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post #12361 of 12390 Unread 08-21-2015, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Revinar View Post
I live out in DeKalb, and it seems that both Chicago and Rockford are possibilities for me, even though Chicago nearly 60 miles away.

I am going to be installing from scratch, so am looking for advice on what to install. I have children, so would prefer not having to deal with rotating an antenna, but will if that is necessary.

Finally, TVFool has both Madison and Milwaukee stations listed as possibilities, but says that extreme measures would need to be made to receive those channels. Does anyone have experience getting channels from those areas, as far out as DeKalb? And what are the extreme measures that I would have to put in to receive them?
Hi Kevin,

Interesting that you should bring Madison up. I just returned to the Chicago area after living in Madison, and for some reason my two old TiVo units that I had used to record OTA TV in Madison still have the Madison stations programmed in them. What's more, some of the Madison stations show what could be a usable signal! I wouldn't have even considered it otherwise.

My first experience with DX TV was at my grandparents' house in Texas, well before there was cable (or satellite) TV. The house had a large "deep fringe" antenna atop a ~20 foot mast, with an antenna rotator. No doubt it was my curiosity that led to the failure of the rotator's motor. When it did work, we could point the antenna one way and see channels in Amarillo, and the other way to get Lubbock. Both cities were well over 60 miles away as the crow flies, and reception was merely tolerable. But it was quite possible, and elevation was the key.

Here in Chicago you can still see the occasional tall TV mast with a gigantic directional TV antenna on top, usually on the grounds of a tavern. Most point due north to Milwaukee, and were used to receive sports programming (e.g. the Green Bay Packers) that wasn't available in Chicago by any other method back then. Once more it's the elevation that makes the difference here. Otherwise the curvature of the earth would block distant TV signals.

Depending on how high the roof of your house is, you might want to consider building an antenna mast to mount one or more antennas on. If you get just the right antenna, you may be able to aim it due east to Chicago, and get decent side lobe reception from Rockford.

At this point it's probably a good idea to explain that directional antennas get their so-called "gain" by favoring one direction over others. But because no antenna is perfectly directional, there are other lobes of gain off-axis from the main lobe. You can use this unintended sensitivity to pull in signals from places other than where the antenna is pointed. It can be more of an art than a science.

Another thing that you could do is to have one antenna pointed at Chicago, and another pointed at Rockford, and beyond that, Madison. Two antennas are not that many (especially if you use a UHF-only model for one direction), and once you have them aimed and locked down, that would eliminate the need for a rotator.

I can't see getting Milwaukee through the side lobe trick, and considering the distance, I would call that the long shot of the bunch. Given enough elevation and the right kind of antenna, you should be able to see beyond Rockford if you really want to. But because Madison and Baraboo are in the same general direction as Rockford, you may need some fairly sophisticated gear to keep the stronger Rockford stations from burying the weaker ones.

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post #12362 of 12390 Unread 08-21-2015, 06:47 AM
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Thanks for the responses R.B. and Gilbert.

Gilbert,

Do you adjust the direction of the antenna for the Rockford stations?

Thanks again,

Kevin
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post #12363 of 12390 Unread 08-21-2015, 08:07 AM
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Speed Daemon,

Thanks for the post. I figure I will mount the antenna on the roof and point it towards Madison and see what luck I have.

Gilbert, on this thread lives in DeKalb and says he has a Channel Master 4228 with preamp mounted in his attic and is getting everything out of Chicago and all but one channel in Rockford. I am assuming that is with him pointing it at Chicago. With that info, I am feeling pretty confident that I will be satisfied with what I get.

If I can pull in Madison, that would be gravy, and would be willing to grab a rotor for the best of both worlds.

Thanks again for your post.

Kevin
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post #12364 of 12390 Unread 08-21-2015, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Revinar View Post
Speed Daemon,
If I can pull in Madison, that would be gravy, and would be willing to grab a rotor for the best of both worlds.
Kevin
I just have to add my opinion on rotors. Stay away from them.

Today's rotors are a far cry from the rotors made 20 years ago. Now a days, the cheap TV rotors are all three wire systems. There is no position tracker to keep accurate position information. Instead they depend on the pointer on the control unit to spin around at the same speed as the antenna. Its sort of dead reckoning on where the antenna is pointed. Needless to say, I've never had one that worked all that well. They were always going out of calibration and were never pointed where they were supposed to be.

Did I forget to mention heavy winds? There is no brake on these cheap rotors so a heavy wind is enough to spin the antenna to a different position. Again, there goes the calibration. Granted, its easy to recalibrate but I was doing it every time I needed to aim the thing. It was a real pain in the neck.

A better solution, and less aggravating, is to just install a second antenna pointed at Madison. If you decide to put a DVR on line to record programs, a second antenna works really well, not so well with a rotor.

BTW, I'm in Woodstock, nearer to Madison than Dekalb is and as I recall, I could pull in a few Madison stations but not all and the signal strength wasnt all that good. I havent tried since I threw out the rotor. Its been a few years. I have two antennas pointed toward Milwaukee and Chicago.
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post #12365 of 12390 Unread 08-22-2015, 05:25 AM
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Thanks Dicko,

This is just the type of advice I was looking for when I came to this forum.

So if Madison looks promising, a second antenna will be the option.

Thanks again,

Kevin
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post #12366 of 12390 Unread 08-24-2015, 12:34 AM
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Thanks for the post. I figure I will mount the antenna on the roof and point it towards Madison and see what luck I have.
Let me know how it works! I'm a Packers fan, and have half a mind to try to get Madison myself.

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post #12367 of 12390 Unread 08-24-2015, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Revinar View Post
Thanks for the responses R.B. and Gilbert.

Gilbert,

Do you adjust the direction of the antenna for the Rockford stations?

Thanks again,

Kevin
I have a rotor in my attic. As others have mentioned, the cheap ones now don't keep track of where they're pointed, but I am willing to initialize the rotor to keep it on track when I need to use it. Otherwise, I also have a dual antenna setup so I can push a button and get Rockford without rotating the antennas.

Gilbert
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post #12368 of 12390 Unread 08-25-2015, 05:49 AM
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Hello Everyone,

Moving to naperville in about two weeks. Townhome HOA doesnt allow Satellite dish on the roof and the direction of my home is kind of such that it wont be possible for me to use Directv ( i am under a contract). So it's either Comcast or go the OTA route. I hate comcast so that might be out.

I am around 27 miles from sears.

I am an antenna noob and would need a professional.

Any guidance would be great!
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post #12369 of 12390 Unread 08-25-2015, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by zarz View Post
Moving to naperville in about two weeks. ...
Seeing you're in a town house, do you have attic access? I ran an antenna in my attic ten years ago when we were out in Aurora (Eola & Wolf's Crossing). It worked great.
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post #12370 of 12390 Unread 08-25-2015, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by zarz View Post
Townhome HOA doesnt allow Satellite dish on the roof and the direction of my home is kind of such that it wont be possible for me to use Directv ( i am under a contract). So it's either Comcast or go the OTA route. I hate comcast so that might be out.
If the HOA isn't permitting a DBS dish, it's doubtful that they'll let you put up an OTA antenna.

You do have rights, and now might be a good time to seek help from your lawyer, to know precisely what those rights are, and possibly to negotiate some sort of arrangement with the HOA before you close.

For example, the last place I lived in provided master antennas for both DISH and DirecTV on each building.

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post #12371 of 12390 Unread 08-25-2015, 07:26 AM
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Seeing you're in a town house, do you have attic access? I ran an antenna in my attic ten years ago when we were out in Aurora (Eola & Wolf's Crossing). It worked great.
Yes I do have attic access and that's where I plan to put an antenna.

The issue with the HOA is my house faces east-west and the Satellite tv where it is permitted wont allow me to get decent reception so it's out of the question.

I would put up a tvfool report as soon as I am allowed to post links!
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post #12372 of 12390 Unread 08-25-2015, 07:28 AM
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Yes I do have attic access and that's where I plan to put an antenna.

The issue with the HOA is my house faces east-west and the Satellite tv where it is permitted wont allow me to get decent reception so it's out of the question.

I would put up a tvfool report as soon as I am allowed to post links!
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If the HOA isn't permitting a DBS dish, it's doubtful that they'll let you put up an OTA antenna.

You do have rights, and now might be a good time to seek help from your lawyer, to know precisely what those rights are, and possibly to negotiate some sort of arrangement with the HOA before you close.

For example, the last place I lived in provided master antennas for both DISH and DirecTV on each building.

I plan on putting it in the attic!
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post #12373 of 12390 Unread 08-25-2015, 01:10 PM
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So the HOA allows a satellite dish, just not in a place where it works? Do you own the roof? See the FCC's OTARD rules. There are some restrictions that are legal depending on who owns the roof and things like that, but many restrictions like the ones you describe are illegal.

- Trip
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post #12374 of 12390 Unread 08-25-2015, 03:39 PM
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Hello Everyone,

Moving to naperville in about two weeks. Townhome HOA doesnt allow Satellite dish on the roof and the direction of my home is kind of such that it wont be possible for me to use Directv ( i am under a contract). So it's either Comcast or go the OTA route. I hate comcast so that might be out.

I am around 27 miles from sears.

I am an antenna noob and would need a professional.

Any guidance would be great!
I'm in a townhouse in Darien & there are quite a few units in my HOA & also others that have satellite dishes on the roof.

It appears your HOA will allow it but just not in a place that works, at least not for DiredcTV. Have you looked into using Dish instead of DirecTV? Dish has two different sets of satellites. Beside the ones where you have to point your dish antenna south-west toward Texas like DirecTV uses, Dish also has satellites positioned south-east toward Florida. The south-east ones are called the "Eastern Arc" & that's what I'm using. I'm also facing east-west and the satellite dish is pointed up over my roof toward the south-east because I have trees blocking the south-west exposure. Perhaps Dish will also work for you.

I also have an attic antenna which usually works quite well. However there is a tree in front of my house & it keeps getting bigger every year. Last Spring (2014) & this Spring (2015) when the leaves appeared it affected reception on WYCC the most & the other channels hardly at all. Hopefully you don't have a tree blocking your line of sight to Chicago.
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post #12375 of 12390 Unread 08-25-2015, 10:53 PM
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Lately I sometimes experience a couple second signal dropout on 26.3 MeTV and 26.4 MeToo (H&I). I lose the picture & a message appears saying a signal loss. Then a couple seconds later the picture comes back on.

Anyone else noticing this?
This happened again. The tuner happened to be on channel 26.4 when I switched over to OTA at 11:05pm last night (Tues 8-25). The Saint happened to be on & within about a minute I got the signal loss message. Then again a couple minutes later. It happened at least 6 times within 10 minutes. On one occasion it flickered on & off quite rapidly so it was difficult to determine how many times that was. It was 11:15pm & now I was interested in the program so I ended up watching the whole thing. There were no more signal losses during the last 45 minutes of the show.

The Signal Strength indicator on the tuner indicated 100% which it usually does. Of course when the signal loss message appears it covers the whole screen so no telling how low the SS gets when that happens.

It hasn't rained for a couple days & is not expected to for a couple days. I looked at the weather map & no rain in sight.

Could this be a problem at the station?
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post #12376 of 12390 Unread 08-26-2015, 05:36 AM
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Anything turning on or off at your house when this happens? A/C, refrigerator, vacuum cleaner, etc.?
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post #12377 of 12390 Unread 08-26-2015, 07:56 AM
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So the HOA allows a satellite dish, just not in a place where it works? Do you own the roof? See the FCC's OTARD rules. There are some restrictions that are legal depending on who owns the roof and things like that, but many restrictions like the ones you describe are illegal.

- Trip
If you petition the FCC for assistance with the HOA. They will work with the HOA to come to some solution that will allow a DBS antenna. You also likely have an area that is not "common" grounds. You should be able to put in a pole there and attach a satellite dish. You may be able to move it far enough from the stucture that you can view the necessary satellite locations. For Directv, it's 3 spots all clustered together just a little west of directly south.

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post #12378 of 12390 Unread 08-26-2015, 08:12 AM
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See the FCC's OTARD rules.
For everyone's convenience:

FCC Over-the-Air Reception Devices Rule

Installing Consumer-Owned Antennas and Satellite Dishes

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post #12379 of 12390 Unread 08-26-2015, 02:43 PM
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Anything turning on or off at your house when this happens? A/C, refrigerator, vacuum cleaner, etc.?
I don't recall anything turning on or off. A/C is turned off & no one was vacuuming. The refrigerator might have turned on or off once, but it never cycles so many times within a few minutes. I don't know what's causing the problem.
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post #12380 of 12390 Unread 08-26-2015, 11:26 PM
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So yeah!

As I posted moving soon, ~27 miles from Chicago.

I contacted this company called Ziegler Installations for antenna quote. They qouted me $460 including labor and parts. Includes a channel master 2020 and a preamp + wiring the home and everything. I found it a little bit on the higher side.

Would do you guys say?

I have no intentions of going head to head with the HOA, they are bunch of old guys ( like me) but the difference is they are unemployed and retired and I am a surgeon with no time to waste on them
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post #12381 of 12390 Unread 08-27-2015, 03:21 AM
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I contacted this company called Ziegler Installations for antenna quote. They qouted me $460 including labor and parts. Includes a channel master 2020 and a preamp + wiring the home and everything. I found it a little bit on the higher side.

Would do you guys say?
I used Ziegler to install my rooftop antenna this summer. I paid $520 for my antenna installed, and for a run of Ethernet cable. Since my technical specifications are rather demanding, I considered that price to be quite reasonable. They spent plenty of time on the roof measuring signal levels and tweaking the aim, just as I would have done myself. I was pleased that they brought a decent Channel Master antenna, not one of those compact "HDTV" panels with all of the elements hidden away. No BS, good work, and I was happy to pay for the extra time they spent to get things just so.

I'm a lot closer than you are, of course. On the channels I watch, I get a S/N ratio ~30 dB and a typical BER of zero. That's without an amplifier. (I have one of my own somewhere; will try it when I have more time.) If you have a TiVo or some other device that can show you the Reed-Solomon stats, that's the thing to watch. If your R-S corrected bits are zero on all your favorite channels, you're golden. You might want to buy your own preamp (the one they brought looked cheap) and have them install it for you. Where I live I can get away with a preamp in the basement where the splitters are. You may want yours in the attic for best results.

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post #12382 of 12390 Unread 08-27-2015, 04:35 AM
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I used Ziegler to install my rooftop antenna this summer. I paid $520 for my antenna installed, and for a run of Ethernet cable. Since my technical specifications are rather demanding, I considered that price to be quite reasonable. They spent plenty of time on the roof measuring signal levels and tweaking the aim, just as I would have done myself. I was pleased that they brought a decent Channel Master antenna, not one of those compact "HDTV" panels with all of the elements hidden away. No BS, good work, and I was happy to pay for the extra time they spent to get things just so.

I'm a lot closer than you are, of course. On the channels I watch, I get a S/N ratio ~30 dB and a typical BER of zero. That's without an amplifier. (I have one of my own somewhere; will try it when I have more time.) If you have a TiVo or some other device that can show you the Reed-Solomon stats, that's the thing to watch. If your R-S corrected bits are zero on all your favorite channels, you're golden. You might want to buy your own preamp (the one they brought looked cheap) and have them install it for you. Where I live I can get away with a preamp in the basement where the splitters are. You may want yours in the attic for best results.
I dont have a TiVo, I use Directv right now as I said so I am basically an illiterate on the OTA things

They recommended me a channel master too, a 2020 . It doesnt seem to be too popular on the forums though. I will order a wineguard preamp , thanks for the tip!



I am unable to post links ( will be able to now!) so once i cann, I will put up a tvfool report and the quote.
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post #12383 of 12390 Unread 08-27-2015, 09:45 AM
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I dont have a TiVo, I use Directv right now as I said so I am basically an illiterate on the OTA things

They recommended me a channel master too, a 2020 . It doesnt seem to be too popular on the forums though. I will order a wineguard preamp , thanks for the tip!



I am unable to post links ( will be able to now!) so once i cann, I will put up a tvfool report and the quote.
Yes, please do!

The 2020 a.k.a. "Digital Advantage 100" is a fairly standard VHF/UHF TV reception antenna, with more emphasis placed on UHF "gain" than the VHF section. This worked OK for me, but you might want to ask if they have an Advantage 60 (3018) or 100 (3020) to bring with just in case. The plain "Advantage" line has more VHF elements, while the "Digital Advantage" line favors UHF performance over VHF performance. If you have the money (the regular Advantage 100 lists for just $20 more than the Digital Advantage) and attic space, the regular advantage may be the better answer if you find the VHF stations to be less than 100%. (WBBM is the only major Chicago station operating in VHF right now.)

Since you have no test equipment, you might look at your TV menu to see what it offers. You should get at least a rudimentary signal strength indicator, which is better than nothing. The trick with using it is to get the chance to measure signal strength before and after the preamp is installed, to get a better picture of raw antenna performance. If for example you get a stable picture and good signal strength on all UHF channels without the amp, but WBBM is still weak with the amp, you may want to stuff an antenna with more VHF elements into your attic. Better to suss it out now than to find that a fresh snowfall makes once strong stations marginal...in the middle of football season!

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post #12384 of 12390 Unread 08-29-2015, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zarz View Post
So yeah!

As I posted moving soon, ~27 miles from Chicago.

I contacted this company called Ziegler Installations for antenna quote. They qouted me $460 including labor and parts. Includes a channel master 2020 and a preamp + wiring the home and everything. I found it a little bit on the higher side.

Would do you guys say?

I have no intentions of going head to head with the HOA, they are bunch of old guys ( like me) but the difference is they are unemployed and retired and I am a surgeon with no time to waste on them

Hi Zarz,

I would go, for an attic system that far out, a ChannelMaster 4228HD, if you can fit it in the attic. Since you will lose at least 50% of your signal going through the attic, you need all the antenna you can get. Is this possible?

Gilbert
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post #12385 of 12390 Unread 08-29-2015, 10:25 AM
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Hi Zarz,

I would go, for an attic system that far out, a ChannelMaster 4228HD, if you can fit it in the attic. Since you will lose at least 50% of your signal going through the attic, you need all the antenna you can get. Is this possible?

I am not sure tbh. I have honestly not been in the attic!

Thanks for the tip, I dont mind paying more if it doesnt give me headache later on.


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Yes, please do!

The 2020 a.k.a. "Digital Advantage 100" is a fairly standard VHF/UHF TV reception antenna, with more emphasis placed on UHF "gain" than the VHF section. This worked OK for me, but you might want to ask if they have an Advantage 60 (3018) or 100 (3020) to bring with just in case. The plain "Advantage" line has more VHF elements, while the "Digital Advantage" line favors UHF performance over VHF performance. If you have the money (the regular Advantage 100 lists for just $20 more than the Digital Advantage) and attic space, the regular advantage may be the better answer if you find the VHF stations to be less than 100%. (WBBM is the only major Chicago station operating in VHF right now.)

Since you have no test equipment, you might look at your TV menu to see what it offers. You should get at least a rudimentary signal strength indicator, which is better than nothing. The trick with using it is to get the chance to measure signal strength before and after the preamp is installed, to get a better picture of raw antenna performance. If for example you get a stable picture and good signal strength on all UHF channels without the amp, but WBBM is still weak with the amp, you may want to stuff an antenna with more VHF elements into your attic. Better to suss it out now than to find that a fresh snowfall makes once strong stations marginal...in the middle of football season!
I dont really watch football ( I moved from UK :| ) haha but yeah I feel the pain


Here is the TVFool :

http://imgur.com/MuC5I8F

The quote!

http://imgur.com/ALJLQrS

Last edited by zarz; 08-29-2015 at 10:31 AM.
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post #12386 of 12390 Unread 08-29-2015, 10:56 AM
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I dont really watch football ( I moved from UK :| ) haha but yeah I feel the pain
Oh, a rugby man, are ya?

Looks like you have more than enough information to use when the installers come. I hope they do as well for you as they did for me.

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WTTW pixel shifting

for the last 2 weeks I've noticed something odd on channel 11.
on the borders of text, on ties with herringbone like patterns and
elsewhere I can see pixels shifting up-down-left-right constantly.

this is ONLY on all WTTW channels and nowhere else.
its most noticeable where there is something dark next to
something light on the screen.
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for the last 2 weeks I've noticed something odd on channel 11.
on the borders of text, on ties with herringbone like patterns and
elsewhere I can see pixels shifting up-down-left-right constantly.

this is ONLY on all WTTW channels and nowhere else.
its most noticeable where there is something dark next to
something light on the screen.
I've recorded several hours of programming from 11.1 and 11.2 over the same time period, and none of it looks the least bit unusual. I just went and double checked, and nothing.

What kind of gear are you seeing this on?

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post #12389 of 12390 Unread Yesterday, 11:28 PM
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I've recorded several hours of programming from 11.1 and 11.2 over the same time period, and none of it looks the least bit unusual. I just went and double checked, and nothing.

What kind of gear are you seeing this on?
a one year old 32 inch samsung. the movement is just one
pixel in each direction, and its not obvious until you notice it.
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a one year old 32 inch samsung. the movement is just one pixel in each direction, and its not obvious until you notice it.
Do you mean one pixel on the TV, or in the program? Channel 11.1 is 720p, and the rest are 480i. So a program pixel is going to be bigger than the physical pixels on a 1920x1080 set. You didn't say the model, so I'm presuming it has a 1920x1080 native resolution. Even if it is a 720p set, things like overscan make it rare for the program pixels to line up exactly with the TV pixels. Perhaps this may have something to do with what you're seeing. It also might be edge enhancement and/or Auto Motion Plus making the picture worse.

I could see how the SD channels might shift a bit, as I've observed that happening on content that I scaled from 1080i to 480i anamorphic for burning onto DVD. But that doesn't explain why you'd see the same at 720p! Hmmm....

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