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Minneapolis, MN - OTA - Page 2

post #31 of 2124
I've been having what look like OTA dropout problems on NBC & CBS during prime time, but only with certain shows:

The West Wing, 10/20
Law & Order, 10/20
Cold Case, 10/24
Law & Order: Criminal Intent, 10/24
Crossing Jordan, 10/24
The West Wing, 10/27

Frequently (and especially near the start of a program), the picture freezes momentarily and the sound drops out. CC might help me to guess what's being said, but half of the captions are missing throughout, and the other half usually don't stay on-screen long enough to read them.

(OTOH, Cold Case's captions were readable, but they were for the wrong show!)

I would've blamed these dropouts on local multipath interference, except that ABC (at UHF 50 in the Twin Cities) is the channel I've had the most such interference on in the past, and I've had almost none of it since I re-oriented my SquareShooter a couple of weeks ago. (It's now pointing up 25°, and 35° west of the antenna farm.)

Am I seeing local interference or network errors on NBC & CBS??
post #32 of 2124
post #33 of 2124
I'd say local interference. The "Cold Case" episode you mention is the only one of the bunch I've seen and it ran flawless, here.

If you live anywhere near an airport, that can be a source of temporary multipath which can lead to drop-outs and freeze-ups. I had to move to a CM 4248 to get around that, myself.

Doc
post #34 of 2124
Quote:


Originally posted by Syzygy
I've been having what look like OTA dropout problems on NBC & CBS during prime time...

Is your signal strength stable? If not, the problem is probably multipath or possibly interference from other channels. If your signal strength is stable during dropouts, the local staion may be having encoder problems.
post #35 of 2124
Two problems with measuring signal strength during a program:

1. We're usually watching the program long after it's over.

2. HD-TiVo doesn't let you see the meter without interrupting the program. (Does pressing Right-arrow and Info on the box itself also interrupt the program?)
post #36 of 2124
We just watched a recording of CSI: Miami that was made off of CBSE (80) and there was one glitch -- near the beginning -- that caused a momentary video freeze and audio dropout. Very short. That's the kind of thing that makes me wonder if the other problems I've reported are network errors.

Also, we've watched a couple more OTA recordings of first-run L&O shows in the last few days, and they were flawless (in contrast to the really hard-to-watch 10/20 and 10/24 L&O shows). Full disclosure: The trees have lost at least half their leaves by now. Windblown leaves are a prime source of multipath distortion -- especially on the higher UHF frequencies where I'm not having problems.
post #37 of 2124
I recently started experiencing 5.1 audio dropouts. 5.2 works fine.

I think it's something screwed up in the dd5.1 encoder, but I was just wondering if anyone else is seeing this.

Picture is perfect, audio drops 1 sec every 2-10 seconds.
post #38 of 2124
I live west of Twin Cities, MN. I have a ChannelMaster 4228 8-bay UHF on
a 20 ft pole, ChannelMaster PreAmp, 60 ft coax run, connected to a
DishTV Dish811 Combo OTA-HDTV sat receiver. Out of the 15 digital
channels being broadcast, ten are from the same tower and FCC states
they are same power level.
I receive three of the ten at high quality levels, two are very weak and
sporadic, and 5 cannot even be detected by my unit.

DishTV has told me that I am not pointing my directional UHF antenna correctly...but all ten of the channels are on the same tower!
How can I receive a strong signal from three channels and none from five
on the same tower if the antenna is pointed wrong?

Does anyone have any experience with the DishTV model 811 combo unit?
Is it possible for it to have low sensitivity on some channel frequencies and work fine on others?
post #39 of 2124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by tidalwave
Out of the 15 digital channels being broadcast, ten are from the same tower and FCC states they are same power level. I receive three of the ten at high quality levels, two are very weak and sporadic, and 5 cannot even be detected by my unit.

Is it possible for it to have low sensitivity on some channel frequencies and work fine on others?

Answering your last question first, it's probable that your antenna is more sensitive to certain signals, although the 4228 has a pretty flat response curve. Keep in mind that your antenna becomes more directional at higher frequencies, so if you're slightly off-axis, stations like WCCO and KMSP will be fine while KSTC might give you problems and KSTP definitely would.

Stations I'd expect you to have trouble receiving: KTCI (50kw), WFTC (circularly polarized, also very low placement of transmitting antenna), KMWB (20kw, directionaly biased away from you.) All the others should be good-to-great.

The 811 is a world-class dog in performance - it has the worst reception attributes of any digital STB out there. Search the hardware forum for scads of horror stories about how poorly this STB works. If you can get your hands on a different tuner to try it out, you may be able to eliminate the antenna setup as the problem.

Check your analog reception of 23, 29 and 45. Are the images ghost-free and relatively snow-free? If you see even the hint of a ghost, that will probably knock the 811 into a frenzy. You could also try removing the preamp (both indoor and outdoor units) to see if reception improves. Sometimes the preamp boosts multipath that would otherwise be invisible to the receiver.
post #40 of 2124
With some help from local enthusiasts, I've assembled a chart to compare Minneapolis area HD providers. The chart has links to Zap2It guide info, local networks, national networks and HD providers.

Enjoy...

HD Provider Comparison:
Chart w/ Links (HTML)



Other versions of the spreadsheet:
Excel Spreadsheet (XLS)
Adobe Acrobat (PDF)
post #41 of 2124
If you see errors above, or have ideas on how we might improve the chart, please let me know.

Cheers,
post #42 of 2124
I'm experiencing lots of macroblocking and audio dropouts on channel 5. (NYPD Blue 11/23).

Anyone else seeing this? Signal level is high, channel 5 is the only one that's having problems. I'm 20 miles from the tower, line of sight, with an outdoor antenna.
post #43 of 2124
Yes, I got lots of video stuttering throughout that episode of NYPD Blue, even after they switched to SD about 3/4 of the way through but no audio dpropouts until they started to do that switch.
post #44 of 2124
I seem to have problems with KARE and PBS while I have no problems with WCCO and channel 5 (ABC) OTA signals. I have a Winegard antenna and preamp. I live in Chaska.
post #45 of 2124
My previous post is somewhat cryptic. What I mean to ask is are other people having any signal strength problems with NBC and PBS HD OTA?
post #46 of 2124
Do you mean signal quality rather than signal strength? I don't watch PBS enough to say, but NBC (KARE) sometimes gives me fits with dropouts -- especially on LAX and L&O.
post #47 of 2124
I guess I mean signal quality but I'm using a MyHd MDP-120 HD tuner card that has a signal meter that seems to correspond to signal quality. It appears that whenever the strength is less than 20, I get breakups and dropouts. The PBS stuff seems better now so maybe it was just some temporary thing.
post #48 of 2124
OK, I've been searching for an antenna which brings in all the HD channels in my St Paul, Highland Park house. I've tried various Radio Shack antennas, Silver Sensor, a couple of channel masters. I decided to spend a few more bucks to get a Winegard Squareshooter and it works great.

With my silver sensor, I could always pick up everything except TPT and FOX. Then I'd adjust and pick up TPT and FOX and lose all other channels. For some unknown reason, the higher I had my antennas, the poorer the reception. I have the squareshooter about 2 feet off the ground facing Shoreview. The Squareshooter is the only antenna I've tried which can pick up all stations consistently. I think my house is just poorly positioned for decent reception, so I was thrilled to finally find an antenna which works flawlessly.

By the way, I originally picked up the Terk HDTV-s at Bestbuy for $149. I quickly realized that it was a rebadged Squareshooter and returned the Terk for the $75 Squareshooter.
post #49 of 2124
I have a problem with my Samsung 160, every time I try to directly enter '9-1', it tries tuning in KAWE 9-1, then I have to hit the up button to get to KMSP 9-1. I've tried deleting it from my channel list by going to setup, antenna installation, then removing it from the antenna list, but that doesn't help. I live in Lake Elmo, and don't even know what KAWE is, Alexandria maybe? Any suggestions?
post #50 of 2124
Quote:


Originally posted by sregener
Here's a brief summary of the OTA channels available in the Twin Cities, arranged by analog channel number (numbers less than 1000kw or directional are not full-powered unless otherwise noted):

KTCA (TPT2) - digital 34 - PBS HD 24x7 feed. 340kw directional.

WCCO (CBS) - digital 32 - fully HD compatible. 1000kw.

KSTP (ABC) - digital 50 - fully HD compatible. 1000kw.

KMSP (Fox) - digital 26 - fully HD compatible. 691kw (full power) directional.

KARE (NBC) -digital 35 - fully HD compatible. 1000kw.

KTCI (TPT17) - digital 16 - 5 PBS multicast. 50kw (full power).

KMWB (WB) - digital 22 - HD compatible. 20kw directional.

WFTC (UPN) - digital 21 - no HD. 1000kw (full powered) directional.

KPXM (Pax) - digital 40 - no HD. 1000kw (full powered) directional.

KSTC (Ind) - digital 44 - multicast analog 45 and HDNet. 205kw.




Will I pick these up in hinkley with a RS large directional on a 34 ft mast with Rs 30db preamp/amp. I use rg-6 coax to all tv's. I get a clear picture on all stations

Thanks
post #51 of 2124
Quote:


Originally posted by lewie
I have a problem with my Samsung 160, every time I try to directly enter '9-1', it tries tuning in KAWE 9-1, then I have to hit the up button to get to KMSP 9-1. I've tried deleting it from my channel list by going to setup, antenna installation, then removing it from the antenna list, but that doesn't help. I live in Lake Elmo, and don't even know what KAWE is, Alexandria maybe? Any suggestions?

I have had the same problem with my old toshiba HD Directv box. Its very annoying, anybody have an answer? Also, on my HD Tivo, the channel can be removed, but wierd things happen to the program guide after a while. For example, I'll be watching the Vikings game on FoxHD 9-1. After about a half hour, I'll switch to the other tuner. When I switch back, the game is still on, but the guide display shows that I'm watching 9-1 KAWE PBS. I wish I could just wipe it off my guide for good. I can't receive the station, and wouldn't want to even if I could.
post #52 of 2124
I just got a toshiba hm5284 and I wanted to get an antenna for my local channels. I have directv and they don't put the locas in hd. I live in northeast minneapolis, so I'm pretty close to the towers ini shoreview. I just bought a terk antenna and it's not very good, plus I don't get channel 5 in hd. which anttena do you guys suggest. I see alot of you guys get antenna's at radioshack or channel masters. thanks.
post #53 of 2124
anyone else having a problem getting 4-1 to come in ? i want to watch CSI tonight in HD, i have a 100% signal strength but no picture shows up at all
post #54 of 2124
ok, i rescanned my channels and now it works for some reason
post #55 of 2124
I live in Menomonie, Wi, about 60 miles from MSP. I'll be getting my new set in the next few days. I'm hoping to attempt reception out of the cities instead of Eau Claire, Wi, which is about 30 miles. What type of antenna setup would you recommend?
post #56 of 2124
I sure wish that they would fix whatever problem ABC (5-1) has with their sound dropouts. It was better for a while when they pulled 5-2 off the air. Now they put it back and the sound dropouts are back. I had to actually shut off Boston Legal because it was unwatchable.
post #57 of 2124
I can't even get 5-1 or 5-2 for some reason. Any ideas? I used to get them and I get 5 but not in digital. All others working ok.

Scott
post #58 of 2124
Quote:


Originally posted by Fast351
I sure wish that they would fix whatever problem ABC (5-1) has with their sound dropouts. It was better for a while when they pulled 5-2 off the air. Now they put it back and the sound dropouts are back. I had to actually shut off Boston Legal because it was unwatchable.

I'm in Apple Valley and have had the same problem for a couple months now. I came looking for help.

It's like a 2 second loop of garbled audio. My wife says "they sound like their under water."

I too had to switch off Boston Legal last night.

Have you ever tried calling the KSTP?

And I can't pick up 5.2, only 5.1

Which reciever do you have? I have the RCA-210. (D*)

How does one "petition" for HD networks thru D*? Would I have any luck living in AV?

Any help appreciated.
post #59 of 2124
Quote:


Originally posted by edpowers
I have had the same problem with my old toshiba HD Directv box. Its very annoying, anybody have an answer? Also, on my HD Tivo, the channel can be removed, but wierd things happen to the program guide after a while. For example, I'll be watching the Vikings game on FoxHD 9-1. After about a half hour, I'll switch to the other tuner. When I switch back, the game is still on, but the guide display shows that I'm watching 9-1 KAWE PBS. I wish I could just wipe it off my guide for good. I can't receive the station, and wouldn't want to even if I could.

Just checked FCC TV Query ... KAWE is a PBS station licensed to Bemidji, MN, with a transmitter near a town called Blackduck, MN. Its analog is 9, its DT is 18.
post #60 of 2124
I'm in a bad location for receiving KSTP-DT (5-1) and I've suffered a lot of multipath interference. Things improved when the trees lost their leaves, but the intense cold over the last week has made 5-1 worse on average than it ever was before. Sometimes my HD-TiVo tells me that it couldn't get any signal at all over the entire duration of a 30- or 60-minute show.
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