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post #1 of 23 Old 08-14-2019, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Best HDTV for OTA?

Hope this forum is suitable.

I have a Samsung HDTV UN55F6300 used with an outdoor long range antenna with signal booster, shielded coax, directional rotor, etc, etc, etc.

Only channel feature on this TV is auto scan, no way to manually enter channels. Consequently the number of local channels I can scan into the TV is weather dependent and antenna orientation dependent. If the weather is perfect I can scan about 35 channels with antenna in one direction, most times it's difficult to get more than 20, which does not cover the channels we want. As well this Samsung just drops channels willy nilly and the only way to get them back is another full scan, which can wipe out existing stored channels, especially if conditions are not perfect.

There is no way to manually enter single channels.

So tired of this I'm looking for another TV with the ability to remember existing channels on subsequent scans and/or enter channels manually. That way at least the antenna direction can be changed for best reception during scan/manual enter.

Anybody got any suggestions?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 23 Old 08-14-2019, 04:53 PM
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The moderator may move your thread if it's not in right place. Samsung isn't a good brand for OTA in my opinion. LG televisions can manually add channels, that's the only brand I can think of off the top of my head. https://www.lg.com/us/support/help-l...377190560808#2
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post #3 of 23 Old 08-14-2019, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justdigitalized View Post
Hope this forum is suitable.

I have a Samsung HDTV UN55F6300 used with an outdoor long range antenna with signal booster, shielded coax, directional rotor, etc, etc, etc.

Only channel feature on this TV is auto scan, no way to manually enter channels. Consequently the number of local channels I can scan into the TV is weather dependent and antenna orientation dependent. If the weather is perfect I can scan about 35 channels with antenna in one direction, most times it's difficult to get more than 20, which does not cover the channels we want. As well this Samsung just drops channels willy nilly and the only way to get them back is another full scan, which can wipe out existing stored channels, especially if conditions are not perfect.

There is no way to manually enter single channels.

So tired of this I'm looking for another TV with the ability to remember existing channels on subsequent scans and/or enter channels manually. That way at least the antenna direction can be changed for best reception during scan/manual enter.

Anybody got any suggestions?

Thanks.
Some Samsung models (and a few other brands/models) have an interesting firmware quirk. If you enter only the real RF channel of a station you want to add (with no dash or decimal point following) - the set will tune to that RF channel, find the DTV signal, and add the virtual channels associated with it. This will only work if there is no virtual channel with that same number present from a previous scan, and may take a few tries.
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post #4 of 23 Old 08-14-2019, 06:08 PM
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My Sony is pretty good but not perfect when it comes to handling multiple Virtual/RF channels. I think the tuner performance is excellent.

You can add digital channels which is great if you need to rotate your antenna for different channels. It can handle virtual channels of the same number if they point to different RF channels. For example I have two VC 4 here. One is the main transmitter (RF 23) and one is a translator (RF 28).

For some reason it doesn't allow two different VC's pointing to the same RF channel. What it does in this situation is unpredictable. Sometimes the VC will switch automatically to the one you're pointed at. Sometimes it just gets stuck on one VC and refuses to recognize the other even if you're pointing at it and it's being decoded. For most people this is not a problem. It happened to me because I was on the fringes of 3 different markets.

It doesn't allow direct RF channel entry.
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post #5 of 23 Old 08-15-2019, 01:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Channel99 View Post
Some Samsung models (and a few other brands/models) have an interesting firmware quirk. If you enter only the real RF channel of a station you want to add (with no dash or decimal point following) - the set will tune to that RF channel, find the DTV signal, and add the virtual channels associated with it. This will only work if there is no virtual channel with that same number present from a previous scan, and may take a few tries.
This Samsung has no option to manually add channels - can only be done with full scan which erases previous scanned channels.
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post #6 of 23 Old 08-15-2019, 01:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by johnny antenna View Post
LG televisions can manually add channels
Thanks for the link. Wish this feature was available on the Samsung.

There have been internet complaints, mostly about dropping scanned channels, and I have contacted and complained to Samsung, but no change or even a software update. Support is very poor manned by people who have little knowledge and understanding.
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post #7 of 23 Old 08-15-2019, 01:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post
My Sony is pretty good but not perfect when it comes to handling multiple Virtual/RF channels. I think the tuner performance is excellent.
I wish I had a better opinion of Sony. Used to be a good electronics brand but their quality went down hill for the price and the annoyance of proprietary accessories just made me angry.

Quote:
It can handle virtual channels....
I don't understand "virtual channels"?? If I try to add any channel that is not memorized in the auto scan all I get is a fuzzy screen.

Last edited by DrDon; 08-15-2019 at 06:07 AM. Reason: Fixed formatting
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post #8 of 23 Old 08-15-2019, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by justdigitalized View Post
I don't understand "virtual channels"?? If I try to add any channel that is not memorized in the auto scan all I get is a fuzzy screen.
Television stations broadcast on RF channels... 6MHZ of space allotted to them. Some VHF, some UHF. With the switch to digital and repacking of the broadcast portion of the spectrum, many stations are no longer on the same frequency they originally started with. To maintain legacy branding, their digital stream uses virtual channel numbers. In Tampa, WFLA, known as "NewsChannel 8" actually broadcasts on the frequency originally known as Channel 7. We use "RF 7" to indicate what the actual channel is because typing out the frequencies all the time can be confusing.

The television stations broadcast one big stream of data. Within that stream can be one or many program streams. We call those "subchannels." On your screen, they show up with virtual channel numbers such as 8.1, 8.2, etc. Again, using Tampa's NBC affiliate as an example, station WFLA, broadcasting on RF 7 includes:

8.1 - WFLA
8.2 - MeTV
8.3 - Escape
38.1 - WTTA (sister station to WFLA)
38.2 - Cozi

All of that is broadcast on RF 7. The virtual channel numbers are what you see onscreen and used with station marketing and identifying.

This is why we prefer members use call letters when discussing reception issues.

WAAAY back when, I picked up (and still have) a Samsung OTA set top box. It was nice in that you could key in any RF channel it didn't pick up in the scan. It'd read the RF channel, add it and place it according to the virtual channel number. I still use it when looking for channels with marginal signals or DXing distant stations. The tuner light flashes when it has a signal, but it's not quite strong enough to lock. Big help in antenna positioning.
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Last edited by DrDon; 08-15-2019 at 06:28 AM.
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post #9 of 23 Old 08-15-2019, 07:09 AM
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I've been pretty focused on getting a TCL 6-series lately, and I know that it pulls in 14 days of local programming information for it's channel guide. You can also plug in a thumbdrive, which will give you 90 minutes of live TV pause (I don't think it will record, though, like a DVR).
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post #10 of 23 Old 08-15-2019, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
The television stations broadcast one big stream of data. Within that stream can be one or many program streams. We call those "subchannels." On your screen, they show up with virtual channel numbers such as 8.1, 8.2, etc. Again, using Tampa's NBC affiliate as an example, station WFLA, broadcasting on RF 7 includes:

8.1 - WFLA
8.2 - MeTV
8.3 - Escape
38.1 - WTTA (sister station to WFLA)
38.2 - Cozi
Yes, now I see. The Samsung does list the virtual numbers on channel list.


Quote:
WAAAY back when, I picked up (and still have) a Samsung OTA set top box. It was nice in that you could key in any RF channel it didn't pick up in the scan. It'd read the RF channel, add it and place it according to the virtual channel number. I still use it when looking for channels with marginal signals or DXing distant stations. The tuner light flashes when it has a signal, but it's not quite strong enough to lock. Big help in antenna positioning.
Are the OTA boxes still available? Do they override the TV's channel scan? Are they compatible with Samsung?
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post #11 of 23 Old 08-15-2019, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Are the OTA boxes still available?
Do you mean DVR?
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No, not a DVR. It was a Samsung SIR-T151. Well, still IS. Just in a closet. There are a number of tuners available, both with and without DVR capability. If you're going to go that route, might as well do a DVR.

These are external boxes, just like a BD player, cable box and what-have-you. Newer ones connect via HDMI just like disc players, etc. You'd use them in place of your TV's tuner.

We have a couple of sections for those.

Stand-alone ATSC tuners

HDTV Recording solutions.

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post #13 of 23 Old 08-15-2019, 11:16 AM
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No way the Samsung's are available. Not sure if mine is the same as the one mentioned but probably pretty close. if I remember right mine has DVI, RGB and componet for video signal and digital audio out and fire wire so you could hook it up to a JVC HD VCR so you could record OTA. It worked the same as mentioned. You could add the actual frequency and if the signal was there strong enough to pickup it would after you did your initial scan. There were nights that I would play around plugging in station RF numbers and I would pickup stations hundreds and hundreds of miles away due to weather and atmospheric conditions. Not sure who makes stand alone tuners anymore? Currently I'm using HD Homerun for OTA and Cable. And no I can't enter channels after scanning. I'm curious I have never played with any of those converter boxes they use to sell for people without HD displays. I think they would have tuners in them? don't even know if they make those anymore?

That Samsung tuner number does sound familiar. Now that I think about it I had a different tuner to start with and it might have been the sir t451 and then I traded it for the one I have now to use with the JVC VCR with fire wire. I can't find a number on the Samsung I have now after looking at it quickly. I found what I have, it is the sir t165. I think you can still find the sir t451 used. I seen some on ebay.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by justdigitalized View Post
This Samsung has no option to manually add channels - can only be done with full scan which erases previous scanned channels.
Most Samsung TVs will let you manually input a specific channel if you know the real RF channel number. And if there is no virtual channel number already on the same channel. Otherwise an auto tune will be required. That's why LG is set up better. You can manually input any channel within a separate manual scan menu. But on Samsung for example I know WBTV channel 3 is actually RF channel 23. So when I hit 23 on the remote it will automatically tune to channel 3 without a complete rescan. But it would not work if I already had a virtual channel 23.
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
We have a couple of sections for those.
Great, I'll check it out.

I've avoided a DVR because there is just not a lot of stuff worth watching, let alone recording on OTA; another reason we don't have satellite TV - 100 channels of nothing to watch. We use Netflix CDs (one-at-a-time) and just recently Roku and BritBox. The Brits have much better, quality shows.
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Most Samsung TVs will let you manually input a specific channel if you know the real RF channel number.
I can't emphasize this enough - THIS Samsung (UN55F6300) does not have ANY method to manually input anything. Very frustrating.

I recently was able to get 50+ channels on a rescan and one antenna direction to get back the dropped channels this Samsung is noteworthy for. But I was only able to do this on a perfect weather day - don't you love that digital.

We live in the country with stations 30+ miles away and I've done all I can to get the best antenna system to give me access to them, but weather and unknown/unexplained random interference means a lot of bad/none reception with Samsung feature of just dropping a channel or two when it feels like it.
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I'm curious I have never played with any of those converter boxes they use to sell for people without HD displays. I think they would have tuners in them? don't even know if they make those anymore?
We had one (free) just after the government switch to OTA digital, but with an analog Philips TV - no manual input.

This digital crap for OTA is not meant for folks who don't want cable/satellite. We do not have access to cable, so satellite is only choice. We're lucky to have copper wire/fiber Optic DSL.
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Originally Posted by justdigitalized View Post
Hope this forum is suitable.

I have a Samsung HDTV UN55F6300 used with an outdoor long range antenna with signal booster, shielded coax, directional rotor, etc, etc, etc.

Only channel feature on this TV is auto scan, no way to manually enter channels. Consequently the number of local channels I can scan into the TV is weather dependent and antenna orientation dependent. If the weather is perfect I can scan about 35 channels with antenna in one direction, most times it's difficult to get more than 20, which does not cover the channels we want. As well this Samsung just drops channels willy nilly and the only way to get them back is another full scan, which can wipe out existing stored channels, especially if conditions are not perfect.

There is no way to manually enter single channels.

So tired of this I'm looking for another TV with the ability to remember existing channels on subsequent scans and/or enter channels manually. That way at least the antenna direction can be changed for best reception during scan/manual enter.

Anybody got any suggestions?

Thanks.

If you are interested in OTA go with LG, LG is Zenith they bought all their patents which if I remember included several for OTA HD. Also if you care about OTA signal just wait for 2020 models to begin shipping with ATSC 3.0 chips.

https://www.atsc.org/newsletter/atsc...here-we-stand/
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Originally Posted by justdigitalized View Post
We had one (free) just after the government switch to OTA digital, but with an analog Philips TV - no manual input.

This digital crap for OTA is not meant for folks who don't want cable/satellite. We do not have access to cable, so satellite is only choice. We're lucky to have copper wire/fiber Optic DSL.

Satellite is not your last choice. Very rural here also. A wireless router with a SIM card hitting an AT&T cell tower "two cornfields over" is the way better option, if there are cell towers nearby.
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post #20 of 23 Old Today, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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If you are interested in OTA go with LG, LG is Zenith they bought all their patents which if I remember included several for OTA HD. Also if you care about OTA signal just wait for 2020 models to begin shipping with ATSC 3.0 chips.
Yes, Sams has LGs, just need to research models then access on line manual to confirm manual input of channels.

Thanks for heads up on ATSC 3.0, 2020 not far away.
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Satellite is not your last choice. Very rural here also. A wireless router with a SIM card hitting an AT&T cell tower "two cornfields over" is the way better option, if there are cell towers nearby.
Is wireless router with SIM free or would I need a data plan?

We do have cell towers, but the closest is AT&T and very poor reception - AT&T cell use requires a trip to the attic for limited reception.
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Originally Posted by justdigitalized View Post
Is wireless router with SIM free or would I need a data plan?

We do have cell towers, but the closest is AT&T and very poor reception - AT&T cell use requires a trip to the attic for limited reception.

Bummer. You buy and own the router upfront, about $200. $85 a month unlimited, speed 40Mbps, never been down. With that poor of performance now with a phone, I can't recommend this type of setup. Unless you mount a parabolic antenna outside and aim straight to the tower. I use a small Yagi type antenna, works great here. Of course I can see the tower from where I am sitting. Search "rural fixed wireless internet", good luck.
AT&T is not the only carrier who uses this type of tech. There may be others towers nearby enough to work good.

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post #23 of 23 Old Today, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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You buy and own the router upfront, about $200. $85 a month unlimited, speed 40Mbps, never been down.
Did a search found AT&T direct wireless for $40/mth (introductory) and direct wireless + Direct TV for $90/mth.

I can't see paying for TV AND commercials. When cable started it wormed it's way into the market by promoting "commercial free", then slowly it introduced more and more commercials.
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