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post #9001 of 10472 Old 02-10-2011, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim in Seattle View Post

Dave,

I live on QA and I currently have three different outdoor antennas you could borrow from me for testing your FREE OTA reception. If you post the resulting URL from this website below (a tool we use) we can determine which one would be the best to try first.

The website automatically conceals your personal information for your security. http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?opti...pper&Itemid=29

Jim

Did you mean to address your post to Rob?

Dave
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post #9002 of 10472 Old 02-12-2011, 01:10 PM
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I get 5 and 7 just fine strong signal. I have a problem getting 4. The signal keeps bouncing from 80 to 60 to 0 to75. it never seems to settle. 4 is at its best 10 numbers less then 5 and 7. It does not matter which way I point the antenna 5 and 7 always come in strong and I keep chasing channel 4. The model is a Antennas Direct DB4. Any suggestion to help an old man out would be appreciated. TV is a Panny Plasma.

Thank You

PS : TVfool shows 4,5,7 all at about the same spot and distance from me. I live on top of a hill above Fred Meyer in Burien east of Fred Meyer
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post #9003 of 10472 Old 02-12-2011, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yesnomaybe View Post

I get 5 and 7 just fine strong signal. I have a problem getting 4. The signal keeps bouncing from 80 to 60 to 0 to75. it never seems to settle. 4 is at its best 10 numbers less then 5 and 7. It does not matter which way I point the antenna 5 and 7 always come in strong and I keep chasing channel 4. The model is a Antennas Direct DB4. Any suggestion to help an old man out would be appreciated. TV is a Panny Plasma.

Thank You

PS : TVfool shows 4,5,7 all at about the same spot and distance from me. I live on top of a hill above Fred Meyer in Burien east of Fred Meyer

yesnomaybe
The numbers you see aren't strength, but more like signal quality. HD signal has a "cliff effect" when you get right on the edge of what the tuner requires. You could see a 100, then zero, then 100 again. Your actual level is probably around -15db, give or take. Your ch 5 & 7 could only be a hair better, but enough that they stay locked on with good numbers.
One of two things. You need more antenna to get through the trees around you, and those on the hill as it rises north of you, around 122nd. Other possibility is to try another location to get around what ever tree is partially blocking ch4.
Fry's has the Channelmaster 4228, which is like two DB4's side by side. It also picks up ch 9 & 11 pretty well. Good enough for where you are. Ch13 from Bremerton is iffy there. Ch13 on 22.2 would probably be fine, but's standard def only.
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post #9004 of 10472 Old 02-13-2011, 08:29 AM
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Thank you for the reply. As soon as the weather gets a little better I will move the antenna around. I just can't see why my neighbors wont let me cut down there trees LOL.
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post #9005 of 10472 Old 02-14-2011, 09:53 AM
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SO!

Serendipitously, one of my work buddies asked me if I would have any interest in an HD Tivo. Which is pretty insane as I haven't looked into having a TV with a tuner in YEARS. Is this something that would work for free Over-The-Air HD television? At this point I have the antenna and a projector and need a tuner / DVR hookup.... would this do the trick? EXCITING!

Thanks
Rob
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post #9006 of 10472 Old 02-14-2011, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by imprompturob View Post

SO!

Serendipitously, one of my work buddies asked me if I would have any interest in an HD Tivo. Which is pretty insane as I haven't looked into having a TV with a tuner in YEARS. Is this something that would work for free Over-The-Air HD television? At this point I have the antenna and a projector and need a tuner / DVR hookup.... would this do the trick? EXCITING!

Thanks
Rob

Rob,

Yes, a TivoHD would receive OTA signals just fine. In fact, the TivoHD reportedly pulls stations in better than the newer Tivo Premiere. You'll be able to output the signal from the Tivo to any TV or projector, HD ready or not. That's great for us, since we're still using a Panasonic CRT from 1994 - the thing just won't die and still looks great. We also output to our LCD projector and although it's not full HD (we only get 1024 x 576), it looks spectacular.
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post #9007 of 10472 Old 02-14-2011, 05:09 PM
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One thing to check on with the TIVO - I belive it only works with a subsciption to TIVO. But for $13 dollars a month (a little less if paid annually) it's hard to beat the TIVO service. I've Had the HD for two years now and it's been great. As mentiond above, the Premier has caused some nightmares with the OTA. TIVO changed to a different demodulator with the Premiere. Why you would change something that's not broken, who knows.
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post #9008 of 10472 Old 02-15-2011, 05:48 PM
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My KING bitrate recently went down on comcast, I was wondering if it was lowered at the broadcast or by comcast. KOMO and KIRO are already low because of ATSC-m/h, it looks like KING is going the way of crappy bitrates too.

I wish we could go back to ~17Mbps with a lot less blockiness!
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post #9009 of 10472 Old 02-16-2011, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Verick View Post

My KING bitrate recently went down on comcast, I was wondering if it was lowered at the broadcast or by comcast. KOMO and KIRO are already low because of ATSC-m/h, it looks like KING is going the way of crappy bitrates too.

I wish we could go back to ~17Mbps with a lot less blockiness!

Just a quick note: KOMO, KING, & KIRO have fiber feeds to Comcast. The cable company uses the over-the-air signal as backup in case of fiber failure. I don't know about KIRO, but KOMO does not feed the MDTV signal to Comcast -- it is full bandwidth. Comcast's compression is a percentage bit rate reduction system, I'm told. So more is fed to mimimize the effects of bit-rate reduction.
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post #9010 of 10472 Old 02-16-2011, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by DanKurts View Post

yesnomaybe
The numbers you see aren't strength, but more like signal quality. HD signal has a "cliff effect" when you get right on the edge of what the tuner requires. You could see a 100, then zero, then 100 again. Your actual level is probably around -15db, give or take. Your ch 5 & 7 could only be a hair better, but enough that they stay locked on with good numbers.
One of two things. You need more antenna to get through the trees around you, and those on the hill as it rises north of you, around 122nd. Other possibility is to try another location to get around what ever tree is partially blocking ch4.
Fry's has the Channelmaster 4228, which is like two DB4's side by side. It also picks up ch 9 & 11 pretty well. Good enough for where you are. Ch13 from Bremerton is iffy there. Ch13 on 22.2 would probably be fine, but's standard def only.
Dan

Some converters "Signal" indicators vary on those stations that are broadcasting MDTV. The boxes see the MDTV's mobile information as un-decodeable bits. Since "100" is the level of all bits in the stream being properly read or decoded, the Mobile information means that a reading of useable bits will be below "100". This will vary. KIRO is broadcasting one stream of MDTV programming, KOMO has three. Therefore, while the RF signal strength may be comparable, some tuners will show a difference in level.
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post #9011 of 10472 Old 02-16-2011, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by yesnomaybe View Post

I get 5 and 7 just fine strong signal. I have a problem getting 4. The signal keeps bouncing from 80 to 60 to 0 to75. it never seems to settle. 4 is at its best 10 numbers less then 5 and 7. It does not matter which way I point the antenna 5 and 7 always come in strong and I keep chasing channel 4. The model is a Antennas Direct DB4. Any suggestion to help an old man out would be appreciated. TV is a Panny Plasma.

Thank You

PS : TVfool shows 4,5,7 all at about the same spot and distance from me. I live on top of a hill above Fred Meyer in Burien east of Fred Meyer

One other thought. In Burien, you may be getting more signal than you want from Channel 4. This will overload the 1st amplifer stage causing distortion which is then detected as un-readable bits. An attenuator may be the real solution. KOMO transmits at the same power level (approximately) as KING & KIRO in the horizontal domain but they also have an additional vertical component which is another 20% of RF. In theory, that doesn't matter, but "cats whiskers" antennas do receive part of the vertical signal.
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post #9012 of 10472 Old 02-16-2011, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Myron View Post

Just a quick note: KOMO, KING, & KIRO have fiber feeds to Comcast. The cable company uses the over-the-air signal as backup in case of fiber failure. I don't know about KIRO, but KOMO does not feed the MDTV signal to Comcast -- it is full bandwidth. Comcast's compression is a percentage bit rate reduction system, I'm told. So more is fed to mimimize the effects of bit-rate reduction.

But the "full bandwidth" is still reduced because of the bitrate needed to broadcast mobile dtv. The 5.5Mbps is taking away from the 19.39 they have, I doubt they send out a different feed to comcast. I wish comcast had access to ABC's H.264 feed!
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post #9013 of 10472 Old 02-16-2011, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Verick View Post

But the "full bandwidth" is still reduced because of the bitrate needed to broadcast mobile dtv. The 5.5Mbps is taking away from the 19.39 they have, I doubt they send out a different feed to comcast. I wish comcast had access to ABC's H.264 feed!

KOMO does indeed have a seperate encoder for the fiber feed to Comcast that does not have 5.5-Mbps carved out for MDTV.
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post #9014 of 10472 Old 02-16-2011, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Myron View Post

Some converters "Signal" indicators vary on those stations that are broadcasting MDTV. The boxes see the MDTV's mobile information as un-decodeable bits. Since "100" is the level of all bits in the stream being properly read or decoded, the Mobile information means that a reading of useable bits will be below "100". This will vary. KIRO is broadcasting one stream of MDTV programming, KOMO has three. Therefore, while the RF signal strength may be comparable, some tuners will show a difference in level.

Myron
All the converters/tuners I've seen with a number "strength" indicator, and compared that number with the real signal level on my meter, leads me to think that it's not a reading of useable bits only. Or at least it doesn't correlate to signal level in any linear fashion. It could be that it's a reading of the bit error rate and some other factors, but it's definitely not consistent from one brand to another.
When I setup my first HD antenna for the Magnolia stores, they were selling the first Mitsubishi rear projection HD sets. One of the reps was there demonstrating to the salesmen and showed us the "strength" level in a special diagnostic mode for servicers only. When I found it was hard to gauge what the antenna was doing, compared to what it displayed and how well it was actually locking on, they said to call their head engineer in California. He confirmed it wasn't actual RF level, rather an indication of the decoders output performance. He said he couldn't go into details for proprietary reasons, but if I thought of it more in terms of signal to noise ratio in the analog world, it would make more sense with what I saw on my meter. It was then I realized that the old analog meter had to go, and bought my Sadelco and later a Sencore 1456. Watching them and how they related to actual signal levels, and the corresponding waveshape (like an oscilloscope display of the whole 6mhz signal), led me to think of those "strength" readings as more of a "signal quality", and leave it at that.

I can say that usually around -15db on most sets you start to get into trouble, even with a clean flat waveshape. Some tuners will work with less, but it takes very little interference, like tree limbs blowing in the wind that are in the path, to upset them. At about +20db most tuners start to overload, and give the same breakup problems, confusing the issue even more. Again, there are some exceptions, like my old Panasonic TU50, that can take up to +40db !!

For some basic ranges, I found below 30, even steady, you're barely hanging on. 30 to 50 and steady, you're okay, but things like trees growing up could give you problems, so just be aware. 50 and up to 80, and steady, you're golden. 50 and up, but bouncing around like 50-60-40-80-40-50 could mean you're level is very weak, or you are very overloaded with signal level. OR, your level is actually decent, but the waveshape is all chopped up like a roller coaster. Each one means you have a different set of problems.
Readings above 80 to 100 are nice, but aren't needed to lock on and work just fine.

If there's anything that's true, trying to understand how all this REALLY works together, not just the theory, is really Werner Von Braun territory. Further, trying to predict what you'll get in a given location by using only the numbers, (TV station transmitter proerties, distance to TV, direction, receiving antenna properties, etc) is not really reliable. Good indicator of POSSIBLE reception, but too many other factors come into play to make it the only indicator.
Now you know why I always take at least two flavors of antennas to a job!
And yes, I get fooled, too. (insert wisecracks here)

Okay, out of breath.
Apologies!
Dan
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post #9015 of 10472 Old 02-17-2011, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verick View Post

My KING bitrate recently went down on comcast, I was wondering if it was lowered at the broadcast or by comcast. KOMO and KIRO are already low because of ATSC-m/h, it looks like KING is going the way of crappy bitrates too.

I wish we could go back to ~17Mbps with a lot less blockiness!

There are some significant differences in how the various channels allocate bandwidth between the different subchannels OTA. Looking at the bitrates with my EyeTV tuner I see the following on the channels I can receive without difficulty:

4.1 9.8 - 10.5 Mbps, 1280x720
4.2 2.3 - 2.6 Mbps, 720x480

5.1 9.6 - 10.8 Mbps, 1950x1080
5.2 7.5 - 7.8 Mbps, 720x480

7.1 11.7 - 12.8 Mbps, 1920 x 1080
7.2 3.2 - 3.6 Mbps, 704x480

9.1 10.9 - 11.2 Mbps, 1280x720
9.2 2.5 - 3.0 Mbps, 704x480
9.3 2.5 - 3.0 Mbps, 704x480

11.1 15.8 - 17.4 Mbps, 1920x1080

16.1 12.5 - 13.5 Mbps, 1920 x 1080
16.2 1.7 - 2.2 Mbps, 704 x 480

22.1 4.8 - 6.7 Mbps, 1280x720
22.2 6.7 - 6.9 Mbps, 704x480
22.3 2.6 - 2.9 Mbps, 704x480

51.1 3.8 - 4.1 Mbps, 720x480

52 5.8 - 6.1 Mbps. 720x480

It looks like KSTW is the bandwidth winner here.

Bob
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post #9016 of 10472 Old 02-17-2011, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by DanKurts View Post
Wayne02
You're up on top of a ridge that should do well, You don't need to go up high, just 3ft or so above the roof or chimney, as long as you can see over any close obstructions like the house next door. Since you want to drive 5 TV's, you need some extra strength to overcome the loss of the splitters. It's always better to go with more antenna and no amplifier, than small antenna and amp. Not many stores will let you return an antenna, so go with a RatShack Antennacraft HBU33. Point it basically SW and see what gives. If it gets a bit spotty, hook it up to the one run that goes to the HD set. If it locks on and does well, then get a preamp, like the Channelmaster 7777. That has plenty of power to push signal through the splitters and house. Be sure to mount the power supply, which is separate from the amp and an indoor item, some place where you can run the cable from the antenna inside, hit the power supply, and then back out to the splitters for the house feed. You can't put the splitter between the amp and power supply, it will short it out.
Let us know what happens.
Dan
Ok, antenna is mounted and performing pretty well now, much better than I had hoped actually. I do get some spottiness on some channels, particularly from the old tvs farthest downstream from the 5-way splitter. Some days it comes in great, other days it is spotty in and out.

However, I have not tried changing the direction of the antenna, mostly because I'm so pleased with the number of channels and the signal strength that is displayed on the one HD tv. I just took a guess on aiming the antenna when I first put it up.

I just wanted to verify that this is the correct version?
http://www.amazon.com/Channel-Master.../dp/B000GGKOG8

I see there are some 'mast mounted' amps, but I'd really like to not go this route unless it makes that much of a difference. What I would like to do is route the cable from the antenna through the gable vent, through the attic over the garage (this is an easy run), and down to a closet that is in the garage just inside of where the 5-way splitter is mounted on the exterior of the wall, and in close proximity to a 110 outlet.

I would like to mount the power supply and pre-amp module inside this closet and just punch through the wall with the single short cable from the amp to the 5-way splitter on the outside of the wall. Will this work ok, or is there some guidelines about where that pre-amp module needs to be mounted?

I had hoped to wrap this project up this weekend but I'll be darned if I can find that amp at any retail locations. RS, BB, etc. I guess I'll just have to buy if from Amazon (probably a better price anyway)

Finally, I have the tools to strip and crimp the f-type RG6 connectors but I have always used the cheap contractor boxed f-connectors from Homedepot. Should I use some sort of gold or other higher quality connectors when I make up these cables, or does it make any difference?

Thanks
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post #9017 of 10472 Old 02-17-2011, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Myron View Post

KOMO does indeed have a seperate encoder for the fiber feed to Comcast that does not have 5.5-Mbps carved out for MDTV.

Then Comcast is idiotic. I just want a way to view shows without blocks damnit! I think the fcc should grant another 6Mhz just for an HD feed to all broadcasters, and they should all switch to H.264!
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post #9018 of 10472 Old 02-17-2011, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Wayne02 View Post

Ok, antenna is mounted and performing pretty well now, much better than I had hoped actually. I do get some spottiness on some channels, particularly from the old tvs farthest downstream from the 5-way splitter. Some days it comes in great, other days it is spotty in and out.

However, I have not tried changing the direction of the antenna, mostly because I'm so pleased with the number of channels and the signal strength that is displayed on the one HD tv. I just took a guess on aiming the antenna when I first put it up.

I just wanted to verify that this is the correct version?
http://www.amazon.com/Channel-Master.../dp/B000GGKOG8

I see there are some 'mast mounted' amps, but I'd really like to not go this route unless it makes that much of a difference. What I would like to do is route the cable from the antenna through the gable vent, through the attic over the garage (this is an easy run), and down to a closet that is in the garage just inside of where the 5-way splitter is mounted on the exterior of the wall, and in close proximity to a 110 outlet.

I would like to mount the power supply and pre-amp module inside this closet and just punch through the wall with the single short cable from the amp to the 5-way splitter on the outside of the wall. Will this work ok, or is there some guidelines about where that pre-amp module needs to be mounted?

I had hoped to wrap this project up this weekend but I'll be darned if I can find that amp at any retail locations. RS, BB, etc. I guess I'll just have to buy if from Amazon (probably a better price anyway)

Finally, I have the tools to strip and crimp the f-type RG6 connectors but I have always used the cheap contractor boxed f-connectors from Homedepot. Should I use some sort of gold or other higher quality connectors when I make up these cables, or does it make any difference?

Thanks

Wayne02
Well Done !
Definitely try reaiming the antenna before trying anything else. You only have two basic directions from there, roughly downtown and more to the west for ch13.
First, on your good HD TV, write down all the main channels (4-5-7-9-11-13-16-22) and their readings for a reference point.
Next, reaim. A good way to gauge the antenna direction is to get behind it, if possible, and sort of sight down the main boom. Look for something in the distance, like a tree, house, chimney, etc, and write it down. Then turn the antenna a little, maybe only 5 degrees, and then recheck all your numbers. Some may not have changed at all, others a lot. Now reaim the antenna back to where it was, and continue beyond the original direction so your 5 degrees the other way. Recheck. You will start to get an idea of which channels are fussy, and which are not. If one new direction is better, then take it 5 degrees past that to see what happens. That antenna is pretty directional on UHF 4-5-7-16-22, not so much on ch's 9-11-13 VHF. However, because 13 is so much farther to the west, you may loose one of the UHF ones. Your chart should show which ones drop off faster than the others. If you can get all but 13, and 13 comes in great when reaimed more to the west, then you might consider a second smaller antenna and coupler. I can give you the details later, if it comes to that.
After you have tweaked the antenna, and you still have problems at the distant TVs, then bypass your 5 way splitter and connect up the farthest TV only. If it clears up, then a preamp would work. If not, you may have other problems, like an old damaged cable or bad fittings at the splitter. Try cleaning up the fittings, and if the splitter looks rusty down inside the connectors, replace it.
For an amplifier, the 7777 is great, and in theory should be used with the amp as close to the antenna as possible. For where you are, you could hook it up inside and send the signal back out and it would probably do just fine.
By the way, the preamp has a separate power supply, and it's from the power supply output (labled TO TV) that the signal would go to the splitter. NOTHING goes between the preamp and power supply except the connecting cable.
The gold connectors are not needed, just good, properly installed fittings. And on the outside ones, seal them with a good tight wrap of electrical tape. There are creams and lotions that can do it, too, and little rubber booties the cable guys use, but I've found they still can corrode over time.
Fry's has the 7777 amp, but it's located down the aisle from the antennas. Ask one of the salesmen to show you, they move it around. The one you found at Amazon is the same correct one.
Let us know what you end up with.
Dan
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post #9019 of 10472 Old 02-18-2011, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by DanKurts View Post

Wayne02
First, on your good HD TV, write down all the main channels (4-5-7-9-11-13-16-22) and their readings for a reference point.
Next, reaim. A good way to gauge the antenna direction is to get behind it, if possible, and sort of sight down the main boom. Look for something in the distance, like a tree, house, chimney, etc, and write it down. Then turn the antenna a little, maybe only 5 degrees, and then recheck all your numbers. Some may not have changed at all, others a lot.
Dan

Thanks Dan. When you say, 'recheck your numbers', what numbers are those? All I'm using to gauge signal quality/strength is to look at the picture and make a judgment call. If there is some sort of more objective measurement to use in conjunction with that it would be good.

Is there maybe a strength meter built into the tv (Samsung 32" 540, model LN32B540P8D) or the converter box (Access HD DTA 1080D)? I suppose I could get the manuals out and check. Haven't had much time to mess with that newer tv, nor the recently installed converter boxes. It would be nice to have a more objective type measurement besides me just looking at the picture and making a judgment call.
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post #9020 of 10472 Old 02-18-2011, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Wayne02 View Post

Thanks Dan. When you say, 'recheck your numbers', what numbers are those? All I'm using to gauge signal quality/strength is to look at the picture and make a judgment call. If there is some sort of more objective measurement to use in conjunction with that it would be good.

Is there maybe a strength meter built into the tv (Samsung 32" 540, model LN32B540P8D) or the converter box (Access HD DTA 1080D)? I suppose I could get the manuals out and check. Haven't had much time to mess with that newer tv, nor the recently installed converter boxes. It would be nice to have a more objective type measurement besides me just looking at the picture and making a judgment call.

Both have signal meters. On Samsung go to menu and channel. On Access HD converter the red button on the remote brings up the meter.
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post #9021 of 10472 Old 02-18-2011, 12:21 PM
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I'm intrigued by the recent posts about Tivo.

I have no cable/satellite and use rabbit ears for OTA (excellent reception here in Kirkland). My tv's are older CRTs that receive digital thru simple converter boxes. Now I have a Toshiba DVD recorder hooked to my main TV that I use to record the occasional program, but I don't save these and delete them as soon as viewed. I also have a projector that runs off of a Samsung 260 tuner (used for Seahawks mostly). None of my tvs are HD capable but eventually I'll need to replace them and, of course, the new ones will be HD.

On Craigslist there are a variety of Tivos listed (many under $100). Which models have proved to be most reliable?

What would a Tivo give me that I don't get now? Do they have good "program guides?" What is a lifetime Tivo subscription? And, can a Tivo really communicate with my home computer wifi network?

You can see that I'm completely ignorant of the Tivo world so any help would be truly appreciated.
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post #9022 of 10472 Old 02-19-2011, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiminkirkland View Post

I'm intrigued by the recent posts about Tivo.

I have no cable/satellite and use rabbit ears for OTA (excellent reception here in Kirkland). My tv's are older CRTs that receive digital thru simple converter boxes. Now I have a Toshiba DVD recorder hooked to my main TV that I use to record the occasional program, but I don't save these and delete them as soon as viewed. I also have a projector that runs off of a Samsung 260 tuner (used for Seahawks mostly). None of my tvs are HD capable but eventually I'll need to replace them and, of course, the new ones will be HD.

On Craigslist there are a variety of Tivos listed (many under $100). Which models have proved to be most reliable?

What would a Tivo give me that I don't get now? Do they have good "program guides?" What is a lifetime Tivo subscription? And, can a Tivo really communicate with my home computer wifi network?

You can see that I'm completely ignorant of the Tivo world so any help would be truly appreciated.

Make sure you get one with a "Lifetime Subscription". Otherwise you will have to pay a monthly service charge to TiVo!
I have had TiVo boxes since 2004... they are great. I currently use a TiVo HD with an antenna. It has a lifetime subscription, so everything is free. I get all of the major networks OTA (except FOX, which I only can receive in SD on 22.2).
Good luck, and remember to only get a TiVo if it has the lifetime subscription on it. The TiVo lifetime subscription is a one time payment (it was $200 in the old days, then $300, now $400 for the life of the box.) The lifetime subscription stays with the box, not the owner, and can be transferred. Otherwise, you will have to pay around $13/month for the TiVo service! A TiVo will NOT function without the service!
Also, to receive OTA broadcasts, you WILL need a TiVo Series 3, TiVo HD, or a TiVo Premiere, which you will NOT find for $100!
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post #9023 of 10472 Old 02-19-2011, 09:55 AM
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Some other benefits of the TIVO are the ability to record two channels at the same time, even while watching another recorded program. The HD has streaming of Netflix if you subscibe to that. ($8 a month for streaming only) You have OnDemand for Amazon and Blockbuster and others. And yes, they do connect to your network allowing you to stream music and video from PC through your TIVO. There is also TIVO desktop, an app that let's you even transfer some content from your TIVO to your PC. There is a free version with lessor capabilities and Desktop plus for $20 with all of the capbilities. The lifetime subscription is personal opinion, some love it and others don't see the need. Myself, I have never kept any electronic equipment four years and as stated, the subscription is on that box only. Occasionally there has been times when TIVO has allowed a transfer to a new box.

Another choice is the CM7000PAL, also a dual tuner but not with all the bells and whistles of the TIVO but also no fees. It uses the 8 day guide from the TV and requires more of the owners time to monitor what gets recorded when.
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post #9024 of 10472 Old 02-19-2011, 09:11 PM
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I am sick of paying Comcast for HDTV and have resolved to switch to OTA if I can get the big four networks in HD. I live on Capitol Hill one block East of Volunteer Parkjust a tiny bit behind the crest of the hill.

I purchased 100' of quad shield RG6 cable and a RCA ANT751R to test out reception with the antenna mounted inside a third floor attic.

The good news is that getting NBC (5.1) and FOX (22.2) was pretty effortless. (I'm also receiving KCTS 9.1 and KSTW 11.1 KONG 16.1.) I'm disappointed that I can't seem to get a signal for CBS and ABC.

A few questions:
1) I thought I read that NBC, ABC, and CBS are all transmitted from Queen Anne. If I'm getting NBC clearly, shouldn't I expect to get the other two? What's going wrong?
2) Can anyone speak to what stations you'd expect to receive well slightly down the East side of Capitol HIll? Would you expect strong signals from ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX even just beyond the top of Cap Hill?
3) I read a few days ago from @DanKurtz that mounting the antenna inside the attic is not optimal. Is the change significant in mounting it outside? I would rather not mess with our roof warranty.
4) Is my antenna appropriate for this scenario?

What is the next step here? I'd really like to validate that I can get ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX so that I can cancel my Comcast service.


Thanks.
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post #9025 of 10472 Old 02-20-2011, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBison View Post

I am sick of paying Comcast for HDTV and have resolved to switch to OTA if I can get the big four networks in HD. I live on Capitol Hill one block East of Volunteer Parkjust a tiny bit behind the crest of the hill.

I purchased 100' of quad shield RG6 cable and a RCA ANT751R to test out reception with the antenna mounted inside a third floor attic.

The good news is that getting NBC (5.1) and FOX (22.2) was pretty effortless. (I'm also receiving KCTS 9.1 and KSTW 11.1 KONG 16.1.) I'm disappointed that I can't seem to get a signal for CBS and ABC.

A few questions:
1) I thought I read that NBC, ABC, and CBS are all transmitted from Queen Anne. If I'm getting NBC clearly, shouldn't I expect to get the other two? What's going wrong?
2) Can anyone speak to what stations you'd expect to receive well slightly down the East side of Capitol HIll? Would you expect strong signals from ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX even just beyond the top of Cap Hill?
3) I read a few days ago from @DanKurtz that mounting the antenna inside the attic is not optimal. Is the change significant in mounting it outside? I would rather not mess with our roof warranty.
4) Is my antenna appropriate for this scenario?

What is the next step here? I'd really like to validate that I can get ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX so that I can cancel my Comcast service.


Thanks.

LeBison
You're in a tougher spot than you think. The signal there is pretty strong, both from Queen Anne and just down the road ch's 9-11-22.
Signal is splattering off everything, including the big water tower at the park.
Mounting the antenna indoors just makes the problem worse. Add in a few large trees, lots of big old houses to block signal, and it gets to be a real challenge.
Your antenna is not really able to handle to the two different directions. Something along the lines of a Channelmaster 4221 or similar would be more forgiving. You don't have to mount it on the roof, and not recommended. You can mount your or the 4221 on the side, as long as it has a view to the south and west. Also, location is going to be very important. A matter of 6 inches in any direction, and the actual direction you aim it will all make a difference. Higher is not always better, either.
Last you might want to pick up a 20db attenuator from RatShack. It will knock down the very hot signal from an outdoor antenna there. If your tuner gets overloaded, it will act just like you're not getting anything, or very weak at best.
Patience will really help.
Keep us informed on the results.
Dan
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post #9026 of 10472 Old 02-20-2011, 01:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pastiche View Post

I noticed today that KBTC's applied to run one from one of the Capitol Hill towers at 1kW on Ch. 16.

http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/tvq?list=0&facid=62469

Great! This was the one channel i really wanted, that i don't currently get.

How long does the FCC approval process take?
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post #9027 of 10472 Old 02-20-2011, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hitbyambulance View Post

Great! This was the one channel i really wanted, that i don't currently get.

How long does the FCC approval process take?

Anywhere from a couple of weeks to never.


Quote:


Last you might want to pick up a 20db attenuator from RatShack.

Dan, I haven't seen such a critter at a Shack store in ages. Have they started carrying one again?
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post #9028 of 10472 Old 02-20-2011, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klandry7 View Post

Both have signal meters. On Samsung go to menu and channel. On Access HD converter the red button on the remote brings up the meter.

Ok thanks. I had a chance to check the channels on the digital/HD today. I will check the 4 older tvs this week. The HD tv has the second longest cable run and has the oldest cable.

I'm still trying to figure out the channel scheme with the different numbers and channel names. I did finally delete 17 channels which I'm not interested in and that cleans things up a bit.

Here are the results from the HD tv with the antenna in the original aiming position (through a gap in the trees in a general south direction)

13-1 kcpq 6 of 10 bars

13-2 kcpq-sd weather 6 bars

22-2 Q13 Fox 10 bars

4-1 komo-dt 10

4-2 komo-sd This 10

5-1 king-dt 10

5-2 king-sd 10

7-1 kiro-dt 10

7-2 kiro-sd 10

9-1 kcts-hd 10

9-3 kcts9 create 10

11-1 kstw-hd 10

16-1 kong-hd 10

16-2 kong-sd 10

22-1 kzjo 10

22-3 Antenna 10

28-1 kbtc-hd 1

I watched the 500 today on 13-1 kcpq (6 bars) and 22-2 Q13 fox (10 bars) and couldn't tell any difference between the two, picture quality wise. Do these two channels always broadcast the same programming?

The channels that specifically say, 'HD' are the only channels that are broadcasting in HD, or are some of the channels labeled DT also broadcasting in HD?
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post #9029 of 10472 Old 02-20-2011, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanKurts View Post
It's most likely the trees, and also, not enough signal because of the antenna or distribution setup.
For the antenna, directional is better for you. RatShack has the Antennacraft HBU22 or HBU33. Either would probably work fine, and could be returned. Do NOT use any amplifier. Also try mounting lower to maybe get under the tree canopy. Patience in finding the right spot, to thread the needle through the trees, will reward you.
Let us know what happens.
Dan
It's taken close to a month, to get some time, new antenna, and good weather. But I finally made progress.

I tried the HBU33 with no amplifier. It was no better than the old antenna, and for some stations worse. I looked at all the wiring I could, with a signal tracer to make sure it was where I thought. Very complicated, with original wiring, wiring done by a low voltage guy (some home run but others direct) and some wiring I'd added. I ended up moving the mast to the other side of the roof to make the line of sight better, then re-aimed and played with AB testing. After trying with and without the amplifier I went back to the amplifier and the old antenna and everything is now pretty good, except for one odd thing.

Channels 5.1 and 16.1 are both on Queen Anne I believe, as is 4.1. 4.1 is fine, but the other two vary from 100% to 0. I'm pointed closer to Capital Hill because Queen Anne is directly behind the biggest close tree. But why would some stations on Queen Anne have the variance, while others are OK? And, although the signal strength is lower, the 28.1 signal comes in well without the in and out. The mast is pretty much directly in line with Capital hill for me. 7.1 is fine too - from the side I guess.

Am I overloading the tuners? That doesn't make total sense to me as 4,5,16 are similar power. But I suppose it's possible. I have several wires to the roof from my wiring cabinet where the 2 Leviton 6-way splitters are located (one not being use), so I guess I could experiment more. Could I use a splitter on the roof with one output going to the amplifier and one direct? Perhaps I need a smaller antenna, but I do like being able to pull in 28.1 (KBTC in Tacoma).

Thanks
Mike
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post #9030 of 10472 Old 02-20-2011, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post
Anywhere from a couple of weeks to never.




Dan, I haven't seen such a critter at a Shack store in ages. Have they started carrying one again?
ProjectSHO89
The adjustable one's extinct, but some of the stores have them in those pull out drawers. It's been probably a year since I got one. Ran out on a job and found one at the small place out near Cross Roads. Haven't looked since.
And then there's always the standby, six feet of 14/2 speaker wire.......or as the MythBusters say, don't try this at home.
Dan
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