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Seattle, WA - OTA - Page 135

post #4021 of 10032
DJB64,

I've been with DirecTV since 98, and love it! My cable option is Millenium Digital, and frankly it's awful (tried it for a couple months). Picture quality is horrible and customer service is worse. I don't know much about Dish, but currently DirecTV only has a handful of HD channels. Not really worth the monthly fee, but Santa surprised me with this tuner (I was going to wait a while longer). They are supposed to roll out the rest of their channels in HD in early 2006. We'll see I guess. I've read getting the local HD signals over the dish will require a new dish, so I'm going to attempt to pick them up on antenna since the tuner supports it. Will post more once I've given it a try.

Thanks for the info!

-X-
post #4022 of 10032
Hi All,

Thought I'd ask for input and see what you think an appropriate antenna would be. Like many here, I'm wanting to dump Comcast because we only watch network HD channels. I setup a Media Center PC and am using an ATI HDTV wonder (without an analog tuner) with Windows Media Center 2005.

I show 4/5 to 5/5 for all the Seattle (Queen Anne) channels using the cheap 12" HDTV antenna that was included with the ATI video card. To be honest, I'm really impressed with the HD out of this tiny cheap antenna. Last night I watched a little HDTV on the various channels and was generally pleased with the potential. I did get some picture breakup, at times, leading me to believe that I probably should invest in a better antenna. My little antenna is just sitting on a shelf by the computer.

I'm on the west facing slope of Mercer Island (near the crest of the hill) and would have line of sight to queen anne if my neighbor didn't have 8-10 large trees. I was thinking a CM 4228 or 4221, but I'm wondering if they might be overkill. Someone mentioned the radio shack 15-2160. I already have a mast mounted, so that seems like it could be an option.

Any suggestions or thoughts on antennas? Ideally I'd like to buy locally so I don't have to wait for an online order to arrive, and hassle with online returns.

Also, for the coax cables... should I try to buy the right length with ends attached, or cut to length and attach the ends? Thanks.
post #4023 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by quarque View Post

You have a hill to the west that is partially blocking your path. I think you will need to put your antenna on a short mast on the roof. If you have lots of trees to go through it may be tough. I'd say your chances are better than 50%. I have a friend who lives a few blocks from you on 277th Pl. but alas, he is not into HD or TV at all.

Thanks for the info! Now for the tough question. Does anyone know if there are professional installation companies that will come out and test the signal somehow, plus do the install? I'm willing to pay to get job done right, since I don't care to crawl around on my roof. Also, I'm worried my homeowner's association wouldn't care for me putting an antenna on the roof.
post #4024 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJB64 View Post

X:

I live in Sammamish and have a ten-year old RS antenna in my attic. I get OTA HD on all channels (4.1, 5.1, 7.1, etc) except 13 (Tacoma). I would like to hear more about how you like your setup...I have DishNet w/o HD receivers and am in process of deciding whether to stay with DN or move to DirecTV or Comcast.

BTW anyone have any opinion on whether it is possible to orient my antenna in a direction that would allow me to get Channel 13.1 AND the Seattle HD stations?

I would stay with Dish if you are into HD. You will need access to the 129 satellite, this can be done by either adding another dish 500 (assuming that is what you have now) by pointing to 129, or even better...get a dish 1000 which will give you all 3 satellites (110, 119 & 129) in one small footprint. Then you need to choose an hd receiver. I would go with the new 411 single tuner, or 322 dual tuner (avail in feb). If dvr is a necessity wait till February for the 622 (all are MPEG 2 & 4 capable). As long as you have OTA hd, dish is the better choice with more channels and better PQ than direct or comcast.
post #4025 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by platbr View Post

Hi All,

Thought I'd ask for input and see what you think an appropriate antenna would be. Like many here, I'm wanting to dump Comcast because we only watch network HD channels. I setup a Media Center PC and am using an ATI HDTV wonder (without an analog tuner) with Windows Media Center 2005.

I show 4/5 to 5/5 for all the Seattle (Queen Anne) channels using the cheap 12" HDTV antenna that was included with the ATI video card. To be honest, I'm really impressed with the HD out of this tiny cheap antenna. Last night I watched a little HDTV on the various channels and was generally pleased with the potential. I did get some picture breakup, at times, leading me to believe that I probably should invest in a better antenna. My little antenna is just sitting on a shelf by the computer.

I'm on the west facing slope of Mercer Island (near the crest of the hill) and would have line of sight to queen anne if my neighbor didn't have 8-10 large trees. I was thinking a CM 4228 or 4221, but I'm wondering if they might be overkill. Someone mentioned the radio shack 15-2160. I already have a mast mounted, so that seems like it could be an option.

Any suggestions or thoughts on antennas? Ideally I'd like to buy locally so I don't have to wait for an online order to arrive, and hassle with online returns.

Also, for the coax cables... should I try to buy the right length with ends attached, or cut to length and attach the ends? Thanks.

platbr
Try the 15-2160, first. It might just do the job. Signal can be strong there. A 4228 is overkill, the 4221 would work far better, if the 15-2160 doesn't do it.
Cable length isn't going to be that big an issue, for you, so just buy premade RG6 cables, as close as you can to what you need, and tie up the excess in a small 6" diameter roll.
Dan
post #4026 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xerxes480 View Post

Thanks for the info! Now for the tough question. Does anyone know if there are professional installation companies that will come out and test the signal somehow, plus do the install? I'm willing to pay to get job done right, since I don't care to crawl around on my roof. Also, I'm worried my homeowner's association wouldn't care for me putting an antenna on the roof.

Xerxes480
I can help you with that. Call anytime.
Dan
206-794-3993
post #4027 of 10032
Damn, almost the entire Top Ten of Letterman tonight got cut off by a commercial. I know it's a repeat but...wth KIRO?
post #4028 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanKurts View Post

Xerxes480
I can help you with that. Call anytime.
Dan
206-794-3993

Thanks Dan. I will be calling you in the next day or two.

Christian AKA Xerxes480
post #4029 of 10032
Dan, Quarque, I'm near 265th NE and NE 24th east of Redmond. According to topozone I'm about 400 feet elevation. I have direct line of sight from SE to SW of me (roughly N of Mt Si to W of Tiger Mt) but can't see any Seattle towers. How are my chances of picking up OTA HD signals from Seattle (If I follow NE 24th on Topozone I think I'm about the same elevation as Sahale golf course)?

Thanks,

TU
post #4030 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by TangoUniform View Post

Dan, Quarque, I'm near 265th NE and NE 24th east of Redmond. According to topozone I'm about 400 feet elevation. I have direct line of sight from SE to SW of me (roughly N of Mt Si to W of Tiger Mt) but can't see any Seattle towers. How are my chances of picking up OTA HD signals from Seattle (If I follow NE 24th on Topozone I think I'm about the same elevation as Sahale golf course)?

Thanks,

TU

Yes you are at about 400 feet. Your main concern is in the westerly direction where all the major stations are. About 3 miles west of you is a 570-foot hill that is blocking most or all of your direct signals. You will, however, get some refracted signal off that crest. So it looks dicey but we have seen people succeed in similar situations. You will want a good antenna on a mast on the roof.

Before you invest a lot of time and money you might borrow a receiver and antenna (or buy a cheap antenna like the RS 15-2160) and see if you get anything at all with the RS as high up as practical on a temporary mount. If it is halfway reliable, you should proceed with a permanent install.
post #4031 of 10032
After having good reception for several months I lost consistant signal with my problem channel KOMO. After trying to tweak the antenna around the spot where it was working before I took the antenna from the side of the house (chimney) I took it to the back deck and found I was getting good numbers (dish 942) for KOMO tonight. Peak numbers at 80 which is the best I've gotten. This is with a cm4228. Haven't tried to fine tune it too much but the signal peaks at a decent number then within a few seconds drops down to 60 or below and I loose picture. Any idea why it fluctuates so much? Any suggestions would be welcome. Address is 16704 3rd Dr SE, Bothell (Mill Creek) 98012.
post #4032 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Ebby View Post

After having good reception for several months I lost consistant signal with my problem channel KOMO. After trying to tweak the antenna around the spot where it was working before I took the antenna from the side of the house (chimney) I took it to the back deck and found I was getting good numbers (dish 942) for KOMO tonight. Peak numbers at 80 which is the best I've gotten. This is with a cm4228. Haven't tried to fine tune it too much but the signal peaks at a decent number then within a few seconds drops down to 60 or below and I loose picture. Any idea why it fluctuates so much? Any suggestions would be welcome. Address is 16704 3rd Dr SE, Bothell (Mill Creek) 98012.

Mine reception, a few blocks from you, has been rock solid. I'm guessing all that wind we've been having is moving trees around and messing with your reception of channels your barely receiving. This has been happening a lot with KCTS for me. Anytime the wind picks up KCTS starts dropping out.
post #4033 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanKurts View Post

platbr
Try the 15-2160, first. It might just do the job. Signal can be strong there. A 4228 is overkill, the 4221 would work far better, if the 15-2160 doesn't do it.
Cable length isn't going to be that big an issue, for you, so just buy premade RG6 cables, as close as you can to what you need, and tie up the excess in a small 6" diameter roll.
Dan

Thanks Dan. I bought the 15-2160 and will install it today or tomorrow. I'm hopeful that it will provide better reception than the free HDTV antenna that came with the video card. Like you suggested, I just bought the pre-made RG6 cables. Thanks again for the tips.

Brian
post #4034 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by quarque View Post

Yes you are at about 400 feet. Your main concern is in the westerly direction where all the major stations are. About 3 miles west of you is a 570-foot hill that is blocking most or all of your direct signals. You will, however, get some refracted signal off that crest. So it looks dicey but we have seen people succeed in similar situations. You will want a good antenna on a mast on the roof.

Before you invest a lot of time and money you might borrow a receiver and antenna (or buy a cheap antenna like the RS 15-2160) and see if you get anything at all with the RS as high up as practical on a temporary mount. If it is halfway reliable, you should proceed with a permanent install.

Thanks! related question: I have some tall trees on my property. would mounting the antenna to the top of one of them provide better reception than on my roof or would the wind moving the tree around cause reception problems?
post #4035 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by TangoUniform View Post

Thanks! related question: I have some tall trees on my property. would mounting the antenna to the top of one of them provide better reception than on my roof or would the wind moving the tree around cause reception problems?

Well, generally higher is better. But if it is aiming right through the thickest part of surrounding tree foliage it may be worse than half way down the tree. I would start out on the roof since that is far easier to deal with. Several AVS people have mounted antennas in trees and the swaying does not seem to matter, signalwise. But tree climbing is not for amateurs. It has to be carefully planned and executed.
post #4036 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Ebby View Post

After having good reception for several months I lost consistant signal with my problem channel KOMO. After trying to tweak the antenna around the spot where it was working before I took the antenna from the side of the house (chimney) I took it to the back deck and found I was getting good numbers (dish 942) for KOMO tonight. Peak numbers at 80 which is the best I've gotten. This is with a cm4228. Haven't tried to fine tune it too much but the signal peaks at a decent number then within a few seconds drops down to 60 or below and I loose picture. Any idea why it fluctuates so much? Any suggestions would be welcome. Address is 16704 3rd Dr SE, Bothell (Mill Creek) 98012.

The same thing happened to me with KOMO a couple months ago. It was flawless for 3 years. I had to drag out the old RS double-bowtie and reconnect via my A-B switch. Something changed in the signal path and blocked out KOMO. But my RS is inside, about 10 feet lower than the one on the chimney and it pulls in KOMO fine. Damn trees - they just keep growing! Some day I will play with the outside antenna so I can remove the A-B...
post #4037 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by quarque View Post

Well, generally higher is better. But if it is aiming right through the thickest part of surrounding tree foliage it may be worse than half way down the tree. I would start out on the roof since that is far easier to deal with. Several AVS people have mounted antennas in trees and the swaying does not seem to matter, signalwise. But tree climbing is not for amateurs. It has to be carefully planned and executed.

Thank You!!
post #4038 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Ebby View Post

After having good reception for several months I lost consistant signal with my problem channel KOMO. After trying to tweak the antenna around the spot where it was working before I took the antenna from the side of the house (chimney) I took it to the back deck and found I was getting good numbers (dish 942) for KOMO tonight. Peak numbers at 80 which is the best I've gotten. This is with a cm4228. Haven't tried to fine tune it too much but the signal peaks at a decent number then within a few seconds drops down to 60 or below and I loose picture. Any idea why it fluctuates so much? Any suggestions would be welcome. Address is 16704 3rd Dr SE, Bothell (Mill Creek) 98012.


Chuck
This is a classic case of what makes finding that sweet spot so frustrating.

When you get right on the ragged edge of minimum signal level, (NOT the numbers on your tuners "strength" display) and something changes just slightly, the decoder will avalanche, or just loose a lock on the signal. It doesn't do it gradually, like analog signals, where you have degrees of ghosting, snow, etc. Once it regains that level again and locks, though, it's a perfect picture and good "numbers" again. What you can't see is when it's working with a very weak amount.

The other thing that also produces the same effect is a chopped up signal, when viewed on a scope. Trees are notorious for doing that. Levels could be good to very high, but, because the signal is so wide, (6mhz) it could have portions that are very weak, and the decoder just won't lock. It can equalize the signal, somewhat, from what looks like a sawtooth or roller coaster pattern, to flatter waveshape. However, changes of more than about 10db are usually beyond its capability.

Now, combine the two problems, with a moving wall of wood, (trees swaying in the wind that are in the path) and add a quarter to half mile of them, as in your case, and you have the Grinch that stole your Holiday!

You're not alone. I had dozen or so calls after the Nisqually earthquake for jobs that were going through the trees just fine, and now were only fair to just plain gone.
Patience will win out. Just retry everything. What was dead before may now be fine, so don't rule out any spot.

Dan
post #4039 of 10032
Hi,
I am in the fairwood area, and have had audio problems with all my digital ota channels since the last 10 days. The picture is perfect but the audio is almost not there. Anyone else seeing this? My receiver is the samsung DIRECTV with OTA.

Dan, you had set this up for me Sep 2004. If there are no ideas here on whats happening here, I will give you a call :-)

Thanks
post #4040 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanKurts View Post

Chuck
This is a classic case of what makes finding that sweet spot so frustrating.

When you get right on the ragged edge of minimum signal level, (NOT the numbers on your tuners "strength" display) and something changes just slightly, the decoder will avalanche, or just loose a lock on the signal. It doesn't do it gradually, like analog signals, where you have degrees of ghosting, snow, etc. Once it regains that level again and locks, though, it's a perfect picture and good "numbers" again. What you can't see is when it's working with a very weak amount.

The other thing that also produces the same effect is a chopped up signal, when viewed on a scope. Trees are notorious for doing that. Levels could be good to very high, but, because the signal is so wide, (6mhz) it could have portions that are very weak, and the decoder just won't lock. It can equalize the signal, somewhat, from what looks like a sawtooth or roller coaster pattern, to flatter waveshape. However, changes of more than about 10db are usually beyond its capability.

Now, combine the two problems, with a moving wall of wood, (trees swaying in the wind that are in the path) and add a quarter to half mile of them, as in your case, and you have the Grinch that stole your Holiday!

You're not alone. I had dozen or so calls after the Nisqually earthquake for jobs that were going through the trees just fine, and now were only fair to just plain gone.
Patience will win out. Just retry everything. What was dead before may now be fine, so don't rule out any spot.

Dan

Thanks Dan. Put it on a 5' mast and connected up. Looks like I am getting KOMO steady now. Same antenna getting everything else now but KCPQ. As this antenna was used only for KOMO before I dug out the jointenna but as soon as I plug in the antenna for KCPQ I loose the signal for KOMO. So still stuck with the A/B switch. Main thing is it looks like I have KOMO and in time for the playoffs.
Happy New Year everybody!!!
post #4041 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeshh View Post

Hi,
I am in the fairwood area, and have had audio problems with all my digital ota channels since the last 10 days. The picture is perfect but the audio is almost not there. Anyone else seeing this? My receiver is the samsung DIRECTV with OTA.

Dan, you had set this up for me Sep 2004. If there are no ideas here on whats happening here, I will give you a call :-)

Thanks

rajeshh
The way the digital signal works, if you get picture, then you have sound information, too.
To isolate the problem, check several things.

First, if the satellite channels are working, then your OTA tuner may have some problems with its audio portion. It's a separate tuner from the satellite, even though they use the same audio out connections on the back. If satellite channels are not putting audio, either, then you need to to do some more checking.

Hook up an analog audio cable from the tuner to the amp, and disconnect the optical digital cable. Set the amp for stereo, and the input mode for analog only. If you get audio again, then set the mode for auto. If that works then try ProLogic. If that gives you sound, (don't worry about full surround, just that you get sound) you may optical problems. Connect the optical cable back up and see if the Digital lights up on the amps display when you have a digital audio channel tuned (check the Info banner for the Dolby digital or AC3 icons when you tune in that channel).
If it lights up the display, but no audio comes out, then the amp has some internal problems.

If this gets too confusing, call me.

Dan
post #4042 of 10032
Looking for OTA tips... New HDTV primarily used for DVD viewing but do watch some OTA stuff. Rabbit ears use to work tolerably with the old tv, but not so much with my new one. I'd like to continue to try my luck with indoor antennas. Any suggested 'upgrades' from the ol' rabbit ears?

My location is the Crown Hill neighborhood... NW 92nd & Dibble Ave NW.

Thanks. D.Creed
post #4043 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damon Creed View Post

Looking for OTA tips... New HDTV primarily used for DVD viewing but do watch some OTA stuff. Rabbit ears use to work tolerably with the old tv, but not so much with my new one. I'd like to continue to try my luck with indoor antennas. Any suggested 'upgrades' from the ol' rabbit ears?

My location is the Crown Hill neighborhood... NW 92nd & Dibble Ave NW.

Thanks. D.Creed

Hi Damon,

I am by no means an expert here, so take my advice with a grain of salt... I've read on http://www.tvantenna.com/support/tutorials/uhf.html that the radio shack 15-623 may be your best choice.

Hope this helps.
Dale
post #4044 of 10032
Hi Dan,
I powered off the DirecTV receiver and turned it on again, and now audio is back. I still do have audio dropouts at times, not sure if thats because of the bad weather.
post #4045 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by daleq View Post

Hi Damon,

I am by no means an expert here, so take my advice with a grain of salt... I've read on http://www.tvantenna.com/support/tutorials/uhf.html that the radio shack 15-623 may be your best choice.

Hope this helps.
Dale

Damon & Dale,

The 15-623 is the old model number, replaced by the 15-624. It works well but does not come with a balun for coax connection. You have to drill out the twin-lead rivets and bolt on a balun (not that difficult). Total cost = $20 + labor.

A more poplular RS unit is the 15-1880 - it is more $$ but works well also and has a coax connector. It is a single-bowtie with rear screen. Total cost = $50 (no labor).

There are other, more highly-regarded indoor units such as the Zenith Silver Sensor (ZHDTV1). It is a mini-yagi design and can be found at some Sears and various other stores. It is much more directional than either of the above units.

You might take a trip to Fry's in Renton to see what they have too. You will want to avoid anything with an amplifier or touted as "omni-directional".
post #4046 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeshh View Post

Hi Dan,
I powered off the DirecTV receiver and turned it on again, and now audio is back. I still do have audio dropouts at times, not sure if thats because of the bad weather.

rajeshh
I'll drop by tomorrow and take a quick look. If you're there, fine. If not, we'll set something up later.
Dan
post #4047 of 10032
I'm trying to figure out if I overpowered my Home Theater PC (with an HDTV Wonder) with too hot a signal? I tried the CM 4228, but forgot to shut off the inline amplifier, and my signal degraded very badly. My HDTV signal was OK with the indoor antenna, and good with a 15-2160 antenna from Radio Shack. It got better yet with an RCA amplifier for UHF signals, but I still had some breakup during rain & weather. So I decided to try a bigger antenna.

Last night I installed a Channel Master 4228 (the 4221 would have been better, but I couldn't find it locally). I expected good things. But all my channels degraded significantly, so I reinstalled the 15-2160 before it got dark. I forgot (DOH!) to unplug the amplifier (+10db). I'm going to try the CM 4228 again, but thought I'd ask here before climbing the chimney again. Any clue if I probably (likely?) overpowered the HDTV card with a hot signal?

I'm sure things will work better if I unplug the amplifier, thoughts?
post #4048 of 10032
Recently bought a 4221 to be used with my DirecTV HD Tivo. Installed in attic and can't get any signal. Can someone please help me to see if it is even possible to get a signal at my location?

2601 78th Ave NE, Medina WA 98039

Thanks
post #4049 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damon Creed View Post

Looking for OTA tips... New HDTV primarily used for DVD viewing but do watch some OTA stuff. Rabbit ears use to work tolerably with the old tv, but not so much with my new one. I'd like to continue to try my luck with indoor antennas. Any suggested 'upgrades' from the ol' rabbit ears?

My location is the Crown Hill neighborhood... NW 92nd & Dibble Ave NW.

Thanks. D.Creed

I live a bit north of you in Broadview. The Zenith Silver Sensor works great for me, but I had good analog reception with the rabbit's ears.

YMMV.
post #4050 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by platbr View Post

I'm trying to figure out if I overpowered my Home Theater PC (with an HDTV Wonder) with too hot a signal?

Yes. And be careful up there.
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