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Washington, DC / Baltimore, MD - HDTV - Page 446

post #13351 of 13749
Me TV coming to DC; finally!!
post #13352 of 13749
Me-TV launching on Channel 7.2 on March 1. If you're concerned with just quality, ME-TV is probably the best network around, cable or OTA. Their weekly schedule usually features programs that have won 20-25 Emmys for best comedy or drama. It's all 30 or more years old, but even endless repeats of quality shows beat most reality programming.
post #13353 of 13749
Yes I believe MeTV is the best nostalgia TV network, although Antenna TV and Cozi TV can provide entertaining options as well. But most of today's reality programming is absolutely awful. Although I sometimes enjoy America's Got Talent, The Voice and Dancing with the Stars. And Idol started out good but now it's all about bickering judges rather than the talent competition. But these reality housewives and honey boo whos and Jersey Shore type shows appeal to the lowest levels and it amazes me that that pay these ordinary, non talented people millions of dollars to just follow them around with a video camera as they act stupid. And why are people so interested in those Kardashians? Who cares? I have never seen those shows but they are all the time being interviewed on the Today show and it amazes me as to why. Absolutely ignorant. But MeTV will be a great addition to WJLA.
post #13354 of 13749
I am moving into a single family home SW of DC in about 10 days and am looking to do all TV related entertainment with OTA and streaming (fios for internet). This is a first for me and the family so I would like some recommendations to get started knowing I might have to play around with different hardware configurations to find the sweet spot. My OTA knowledge is limited, but I have been doing some reading here and elsewhere. Here is some info/parameters:

1) tvfool data. I should be able to point roughly NE to pick up stations, although hilly terrain is an issue.

2) Indoor antenna only, I should have attic access. Will not know for sure until I move in. Based on spectrum assignments, looks like I will need VHF hi and UHF antennas.

3) I would like to receive ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS. Anything else is gravy.

4) I would like to DVR through WMC at some point. Unless I build an HTPC in the coming months, that would be done at a PC in a separate room from the TV. What would be the best route to accomplish that?

5) Initially I would probably stream (Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, etc.) through my laptop or tablet. WMC recordings are stored on a home server. Per 4 above, this will be temporary until after we have stabilized post-move.

6) Media consumption is performed on a single TV, PC, Android tablet, and laptop.

Not sure what else to feed you. Thanks for any help.
post #13355 of 13749
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by riversend3 View Post

... a single family home SW of DC

...I might have to play around with different hardware configurations to find the sweet spot. ..

1) hilly terrain is an issue.

2) Indoor antenna only, I should have attic access. Will not know for sure until I move in. Based on spectrum assignments, looks like I will need VHF hi and UHF antennas.


With an estimated antenna height of five feet above average terrain, you will be hampered by the double whammy of also being blocked by any and all buildings on your transmirrion lines that is taller than a dog house.

All you can do is roll the dice. If you can't find a sweet spot, then you might benefit from a rotor or multiple antennas.
Edited by AntAltMike - 1/27/13 at 1:36am
post #13356 of 13749
I am hoping to get an antenna up into the attic,which would get me about 15' agl. Any antenna recommendations to start from? The side of the street I am on is on the side of a gentle slope up and away from the rest of the neighborhood which might help alleviate some near LOS concerns. Again I would like some help on figuring out how to get started evaluating what might work for my situation.
post #13357 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by riversend3 View Post


1) tvfool data. I should be able to point roughly NE to pick up stations, although hilly terrain is an issue.

2) Indoor antenna only, I should have attic access. Will not know for sure until I move in. Based on spectrum assignments, looks like I will need VHF hi and UHF antennas.

3) I would like to receive ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS. Anything else is gravy.
You'll need at least an attic antenna in Fairfax Station for reliable reception. Any indoor antenna lower than the attic level will be more of a source of frustration than anything else. I recommend this antenna if it will fit. The smaller HBU-22 may work, but afraid it will not provide enough margin during adverse weather conditions. The HBU-22 worked OK for DC when tested in my attic, but didn't really work on the Baltimore channels.

My TV Fool report here in Centreville is a bit worse than yours, but I get excellent reception with a good attic mounted antenna system here. Even a few of the Baltimore channels are somewhat reliable.
Edited by Digital Rules - 1/27/13 at 9:52am
post #13358 of 13749
Antennacraft HBU-33 as mentioned or perhaps Winegard 7696. And possibly a Winegard 269 or 8700 preamp. That should work for DC but Baltimore may require a more involved set up if interested, unless you can find a sweet spot.
post #13359 of 13749
Thanks for the suggestions. I suppose the preamp will be needed if I use an HDHomerun or a Hauppage in my PC.
post #13360 of 13749
I'm moving to Aberdeen, MD and am wondering what type of antenna signal I will get up there. Here is the TV Fool report from the house (no address so I had to use lat/lon):
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d1ddac3297bf71b

Looks like the Baltimore stations would be ok with a UHF/VHF-Hi antenna(s). However, I'm especially interested in receiving DC channels (5, 20) for the Redskins. Any idea if there's a chance, or are they just too far out?

Right now I'm in Columbia, and I'm using an 8-bay bow-tie and it works great for DC and Baltimore, but I'm a lot closer.

Thanks in advance!
post #13361 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgantert View Post

I'm moving to Aberdeen, MD and am wondering what type of antenna signal I will get up there.
If the TV Fool report is accurate, DC should be doable most of the time. I would try the 8 bay first & see what happens. It may work for your situation if 7 & 9 aren't on your must have list. I am assuming you plan on mounting on the roof? Do you have any kind of amplifier now?
post #13362 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Rules View Post

If the TV Fool report is accurate, DC should be doable most of the time. I would try the 8 bay first & see what happens. It may work for your situation if 7 & 9 aren't on your must have list. I am assuming you plan on mounting on the roof? Do you have any kind of amplifier now?
I'm not going to move my current system (it's staying with the house). Right now I have the CM7775 pre-amp (low power UHF only pre-amp). Lots of 40 year old trees, plus my current location has much multi-path. My new location is a new construction neighborhood, so I shouldn't have those problems. And yes, plan to mount on the roof.
post #13363 of 13749
Hang on to that CM7775 preamp if it is performing well. It is the original low noise UHF design that is no longer manufactured. But it is not really low gain, as it is 26db. Best UHF preamp choices currently available are the Winegard AP4700 and AP4800, at 19db and 28db gain.
post #13364 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by rory21 View Post

Me-TV launching on Channel 7.2 on March 1.

What is going to happen with the weather channel? Will it disappear or be moved to a new sub-channel?
post #13365 of 13749
jgantert, if starting from scratch, I would use the AD 91XG UHF & Antennacraft Y10-7-13 VHF antennas for maximum signal gathering ability. Mount 10 feet above the roofline. Combine the 2 antennas with the Antennacraft 10G222 dual input pre-amp. Not sure if there are any WAF or HOA concerns as this set up is a bit on the large side. You could go with the smaller Y5-7-13 VHF antenna if 7 & 9 from DC aren't on your wish list.
Edited by Digital Rules - 1/31/13 at 5:29am
post #13366 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankie20 View Post

What is going to happen with the weather channel? Will it disappear or be moved to a new sub-channel?
According to DCRTV, the weather channel will be dropped.Too bad Live Well isn't being axed instead.
post #13367 of 13749
Does anyone here recieve Smooth Jazz WMAL-HD2? I don't even see a blip of the signal here in Centreville, so not sure if WMAL is still doing HD? 106.7 WJFK is on the same tower & the HD signal is received just fine here.
post #13368 of 13749
Speaking of DC radio signals, why would the FCC allow a Richmond station to broadcast on the same 107.3 FM frequency as the Washington station? It creates major interference issues around Fredericksburg. I remember when Mix 107.3 used to reach into Richmond, Tidewater, and even parts of NC at times. They truly had an outstanding, far reaching signal until they allowed the Richmond station to sign on the same frequency about 15 or so years ago. Not a good move.
post #13369 of 13749
An even worse example of that is WGRQ 95.9 near King George. A decent slice of potential audience is lost to W240BH near Haymarket. The Haymarket translator is hard to pick up unless very close, but it does make WGRQ nearly impossible to get in Northern VA even with a directional rooftop antenna. Too bad as it's the only half decent oldies station in the area.
post #13370 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post

Speaking of DC radio signals, why would the FCC allow a Richmond station to broadcast on the same 107.3 FM frequency as the Washington station? It creates major interference issues around Fredericksburg. I remember when Mix 107.3 used to reach into Richmond, Tidewater, and even parts of NC at times. They truly had an outstanding, far reaching signal until they allowed the Richmond station to sign on the same frequency about 15 or so years ago. Not a good move.

The FCC licenses FM stations using a table of allotments with strict distance separation, as TV used to. As long as WBBT in Powhatan meets that distance requirement, which it does, then it is allowed to operate.

Of course, a number of stations licensed before 1964, when the FM separation rules were established, got short-spaced really badly. WJZ-FM 105.7 in Baltimore is, shall we say, too close to WQXA-FM 105.7 in York PA, both of which are big B-class signals. In my parents' neck of the woods, WXLK-FM 92.3 in Roanoke and WKRR-FM 92.3 in Asheboro/Greensboro battle it out near the VA/NC state line, making both stations unlistenable in that area.

- Trip
post #13371 of 13749
104.7FM in Charlotte and Columbia, SC are also too close together. But when 107.3 in Richmond signed on, it really limited the Washington station's signal to the south, as interference develops in Fredericksburg.
post #13372 of 13749
WGRQ is but a mile or two from me. They do hold a permit to move to a tower in Fredericksburg.

To add to what Trip said, implicit in the spacing rules for FM stations is a minimum signal level protected by interference. That level depends on the station's class. While signals weaker than the protected level are still receivable, protecting them would require thinning the band out by a LOT in the northeast. For example, no DC station has a service area that reaches Fredericksburg. In general, the southern edge is around Stafford Courthouse or the Dahlgren area of King George County.
post #13373 of 13749
Thanks guys, what I don't understand is why 95.9 was chosen in Haymarket when there are quieter frequencies available? Even an adjacent channel allotment (102.1 for instance) would likely suffer much less from interference issues than a receivable co-channel station. I can't imagine a 4 watt signal causing much adjacent channel havoc unless right next to the tower.
post #13374 of 13749
believe it or not i live in the woods just outside aberdeen and w/o an amp can pull in 4,5,7,9 and sometimes 16 if weather is right. and i flip the switch for fm. being that 100.7 is my favorite oldies station.
post #13375 of 13749
Free, over-the-air broadcasts are supposed to be clearer than compressed cable broadcasts, right? Well, that's not the case with my local FOX station. The first jpeg is from a cable recording of last year's Seattle-Atlanta playoff game. The second jpeg is from my home recording. Click to enlarge. I use a Pinnacle USB HD tuner and I record the games to my PC as .ts files. I use a rabbit ears antenna that I place outside my first floor apartment window. I live in Takoma Park, MD, BTW. In the cable version, the FOX logo and the scoreboard graphic are a lot crisper than mine, which are a little grainy. Do you think I'd get better results if I used a real HD antenna instead of the rabbit ears? Just trying to figure out how my pure, uncompressed HD signal can look worse than compressed cable.



post #13376 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by slats7 View Post

Free, over-the-air broadcasts are supposed to be clearer than compressed cable broadcasts, right? Well, that's not the case with my local FOX station. The first jpeg is from a cable recording of last year's Seattle-Atlanta playoff game. The second jpeg is from my home recording. Click to enlarge. I use a Pinnacle USB HD tuner and I record the games to my PC as .ts files. I use a rabbit ears antenna that I place outside my first floor apartment window. I live in Takoma Park, MD, BTW. In the cable version, the FOX logo and the scoreboard graphic are a lot crisper than mine, which are a little grainy. Do you think I'd get better results if I used a real HD antenna instead of the rabbit ears? Just trying to figure out how my pure, uncompressed HD signal can look worse than compressed cable.



You're very close to the transmitters, but you have a couple of VHF stations (WJLA RF7 and WUSA RF9) so a dipole (rabbit ears) might be best for you. The OTA image does look slightly fuzzier, but the colors look nicer in the OTA image than in the cable image. Have you tried adjusting your set to get the nicest looking picture for OTA and then see how the cable images look with that calibration?

post #13377 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by veedon View Post

You're very close to the transmitters, but you have a couple of VHF stations (WJLA RF7 and WUSA RF9) so a dipole (rabbit ears) might be best for you. The OTA image does look slightly fuzzier, but the colors look nicer in the OTA image than in the cable image. Have you tried adjusting your set to get the nicest looking picture for OTA and then see how the cable images look with that calibration?

I don't own an HDTV set. When the digital transition took place a few years ago, I decided to buy a huge monitor and watch all my live TV on my PC. They said rabbit ears would work well with HD signals, so that's what I stuck with. BTW, this graininess only happens with FOX. The graphics on CBS and NBC come in crystal clear. Maybe if I adjust the knob on the rabbit ears, that might improve the FOX situation.
post #13378 of 13749
ALL HD sources are compressed. There is not enough bandwidth in over-the-air channels to deliver data for each pixel on your screen. Neither is there enough bandwidth via cable or satellite. Even the data on Blu-ray discs is compressed.

With digital TV broadcasts, once your tuner can decode the data stream, you get the full quality of the broadcast. Additional signal strength does not change the resolution. Besides, an antenna simply captures RF signals. It does not care how the signal is modulated. You can attach your rabbit ears to an FM receiver and get reception.

In the early days of cable television, the operator had to get the broadcast stations over-the-air. Now, in most cases, local stations feed the cable companies via direct connections. This is important to know because all of our local stations do not use their entire bandwidth for the main HD broadcast. Additional services, like additional standard-def channels, mobile DTV channels, or other data, are multiplexed in. The impact to the main channel depends on the encoder the station uses to generate the data stream that is broadcast.

You're definitely going to notice this on CBS programming via WUSA, as it includes two subchannels (Bounce and a weather radar). Really fast scene changes or lots of motion will have noticible artifacts. FOX programming via WTTG should be cleaner, as there are fewer, for now, other services included. Looking at data rates, WUSA's main channel averages just under 12 Mbps while WTTG's main channel averages around 14.5 Mbps (source: rabbitears.info).

The direct feeds to cable companies do not necessarily have these issues, so they may be delivered at the "full" data rate of nearly 19 Mbps. That could be the difference you see.
post #13379 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by slats7 View Post

Free, over-the-air broadcasts are supposed to be clearer than compressed cable broadcasts, right? Well, that's not the case with my local FOX station. The first jpeg is from a cable recording of last year's Seattle-Atlanta playoff game. BTW. In the cable version, the FOX logo and the scoreboard graphic are a lot crisper than mine, which are a little grainy.
There is no way to know what kind of processing the cable company did to the signal before they sent it to the customer. It could result in a "sharper" picture. As others have noted, the OTA color is far richer..

There was a lot of discussion a few years about about Fox doing the encoding at the network level and the "splicer" technology that allowed stations to do things like add logos without a full stream recompress. Fox may have changed their policy, but if not, here in DC, I believe you can consider the OTA signal to be "reference", as I believe because they are O&O, they just pass the ready-to-broadcast MPEG-2 stream from the network, especially for sports (where they don't even have to add a logo).
post #13380 of 13749
Resolutionwise there is NO visible difference between Fios, Fox 5 OTA or Fox 45 OTA. The only difference being Fox 45 with it's slightly more saturated color on Fox network programming.
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