AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
695 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After spending close to $300 and two weekends up on the ladder, drilling holes in the walls and stretching cables around the house, my wife finally put her opinion on the table last night with those 5 little words no man wants to hear: "It wasn't worth the money".


Now don't get me wrong, she's not talking about HD in general, or even DTV. She agrees that the picture from the DT OTA stations look much better than what we get through our analog cable system, but the dropouts and pixellation are too much for her. I live in this damn valley with hills all the way around, and multipathing is the major problem. I get signal strength in the high 60's from the Philly stations up here, but when the wind blows or someone 18 miles away puts his hands over his head, my picture goes screwy and that's it. The all or nothing nature of digital television makes it difficult for those of us where multipath distortion is a real problem due to terrain. Until they put translator stations in the valley here (not likely) or my local cable company starts carrying the DT stations (also not likely -- RCN SUCKS!!!) it's going to be analog cable for a while.


An expensive experiment, to say the least. Perhaps in the winter when there aren't leaves on the trees, my reception will become more stable.


[This message has been edited by Randy Boecker (edited 06-20-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
787 Posts
I was in the same boat more or less untill I got my reception problems resolved. I think my girlie's finally come around though.


I get all the dig channels ota in the nyc area and hbo over tw cable. I use an antenna switch to flip between cable and ota. I recently rescanned using the ota and forgot to add hbo. Well last night, I came back late from work and my girlfriend had booted my htpc, fired up the hipix app, switched the antenna input to cable and added hbo to the channel list. I didn't think she even knew the digital call number for hbo, but there she was watching sex in the city in glorius 480i! She really prefers the digital signal over the analog cable feed.


Its weird how we look for acceptance and praise from our significant other, but I gotta admit she's the ultimate litmus test for my gear. If she like I like. When she says its not worth it, secretly i know she's right.


Not that she hasn't been a pain in the ass about things in the past. I had to spend over 30 bucks in white electrical conduit to cover up the coax cable from my antenna. I thought it was a waste of money, but in retospect the cleaner layout was worth it. I guess im very lucky to have someone who is very supportive of my hobbies. (She went and bought blackout drapes for our tv room all by herself.)


The fact that she says its not worth it just means she's more honest about it. I admit its heart breaking when they say stuff like that, but you can't blame em for being honest. Don't be discourged, in fact it should double your resolve. (bigger antenna mast, more sensitive reciever?)

All I know is that its VERY satisfying when all the pieces come together. Its just a shame that in many cases, much is out of our hands when it comes to ota performance/reliability.


Keep the faith brother. She'll come around eventually.


K
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,445 Posts
Well, I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again. Until we have a "plug and play" solution for DTV/HDTV we are going to see very slow adoption by the masses (i.e. joe six-pack). Sure, it's fun being on the bleeding edge of this technology but everytime I demo my HDTV to friends and they hear that I had to put an antenna on the roof and none of the cable channels are available (I know HBO and SHO), they just say "I'll wait". Oh, and don't even think about talking about the fact that we have limited recording solutions for time-shifting.


The facts are that most consumers want to buy a TV set, plug in the power and hook up the cable and surf the channels. We aren't there yet with DTV/HDTV.


When a standard is developed and the CE manufacturers can produce a DTV/HDTV cable-ready TV set I truely believe that we will see an explosion of sales and programming. Unfortunately, the 2006 deadline doesn't apply to the cable suppliers. Hmmm, maybe by 2010.


------------------

Stephen Couch
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,414 Posts
Another thing that has to happen....everyone must be "guaranteed" the right to receive a signal.


The FCC OTARD (Over The Air Reception Device) rules are a big help, but we also need OTA antenna feeds in apartments and condos, better MATV systems in office buildings, hotels, hospitals and nursing homes, convention centers, etc.


Perhaps some legislation that says, in residences of 4 or more tenants, either the building management installs a useable OTA system, or it looses the right to stop tenants from doing it themselves.

After all, you wouldn't let a landlord or condo association stop you from having electricity, or water, or phone service, or parking.....would you?



------------------

Ken English, Sr. Engineer, KSL-TV/-DT.

"Not a REAL Engineer, but I play one in TV"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,273 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Randy Boecker:

After spending close to $300 and two weekends up on the ladder, drilling holes in the walls and stretching cables around the house, my wife finally put her opinion on the table last night with those 5 little words no man wants to hear: "It wasn't worth the money".

And they say men are the insensitive ones!




------------------

You have a right to install OTA and dish antennas on property under your control.


See http://www.fcc.gov/csb/facts/otard.html
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,564 Posts
IMHO 2006 will come and go, and analog ntsc will live on.


------------------


Alex
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,084 Posts
Rant mode: ON

I've also stated on more than one occaision that DTV was ill-thought out and not ready for prime time. Before any of you jump on me, I'm not talking 8VSB vs. COFDM. I'm talking about the inability for a sizeable number of people to acceptably lock a useable signal. (Unlike some members, I don't count as a "lock" a receiver stating that a digital signal is being received and neither picture nor audio being displayed. Nor do I count as a "lock" a picture that breaks up into green tiles/screen and audio breakups every several seconds.) I will be V*E*R*Y surprised (but delighted) if the problems are actually resolved by January 2006. Repeaters are the obvious (but expensive) solution. I'll reserve judgement on the liklihood of new decoding chips with enhanced filtering algorithms resolving the issue until I see RECOMMENDATIONS posted by Consumer Reports - and I am definitely no fan of that publication. (Sorry, but I'm sick up and fed by well-heeled bleeding edge hobbyist-early adopters waxing rhapsodic over piddling variations in reception "improvements" - as in a five point increase in displayed signal quality readings in a blessed area that was already able to allow a 1st generation RCA DTC100 to lock nine digital channels without problems.)

Rant mode: OFF


[This message has been edited by Ray H (edited 06-20-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
651 Posts
Don't you just hate to see something like this happen

to a fellow hdtvitizen ?


When I took the plunge, about 19 months ago, it was tough too. I own a townhouse (a condo) issue and up the last second I wasn't sure I can even get Satellite or OTA

signals. I had about 30 degress worth of Southern Sky visible from my balcony @ 30+ degree elevation.


I have no direct line of sight toward the NYC antennas,

as I am in low lying area (60 feet away from Passaic river).


But in faith in today's technology and good luck, I was able to get perfect DirecTV reception from my balcony,

and very nice OTA by sticking antenna out of my moonlight window in the attic.


Then the paranoid condo president, who happens to be my neighbour, started a war against the dish on the balcony,

which I eventually won, but in the process I decided to move

the dish into my backyard. With a condo-sized backyard and

fence only 5 yards away from the dish, I was lucky enough

to again lock in the DirecTV signal.


After putting the OTA antenna on the roof of my unit (1lb worth of aluminum on a 12"x12" wooden base, with no nails/screws), the hell broke loose again and I was forced to move the thing inside. After going through 3 different antennas, I managed to pull in ALL the OTA stations from NYC.


So, there it is, my story of inspiration, hope and triumph !

http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Don't give up ! With any luck, we should be able to have

4-5 7x24 HDTV channels from Dish and/or Directv by the end of this year.


May be Dish will carry the national HDTV feeds, at least would be allowed to do so in the interim period.


Somehow, more and more of our fellow Americans manage to buy HDTV-capable sets in CE stores, with CE manufacturers and Congress doing NOTHING to protect them from spending

the same amount of money on soon-to-be-obsolete NTSC RPTVs.


There is hope! We will prevail. The HD set you spent the $$$ on, will serve you well for the next 5-6 years and there will be plenty of affordable and unbeleviably good HDTV programming to enjoy.



Now, back to the basics:


- did you try the meanest 100" boom length UHF-only yagi from Rat Shack ? The longer it is, the better is the gain and the stonger is filtration of multipath signals


- absolutely positively get the RatShack amp


- the same applies to a $20 walkie-talkie (sounds like

that girl from "Full Metal Jacket", don't it ?) set


- put the antenna onto some rotating device and rotate it

in 3 degree increments, while your significant other gives

you readings from the meter


- do not use 300 Ohm wiring, use coax instead.


- you might get the best results by pointing the antenna

_away_ from the signal source, by picking up a strong reflection of a hill/mountain/building etc


Give it a try and keep us posted. Good thing about it is you can return the antenna and the amp and the WT set if you

fail, but you will at least try again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
695 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
- did you try the meanest 100" boom length UHF-only yagi from Rat Shack ? The longer it is, the better is the gain
I've got a Channel Master 4248 UHF-only antenna. From what I've read here and all over the internet, this is great directional antenna and supposedly very good at reducing multipath.

Quote:
- absolutely positively get the RatShack amp
Sorry, absolutely positively not. I haven't heard very many good things about the RS amps (no offense). I have a Channel Master 7775 UHF pre-amp.

Quote:
- put the antenna onto some rotating device and rotate it
Again, it's on a channel master rotor. I can rotate the thing inside while I'm sitting in my comfy chair watching the signal strength on the tv.

Quote:
- do not use 300 Ohm wiring, use coax instead.
RG6 all the way

Quote:
you might get the best results by pointing the antenna
I was actually experimenting last night and found that I was able to increase my signal strength by 10 points by rotating the antenna 20 degrees west of where the signal should be coming from (odd). But as I've said before, it's not so much the signal strength as the multipath distortion causing dropouts, pixelation, etc. I'd rather have 50% signal and no dropouts than 90% with frequent dropouts.


I did a lot of research before I bought and put this stuff up, and it's quality equipment. The big problem here still is the fact that cable television was born here because of the nature of the terrain and the difficulty in picking up signals from other areas. And like I said, I can get signal. The problem is that the "shape" of that signal when it reaches my antenna is not stable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
I console myself about the lack of HDTV programming compared to the total amount of $$$ we spent on our system with the really cool original aspect ratio DVD movies we can watch in glorious 480p with really cool DTS sound.


This may sound tongue in cheek but I am being serious. Most of the $$$ for my "Home Theatre" were intended for it to be a theatre, not a television. And 1080i movies (and some shows) are available from HBO. Regular 1080i television is icing on the cake as far as I'm concerned.


If you disagree with me, go watch your favorite recent-release DVD at a friend's house on their standard television. Better yet, have your significant other do it with you. You and your significant other will come screaming back to your HDTV, kiss it profusely and apologize for ever having thought it cost too much (just try not to think about the $ you spent on the STB and the endless hours fiddling with the antenna).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
651 Posts
I know you went through lotsa research and tried to get the best products.


But, the RS UHF-only 15-2162 is 20" longer than the CM

you got. $40 and always returnable.


I know you are tired http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif Is there a way you can try

to physically screen the sides of the antenna, at

least temporarily, to see if you can screen out the

reflected signal ?


May be mount it in a such way where say chimney/house would protect one of the sides ?

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
695 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the input. Right now, more elaborate methods of increasing the stability of my signal aren't worth it, considering the amount of HD available right now from OTA networks. Because of the way my house is built, moving the antenna isn't an option, either. I have multiple peaks and pretty steep pitch to the roofs. My wife's "honesty" is pretty true, though I don't want to believe it. I'm not up to spending more time, effort, and money on the off-chance that I'll be able to improve reception.


Now, of course, if Paramount decides to actually transmit the new Enterprise series in HD this fall, then I'll be back up on that roof in a heartbeat!! I guess it all depends on your perspective.... http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,027 Posts
Randy,


Definitely try a variable amp from Radio Shack. The one that states it goes up to 950 MHZ. You can add it into the line just before it goes to the STB so it's easy to try. Made the difference for me.


------------------


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
735 Posts
I've seen threads with TWC getting ready to ramp up HDTV. Wouldn't that be a major step to getting HDTV in everyone's home? I mean I know alot of people who transitioned to dtv (I know it isn't the same technically). Wouldn't the transition to a HD STB be almost as easy with all those DTV RP? Or is the box a separate addon to the NTSC STB?


If TWC is successful wouldn't that show the light at the end of the tunnel for everyone else? Are we at the edge of the turning point?


I'm a semi j6p because I have a g11/quadscan, but no STB...the wife said the 5 little words about a dtc-100. I'm sure she would say the TWC HDTV STB is AOK.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Randy-

Have you tried the NYC stations? I get them much better than Philly. Last night all of them were 80s-90s with a $20 antenna in the attic. That's right, CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, WB, UPN, and The Trenton PBS were on.


chad
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
695 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I've tried pulling in the NYC stations, and while I can get signal strength up in the 60's, the multipath distortions don't allow a lock. I've got a big hill (I just can't bring myself to call them "mountains") to my East, and I suspect that's the problem.


About what heading are you pointing your antenna to get NYC? I'd kill to get WWOR since UPN57 probably isn't going to be up by the fall season and I REALLY want to see Enteprise in digital. (HD even better, if WWOR and Paramount decide to transmit it that way)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
I don't remember off-hand which direction the antenna points. I went to www.antennaweb.org, put in my address and got the map of where each station is boradcasting from. I used a compass to find north and the map to point the antenna. This worked basically, then with the help of my father and two cordless phones, we peaked it. I think we needed to move it a bit to the east of where the map said.


chad
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,220 Posts
While we are dreaming about Paramount broadcasting the new Star Trek series Enterprise in HD, The premier of that show in HD would lead to the HD party of all parties at my house.


Just dreaming.


Rick
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top