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post #11821 of 12367 Old 01-30-2019, 12:26 PM
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And FYI now that I've turned my TV on, my guide shows I am getting 15.1 which D* says is WGBX but is really NBC, Boston 10, and 24.1 which is listed as WGBH is BIZ.TV or something similar.

SMK
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post #11822 of 12367 Old 01-30-2019, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Channel99 View Post
That 6.7 kW signal could be wiped out for half a block by one bad LED bulb, and an arcing power line for miles...

The low-band calculations just don't seem realistic in the real world. Low-band analog stations were allowed 100 KW and were far less affected by the types of noise that kills digital. Of course the stations moving to the low band made the decision knowing the effect it would have on their OTA viewers and chose the $$$ instead.
Broadcasters that made the switch to Lo-VHF also know that only 14% of American households get their television OTA (as of 2018). So it was a very calculated move.
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post #11823 of 12367 Old 01-30-2019, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by RoyGBiv View Post
I have D* and get my locals with AM21's attached to each of my DVRs. I'm not so sure what you've listed is an improvement. Neither WGBH nor WGBX is on your list. I watch both of them a lot.

I will stick with my current channel lineup. I live in RI and I use my zip code for the primary and a Boston zip for secondary. Doing so, for some reason 2.2 shows up but not 2.1. Then I have to do it again using my zip and a Miami zip code as secondary because it has WPBT, public television, also on channel 2, and then WGBH shows up as 2.1.

I'm not going to rush to change things.

OTOH, I have had so many issues with locals on D* that I bought a TIVO in December so I won't have to deal with them any longer. It's more convenient to use the D* DVR for locals and satellite, but they're no longer holding me hostage.

SMK
WGBH and WGBX (2-1 and 44-1) were already in the list of stations in the database from day 1, so they weren't added today. You should already see them in your guide if you use a Boston zip in your AM21. If you see 2-2, you should see 2-1. If you erase all the old zips in your system, it should work. That can be a pain - sometimes you have to reset the AM21, then reset your receiver, then disconnect the AM21 and reset the receiver again, then reconnect the AM21 but disconnect your antenna cable, re-run it without the antenna so it finds nothing and wipes out what it tried to retain, and then finally connect it all properly and then say a little prayer... As long as you have the Miami zip in there, it will not work. In the past, the AM21 needed to match the RF AND PSIP to display, but it doesn't need that anymore - it just needs to see the PSIP of 2-1 to find it. Maybe that could be a reason you had trouble before. I know that WGBH and WGBX are funky with their RF and subchannel displays.

I did the same thing a while ago, my MeTV 5-3 (Burlington VT DMA) isn't in the database so I added a Texas zip to get their MeTV in my guide. A long time ago, I put a Boston zip in my AM21 just to see what it would show. My Bounce channel is on 44-3 and not in the database, but WGBX 44-3 shows up. When they update the Burlington database, I will be in your boat and have to deal with the cumbersome process to make it right to get those pesky old zips out of there and let the new ones show.

Apparently, sometimes when a station is channel sharing, they label it as that instead of a station that Directv doesn't carry - like they don't carry WFXZ but it is channel sharing with WGBH, so they label it WGBHDT5 or whatever instead of what it should be. Dumb. They've done this with other markets, too.

A few months ago, they also re-enabled the displaying of all channels it scans in, so you'll see everything your antenna picks up now. Like before, it must be in the database for it to show guide data. When they started doing that, I got the few Montreal stations I get OTA on my guide, without guide data. One of those channels is SRC CBFT 2-1 and that channel shows up for me as 2-1 WGBHDT because of that lingering Boston zip so that channel is in there for you to find!

I use a "moved" address because the VT locals are lacking and Boston has a nearly complete set of locals. In southern VT, you get both. Perfect. The AM21 adds in the subchannels and PBS that isn't carried by "moving" my service address. The AM21 is a pain in the @$$ but it's better than nothing. They are making a new OTA integration device for Directv, but it works the same as the AM21.

Last edited by ejb1980; 01-30-2019 at 06:25 PM.
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post #11824 of 12367 Old 01-30-2019, 08:06 PM
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I appreciate your detailed answer, but I am not sure it is totally accurate. First, it is my understanding that the re-introduction of true scanning is only for HR44 and HR55 DVRs. It is my understanding that the HR22 and HR24 I have do not scan and still work only by what's in DirecTV's database. I can tell you that as of a few weeks ago 2-1 and 44-1 showed up suddenly in my HR44 without my doing anything. I assumed that was when D* had updated the Boston database. But, I tried to redo the HR24's OTA channels when that happened, and despite doing the steps you mentioned above, which I had learned about previously a couple of years ago from dbstalk.com, neither 2 nor 44 showed up. By using the Miami zip, I could get 2 to show up, but 44 was and is still absent.

Maybe something has changed the past few days, and if I get a chance this weekend, I will try again, but I am not sure it will work as easily as you are implying with the HR22 and HR24.

Thanks for the info, though!

SMK
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post #11825 of 12367 Old 01-30-2019, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian in CT View Post
Broadcasters that made the switch to Lo-VHF also know that only 14% of American households get their television OTA (as of 2018). So it was a very calculated move.
Short term it netted them significant dollars - a one time windfall, however. Those that switched to VHF low have boxed themselves into a corner permanently at a competitive disadvantage. Cord cutting and streaming is still increasing. With ATSC 3.0 coming, those stations will still have a second-rate signal.

For WGBH it is not too significant. They will still have the UHF WGBX signal on which to carry the most important channels.
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post #11826 of 12367 Old 02-01-2019, 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Channel99 View Post
Short term it netted them significant dollars - a one time windfall...

For WGBH it is not too significant. They will still have the UHF WGBX signal on which to carry the most important channels.
WGBH is probably staying on the air to keep government money flowing and support redundant personnel. WGBX was created as a farm system for WGBH programming in the 70s. WGBH aired programming on WGBX before promoting to WGBH (the X was for experimental) With the nationalization of PBS, the WGBX became a repeater of WGBH. They split the PBS subchannels for differentiation, but there is no need for that.

WGBH will be carried on cable and milk taxpayers and donors for all they can, but no one will watch OTA.
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post #11827 of 12367 Old 02-01-2019, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by RoyGBiv View Post
I appreciate your detailed answer, but I am not sure it is totally accurate. First, it is my understanding that the re-introduction of true scanning is only for HR44 and HR55 DVRs. It is my understanding that the HR22 and HR24 I have do not scan and still work only by what's in DirecTV's database. I can tell you that as of a few weeks ago 2-1 and 44-1 showed up suddenly in my HR44 without my doing anything. I assumed that was when D* had updated the Boston database. But, I tried to redo the HR24's OTA channels when that happened, and despite doing the steps you mentioned above, which I had learned about previously a couple of years ago from dbstalk.com, neither 2 nor 44 showed up. By using the Miami zip, I could get 2 to show up, but 44 was and is still absent.

Maybe something has changed the past few days, and if I get a chance this weekend, I will try again, but I am not sure it will work as easily as you are implying with the HR22 and HR24.

Thanks for the info, though!

SMK
Disclaimer: EVERYTHING I said applies only to the HR44 and HR54. The HR24 will not scan. I am sorry I didn't say that, my bad.

A few weeks ago, the change I mentioned that allowed scanning again would have allowed you to see 2-1 and 44-1 without doing anything, if you don't use a custom list. I noticed a translator just appearing on my "all channels" guide, too. It was not the update to the database. The update to the database happened sometime between last Wednesday and this past Wednesday, according to the edgecutter site. If you are familiar with dbstalk, you might remember the cutting edge program they and satelliteguys had. That program is now on its own forum and is where I got my information and the channels added to the database, it's not something I came up with. I became interested in this because I wanted to trick my AM21 to properly display my subchannels but I am just going to wait for Burlington to be updated.

Also if you are familiar with dbstalk, you have been subjected to many posts that make the practice of "moving" to get another markets locals seem like a federal crime. I see it differently. I watch my locals. I mostly want MY38 and, like you, WGBH. It's just a better PBS station. And the audio of WENH (NH PBS) is sometimes DD 5.1 when other locals PBS are not. WBTS is showing (at least scheduled) a different hockey game then WPTZ (Plattsburgh, NY NBC) and WNBC this Saturday. It's little things like that. Why should people in Brattleboro get all that, HD Telemundo, CW (VT didn't have CW on Directv until recently), and choice when there are pointless tickers during primetime (and more interesting news during a storm) for the same price as me?

Anyway, sorry, I ramble... I am not 100% sure if the HR24 will see the new update to the databse but I am 95% sure it will, but it won't do anything else new.
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post #11828 of 12367 Old 02-01-2019, 08:57 PM
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WGBH is probably staying on the air to keep government money flowing and support redundant personnel. WGBX was created as a farm system for WGBH programming in the 70s. WGBH aired programming on WGBX before promoting to WGBH (the X was for experimental) With the nationalization of PBS, the WGBX became a repeater of WGBH. They split the PBS subchannels for differentiation, but there is no need for that.

WGBH will be carried on cable and milk taxpayers and donors for all they can, but no one will watch OTA.

I can't disagree. The value of the second station to them was much greater in the analog days, but now they are leasing half the bandwidth of WGBX for NBCBoston & CoziTV and part of WGBH for BIZ TV. The WGBX bandwidth freed when WNEU moves to Needham will be enough for the main PBS channel and the most watched subchannels.

WGBH has no shortage of income, producing more than half of the national PBS programs, having a piece of many older shows, some of which now are in reruns on commercial TV.
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post #11829 of 12367 Old 02-02-2019, 02:11 PM
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I just tried updating the AM21 on my HR24 to see if I would get all the correct Boston channels. I cleared out everything as best I could. A lot more subchannels from Boston showed up, and the good news is now I do get 2-1 both in the setup section and in the guide without having to trick it into thinking I'm in Miami. But I have the same problem with 44 that I've had since the repack started. 44-1 shows up in the antenna setup list. But, in the guide it lists 15-1 as WGBX, and 44-1 is not there. 44-3 and 44-4 are, but not 44-1, and if I try to tune directly to it, it tells me "channel not available."

So, things are far from fixed with Boston's stations as far as I'm concerned.

SMK
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post #11830 of 12367 Old 02-03-2019, 06:41 AM
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I think the channel sharing is confusing it. You did say that your HR 44 sees 44-1 OTA, right? I have one thing for you to try, if you are so inclined.

The first time I tried to get my MeTV to show in my guide, due to trying to fool it and RF channels, it was showing up as 22-3 instead of 5-3. In order to get it to show as 5-3, I had to put another 22-3 in first to get 5-3 to show properly.

If you run Providence and another zip code with a 15-1 first to occupy that spot and then run Boston after, 44-1 might go where it should. I don't know that it will, but it could. You'd have to find a tiny market without overlap with Boston. I don't have the file handy to look myself.

You surely have found a fluke. The update to the database was mostly addressing the new subchannels which you did find which is progress, but not if a main channel is a huge issue.

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post #11831 of 12367 Old 02-03-2019, 10:40 AM
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Thanks for the recommendation, but how is this different from what I was doing before to get 2-1 to show up?

I'm sick of all the machinations I have to perform to do what D* should have gotten right in the first place. I do get 44-1 on my HR44, and I purchased a TIVO in Dec, mostly because I'm tired of all this s***. So, I really don't have to bother. I am only bothering because of the WAF. It's a lot easier for my wife to use the D* DVRs than the TIVO, but as long as I have 44-1 on one of them, I'm OK.

Another reason I'm glad I purchased the TIVO: Eventually my current DVRs are going to die, and I will have to start using an HR17 or its successor. There is an LCC that is being tested that replaces the AM21 to use for that DVR, but it only has two tuners, and there are times I'm recording 3 or even 4 OTA programs at once. I can do that with AM21's on my HR44 and HR24, but I couldn't do it with an HR17.

At some point I will quit D*. The only reason I haven't yet is, again, the WAF, as she does not like using my Nvidia Shield.

SMK
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post #11832 of 12367 Old 02-08-2019, 01:12 PM
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For WGBH it is not too significant. They will still have the UHF WGBX signal on which to carry the most important channels.
Given that NHPTV and WGBH are now jointed at the hip I tend to agree. But it was still a disappointment. WGBX was always weaker than WGBH but with analog it was still watchable. Here in southern NH WGBX is only viewable about 10-20% of the time and this is with a decent roof top antenna. Perhaps ATSC 3.0 will improve reception but I'm not holding my breath.

Propagation effects and noise issues aside how many folks want to install a huge VHF-lo antenna just for a single station?

I'm an OTA fanboy and extol its virtue whenever I can but the repack and migration to ATSC 3.0 is extremely confusing for ordinary folks that don't see OTA as an interesting research project while wading through technobable and the ever changing channel landscape.

/tom
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post #11833 of 12367 Old 02-08-2019, 05:51 PM
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Here in southern NH WGBX is only viewable about 10-20% of the time and this is with a decent roof top antenna.
Currently, WGBH runs 700 kW and WGBX runs 500 kW. Post-repack, WGBX will run 922 kW, and it will no longer be co-channel with WPXT. Both should help.

- Trip
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post #11834 of 12367 Old 03-03-2019, 09:47 AM
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Thanks to all informed engineers and OTA buffs providing details about life behind the antenna candelabra.

The outlook today seems bleak for Boston OTA people given recent antenna changes and the repack.
Perhaps has the usable radius for CBS and Fox been halved from 50 miles to 25 miles? Maybe worse?
4 & 38 disappeared today so now we have 4 & 25 & 38 gone due to antenna shuffle and/or repack? :|

The spousal verdict on current cordcutting test is FAIL.
Our attic YAGI had sufficed for Boston DTV reception for almost 20 years until recently.
I may try various amplifiers again (again) or a device with more sensitive tuner.
Currently the cable run is 6 feet from antenna to Tablo 4-tuner, no preamp.
(Amplification has not been necessary since I reduce the cable run from 120 feet to 6 feet.)

Today I'm trying "locast" and it seems initially to be a success and has a roku up.
Donating $5/month to locast may be reasonable since it is optional.

Last edited by tveli; 03-03-2019 at 10:31 AM.
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post #11835 of 12367 Old 03-03-2019, 11:06 PM
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Thanks to all informed engineers and OTA buffs providing details about life behind the antenna candelabra.

The outlook today seems bleak for Boston OTA people given recent antenna changes and the repack.
Perhaps has the usable radius for CBS and Fox been halved from 50 miles to 25 miles? Maybe worse?
4 & 38 disappeared today so now we have 4 & 25 & 38 gone due to antenna shuffle and/or repack? :|

The spousal verdict on current cordcutting test is FAIL.
Our attic YAGI had sufficed for Boston DTV reception for almost 20 years until recently.
I may try various amplifiers again (again) or a device with more sensitive tuner.
Currently the cable run is 6 feet from antenna to Tablo 4-tuner, no preamp.
(Amplification has not been necessary since I reduce the cable run from 120 feet to 6 feet.)

Today I'm trying "locast" and it seems initially to be a success and has a roku up.
Donating $5/month to locast may be reasonable since it is optional.
WFXT has been transmitting for 2 -3 months from a temporary side mount antenna on the CBS tower, running only 300 KW. When they move back to the new master antenna under construction on the candelabra tower, they will be running 1000 KW.

CBS Boston is currently broadcasting as a shared channel on WGBX, which will be affected soon due to a temporary move from the CBS tower to the candelabra. Ultimately CBS Boston will be broadcast by WNEU, moving from NH to the CBS tower. In addition to WGBX - WBZ, WCVB, and WSBK will also be moving to the candelabra temporarily, and possibly have already begun work on that. The stations are moving from the CBS tower to allow the master antenna there to be replaced.

The one station that will definitely have a very poor signal in the future is WGBX.

No doubt there are lawyers working overtime looking for a way to do to Locast, what was done to Aereo.
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post #11836 of 12367 Old 03-04-2019, 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Channel99 View Post
CBS Boston is currently broadcasting as a shared channel on WGBX, which will be affected soon due to a temporary move from the CBS tower to the candelabra. Ultimately CBS Boston will be broadcast by WNEU, moving from NH to the CBS tower. In addition to WGBX - WBZ, WCVB, and WSBK will also be moving to the candelabra temporarily, and possibly have already begun work on that. The stations are moving from the CBS tower to allow the master antenna there to be replaced.

The one station that will definitely have a very poor signal in the future is WGBX.
Er, I think you've confused CBS and NBC. And I'm not sure why WGBX would have a poor signal considering it will operate at 922 kW like the rest of the Boston UHFs on the shared antenna.

- Trip
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post #11837 of 12367 Old 03-04-2019, 03:07 AM
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Er, I think you've confused CBS and NBC. And I'm not sure why WGBX would have a poor signal considering it will operate at 922 kW like the rest of the Boston UHFs on the shared antenna.

- Trip
Thanks for the updates, and to whomever has the guts to climb the towers and make the changes.

Locast seems very nice and has evidently not tried to profit by selling content they don't own.
Also Locast seems to have avoided trying to bamboozle the courts and federal regulators with fake physics.
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post #11838 of 12367 Old 03-04-2019, 04:17 AM
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4 & 38 disappeared today so now we have 4 & 25 & 38 gone due to antenna shuffle and/or repack? :|
I too am in southern NH using OTA but with a DB8 rooftop. We have not noticed any change or loss of TV signal in recent weeks. I recorded 60 Minutes last night on CBS (4) and it seems fine. Recorded Bob's Burgers on Fox (25) last night too. Signal strength is good.

Yesterday we did notice a bunch of "new" FM channels on the dial, however. It is possible that there were some unique atmospheric conditions with the storm that just came through.

Locast seems neat, and might be your solution. It just does not seem like 4 & 38 changed their transmission power yesterday (Saturday/Sunday) to explain your loss of signal. Maybe something broke in your set up.

Last edited by DocSmith; 03-04-2019 at 04:21 AM. Reason: added channel nums
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post #11839 of 12367 Old 03-04-2019, 09:07 AM
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Indeed my setup could have gotten more broken. The 100 foot ethernet hard-wire from Tablo to home-router is majorly pinched and likely be the next item to be swapped (or removed as it is optional). Failure of that wire cannot reasonably account for RF/tuning problems however.

Soon I may select a home location unsuitable for CM4248 or other YAGI.

Until then I remain yours truly at the fringe of the fringe, with antenna in attic 50 miles from needham towers,
selecting which one of my shrinking fleet of cars to donate to the heroic Locast, and
scheming for spousal approval to wallpaper one room at the new place with Smith Charts and pages from the CRC Table book.
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post #11840 of 12367 Old 03-04-2019, 10:01 AM
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I have to agree with DocSmith. After reading about your issues, I just turned on my TV to check. The signal strength has not changed for me on any of those channels you're having issues with. 25 did go down somewhat a few months ago when it made its first move, but it is still watchable, and nothing's changed since.

SMK
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post #11841 of 12367 Old 03-04-2019, 02:03 PM
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Thanks, Roy G and everyone...

Tall-as-redwood trees + snow + ice + weird weather could explain it but weird that it changed for 4.* and 38.*. 4.1 has been the strongest DTV signal for me since 2001 no matter which tuner/OTA-DVR I've used. But recently it disappeared or became unreliable and indicating 3-unhappy-red-dots than its previous 5-happy-green-dots. All the other stations remain happy/5-dots.

It could be a specific nonoptimal behavior of the roundly criticized Tablo 4-tuner that I have placed in super-hot summer and super-cold winter attic conditions. Time to climb and check if coax is loose! :|
Btw, many Tablovians use the 2-tuner instead of 4-tuner because fewer splits generally provides more gain per tuner.

So many cogent folks kindly indicating the likelihood of a hardware failure is probably enough for me to try something new like:
- Alexa Recast
- The newest HD-Homeruns, both OTA & cablecard-capable.
- TIVO Romeo or Juliet.
- Tablo 2-tuner

In the meantime spousal approval factor has increased to the formal TENUOUS level thanks to Locast ("Pied Piper").
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post #11842 of 12367 Old 03-05-2019, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
Er, I think you've confused CBS and NBC. And I'm not sure why WGBX would have a poor signal considering it will operate at 922 kW like the rest of the Boston UHFs on the shared antenna.

- Trip
I definitely meant WGBH - browser keeps making spelling suggestions on call letters, and I clicked the wrong one and didn't notice - need to watch that more closely....
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post #11843 of 12367 Old 03-06-2019, 04:46 PM
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Thanks, Roy G and everyone...

Tall-as-redwood trees + snow + ice + weird weather could explain it but weird that it changed for 4.* and 38.*. 4.1 has been the strongest DTV signal for me since 2001 no matter which tuner/OTA-DVR I've used.
I'm with the others, I see no signal change from here in Epping NH using Clearstream 4v on the roof...and actually right now WFXT is looking strong for me, that signal has gone up after dropping down a few months ago.
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post #11844 of 12367 Old 03-07-2019, 03:12 AM
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Thanks for the followups.

Increasing oddities continue here but are perhaps less appropriate for the Boston OTA forum and more appropriate for the Tablo-tuner-randomness-forum.

Channel 9.1/WMUR disappeared yesterday afternoon, resulting in spousal disapproval peaking at an 8.7 on the ANSI Morgan-Fairchild Scale. (WMUR is not available on locast.)
Disapproval was mitigated quickly when the experimenter ran WMUR app while standing in front of spouse dramatically holding an iPad like it was a wheel-of-fortune letter ready to be flipped over.

Rescanned this morning around 5AM. WMUR is very absent now -undetected by latest scan.
And 4.1/CBS is back, 5 green dots! Same for 38.*/WSBK. Hooray for randomness.
(Which thing is more randomly intermittent in the real-world: RF/antenna stuff, or software?)

TTFN!
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post #11845 of 12367 Old 03-09-2019, 12:02 AM
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For people in southern New Hampshire, WENH is the best PBS affiliate (PBS HD, World HD, Explore, Create, and Kids). Because it is VHF-high, you can point a Stellar Labs 30-2476 right at it (or between WENH and WMUR, as I do) and couple it to a good UHF antenna pointed south for the Boston stations. Like the others, I have seen no impact on reception.
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post #11846 of 12367 Old 03-09-2019, 09:09 AM
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Locally a few visits to attic resulted in channels fully or partially restored. Antenna was repositioned and is more level now and pointed in a slightly different direction. The biggest change seems to be that loose wingnuts were tightened.
(The leads from channelmaster 424o the balun/antenna/impedance-adapter were loose.)

Also playing with an old OTA HD homerun that had been lonely in the attic.
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post #11847 of 12367 Old 03-09-2019, 11:21 AM
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Locally a few visits to attic resulted in channels fully or partially restored. Antenna was repositioned and is more level now and pointed in a slightly different direction. The biggest change seems to be that loose wingnuts were tightened.
(The leads from channelmaster 424o the balun/antenna/impedance-adapter were loose.)

Also playing with an old OTA HD homerun that had been lonely in the attic.
Broadcast television accepts your apology!
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post #11848 of 12367 Old 03-10-2019, 10:02 AM
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Broadcast television accepts your apology!
I hereby apologize to Schrodinger and his cat, but not in that order.
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post #11849 of 12367 Old 03-14-2019, 07:07 AM
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Locally a few visits to attic resulted in channels fully or partially restored.
Glad you resolved the problem. Much easier going into your attic then climbing on the roof. That is a plus for attic installations.

I'm sure the repack and ever changing channel assignments and transmitter locations are causing a lot of confusion for new OTA folks.
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post #11850 of 12367 Old 03-23-2019, 03:29 PM
 
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Broadcasters that made the switch to Lo-VHF also know that only 14% of American households get their television OTA (as of 2018). So it was a very calculated move.
Yes only a 100 but the fcc is dishing out big money involved with the
Low power vhf stations and I bet the power will go up after all said and done.
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