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Inserting HD channel on OTA antenna system

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi, Thanks in advance for reading and answering.

I have been using a Channel Master modulator and notching out channel 70 on my cable system with an SD channel. Of course the world has changed and now I need HD.

I want to insert a channel (any will do) onto my antenna signal from over the air free TV. Is there HD equipment that will do that? I have found lots of equipment that will insert a QAM signal into a cable system like Comcast. ZeeVee and many others build those. But I called them and they only work with cable TV and not an antenna.

I have 16 TV sets being served "regular" over the air television with an antenna, The channels I receive with my antenna are all digital HD and my TVs are all able to tune digital and watch the channels. Since I don't want to force all TVs to watch one program I would like to do something like I was doing. Just insert a channel.

Can this be done? Does anyone know the answer?

Thanks again.
post #2 of 11
Most any HDTV built in the last 5+ years will include both an ATSC and QAM tuner. So you can use the ZeeVee box and it should work on all of your TVs, and share the single cable with your OTA feed. TV should be able to make this all seamless for you...

The QAM tuners don't get used much, unfortunately, as most cable systems have taken the customer-unfriendly approach of encrypting everything to force set-top box rentals.

Jeff
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks, but the tech at ZeeVee said I would have to search for "cable" channels to find the ZeeVee device and that TVs can only dispay QAM OR over the air, and not both at the same time.

That would mean I would have to choose between the ZeeVee box OR Over The Air TV.

But thanks for the try.
Edited by filmmakerjoe - 7/17/13 at 3:11pm
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by filmmakerjoe View Post

Thanks, but the tech at ZeeVee said I would have to search for "cable" channels to find the ZeeVee device and that TVs can only dispay QAM OR over the air, and not both at the same time.

That would mean I would have to choose between the ZeeVee box OR Over The Air TV.

But thanks for the try.

Well, they would know best, but I'm surprised that the TV wouldn't integrate the two... Looking at the manual for one of my Samsung TVs, it appears to allow both "Air" and "Cable" at the same time (called "auto" mode) - although the manual doesn't mention ATSC or QAM in that context - but geez, that set was built after the digital transition. It's not like there's a hardware switch or anything that needs to be done to allow it - and your usage model is very "normal" for this type of integration. But again, if ZeeVee says they run into this - I guess you have to go with their advice. I don't know of any ATSC encoders at any pricing comparable to the QAM ZeeVee boxes (which aren't cheap, either).
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Yes, that's exactly what I thought too. But on trial, my sets (4 different types) will choose the signal it finds in "auto" mode. Since both cannot reside together "auto" simply checks to see which one you are using.

But thanks.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by filmmakerjoe View Post

Yes, that's exactly what I thought too. But on trial, my sets (4 different types) will choose the signal it finds in "auto" mode. Since both cannot reside together "auto" simply checks to see which one you are using.

They can certainly reside together, at different frequencies, just like ATSC and NTSC signals did... The only question is if the TV would switch between ATSC and QAM encoding at a given channel frequency in "auto" mode.

And from ZeeVee's own FAQ, their 'caution' is just that:
Quote:
The bigger issue is how your HDTV tuner lets you access both the Zv channel and the OTA channels. Some HDTVs will store both OTA and cable (QAM) channels in one big integrated channel lineup- you click up or down on the remote, and it allows you to scroll right through them all. On other sets, you have to first tell the HDTV (using several menu commands) whether you want to watch OTA or cable channels, and then you can scroll only through the selected type making switching back and forth less convenient.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'll have to see how that concept plays out. I have 10 of my TV sets as bought in the last 3 months, so it may be possible. I'm just not sure how to send both Over the Air and QAM simultaneously so that the sets will find it.

Just join the coax? Suggestions?
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by filmmakerjoe View Post

I'll have to see how that concept plays out. I have 10 of my TV sets as bought in the last 3 months, so it may be possible. I'm just not sure how to send both Over the Air and QAM simultaneously so that the sets will find it.

Just join the coax? Suggestions?

Yes. Same as you do with your old SD modulator. Just need to make sure you place your modulated QAM channel at a location away from the VHF / low-mid UHF where your OTA signals will be. Look at the frequency maps to find a good spot in the cable bands for the QAM channel.


Jeff
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks Jeff. It does require a leap of faith, since I have to buy the device to test it, but I don't see another way.

warmest regards,

joe
post #10 of 11
Buy it from a dealer or shop with good returns policy... But with all your TVs being very new, I really think this will work seamlessly. And please report back your findings!

Unfortunately there's not a lot of traffic here with folks that have deployed ZeeVee gear. You might post the same question in the pro forum over at RemoteCentral, too. Putting ZeeVee in the thread subject might get someone with better experience.
post #11 of 11
I've never seen (or even heard of) a TV (or tuner) that would scan for both ATSC and QAM at the same time. The only exception I've seen was a set that LG made several years ago. It was a dual tuner model that had separate inputs for each tuner. Set one tuner for Air and the other for Cable and scan away. As you would then scroll channels up or down, it would automatically switch tuners as needed.

I added our local HD channels to a private cable in a system townhome development several years ago. The HOA president had one of those TV sets, and as you would scroll, you would have 2, 2.1, 2.2, 3, 4, 4.1, 5, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, etc. I thought it was pretty cool and very user friendly. You didn't have to change inputs or anything.
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