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post #9811 of 10034
BTW some things I am learning as a hobbyist who really likes to dabble in electronics:

1) When it comes to digital TV reception, there's no "silver bullet" antenna that works uniformly well at all locations. It's a trial and error process. Based on Amazon reviews, certain models do "stand out" but sometimes old-school products like the classic 4-bay CM4221 (and clones) outperform the "new and improved" antennas. I'm currently using a 4-bay 4221 clone mounted indoors up near the ceiling with fairly decent results (14 transmitters, 41 channels) but am planning a rooftop install for more stable reception.

2) Similarly, sites like TV Fool are very, very useful but not 100% accurate predictors of real-life reception at your exact house.

3) Different digital TV tuners have different levels of sensitivity, multipath rejection, ability to cope with signal overload, and so forth. Some CECBs like the Channel Master 7000 might outperform a television's built-in tuner, or vice versa.

4) Outdoor placement above ground level generally trumps indoor placement. If you gotta do indoor placement, signal strength almost always is better placed when near a window, which is why in the past I was able to obtain surprisingly adequate reception in my former SeaTac condo at a certain "sweet spot", even though we were on the south side of the McMicken Heights hill and partially below ground level.

Those of us who are hobbyists can come up with "educated guesses" but pro installers who have rather sophisticated equipment can better determine signal QUALITY, as well as apply seat-of-the-pants know-how that we as hobbyists don't really have.

If you really wanna be Comcast-free (or Millenium-free), it may be worth the expense to get a professional installation.

P.S. The "14 transmitters, 41 channels" using an indoor placement of the classic 4-day is using an average-grade CECB, the RCA DTA 800B. The DTA-800B is pretty good but not the absolute best-in-class for sensitivity. I could get more transmitters, or obtain higher signal strength, using my CM 7000 or some of the tuners in late-model televisions. I dusted off the DTA800 for use during an upcoming rooftop antenna install, in order to evaluate "typical" TV reception (typical of my older Samsung HD set's internal tuner), rather than relying upon the CM-7000 "supertuner" which outperforms most of what's on the market.

As always, your mileage may vary.
Edited by seatacboy - 10/21/13 at 11:18am
post #9812 of 10034
Quote:
Originally Posted by dprus View Post

OK - so actually, I'm not getting KOMO (not sure why I thought I was). Here's the actual list of what I'm receiving right now:

7-1 KIRO-DT
7-2 KIRO-SD
16-1 KONG-DT
16-2 KONG-SD
33-1 ION
33-2 qubo
33-3 IONLife
33-4 Shop
33-5 QVC
33-7 TLMD
42-1 KWDK
46-1 TBD
46-2 Peace
46-3 SBN
46-4 TBD
46-5 HotTV
46-6 Wizebuy
51-1 KUNS-1
51-2 KUNS-2

And as a reminder, my TVFool is: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d46ae6ab1a26fc9

So I'm still trying to work out why I can pick up things like KONG and KUNS but not KING and KOMO. Is this likely? I thought they were on the same tower?

dprus
All the channels you are getting are coming from Tiger Mt, which is line of sight to you to the SW. KONG, however, comes from Queen Anne hill, mainly West. KING is on the same tower, KOMO a block west and KIRO's main tower a few blocks NW. KIRO you are getting is a translator on Tiger Mt. I've not heard of any KONG translators there, and the web doesn't show any. I'm surprised you are getting it, but then I've seen wierd before! Mitchell Hill is right in the path to the Seattle stations and hundreds of feet higher than you. The few surveys I've tried in the past out there got zero because of it. Remember where you were getting KONG, and use the same spot as a reference point for any other antennas you try. Then move around for further testing. KING will be the hardest to get, as it's higher in frequency, and has a weaker signal to the East. Use KOMO as a the one to search for. Ch's 9, 11 & 13 will need an antenna that has VHF elements, which the DB2 doesn't have. Try a HBU 33 from RatShack. It has a better chance, and you can always take it back.
Looking forward to hearing what you get.
Dan
post #9813 of 10034
Thanks guys - a lot of things to think about.

Right now I'm at the point of mounting a mast and I do have some questions about that. I bought an under eave mount (model KAUEM1 from eavemounts.com) but it doesn't extend very high at all above my roof. I think I need to get a mast of at least 3 to 4 feet to extend this existing mast.

The mast apparently has a 2" OD. Does anyone have some good recommendations as to how I can extend it? Thanks again.
post #9814 of 10034
Quote:
Originally Posted by dprus View Post

Thanks guys - a lot of things to think about.

Right now I'm at the point of mounting a mast and I do have some questions about that. I bought an under eave mount (model KAUEM1 from eavemounts.com) but it doesn't extend very high at all above my roof. I think I need to get a mast of at least 3 to 4 feet to extend this existing mast.

The mast apparently has a 2" OD. Does anyone have some good recommendations as to how I can extend it? Thanks again.

So I'm thinking of just going to Home Depot and buying a metal pole (like these metal chain-link fence top rails) and also a tap and drill bit combo so I can drill a thread into the mount. Then I'll insert the top rail into the eave mount and use two bolts to screw through my newly created thread to hold the top rail in place.

Anyone see any issues with this?
post #9815 of 10034
Quote:
Originally Posted by dprus View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by dprus View Post

Thanks guys - a lot of things to think about.

Right now I'm at the point of mounting a mast and I do have some questions about that. I bought an under eave mount (model KAUEM1 from eavemounts.com) but it doesn't extend very high at all above my roof. I think I need to get a mast of at least 3 to 4 feet to extend this existing mast.

The mast apparently has a 2" OD. Does anyone have some good recommendations as to how I can extend it? Thanks again.

So I'm thinking of just going to Home Depot and buying a metal pole (like these metal chain-link fence top rails) and also a tap and drill bit combo so I can drill a thread into the mount. Then I'll insert the top rail into the eave mount and use two bolts to screw through my newly created thread to hold the top rail in place.

Anyone see any issues with this?
Only that a tapped thread in such thin metal isn't as good as using a sheet metal screw.
post #9816 of 10034
Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

Only that a tapped thread in such thin metal isn't as good as using a sheet metal screw.

OK. So I was going to go out and mount the antenna today but after putting the ladder on the side of my house (it's 2 stories on top of a crawlspace) I don't think I have the courage to go up there. Can anyone recommend someone on the Seattle eastside that can do the antenna install for me? Even better would be someone who knows a lot about HDTV antenna installations and can help me try out a few different antennas (I have a db2e but I could also go and buy a HBU33 from RadioShack) and who has equipment for figuring out the optimum place to point the antenna?
post #9817 of 10034
Dan is active on the forum here and very knowledgeable. I've not hired him, but certainly would if I wanted an TV antenna installed.

Dan Kurts
206-794-3993
post #9818 of 10034
So, last night I discovered (just in time for the Seahawks MNF) that I don't get KONG anymore (16.1 or 16.2). I was getting 0 signal, even though my signal from KING (and everything else) is still as strong as ever. Leaving the TV on while I tried to research this problem, every few minutes there was a snippet of sound or a still image of the game, but generally it was black.

I'm sure I got KONG before, but I don't know when it stopped working for me; it's not a station I use a lot. I live on Beacon Hill, antenna is roof-mounted. I'm using a ChannelMaster DVR (it didn't occur to me at the time that I should check to see if another digital receiver can get it). I tried redoing channel setup, and it came up with nothing in the 16 slot.

Thoughts?
post #9819 of 10034
Quote:
Originally Posted by seatacboy View Post

Many of us would like to receive Canadian stations from the Lower Mainland and Victoria using a deep-fringe outdoor antenna, as you could sometimes do during the analog era.

Here are my thoughts as to why this is almost impossible from the Greater Seattle metro area - I've identified three key problems:

1) The FCC has interpreted a two-decades-old radio treaty between Canada and the U.S. as giving it the authority to negotiate with Industry Canada to effectively force Canadian ATSC transmitters to use directional transmission patterns to deflect transmission of Canadian signals away from U.S. air space;

2) Using the same authority to negotiate with Industry Canada, the FCC and Industry Canada have required Canadian ATSC stations near the border to use very low transmitter power levels compared with their output levels during the analog era, again to minimize penetration of Canadian OTA signals into U.S. airspace and to avoid Canadian stations competing with U.S. stations for audiences; and

3) The FCC has licensed numerous low-power and translator stations in areas more than 40 miles from the border to use the same RF frequencies as Canadian stations, effectively providing "signal jamming" to deter reception of Canadian stations in places like the Seattle area.

In addition to the directional transmission patterns and very low power levels, here are some examples of Co-Channel "signal jamming" that would prevent reception of BC stations in the Greater Seattle area:

RF 22 - CHAN - Vancouver
RF 22 - KCPQ (Seattle translator)
RF 26 - CBUFT - Vancouver
RF 26 - KIRO (Bremerton translator)
RF 27 - CKVU-2 Victoria
RF 27 - KBTC - Tacoma
RF 29 - CHNM1 - Victoria
RF 29 - K29ED (Everett translator)
RF 33 - CKVU Vancouver
RF 33 - KWPX Bellevue
RF 47 - KIRO (Point Pulley translator)
RF 47 - CHNU - Fraser Valley
RF 49 - K49IX-D (Puyallup translator)
RF 49 - CHEK (Victoria)

So far, it appears that RF 43 (CBUT) is one of the few British Columbia OTA stations not subject to co-channel interefence in the Seattle area. CBUT also has the highest ERP of the BC stations at 103.34 kW from its Mt. Seymour transmiter at 615.4 meters HAAT. Of course, CBUT would face Adjacent-Channel interference from local RF42 and RF44.

But it's probably very unlikely that anyone in King County has actually received stable reception of CBUT-DT over-the-air (not just a tropospheric skip or an intermittent "blip"). If you are one of the lucky ones - and I am guessing it would be someone who lives high up on Somerset Hill in south Bellevue or possibly on the northern part of Queen Anne Hill or Magnolia - please feel free to chime in. I'm just curious......


Seatacboy,

I totally agree with you about those three points you listed! What's up with US trying to prevent its own citizens from receiving broadcasts from our neighbours to the north?! Geez! Isn't there ENOUGH US channels already?

Oh, another non-co-channel is RF 32 (CIVI) from Vancouver and RF 20 (CHNM).

So, you're trying to get those BC stations from your location in Renton? Wow, that's a stretch.

I live in south Everett, and I sometimes get RF 20 ... and once-in-a-blue-moon, RF17, 32, 26 , and 43.

I got so frustrated losing BCTV (RF 22) after KCPQ LD 22 came online last year... since I was able to get it half-the-time as well.

So, I got myself a new place about 50 km north and get LOS to most of those BC channels.. but I still can't get CKVU RF 33, which conflicts with ION KWPX RF 33... I can give you my Tvfool report when I get a chance so that I might get some suggestions to overcome RF 33 from the backside.
post #9820 of 10034

New to the HDTV forum, but as of now I've been on antennaweb.com getting an idea of how to get Fox (for Hawks games). I can pretty much get everything else but that. I've been using indoor antennas, most recently the clearstream 2v. The clearstream is also an outdoor, so my next plan is to get on my roof and play around seeing if Fox will come in that way. Any other suggestions other than that? I'm near the intersection of 157th Pl SE and Cascadia Way in Bothell WA. Must....have....football. I'm reading a lot about topo but unsure what my topo situation is like, although I'm guessing it's not terrible as I'm able to get many of the other channels. Thoughts and suggestions are very very welcome. Thanks! -mike

post #9821 of 10034
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatone17 View Post

New to the HDTV forum, but as of now I've been on antennaweb.com getting an idea of how to get Fox (for Hawks games). I can pretty much get everything else but that. I've been using indoor antennas, most recently the clearstream 2v. The clearstream is also an outdoor, so my next plan is to get on my roof and play around seeing if Fox will come in that way. Any other suggestions other than that? I'm near the intersection of 157th Pl SE and Cascadia Way in Bothell WA. Must....have....football. I'm reading a lot about topo but unsure what my topo situation is like, although I'm guessing it's not terrible as I'm able to get many of the other channels. Thoughts and suggestions are very very welcome. Thanks! -mike

phatone17
The hill to the SW is more in the way for ch13 from Bremerton than the other channels. It's also a VHF station, which requires longer elements than the clearstream has. However, you should be able to get ch13 on 22-2.
Dan
post #9822 of 10034

Interesting, thanks. I don't recall picking up 22-2 in some of my original scans but maybe I will when I get on the roof this weekend. Also I'm near a brick chimney presently so when I get away from that I imagine things should help.

 

Noob-alert, but is 22-2 broadcasting Fox13 in HD? You mention the clearstream isn't enough for VHF/Bremerton but you imagine it will be enough for the Seattle (22-2) broadcast? I'm not partial to the clearstream, especially if I end up having to throw another $30 at a pre-amp. I'm more than willing to return it to BestBuy (don't really like them anyways) and pick up a more tailored on amazon.

post #9823 of 10034
FOX at 22-2 broadcasts at 480i (non-HD).
post #9824 of 10034
Quote:
Originally Posted by be236 View Post

FOX at 22-2 broadcasts at 480i (non-HD).

 

Well then that changes things. What is likely required to pick up the VHF/Bremerton channel? (antenna setup) Or is that a lost cause?

post #9825 of 10034
Can you post Tvfool.com results?

Do you have hills blocking the west to Bremerton?

Probably get those small Radio-Shack type VHF/UHF antennas... I've got one pointed South/SW and can pick up KCPQ13 just fine. I'm in south Everett/Mill Creek area.
post #9826 of 10034
Quote:
Originally Posted by be236 View Post

Can you post Tvfool.com results?

Do you have hills blocking the west to Bremerton?

Probably get those small Radio-Shack type VHF/UHF antennas... I've got one pointed South/SW and can pick up KCPQ13 just fine. I'm in south Everett/Mill Creek area.

 

Sorry my hyperlink isn't working:

 

~http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d46ae3cb06d4cb7

 

Not sure about hills.

I'm not sure I know of what you're talking about by "small Radio-Shack type VHF/UHF antennas"

post #9827 of 10034
Your link looks fine to me. Your results for KCPQ 13 seems pretty good... Should be able to get a small VHF antenna to pick it up.

Something similiar to this:

http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?mc=03&p=HBU11&d=Antennacraft-by-RadioShack-HBU11-13element-HighBand-VHF--UHF-Outdoor-HDTV-Antenna-(HBU11)&c=TV Antennas&sku=

Should do the trick for you.
post #9828 of 10034

Crazy, so that's a lot cheaper than the clearstream, no pre-amp necessary? Sorry for being so naïve.

post #9829 of 10034
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatone17 View Post

Well then that changes things. What is likely required to pick up the VHF/Bremerton channel? (antenna setup) Or is that a lost cause?

Looking at your TVFool link you have a choice between RF22 and RF13 for Fox. Both will give you Fox in HD on 13-1. RF25 is the only frequency that will give you Fox in SD on 22-2.
post #9830 of 10034
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatone17 View Post

Crazy, so that's a lot cheaper than the clearstream, no pre-amp necessary? Sorry for being so naïve.

You'd typically use a pre-amp if you signal was weak, but it seems good enough strength so you dont need it.... unless you have a long cable run from the antenna to your TV (say over 100 ft)?

In your situation I would NOT use pre-amp, since it would amplify noise too.
post #9831 of 10034
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatone17 View Post

Interesting, thanks. I don't recall picking up 22-2 in some of my original scans but maybe I will when I get on the roof this weekend. Also I'm near a brick chimney presently so when I get away from that I imagine things should help.

Noob-alert, but is 22-2 broadcasting Fox13 in HD? You mention the clearstream isn't enough for VHF/Bremerton but you imagine it will be enough for the Seattle (22-2) broadcast? I'm not partial to the clearstream, especially if I end up having to throw another $30 at a pre-amp. I'm more than willing to return it to BestBuy (don't really like them anyways) and pick up a more tailored on amazon.

phatone17
To receive ch13 VHF HD from your location will be difficult. There's a hill in the way that TV Fool won't show. It's over 100ft higher than you, and most likely has trees and houses in the way as well. It peaks at about 13th W and 169thSW. Trying to get an antenna to work through that, as well as the different direction required that would reduce the other channels reception, is just not worth the effort. I would suggest trying for ch13 on their translator, actual ch22 UHF, that comes from Capital Hill. It's not real powerful, but there's almost no hill at all in the way. Frys in Renton has the Channelmaster 7777 preamp, which has a low noise figure, and would work well at your location, with your current antenna. You won't overload anything. Frys will accept a return if it doesn't help.
Let us know what happens.
Dan
post #9832 of 10034
According to a Facebook page post from KVOS, that station is working on a fix to extend their signal into the South Puget Sound. The post said something is in the works and to be patient. It didn't specify if KVOS, or simply their METV sub-channel, would benefit from their potential covergae change. KVOS-12 Bellingham and KFFV-44 Seattle are both owned by OTA Broadcasting. It would seem that KFFV could support a dot 6 sub-channel with METV programming from KVOS. It could also display that back to 12.1 keeping the true KVOS identity.
post #9833 of 10034
so... how do you tell if you are getting DT13 or DT22?

they are 78 degrees apart, but it only comes in at 3 bars, compared to king, kong kiro all at 5 bars

tvfool link
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d46ae2a31cb3ffe

Thanks
post #9834 of 10034
On your TV, do some type of "Info" on your remote control and if it says "480i" when you watch KCPQ then you have picked up SD KCPQ on RF 25.

You should be able to tell the difference from the picture quality.. big difference between SD and HD.
post #9835 of 10034
I'm on 13.1 it is 720p, but there are two HD kcpq sources, RF13 and RF22 and they 78 degrees apart (for me) they both broadcast on 13.1, and I am getting two 13.1's how do I tell the difference... signal strength is pretty similar


I also get 22.2, but that one is 480i
post #9836 of 10034
Oh, I didnt realize that RF22 (low power translation) broadcast in HD 720p. Interesting.

If so, then I dont see the problem.. So you get both RF 22 and RF13 and they show up as channel 13.1 duplicates? I guess then you can just delete one of them in your channel list....
post #9837 of 10034

Post-mortem:

 

Was able to get FOX in HD after hours on my roof and a bit in my attic....go hawks :)

 

Put Clearstream 2v in house, did not get fox, got most the other channels.

 

Put on roof, got fox, as well as most the other channels, but fox had a good amount of static/distortion

 

Put 5 ft pipe extension jacking the antenna another 5 ft in the air, got fox pretty well, kept the rest (~30 channels total)

 

Weather got bad this weekend, signal got pretty choppy. So I put my RCA amplifier from my indoor antenna in-line with the current rooftop clearstream 2v setup and it put my signal quality up to par.  Fairly happy as of now.

 

 

May still try running the antenna up a little higher, or another pre-amp someday (like the channel master mentioned), but if it's working well i'll be resistant to tweak it. It's been pretty touchy.

 

Thanks all very much for your help!

post #9838 of 10034
Great Ducting Atmospherics Tonight!

KCKA, the PBS translator near Centralia on RF 19 (mapping to 15) is hammering into Seattle now from 82 miles away from me. I'm receiving in on my CM-4221 pointed east, not south-ish! I've never received it before and yes, it is a fluke.

Jim

*Edit: Perhaps not quite as much of a fluke as I originally thought. It's baaaack! 47 hours later. REC doesn't show an antenna height change or ERP change in the works. Double fluke?

*Edit: Dan ran his special geographic program and he shows KCKA is LOS from me! Although my CM-7000 occasionally sees a tiny signal, it hasn't returned as viewable.
Edited by Jim in Seattle - 12/2/13 at 7:34pm
post #9839 of 10034

Good morning! I just learned of your blogs and find it intriguing.  We are pushing to go OTA and cut the cable.  We purchased an outdoor antenna and indoor antennas from HD and have not been successful.  Indoor was useless.  Outdoor allowed us to get channels but mostly sales and Spanish speaking channels.  Question, what type of antenna will work and can I get OTA channels?

 

Address is:  22000 NE Redmond Fall City Rd

                    Redmond, WA 98053

                    Rambler

 

I am surrounded by low lying hills to the north and the Sammish Plateau to the southwest.  We also have trees but only about 14 large trees between us and Seattle.

post #9840 of 10034
I'm considering dropping cable and would like some advice on the type of antenna I should be looking for to maximize my reception.

Here's my TV Fool: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d46ae87cbc35c2b

I'm a little concerned about the number of channels that will suffer from double edge diffraction due to my low elevation. I assume the line of sight stations will not be an issue.

I plan on mounting the antenna on my roof, if that helps.

-Gak Toid
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