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HDTV OTA Question for the Experts

343 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Ray H
My reception issue is as follows; I live in Boynton Beach, FL and I am trying to receive OTA HDTV.

Below is a list of the channels that are currently transmitting and their signal strength as displayed in my STB:

WSVN-DT FOX Channel 8 in Miami --> 71%

WPLG-DT ABC Channel 9 in Miami -->75%

WPBT-DT PBS Channel 18 in Miami -->85%

WFOR-DT CBS Channel 22 in Miami --> Unable to Lock, signal fluctuates between 0 and 40%

I have a Radio Shack VU-190 XR outdoor antenna on a 19' mast.

I tried a 30db gain antenna mounted amp and everything was being overpowered, I scaled back to a 10db amp, and the signal improved ans is noted above, but I am still unable to receive channel 22 and all of the other channels drift except for channel 18.

The range on this antenna is supposed to be over 100 miles for UHF, would a bigger UHF antenna (range of 120 miles) help?.

Your comments will be greately appreciated.

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Originally posted by njt71:
I have a Radio Shack VU-190 XR outdoor antenna on a 19' mast.
I have the same antenna for general purpose VHF-UHF use, and am pleased with its performance. But, for digital reception (RCA DTC100) it only brings in 4 of the 9 L.A. stations at about 40 miles. I ended up buying the RatShack U-120 dedicated UHF antenna. It brings in 6 of the available 9 digital stations

(KNBC DT - 36 - 82%)

(KCAL DT - 43 - 82%)

(KABC DT - 53 - 80%)

(KCET DT - 59 - 76%)

(KCBS DT - 60 - 70%)

(KTTV DT [FOX] - 65 - 50%)

with occasional snippits of

(KCOP DT [UPN] - 66 - 0-40%)

(KTLA DT [WB] - 31 - 0-28%)

and nothing lockable on

(KWHY DT - 42 - 0-24%)

a Spanish language channel which is a non issue in my case. I'm in a high multipath area because of intervening hills, so I've resigned myself that UPN and WB digital just aren't going to be in my future at my current location, but at least my VU-190 XR brings in the analog programming on these two providers just dandy. Your experience on WFOR suggests multipath, but maybe the extra directivity and gain of a higher element numerical count of a dedicated UHF antenna like the U-120 will lock it for you. Nice thing about RatShack is that they'll accept returns without problems if it's at all saleable. Good luck.

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Ray, thanks for your response. I tried the U-120R dedicated UHF antenna, and the stations improved by about 10%, but nothing on Ch 22.

I went back to Radio Shack and returned both antennae in exchange for a VU-210XR it claims 135 mile range on UHF and 210 miles on VHF.

I did notice that with a 19' mast, the antenna is about 1' above roof line, should I add another mast to make it 10' above roof line or do you think the VU-210XR will be able to lock on ch 22.

Your feedback will be greatle appreciated.

Also, feedback is appreciated from anyone in or near Boynton Beach, FL.

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Are you using a rotator? If not get one and this will most likely solve your problem. $65.00 at Radio Shack.




I too am a newbie here, it’s a great place I am a long time BUD owner and I have an OTA antenna I've been using for years to receive local channels all of which are very good except for WTVJ-6. I’m guessing I can’t be more than 10-15 miles from any of the broadcasting towers for the major networks.

I have a Radio Shack double bow tie for UHF channels and with a little position tweaking I can get all of them very well.

I've been reading all the HD threads and decided to take the jump. I bought a Samsung Digital TV Tuner SIR-T150 that should be here Monday or Tuesday. I got a box of 25' of RG-6 cable and a 75-300 ohm connector to attach the bow tie to the STB. This tuner will feed a Toshiba 40H80 through component inputs.

A couple of questions please:

When I read a post that state "CBS channel 8" or "WPLG channel 20.3, 20.4" are these official station channels for a particular area or channel numbers for DSS & OTA combo units?

If I find a location in my house now for the bow tie and I receive a strong UHF signal, can I assume that the reception will be sufficient for HD as well?

Thanks for any help you may provide.


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Ray -

I also have the same antenna but it is on a 5' mast on an eve mount right at the peak of the roof. How tall is your mast and is it guyed? I know you get more wind there than I get and I was wondering if I could get away with putting up a 10' mast on the same mount without guy wires plus add a rotor. I am also considering adding a dedicated UHF antenna as you did, although it would be for DX stations (San Diego, Ventura/Santa Barbara, and Bakersfield all come in fairly well at times here).
Originally posted by njt71:
...the antenna is about 1' above roof line...
Presumably that's 1' above the highest point of the roof. Nevertheless, that may not be enough elevation to counteract signal reflection off the roof onto the antenna. I'm no expert - what I've learned has been from the Frick & Frack Institute of Trial & Error - but it might be high time (pun intended) to go the tall mast & guy wire route or a tower. If you have a fireplace, going to a 10' mast on the roof secured with chimney straps like I did might be helpful.

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