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OTA signal variability

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Dr_J, Nov 25, 2007.

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  1. Dr_J

    Dr_J Icon

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    Apr 15, 2007
    I don't know if anyone else has had this problem, but usually the local Fox station comes in OTA with signal strengths consistently in the 80's and 90's, the strongest of any of the local OTA stations. However, inexplicably, the signal strength will fall off to 0 every few minutes for 2-3 seconds before spiking back up into the 80's and 90's again. It gets very annoying when I'm watching a program that hiccups every few minutes. Granted, it's an indoor and not a rooftop antenna, but I just don't get why the signal should vary from 90 to 0 to 90 within a few seconds, no matter what position the rabbit ears are in and how much the signal is amplified. :confused:
     
  2. cypher

    cypher Duplicate User (Account Closed)

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    Nov 24, 2007
    If you are in the Boston market area you should get FOX through satellite which would be a nice picture with a properly aligned dish.

    I find that OTA reception can be funny with varying of meter levels depending on the network, and other variables such as distance from station, etc. Not all OTA stations will have exact same readings in the same market.
     
  3. Dr_J

    Dr_J Icon

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    Apr 15, 2007
    Unfortunately, I'm not. I'm in the Providence market area, where CBS and Fox are not offered in HD because of the LIN Broadcasting fiasco. (How naive I was to think that it was a bandwidth issue, that when the new satellite was launched, I would get those other HD locals. :sure: ) So I recorded Thanksgiving's Packers/Lions game on the local Fox HD OTA, and I had to sit through the every-few-minute hiccuping because of the momentary losses of signal. :(
     
  4. cypher

    cypher Duplicate User (Account Closed)

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    Nov 24, 2007
    I Wish you could get all your locals via satellite, usually if you can't get a specific network locally and locals are offered via satellite DirecTV will give you the network out of area if it's within a certain distance. Perhaps in the future you can soon. You may ask about Distant Network Locals for those stations if signal quality for OTA is not good for the network stations you want to get. What is your zip code?
     
  5. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Dec 9, 2006
    I see the same thing. The signal meter is reading bit errors. I'm in a small valley and everything is "multi-path". I would need to raise my OTA antenna over 300' to get a line of sight. "I'd guess" changing to a large directional antenna could improve your reception and reduce multi-path.
     
  6. gcisko

    gcisko I am Iron Man!

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    Sep 27, 2006
    As mentioned the meter is reading quality not strength. However I see the same thing here in chicago. I also saw a mention that it was normal to see OTA signals bouncing.

    What kind of antenna exactly is it? I have a Phillips MANT-950 in my attic and that pretty much stopped the bouncing. I do have a signal booster that I bought from a hardware store connected to the chain.
     
  7. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Dec 9, 2006
    While I'm glad you have it working for you, That type of antenna is about the worst type you could pick for multi-path rejection.
    A low gain antenna with an amp, doesn't reject much of anything. It simply boosts everything it can pickup.
    It is better to have an antenna with more gain [larger, with more elements] that is focused to a narrower beam. This will reject signal from the side better [multi-path], have higher gain from within the beam, and then you can use an amp if the cable run [loss] is enough to require it.
    "Fundamentally": you want as much gain & rejection at the first stage [antenna] and then add amplification as needed [at the antenna with a pre-amp] for the best results.
     
  8. ColdCase

    ColdCase AllStar

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    Sep 10, 2007
    Sounds like multipath, even an airplane flying over head or a car driving by, or leaves swaying in the wind will give you multipath. Its the surest way to kill a digital signal. You can try relocating the antenna or purchase a directional antenna. There is no guarantee that will fix it, but it has helped many. There is a OTA link/forum around here that covers the basics of stacking and connecting antenas, I'll try to find it for you.

    Fox ch 25 out of Boston is solid for me once leaves are on the ground.
     
  9. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    "And the air is cold".
    Mine degrade in the summer during hot weather.
     
  10. Dr_J

    Dr_J Icon

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    Apr 15, 2007
    Hope so, but I'm not holding my breath. 02703.
     
  11. Dr_J

    Dr_J Icon

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    Apr 15, 2007
    It's a Phillips MANT-510 or MNT510F. (Both numbers are on the front of the instruction manual.) It's on top of my TV, which is right next to a sliding glass door to the outside.
     
  12. Dr_J

    Dr_J Icon

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    Apr 15, 2007
    Thanks. However, if it means having to install something large on the roof or in the attic and drill holes through the walls or ceiling to get the wiring to the TV, it's just not worth it given the number of times I would need to use it.
     
  13. cypher

    cypher Duplicate User (Account Closed)

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    Nov 24, 2007
    Here is what the DirecTV DNS site said based on your zip code:

    Eligibilty review for the following:
    ATTLEBORO, MA 02703
    Standard Distant Network Service
    Not available because DIRECTV offers local network programming in your area

    Digital (HD) Distant Network Service
    Not available because DIRECTV offers local network programming in your area

    Affiliate Local Channel # *HD Channel

    ABC WLNE 6*
    NBC WJAR 10*
    CBS WPRI 12
    CW WLWC 28
    PBS WSBE 36
    PBS WEDN 53
    FOX WNAC 64
     
  14. Dr_J

    Dr_J Icon

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    Apr 15, 2007
    Figures. :(

    Thanks for checking.
     
  15. bt-rtp

    bt-rtp Icon

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    Dec 29, 2005
    You may get better receiption with a Zenith Silver Sensor. It is very poplar and many have excellent results using it versus rabbit ear type antennas. These can be purchased almost anywhere for under $20 bucks.


    http://www.zenith.com/sub_prod/product_Display.asp?cat=&id=131
     
  16. gcisko

    gcisko I am Iron Man!

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    Sep 27, 2006
    Mine is in my attic and I am about 34 miles from the OTA towers in chicago. Higher is better.
     
  17. gcisko

    gcisko I am Iron Man!

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    Sep 27, 2006
    Well I am not sophisticated enough to know all about mulit-path rejection. All I know is I used to have a normal TV antenna that had many zillions of elements and it did not work worth a darn. I replaced it with the MANT-950 and I even get the local CBS affiliate WBBM-DT 2-1. Most have a horrible time getting 2-1 in chicago. A friend lives in Big Rock about 47 miles from the chicago towers and also gets 2-1 along with every other local channel. Earl is about the same distance as I am from the towers and does not get this channel. I think if he were to give it a shot he would be surprised.

    So if I knew all about muilti-path rejection I guess I would not have given this antenna a try. :D :D :D :D
     
  18. Dr_J

    Dr_J Icon

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    Apr 15, 2007
    Thanks, I'll check it out. :)
     
  19. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    Oct 8, 2006
    In the post [post=1299933]1299933[/post]:
    VOS nailed it. You, my friend, have come down with a case of multipath.

    From a radio frequency point of view, you live in an echo chamber. It is like trying to listen to a dozen conversations at the same time in a cave.

    From the Get Great Local HD Channels in the HD DVR FAQ:

    If your OTA signal strengths are 80% or higher and you have pixelation or your HR20 can't lock onto a signal, you may have multipath.

    The good news is that multipath is usually easily solve. Click the llinks if you are interested.

    - Craig
     
  20. Dr_J

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    Apr 15, 2007
    I'm glad the illness isn't fatal! ;)

    Thanks for the links.
     
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