too strong and you are overloading the Sceptre ATSC receiver. If all else fails, you can get an antenuater at Radio Shack and give that a try.
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post #47 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashutoshsm View Post

I assume you ARE talking about OTA 5.1, not the DirecTV rebroadcast HD version? I don't know the specs on that (so-called, but that's my opinion ) "DVR". Does it have an OTA tuner? Do the discussions relating to that piece of hardware make any comparisons of the quality of the OTA tuner?

FWIW, I'm picking up flawless 5.1 OTA with a little Terk Silver Sensor clone on my S3 TiVo's OTA tuner.

Yeah, it's the OTA tuner on the DVR. I double checked on my "direct line" from the antenna to the TV's tuner ( I built some redundancy into my system) and that also seemed to have a little multipath issue. The DTV rebroadcast is fine.
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post #48 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 02:04 PM
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I can confirm that the Sceptre TV has a Rockin' Awesome (and this is official terminology) ATSC tuner. It picks up every channel my S3 TiVo does, OTA, and the S3 TiVo has, going by word-of-mouth comparisons, one of the best OTA tuners available!

I do agree on the Silver Sensor being moderately directional - from here in loudoin County, with my Silver Sensor istting on the TV stand in the basement, I had to turn it 10-15 degrees whenever I wanted to enhance reception between sets of channels. Now, sitting in a window sill one level above the basement, it works perfectly, though!

I bet the issue here is that the (good) Sceptre tuner is being overloaded - try a couple of splitters/attenuators in the path.

*ashu*
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post #49 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJKurtzke View Post

So, it's Wednesday....what's on 7.3?

(Less importantly) What channel number is it for FiOS?

I'm guessing it's some kind of ABC News Now/NewsChannel 8 hybrid.

We had a major networking/viri issue today that is keeping me busy. It will launch tomorrow.

Robert Forsyth
Director, Digital Media
WJLA-TV
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post #50 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afiggatt View Post

Yes, you should be getting more stations than this - in theory. I don't know how good the ATSC tuner is in the Sceptre X42 TV. It may be poor at handling multipath or fluctuating signals. Also, you are getting only 2 stations, not 6. The sub-channels only count as 1 station. The sub-channels are all part of the data streams from WETA-DT 26 and WDCW-DT 50.

You have a good UHF antenna with the Silver Sensor. Some ATSC tuners allow you to directly enter the digital channel number and will map to the station if it can lock onto whatever it finds. Do you get anything on the signal strength meter for channels 34, 35, 36, 39, 48? (check the 1st post in this thread to see which stations these are under the orange colored column).

The Silver Sensor is moderately directional so find the best clear spot with the least obstruction and aim it towards NW DC. If you have a tall building behind you, you could aim the antenna at that to try to pick up reflected signals. The rabbit ears won't help as those are for longer wavelength VHF channels and all the local stations currently digitally broadcast on UHF channels.

Just how far are you from the broadcast towers in NW DC? Enter your actual street address into antennaweb.org and report back here on the miles and direction. One possibility is that the signal is too strong and you are overloading the Sceptre ATSC receiver. If all else fails, you can get an antenuater at Radio Shack and give that a try.

According to Antenna Web, I'm about 2-4 miles from them...at least 9 of them are very, very close. I get 0 signal strength for every one of those channels you suggested. If the problem is an overly strong signal, would that still result in 0 signal strength? I looked for attenuators on Radioshack's site and nothing came up...is there another name for them? If it's just a splitter, I have one or two lying around...should I just connect them and use 2-3 coax cables to get the signal into the TV? Also have a couple feed-thru connectors.
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post #51 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 04:30 PM
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Two nights in a row I was watching Comcast channel 214 WNUVDT between 10 and 11 pm and it seemed to me that the volume was going slightly up and down by itself. I tried the SD channel 14 and it seemed to be OK. Anyone else notice this or care to check it out?
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post #52 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bornyank1 View Post

According to Antenna Web, I'm about 2-4 miles from them...at least 9 of them are very, very close. I get 0 signal strength for every one of those channels you suggested. If the problem is an overly strong signal, would that still result in 0 signal strength? I looked for attenuators on Radioshack's site and nothing came up...is there another name for them? If it's just a splitter, I have one or two lying around...should I just connect them and use 2-3 coax cables to get the signal into the TV? Also have a couple feed-thru connectors.

Do you get any analog chs? Do you get WHUT on 32? You are so close you should get something.
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post #53 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markbulla View Post

Yep - I have video and audio on 11-1, and 11-2. I'm still showing errors on their PSIP, so they may (should) still be working on it, but currently it's working on my Samsung receiver.

Mark

Hi folks,

I'm fairly new to this whole thing. I got my HDTV last month. Tonight, I'm not getting anything from WBAL-DT. My signal meter shows strong signal, but "weak signal or channel not available" keeps popping up.

I watched NBC on WRC instead, but I just want to make sure it's them and not me. I'm receiving all my other Washington and Baltimore stations as usual.

Thanks.
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post #54 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bornyank1 View Post

According to Antenna Web, I'm about 2-4 miles from them...at least 9 of them are very, very close. I get 0 signal strength for every one of those channels you suggested. If the problem is an overly strong signal, would that still result in 0 signal strength? I looked for attenuators on Radioshack's site and nothing came up...is there another name for them? If it's just a splitter, I have one or two lying around...should I just connect them and use 2-3 coax cables to get the signal into the TV? Also have a couple feed-thru connectors.

I think someone in Georgetown had problems with overload a while back. In this case attenuators might be the solution (although multipath reflections could be the issue too.) I use a splitter for attenuation. A 2-way splitter will drop 3 or 4 dB, a 4-way about 7.5 dB. But any unused taps should be terminated to avoid reflections on the coax. I terminated extra taps on the FM receiver, a DVD recorder and an old TV in another room. (Or you could go buy another 50" plasma as a terminator.)
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post #55 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 06:59 PM
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I hooked up two splitters and 2 feed-through connectors...had coaxial cable all over the place. I picked up channel 22 briefly, that was the only improvement. Where can I get attenuators? Don't see 'em on Radioshack's site.
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post #56 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertforsyth View Post

We had a major networking/viri issue today that is keeping me busy. It will launch tomorrow.

I was hoping the test pattern was it! I'd even settle for a webcam of the WJLA lobby... or the nearest Starbucks... maybe even Jiffy Lube bay #3.
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post #57 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bornyank1 View Post

According to Antenna Web, I'm about 2-4 miles from them...at least 9 of them are very, very close. I get 0 signal strength for every one of those channels you suggested. If the problem is an overly strong signal, would that still result in 0 signal strength? I looked for attenuators on Radioshack's site and nothing came up...is there another name for them?

I would not read too much into the zero signal strength. The TV has both an analog NTSC and digital ATSC tuner and it is probably defaulting to the analog tuner when you enter a "unscanned" channel number. I can enter the actual digital channel for a station not picked up during a scan in my Samsung SIR-T451 ATSC receiver, but the Samsung has only a digital tuner, no analog. So it uses the digital tuner when I enter a channel number. OTOH, my Sony HDD250 DVR has NTSC and ATSC tuners. It can only add digital channels using a channel scan.

You may be getting an overloaded signal, but the problem is most likely your building. If it is a steel frame and concrete building, you may be in a dead zone for picking up the station signals coming in from the NW on the eastern side. You should try some experiments with different antenna locations. Can you add a 25' RG-6 cable and move the antenna to a different spot. Or move the TV temporarily to a room on the western or northern side and try to get the DC stations from there. The purpose is to confirm that you can get the local stations with your set up, not that you have to keep it in another dorm room.

Another alternative is get a simple NON-AMPLIFIED UHF loop antenna and stick that in the window. The GE Optima is an amplified antenna and amplified antennas are a bad idea when you are only 3 or 4 miles from 1000 KW transmitters. The Silver Sensor may be too directional to pick up the reflected signals. A UHF loop has a very broad pickup beam pattern (see http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/Loop.html).
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post #58 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bornyank1 View Post

According to Antenna Web, I'm about 2-4 miles from them...at least 9 of them are very, very close. I get 0 signal strength for every one of those channels you suggested. If the problem is an overly strong signal, would that still result in 0 signal strength?

On some tuners, yes. Those things in general are wonky and not based on any specific science.

By the way, after looking at a map of the area, I didn't know that the campus was so close to the towers. Yeah, you probably have overload, especially if you can get in analog channels 26 and 32 with the Silver Sensor in just fine. But you could have a weak signla no matter what. To find out, see if you can pick up analog channels 26 and 32 in fine. If you can't, then you probably have a weak signal issue with the digital stations. But, if those come in fine, then you have an overload and perhaps multipath-based issue, though it would be good to work on the overload-based one first.

Regardless, at that sort of distance, with a Silver Sensor, an attenuator probably won't pad the signal enough to bring in any overloaded Big 4 stations. Also, in 2009, the local CBS and ABC affiliates will be moving to the VHF band, and the Silver Sensor isn't designed for that band. I suggest going to a RadioShack and picking up a 15-1838 antenna for $15, and when you get home, don't plug in the amplifier! From personal experience, you don't need it at that distance, as even without the amp plugged in, it's a fine antenna for short-range reception of both VHF and UHF channels.

Good luck.
_____________

Thanks for the update, Mr. Forsyth. I'm glad gravity didn't cause any air to bend into the equipment and break it.
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post #59 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 08:34 PM
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Thanks, markbulla, for the info about 2-3. I'll slightly reflect that in a general (and I think final for now) update to my OTA station list tomorrow, where I'll also update 7-3's final identity.

The other questions I had weren't clearly-worded, so I'll clarify them and allow anybody to answer:

1. Is the order of the MPT subchannels correct (for example, is MPT Select on channel xx-3)? If not, what is the correct order?
2. Are people watching WMPB/Baltimore or WFPT/Frederick getting some of their HD programming in DD5.1, or is it all stereo like WETA? I know that WMPT/Annapolis viewers can get DD5.1 if the program supports it (Great Performances?).

By the way, just for the record, because I'll remove the "guess" area of the list after it goes online: I'm locking in my guess of a sports theme for 7-3.
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post #60 of 14130 Old 01-24-2007, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Bornyank1 should try a paper clip for an antenna and see how that does. Seriously.

To clarify bornyank1's situation, he isn't getting 6 channels, he is getting two. The 26.X channels are being broadcast on channel 27 from his south, and his 50.x channels are being broadcast on channel 51 from the tower that looks like the Eiffel tower on the corner of Georgia Ave and Peabody, to his east.

Channels 20, 26 and 32 analog come from the River Road tower, which is surely to his Northwest. The network digital transmitters are to his north, so his 20/26/32 analog performance tells us virtually nothing regarding his prospects of getting the digital commercial transmissions from his north.

An analog tuner will generally handle input signals up to about 35dBmV or even 40dBmV, but I don't have reliable information on what the maximum input is for digital tuners. It will actually vary a good deal depending on the tuner design. Bornyank should be able to get something on 34, 35, 36, 39 and 48 by moving his antenna around, regardless of what he has for reflections and signal levels. (If you want to introduce 20 to 25dB of attenuation cheap. then connect the antenna to one output of a two way splitter, and the TV to the other input. it won't be as flat across the channel as an attenuator pad will, but flatness is not as critical with ATSC channels as it is with NTSC.
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