Boston, MA - OTA - Page 410 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #12271 of 12500 Old 09-13-2019, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian in CT View Post
If you have no huge obstructions in the way, I would start out with a rabbit ears (VHF) and loop (UHF) combo antenna. With digital TV signals, they will usually work up to 20 miles from the typical transmitter site, and should work indoors unless (for VHF) you live in a cinderblock or concrete structure. Since I assume you are trying to get WGBH, now on RF channel 5, I'll just warn you that a VHF-Lo TV signal can drop out due to almost any type of interference emanating from your new place. A microwave oven, vacuum, many LED bulbs, and such can mess with reception on RF channels 2-6. That is the only major downside to putting the antenna indoors.
Thanks. I went back and checked the antenna spec and it does say VHF and UHF. But doesn't spell out the channel ranges. I think I will wait for the power increase and see what happens.
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post #12272 of 12500 Old 09-13-2019, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
Status is at the top of the page. Timing is hard to estimate, but hopefully not long.

- Trip
I hope it does happen, but I have to say that for the past week or so my reception of WGBH and WGBX has been much better with a higher signal strength and no dropouts or problems. Maybe it's the weather or something else, but it has been better. Of course, increasing the power will not be a bad thing.

SMK
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post #12273 of 12500 Old 09-13-2019, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by RoyGBiv View Post
but I have to say that for the past week or so my reception of WGBH and WGBX has been much better with a higher signal strength and no dropouts or problems.
I assume you are aware that some WGBH programs are now on the WGBX transmitter and vice versa. If not here is a list from the RabbitEars site. If virtual channels numbers cause a lot of viewer confusion transmitter sharing is even worse.

RF5 (WGBH)
2.1 WGBH-HD
24.1 WFXZ
44.1 WGBX-HD

RF32 (WGBX)
2.2 World
2.3 WGBH-SD
15.1 WBTS-CD (NBC)
15.2 Cozi
44.2 WGBX-SD
44.3 PBS Create
44.4 PBS Kids

https://www.rabbitears.info/market.p...=72098#station

/tom
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post #12274 of 12500 Old 09-13-2019, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by RoyGBiv View Post
I hope it does happen, but I have to say that for the past week or so my reception of WGBH and WGBX has been much better with a higher signal strength and no dropouts or problems. Maybe it's the weather or something else, but it has been better. Of course, increasing the power will not be a bad thing.

SMK
The WGBH transmitter and antenna are in their final location on the Cabot St. tower, and independent of the problematic UHF shared antenna / transmission line issue. Considering they have been planning to request the power increase all along - if / when the FCC approves this it should not take long.
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post #12275 of 12500 Old 09-14-2019, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Tschmidt View Post
I assume you are aware that some WGBH programs are now on the WGBX transmitter and vice versa. If not here is a list from the RabbitEars site. If virtual channels numbers cause a lot of viewer confusion transmitter sharing is even worse.

RF5 (WGBH)
2.1 WGBH-HD
24.1 WFXZ
44.1 WGBX-HD

RF32 (WGBX)
2.2 World
2.3 WGBH-SD
15.1 WBTS-CD (NBC)
15.2 Cozi
44.2 WGBX-SD
44.3 PBS Create
44.4 PBS Kids

https://www.rabbitears.info/market.p...=72098#station

/tom
I am aware of these changes. The HD versions of both WGBH and WGBX are on RF5, so that is the one I care about. I receive RF32 with no problems and have since the change last month.

SMK
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post #12276 of 12500 Old 09-15-2019, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by stephenju View Post
Thanks. I went back and checked the antenna spec and it does say VHF and UHF. But doesn't spell out the channel ranges. I think I will wait for the power increase and see what happens.
I moved the antenna a little closer to the direction of the antenna farm and got 2.1 and 44.1 now. But as advised, the signal is quite unstable. I hope the power increase will help.
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post #12277 of 12500 Old 09-16-2019, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Tschmidt View Post
I'm in Milford NH and have a UHF antenna pointed towards Boston and a VHF-hi pointed toward WENH (weaker then WMUR). Both VHF NH stations come in fine. Agree with the other posts about using a preamp. No sense losing any of the signal between the antenna and TV.

By an large the repack has worked out well for us, even though some of the Boston stations are on temporary low power.

TVfool data has not been updated in a long time. Better to use the site. It has current channel assignments and post repack. Most of the repack is complete in the Boston area but WLVI and WSBK are Phase 7 that completes in January.

I've posted info about my installation if you are interested:


Good luck
/tom
This write up is a huge help! You should put it in your signature.
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post #12278 of 12500 Old 09-17-2019, 07:23 AM
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Anyone watching channel 4.3 yet? Lowest resolution ever!
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post #12279 of 12500 Old 09-17-2019, 12:53 PM
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I checked it out and it's pretty bad, it looks heavily compressed.



I think this may be a sign of where OTA television is headed. At the digital transition, OTA broadcasts seemed to have a little better quality than I was getting from Comcast when comparing HD to HD and SD to SD on the same stations. I don't really see that anymore. I'm not privy to the details of how broadcasters allocate the bandwidth of their channels, but I'm sure that channel sharing is leading some broadcasters to get by with less after the repack.

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post #12280 of 12500 Old 09-17-2019, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Red MC View Post
I think this may be a sign of where OTA television is headed. At the digital transition, OTA broadcasts seemed to have a little better quality than I was getting from Comcast when comparing HD to HD and SD to SD on the same stations. I don't really see that anymore.
ATSC 3.0 should fix that. The new standard can fit three times the data in the same bandwidth. This will also enable broadcasters to broadcast with 4k picture resolution. The question is when will ATSC 3.0 be rolled out.
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post #12281 of 12500 Old 09-17-2019, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by tveli View Post
Anyone watching channel 4.3 yet? Lowest resolution ever!
WBZ has assigned DABL and StartTV together under 25% of the total bandwidth.
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post #12282 of 12500 Old 09-18-2019, 09:54 AM
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Anyone watching channel 4.3 yet? Lowest resolution ever!
WBZ (RF20) has been extremely intermittent for us. Rabbitears says they are low power but so are many of the other Boston stations and we are not having problems with the other stations.
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post #12283 of 12500 Old 09-18-2019, 06:22 PM
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WBZ (RF20) has been extremely intermittent for us. Rabbitears says they are low power but so are many of the other Boston stations and we are not having problems with the other stations.
There may be performance issues with almost any of the stations that have temporary configurations, some of them expected, some not. When they all end up in their final locations, WBZ, WCVB, and WGBX (sharing WBTS) will all be transmitting at 922 KW from the new shared antenna on the CBS tower.
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post #12284 of 12500 Old 09-20-2019, 01:00 PM
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Newbie Question

Greetings and please pardon my lack of technical expertise.


After quite a bit of fiddling with my antenna, I have finally been able to recapture some of what I lost after the repack. I am however experiencing some strange things. For instance: I receive channels 2.1 and 44.1 strong and clear. At the same time, I'm not seeing any sign at all of 2.2 or 44.2, or 44.3. These sub-channels were for me as strong as their parent channels before the repack. Does anyone know what might account for this?
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post #12285 of 12500 Old 09-20-2019, 01:00 PM
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WHDH (and WLVI) has a message on their website telling people to rescan on Saturday October 19.
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post #12286 of 12500 Old 09-20-2019, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by locust78 View Post
After quite a bit of fiddling with my antenna, I have finally been able to recapture some of what I lost after the repack. I am however experiencing some strange things. For instance: I receive channels 2.1 and 44.1 strong and clear. At the same time, I'm not seeing any sign at all of 2.2 or 44.2, or 44.3. These sub-channels were for me as strong as their parent channels before the repack. Does anyone know what might account for this?
What's your setup and what are you using for a tuner?

Also are you getting NBC Boston on 15.1 and Cozi on 15.2?
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post #12287 of 12500 Old 09-20-2019, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by KyL416 View Post
WHDH (and WLVI) has a message on their website telling people to rescan on Saturday October 19.
WHDH has a construction permit to operate with reduced power on their current RF 42 channel from a temporary antenna 200 ft. from the top of the tower, while the existing Ch 42 antenna at the top is removed and replaced by a new Ch 35 antenna.
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post #12288 of 12500 Old 09-20-2019, 06:41 PM
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What's your setup and what are you using for a tuner?

Also are you getting NBC Boston on 15.1 and Cozi on 15.2?
This is my set up: good-size 30 year old VHF/UHF antenna on my roof with a nearby powered signal booster. One smart TV and one CRT TV with a DigitalStream converter box. I can't get channels 15.1 or 15.2 at all (anymore).
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post #12289 of 12500 Old 09-20-2019, 07:11 PM
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Are those the only channels you are missing? How are your signal levels for WBZ, WCVB and WFXT?

You might want to try removing the signal booster, a search for Bellingham on RabbitEars shows the signals are already strong in the area, so the booster might be overloading it:
https://www.rabbitears.info/searchma...study_id=13305
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post #12290 of 12500 Old 09-20-2019, 08:28 PM
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Smile Channel changes in October

WHDH 7 and WLVI 56 have notices on their website that they will change their RF channel to 35 on October 19th. Tonight I saw an onscreen scroll on WSBK 38 that they will change to RF 21 on the same day. So because RF21 is currently WSBE 36, they will be moving to RF2. As for the two other stations on the same tower WJAR 10 has a notice to do a rescan on October 19th to RF25, and WLNE will be going to RF24 on the same day.
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post #12291 of 12500 Old 09-21-2019, 07:03 AM
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WHDH 7 and WLVI 56 have notices on their website that they will change their RF channel to 35 on October 19th. Tonight I saw an onscreen scroll on WSBK 38 that they will change to RF 21 on the same day. So because RF21 is currently WSBE 36, they will be moving to RF2. As for the two other stations on the same tower WJAR 10 has a notice to do a rescan on October 19th to RF25, and WLNE will be going to RF24 on the same day.
Cool, so all the Boston Phase 7 stations seem to be ready to convert the first day of phase 7. Be interesting to see the results.
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post #12292 of 12500 Old 09-21-2019, 02:20 PM
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Are those the only channels you are missing? How are your signal levels for WBZ, WCVB and WFXT?

You might want to try removing the signal booster, a search for Bellingham on RabbitEars shows the signals are already strong in the area, so the booster might be overloading it:
WBZ is great. WCVB is long gone, as is WFXT. I'll try eliminating the booster. If I just turn the power off on the booster, will it suffice? Will the unpowered booster function as a bypass, or should I physically disconnect and reconnect the cables?
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post #12293 of 12500 Old 09-21-2019, 02:21 PM
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WBZ is great. WCVB is long gone, as is WFXT. I'll try eliminating the booster. If I just turn the power off on the booster, will it suffice? Will the unpowered booster function as a bypass, or should I physically disconnect and reconnect the cables?
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post #12294 of 12500 Old 09-21-2019, 03:39 PM
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It depends on the model. Some don't pass anything at all if there's no power.

You might want to check the UHF elements on your antenna to make sure none of the connections got loose or anything broke. WCVB and WFXT should be coming in for you too, even WCVB's reduced power facility has a good signal over much of the Bellingham area.
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post #12295 of 12500 Old 09-21-2019, 06:21 PM
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What continues to baffle me is, why did all these channels come in fine for me before the repack, but now they don't? What exactly is it that changed so that I can no longer pull in certain signals? (Again, please forgive my lack of tech know-how.)
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post #12296 of 12500 Old 09-21-2019, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by locust78 View Post
WBZ is great. WCVB is long gone, as is WFXT. I'll try eliminating the booster. If I just turn the power off on the booster, will it suffice? Will the unpowered booster function as a bypass, or should I physically disconnect and reconnect the cables?
Doubt that's the problem, most receivers today are able to handle an over amplification condition. Not sure why you're seeing problem's with those 2 stations, they are fine for me here in Epping NH (outside of Portsmouth NH). I believe those stations are still transmitting on the same RF frequency. You would need to bypass the amp, don't think I've seen an amp that will bypass signals once power is removed.
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post #12297 of 12500 Old 09-21-2019, 09:40 PM
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why did all these channels come in fine for me before the repack, but now they don't? What exactly is it that changed so that I can no longer pull in certain signals?
The repack required many stations to move to different RF channels, necessitating new transmitters and antennas.

Some of the Boston stations are currently operating at reduced power and using different antennas reducing range while conversion work continues. As you can imagine antenna and transmitter manufactures have been pretty busy during the repack as have the tower crews that install the new antennas.

Check out https://www.rabbitears.info/ to monitor station activity during the repack. The next big change will be Phase 7 middle of next month. One last thing in the Boston market WGBH chose to move to VHF-lo so unless you have an antenna capable of receiving channels 2-6 you will probably not be able to pick it up. 2.1 and 44.1 are now on RF5, the rest of the WGBH/WBGX lineup are on RF32. So it looks like you are not having problems with VHF-lo just some of the UHF station. Hopefully once they are all back to full power and regular antenna problems should be resolved.

/Tom

Last edited by Tschmidt; 09-23-2019 at 08:18 AM.
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post #12298 of 12500 Old 10-01-2019, 01:21 PM
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Here's a follow-up on my post a few weeks ago about reception problems post-repack (see last page)...

On Saturday, I took down my old setup and put up a new one.

The old setup consisted of a Winegard HD6065 FM yagi on the bottom, with a (now dead) NTE U-105 rotator above it turning an Antennas Direct Clearstream 4 for UHF. It worked good at first, but I've had declining reception for years, which I assume is due to tree growth. WMUR became unwatchable. And after the repack I started experiencing frequent artifacts and dropouts on most of the Boston UHF stations, and lost WGBH HD (and WGBX HD) entirely.

The new setup I installed consists of a Channel Master CM-4228HD on the bottom, AD Clearstream 5 on the top, in fixed positions on a new 10' mast with just under 4' in between them. Their outputs are connected to an AD combiner mounted between them on the mast, followed by a AD Clearstream Juice amp.

WMUR is the weakest of all the channels we wanted to receive, because in that direction we're shadowed by the top of the hill we live on. Evey bit of height seemed to improve reception, so I put the CS5 at the top of the mast. Pointing the antenna directly at WMUR leaves WENH only 15 deg from the null in the side of the antenna pattern, but WENH is strong enough that I can still receive it without issue.

To my amazement, when I first connected the CM-4228HD and pointed it South, I was able to pull in WGBH 2.1 on RF5, albeit not well enough to be watchable. The CM-4228HD is a UHF antenna that claims to have some moderate gain in VHF High, so I was pleasantly surprised. It does have a large, electrically contiguous reflector, and I guess that's enough to create a positive front to back ratio even in VHF Low. When I added the amplifier, WGBH became watchable but with frequent artifacts and some momentary drop-outs. The signal quality measured by my HDHomeRun tuner was swinging back and forth, and I suspected multipath, so I experimented with pointing direction and was able to get a fairly stable signal with the antenna pointed Southwest. WGBH is now watchable with no dropouts and occasional minor artifacts.

A few notes on the products for those who might be interested in them:

- The AD Clearstream 5 is surprisingly compact. It could be used indoors pointing out a window. It was very easy to assemble, and doesn't create much of a wind load.
- The CS5 claims to have a small amount of gain in low UHF, but it wasn't enough to receive RF23 (located North) unless pointed precisely, which degrades WMUR.
- The CM-4228HD comes assembled and all you need to do is tighten wing nuts and attach the mast mounts. However, I did have to bend some of the bowtie elements into their proper position because some of them were a little off out of the box.
- For UHF, the 4228HD is a small improvement over my old Clearstream 4. Without the amplifier, I did see slight improvements in signal strength on some of the Boston UHF stations, and fewer artifacts. But I probably would have been OK on UHF if I had kept the CS4 and just added the amplifier. The real surprise with the CM-4228HD was on VHF.
- I chose the CS Juice preamp based on measurements posted by user Calaveras, and I'm happy with it. I saw big gains in signal strength and signal quality on RF5, which wouldn't be watchable without it. I also saw significant gains on RF9 and RF11. The Boston UHF stations were already coming in fairly strong without the amp, so I didn't see significant gains there, but the combination of 4228HD and Juice preamp has eliminated artifacts and dropouts on those stations.
- Last but not least, I used 1-1/4" EMT for the mast, which just fit into my existing tripod. It is larger in diameter, thicker, and stiffer than the 1-1/4" antenna mast pipe I was using before. However, both antennas are a little on the heavy side, with the 8 lb. CS5 mounted at the end of the 10 foot mast. My house is protected from strong, gusty winds because it's surrounded by tall oak trees. But if I were out in the open, I don't think the tripod roof mount would be secure enough.

Pictures to come.
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post #12299 of 12500 Old 10-02-2019, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
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- For UHF, the 4228HD is a small improvement over my old Clearstream 4. Without the amplifier, I did see slight improvements in signal strength on some of the Boston UHF stations, and fewer artifacts. But I probably would have been OK on UHF if I had kept the CS4 and just added the amplifier. The real surprise with the CM-4228HD was on VHF.
Shouldn't have been much if anything of a difference, both antenna's have virtually the same UHF dBi gain.

If you're surrounded by oak trees then you'll see good signal improvement once the leaves drop. Also another good test is rainy days as wet leaves can play havoc with signals.

Glad to see you're seeing improvements...hard part about spending the money then making the changes is not knowing if it will really work! I don't know if you split your signals where it comes into the house, but for me I placed the HDHomerun right at the entry point and then installed a unity gain amp so I wouldn't have any lose feeding the rest of the house.

Last edited by bac522; 10-03-2019 at 05:35 PM.
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post #12300 of 12500 Old 10-03-2019, 08:48 PM
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Just so I'm on the same page, is WFXT currently running on reduced power/temporary transmitter? I've had difficulty picking them up, and the signal is pretty weak when I get them. Never really had a problem picking them up before the repack. NBC Boston on 15.1 on the other hand has been rock solid from here in Attleboro, better than pre-repack IMO.
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