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Anchorage, AK - HDTV - Page 14

post #391 of 549
Is it true that the stations at Goose Bay are trying to switch to VHF channels for HDTV?

I'm thinking about installing some sort of outdoor antenna this summer.
post #392 of 549
Anyone else having a problem pulling in KYES OTA? Was fine a couple of days ago. Now, signal is strong, but no picture or sound. (talking about digital channels 22.1, 22.2, 22.3, and 22.4)
post #393 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roginator View Post

Is it true that the stations at Goose Bay are trying to switch to VHF channels for HDTV?

I'm thinking about installing some sort of outdoor antenna this summer.

Channels 2, 7, and 13 at Goose Bay ARE using VHF channels 10, 8, and 12 respectively for DTV. An outdoor antenna is almost always a good idea. Would need to know what area of town you're in to say for sure, but in general, yes. Get the outdoor antenna. Ch 11 is UHF (Ch 28) from Spenard and 5 is UHF (Ch 22) on the hillside. Also Ch 33 (KDMD) from Eagle River.

Good luck.
Lance
post #394 of 549
Boy is my face red. Maybe this is why that Silver Sensor antenna of mine works less than well for those Goose Bay stations.
post #395 of 549
Roginator, I thought you were on the right track but....are the stations supposed to move more to the UHF frequencies?

Right now we have a mixture of the two. I picked up a silver sensor and cannot get a lot of the stations but my rabbit ears with a UHF loop get all of them to a certain degree.

Is it true that we'll need to have an antenna that is set up for both VHF and UHF?
post #396 of 549
The station assignments as they currently are are the permanent assignments. A station might petition to change to a different channel in the future, but at this point the ones we're on are the ones we're planning to stay on.

So- Yes, you need to be able to receive both UHF and VHF if you want to get all of them.

The Silver Sensor is an OK UHF antenna but it doesn't get the Vs worth beans. If you want that style of antenna I'd suggest a Terk HDTVi Antenna Pro. It looks a lot like a Silver Sensor and has that same directivity, but also has a set of rabbit ears in the back. I have one in my office at the studio and it works pretty well for an indoor type antenna. Of course an outdoor antenna will work better in almost all conditions if you can put one up.

Lance
post #397 of 549
Thanks Lance. About the outdoor antenna...

I live in the South Anchorage area, O'malley & West 100th. I would like to try using an antenna in my attic. I wonder if you have any opinions on that.

Thanks!
post #398 of 549
I'm about to head to Eagle River to see about buying a highly-rated Radio Shack indoor antenna. If that doesn't work, I'll probably investigate an outdoor antenna.

I'm only 15 miles from the transmitter in Goose Bay -- and I can get the other nearby UHF stations ok with the Silver Sensor on another antenna input if needed.

See: http://www.hdtvexpert.com/pages/antin.htm
post #399 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonD_ak View Post

Thanks Lance. About the outdoor antenna...

I live in the South Anchorage area, O'malley & West 100th. I would like to try using an antenna in my attic. I wonder if you have any opinions on that.

Thanks!

Should work, but issue would be whether your attic is high enough to get the antenna up where nothing is in the way. One of our people her at Ch 2 has a house near there and he had to go about 10 feet above his 2 story to get a decent signal. Each case is different. You get a little attenuation through the roof if you put it in the attic, but usually is OK. Biggest problem there is getting alignment correct since you can't see where you're pointing. Several antenna options are available in town- suggest you go see the folks at Frigid North. They're a little more on the ball than the Rat Shack folks, although those would work as well.

Make sure you don't put any active (powered) splitters or amplifiers in the line. I have yet to see one of those here that doesn't foul up the signal.


Let me know how it works out. We're still trying to figure out the variances in different areas of town.

Lance
post #400 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roginator View Post

I'm about to head to Eagle River to see about buying a highly-rated Radio Shack indoor antenna. If that doesn't work, I'll probably investigate an outdoor antenna.

I'm only 15 miles from the transmitter in Goose Bay -- and I can get the other nearby UHF stations ok with the Silver Sensor on another antenna input if needed.

See: http://www.hdtvexpert.com/pages/antin.htm

Roginator,
Interesting article. I still have reservations about the amplified antennas, but I'd like to know how it works out for you. I personally tried a Philips amplified indoor antenna a couple months ago and found pretty poor performance. As soon as you started to crank up the gain, the noise added to the signal caused the dtv signals to unlock. Finally gave up on it in favor of a standard yagi. Also tried various combinations of line amps - straight 10db gain to variable 20 db. And tried a couple of amplified splitters. All of them caused issues with the digital signal. They worked pretty well on analog, but they made the digital noisy enough that the receiver coud no longer lock.

Lance
post #401 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonD_ak View Post

Thanks Lance. About the outdoor antenna...

I live in the South Anchorage area, O'malley & West 100th.

Jason
I have mixed results with the KTUU HD signal. Did you read my posts about it? You might have the same problem with interference from KTVA. It just depends on how good your tuner is.
post #402 of 549
Ok, I picked up the last Radio Shack 15-1880 internal antenna in town (I think).

Alas, it was quite a letdown. I'm beginning to suspect the MyHD-120 card isn't the world's best HDTV receiver.

I fiddled around with the antenna in various rooms attached to a shielded cable running into ant-2 on the MyHD card with very poor results. So I figured I'd just plug the thing directly into ant-1 on the MyHD card. With only 3' of cable, it didn't leave much room to turn the antenna, but I found I got a usable signal from KAKM-HD aiming it north. Then I thought I'd try it again in my bay window. So I unplugged it from ant-1 and reattached it to the cable that was hooked up to ant-2. Once again I got the decent signal for KAKM-HD.

Then I noticed something -- the MyHD TV application was still using ant-1 WITH NOTHING ATTACHED TO IT!! Either I was getting a super-duper signal that didn't require an antenna (mind-boggling) or there was leakage between the two antenna connections on the card. It appears there is leakage between the two antenna ports.

To summarize, I can get KAKM-HD somewhat better than I did with the Silver Sensor antenna, but can't get a usable signal from KENI-HD at all with the Radio Shack antenna. As for KIMO, I think I've gotten a usable signal from that for about 2-3 seconds.

I'm curious. What power levels are the 3 stations at Goose Bay using? Do they vary at different times of the day?

Looks like an outdoor antenna is in my future once the snow melts.

Oops..guess I'm showing my age with that reference to KENI being a TV station. I meant, or course, KTUU.
post #403 of 549
KAKM is at full power with about 50KW, KIMO is at half power with 20KW, and KTUU is at the maximum the FCC would allow - 21 KW. We have interference issues with Ch 11 in the Valley, so could not run at originally proposed 50 KW. Those figures are all Radiated power from the antenna, not the actual transmitter outputs.

Those figures should allow perfect reception anywhere within 50-60 miles of Goose Bay with any reasonable antenna. Before I moved here I was in Boise where most all the stations were operating at significantly less power and were being received at 90-100 miles away with no issues. (They were on a mountaintop giving them the equivalent of a 5000 foot tower, but hey...)

Transmitted power is not the issue here. Interference and multipath seem to be the big culprits. Of course as those factors increase, receiver quality becomes a more significant issue as well. If your tuner is more than 2 years old, chances are it's part of the issue.

Lance
post #404 of 549
I would like to hear Lance's thoughts on the constant audio and video drop-outs we see with GCI. ( I have the dual tuner Moto box. 6412) This seems to only be a problem with the local channels. I rarely see it on any other channels except the locals.
Are the local stations working with GCI to correct this or is the problem within GCI's network?

Thanks
post #405 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by akshark View Post

I would like to hear Lance's thoughts on the constant audio and video drop-outs we see with GCI. ( I have the dual tuner Moto box. 6412) This seems to only be a problem with the local channels. I rarely see it on any other channels except the locals.
Are the local stations working with GCI to correct this or is the problem within GCI's network?

Thanks

I had the same issue. It was fixed by swapping the box for a new one.
post #406 of 549
Yea, I am on my third box, each time the problem seems to be corrected for a while than comes back????????
post #407 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by akshark View Post

I would like to hear Lance's thoughts on the constant audio and video drop-outs we see with GCI. ( I have the dual tuner Moto box. 6412) This seems to only be a problem with the local channels. I rarely see it on any other channels except the locals.
Are the local stations working with GCI to correct this or is the problem within GCI's network?

Thanks

I don't have cable and was not aware that there was an issue. I can only address how we get our signals to GCI, I don't know about anyone else.

The output of our HD and SD encoders is fed directly to GCI via a fiber link. They are not using off-air pickup. Once it reaches their plant, they decode the fiber feed, strip any of what they consider "extraneous data" and recode it in the QAM format for distribution on their system. There's a lot of manipulation there but I hadn't heard any complaints before. Could someone record me a sample of what you're talking about so I can see it? (A VHS tape or DVD would be fine. Doesn't actually have to be an HD record...) If I can see it I can probably talk intelligently about what the problem might be...

Lance
post #408 of 549
Here it is late Sunday afternoon and I've just finish showering off the insulation I wore today in the attic.

I went to Frigid North Saturday morning to buy an antenna but the guy helping didn't know too much and the antenna I wanted was buried up on a shelf he couldn't get to so he told me to come back later. I ended up getting an RCA "fringe" antenna from Home Depot 10 minutes later. It has VHF and UHF elements, boom length of 120", no amplifier and easy enough to assemble. I knew I was going to mount it in the attic so I bought some mounts there and some cable, I was good to go.

Installed the antenna in the attic and pointed per Antennaweb.org. I ran the 100' RG-6 down into my living room and attached it to my FusionHDTV5 tuner in my PC. Voila! KIMO, KTVA and KAKM. KYES was in the oposite direction so it wasn't coming in much at all. But Darnit KTUU was still about 15dB on my card and not being received.

Then I added a FM trap I had bought earlier since I live about 2 miles from some FM towers in Klatt park (Thanks Jeremy Lansman and Mr. Parker for scouting that out) BAM! a gain of about 5db and KTUU coming in strong enough that there were zero dropouts for the couple of hours I watched it.

I left this setup till the morning where I was still receiving KTUU in about 17 to 19db, KIMO was 20-21db, KAKM was 17-18db and KTVA at like 30db. These are all measured from the Fusion card in my PC.

Well goody, I thought I'd run the main line and multiplex it through the house. What a dipshit idea, and I'm a EE so I know better. Friggin lost KTUU and KAKM to what I can figure is roughly a 10-12db drop. KTUU now was at about 8db KAKM was about 5db. It was worse, thats what I eventually ended up with after shortening cable and using more quality connectors. So yea, remember those 3x4 multiswitches are essentially a 4 way splitter for VHF/UHF signals.

I have a cheapo plug in amplifier and I added that in line before the switch and I got everything back to varying degrees.

What I've figured thus far is often folks use a pre-amp on their antenna to boost the signal. So I guess I'll be trying one of those soon.
post #409 of 549
After further fiddling with the new Radio Shack internal antenna, I found a location in my bay window that allows me to get "acceptable" reception of ALL the stations in Anchorage -- without even moving the antenna.

KIMO seems to lock on only some of the time, but the others seems fairly reliable. Signal strengths for the Goose Bay stations are just barely enough.

We'll see if this reception holds up in the coming days with different weather conditions...
post #410 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonD_ak View Post


What I've figured thus far is often folks use a pre-amp on their antenna to boost the signal. So I guess I'll be trying one of those soon.

I've heard good things about one of the Channel Master pre-amps, but I'm no expert. Too bad they cost as much as a small antenna! Supposedly a good one will act the same as giving you a much bigger antenna.

I didn't even realize that Home Depot had an antenna. I stopped at Lowe's on Friday to see what antenna stuff they had - not a whole lot. One antenna and just enough accessories to put up a simple antenna against a house.

Have you thought about an amplified splitter? I'm pondering building a new house and have wondered how I would wire for TV. My current idea is to have a couple of amplified distribution splitters - one for OTA broadcasts from an antenna and one for cable. Then I'd use a dual coax wall plate in each bedroom and the living room/study.

Or is better to have a big loop with some sort of tap for each room? Is that even possible?
post #411 of 549
I put up a Channel Master 4228 antenna outside on a rotator. It pulls in all the local digital signals with no dropouts. ( I do have to spin the thing to get KYES and KDMD, but I usually don't go there anyway.) When I bought the antenna (online) I also bought a Channel Master 7777 mast mounted preamp, thinking it might be needed. But I don't need it. In fact, when I had it connected, I couldn't get squat. I think it over amped the tuner.

As an aside, I also am experiencing audio dropouts through GCI. (I have basic cable). If I change the channel, then come back to where I was, the audio feed comes back. Weird.

As another aside, I talked to Jeremy Lansman, President and chief engineer @ KYES. He said that since WB had bought UPN, that the UPN feed would be going away. I asked what they'd be replacing it with. He said possibly WB, depending on the money thing.
post #412 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roginator View Post


Have you thought about an amplified splitter? I'm pondering building a new house and have wondered how I would wire for TV. My current idea is to have a couple of amplified distribution splitters - one for OTA broadcasts from an antenna and one for cable. Then I'd use a dual coax wall plate in each bedroom and the living room/study.

Or is better to have a big loop with some sort of tap for each room? Is that even possible?

I did look at amplified splitters online. They are about the same price or more expensive than the typical Winegard or Channelmaster pre-amp. When looking at amplified multiswitches they often don't amplify terrestrial signals. I can't say I fully know about all the switches/amps, I only briefly looked at them. I will have to consider very carefully what I do since I plan on adding a 3x8 splitter in the future....
post #413 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roginator View Post

I'm pondering building a new house and have wondered how I would wire for TV. My current idea is to have a couple of amplified distribution splitters - one for OTA broadcasts from an antenna and one for cable. Then I'd use a dual coax wall plate in each bedroom and the living room/study.

Or is better to have a big loop with some sort of tap for each room? Is that even possible?

I am in the process of wiring the electrical system in a new house for a friend, and what we are doing is to install a dual system, Cat 6 inside of flexible plastic conduit and RG6 not in conduit. Both systems have a distribution panel in a closet on the main floor and an individual run to each bedroom, TV room, kitchen and rec room. If you are not familiar with it, the Cat 6 is the newest standard for data, with gigabit/second capacity. Eventually, the Cat 6 will be replace with something faster, such as fiber optic, so the conduit will allow the system to be upgraded.

The RG6 will work for right now to send SD TV around the house. I think that pulling everything to a central point gives more flexibility than running a loop around.
post #414 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonD_ak View Post

I have a cheapo plug in amplifier and I added that in line before the switch and I got everything back to varying degrees.

What I've figured thus far is often folks use a pre-amp on their antenna to boost the signal. So I guess I'll be trying one of those soon.

If you have a good signal, then the internal line amp will compensate for cable loss but if the signal is fringe, then that amp will amplify the snow (noise) as much as the signal and it will actually look worse. Best then is to use an antenna amp and then check to see if you still need a line amp within the house.
post #415 of 549
I installed the Channel Master CM7777 last night at my house in S. Anch. Worked like expected. KTUU was 20-22db. KIMO ~26db, KTVA ~29db and KAKM ~25db.

Now if KIMO would get some HD going so I can see some of March Madness in Hidef I would be really happy.

I did look over at the FCC applications and saw KTBY had another construction permit application. Its exactly 6 months after they last applied for an extension. Maybe we'll see something from them this summer?
post #416 of 549
Anyone else near the Jewel Lake and Dimond area? I am wondering how reception is (and about equipment choices)before I go up on that icy roof. I live in a hole of sorts, so i am not hopeful.
post #417 of 549
I've got AnchorageHD.TV up and running at a minimal, but probably useable, level. The entry page is pretty lame, but I'll redo it as I go along. The forums are set up and ready to use. Go there and let's see if wecan get some more local dialog going.

www.AnchorageHD.TV

Lance
post #418 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Parker View Post

I am in the process of wiring the electrical system in a new house for a friend, and what we are doing is to install a dual system, Cat 6 inside of flexible plastic conduit and RG6 not in conduit. Both systems have a distribution panel in a closet on the main floor and an individual run to each bedroom, TV room, kitchen and rec room. If you are not familiar with it, the Cat 6 is the newest standard for data, with gigabit/second capacity. Eventually, the Cat 6 will be replace with something faster, such as fiber optic, so the conduit will allow the system to be upgraded.

The RG6 will work for right now to send SD TV around the house. I think that pulling everything to a central point gives more flexibility than running a loop around.

I recently did structured wiring on a new house. It consisted of 1 each of the following to each room: 1 x Cat 5, 1 x Cat 6, 2 x RG6, 2x 16ga speaker wire. For the main TV locations I also ran HDMI. I think that would suffice for any upgradability issues. I personally believe fiber optic will never be used in residential applications, but hey, if you've got the money, might as well!
post #419 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by lhankins View Post

I've got AnchorageHD.TV up and running at a minimal, but probably useable, level. The entry page is pretty lame, but I'll redo it as I go along. The forums are set up and ready to use. Go there and let's see if wecan get some more local dialog going.

www.AnchorageHD.TV

Lance

Excellent! Thanks a lot for the effort, Lance. I hope we can all help build an informed HD community in Anchorage!
post #420 of 549
Anyone else notice that sometime this last week the "30-second skip" function was removed again from the Phase III boxes for GCI cable? The skip function worked fine last weekend. Firmware is now 12.31, I think it was 12.21 or something prior. Anyway, nothing like new "less improved" features.....
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