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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been meaning to post this since the Syracuse/Kansas game Final Four game and apologize if this is already answered... I did a search and didn't come up with any solutions other than maybe it was just the weather/trees?


We watched the Final Four championship game in HDTV OTA... Our antenna is in the attic (Stealthantenna). The signal was at 77%, but kept completely dropping out. No amount of adjustment could get it to go any higher than 77%, nor stop dropping from 77% to 0 off and on. Is this common? Anything I can do to fix it, or reduce it?


The receiver is a Samsung DirecTV HDTV receiver. I am running RG-6 from the attic down to the basement and actually have some excess cable.. wondering if getting rid of that excess would help at all. I do have an powered amp at the receiver end setup. Before putting that in, I couldn't get much of anything from the attic.


Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I had a Samsung 161 and a signal at 77% would never drop. Samsung had other problems- such as extreme stutter, so I canned it for MyHD. My guess is that your amp at the end is amplifying a less then perfect signal and the 77% is meaningless. Try a preamp on the ant. then pass that signal along. Better yet use a rooftop ant.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by keefer37
Our antenna is in the attic (Stealthantenna). The signal was at 77%, but kept completely dropping out. No amount of adjustment could get it to go any higher than 77%, nor stop dropping from 77% to 0 off and on. Is this common? Anything I can do to fix it, or reduce it?


The receiver is a Samsung DirecTV HDTV receiver.


[...]I do have an powered amp at the receiver end setup. Before putting that in, I couldn't get much of anything from the attic.
Short list of things you're doing wrong:


1) Using an omni/bi-directional gadget antenna like the StealthAntenna. While it is from Channel Master and better than a bunch of other models out there, you're never going to get optimum results from such a design. Further, this is a VHF/UHF combination antenna which almost never do as well on UHF frequencies - and all of the Durham DTV channels are UHF.


2) Assuming that a signal strength meter is giving you the full picture. In multipath environments (such as attics,) signal strengths will fluctuate as the receiver is either able or not able to use enough of the FEC to recreate the original signal. I suspect that you're getting a strong signal but that it's full of multipath.


3) Using a distribution amplifier. These are almost never recommended for digital television as they introduce noise and weak signals are rarely the problem with reception.


Correct these mistakes with the following advice:


1) Get a directional antenna. The Channel Master 3021 is a pretty good choice for attics. The Zenith "Stealth" might not be a bad choice either. Both of these are much more directional than your current setup.


2) Check your analogs for ghosting and static. If your UHF channels look bad, you shouldn't expect error-free reception on the digital side. Period. Digital may look like magic, but it isn't.


3) Once you've done 1 or 2 above and before you test for results, get rid of the amplifier. If your analogs are full of snow but otherwise pretty clean, then consider getting a preamplifier. Otherwise, you're probably like most of the country in that an amplifer will make things worse.


Sorry, but that' reality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by repoman
I had a Samsung 161 and a signal at 77% would never drop. Samsung had other problems- such as extreme stutter, so I canned it for MyHD. My guess is that your amp at the end is amplifying a less then perfect signal and the 77% is meaningless. Try a preamp on the ant. then pass that signal along. Better yet use a rooftop ant.
Without the amp in the mix, I can't get a signal at all from anything off the long cable run from the attic to the basement. I'm in a rental property, and we're not allowed to use a rooftop antenna.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by sregener


Correct these mistakes with the following advice:


1) Get a directional antenna. The Channel Master 3021 is a pretty good choice for attics. The Zenith "Stealth" might not be a bad choice either. Both of these are much more directional than your current setup.


2) Check your analogs for ghosting and static. If your UHF channels look bad, you shouldn't expect error-free reception on the digital side. Period. Digital may look like magic, but it isn't.


3) Once you've done 1 or 2 above and before you test for results, get rid of the amplifier. If your analogs are full of snow but otherwise pretty clean, then consider getting a preamplifier. Otherwise, you're probably like most of the country in that an amplifer will make things worse.


Sorry, but that' reality.
I've seen the 3021 recommended several times... looks like I need to look into getting that, though I think they've changed the model number on it.


Analogs are looking fine.. a little bit of ghosting, no static though.


I have a real long run of RG6 from the attic to the basement, which has excess I should cut out anyway, but prior to me hooking up the preamp, I don't think the Samsung receiver could find anything. I'll have to double check that though.


BTW, here are my current signal strengths:


WRAL (CBS) 5 77%

WTVD (ABC) 11 77%

NBC-17 (NBC) fluctuates badly betw. 0, 36 and 45.

WRAZ-50 (FOX) 69%


I cannot see WB, nor PBS. I have in the past been able to find PBS, by rotating the antenna, but then I cannot get anything else. No biggie there cause the PBS station isn't broadcasting a HD signal currently.


I would like to get WB (for things like tonight's Smallville), but haven't been able to find that.
 
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