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i just hooked up my samsung dtb h260 f and love it, bu have a few questions. i have it hooked up through the comcast cable provided with my on campus apartment near atlanta. i am abl to get all the local channels and a few random channels will be unscrambled but they last aapproximately and hour or so max, or if i am watchin a movie on these channels i'll notie it go out and say it is on 87-9 i'll flip through the channels an d find it on another channel say 88-7.

Also these channels will randomly rewind, is all this normal? i'm not complaining about gettin this for free. Also the aspect ratio is never quite right, if i zoom it cuts off heads, is there anyway to fix this? the full screen still leaves the side bars on some content that is suppose to be 1080i. btw my tv is a crt sony. 51inch model number is kp51 ws somethin.
 

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Discussion Starter #522

Quote:
Originally Posted by boggs01234 /forum/post/0


a few random channels will be unscrambled but they last aapproximately and hour or so max, or if i am watchin a movie on these channels i'll notie it go out and say it is on 87-9 i'll flip through the channels an d find it on another channel say 88-7.

Also these channels will randomly rewind, is all this normal?

You're "snooping" on other people's video-on-demand sessions. Keep watching and you might come across something really "interesting."
 

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Three questions about this box:

1) I'm getting signal stuttering/dropouts on OTA signal with a Silver Sensor. Signal strength generally seems good (two bars from the top), and I'm just under 10 miles from all the major stations in the Phoenix area. Any way to fix this?


2) Are remote codes standardized products and, if so, anyone know the code for this box? My Onkyo receiver remote might be able to control the box with a Samsung TV code, but there are a bunch to choose from.


3) Any way to set aspect ratio on a per-channel basis, to avoid the need to switch depending on whether station is 16:9 or 4:3?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by boggs01234 /forum/post/0


Also the aspect ratio is never quite right, if i zoom it cuts off heads, is there anyway to fix this?

Make sure that the Samsung is set to output 16:9 aspect video. This is done like this:


Short Version: Go to the main menu, select "Settings", then "Screen Format", then "Screen Ratio". Highlight "16 x 9", and press "Return". Exit the menu and press the bottom left button until 16:9 programs look correct.


Long version: Go to the main menu. Scroll to the right, using the button directly to the right of the "Return" key, until the word "Settings" is highlighted. Press "Return". Now scroll down the resulting menu, using the curved button directly below the "Return" key to highlight "Screen Format". Hit "Return", then again use the button below "Return" to highlight "Screen Ratio". Press "Return", and then highlight "16 x 9" like you did "Screen Ratio", and press the "Return" key. Now press the "Exit" key, which is directly to the right of the "Menu" key.


The same set of instructions apply to kgibbs51 if the method in my above post doesn't work. It will work if the tuner is set to output in 16:9.
 

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mikemikeb,

i tried that and it made no difference. zoom still cuts off the screen full still has several inches of bars left, and i am watching local news in 1080i and the title bar says its 16:9. Also is there a way to program in the station id's since the guide doesnt work with the qam.
 

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akavalie:


1. The best thing to do is to keep moving the antenna around. Multipath isn't as much of an issue with the Samsung, but it's still not immune to multipath-based dropouts. To make things worse for you, the Silver Sensor has gain that is very similar in all directions out to as far as 110 degrees in each direction of the "apex" that I suppose is pointing at the towers. This increases the chances of the antenna collecting multipath and therefore dropouts.


But you shouldn't have this antenna much longer in any case, as it is designed to only receive UHF signals. What's the big deal about that? Well, KAET/PBS, KPNX/NBC, and KSAZ/FOX, may currently broadcast their digital channels on UHF frequencies, but after analog shut-off in 2009, they will all move their digital broadcasts to their current analog frequencies, which are on VHF (in the channel 2-13 range). It will be very difficult, if not impossible, to receive those three channels at that time with that Silver Sensor.


I suggest you replace the Silver Sensor with the RadioShack 15-1868, available at RadioShack stores for $21. Not only is it the most stylish set of rabbit ears I've ever seen, it will also allow you to pick up digital signals sent via VHF in addition to UHF.


2. Remote codes are pretty standardized, but I don't know if the tuner will work with the Onkyo. It's a matter of trial and error.


3. Unfortunately, that's not possible with this Samsung unit.
 

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boggs01234:


Perhaps the QAM is malfunctioning at the cable TV end and the bars are the result.


May the Samsung could be defective with QAM, or it was simply designed to calibrate its signal, however rightly or wrongly, for tube widescreen TVs, which generally and notoriously crop out the edges of most broadcasts. With the picture reduced like that, the full "widescreen" effect of HD programs can be viewed on those TVs. Or maybe the bars are so big that that doesn't make sense.


Maybe the wideness control on the TV isn't set wide enough, and no matter what widescreen stuff you try to view, those bars will be there. Hopefully there's an adjustment for wideness in the menu of the TV. I know that there was a menu adjustment for CRT monitors at my high school, so there might be one with your TV, as you say that it's also CRT-based.


Or maybe it's a mix of these. I hope the matter's dealt with properly no matter what.
 

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boggs01234: I was thinking a bit, and here are some more ideas of how to fix the issue.


Maybe the problem can be resolved by checking the resolution switch on the back of the unit and seeing what it's selected to. If it's not set to 1080i, then turn the unit off, and then switch it to that. See if that works when you turn it back on. (kgibbs51 should try this as well if what I've suggested thus far hasn't worked for him.) The Samsung can make sure that the title bar says that something's broadcasting in 1080i and then have it sent to the TV in, say, 480p. If the resolution is set to 1080i already, try 720p, though I doubt that it'll do anything good.


If that doesn't work, and your TV has an HDMI port or DVI port, use either an HDMI or HDMI-to-DVI cable to see if that works on 1080i forst, and then 720p. Good cables of that type are available for very little $$$ from monoprice.com. Monster Cables are a ripoff. You'll also need to switch one of the back knobs from Y, Pb, Pr to HDMI (with the unit turned off, of course).
 

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I am looking at this box in order to record DT broadcasts in analog form on my DVD Recorder, but being hearing impaired I want the closed caption data to be passed thru in the video stream to the recorder. I know this box can put the closed caption text on the video output it displays on an old TV but I would appreciate if someone would check their old tv to see if it will display closed captions from a Digital station if the closed captions are turned on in the TV and not the 260 Tuner.


Thank you
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemikeb /forum/post/0


akavalie:


1. The best thing to do is to keep moving the antenna around. Multipath isn't as much of an issue with the Samsung, but it's still not immune to multipath-based dropouts. To make things worse for you, the Silver Sensor has gain that is very similar in all directions out to as far as 110 degrees in each direction of the "apex" that I suppose is pointing at the towers. This increases the chances of the antenna collecting multipath and therefore dropouts.


But you shouldn't have this antenna much longer in any case, as it is designed to only receive UHF signals. What's the big deal about that? Well, KAET/PBS, KPNX/NBC, and KSAZ/FOX, may currently broadcast their digital channels on UHF frequencies, but after analog shut-off in 2009, they will all move their digital broadcasts to their current analog frequencies, which are on VHF (in the channel 2-13 range). It will be very difficult, if not impossible, to receive those three channels at that time with that Silver Sensor.


I suggest you replace the Silver Sensor with the RadioShack 15-1868, available at RadioShack stores for $21. Not only is it the most stylish set of rabbit ears I've ever seen, it will also allow you to pick up digital signals sent via VHF in addition to UHF.


2. Remote codes are pretty standardized, but I don't know if the tuner will work with the Onkyo. It's a matter of trial and error.


3. Unfortunately, that's not possible with this Samsung unit.

Wow Mike, thanks for all the feedback!

Not sure what multipath even is, but I got the idea -- just experiment with locations/directions to point the antenna. It was dropping out quite a lot a few minutes ago so I moved it, no dropouts now.


Are you really in the DC area? You seem to know a lot about AZ channels, and their future plans... in any case thanks for the antenna recommendation; I tried to look for suggestions on this forum and the Silver Sensor seemed to be favored stangely enough. But it's still within the return period :)
 

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For those of you in the Sacramento area, I was in the Circuit City near Sunrise Mall (on Arcadia) and they had three units on the shelf. One box looked like it had been opened, but the other two looked undisturbed.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by akavlie /forum/post/0


I tried to look for suggestions on this forum and the Silver Sensor seemed to be favored stangely enough.

Actually, it's not strange at all. It's a fine antenna for UHF channels, just not VHF ones. Since most markets (including mine) don't have any VHF channels right now, most are thinking in the present too much about antenna choices. Not all markets will have VHF channels after shut-off (Orlando, anyone?), so that adds to the antenna's recommendation in the forums.


To add to the plate, it's hard to find a good VHF/UHF indoor antenna on a par with the Sensor. The UHF unit in the 15-1868 isn't as sensitive as the Sensor's, but from your distance, if you have it by a window pointed in the general direction of the towers, then you'll be fine. Be sure to reduce ghosting on analog channels 8, 10, and 12 as much as possible for when the FCC orders analog shutoff (the exact date is somewhere around mid-February of that year). If you can't do that and avoid digital multipath on your desired digital channels at first, remember, with the 15-1868, there's a knob on the bottom right of the antenna, and it's your friend.


As for Phoenix area stations that would move to the VHF band, I learned about them all from the FCC website (pdf) . The results are sorted by state, and then city of license, so it was easy to find Phoenix area stations. When I got call letters of "offending" stations, I plugged them into a search engine to find network affiliation. You could do it for any major (or less-than-major) city in America, including DC. For example, WVEC/ABC in the Norfolk, VA area will move to 13, and WDSE/PBS in Duluth, MN will move to 8. You'd be surprised at what other stations have done when it comes to channel transitions, which you'll find in that link.
 

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Discussion Starter #533

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhb50 /forum/post/0


I would appreciate if someone would check their old tv to see if it will display closed captions from a Digital station if the closed captions are turned on in the TV and not the 260 Tuner.

I have the S-video output from my Samsung connected to one of the inputs on my DVD recorder, which in turn feeds into my TV, which has captions turned on. I also have a Sony HD DVR connected the same way, through another S-video input on the DVD recorder. By tuning both the Sony and the Samsung to the same program, and switching between inputs on the DVD recorder, I've found that the Samsung unfortunately does not pass CC data through to the TV. All I can get are the captions that the Samsung displays as part of its video output.


The Sony, on the other hand, passes the CC data through even when it's displaying its own captions, so that if both the Sony and the TV have captions turned on, I see two sets of captions.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemikeb /forum/post/0


Actually, it's not strange at all. It's a fine antenna for UHF channels, just not VHF ones. Since most markets (including mine) don't have any VHF channels right now, most are thinking in the present too much about antenna choices. Not all markets will have VHF channels after shut-off (Orlando, anyone?), so that adds to the antenna's recommendation in the forums.


To add to the plate, it's hard to find a good VHF/UHF indoor antenna on a par with the Sensor. The UHF unit in the 15-1868 isn't as sensitive as the Sensor's, but from your distance, if you have it by a window pointed in the general direction of the towers, then you'll be fine. Be sure to reduce ghosting on analog channels 8, 10, and 12 as much as possible for when the FCC orders analog shutoff (the exact date is somewhere around mid-February of that year). If you can't do that and avoid digital multipath on your desired digital channels at first, remember, with the 15-1868, there's a knob on the bottom right of the antenna, and it's your friend.


As for Phoenix area stations that would move to the VHF band, I learned about them all from the FCC website (pdf) . The results are sorted by state, and then city of license, so it was easy to find Phoenix area stations. When I got call letters of "offending" stations, I plugged them into a search engine to find network affiliation. You could do it for any major (or less-than-major) city in America, including DC. For example, WVEC/ABC in the Norfolk, VA area will move to 13, and WDSE/PBS in Duluth, MN will move to 8. You'd be surprised at what other stations have done when it comes to channel transitions, which you'll find in that link.

I don't exactly know what you mean about ghosting, "for when the FCC orders analog shutoff," for two reasons: 1) Why would there be ghosting? 2) Why would I want to do this ahead of time? Furthermore, would there even be any sort of signal on those channels at this time?


btw, I assume w/ DTV stations can pretend to be something other than their real channel... KAET/PBS, for example, which is channel 8 on NTSC, is listed as 29 on DTV currently. But I had no idea... it still shows up as channel 8.
 

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Thanks jt.

So the Samsung does not build line 21 closed captions in the analog output from their HD MPEG-2 tuner, but the SONY does. As I suspected.
 

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Discussion Starter #536

Quote:
Originally Posted by akavlie /forum/post/0


I don't exactly know what you mean about ghosting,

"Ghosting" is when you see on an analog channel a second, duplicate image, slightly offset from the "real" image. This is caused by multipath interference in which the signal reflects off some large nearby object (a building, or mountain, or maybe even a large tree) and arrives at your antenna slightly after the main signal. Multipath is merely annoying on an analog signal, but it can wreck reception of a digital signal.


Most stations have their analog and digital transmitters on the same tower, so if you have multipath interference on the analog signal, you probably have it on the digital signal also. Therefore you should check the analog signal for ghosting (multipath), and adjust the antenna so as to minimize it if necessary. This should improve reception of the digital signal.

Quote:
I assume w/ DTV stations can pretend to be something other than their real channel... KAET/PBS, for example, which is channel 8 on NTSC, is listed as 29 on DTV currently. But I had no idea... it still shows up as channel 8.

Digital TV signals include an auxiliary data stream which contains a "virtual" channel number that the broadcaster wants you to know the channel as. When your TV or receiver sees the signal for the first time, it puts this virtual channel number in a table so thereafter you can tune to the station using the virtual channel number instead of the real one. Broadcasters wanted this because (a) many of them have spent a lot of money "branding" themselves using their analog channel number, and (b) they thought it would be confusing for viewers to have to tune to separate channel numbers for analog and digital. But as we see all too often around here, the virtual channel setup confuses people anyway.
Especially when it comes to VHF versus UHF antennas.
 

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I'll add to jtbell's post.


Once analog shut-off occurs in Feb. 2009, you won't have the analog signals as a reference to reduce ghosting and increase the chances of eliminating dropouts. In other words, you'll be flying blind. This applies to VHF and UHF signals.


Today, if you tune with an analog TV tuner, like one on a VCR, you will get analog channels on 8, 10, and 12 that you can fine-tune with the dipoles until ghosting levels are low.
 

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I originally had a Samsung SIR-351 tuner but would only get a good signal lock about 20% of the time. I do not have line of sight (hills ) to the broadcast towers and only would get a lock when atmospheric conditions were perfect. I am about 22 miles from the Louisville broadcast towers which are all at 270-280 degrees. I tried switching my SR15 antenna to a 43XG (both mounted 10 ft above roof line). Signal strength was about the same and dropouts continued. (The 43XG antenna was flimsy and not nearly as robust as the SR-15 so I returned the 43XG.)


Since the buzz on the Samsung 260F signal dropout was good, I ordered it from One Call Friday night and got it the next Wednesday. For the past 4 days it has had 100% signal lock. I am delighted with its performance. The only negatives are: Low audio output, some remote buttons too close together and time to populate the guide. The real positive is my wife is no longer insisting that we get cable for a decent picture. If anyone else has dropout issues under similar conditions as I did, this tuner may resolve them.

.
 

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Finally got mine from Circuit City for $22 cheaper then it's retail (matched best buy online order price). Originally ordered one from Best Buy.com but it's on backorder.

Overall impressions: very impressed with response time comparing to previously owned Samsung SIR-451. The menu is a lot better.

Biggest plus is being able to overcome multipath problem. Once we moved in to a new place, I learned about multipath. We live about 12 miles away from the towers. I've tried 3 different indoor antennas and none of them helped to solve the problem (though rotating one from Radio Shack came close, but I had to readjust presets on a daily basis). I'm not sure if the scale of signal meter on 260 is the same as on 451, but 451 seemed to have a bit stronger signal. Though I haven't seen any dropouts with 260 and 451 in new location was a nightmare.

A bit of a frastration was the fact that the receiver doesn't recognize proper aspect ratio. It displays 480i stations in full, I have to add pillar bars manually. Hopefully this is something that can be fixedin fw. On the plus site is ability to see format of broadcast (480i, 720p or 1080i), something that 451 was lacking.
 

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I'd like to add to my previous post,

260 was able to pick up all of the local OTA stations (16 of them) and 300 digital cable QAM channels (most scrabled using STD when search for channels). Local channels on Comcast QAM were properly mapped.
 
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