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Albany, NY - HDTV - Page 154

post #4591 of 5011
It was perfect here - including the score of the game!!
post #4592 of 5011
Quote:
Originally Posted by NervousCat View Post

For me, WCWN's signal went from solid with no dropouts to no signal at all in the last two weeks. The WCWN signal has been swinging wildly on my signal meter lately. Then again, the unstable reception of WCWN could be from this weekend's windy weather. I noticed a drop in their signal since the leaves started falling from the trees. However from past forum postings, I've noticed other folks have a improvement in their reception when the leaves are down.

While we were sitting quietly all summer, smiling ear to ear, saying, "boy, this OTA is great!", the weather has been effecting the signal, for much of the time enhancing our reception with tropospheric ducting....well, the weather has gone cold and dry, and the ducting becomes less and less likely as we head for the dead of winter...what you may be seeing is the un-enhanced signal, what is really hitting the antenna without Mother Nature giving the signal a boost....with the leaves off the trees, a fractured signal may have changed, causing heart-ache....as I've mentioned before, this is not cable or satellite, it's hit or miss in many cases...this may be the perfect time to upgrade your system, knowing over the next 6 months, this is what you'll get for a normal signal(s), and a better antenna or pre-amp may be necessary....
post #4593 of 5011
Quote:
Originally Posted by djb61230 View Post

it was perfect here - including the score of the game!!

hmmmm
post #4594 of 5011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davird_Jr View Post

Watching NY Giants on Fox and have been getting dropouts in the signal. It is happening on OTA and on Satellite. Anyone else notice this? It was doing the same thing the other night while watching Bones and Fringe, also both OTA and DISH satellite.

For me, the picture froze about a half dozen times for approx. 3-5 seconds each during the game (Time Warner/8300HD DVR)
post #4595 of 5011
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProTuber View Post
For me, the picture froze about a half dozen times for approx. 3-5 seconds each during the game (Time Warner/8300HD DVR)
That's what we were seeing too. Thanks.
post #4596 of 5011
Quote:
Originally Posted by kb2fzq View Post
While we were sitting quietly all summer, smiling ear to ear, saying, "boy, this OTA is great!", the weather has been effecting the signal, for much of the time enhancing our reception with tropospheric ducting....well, the weather has gone cold and dry, and the ducting becomes less and less likely as we head for the dead of winter...what you may be seeing is the un-enhanced signal, what is really hitting the antenna without Mother Nature giving the signal a boost....with the leaves off the trees, a fractured signal may have changed, causing heart-ache....as I've mentioned before, this is not cable or satellite, it's hit or miss in many cases...this may be the perfect time to upgrade your system, knowing over the next 6 months, this is what you'll get for a normal signal(s), and a better antenna or pre-amp may be necessary....
I didn't know tropospheric ducting happens on UHF channels. I remember seeing "skip" on VHF before the digital changeover on some summer nights. When the old VHF antenna was aimed at NYC, sometimes it would also pick up Philly analog channels 3, 6, and 10 for an hour or two - then it would fade away back into static.

Another question for you - why are my TV signals usually stronger at night than during the day? Is it also for the same reason - ducting?
post #4597 of 5011
Quote:
Originally Posted by NervousCat View Post

I didn't know tropospheric ducting happens on UHF channels. I remember seeing "skip" on VHF before the digital changeover on some summer nights. When the old VHF antenna was aimed at NYC, sometimes it would also pick up Philly analog channels 3, 6, and 10 for an hour or two - then it would fade away back into static.

That's not skip, that's tropo.

Skip is when you see stations from the Midwest on channels 2-6.

- Trip
post #4598 of 5011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post

That's not skip, that's tropo.

Skip is when you see stations from the Midwest on channels 2-6.

- Trip

Oh yeah, that right. Skip involves bouncing off the ionosphere for super long distances. Ham radio guys like you, Trip, probably have first hand experience with that on the amateur HF bands.

This probably qualifies as skip. I remember one day years ago, I had a station from Miami (WFOR Channel 4) come in while I was watching WNBC (which we could receive everyday from Poughkeepsie with our VHF rooftop antenna). Both analog signals began to blend in together for a short time until WFOR was strong enough to replace WNBC completely. It didn't last long - maybe 10 or 15 minutes - and then WNBC came back as usual.
post #4599 of 5011
That definitely sounds like e-skip to me.

And my experience with e-skip actually is more from TV than anything else. I remember in 2003 or 2004, the e-skip was so reliable and so consistent that every afternoon for more than a month, KPRC-2 from Houston would come in and be watchable, and stay in until late in the evening.

- Trip
post #4600 of 5011
Quote:
Originally Posted by NervousCat View Post

Oh yeah, that right. Skip involves bouncing off the ionosphere for super long distances. Ham radio guys like you, Trip, probably have first hand experience with that on the amateur HF bands.

This probably qualifies as skip. I remember one day years ago, I had a station from Miami (WFOR Channel 4) come in while I was watching WNBC (which we could receive everyday from Poughkeepsie with our VHF rooftop antenna). Both analog signals began to blend in together for a short time until WFOR was strong enough to replace WNBC completely. It didn't last long - maybe 10 or 15 minutes - and then WNBC came back as usual.

Here is a good example of what is happening to many people here and on other forums....analog signals had the capability to ride over each other, causing ghosting of one local channel and a distant channel....together...
But, now, with digital, the data streams from each channel become corrupt and the TV tuner can not determine which is which, so the result is a black TV screen until one channel is strong enough to win out, but even then, the signal quality will be poor for that winning channel on your TV, due to interference from the other channel....I think this is happening a lot out in TV land, with people just unaware of what's really happening...
post #4601 of 5011
Quote:
Originally Posted by NervousCat View Post

I didn't know tropospheric ducting happens on UHF channels. I remember seeing "skip" on VHF before the digital changeover on some summer nights. When the old VHF antenna was aimed at NYC, sometimes it would also pick up Philly analog channels 3, 6, and 10 for an hour or two - then it would fade away back into static.

Another question for you - why are my TV signals usually stronger at night than during the day? Is it also for the same reason - ducting?

Without going into an RF lesson, I would suggest Googling tropshereic ducting, this info will blow your mind...but yes, ducting occurs on VHF and UHF, only UHF tends to be less dramatic then with VHF...
Higher signals at night may be the result of the lack of ducting, not allowing a distant station from interfering with a local station..ducting usually happens early morning or (rarely) just before dark...it's effect will fade as the sun rises....
Another thing that might contribute to better signals at night is that many AM radio stations are required to reduce power at night because of skip, if there are signals mixing, and/or are in a harmonic with a TV station frequency, the reduced power might let the TV signal thru to your antenna without interference....but that is purely conjecture on my part...
post #4602 of 5011
Quote:
Originally Posted by natehieter View Post

TVfool: "http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d81a39308ad9307"

I live in Dutchess County about 50 miles from Albany. My house is situated on a high ridge running NNE which I hoped would provide decent LOS signals from the Albany transmitters.

I recently purchased a Channel Master 3010 which the supplier billed as a "mid-range" antenna. However, upon arrival, I was quite discouraged by the "pie-shapes" displayed on the front of the box. I almost sent it back directly, but curiosity got the better of me.

Given that it was raining, I simply pointed the antenna out the downstairs window, generally north. Surprisingly, WTEN/WRNN/WTBY/WCWN/WMHT/WRGB all came through in gorgeous HD with no tweaking. Minor directional adjustments brought in WNYT. However, not even a glimmer from WXXA....

I am prepared to purchase a new antenna (and climb up the telephone pole on the edge of the cliff!) but after reading about possible FM/WTEN interference with the WXXA signal I am wary about just getting "better" interference.

I am currently considering WINEGARD HD7697P, but if there are experiments I should try first I am all ears (or "eyes" in this case).

Thanks to your help I have successfully purchased a Winegard HD7015 and I am enjoying 100% signal strength from all the "relevant" channels.

Unfortunately, WXXA (fox) continues to befuddle me. The signal strength is perfect. The picture quality is great (although SLIGHTLY worse than the NBC/CBS/ABC HD channels). But....... The screen form-factor is 4:3 as opposed to 16:9!

The picture quality appears "too-good" for SD (and the sub-channel name includes -HD), yet the 4:3 form-factor would argue otherwise.

Did I miss a WXXA sub-channel in my scan? Or is this expected behavior for OTA Fox HD?
post #4603 of 5011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post

And my experience with e-skip actually is more from TV than anything else. I remember in 2003 or 2004, the e-skip was so reliable and so consistent that every afternoon for more than a month, KPRC-2 from Houston would come in and be watchable, and stay in until late in the evening.

- Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by kb2fzq View Post

Without going into an RF lesson, I would suggest Googling tropshereic ducting, this info will blow your mind...but yes, ducting occurs on VHF and UHF, only UHF tends to be less dramatic then with VHF...

Thanks kb2fzq and Trip for the propagation education.

One Google result gave me a terrific link that explains tropo ducting, e-skip and anything else Mother Nature has to offer.

http://www.anarc.org/wtfda/propagation.htm
post #4604 of 5011
natehieter:
WXXA broadcasts two subchannels. Their main one, WXXA-HD, is 1280x720p and carries Fox network programming. The other, WXXA-US, is 720x480i and carries Untamed Sports. Of course any HD channel will sometimes air 4:3 SD programs. 16:9 SD and 4:3 HD are also possible but less common (back when PBS had a separate HD channel, about half their shows were actually 16:9 SD). Annoyingly, 16:9 SD shows are often shown windowboxed, i.e. letterboxed in a 4:3 window in a 16:9 frame.

I don't think WXXA can originate HD programming but they can pass it through from Fox. I don't know if they can handle HD syndicated shows. Tonight (Monday) "House" and "Lie to Me" should be in 16:9 HD.
post #4605 of 5011
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebo View Post

I don't think WXXA can originate HD programming but they can pass it through from Fox. I don't know if they can handle HD syndicated shows. Tonight (Monday) "House" and "Lie to Me" should be in 16:9 HD.

Thanks for the swift response! I'll check it out tonight.... Just need final confirmation that everything is hooked up correctly.

Getting close to "cutting the cord"!!!
post #4606 of 5011
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebo View Post
natehieter:
WXXA broadcasts two subchannels. Their main one, WXXA-HD, is 1280x720p and carries Fox network programming. The other, WXXA-US, is 720x480i and carries Untamed Sports. Of course any HD channel will sometimes air 4:3 SD programs. 16:9 SD and 4:3 HD are also possible but less common (back when PBS had a separate HD channel, about half their shows were actually 16:9 SD). Annoyingly, 16:9 SD shows are often shown windowboxed, i.e. letterboxed in a 4:3 window in a 16:9 frame.

I don't think WXXA can originate HD programming but they can pass it through from Fox. I don't know if they can handle HD syndicated shows. Tonight (Monday) "House" and "Lie to Me" should be in 16:9 HD.
Clearly, I watch football in High Def on WXXA 23-1 every Sunday weekend...
post #4607 of 5011
Quote:
Originally Posted by natehieter View Post

getting close to "cutting the cord"!!!

do it, do it, do it!
post #4608 of 5011
I could use some help/advice on improving and distributing my OTA HD signal.

My antenna for most of my channels (pointed to the tower in the Helderbergs is the monoprice indoor/outdoor VHF/UHF antenna. See link: http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...1&format=6#faq

I also have a homemade 4 bay bow tie type antenna pointed towards Amsterdam to pick up channel 50 (the Ion network). Here is a link for the homemade antenna http://uhfhdtvantenna.blogspot.com/

I am using a Channel 50 Jointenna to combine these two antennas and I receive Channel 50 with no issues. Both antennas are located in my attic.

Here is my problem I need to split my signal to 6 devices (2 TVs and 4 HDhomerun TV tuners). I am currently using a two way splitter and a 4 way splitter (these are in series) so I know I am killing my signal strength. I don't know if I should be using a distribution amplifier like a channel master 3418 or a preamplifier like the Channel Master 7778 or should I get a better antenna??? WRGB signal does drop for me - I am going to play with my antenna orientation to see if I can improve it. Attached is a tvfool plot for my house. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
post #4609 of 5011
Quote:
Originally Posted by seaverd View Post

should I get a better antenna???

The antenna that you have is too small to be effective on channel 6. There are multiple solutions with different costs and complexity tradeoffs.

Cheapest

Antennacraft CS600 with HLSJ or UVSJ to combine antennas using both of your existing antennas

Simplest

Winegard HD7015 to replace the Monoprice antenna and existing homebrew/Jointenna for WYPX
post #4610 of 5011
O.K. I'll check into the antennas you recommended. What is the best way to split the signal to all of my devices? Should I use something like the channel master 3418 instead of the cheap passive splitters?

Thanks,

Dan
post #4611 of 5011
Another quick follow up...Are you saying if I get the HD7015 that I would be able to get all of these stations with one antenna? If so what direction do I point it in? I saw that you listed this as the simplest option...do you think this is the smartest option?

Thanks,

Dan
post #4612 of 5011
Quote:
Originally Posted by seaverd View Post

Another quick follow up...Are you saying if I get the HD7015 that I would be able to get all of these stations with one antenna? If so what direction do I point it in? I saw that you listed this as the simplest option...do you think this is the smartest option?

Thanks,

Dan

The HD7015 would get everything except WYPX. Use it with any UHF antenna plus the Jointenna that you have. Passive splitters may be sufficient. If not, you've picked the right distribution amplifier.
post #4613 of 5011
I mean no disrespect to Tower Guy, but given the strength of the various signals at your location, I probably wouldn't worry about getting a better antenna. I would instead connect your existing set-up to a single TV. Assuming that you get reasonable reception, you should be OK to use a distribution amplifier to split the signal to the various devices. You could go with a pre-amp like the CM7777 instead, but the distribution amp will be cheaper and probably easier to configure. As for splitting the signal, my experience is that standard low-cost splitters work quite well.
post #4614 of 5011
Quote:
Originally Posted by SemiChemE View Post

I mean no disrespect to Tower Guy, but given the strength of the various signals at your location, I probably wouldn't worry about getting a better antenna. I would instead connect your existing set-up to a single TV. Assuming that you get reasonable reception, you should be OK to use a distribution amplifier to split the signal to the various devices. You could go with a pre-amp like the CM7777 instead, but the distribution amp will be cheaper and probably easier to configure. As for splitting the signal, my experience is that standard low-cost splitters work quite well.

The 7777 preamp is never helpful in a LOS location, it overloads too easily. In any event, the Monoprice antenna has a built in amplifier, which may be overloaded now, but it can't be bypassed. Cascading two amplifiers never ever works right.

The dropouts on WRGB are unlikely to be fixed using the Monoprice antenna. It is too small to have useful gain on low band VHF. Antenna gain is far more important than amplifier gain.
post #4615 of 5011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tower Guy View Post

Antenna gain is far more important than amplifier gain.

So true
post #4616 of 5011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tower Guy View Post

The 7777 preamp is never helpful in a LOS location, it overloads too easily. In any event, the Monoprice antenna has a built in amplifier, which may be overloaded now, but it can't be bypassed. Cascading two amplifiers never ever works right.

The dropouts on WRGB are unlikely to be fixed using the Monoprice antenna. It is too small to have useful gain on low band VHF. Antenna gain is far more important than amplifier gain.

I didn't realize the Monoprice had an internal amplifier. I agree that cascading the output from a low-quality amplifier is a bad idea. However, with the signal booming in at >60 dB, even a simple set of indoor rabbit ears would probably do the job. At those signal levels, reception issues tend to be more about rejecting multipath than antenna gain.

As for the CM7777, I agree, which is why I recommended a distribution amp. My statement about the CM7777 being more difficult to configure glossed over the fact that such a configuration in this strong-signal location would probably require attenuators to prevent overload. The only advantage of the CM7777 is the fact that it has a fairly good Noise Factor and thus can overcome some of the noise from the sometimes low-quality amplifiers build into modern TV's and tuners. However, if the S/N ratio from the antenna is sufficient, the Noise factor becomes a non-issue.
post #4617 of 5011
Quote:
Originally Posted by flampher View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tower Guy View Post

Antenna gain is far more important than amplifier gain.

So true


That's true if the problems are due to poor incoming S/N. However, if the incoming S/N is already pretty good, but you are splitting the signal a lot then it becomes more about boosting the signal to overcome the losses, making amplifier gain more important. For the case at hand, a 6-way splitter is kind of on the borderline. It introduces about 11.5dB of insertion loss. You might be able to find an antenna with an additional 11.5 dB of gain, but it's probably a little easier and cheaper to find a distribution amp that can do so. With even larger splitters the pendulum swings even more toward the importance of amplifier gain.
post #4618 of 5011
Personally, I would go with the channel master 3418 in your case (loose the splitters), as it appears you are receiving all channels except RF 6 quite well....and RF 6 is simply the need for the correct antenna....put up a CS600 wit a UVSJ combiner, thru the channel master 3418, and you should be fine, IMHO...
post #4619 of 5011
Anyone noticing a drop in strength from 6-1 for the football game? I've dropped from 70% to 50%.
post #4620 of 5011
Greetings All

I've just relocated from LA, CA 90046 to Rhinebeck NY 12572.

I had pretty decent OTA reception/lots of channels in LA

However, I've done a search here and cant find much on what to expect for OTA DTV in the Rhinebeck area.

Any advice much appreciated

Thanks!
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