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OTA Channels Headscratcher

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by canzidei, Aug 5, 2004.

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  1. Aug 5, 2004 #1 of 13
    canzidei

    canzidei New Member

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    I live in Washington, D.C., just inside the Maryland border. I am able to get good reception on my OTA local channels when I feed the antenna through my tv (Pioneer 4340), but the same OTA locals are unavailable when I run the antenna through my HD receiver. At first, I thought the receiver was the problem, but I'm now on my third one. I started with a Samsung 360 (from the Directv upgrade special). The Directv installer actually understood the problem and concluded that the receiver must be defective so he ordered me a second one. The second Sammy had the same problem. Now, I've purchased the Hughes 10-250, and I'm having the same problem: the OTA local channels that come through fine when fed directly into my Pioneer's tuner do not come through when fed through my Directv receiver. The channels show up in the Program Guide, but I get either a "channel unavailable" message or a "see 'troubleshooting' in 'messages and setup'" message. Any thoughts?

    Maybe I need to sit tight and wait for the day when all the HD locals will come through via satellite!
     
  2. Aug 5, 2004 #2 of 13
    TimGoodwin

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    Are you able to pull the digital feeds on the Pioneer or just the analog?
     
  3. Aug 5, 2004 #3 of 13
    canzidei

    canzidei New Member

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    Aug 5, 2004
    Sorry for being unclear. My pioneer 4340 pulls the digital feed off the OTA. If it weren't for the integrated Program Guide on my 10-250, I would just leave the antenna hooked directly into the 4340 for when I want to view local channels in HD.
     
  4. Aug 5, 2004 #4 of 13
    DonLandis

    DonLandis Hall Of Fame

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    I know the HDTIVO has a sensitive receiver for OTA signals. It can easily be overdriven or disrupted by multipath as some have reported. It also has a rather narrow range of acceptable signal level.

    I spent a bit of time on this to regulate my signals into the HDTIVO and now it works fine all the time on all channels. I had to add a preamp to the antenna and then back off that gain with a variable attenuator. For me it took a combination of the two. Others have done well with the variable attenuator by itself.

    With this setup I have observed that as I adjust the variable attenuator through the range it peaks with a very narrow adjustment. The signal quality meter is a good indicator. Dialing in the channels can cause it to peak to 92-96 and either side falls off to 0. Without the preamp, there is no signal with any adjustemnt.

    This compared to my other receivers works fine without any preamp or attenuator.
     
  5. Aug 5, 2004 #5 of 13
    canzidei

    canzidei New Member

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    Aug 5, 2004
    Thanks for the insight. I need to install a 5x8 multiswitch anyway (in order to enable a fifth satellite line), and I think it has an amplifier. I'll see if that does the trick then take it from there.
     
  6. Aug 5, 2004 #6 of 13
    TimGoodwin

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    That is strange? I have the HD Tivo but I also had the Samsung 360, and I have had no problems with pulling in all of the major networks. WETA and some of the other smaller networks I have not been able to get but that is that big of a thing for me.
     
  7. Aug 5, 2004 #7 of 13
    canzidei

    canzidei New Member

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    Aug 5, 2004
    And you're not far from me, Tim. Are you getting the DC locals or the Baltimore ones?
     
  8. Aug 5, 2004 #8 of 13
    canzidei

    canzidei New Member

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    Aug 5, 2004
    Update: I had a cheap $25 dollar indoor antenna, and I spent this evening fooling around with the signal strength on this antenna with the Hughes box. I was able to pull in all of the networks (CBS is the only one that fades in and out at times) with a signal strength of anywhere from the high 60s to the mid 80s. When I fed the Directv outdoor antenna (mounted on my roof with the dish) directly into my tv, I was still able to get the channels on that tunere, even though they wouldn't come through on the Hughes box. It sounds like I need to try Don's idea of amping up the outdoor antenna and playing with its location. My preference, of course, is to get the outdoor antenna in the right spot and at the right signal strength so I don't have to use the unsightly indoor antenna.
     
  9. Aug 6, 2004 #9 of 13
    TimGoodwin

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    I am able to pull in both D.C. and Baltimore stations I have an outdoor antenna on the roof and also have a rotor.
     
  10. ElonSig

    ElonSig Guest

    Hey guys, looking for a little help with the OTA as well. Live in Silver Spring, MD. Noticed you guys were not that far away from me and might be able to give local experience. We are trying to make sure that we want to go ahead with the purchase of the HD equipment. Currently have an HD ready Toshiba TV. Direct TV is our satellite provider. Ability to receive the local channels in HD is very important. Thinking of purchasing the HD receiver and off air antenna package directly from Direct TV for $399. Do you guys know if this comes with high quality hardware (receiver and antenna) or would it be a better idea to purchase the items separately from a retail store? Can you request specific equipment from DirectTV or do they provide all customers with the same receiver/off air antenna?

    Assuming we went with the equipment from Direct TV, have you found that the HD local stations you can receive with the off air antenna are of very good picture quality? Are they as good as the sat. stations like ESPN HD, Discovery HD, etc.? Basically, is the off-air antenna worth getting. If we can't get the local stations we probably won't get the HD equipment.

    Two more questions, do you have any idea how big the antenna that DirectTV installs is? Once the antenna is installed do you have to make adjustments to it to find the signal or does it do this automatically?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Brad

    long_brad@comcast.net
     
  11. ElonSig

    ElonSig New Member

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    Aug 18, 2004
    One more thing, from my understanding Direct TV's off air antenna is a roof mounted one?

    long_brad@comcast.net[/QUOTE]
     
  12. DCSholtis

    DCSholtis Up The Irons!

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    Nope the OTA one is fixed on a wing off the Sat Dish...
     
  13. canzidei

    canzidei New Member

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    Aug 5, 2004
    Silver Spring, I am using a cheap $25 indoor antenna to pull the local channels OTA. It is small and is hidden behind my plasma. I sometimes have to play a little bit to get good reception, but it works better than the OTA antenna that directv mounted on my roof along with the triple lnb dish. You asked about the size of the directv antenna -- mine is about 4 feet long and is mounted on the same apparatus as my dish. The HD upgrade is a good idea, I think. You just need to be patient with the locals until you get the hang of it -- I'm still working on it! P.S. I called directv and asked for the same deal that they are giving to new customers even though i was an existing customer. If you ask nicely and remind them of how loyal you have been, you should catch a break.
     
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