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Discussion Starter #1
As most of my fellow South Florida DTV viewers know, WFOR-DT went to full power (1000 kW ERP) last week. I continue to get perfect, stable reception from them. I'm curious whether there is anyone who is having any difficulty receiving them and, if so, your location and the kind of antenna you're using.


Also, is there anyone who get's one or some Miami DTV stations well but not others? I still get dropouts and freezes on WSVN-DT and WPLG-DT on some days but never on WFOR-DT and almost never on WPBT-DT.
 

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David,


I live in Coconut Creek, Fl. I just recently put up (two days ago) an OTA antenna. It was rainy that day (smart putting up an antenna in the rain ... I know.... but I had to have it), but I aimed it best I could getting levels of just over 70 for channels 10 and 7. I got levels of near 80 for channles 2 and 4. All seemed fine that day, however the next day I noticed that channel 2 and 4 come in relaly good (although 2 blacks out once in a while) but 7 and 10 are much worse (especially 10). I noticed that my antenna was pointing SouthWest, which is contrary to where the towers are. I guess what happened is that there was some kind of skip or something happening, and for some strange reason I was getting a stringer signal pointing away from the tower, rather than right at it.... I am hoping that it had something to do with the poor weather conditions. So on wednesday I will re-aim the antenna and see what I can get the levels up to. BTW, the levels I am talking about are from my Sony Sat-HD100. It gives me signal strength meters for each channel.


For an antenna I purchased a Wineguard antenna specifically made for South Florida. I got it at a place in Miami who sells them 2 in a box for $50. Pretty cheap for an antenna, and it's made just for us. I had a friend who wanted one also, so it cost me only $25. (but even at $50 if it works who cares).


I'll let you know what I come up with in a follow-up post, but I should be able to lock them in. Although I dont know about channel 10.... are they not at full power yet? Not sure....


GuitarJ
 

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David,


I am new here, and would like to join the S. FL. "group". I have not purchased my HD equip yet, but plan to do so by year-end.


I live in North PBC (Jupiter/Tequesta). Just curious as to what channels you think I would be able to get up here? WPTV is a good bet, since I can receive their analog sig. OTA just fine w/ an indoor antenna.


Anyways, I hope to participate more in the S. FL threads in the coming months, and I will gladly post my results (or lack of ;) ) when they are available.
 

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well, in Lauderdale (by Intracoastal & Las Olas)... approx. 12' above ground; using TV-50 knockoffs from Radio Shack (chose those or TV-55, if could have gotten, because of being able to use tapcons into the CBS block structure; for great stability). After much playing around, and pointed Southwest, getting absolutely perfect 98-100 on WFOR, (ie: 22); 95-97 on WPBT (18), and in the mid 80's on the 2 VHF's (ie: 9 & 10)...ABC has a typically slightly greener tone for the most part, and some dropouts (one or two per half hour at most), but I think that's the signal, not the reception here. Same case using the HD100's or the integrated tuner in the 57-XBR2. However, Ch. 10 (9) was less stable until I moved the antenna away from gutters, window frames, even the framework of an awning...at that point all the channels were fine.


cheers..


gene inger
www.ingerletter.com
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, guys. I see a pattern developing that seems to indicate we're mostly getting similar results, with the exception of the rain-fade issue that HTNut observed. FYI, local, over the air DTV can be subject to rain-fade. I haven't observed it but it can happen.


I checked-out the FCC's website and found that both UHF DTV stations which are currently on the air in Miami, WPBT-DT and WFOR-DT, are currently operating at full power, 1000 kW each.


VHF DTV stations require far less power to match the coverage area of a UHF station. Currently WSVN-DT and WPLG-DT are operating at 14.4 kW and 15.8 kW, respectively. They have filed for Construction Permits to increase their power to 145 kW and 30 kW, respectively, though. The FCC does not indicate any time frame for when the increases will occur.


All of the commercial DTV stations in West Palm Beach are due to be on the air by May of 2002. Many will likely make the deadline but some likely will not. There are many factors that can cause delays. One of them now is the fact that many equipment suppliers have devoted all their efforts at getting the New York City TV stations whose transmitters were on the World Trade Center back on the air.


We at WPEC expect to make it. All the equipment has been purchased and it is gradually being delivered. If we can get a tower crew and all goes as planned, we should make it by May. I think WFLX is still dealing with Palm Beach County zoning issues and I don't know how everyone else is coming along.
 

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Any idea how many stations will be broadcasting from the WPB area? Obviously, I should have no problems picking any of them up OTA here in Jupiter.


I can't wait ! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
All of them, eventually. It's just not likely they'll all be up in May. The FCC routinely grants extensions when a station has difficulties beyond their control. Non-commercial stations, like WXEL, are not required to be on the air until May, 2003.
 

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Thanks David.


Please keep us up-to-date with the latest developments in the S. FL area. Seems there is only a handful of us w/ any interest at this point.


BTW, do you know if any of the cable companies (i.e. Adelphia or Comcast) are sending any HDTV signals (or if they have plans to)?

I heard Time Warner was doing this in certain locations.


Again, thanks for the info.


Just curious, what type of equipment do you have? (STB, TV, etc...)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I don't know what the local cable systems' plans are but it's likely that eventually they'll be doing what systems in larger markets are beginning to do: carrying local DTVs and things like HBO-HD, etc. in 256QAM, which can carry two HD programs over cable in the 6MHz normally required for one analog, NTSC channel. But that could be a long way down the road. You'll definitely get your money's worth out of an over-the-air ATSC DTV receiver!;)


In a few big cities some cable systems are passing local DTV stations in the over-the-air 8VSB modulation for compatibility with ATSC tuners. Eventually, with increased availability of cable STBs that support DTV via 256QAM I'd expect 256QAM modulation to proliferate on cable, probably bringing an eventual end to 8VSB via cable.


I'm Using a Zenith IQB64W10W HDTV with its own built-in ATSC and NTSC tuners plus an RCA-DTC100 STB for SD and HD DirecTV and NTSC and ATSC local reception. For more system spec, click on my "profile" at the top of this post.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes, WPEC is the CBS affiliate for West Palm Beach.


While rain fade can be an issue on weak UHF signals for DTV, I'm surprised that you're still having a problem since WFOR-DT went to full power. What's their signal strength like when it's not raining?
 

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I get 100 steady on 18 & 22, but 75 on 9 & 55 on 8 wsvn, I am using the Wingard 2000, anyone else getting this like me ?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I get 88-90 on WPBT-DT most of the time, 90-94 on WFOR-DT, and mostly mid-80s on WSVN-DT and WPLG-DT here in northeast Lake Worth. (Click on my "profile" to read about my antenna system.)
 

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Hi Dave,


I WAS getting great reception on all four channels until last week!! I live in Lighthouse Point, and use a radio shack (nothing fancy) attic mounted antenna.


WFOR drops out constantly now. it ranges from the mid 20's to the mid 40's. i might add that it is pouring as i write this, and the signal strength actually increased to 50 to 60!! the rain just stopped, and so did my reception.....


WPBT is at 65.

WSVN is at 76.

WPLG is at 82


Scott
 

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I've been using a Terk TV25 amplified indoor antenna, which is connected to a Channel Master model 7777 preamp. I get a "very strong" signal reading on the Samsung SIR-T150 for all four digital channels, but whereas the signal tends to drop out a lot for WSVN and WPLG (even in good weather), it is rock steady for WFOR and WPBT. I'm in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
 

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WSVN is 75% of the time down & their 480p Sucks big time they need to do something SOON, before the new AM
 

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My situation is similar to Scott. I am using a Radio Shack VU-90XR UHF/VHF antenna mounted in my attic, pointing slightly North East. My location is southwest Kendall. Up until Tuesday (I did not check on Monday) I was getting all four digital channels in the high 70's to high 80's, rarely had any dropouts and was very pleased with my reception on the digitals.....But all this week WFOR has been constantly changing between low 20's and low 60's, and I can't watch it. WFOR won't lock in for for more than 20 or 30 seconds at a time. I am using a RCA dss dtc-100 receiver as my hdef tuner. All the other channels are still coming in solid. Anyone know why WFOR "upgrading" their signal to full strength would cause this situation?



John
 

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Discussion Starter #17
What is your location, John?
 

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I don't know what the deal is with the signal from WFOR. :confused:


The other night we watched Wolf Lake on WFOR. The picture and sound were perfect and the signal strength was at 93%.


Last night, I wanted to watch CSI but couldn't because the signal strength was only around 37% which makes the picture drop out constantly. :(


I think the weather was worse on the night when I had a 93% signal. Maybe there were thunderstorms in Miami last night?


-Mike
 

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STB: Samsung SIR-T150

Antenna: RadioShack VU-120 (in the attic)

Pre-amp: None

Location: Logger's Run (extreme western Boca Raton)


When I got the T150 my configuration included a 5 foot boom length, VHF only, attic mounted antenna. I wasn't able to pick up anything. Tried a set top VHF/UHF antenna (RadioShack 15-1851). No dice. Bought the VU-120 and assembled it in the attic this morning and mounted it at about the same height as the previous antenna (about two feet from the floor of the attic). Still got squat. I reasoned that maybe the height of the antenna was contributing to my problems. I screwed some hooks into the beams and suspended the antenna around 5.5 feet from the floor.


I was now able to pick up WFOR and WPBT. The signal meter on the T150 was at around 5% for each and I was getting constant drop outs. I went out and purchased a VHF/UHF amp from RS. That boosted the signal to around 10% but introduced more artifacts (possible overload of the signal). Back up in the attic I found that the coax terminated in a six way splitter. I found the one feeding the HDTV, removed it from the splitter and coupled it directly to the antenna. With the amp removed I now get a signal of around 40% on all four DT stations in the area.


I was able to eliminate most of the things working against me except for having to mount the antenna in a attic with a concrete tile roof.
 

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Forbin,


Congrats.


So, it was related to your cables after all.
 
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