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Sacramento, CA - OTA - Page 251

post #7501 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantumc View Post

...
The bad thing is, even if you fork over $1000 dollars for a new antenna system, there's no guarentees you will get anything around here either. And with the economy the way it is etc....

The People that I've talked to are not amused to be sure.

I'm sure you are exaggerating on the cost of a new antenna system, but I think I spent around $300 for a long-range VHF/UHF antenna, 8 feet of mast, rotator with digital controller and all the hardware ton install an antenna system for my parents. From 40 miles east of Modesto, they can get all the digital stations from the Sacramento market, as well as some from the San Francisco, Fresno and even Bakersfield and Chico markets. My parents leave it aimed at the Sacramento most of the time. My parents did not understand the enthusiasm I had when finding all these distant channels. They also have free-to-air satellite for niche religious programming, which using an RF modulator, is inserted into blank UHF channel slots. Combining the cost of the satellite equipment, distribution/amplification hardware, we may be getting closer to $800 for EVERYTHING providing video to their TVs.
post #7502 of 10016
I wish I'd have logged on last week.. would have loved to join Bob and the others @ the switchover! I'm in for a tour if you do another one

Anyhow - I'm a new OTA user as of today - just dumped my Uverse TV... I have a Zinwell 970A box with a Tivax amplified indoor VHF/UHF antenea... after much playing around, I think I have a decent signal on all the stations except KXTV (Channel 10) - I can't get anything for them at all.

I'm in Folsom - ~198-200 degrees from the towers, 35 miles.

Any suggestions? Since I can get KVIE I figured KXTV would be easy- but doesn't appear to be...
post #7503 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccallana View Post

...I have a Zinwell 970A box with a Tivax amplified indoor VHF/UHF antenea.....I'm in Folsom...

Indoor antenna in Folsom aint gonna cut it.
post #7504 of 10016
Anyone still having problems after the transition, here's a tip. If your Tuner does not have a method to delete existing channels it may map the new channels with strange subchannels. I worked on a new Sony LCD yesterday that after a simple rescan came up with .5 .6 .7 .8 .9 subchannels and most of them had no picture no sound. And there was no way to delete all the old channel mapping and "start over". What to do???

1. Disconnect the antenna from the Tuner.
2. Perform a full channel re-scan.
3. Re-connect the antenna to the Tuner.
4. Perform a full channel re-scan.

What this does is wipe out all the old channels on the first scan and then properly finds/maps channels on the second scan.
post #7505 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerdwn View Post

Indoor antenna in Folsom aint gonna cut it.

Any suggestions on one that will? Any attic mounted units that would be appropriate?

Like I said - my little indoor one seems to be working *ok* for all but KXTV - although most channels are not getting 100% quality signal according to the boxes meter....
post #7506 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccallana View Post

Any suggestions on one that will? Any attic mounted units that would be appropriate?

Like I said - my little indoor one seems to be working *ok* for all but KXTV - although most channels are not getting 100% quality signal according to the boxes meter....

An attic approach may work but there are a lot of issues with building construction etc. Types of roofing can block the signal.

An attic antenna will provide you more signal but only if it has a shot at seeing the towers. If you are down in a hole or even flat it may not help.

I have an attic antenna and its about as effective as having it outdoors but I am way up on a hill, have a simple comp roof and its in a second story above the trees.
post #7507 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccallana View Post

Any suggestions on one that will? Any attic mounted units that would be appropriate?

Like I said - my little indoor one seems to be working *ok* for all but KXTV - although most channels are not getting 100% quality signal according to the boxes meter....

I'm a big fan of the attic antenna option when putting it outside can't be done. Mine is a Channel Master 3017, which fit my attic space nicely:

http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...om=Large#xview

I put it on a rotor (don't like crawling on ceiling joists to make adjustments) which was a good choice, because I found I could get a watchable analog 7 from S.F. The CM 3017 delivers a hot signal on all channels through my tile roof. Although I'm close to the WG towers, I tend to think it would ably perform in a similar installation at much greater distances.

Big advantage of attic vs. outside installations: no degradation due to sun and weather. My antenna, rotor, and coax are as good as the day they went up 8 years ago.

--Ron
post #7508 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccallana View Post

I have a Zinwell 970A box with a Tivax amplified indoor VHF/UHF antenea...
I'm in Folsom - ~198-200 degrees from the towers, 35 miles.

My Folsom experience requires an outdoor antenna for reliable performance. Indoor would require ideal situations (not mine).
post #7509 of 10016
Here's a pretty nice set of coverage maps for the Sac. stations I came across in my travels:

http://www.fcc.gov/dtv/markets/maps_...Modesto_CA.pdf
post #7510 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerdwn View Post

Indoor antenna in Folsom aint gonna cut it.

Apparently, an indoor antenna near CalExpo in Sacramento is not really cutting it as well. Prior to Friday, I was able to receive ALL the Sacramento stations via an indoor antenna from my office on Fee Dr. Since Friday, I am unable to receive KVIE, KXTV, and KMAX. I actually get a more reliable signal on the stations I do get though. The antenna is inside a concrete building, which may explain why I can't get KVIE and KXTV, as they went back to VHF, but I'm not sure why I can't get KMAX.

post #7511 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigRoN View Post

I'm sure you are exaggerating on the cost of a new antenna system, but I think I spent around $300 for a long-range VHF/UHF antenna, 8 feet of mast, rotator with digital controller and all the hardware ton install an antenna system for my parents. From 40 miles east of Modesto, they can get all the digital stations from the Sacramento market, as well as some from the San Francisco, Fresno and even Bakersfield and Chico markets. My parents leave it aimed at the Sacramento most of the time. My parents did not understand the enthusiasm I had when finding all these distant channels. They also have free-to-air satellite for niche religious programming, which using an RF modulator, is inserted into blank UHF channel slots. Combining the cost of the satellite equipment, distribution/amplification hardware, we may be getting closer to $800 for EVERYTHING providing video to their TVs.

Right, my point was you could spend that much, and it's no guarentee that you can receive anything around here. Doesn't mean that you have to spend that much.


Back around 18 years ago now, my antenna system cost me around $600. But as I said earlier, it was commercial grade stuff at the time. The Preamps alone cost around $100.

Going from memory, a rounded aproximation.

VHF only antenna - $200
UHF only Antenna - $150
VHF Preamp - $100
UHF Preamp - $75
Telescoping Mast $60
50 ft RG-59 - $25

Plus Misc hardware etc... -

I replaced the coax cable with RG-6-QS a year ago and it alone cost me $50.

A $60 Cm antenna here wouldn't cut it.
post #7512 of 10016
ccallana,

Based on your results with the Tivax DT-01 antenna, I would bet that in indoor solution is possible for you. The DT-01 is certainly not the top of the line for indoor antennas. Mr. Hess recommended the Winegard SS-3000 a while back as best. At a little under 30 miles, I've found an old school rabbit ear antenna gets and holds KVIE & KXTV regardless of winds and moving tree limbs. If you went with rabbit ears, you'd have to add a UHF antenna as well.

I'd try a rescan with your converter box first. Perhaps it missed KXTV prior, thus no signal.

We need an update on the Sharpshooters' VHF performance on digital 6.1 and 10.1. please.
post #7513 of 10016
Hi I have had reception 95% of time since switch over ..tonight all channels are gone? both tvs? antenna is in attic so It did not ?? fall over?? any ideas...it is 9 30 pm..no 3 6 13 10 31 40 or 58??
post #7514 of 10016
rescanned see faint analogue 3 and nothing else...
post #7515 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltaguy View Post

ccallana,

Based on your results with the Tivax DT-01 antenna, I would bet that in indoor solution is possible for you. The DT-01 is certainly not the top of the line for indoor antennas. Mr. Hess recommended the Winegard SS-3000 a while back as best. At a little under 30 miles, I've found an old school rabbit ear antenna gets and holds KVIE & KXTV regardless of winds and moving tree limbs. If you went with rabbit ears, you'd have to add a UHF antenna as well.

.

The SS-3000 states its good for 30 miles - I'm ~35 from the WG towers... how exact are those specs? The 3000 certainly would be easier to manage than one of the big outdoor ones
post #7516 of 10016
ccallana,

I can't tell you about the specs, as I don't know. I have read that this Sharpshooter has worked well, even 45 miles away. However, I don't know how well it will work for VHF. I too have an amped combo antenna, on another set, probably better than your Tivax, yet it is having difficulties with KVIE. The amp has 5 settings. I'm guessing the correct setting may be 2.5 or 3.5, but those aren't available. It's very finicky on VHF so far.

A few minutes ago, I tried getting the unamped rabbit ears to fail to recieve 10.1 by changing the aim of the antenna, I couldn't.
post #7517 of 10016
I'm using a Sharpshooter. what would everyone like to know about its performance?

It works well on VHF hi. Almost as good as on UHF. No reception at all on VHF low, but that doesn't matter. It is an improvement over rabbit ears, but it isn't magic. It's pickier than rabbit ears re: placement, but not as picky as a Silver Sensor. Everything's picky about placement with DTV.

Re: Cal Expo, I cannot imagine that an SS-3000 wouldn't work at Cal Expo. It just isn't that far from Walnut Grove. Bob Hess's blog at cbs13.com covered almost an identical situation.

There is EscapeVelocity's thread, comparing every possible indoor antenna, elsewhere here on AVSforum. There are many great indoor antennas: SS-3000, HDTVa, Cornet, Radio Shack UFO, etc.

My problem is one that an antenna can't beat. I live close to the towers, but in the 'burbs (lots of trees). When the wind blows the trees, the dynamic multipath kills the UHF. (The longer VHF waves stay solid in the wind.) Although the Sharpshooter helps, no amount of signal strength will totally fix it. I have to have a CECB that is really good at multipath. I haven't tried the Digital Stream, but so far, I've found the Zenith and the Channel Master to beat the windy afternoon reception much better that the RCA and the Dish.
post #7518 of 10016
Did anyone else watch KMAX before 7PM last night? Both "Judge Judy" and "King of Queens" were in analog. Not just 4:3, but an analog VBI flicker visable across the top of the screen. When "Dr. Phil" came on, it went back to 16:9.

I guess something in the studio's workflow broke, and they switched to old analog feeds. However, that would mean those shows still provide analog feeds.
post #7519 of 10016
Thanks JNinCA, the SS-3000 sounds good, provided one has a space large enough for it. It is over two feet long. Nice that there are no dipoles to have to fiddle with.
post #7520 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltaguy View Post

Thanks JNinCA, the SS-3000 sounds good, provided one has a space large enough for it. It is over two feet long. Nice that there are no dipoles to have to fiddle with.

That's why my mother doesn't have one. I put one in her bedroom for a couple of days, then asked her if she could live with it. She said no, it takes up too much room, so I set her up with an ANT2000 instead. If she has problems, I'll try an HDTVa. Dipoles yes, but the base isn't too big.

If anyone really has a need for super indoor reception, I know some people have gone so far as to use a CM 4228 indoors.
post #7521 of 10016
Maybe it's been posted as to why before, but the Giants game on cw31 tonight is in, eh, a letterbox format. Probably 16:9, but a much smaller format, with black banding all the way around.

And as I write this (7:12 PM).... it zooms out to fill the frame- just in time for Rowand's HR.
post #7522 of 10016
After the switchover last week, I prety well lost KXTV and KVIE channels on VHF 9 & 10 here in Fair Oaks. I'm using a Ratshack U75R UHF antenna in my attic (2 storey house) Before the switchover it was working great. So I decided to cut a custom yagi antenna tuned to 192Mhz (between ch 9 & 10) last weekend. It's about 5ft long and has about 5 elements and a folded dipole active element to capture the signal. Just installed it in the attic today beside the UHF one. It is working VERY well. 100% signal on KXTV and KVIE. The UHF stations remain unaffected. I have a shake roof, so no issues there. I have 2 huge trees across the street from my house as well as another 2 story directly in my path, but besides that, it is pretty well a clear line of site after all that. That yagi has a theoretical gain of about 9.5dBi. Costs ~$25 to make from alumnium had from Blue Collar Supply off Florin-Perkins.

yagi antenna design: http://www.k7mem.com/Electronic_Note...vhf_quick.html



dave mc
post #7523 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by JNinCA View Post

Did anyone else watch KMAX before 7PM last night? Both "Judge Judy" and "King of Queens" were in analog. Not just 4:3, but an analog VBI flicker visable across the top of the screen. When "Dr. Phil" came on, it went back to 16:9.

I guess something in the studio's workflow broke, and they switched to old analog feeds. However, that would mean those shows still provide analog feeds.

I can't tell you what happened in this particular case, but perhaps you are thinking that on June 12th, all analog video disappeared? Nope ... the only thing that really happened on that date is that analog transmitters were shut off. Still plenty of analog video behind-the-scenes -- for instance, all of the SD syndicated programming from 20th Television is delivered via analog C-Band satellite.
post #7524 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by davemac2 View Post

After the switchover last week, I prety well lost KXTV and KVIE channels on VHF 9 & 10 here in Fair Oaks. I'm using a Ratshack U75R UHF antenna in my attic (2 storey house) Before the switchover it was working great. So I decided to cut a custom yagi antenna tuned to 192Mhz (between ch 9 & 10) last weekend. It's about 5ft long and has about 5 elements and a folded dipole active element to capture the signal. Just installed it in the attic today beside the UHF one. It is working VERY well. 100% signal on KXTV and KVIE. The UHF stations remain unaffected. I have a shake roof, so no issues there. I have 2 huge trees across the street from my house as well as another 2 story directly in my path, but besides that, it is pretty well a clear line of site after all that. That yagi has a theoretical gain of about 9.5dBi. Costs ~$25 to make from alumnium had from Blue Collar Supply off Florin-Perkins.....

Dave, that's outstanding. I've been considering a similar approach to solve the KVIE/KXTV problem in my mom's apartment.

Questions:

1. What did you use for the boom? (I'm thinking .5 in. PVC or some such.) If an aluminum boom, how did you insulate the elements?

2. How did you make the DE -- a folded dipole out of what material, and how did you do it?

3. And since the DE is a folded dipole, did you install a 300/75 transformer at the DE, or run twin lead to the set, or what?

4. Did you run the 2 downleads into a splitter, a coaxial switch, or what?

Thanks for an excellent post.

--Ron
post #7525 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by videojanitor View Post

I can't tell you what happened in this particular case, but perhaps you are thinking that on June 12th, all analog video disappeared? Nope ... the only thing that really happened on that date is that analog transmitters were shut off. Still plenty of analog video behind-the-scenes -- for instance, all of the SD syndicated programming from 20th Television is delivered via analog C-Band satellite.

Well, in this particular case, I had watched TKOQ the night before, so I knew it was 16:9 on KMAX. When I saw the VBI across the top Friday, I figured something went wrong.

In general, after a week of analog shutdown, I can now see how much analog input is still around. Heck, if So You Think You Can Dance is still not shot in 720p, I can imagine what the Judge Nobody show is like. Lesser syndicated shows don't possibly have the budget to replace all their equipment with HD. Analog is gonna be around for a long time.
post #7526 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by JNinCA View Post

In general, after a week of analog shutdown, I can now see how much analog input is still around. Heck, if So You Think You Can Dance is still not shot in 720p, I can imagine what the Judge Nobody show is like. Lesser syndicated shows don't possibly have the budget to replace all their equipment with HD. Analog is gonna be around for a long time.

Well, just to be clear, even though you saw that vertical blanking "junk" at the top of the screen, doesn't mean the show was "analog." While there is still plenty of analog out there, virtually every new show produced these days (that's not HD) is at least 480i component digital. Most of these are delivered to stations either via Pathfire, or a digital linear satellite feed. It is up to the station then to upconvert it to whatever their needs are -- either 720p or 1080i. During this process, sometimes the information from the vertical interval (which is there even on digital feeds) ends up in the active picture area of the 16:9 frame. Usually it is cropped off by overscan, but if your set is showing the full frame, then you'll see it.

You also might be interested to know that "So You Think You Can Dance" originates from the same studio (at CBS Television City) as "American Idol." That stage is completely HD capable, but they choose to output in SD. Obviously a cost-saving measure -- the studio rental fee is likely higher if they want to produce in HD. Here's a link to some good information if you want to read more:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post14176530
post #7527 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by KG7OR View Post

Dave, that's outstanding. I've been considering a similar approach to solve the KVIE/KXTV problem in my mom's apartment.

Questions:

1. What did you use for the boom? (I'm thinking .5 in. PVC or some such.) If an aluminum boom, how did you insulate the elements?

2. How did you make the DE -- a folded dipole out of what material, and how did you do it?

3. And since the DE is a folded dipole, did you install a 300/75 transformer at the DE, or run twin lead to the set, or what?

4. Did you run the 2 downleads into a splitter, a coaxial switch, or what?

Thanks for an excellent post.

--Ron

Here's the answers Ron:

1. The antenna was made out of all Aluminum. The boom was 3/4" square Al tubing. The elements are actually bonded to the boom by design and are 1/4" Al rod. I simply drilled 1/4" holes thru the boom and fed the rods thru, anchoring them with small 10-32 screws.

2. The folded dipole is made from the same 1/4" Al rod bent in a vice into a rectangular loop with width equal to the DE element dimension in the diagram and the height approx. 2" (not critical). It is held in place at the desired boom position by some MDF wood blocks I cut and sandwiched the dipole between. The dipole loop is centered top and bottom such that its midway pt. aligns with the boom and director/reflector elements.

3. Yes, the folded dipole has a theoretical impedance of 300 ohms, so a standard 4:1 balun is used to connect to 75 ohm coax.

4. I used a VHF/UHF low loss combiner (0.5dBm). Ex: http://www.abccables.com/201-604.html

To make this quickly to do some experimentation for your case, you can always just try to make a folded dipole using 14 ga wire wrapped lengthwise around a piece of wood or a 2" PVC pipe acting as a form of the correct DE length (just make some shallow slits in the end of the pipe to guide the wire). Since the location is Lodi for you, a single reflector element behind the dipole and 1 or 2 director elements in front may be quite adequate and reduce the length to < 3ft which may be better for the balcony of the apt. For your situation, I would even try just the folded dipole and a reflector and see if that works. You can use that antenna design site to change the design for non-bonded elements also if you want to use a PVC pipe for the boom or something.

cheers,

dave mc
post #7528 of 10016
Anybody know if there is a place local to buy something like the SS-3000? I'd hate to get something online and then find out its not working Or are there places online that take exchanges?
post #7529 of 10016
I'm getting all channels except KXTV 10.1 using a Winegard SS-2000 in West Roseville. After more reading, looks like my problem may be the antenna is UHF only. Yet I am receiving KVIE 6.1 which is VHF. Am I missing something? Thanks.
post #7530 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by focker View Post

I would bet you could fork over $59 for a Channel Master and be fine as long as you have some ability to aim it at Walnut Grove.

I got a CM4228 about 5 years ago, and had an installer do the installation. Total cost out of pocket was 300-400 dollars, and I get a great signal on all local channels from Fair Oaks (Madison and Hazel area). I've never been happier with OTA television as I am since putting that antenna up.
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