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post #14791 of 14937 Old 08-07-2018, 06:20 PM
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Anyone have issues with upper vhf 11,13 during storms? It seems like I get breakups during lightning storms. Could be the distance also as I’m 58 miles from Baltimore.
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post #14792 of 14937 Old 08-07-2018, 10:32 PM
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Anyone have issues with upper vhf 11,13 during storms? It seems like I get breakups during lightning storms. Could be the distance also as I’m 58 miles from Baltimore.
I think that this is pretty much normal to get some fluctuations during violent storms. Normally, 11 and 13 are rock solid for me, but I can get some pixelation during a storm or on a very windy day.
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post #14793 of 14937 Old 08-08-2018, 01:01 AM
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I think that this is pretty much normal to get some fluctuations during violent storms. Normally, 11 and 13 are rock solid for me, but I can get some pixelation during a storm or on a very windy day.
Thanks for the reply.
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post #14794 of 14937 Old 08-11-2018, 03:58 PM
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From Slovakia.
https://www.ebay.com/sch/jan_jenca/m...p2047675.l2562

The one on the left is Buy it Now for $37.90, the one on the right is $85.

I can make a two antenna array that would work with those because I have a spectrum analyzer and can make sure that the bandpassed signals overwhelm the undesired co-channel signal coming off an unfiltered antenna, but it would be a little harder to do that reliably without the proper measurement equipment.
That seems like the right idea - but it's not programmable.

I guess what I'm looking for isn't available at the price I want. It used to be people would just buy multiple cheap VCRs and plug one into each antenna... But cheap VCR replacements for modern digital OTA channels don't really exist now. Even the old Series 3 TIVO boxes that include Lifetime service, like the one I bought on Craigslist, are fairly expensive.

I guess the obvious way to do this would be to build one's own antenna - and point elements for each frequency band at the transmitting tower for the station you want at that frequency, with sufficient gain on each element to make them all about the same power level. YAGI look simple - maybe it could even be done with cheap parallel wires - but I don't know enough to do it right. Might be fun, though, if I had the technical skills. If I had the electronics knowledge, I suspect that even frequency shifting isn't that hard if you can start with the basic chips.

Another thing that would be fun to try, if I had the knowledge, would be to set up a set of passive reflector parabolic antenna in a tree top, all focused on single antenna next to a window, bouncing signals from each tower. Make the antennas out of cheap chicken wire, or something like it.

But it seems like fancy OTA stuff, beyond using one simple antenna, is mostly in the domain of the hobbiest/enthusiast now, like ham radio stuff, or is done by commercial companies, like you.

It's unfortunate that the whole remote-antenna-over-the-internet thing was killed by the courts. And that joint neighborhood antenna systems are killed by licensing and re-transmission fee rules. A lot of needless resources are wasted by not doing the easy joint cooperative things.

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post #14795 of 14937 Old 08-12-2018, 07:13 AM
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What you could do is get multiple HDHomeRun receivers and hook a different antenna to each one. Then if you want a DVR use a central one, or if not just use something like the Fire TV at each TV to watch directly from the HDHRs.

- Trip
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post #14796 of 14937 Old 08-14-2018, 09:03 AM
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What you could do is get multiple HDHomeRun receivers and hook a different antenna to each one. Then if you want a DVR use a central one, or if not just use something like the Fire TV at each TV to watch directly from the HDHRs.
Thanks. HDHomeRun, Live TV, Plex, and networked hard drives are worlds I haven't explored at all. Looks a bit complicated, but I guess they are cheaper than TIVO boxes with subscriptions. Though I'm a bit confused - it looks like some or all of them require a subscription to an expensive EPG (electronic program guide), just like TIVO.

If I use them to record and playback OTA broadcasts, are they completely legal in the U.S. for non-commercial use within a home? (I assume "place shifting" to watch it outside the building with the antenna, like other remote antenna use, is not legal, unless licensed by the content provider.)

One issue no one has touched is sophisticated TV signal processors to remove multi-path reception problems, which I assume is the main reason my TIVO and/or TV sometimes see a fairly strong signal, but can not view it. Are devices to do that even out there?

I assume the commercial cable world has found expensive solutions - but maybe they just bypass OTA and transmit from content providers through the Internet, and/or they can afford to build antenna so high, directional and active-pointed that they get clean line-of-sight signal paths, so multi-path reception doesn't occur in their world?

What about for the "little guy" who can't get all of his/her channels by line-of-sight?

There "ought" to exist a reasonably priced off-the-shelf complete OTA solution for the non-tech-savvy little guy - say, a high self-grounding flagpole antenna, with wires to the home, or to, avoid lightning issues, solar cells and optical cable or WiFi, plus semi-automated reception boxes which set themselves up to handle channel selective amplification, signal processing to remove multi-path, recording, and playback, and some sort of EPG. Maybe there are enough OTA customers to justify someone doing that... Especially since there don't seem to be a lot of people like AntAltMike any more who go around and set up custom OTA systems for customers.

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post #14797 of 14937 Old 08-14-2018, 09:45 AM
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I assume the commercial cable world has found expensive solutions - but maybe they just bypass OTA and transmit from content providers through the Internet, and/or they can afford to build antenna so high, directional and active-pointed that they get clean line-of-sight signal paths, so multi-path reception doesn't occur in their world?
Most MVPDs have fiber connections from the local stations but not always the case. Until recently, DIRECTV in the Norfolk market picked up locals OTA...
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post #14798 of 14937 Old 08-14-2018, 03:10 PM
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With the app, I was able to adjust the antenna a little further (the antenna itself is sort of trapped in the rafters of the roof, so it limits just how much I can move the antenna) - and using the small TV I brought up to the attic (this time hooked up behind the LNA-200) - I got a 70-80% signal with NBC, 90-100% signal with CBS, 70-80% with FOX but the signal for ABC and WB were down in the 60% range.

Kind of strange because ABC and CBS are the same direction, will see during primetime if ABC is better. WB makes more sense since it is a little bit off from the path of the other channels.

After hooking everything back up, on my WinTV I have a really strong signal with FOX and NBC (25+ SNR), a good signal with NBC (21 SNR) and ABC/WB both seem to still be decent too around a 20-21 SNR.

Will have to wait a few days and see through different times, weather conditions, etc if everything is stable - but hopeful that this will work!

Here is a picture of the antenna in my attic - before I moved it.

https://i.imgur.com/mqC5iem.jpg
Glad you found a solution, even if it wasn't the amp we thought might help. Has it remained stable?

That antenna photo is an inspiration. So is the Winegard app. The app helped me tune things up, too. I'll post separately.
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post #14799 of 14937 Old 08-14-2018, 04:04 PM
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Splitting markets with the CM-4228HD

I didn’t take long to reconsider my humble rig hedging the DC and Baltimore markets from Annapolis. Imperfect reception of Baltimore VHF (particularly RF 11) that should be pretty easy to pull in nagged at me, and occasionally watchable VHF from DC (such as WUSA on RF 9—with my little dipole pointed to Baltimore), as well as RF 14 in DC, taunted me.

My baseline is the C2V, 10 dBi and 2.5 dBi UHF/VHF, on the roof with UHF pointed to DC and VHF pointed to Baltimore. So what about a proper VHF antenna?

The Clearstream 5 is the modern answer to high VHF. It cites a modest 8 dBi of high-VHF gain, but that’s as good as it gets without a long beam antenna. Not really up for a honking Yagi on the roof, although I’m tempted to put one in the attic, maybe sneak a Winegard HD8200U up there piece by piece past the wife. But even that might be too directional for my market split and bested by a comparatively modest antenna on the roof. I could combine the C5 with my C2 for pretty even gain across the spectrums, but that’s another mast and mounting job.

Another hedge is the Channel Master 4228HD. Comparing specs and the antennahacks.com shootout suggests that the CM-4228HD has similar gain for Baltimore RF 11-13 and less gain for DC RF 7 & 9 than the C5, but still a class better than my 2V dipole. The 4228 also bumps up the UHF gain considerably over my C2, which I could put to use for my challenges with RF 14 and 15. This may be the best way to go, but I’m a bit uncertain about the beam width and hedging both markets from one direction. It makes a one-unit compromise, but at a cost that comes with that. Another long-term ploy would be to stack two of them in different directions!

Another all-in approach would be to combine the C5 with the DB8e. The DB8e seems purpose-built for my two-market application, but looks a little rickety for a rooftop. I could stash the antenna farm in the attic, which would have a side benefit of reducing cable runs, but generate in-wall fishing projects and probably not offset rooftop performance enough to make that worthwhile. I’m also wondering if Antennas Direct will update the DB8e to focus on channels 36 and below (it’s otherwise stronger in the not-long-for-TV channels above than the 4228).

The 4228HD was on sale, so I snagged one and got it on the roof today. I know this is a long post so I’ll highlight the differences from the two-direction C2V rig. I have 4228 pointing directly toward DC between trees (thanks to the Winegard app). I tried it without my LNA-200 preamp; I got reception but it’s much better with the amp.

I’m getting watchable RF 7 & 9, where I had little to no signal before, but there are dropouts. I maintained RF 11 in Baltimore, weaker but no dropout during the test (a very steady 66% on my TV meter). RF 13 in Baltimore dropped to an unwatchable 40%, which was my highest priority before I could get a decent RF 9 signal from DC. That remains the big sticking point.

The “big win” is RF 14 in DC, where I had little to no signal before. Quite steady 60%-66%. RF 15 is weaker than before, watchable with dropouts, in a big 43%-69% range. WETA on RF 26 got a similar top end but more downside, seems at least as watchable as before. Similarly, RF 46 nudged down a bit with some drops.

On the back side, I lost RF 5, and couldn’t pick up RF 20 or 21.

The 4228HD wasn’t a bust but not the boom I was hoping for. I’ll try tuning it toward Baltimore to see if I can improve those channels without losing what I gained in DC, but it’ll be tough. Maybe I can catch a lobe just right.

It would also be tough to integrate my C2V. I could dedicate that to a TV itself, which would free up a bit of splitting loss. Curious to see how the 4228 fares in the winter, too. If it improves, that’s less incentive to put up another 4228 and point one in each direction.
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post #14800 of 14937 Old 08-14-2018, 07:41 PM
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Glad you found a solution, even if it wasn't the amp we thought might help. Has it remained stable?

That antenna photo is an inspiration. So is the Winegard app. The app helped me tune things up, too. I'll post separately.
Thanks - it is seemed to be pretty stable, with the occasional hiccup that I'm not sure I can avoid 100% - during thunderstorms, certain stations (CW in particular) - loses its signal, but during most other situations the signal remains usable and I've been able to DVR lots of TV with Plex, so I am pretty happy with the overall setup.

The amp may end up being useful, as I start the split the signal. Right now, I have the WinTV Quad hooked up and also added a 2-tuner HDHomeRun so I can record 6 things at once essentially allowing me to record all 5 (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, CW) of the Primetime TV stations if I wanted as new pilots starts in September (kind of like Dish TV can do).

Glad to hear the Winegard app helped you too!
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post #14801 of 14937 Old 08-14-2018, 08:56 PM
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Most MVPDs have fiber connections from the local stations but not always the case. Until recently, DIRECTV in the Norfolk market picked up locals OTA...
Of course there is no wire or cable connecting broadcasters to satellites ( ), so in at least that sense, all satellite TV providers must receive OTA signals, though that needn't mean commercial satellites aim lots of on-board antennas at individual broadcast station antennas. (If they did, the satellite would be ridiculously big, heavy, and expensive to launch.)
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post #14802 of 14937 Old 08-16-2018, 08:29 AM
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Channel 7 in DC vs. 13 in Baltimore

Took this screenshot this morning of Signal GH app measuring RF channels 7 from DC and 13 from Baltimore using HDHomerun tuner in Annapolis. The antenna direction is weighted 55% toward DC to match the weaker signal reaching my house based on TVFool NM.

The 13 signal in gold was initially not receivable, but then it improved to match channel 7, which continued to degrade to nearly unwatchable after the screenshot. They measured near the same level afterward, just above the red line of receivability, and then 13 tracked better for while. I'm getting them both now.

I was surprised how much relative medium-term variability there was between the signals, which are generally more stable than weak UHF signals. Also interesting that some step changes affected both signals, and others only one. Both channels 9 in DC and 11 in Baltimore were stronger, by the way. Last night, all my VHF was dark, so clearly there are issues that affect the whole band. Looks like it's as dialed in as can be, but at first I thought I had to nudge it back to Baltimore. I suppose there could be variation within the HDH tuner or SGH app producing the differences, too.

By the way I found Signal GH in my search for a portable signal monitor to help optimize the antenna direction from the roof rather than run down and check the mystery monitor in my TV after every antenna tweak. I wasn't even aware of HDHomerun. It works pretty well for diagnostics and of course the intended purpose to carry OTA on the home network and view on mobile devices. I see potential for reducing cable runs and splits for multiple TVs, too, but I don't want to burden the network with OTA too much. I only have one compatible streaming device dedicated to one of the TVs, and I haven't even sprung for the $25 Channels app yet to use it.
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post #14803 of 14937 Old 08-16-2018, 09:08 AM
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The neat thing about the HDHomeRun is that you could theoretically have two antennas, one for Baltimore and one for DC, each attached to a different HDHR. Then, using the HDHR App (which is free, but only available on certain devices like the Kindle Fire TV) it will show you the channels available on both.

The down side is, yes, you need a decent network. Mine is a wired Gigabit network, but one TV is using Wi-Fi without issue.

- Trip

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post #14804 of 14937 Old 08-16-2018, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by MRG1 View Post
Thanks. HDHomeRun, Live TV, Plex, and networked hard drives are worlds I haven't explored at all. Looks a bit complicated, but I guess they are cheaper than TIVO boxes with subscriptions. Though I'm a bit confused - it looks like some or all of them require a subscription to an expensive EPG (electronic program guide), just like TIVO.
If you are interesting in HDHomerun, and inexpensive DVR subscription, I Reccomend keeping an eye on their Refurbished hardware outlet. Generally over a period of 2 weeks they will have a 2 tuner Connect for anywhere from $35-$46. I have purchased several for myself and siblings who became interested after seeing my setup.

It does require you have a home network. It connects by Ethernet to your router, but can use wifi to connect to a client, a fire tv, android tv, or other devices to view on your tv. It can get more complicated to set up a DVR system, but can be as simple as connecting a USB drive to your client. Their DVR subscription with a 14 day guide is $35 per year, ( that averages to less than $3 a month), considerably less than the $15 per month my TiVo subscription was.

There are options to record with no fees through TVHeadend and a PC, but for $35 a year it was not worth the headache.

https://shop.silicondust.com/shop/pr...hardware/#main
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post #14805 of 14937 Old 08-16-2018, 10:14 AM
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The neat thing about the HDHomeRun is that you could theoretically have two antennas, one for Baltimore and one for DC, each attached to a different HDHR.
I like it! Skips the complications of combining antennas, and I could repurpose my C2V. I'd just have to do a second cable run to the second antenna.

I also have a wired gigabit network. I sprung for the HDH Extend (used on eBay) so it plays nice over the wifi to the mobile devices. I could add a cheaper HDH device for the second rig.
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post #14806 of 14937 Old 08-16-2018, 06:52 PM
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Their DVR subscription with a 14 day guide is $35 per year, ( that averages to less than $3 a month), considerably less than the $15 per month my TiVo subscription was.

There are options to record with no fees through TVHeadend and a PC, but for $35 a year it was not worth the headache.
If you have multiple HDHomeRuns, that you want to record from, would each HDHomeRun require a separate subscription?
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post #14807 of 14937 Old 08-18-2018, 07:15 AM
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If you have multiple HDHomeRuns, that you want to record from, would each HDHomeRun require a separate subscription?
No , it's by household.

Just last night they added major new feature, Premium TV,..https://www.silicondust.com/premium-tv/

Looks interesting, Cordcutters using their HDHomerun devices for OTA can now add Premium networks, CNn, Fox, MSNBC, TNT, AMC, etc. with an integrated guide of all OTA and Premium TV.

If you already have their DVD service, the Premium channels can also be recorded.

.https://forum.silicon-dust.com/forum...?f=119&t=69230

A plus for me, all recordings can be backed up, saved to a nas. Android is generally restrictive about backups, and it isn't easy to backup TIVO recordings , but it can be done.

Not too much info about this yet, but it checks all my boxes.
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post #14808 of 14937 Old 08-18-2018, 07:03 PM
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Just last night they added major new feature, Premium TV
Interesting. Now if only they also sold the broadcast channels I can't get.

What I really want is something closer to a la carte. I know we can't get that - each of the major content providers insists on bundling what they provide together. But it ought to be possible to select which content providers you want, and which bundle level you want. Also, they should be willing to charge less for fewer streams, and for device-locked viewing, because that reduces sharing. But that is wishful thinking.
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post #14809 of 14937 Old 08-19-2018, 03:30 AM
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What I really want is something closer to a la carte. I know we can't get that - each of the major content providers insists on bundling what they provide together. But it ought to be possible to select which content providers you want, and which bundle level you want. Also, they should be willing to charge less for fewer streams, and for device-locked viewing, because that reduces sharing. But that is wishful thinking.
I got Philo earlier this month and really like it. As someone who does not watch sports and wants none of my money to go toward it, it's perfect. $20/month gets me all the programming I would actually want out of a subscription. (Food Channel, Cooking Channel, BBC America, occasional Science Channel or Discovery.)

- Trip
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post #14810 of 14937 Old 08-19-2018, 04:03 PM
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I got Philo earlier this month and really like it...
I mostly watch Science Fiction. My favorite channel is SyFy, which they don't carry. So I've usually gone with the cheapest way to get SyFy, namely Sling Blue, though I am temporarily on DTVN instead, to watch two shows, on CBS and TVLand, that Sling Blue doesn't include. Maybe I should buy those two shows individually instead.

But this is off-topic.

My next favorite channels are CW and CBS. If only my landlord would let me set up an outdoor antenna... (CW OTT is free, but shows more ad than program. SOME CBS OTT is free, but I think they are pushing that program to CBS All Access subscription.)

My current project is figuring out how to set up a stealth outdoor antenna, to record CW and CBS. Because I'm in a basement, on the wrong side of the house, my ClearStream 4 antenna isn't reliable indoors, even if I put it next to the window, as high as I can. But it is possible I could set up a stealth outdoor antenna high up enough to get decent signal. I've already tried an indoor bare wire antenna, and inductive antenna links to the AC electrical system, and to the heating duct. Those are said to work in some homes, but not in mine. But finding way around the restrictions is starting to turn into a silly but fun game.

I suspect a lot of people who do OTA are in it just to see if they can too.

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post #14811 of 14937 Old 08-20-2018, 05:12 AM
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That seems like the right idea - but it's not programmable.
It's unfortunate that the whole remote-antenna-over-the-internet thing was killed by the courts. And that joint neighborhood antenna systems are killed by licensing and re-transmission fee rules. A lot of needless resources are wasted by not doing the easy joint cooperative things.
I agree with your points on Aero and MATV, but I for one would not want a MATV, as its a system that I don't have full control over. I might consider it as an option in addition to mine own antenna(s) or in specific hard cases...or I was in charge of it!

Personally the whole retrans thing needs to be reworked. Period. No fees, ever period! The TV stations are using a privilege to use PUBLIC AIRWAVES!

BUT

The bigger gorilla lurking in the room , is the anti antenna nazi hoa's!

MATV's would give them possible ways to curtail antennas even under 47 CFR 1.4 OTARD. Which I am not going to allow any erosion of that be it for TV/WISP, or LMR, ARS (Which no OTARD doesn't cover but should!) These people get any room to find a way to not allow stuff they will!

You can't give these groups a micron, or you will be screwed.

Then from MATV its just a few small steps to a private CATV system, that is your only choice and forced on you like it or not, want it or not!

I don't have any paid video services, and have zero intention of adding anything I pay for period.

MATV's need to be very highly restricted to being that and only that, and optional.

Notice: I no longer provide assistance in re OTA antenna and RF related queries.
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post #14812 of 14937 Old 08-20-2018, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by MRG1 View Post
I

My current project is figuring out how to set up a stealth outdoor antenna, to record CW and CBS. Because I'm in a basement, on the wrong side of the house, my ClearStream 4 antenna isn't reliable indoors, even if I put it next to the window, as high as I can. But it is possible I could set up a stealth outdoor antenna high up enough to get decent signal. I've already tried an indoor bare wire antenna, and inductive antenna links to the AC electrical system, and to the heating duct. Those are said to work in some homes, but not in mine. But finding way around the restrictions is starting to turn into a silly but fun game.
//

What restrictions??? Unless you are renting? This sets off my HOnAzi alarm! Full attack mode on! Anti antenna groups and people get me rowd up!

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I
I suspect a lot of people who do OTA are in it just to see if they can too.
Nope, cut, cut cut no $$$ to any body for video services, nothing! Keep my $$$$ period.

Now what would be fun is if I got another antenna and pointed it the direction of the other market, although most of these are listed as way out of range by various coverage maps I've reviewed.. That would be fun to see. No benefit as it would just be dupes of stuff I already get.

I noticed a lot of antennas pointed that way the other day on some travels, not that far from my location, but which still show way out of range for most of that market... One area which is way higher than most, and on a good 75-100 foot tower I could see a possibly maybe kind of get some of them... but at ground +5-10feet... in areas lower ... hmmm...

Like I said that would be the fun part to try it at least... Maybe I get some more time to experiment like that later.

Notice: I no longer provide assistance in re OTA antenna and RF related queries.
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post #14813 of 14937 Old 08-24-2018, 04:29 PM
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//
What restrictions??? Unless you are renting?...
I am renting a basement apartment in a private home. In addition, we are about 10 or 15' lower then the houses to the east of us. I asked about setting up an outdoor antenna, or running a line to an attic antenna, but the answer was no.

It's not the only issue. My only Internet connection is a FIOS WiFi wireless router, and it has no end of problems.

Where I used to live, I was allowed to connect up an antenna in the attic (got about 45 channels), the house shared Comcast/XFinity cable TV (ridiculously expensive, but everything worked) and wired Internet. It worked so much better. But that landlord died, the estate sold the house, and I had to move in a hurry.

Wired is always better!

Oh well. No home is perfect.

Last edited by DrDon; 09-09-2018 at 06:45 AM.
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post #14814 of 14937 Old 09-09-2018, 06:09 AM
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Schedules Direct has 3 new OTA channels with program listings for WHUT 32 [RF 33] 32.3, 32.4 & 32.5. The program listings on all three channels is Chinese content, although 32.3 has some Africa content.
I assume that it will be the 3 China based channels from MHz networks; CGTN America, CGTN Documentary, CNC World.
And maybe some Africa Today TV.
But no OTA broadcast yet, and no other information/confirmation as of Saturday.
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Also in Zap2it.com listings

The listings have stopped on schedulesdirect.org & Zap2it.com.
So I guess this isn't happening.
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post #14815 of 14937 Old 09-09-2018, 07:44 AM
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The listings have stopped on schedulesdirect.org & Zap2it.com.
So I guess this isn't happening.
Zap2It "should" have the most accurate information. Zap2It is own by the company these TV stations list their schedules...

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post #14816 of 14937 Old 09-09-2018, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I still expect RT - Russia Today - to surface somewhere. This market is too important to them to give up their FTA availability.
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post #14817 of 14937 Old 09-10-2018, 01:23 PM
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Zap2It "should" have the most accurate information. Zap2It is own by the company these TV stations list their schedules...
I gave up on Zap2It. They keep updegrading to where it's not usable. I do not want a site I must log into to use. I want to choose the channels I see. ....
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post #14818 of 14937 Old 09-12-2018, 05:47 PM
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Okay, so this is interesting. WBFF has added a 45-4 carrying Stadium, but it's in MPEG-4. That's... unexpected.

- Trip
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post #14819 of 14937 Old 09-12-2018, 06:51 PM
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All my TVs are Samsung, so I just rescanned one of them and it successfully received the MPEG-4 Stadium transmission on 45-4.

Any other TVs able to decode it?

- Trip

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post #14820 of 14937 Old 09-12-2018, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
All my TVs are Samsung, so I just rescanned one of them and it successfully received the MPEG-4 Stadium transmission on 45-4.

Any other TVs able to decode it?

- Trip
On my 2 year old, $180, 32" Seki, it tunes to 45-4 Stadium Programming, but it is displaying a black screen, and it says the audio is L/R, but it does not give a video resolution as all the other fully functional channels do.
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