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Chicago, IL - OTA ***OLD THREAD*** - Page 156  

post #4651 of 4809
Quote:
Originally Posted by shortkidd View Post

Gilbert,

At this point I am willing to pay someone to do this cause this a royal pain! Any recommendations since I have a bum antenna as it is?

Well, generally, installations are between $300 and $600, depending on how elaborate/how much work the setup is. That's why I help others out with a do-it-yourself approach...since it costs considerably less.

With help from an assistant, I've helped with or done several installs over the last 3 years. Each one had the desired results. Remember this, however: there are never ANY guarantees with WBBM reception, anywhere. Furthermore, during thunderstorms (over or near you or downtown Chicago), you will never lock them solidly. The WWMT-DT Grand Rapids CBS affiliate on channel 2 says he can't even lock his station at his *transmitter site* when a thunderstorm is near or overhead! All my clients have reported the exact same thing...thunderstorms approach...bye bye WBBM-DT. Also, if there are trees or other taller buildings in the way in St. Charles (are there?), that will hurt your reception as well.

Having said that, IF you can fit a 13' long behemoth with a total width of 95"
in your attic, you have a shot at it. PM me if that is the case, and if you are interested.
post #4652 of 4809
Gilbert,

Do you have a recommended preamp? Maybe I will throw that on the antenna just to see if I can boost the WLS and WGN signals.
post #4653 of 4809
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebenste View Post

Hello Burgz,

Thanks, and welcome to the board! Ah, Schaumburg. And you're having problems getting WBBM...imagine that. Sorry...anyway, the white lines that pass through the screen is bad news; snow, you can deal with. Interference...that's another thing. First things first:

1) Did you aim the antenna such that analog 2 got the best reception, regardless of what the other channels looked like/ Try that first.

2) Did you use RG-6 cable? I will assume yes, but I have to ask.

3) Is the antenna away from junction boxes in the attic, or anything electrical
that can cause interference?

4) Dimmer switches are terrible for WBBM. Turn them all off (switched off).
Turn on an AM radio in the house. Hear a buzzing noise if you aren't tuned to a station? If so, you have a dimmer switch probably causing problems for you somewhere. Under-cabinet kitchen lightning was the downfall of one of my
friends. He says he only got the interference in the evenings. That made it easier to figure out. General rule: loud buzzing on the AM dial where stations don't broadcast or are weak generally must be eliminated or severely reduced in order to get WBBM.

5) Chargers for power tools or other things? Unplug them.

See what happens. If this doesn't help, I would also recommend, from Tri-State, a Winegard AP-8700. Given that you're probably losing around 15 dB of signal in the attic, this should clean up most of the snow on WBBM, and bring in the digital so long as we can eliminate that interference.

I hope that helps and gives you some ideas.

Gilbert,
Thanks for the advice. I am going to give those a shot and see if they work.
Here's a follow up to your questions.

1. I'm going to try to get analog ch. 2 the best I can.
2. I am using RG6 Cable
3. There are no junction boxes in the way but I am going move the antenna anyways
4. No dimmers in the house at all
5. No power tools plugged in.

Later on this week I am going to head up to Tri-State and grab that preamp to see if that'll help out and try to figure out where that interference is coming from.

Burgz
post #4654 of 4809
You might also want to try turning off your computer equipment. I had trouble with WBBM-DT and it turned out a NetGear ethernet switch was causing it.
post #4655 of 4809
Quote:
Originally Posted by shortkidd View Post

Gilbert,

Do you have a recommended preamp? Maybe I will throw that on the antenna just to see if I can boost the WLS and WGN signals.

With a small antenna, and if you don't care about WBBM, try the Winegard AP-8270 from Tri-State. Yeah, $70, I know. But...I have one, and it works very well. Lets me get WWTO-DT from Ottawa using an older VU-160 (discontinued) Radio Shack antenna.
post #4656 of 4809
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

For the record, I get WJYS-DT pretty regularly out here in C.L.

And, Gilbert - Last time I got a flicker of WYIN-DT, which was over a couple of months ago when it was still warm, they were showing a test pattern after midnight.

Wow, that's good! Interesting on the WYIN note. Thanks. I see hashing from it on WTVO, but have never even gotten a blip of signal on my meter from it.

BTW, note to WMAQ-DT: what was up with the Blackhawks/Columbus game this Sunday afternoon only being shown in SD? Thankfully, it was 16:9 HD on WREX-DT Rockford...which, now that the game is over, is showing the NBC logo "keep alive" video, which is various animated logos of the NBC Peacock to let affiliates know they're getting a signal.

Edit: Sorry, game was in intermission, but now WREX has dumped out of the Blackhawks game on both analog and digital. They are showing Dallas on their analog channel, and a different game on their digital channel. All told, I am seeing 3 different games right now. Who needs NHL Center Ice?
post #4657 of 4809
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebenste View Post

Wow, that's good! Interesting on the WYIN note. Thanks. I see hashing from it on WTVO, but have never even gotten a blip of signal on my meter from it.

Dummy me (slap!) - I just remembered that I've got WYIN on Dish, and they also show the test pattern - but I do remember seeing it OTA, too .

Yeah, WTVO usually totally knocks it out for me, too (that, and the fact that it's over 75 miles away from me - according to antennaweb), but I did get it in for a few seconds a few times.
post #4658 of 4809
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebenste View Post

Re: WJYS...

Yes, WJYS-DT has a severe null to the north/northwest to protect WMVT. When analog shutdown occurs, they can go omnidirectional. They were definitely thinking ahead. Now whether their programming is worth watching is another story. I get about 1/2 power from them here in DeKalb (roughly 25 kw), and I can lock them with no problem.

The "blue line" on the FCC contour maps is a best-case scenario of an approximated 41 db contour (for UHF). Usually, it is exagerrated, and for WBBM, it is grossly so. I have seen the Longley-Rice maps for WBBM-DT, and I can tell you the signal just barely makes it out to DeKalb on the low end of the range (below 41 db, I think it's like 20 dB)...and even then, only spotty. I do use the maps to get a rough approximation.

Now you may be saying...well, doggone it, how do I get these Longley-Rice maps? Well, there's bad news and good news. Stations use expensive software to do it, and don't generally give them out because they like to keep it a secret and have you make your own to see what their exact theoretical coverage area is.
However, there is software that now does professional quality Longley-Rice maps...for FREE. Just one problem: it runs on Linux. It's called "SPLAT!":

http://www.qsl.net/kd2bd/splat.html

I do run Linux at work, but it doesn't look easy to set up. If someone could do it, I'd be happy to host L-R maps generated by SPLAT! on my website. If I find out it is reasonably easy to do, I'll do it myself.

Note: the L-R maps generated by SPLAT! aren't officially recognized by the FCC as
official; the quality is less than them, and uses path-loss instead of signal levels in dBu for plotting, according to engineering guru Doug Lung (but that was 2 years ago). The latest version of SPLAT! claims a dramatic increase in quality and resolution, and as a result, several government agencies are now using it for official purposes (see the website for more details). The latest edition out handles directional antenna systems, so it sounds like this would really be close to a true L-R map.

Greetings...

As always I'm lurking out here...had to throw a couple thoughts in.

I'm 40 miles NW of Sears and get WJYS-DT at about 92%. I get the analog with lots of snow, but the Sears signal is solid. I'm sure the owners of Jovan Broadcasting are very aware of the future gold mine they have.

IRC, the WYIN issue about upgrading to Sears was sealed by financial as well as politics from WTTW. They took the money and upgraded their "facilities" (reminds me of my days playing at the NIU TV Center). While I'm 60 miles from Rockford, it takes a major troppo event for me to get any Rockford signal. Same applies to Milwaukee. I occasionally get a blip from WYIN's DT here but not enough to lock on any of my ATSC tuners.

It'd be great if WTTW and WYCC could pool their digital resources like WMVT/WMVS does in Milwaukee...tossing the narrowcast 480 PBS stuff on one channel and opening up the other for 1080i. I know I'm dreaming.

I have a feeling a lot of the OTA DT situation will hinge on the upcoming legislation about Digital/Cable must carry and if local stations or networks will get away with charging cable companies for access to their programming...thus getting money from cable subscribers who under must carry are currently getting them for free. I honestly think this is some of CBS's game with WBBM...forcing anyone outside of the city to get Comcast or Direct TV to see the HD picture...which is an extra charge already...while shoveling the analog or 4:3 digital picture/signal on their
basic service.

I'm curious how many calls WBBM got from confused new HDTV owners (the sad sacks who haven't discovered this place)...spent all that money and couldn't get a signal.

Lastly...if you think getting clean full-strength digital TV signals can be tricky (I get everyone fine here except WBBM here with an old Radio Shack double bowtie UHF in the window and a 10db pre-amp) try your luck at HD Radio. I bought the Accurian and had to find "the perfect" spot to get a full signal on some, not all of the downtown signals.

Cheers...

On Edit: I'm curious...will that Splat program work on a Redhat server?
post #4659 of 4809
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioVisionary View Post

Greetings...

As always I'm lurking out here...had to throw a couple thoughts in.

I'm 40 miles NW of Sears and get WJYS-DT at about 92%. I get the analog with lots of snow, but the Sears signal is solid. I'm sure the owners of Jovan Broadcasting are very aware of the future gold mine they have.

"Future"? I've heard of what they're getting for those infomercials. They are LAUGHING all the way to the bank. They could go HD tomorrow if they started doing HD infomercials.
Quote:


IRC, the WYIN issue about upgrading to Sears was sealed by financial as well as politics from WTTW. They took the money and upgraded their "facilities" (reminds me of my days playing at the NIU TV Center).

Most of it was politics. But yes, they decide to upgrade the facilities and get rid of the old tower which was literally about to collapse. Farmers who initially didn't want it there years ago pumped the transmission line full of buckshot on a
semi-regular basis.

Quote:


While I'm 60 miles from Rockford, it takes a major troppo event for me to get any Rockford signal.

It won't be until March or April due to an administrative issue, but just wait until WQRF-DT Fox 42 (resolving to 39.1) goes 1 million watts...

Quote:


Same applies to Milwaukee. I occasionally get a blip from WYIN's DT here but not enough to lock on any of my ATSC tuners.

WMVS-DT goes all the way to Dundee with a big antenna. Take a Winegard HD8200p and see what you get!

Quote:


It'd be great if WTTW and WYCC could pool their digital resources like WMVT/WMVS does in Milwaukee...tossing the narrowcast 480 PBS stuff on one channel and opening up the other for 1080i. I know I'm dreaming.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! (Cough cough) Ahem.
Sorry. Couldn't contain myself there...

Quote:


I have a feeling a lot of the OTA DT situation will hinge on the upcoming legislation about Digital/Cable must carry and if local stations or networks will get away with charging cable companies for access to their programming...thus getting money from cable subscribers who under must carry are currently getting them for free. I honestly think this is some of CBS's game with WBBM...forcing anyone outside of the city to get Comcast or Direct TV to see the HD picture...which is an extra charge already...while shoveling the analog or 4:3 digital picture/signal on their
basic service.

Frankly, cable has lost. It's over. Like it or not, you'll be paying $.50 per over-the-air channel from the "Big 4" in 2008-2009 when Comcast's agreement with the network owned and operated stations end. Smaller stations like WCIU, WSNS,
WXFT, etc...less. And PBS, zero. As for WBBM...I can assure you this wasn't a game; they merely did it to save money, not going to 1 million watts on UHF. Gosh, if they had bought the WYCC-DT channel, and gone 100 kw...game over. You can get WYCC halfway to Timbuktu from the Hancock no less. Their digital signal goes out farther than their analog. Ah, but no need to parade out the shoulda-woulda-coulda's again.

Quote:


I'm curious how many calls WBBM got from confused new HDTV owners (the sad sacks who haven't discovered this place)...spent all that money and couldn't get a signal.

Les than half of people who have HDTV's think they have HD but don't. Therefore, I betcha WBBM got a few calls, but...that's about it.

Quote:


Lastly...if you think getting clean full-strength digital TV signals can be tricky (I get everyone fine here except WBBM here with an old Radio Shack double bowtie UHF in the window and a 10db pre-amp) try your luck at HD Radio. I bought the Accurian and had to find "the perfect" spot to get a full signal on some, not all of the downtown signals.

Well, that's why you can't get Rockford or Milwaukee. And because HD FM broadcasts on the same frequency (known as "in-band, on channel" or IBOC),
they have to use 1/100 of the analog power. That means WBBM-FM, for example is at
roughly 30 watts! (But with a good antenna, you can get it to Aurora with no problem).

Quote:


On Edit: I'm curious...will that Splat program work on a Redhat server?

Eyyyyyep! It should work on any flavor of Linux you want it to.
post #4660 of 4809
Need an antenna recommendation, I'm in Streamwood, just to the west of Schaumburg 29 miles from the transmitters. Problem is I'm in a townhouse and the roof antenna is on the fritz. Antenna company won't come out to fix it til the snow on the roof is gone, who knows how long that'll be. With the roof mounted antenna I was able to pull in every channel and it doesn't look all that big.

Right now I'm using rabbit ears that pull in a few channels, so I want to put an antenna in the attic. How big of a monster will I need?
post #4661 of 4809
Quote:
Originally Posted by LYU370 View Post

Need an antenna recommendation, I'm in Streamwood, just to the west of Schaumburg 29 miles from the transmitters. Problem is I'm in a townhouse and the roof antenna is on the fritz. Antenna company won't come out to fix it til the snow on the roof is gone, who knows how long that'll be. With the roof mounted antenna I was able to pull in every channel and it doesn't look all that big.

Right now I'm using rabbit ears that pull in a few channels, so I want to put an antenna in the attic. How big of a monster will I need?

Well, you need a Monster(tm) antenna. Only $3,500. But hey, it works!

OK...I will assume you want WBBM. Here goes:

https://www.tselectronic.com/winegard/hd7084.html

If you don't get adequate signal on WBBM-DT, pump it up:

https://www.tselectronic.com/winegard/ap_preamp.html

As per the gentleman above, get that antenna away from any electrical interference. A Radio Shack VU-190 will also work well, and is least expensive (but 13' long and 95" wide fully extended). The preamp will work for either antenna, should you need it.
post #4662 of 4809
Oh good, it's the "small" 11' one, I was afraid you might have said I needed that 15' behemoth, the 8200. I'll probably stick with the winegard, have never been a fan of RS stuff, besides it's only $14 more. Now the next answer I have to find out is do I have existing RG-6 cable, or will I have to re-wire.
post #4663 of 4809
It appears we have our reception/channel mapping problems fixed. This should also fix the Dish Network VIP611/811 reception issues as well. Please notify me if you continue to have reception issues.
post #4664 of 4809
Everyone,

As discussed several posts above, the 41 dBu UHF signal contours, the 28 dB VHF-LO signal contours, and the 36 dBu VHF-Hi (channels 7-13) signal contours are just a general idea of what to expect, reception-wise, from a broadcast digital station as shown on the FCC signal maps; those are the minimum amounts of signal the FCC says you need to properly decode it. In actuality, as you all know, terrain and other factors contribute positively or negatively to the quality of the signal you get from a station.

When a station submits a broadcast coverage area map to the FCC for consideration, it uses a calculation known as the Longley-Rice method. This method bases the signal strength coverage of a station on the following factors:

For the broadcasting station:

1. Height of broadcast antenna
2. Power of the transmitter
3. Any "nulls" required by the transmitter to protect other stations

For the broadcast receiver:

4. Any terrain in the way between you and the transmitter
5. A "proper" receiving antenna up 30' in the air, without amplification
6. 50' of complete copper RG-6 cable from the antenna to the receiver

What is NOT considered in Longley-Rice maps:

1. Weather conditions, which can substantially extend or reduce the broadcast area at any given time
2. Interference from buildings, including multipath and signal blocking
3. Interference from electrical sources or anything else for that matter
4. Attic installations, which reduces signal strength by at least 50% in most cases
5. Antennas larger or smaller than "proper"
6. Signal amplifiers/preamplifiers placed on antenna systems

3 years ago, engineer Kyle Walker put Longley-Rice maps on his website, but didn't have the time to keep it up. I didn't notice them until just before he took them and his website down. But I now have them, and he has graciously allowed me to put them up for you to see. These are also reproducible to a very large degree using the SPLAT! software; do a Google search and you can find it.

A bit of a problem is that the maps are dated; most still read "construction permit" when in fact, all of the stations are at full power. Thankfully, with the exception of WBBM and WYIN, all of the maps are still valid, and WBBM is reasonably close.

HOW TO READ: Red is city-grade overage, easily receivable; green, yellow and orange are "Grade A" coverage; receivable with a proper outdoor antenna. Any shade of blue is marginal, meaning you may get it or you may not. And in those areas, tropo/weather/interference can very easily kill your signal. Notice how the Fox River valley really helps kill the signal along and west of it, especially in northwest Kane county.

The URL:

http://weather.niu.edu/gilbert/

Look for the call letters in caps. The other files are my setup, on top; and then several pix from a colleague of mine in DeKalb with his attic setup.

And if anyone has or wants to make updated versions of these, let me know and I'll gladly put them on the site. Thanks!
post #4665 of 4809
Hello fellow avsforumers:

I live in a highrise with no balconies in the 6100 block of North Sheridan (along the lake), near Loyola. I have a unit on the 21st floor with a south facing window, but I get the privilege of a craptastic view of the building next to us that is taller than mine.

A couple years ago, I bought the ATI HDTV Wonder for my HTC, along with a TERK indoor antenna. When pointed south, I got only the PBS station in HD. So the ATI HDTV Wonder PCI card went back into storage, and I returned the antenna to Circuit City. This was all before I learned of AVSForum.com.

Now I'm thinking about attempting this again. My questions to the Chicago experts are:
1. Being so far north with several high rises between the Hancock tower and my condo, is OTA HD feasible?
2. What kind of an indoor antenna should I get?
3. Any other tips and tricks?

Thanks!
post #4666 of 4809
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebenste View Post

Everyone,

As discussed several posts above, the 41 dBu UHF signal contours, the 28 dB VHF-LO signal contours, and the 36 dBu VHF-Hi (channels 7-13) signal contours are just a general idea of what to expect, reception-wise, from a broadcast digital station as shown on the FCC signal maps; those are the minimum amounts of signal the FCC says you need to properly decode it. In actuality, as you all know, terrain and other factors contribute positively or negatively to the quality of the signal you get from a station.

When a station submits a broadcast coverage area map to the FCC for consideration, it uses a calculation known as the Longley-Rice method. This method bases the signal strength coverage of a station on the following factors:

For the broadcasting station:

1. Height of broadcast antenna
2. Power of the transmitter
3. Any "nulls" required by the transmitter to protect other stations

For the broadcast receiver:

4. Any terrain in the way between you and the transmitter
5. A "proper" receiving antenna up 30' in the air, without amplification
6. 50' of complete copper RG-6 cable from the antenna to the receiver

What is NOT considered in Longley-Rice maps:

1. Weather conditions, which can substantially extend or reduce the broadcast area at any given time
2. Interference from buildings, including multipath and signal blocking
3. Interference from electrical sources or anything else for that matter
4. Attic installations, which reduces signal strength by at least 50% in most cases
5. Antennas larger or smaller than "proper"
6. Signal amplifiers/preamplifiers placed on antenna systems

3 years ago, engineer Kyle Walker put Longley-Rice maps on his website, but didn't have the time to keep it up. I didn't notice them until just before he took them and his website down. But I now have them, and he has graciously allowed me to put them up for you to see. These are also reproducible to a very large degree using the SPLAT! software; do a Google search and you can find it.

A bit of a problem is that the maps are dated; most still read "construction permit" when in fact, all of the stations are at full power. Thankfully, with the exception of WBBM and WYIN, all of the maps are still valid, and WBBM is reasonably close.

HOW TO READ: Red is city-grade overage, easily receivable; green, yellow and orange are "Grade A" coverage; receivable with a proper outdoor antenna. Any shade of blue is marginal, meaning you may get it or you may not. And in those areas, tropo/weather/interference can very easily kill your signal. Notice how the Fox River valley really helps kill the signal along and west of it, especially in northwest Kane county.

The URL:

http://weather.niu.edu/gilbert/

Look for the call letters in caps. The other files are my setup, on top; and then several pix from a colleague of mine in DeKalb with his attic setup.

And if anyone has or wants to make updated versions of these, let me know and I'll gladly put them on the site. Thanks!

Beautiful maps. Almost good enough to make me build a Linux box. Almost.

Maybe we could all cough up $25 for a L-R mapping of each market? I'll pay for STL.

Wally.
post #4667 of 4809
Nice job Gilbert. The WBBM one does seem pretty accurate. I live in northwest Will county and I can't help noticing that I'd be in the light blue. And low and behold no matter what I've tried has gotten a peep out of WBBM.

I'd be curious how the Rockford channels work. I bet being on the east side of the Fox Valley really kills signals from that direction as well.
post #4668 of 4809
Nice job on the link Gilbert, I like some of picture of attic set up. Is that CH 5 setup made out of copper pipe? Question on the CM 4228 on the rotor, it looks like you can't do a 359* rotate did you make a stop as not turn too far before bend the antenna? I lke the Map layout it really tells what the area covers. I guess I won't get WBBM I am up in Wisconsin on far west of Geneva Lake. but I do get 5,7,9,11,20,26,32,38,44,50,60 & 66 all DT stations and 7,9,11 26,32,38,44,50,60 & 66 analog 70 OTA miles with CM 4228 or HMDB-2 with CM 7777 on combine setting on, indoor 2nd floor. DO you have any Rockford layout ? I can get 13,17 & 23 DT and 13,17,23, & 39 Analog. just wondering what 39 DT will be like when it goes to full power 1MW. I am sure I will get it and I am sure in on the same tower as 17 DT.
post #4669 of 4809
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillieAntenna View Post

Nice job on the link Gilbert, I like some of picture of attic set up. Is that CH 5 setup made out of copper pipe? Question on the CM 4228 on the rotor, it looks like you can't do a 359* rotate did you make a stop as not turn too far before bend the antenna? I lke the Map layout it really tells what the area covers. I guess I won't get WBBM I am up in Wisconsin on far west of Geneva Lake. but I do get 5,7,9,11,20,26,32,38,44,50,60 & 66 all DT stations and 7,9,11 26,32,38,44,50,60 & 66 analog 70 OTA miles with CM 4228 or HMDB-2 with CM 7777 on combine setting on, indoor 2nd floor. DO you have any Rockford layout ? I can get 13,17 & 23 DT and 13,17,23, & 39 Analog. just wondering what 39 DT will be like when it goes to full power 1MW. I am sure I will get it and I am sure in on the same tower as 17 DT.

Yep, my colleague made a channel 3 and a channel 5 antenna...out of copper piping. Both work great! As for those suggesting Rockford, I don't have those L-R maps, sorry. Wish I did...if any Rockford engineers want to contribute, I'd be happy to post those.
post #4670 of 4809
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebenste View Post

Frankly, cable has lost. It's over. Like it or not, you'll be paying $.50 per over-the-air channel from the "Big 4" in 2008-2009 when Comcast's agreement with the network owned and operated stations end. Smaller stations like WCIU, WSNS,
WXFT, etc...less. And PBS, zero. As for WBBM...I can assure you this wasn't a game; they merely did it to save money, not going to 1 million watts on UHF. Gosh, if they had bought the WYCC-DT channel, and gone 100 kw...game over. You can get WYCC halfway to Timbuktu from the Hancock no less. Their digital signal goes out farther than their analog. Ah, but no need to parade out the shoulda-woulda-coulda's again.

I think we're saying the same thing...just in different words. The bottom line is the networks see the cable companies getting compensated and they want money, too.

This place has been excellent (especially your attention, Gilbert) to the entire WBBM mess and maybe some day it might be good to recap for the class (especially the newcomers) as to how the station got into this situation...at least it'll save you the endless responses to the newbies (who can't be faulted in wondering what's going on here), cause I don't see this situation being rectified anytime soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sebenste View Post

And because HD FM broadcasts on the same frequency (known as "in-band, on channel" or IBOC),
they have to use 1/100 of the analog power. That means WBBM-FM, for example is at
roughly 30 watts! (But with a good antenna, you can get it to Aurora with no problem).

HD Radio is a disaster on the AM Stereo scale. They're tyring to fit 50 pounds into a one pound bag so the large corporates can attempt to maintain their monopoly on the frequencies and keep their sinking "stick values" high. The fact the system has been so screwed up by Ibiquity doomed it years ago.

While I don't mind putting up the pre-amp and futzing with the antenna to get a solid HDTV picture...then I go sit down and become couch potato. That's not how radio works. The low power of those signals make listening on a walkman or other portable device nearly impossible. But that's not a worry right now, cause there are no portable HD Radios available. Also remember, with that 30 watt signal, you need 80% of that 30 watts hitting your radio or it won't switch over from analog mode.

I've long prefered DRM and Eureka-47...dedicating a channel strictly to the digital signal...similar to HDTV. But then the people making the decisions here never knew radio to start with.

Cheers...
post #4671 of 4809
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvs10trk View Post

It appears we have our reception/channel mapping problems fixed. This should also fix the Dish Network VIP611/811 reception issues as well. Please notify me if you continue to have reception issues.

I just checked my Dish Vip622 box: as of 6:00pm 02/12/2007 it still does the exact same thing. I get a perfect picture, then a lost signal screen.

If I watch the signal strength meter in the local channel setup screen it varies from 100% to 90%. The only time the Dish Vip622 received WCIU correctly, the signal strength meter was reading around 80%, but that was a long long long time ago.

All the other local channel vary around 2 to 5.

I dont think this is a settings issue, to me its a hardware issue
post #4672 of 4809
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebenste View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidsense View Post

Hi all. I am looking for the proper OTA antenna for my new HDTV. I'm very new to HDTVs as a general matter, and have been spending many hours reading up and educating myself on these forums.

However, I haven't been able to find an asnwer to fact specific issue: I live in the heart of Chicago, .4 miles from 12 channels. Would the Phillips PHDTV3 work? (I read that amplified antennas won't work if too close - but what is too close?)

Where do I go on these forums to determine the ideal antenna that I would want? Can someone direct me?

If I'm supposed to ask here, then here is some additional information:
I live .4 miles from all 12 of these stations.
They are all at about North/East from my building.
I live on the South/West corner, 1st floor, apartment.
There are numerous 4 story or higher buildings between myself and the stations.
I was looking for an indoor antenna.

Hi LS,

First, the good news. You should have plenty of signal, unless you are completely shielded from the Hancock and Sears towers. If you bought the TV new, you have a tuner that should be able to handle mulitpath decently. Multipath is when you get reflected signals off of buildings, that show up on analog as ghosts, or multiple images.

The bad news is that being downtown, you will have bad multipath, and there is a chance that the buildings would block your signal.

At this point, just a simple $10 pair of unamplified "rabbit ears" with a loop UHF antenna should be fine. Adjust as necessary. If you can get a signal, it should come in, including WBBM. And yes, you definitely came to the right place. Welcome aboard!

I followed your advice, Sebenste, and got the rabbit ears. And they worked great. I was getting about 10 HD channels which came in very clearly (with very minor static).

To clear up any static problems, I went ahead and ordered the PHDTV3 by Phillips (silver sensor with ditial amplification). I plugged it into the power and into the TV and it simply will not pick up the channels that the rabbit ears could!

I tried turning off the amplifier, I tried repositioning, I tried adjusting the amplifier, but all to no avail. Does anyone know why this amplified antenna cannot pick up the channels that the regular antenna could? (Particularly CBS--with static on most other channels)
post #4673 of 4809
Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidsense View Post

I followed your advice, Sebenste, and got the rabbit ears. And they worked great. I was getting about 10 HD channels which came in very clearly (with very minor static).

To clear up any static problems, I went ahead and ordered the PHDTV3 by Phillips (silver sensor with ditial amplification). I plugged it into the power and into the TV and it simply will not pick up the channels that the rabbit ears could!

I tried turning off the amplifier, I tried repositioning, I tried adjusting the amplifier, but all to no avail. Does anyone know why this amplified antenna cannot pick up the channels that the regular antenna could? (Particularly CBS--with static on most other channels)

Amplified antennas introduce noise, and the noise levels many of those desktop antennas make either drown out the signal...or, the amplifier causes too much signal and the receiver can't handle it. If you unplug the amplifier, you kill ALL the signal going through the antenna, my guess.
post #4674 of 4809
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioVisionary View Post


HD Radio is a disaster on the AM Stereo scale. They're tyring to fit 50 pounds into a one pound bag so the large corporates can attempt to maintain their monopoly on the frequencies and keep their sinking "stick values" high. The fact the system has been so screwed up by Ibiquity doomed it years ago.

While I don't mind putting up the pre-amp and futzing with the antenna to get a solid HDTV picture...then I go sit down and become couch potato. That's not how radio works. The low power of those signals make listening on a walkman or other portable device nearly impossible. But that's not a worry right now, cause there are no portable HD Radios available. Also remember, with that 30 watt signal, you need 80% of that 30 watts hitting your radio or it won't switch over from analog mode.

I've long prefered DRM and Eureka-47...dedicating a channel strictly to the digital signal...similar to HDTV. But then the people making the decisions here never knew radio to start with.

Cheers...


HD terrestrial radio is a very expensive disaster. And just like the leveraged cable companies, the leveraged radio empires are sooner or later going to face the music...
post #4675 of 4809
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebenste View Post

3 years ago, engineer Kyle Walker put Longley-Rice maps on his website, but didn't have the time to keep it up. I didn't notice them until just before he took them and his website down. But I now have them, and he has graciously allowed me to put them up for you to see.

Whoa, cool... Thanks, sebenste!

It would be interesting to see what a L-R map for WBBM on 11 would look like. Same with WLS-DT on 7.
______________________

I have a project for you all, should you choose to accept it, and I'm asking here because a) this forum has some of the best and brightest talent at AVSForum, and b) once I get the data I'm requesting, I'd like to figure out something that I don't know the answer to, yet, relating to L-R maps.

I'd like to ask for an inquiry on some stations. They're WLIO 8 in Lima, OH, WLJC 7 in Beattyville, KY, and WISH 9 in Indy. In 2009, they'll stay on their current DTV channels, and it looks like WLJC and WISH won't budge from their current altitude or power levels, nor their non-directional status, though I want that double-checked. At analog shut-off, WLIO's location, power level, and height will change from the current arrangement of 40° 44' 51" N, 84° 07' 54.5" W / 27.5 kW / 148 meters AAT to 40° 44' 54" N, 84° 07' 55" W / 30 kW / 165 meters AAT. I don't know if it will change its current directional pattern (current pattern available here -- scroll down), and if so, how.

Here's some additional help: At the time of analog shut-off: WLIO Antenna ID will change from 72830 to 36733. WISH-DT's Antenna ID is currently 41559, and WLJC-DT's Antenna ID is currently 64201. I can't figure out for sure what the future no. will be for either of those two, though I suspect neither will change from their current respective number.

Thanks in advance.
_______________________

Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidsense View Post

I followed your advice, Sebenste, and got the rabbit ears. And they worked great. I was getting about 10 HD channels which came in very clearly (with very minor static).

In the (alleged) words of Jack Bauer, "Something's not right." True HD signals don't have static at all. There's macroblocking, which occurs when the DTV encoder doesn't allow enough bandwidth, and it looks sort of like static. Then there's mosquito noise/artifacting, which looks even more like static, but again, it's due to lack of bandwidth at the station level, before it's transmitted. Pretty much, either the signal is picked up, "static" and all, or no digital/HD signal is being picked up at all. THAT means that either the DTV tuner isn't able to pull in the signal correctly, or an analog / SD source was being picked up, and the viewer thought that it was HD!

liquidsense, what machine are you using to pick up "HD" signals? A VCR? The TV? A standalone HDTV box like the Samsung DTB-H260F? How sure are you that you're picking up HD/digital signals?

On a side note, I'm not a huge fan of amplified indoor antennas. The RadioShack 15-1868 unamplified is about as good as it gets for rabbit ears, especially for DTV.
post #4676 of 4809
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctshead View Post

I just checked my Dish Vip622 box: as of 6:00pm 02/12/2007 it still does the exact same thing. I get a perfect picture, then a lost signal screen.

If I watch the signal strength meter in the local channel setup screen it varies from 100% to 90%. The only time the Dish Vip622 received WCIU correctly, the signal strength meter was reading around 80%, but that was a long long long time ago.

All the other local channel vary around 2 to 5.

I dont think this is a settings issue, to me its a hardware issue

Hmmmm, sorry I thought we had things fixed. We're talking to an Engineer out in Redding, CA with the same problems.
post #4677 of 4809
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioVisionary View Post

HD Radio is a disaster on the AM Stereo scale. They're tyring to fit 50 pounds into a one pound bag so the large corporates can attempt to maintain their monopoly on the frequencies and keep their sinking "stick values" high.

A friend, who works at a major radio station in town, explained why there's such a big push to have HD radio:

It's totally so the companies can go to Wall Street and their (generally clueless) stockholders and say "we're Digital ", to pump their stock price up.

No one in the industry expects any real revenue from it anytime soon. Especially the AM side - they have to shut it off at sundown, which makes it useless.
post #4678 of 4809
I was getting FOX crystal clear (best of all of them) until yesterday morning, now it's un-watchable?
How does one know if the issue comes from the station itself, or my equipment, etc...
Forgive a first time poster (to this particular forum)...point me in the right direction if I'm in the wrong place and I'll quiet down.
Thanks much.
post #4679 of 4809
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvs10trk View Post

Hmmmm, sorry I thought we had things fixed. We're talking to an Engineer out in Redding, CA with the same problems.

I have a Vip211 and am also still experiencing the dropouts, though not as frequent as before.
post #4680 of 4809
Re: That WISH, etc. project: Don't worry, I'm dropping that project for now, and probably permanently. If anything's come of it, you're welcome to post it here.
______________________

Re: HDRadio. I think that there are meetings that the FCC will hear soon, or are hearing now, about the potential to get AM HD turned on at night.

As for the FM version, that 30 watts is broadcast over a smallish area of bandwidth, which improves efficiency. It's like how NOAA WeatherRadio has a pretty good contour for such a small signal. My local affiliate broadcasts from south of Manassas, VA, from over 30 miles away from me, at under 2,000 watts. With a handheld unit, I can regularly pick up the signal with very little hiss. With time and R&D, a portable HD Radio unit might be possible.

With a good antenna and tuner, the HD signal can be picked up within most of the local part (is that 62 dBu?) of a contour. Plus, the "enhanced" audio quality is pretty muddy or twangy unless there's no multicasting, or the HD2 station is a lower-bitrate talk station or something like that. Very few people look to radio for enhanced audio quality right now. Would they in the future like HDTV for enhanced picture and sound? Who knows?

Maybe over time, HD Radio may gain acceptance, especially on the FM side, but for now, it's mostly a expensive, static-free (sort of) gimmick.
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