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OTA good enough for DTV?

Discussion in 'Local Reception' started by Capmeister, Oct 9, 2004.

  1. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    Sep 16, 2003
    How snowy can my analog picture be and I still get a good DTV signal over the air? I don't have my HD box yet, so can't see if I'll get a good one.
     
  2. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Hall Of Fame

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    Jan 15, 2004
    I don't know much about OTA, but that's too wide-ranging of a question.

    IF by chance, we were talking about identical transmitters at the same location on similar frequencies, I suspect a fair amount of snow could be tolerated - IF the receiver was a good one.
     
  3. Mark Lamutt

    Mark Lamutt Your Neighborhood Liasion

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    Mar 23, 2002
    Snow usually indicates a weak signal. A weak signal can be improved by a larger antenna, getting the antenna outside onto the roof, raising it higher in the air, and applying a pre-amp to counteract losses in long runs of coax cable. DTV transmissions require much less power to cover the same area as analog transmissions. So, those 2 put together would imply that there is a possibility of being able to receive DTV transmissions from the same area that the weak analog transmissions are coming from. But, there are a lot of variables, so there's no way of saying one way or the other with any degree of certainty.

    Moving to Broadcast forum.
     
  4. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    Sep 16, 2003
    I am 65 miles from the tower I want. I can bring in the distant WB channel with some snow, but it's not terrible. I have the largest VHF/UHF antenna I could find (Weingard 8200HD or HP or something) on top of my roof. Would be about $370 to put it on a tower, so I'd rather not. :)

    I guess I will have to wait until I get the DTV.

    Which, by the way, this installer said they sell for $800 with installation (an extra $100 for the multiswitch I need, however, which seems reasonable). So I may be changing to DTV soon.

    Problem is, if I can't bring in my local WB via OTA digitally, DTV doesn't have a WB for me. :-(
     
  5. boylehome

    boylehome Hall Of Fame/Supporter

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    Jul 16, 2004
    This is a good question; a question not easily answered. Digital is different than analog when it come to reception. The key with digital is simple. If there is a steady uninterrupted stream of digital signal, you will receive it. Digital needs a good signal for the steady uninterrupted stream of data otherwise, you would experience drop-outs and/or no reception. If you current signal is snowy, most likely you will not receive a digital signal. Snowy in analog would mean too much loss of data in digital. Signals above 50% on my 6000 and signals above 70%, on my 921 lock and remain. If you decide to go to OTA digital, you may need a fringe to deep fringe antenna with an amplifier (caution of Pre-Amps) to increase the db to the point that you get the digital signal. Hope this helps. Check out this web site to determine what antenna will work the best. http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/Welcome.aspx
     
  6. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    Sep 16, 2003
    I have a deep fringe with a pre-amp. Why do you say "caution?"
     
  7. boylehome

    boylehome Hall Of Fame/Supporter

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    Jul 16, 2004
    If you have some nearby cell towers, microwave links, etc., they sometimes produce harmonics close to or on the same frequency range as the broadcast UHF signals. The harmonics will excite the pre-amp because the pre-amp is in a more direct path of the harmonics. If you experience signal loss of digital, it may be a result of this. There is no caution if you live far away from the interference sources. I have fallen victim to this phenomenon. I removed the pre-amp and used an amp closer to my receiver. I got better gain and a purer signal.
     
  8. KKlare

    KKlare Godfather

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    Sep 24, 2004
    I hope you realize that the digital (DTV) signals are on a different frequency, usually UHF. The digital strength required may be less but many stations are not at full power and UHF is usually line of sight (LOS) only.
     

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