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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just connected a factory fresh Samsung SIR T-150 HD OTA box to my system and I cannot get a signal. The box functions properly, but no matter where I place the RS amplified indoor antenna, I get zero as the reading o nthe Samsung meter.


I live in the suburbs of Philly and others seem to have no problem getting a signal with the $20 double bowtie RS antenna....I bought the RS amplified one for about $70 and it is not pulling in any signal...


The Samsung is supposed to have a very sensitive tuner and I sho8uld be receiving some stations...I hear there are 5 which broadcast in the Philly area.


Any thoughts?? Philip
 

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I'd suggest checking the setup in two parts. Make sure the antenna is working by connecting it to the UHF input of any standard TV. (Also, check the obvious: that's a UHF, or combo UHF/VHF antenna.) Try tuning in local non-digital UHF stations to ensure the signals penetrate your walls; see if the antenna works with and without amplification.


Once you're familiar with the antenna, connect it to the STB, making sure you're using the correct input and mode selections. I'd avoid any auto-scan for channels. Instead, find the channel numbers for all your local HDTV channels and enter each one manually. Try pointing the antenna where you think the transmitters are initially, but don't rely on this only. You might find, if multipath reflections are strong enough, you can pick up stations by pointing your antenna in the opposite direction from the broadcast antenna. I've found that to be true here in Manhattan, which has severe multipath problems. You might find your tuning meter shows maximum for a channel but there's still no picture. A small antenna movement might then cancel one multipath reflection that is blocking the Samsung locking in. Also, I found I couldn't tune in local stations while they were testing at low power. This past weekend, after they all went full power, I can tune them all with a Silver Sensor UHF antenna from an exceptionally difficult NYC area for reception. If you're not sure about station status, call their engineering departments and ask. -- John


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PEL,


I have a Samsung SIR-T150 and am quite familiar with its characteristics.


The "signal strength" meter displays only how much more signal (of adequate quality) than is required. So if it displays zero, that means you don't have enough signal of adequate quality, not that you don't have any.


If you get a high quality signal, then only one bar (out of maybe 20) is needed to get a perfect and stable picture. I know this because I have put a variable attenuator in the antenna line and dialed it down to the point where only one bar remains. Normally I get 4 to 8 bars. Nobody gets much past the mid-point as far as I know, but there is no point in that anyhow.


For your immediate purposes the LED in the center of the face of the unit is all you need. If you see anything other than absolutely solid red, then you are getting some signal. It will flicker yellow if it is close, and go green when it can display a picture. You don't even need your TV turned on (except to know what channel you are trying to get).


Don't let the unit scan for channels. Unless you have great signals on all of your channels, it will not give you what you want. Setup each and every channel manually, and be sure you have those correct for your location. Don't waste time trying to get stations from other cities, you won't.


The RS double bow-tie is known to be an excelent antenna. The one you have is known to cost $70. The bow-tie is only for channels higher than 13. If all of yours are, then that may be all you need. I would get one of those if only to have a reference antenna that is convenient and known to be good. It may well work fine by itself, and unless you want analog channels, why bother with anything else.


I find that antennas don't like to sit on top of my Samsung or my TV. Pick up 25 feet of coax and try the antenna in different places around the room. Different orientations, including tilt will give different results. Normally the problem isn't getting a channel, it is getting all channels without adjusting the thing each time.


In Atlanta we have a Yahoo Group where we exchange reception results from different locations and with different equipment and antennas. The information is simplified and plotted on a map of the city. This helps people get an idea about how much antenna they need and what kind of reliablity to expect. You can look at that from the link off my signature here (please don't subscribe, or just use it as read-only, because it is dedicated to Atlanta issues). It would seem reasonable to extrapolate from our results to your situation, although your broadcast towers and their power levels would be different, terrain, etc. Still, the system is designed to work for people who live near cities, and we have that basic factor in common.


You didn't say how far you are from the transmitters (which may or may not be clustered near one another). If it's less than 10 miles you will likely get this working indoors, if not conveniently (i.e. you may have to adjust). Your result is bizzare, getting nothing. I'm sure you will get something soon.



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I'm not familiar with this amplified version of the antenna so forgive me is this theory is all wet. One sometimes forgotten piece of information associated with amplified antennas is that they are operated on a DC voltage which must get from the seperate power supply to the amplifier normally through the signal lead. If the power for your amplifier is directly wired to the antenna assembly then ignore this post. If there's a box plugged into the wall which the antenna leads can terminate to, make sure you're not trying to split this signal between the power supply and the antenna. The splitter is a transformer which will normally not pass the power to the amplifier and you get nothing out of your now unpowered amplifier. Move the splitter down stream of the power supply box where the signal to the STB should be coming out of the termination box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
CB..when I tried to do a signal strength test yesterday for the SIR T-150, it was from the menu section and I do not know if I was tuned to a particlular station broadcasting in SD or HD. I do not recall any station numbers on the front of the unit....Are they displayed when a signal is captured?..I would assume yes.


I did try to tune in CBS via the on screen menu by inputting that station number in my area, along with channel 3, which is the CBS station number in Philly.


No Luck yet.....any suggestions to get this tuner working....I just purchased a Radio Shak antenna which is 80" long...it is the one used for UHF, VHF and FM. I will mount it in my attic...is it best to just hook it up 1st in my HT and see if I get any type of signal, before going through the time of fixing it on the 3rd level?


Thanks...Phil
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by PEL:
I did try to tune in CBS via the on screen menu by inputting that station number in my area, along with channel 3, which is the CBS station number in Philly.
Sounds like you were trying to tune CBS as a VHF (NTSC) station at channel 3. Some local HDTV stations are VHF, but most are UHF. If your channel 3 is the local CBS analog station, you need to find what the digital (HDTV) channel number for CBS is instead. You don't need a monster antenna in the attic or outside unless you're a great distance from the transmitters. The amplified RS model should bring in at least one digital station--if the antenna's not defective, a UHF model, and you have active UHF DTV stations. -- John


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[This message has been edited by John Mason (edited 07-17-2001).]
 

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I agree with J. Mason that you *must* know the number of the digital station, and punch that in via the remote (you get feedback via the TV). Once stable, you can punch in the analog station number *in some cases*, but for now that will just make things more confusing. You can see the number on the screen even when it won't give the green LED.


It makes *no difference* what the station is broadcasting, HD, SD, cartoons or news. The unit is neither more nor less able to pick up the station. Trust me on that one.


If you don't get some results with any particular antenna in your living room, then putting it on the roof won't be acceptable. It may make your reception more tolerant of conditions and/or eliminate the need to fiddle with it.


Read your manual. You'll learn something useful in the 30 minutes it takes to read it.




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-CB-


Interested in Atlanta specific issues?
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