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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys - first post.


I just moved to downtown Seattle to the 7th floor of an apartment building. I have a Zenith HDV420 receiver and a Silver Sensor antenna (Zenith brand). When I hooked up the SS to the HDV420, I get 2 channels and neither is digital. I live between 2 and 5 miles from most of the TV towers here, and have a few tall buildings around me (see attachment for view - its facing north). I put on the 10db attenuator that was supplied with the HDV420 to see if that would help and still nothing. When I scan signal strength I get a low signal, but nothing more than "bad".

Any ideas on what I can do? I don't have an attic and can't place an antenna on the roof so basically I'm stuck using an indoor antenna. I tinkered with the idea of getting a CM 4221 and putting it next to a bookcase inside my living room where it would be hidden, but if I can get away with a smaller antenna I would prefer it.

I just moved from Colorado Springs where DTV isn't availble OTA so I'm pretty excited to get it working. I'm getting my Samsung HDN5065W on Thursday to pair with the Zenith.

Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions are appreciated.



Thanks,

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I just got a RS 15-1862 antenna (last one in the area) and experienced the same results. I almost manage to get out of the "bad" range on one channel but that's it. Nothing else comes in.

I would really appreciate any ideas you guys have. It seems absurd that I wouldn't be able to get reception when I'm so close to the towers.


Thanks.
 

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I would try to get then antenna near or out the window. Perhaps the window has the low-E glass that blocks TV transmissions...
 

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One of two possibilities. Either the window is blocking the signal, like jckessler suggests, or you have a severe case of multipath. You might even have a combination of both. First thing I'd try is to stick the SS out the window (take the screen off...) to see what kind of improvement you get. Also, on the analog channels you do get, are there multiple images (i.e. -- "ghosting"...) present? If so, that's multipath. If the picture is just "snowy", that's more of an indication that you just have a weak signal. Being so close I doubt that very much that weak signals is your problem, although you will get quite a bit of attenuation with coated windows and/or metal screens.


If it turns out multipath is the culprit, there are a couple of things you can try. If you can find another 1862, you can put them side-by-side and connect them into a splitter/combiner. That will help for the MP problem and if you have weak signals due to blockage, etc. and you can use the "gain" knobs to reduce the chance of receiver overload if raw signal strength is not a issue. The other thing to try is "stacked" Silver Sensors. Here's a picture of what it looks like:

http://www.ceoanalytix.com/AVSForum/...ual%20SS-1.jpg


I used PVC pipe to orient two SS so that one is above the other and both are at a 45 degree "angle-of-attack" in relation to the direction of the signal. I have both going into a RS 15-1171 cable amplifier (only RS amp I've found with noise factors low enough for digital...) but you probably won't need it unless you are experiencing severe attenuation.


I have a Zenith HDV420 that I use in a loft and both the dual SS/1171 and dual 1862 setups let me get dropout-free reception out a 3'x9' skylight window in our living room (about 15 feet away...) from all of the LA transmitters which are 60 miles north of me. The HDV420 is a great receiver. It has the latest receiver chip that does a much better job of handling MP than the previous generation tuners. I actually split the signal from the antennas and have it also going into a MyHD tuner card in a PC.I occasionally will see a dropout or two on certain channels with the MyHD tuner but it stays rock solid on the HDV420.


Good luck!


-- Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys. I *did* stick the SS out the window yesterday and experienced the same results. I will try again with the RS today.

As for the analog signals I get they are crystal clear with no ghosting at all. They actually look better than the cable feed. I was able to get channel 38-1 for about 15 minutes yesterday afternoon with the SS. Signal was bad to normal, but the picture was rock solid. That's what made me go run out and buy the RS as I thought the amplifier on the RS would put me over the edge and get me the signal.

I don't think there are any more RS 15-1862s here in the Seattle area ( I called RS and they did a search for me). I could spend the money on another SS, and if I do, what combiner/splitter do you recommend? I really dont think I have to room to stack them like you have though. Would it work side-by-side? Any way of getting the RS and the SS working together?


Thanks again...

Steve
 

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If the UHF analogs look good, I'm really surprised you're having so much trouble pulling in the digital signals. My UHF analogs look far less than perfect and I get great digital reception.


It is possible that your STB is defective? You may want to try out another one to see if you're still having the same problems.


Signal amplifiers (even good ones) are pretty useless in urban areas. They are overloaded by the strong nearby stations, and don't have enough juice to amplify the weaker signals.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OK - i think I made a mistake in my original post - feel free to open smackdown on me.

The 2 stations I'm getting are DTV stations. I was just on TitanTV and channel 13-1 is KCPQDT (FOX) and 13-2 is KCPQDT2 (which shows as WB on my screen but TitanTV says FOX as well). So, in essence I'm picking up one station that has 2 DTV broadcasts? Anyway, this is weird, KCPQ is in Tacoma over 30 miles away. How can I get a staion 30 miles away and not the stations that are just a few miles away?


Thanks.
 

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It's possible you're overloading the tuner, if you're only picking up the more distance stations. I'm surprised the 10dB attenuator didn't help in that case.


I assume you're doing this correctly, but I have to ask: are you sure you're tuning to the correct (not the remapped) channel numbers? For example, if you're trying to tune KTWB (analog 22) you need to tune the HDV420 to channel 25 the first time. After that, the box will "remember" that 25 is being remapped to 22, and you can punch in either number. Go to antennaweb.org for detailed info on the digital station numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes, I wrote down all the remapped channels. In fact, I moved the antenna across the apartment into a hallway and managed to get a normal signal for KOMO (ABC) remapped to 4-1. It dropped out every now and then but it was watchable. KOMO is just a few miles from me. The picture looked good with no ghosting at all. I can't get any of the other Seattle stations though.

So, you think the signal is too strong here?
 

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All the channels that you are having troubles with are broadcast from Queen Anne on the north side of downtown. 13-1 and 13-2 are broadcast from across Puget Sound from the Bremerton area. From where you live, you may have a much straighter shot to the tower in Bremerton.


How is your reception on analog channel 16 which I believe is also broadcast from Queen Anne?
 

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Buddylee, if you haven't already, go to http://www.antennaweb.org and enter your address and answer the question about nearby tall buildings (yes in your case).


From your picture, it looks like you live between 1st Ave. and Western Ave. and you have several buildings that block your line of sight with the Queen Anne Hill TV towers (analog channels 4, 5, 7, 16). Antennaweb.org will give specifics, but generally to get the digital channels from Queen Anne Hill (4-1/38-1, 5-1/48-1, 7-1/39-1, and 16-1/31-1) your antenna needs to be pointed north. To get stations from Capitol Hill (9-2/41-2, 11-1/36-1, 22-1/25-1 and 22-2/25-2) your antenna needs to be pointed east. To get stations from Gold Mountain, near Bremerton (13-1/18-1, 13-2/18-2) your antenna needs to be pointed west.


You can check your UHF reception for Capitol Hill (east) by tuning in analog channel 22 (like you did for checking Queen Anne Hill UHF reception using analog channel 16). As stated earlier in this thread, ghosting on UHF stations is an indicator of likely multipath issues that can make UHF HD reception difficult.


I suspect that you are in a tough reception area because of all of the taller/higher-elevation buildings between your apartment and the transmitter towers (except for Gold Mountain to the west).


If AT&T Cable/Comcast ever gets the local HD channels going, their HD service (using the HD tuner box they provide) may be your best solution, but all they offer in HD so far is HBO and Showtime (last I heard anyway).


I agree with other posts regarding use of amplifiers/preamplifiers: You are too close to the transmitters to need or use any amplification. Digital receivers are sensitive to overload from too much signal power level. Amplifiers could also be overdriven themselves by the high signal levels in your area.


Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
 
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