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Little Rock, AR - HDTV - Page 5

post #121 of 12505
Ok well Broadway's coming out tomorrow. They are going to put me up a "batwing" antenna that will be anchored to the dish, but not directly on it, since it is really an independant antenna. They told me this will be an upgrade to the standard terk that they normally put on the dishes when people want an OTA antenna.

It will be a stationary antenna (no rotor), but they agreed to allow me to "try it out" and see just what i can pick up with it. I wont have my HD tv set up by then, but i'm going to assume if i can get a clear picture on abc and cbs, that I should be able to get a strong enough HD signal from those networks.

Azanon
post #122 of 12505
Thread Starter 
Did you tell Broadway your plans to add an HD box? If so, was that OK with them?

As for using analog reception as a good indicator of digital, that may not be of much help. For instance, I can not receive analog FOX channel 16 good enough to watch on my big screen, due to multipath ghosts. However, their full power digital channel comes in perfectly. On the other hand, NBC channel 4 analog, I get quite well, but their digital station is very low power (the lowest of the locals), so reception at my house has been problematic in the past. Reception was impossible with my old Hughes E86 STB.

If you get the Zenith or Sony (LG) STB, I don't think you will have problems. If you do have OTA problems with the LG box, it will probably be antenna-related.

It sounds like your "batwing" antenna may be a ChannelMaster Stealthtenna. Here's some info on it, including an optional amplifier that might help with your reception. If this is the antenna Broadway installs, ask them to add the optional internal amplifier. Searching the threads for 3010, the amp seems to help that (somewhat weak) antenna.

The clip-on Terk antenna, (the one Broadway said they normally install) is not good at all for DTV or analog reception, according to others in this forum. It is easy to install though, which may explain why they use it.
post #123 of 12505
I didnt tell Broadway i intended to get a HD receiver, but i did make sure that they'd install a multi-satellite dish. I agree with your initial suggestion to "KISS", and just call DirectTV later when i'm ready to swap in my HD receiver, and add the HD package.

I'm glad you told me about the amp for the anternna, because i told them i didnt want it. Antennaweb told me i didn't need amps cause i'm not far from the towers, but i'll go ahead and add the amp based on your advise.

Well, I guess i wont know for sure whether I can get the HD signals then based on what you're telling me. But, heck, im practically centered (slightly offcentered) between shinall mountain and Redfield, so i cant imagine a much better location to be in, so hopefully with this decent outdoor antenna i wont have any problems. I grew up in Brinkley Arkansas (60 miles away from LR), and darn it if i can pick up cbs and abc there (which we can), SURELY i can pick them up (comparitavely) sitting under the tower.

I'll make sure and get the Zenith or Sony STB.

Azanon
post #124 of 12505
Thread Starter 
I based the amp suggestion on a search for keyword 3010 on the forum. I'm guessing the stealthtenna is the one they will be installing. It's not rated very highly, according to other members, but the amp does seem to help with low power digital stations. With the exception of FOX & UPN, all the LR digitals are operating at low power.

Good luck, and post back how everything goes. Also post any other questions or problems you come across.
post #125 of 12505
Just taking a cursory glance at this guys test, the stealthantenna look like the top performer, given that you install the amp: http://www.projectorexpert.com/Pages/antout.html

Now lets just hope that's what "Rickie" meant by "batwing". I swear i talked to the "son" today (that's on TV). How could one mistake his voice?

Azanon
post #126 of 12505
Thread Starter 
Yeah, it does look pretty good when amplified, for channels up to 39. Our highest digital channel is 39 (UPN), so maybe this antenna will be all you need. It did well on VHF channel 12, which is the channel that CBS digital is on in LR.

Rickie & his dad.... I don't mind their funny little DirecTV ads.... it beats the screamin' car dealer ads on the news every night
post #127 of 12505
Yeah i love those ads too, though the dad seems senile.

I'll post back here after i get everything hooked up and all to let you know how its going. I just broke the news to the wife about how much the STB is going to cost. Looks like Circuit City is out of the Zeniths, but they have the Sony's in stock. I'll wait and buy it after I get the TV and SD STB running.
post #128 of 12505
I get no audio. On the banner on my SamsungOTA HD broadcasts usually say "digital/AC 3".

On 7-1 it only says "digital". All other channels are working fine, including 7-2.

Is it my receiver or KATV?
post #129 of 12505
Thread Starter 
hpb,
YES, there is a problem with KATV.

A couple of weeks ago, they did a software change to the digital station which affected audio only on Samsung STBs.

Is your Samsung model # TS160? If so, please call KATV's Chief Engineer, James Tidwell at: 501 324-7790 or 324-7792 and complain to him.

He needs to be aware that the software change that affected only certain brands of STBs is still not fixed. It is NOT the fault of your digital tuner. The more people that call, the faster they will address the problem.
post #130 of 12505
Thread Starter 
hpb,
Please post back here with your Samsung model number.

Thanks
post #131 of 12505
Thread Starter 
Quote:


Originally posted by Azanon
... Looks like Circuit City is out of the Zeniths...

You can order it online with free shipping. If there's a problem with it, you can return it at the local store.

If you want to compare features of different D* STBs or just read up on the one you plan to buy, you can download the user manual for the Zenith and other DirecTV STBs at this link at DirecTV.
The Zenith is model #SAT520.

Once your DirecTV service is up & running, you can make changes to your programming (add/remove channels like HBO, SHO, etc.), or add/remove SetTop Boxes to your account. Programming changes and STB activation done online take place immediately.

However, since you're starting out with Basic non-HD service, I would add the HDTV STB and HD programming package later by phone, instead of internet. If you talk to a live person, you can get the first month of HDTV package free. But only if you ask for "HDTV first month free" offer.

Here's the AVSForum Thread on the SAT520.
post #132 of 12505
I'd rather buy locally. Unless there's major issues with the Sony, i'll just go with it.
post #133 of 12505
Thread Starter 
I'm not familiar with these STBs, but supposedly the Sony has a couple of extra features on the remote that the Zenith lacks. Otherwise, they are identical inside.
post #134 of 12505
Thread Starter 
hpb,
I got this email form Mr. Tidwell at KATV regarding the audio problem affecting some STBs...

"We are trying to determine why [English/AC3 is missing on 7-1's channel banner], because the same PSIP information is on both channels. We are also working on a program schedule for the PSIP."

I attached a screen shot that shows the missing PSIP info on 7-1
post #135 of 12505
Your screenshot is exactly like mine.

I have the Samsung T-160 also.

I will call Mr. Tidwell.
post #136 of 12505
Sam- I just corrected the EPG problem with KASN & KLRT. The computer that grabs guide info from Tribune was hung. Tried emailing you, but email kept bouncing.
post #137 of 12505
Thread Starter 
allen,
Thanks for the heads up. I thought y'all provided PSIP EPG. I hadn't been using real PSIP until yesterday, when I removed the ZIP code in my Samsung box, so I coud watch KATV-DT with sound!

With no local ZIP code entered in setup, the TS160 uses PSIP info to build the local EPG. If a ZIP is entered, the box downloads an EPG for locals from DirecTV.

But entering a ZIP also kills the audio on 7-1.

I hope KATV gets all this figured out. They are trying to get Harris & Samsung to talk to each other about this problem.

hpb,
For now, if you want to get the audio back on 7-1 on your TS160:
1. Go into setup/installation/local networks
2. Remove all local zip codes.
The box should reboot and rebuild your program guide - MINUS the guide info for the local OTA channels.

NOTE, you will get some guide info from OTA, from the stations that provide it. Currently, 4-1, 11-1, 11-2, 16-1 & 38-1 all provide PSIP guide info.

Channel 7 does not.
post #138 of 12505
Hey guys, I live in Hot Springs and was wondering if the OTA signals from the Little Rock stations are strong enough to be received down here. I'd like to make the jump to HDTV, but not if I can only get it off of DirectTV.

Also, whats the deal with Dish Network? No one has mentioned them as an option for HD. Is it even an option?

thanks for any advice
post #139 of 12505
Thread Starter 
hi shaneotool,
I'm not sure if all the OTA digital stations could be received in HS. I have my doubts, because most of them are broadcasting at low power.

You should be able to receive KLRT-DT (FOX), KASN-DT (UPN) & possible KTHV-DT (CBS). FOX & UPN are the only LR digitals transmitting at full power. KTHV-DT was at full power for a while, but according to one of their engineers, they've dropped back to ~50% power. KARK & KATV are the lowest power digitals and may not reach much farther than their city of license. You might try calling the stations & speaking to some of the engineers.

Only KATV & KTHV are broadcasting network HD. The rest are just standard definition.

Dish Network has some HD and more on the way. But currently, DirecTV has the most HD channels and a better selection of STBs.
post #140 of 12505
I removed the zip code from my Local Network configuration and now I have audio on 7-1, but no guide data for KATV. So I decided to put the zipcode back to see if the problem would return but the receiver says it is receiving data and goes to 100%, waits a few more minutes and never sets the location to Little Rock or retains the zipcode setting.

I have tried a variety of zip codes and all produce the same results. Maybe DirecTV is having a problem with guide data?

Any thoughts?
post #141 of 12505
Thread Starter 
Quote:


Originally posted by hpb
... I decided to put the zipcode back to see if the problem would return but the receiver says it is receiving data and goes to 100%, waits a few more minutes and never sets the location to Little Rock or retains the zipcode setting.

I have tried a variety of zip codes and all produce the same results.

hpb,
I'm having the exact same problem. I've tried different ZIP codes, selecting NO DISH and back to OVAL-3, rebooting and unplugging the box (even overnight).

I can NOT get the box to re-accept the ZIP code info. It hangs at 100%.

I'm going to do some searches in the TS160 threads to see if there's a way to fix this.

Were you able to contact engineers at KATV?
post #142 of 12505
Arxaw,

Well, broadway's coming back out again today... they didnt have a tall enough ladder yesterday (my house is quite tall, and on a mountain). I'm going to just have them point the batwing towards Shinall. CBS is the highest quality one of them (cause my tv is native 1080i), so i'd just prefer i get a solild hit on it. I'm just hoping i'll be able to get ABC, UPN, and the others when they eventually go to full power with HD down the line.

I've seen at least one person here actually getting ABC HD with just an indoor antenna, so surely i can get it with an outdoor antenna with me being on this mountain and my tall house sitting on it, regardless of which way i have the antenna pointing.

I was delighted to see the sony HD receiver will come with a DVI cable. I thought i'd have to pay another century note for that cable, but i guess i wont.

Oh, and the technician was laughting at me, asking me "are you sure you want this batwing antenna in this neighborhood? I have this much more visually pleasing terk that goes right on the antenna". I smiled and answered.... "YUP!, i want the batwing!".

Azanon
post #143 of 12505
arxaw,

I spoke with Mr. Tidwell yesterday and he suggested the same procedure you did.

Have you changed your zipcode since the firmware upgrade that came out last May? I don't think I have. Maybe there's a bug in the code.

hpb
post #144 of 12505
Thread Starter 
hpb,

Good news/bad news. First the good news:

KATV appears to have fixed the audio problem caused by incorrect PSIP data.

Here's how to get your local ZIP Code(s) back into the TS160:
1. If the system is locked, unlock the system in Profiles and exit the menu screen
2. With the STB still on, go over to the STB and open the drop down door.
3. Hold down the RT arrow key> on the STB itself (not the remote).
4. While holding down the RT arrow key, press the MENU button on the STB (not the remote) until the hidden menu appears on screen.
5. Select: COMMANDS/DEFAULT SETTINGS.

The box will reset to its default settings and you will now be able to enter your local zip code.
After entering your ZIP code, rescan for analog OTA channels from the Setup/Antenna menu.
Next rescan for digital OTA channels.
If you also have analog cable, you may alternately select SCAN ALL.

Now, the bad news:
ALL your settings for the box, including Profiles, Favorite channels, blocked channel lists, etc. may have to be re-entered.
post #145 of 12505
Thread Starter 
Azanon,

KTHV-DT, although not full power, seems to be one of the easiest channels for me to receive, regardless of antenna position [YMMV]. It is also a VHF channel, which your stealthtenna handles better than UHF.

Since you're farther from KATV-DT (ABC), and it is lower power, UHF and farther away, I would first try aiming the antenna for highest signal strength on ABC. At your distance, KTHV-DT will probably not be a problem.

I would insist on the preamp, since that antenna doesn't perform too well without it, according to tests I've read.

If the antenna is too obtrusive, you can paint it a flat color to match whatever's behind it (like trees), so it's not as visible from the street. Everything on the DirecTV dish, except the white parts of the LNBs, may also be painted, if desired.
post #146 of 12505
arxaw,

Thanks for the info. I'll give it a try tonight. I don't have a favorites list or have any special configuration so it shouldn't be that big a deal.

If it were my TiVo that would be a different story !

hpb
post #147 of 12505
arxaw,

That did the trick. Everything is back the way it should be.

Thanks,

hpb
post #148 of 12505
I wound up getting the Zenith 520. They had it mispriced for 499 (instead of 599) and gave me the lower price, weee!

The antenna they installed for me was a Wineguard GS-1000, without a preamp. They call it a batwing, and that's what it looks like, but Wineguard GS-1000 is the official name. As i mentioned before, it is an outdoor VHF/UHF antenna installed, attached to my satellite dish.

I'd say my reception was a success. I decided to point it towards Redfield, and i'm getting in both 7 and 11 DT, afaik without dropouts (see radar screen on 11-2, and 7-2 comes in perfect but just stretched shows so far). Naturally, 7, 38, and 2 are almost crystal clear on non-digital. Channel 4 on non digital is pretty good, but channel 11 is unwatchable (SD). Fox is also unwatchable ND, and i dont believe the DT for 16 is coming in either.

So far, my HDTV viewing has been stunning, watching mainly a mix of HD Disc, HDnet, and HD movies. I havent had the chance to see a real OTA HD show yet so I look forward to that.

Azanon
post #149 of 12505
Thread Starter 
Azanon,

Whew, I was afraid the antenna I *thought* they were going to install wouldn't work. But the one you ended up with is supposedly even worse for weak signals! It's designed for RVs, and only rated at ~25 miles, which is close to the distance to Redfield (ABC) from your house. And KATV-DT is only broadcasting at a 30kw, (full power would be ~1000kw).

This reinforces the opinions of many in this forum that the LG/Zenith/Sony STB you purchased has the best OTA tuner of all the DirecTV boxes available right now.

You should be able to get:
NBC KARK-DT 4-1 (480i) (actually on UHF channel 32)
ABC KATV-DT 7-1 (720p) (actually on UHF channel 22)
ABC KATV-DT 7-2 (480i) (actually on UHF channel 22)
CBS KTHV-DT 11-1 (1080i) (actually on VHF channel 12)
Radar KTHV-DT 11-2 (480i) (actually on VHF channel 12)
FOX KLRT-DT 16-1 (1080i upconvert) (on UHF channel 30)
FOX will begin HDTV in fall '04 and KLRT will likely switch to 720p at that time.
UPN KASN-DT 38-1 (480i) (actually on UHF channel 39)

If you later notice reception problems when the weather changes, or at different times of the day, you likely have a weak signal. If so, adding a high quality, LOW NOISE preamp to the antenna, like the Channel Master CM 7777 should solve dropout problems.

Did you connect the HD box after Broadway finished their work, or did they install it?
post #150 of 12505
Well, on your list i'm not getting 4-1 or 16-1. All i can say about channel 4 is, as i understand it, local NBC digital is being transmitted really low power and is also not HD yet, so I dont see that as being my antenna's fault nor do i really care anyway since it isnt HD. Furthermore, the NBC tower is also opposite direction my "directional" antenna is pointed.

Fox is also simply the other direction and whether my antenna was good or bad, it is definitely a directional antenna pointed the opposite direction of this tower. Like NBC, it isnt HD yet anyway, and wont be for at least another year. I cant remember if you said Fox is transmitting digital full power yet. Hopefully they arnt and i'll be able to get it when they do.

I installed the HD box myself after broadway finished their work. It went pretty painless, and i had it installed, up, and running in an hr or so.

I'm crossing my fingers on one potential problem that i guess i'll have the answer for tonight when abc and cbs broadcast a couple HD shows. Right now, both 7-1, and 11-1 are making my tv show a 4:3 image when i am in i1080 mode (my tv's native resolution). On those 2 channels, I have to put it on 480p to get it to fill my widescreen. I'm hoping that is just because they are showing 480i programming now, but i guess i'll find out tonight. My TV's ability to adjust the various widescreen modes is disabled since both my satellite video and OTA antenna is running through my STB and the input of video to the TV is via the DVI cable.

Azanon
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