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OTA

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by ESA1178, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. ESA1178

    ESA1178 AllStar

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    I have a humongous antenna in the attic, probably original to the house (1968). I hook coaxial to my Sony Bravia kdl-46s2010 and only get 5 channels. I hook it up to my Haier TV and I get 22. Since the Sony is my primary, I would like to aquire the same channels if not more. I currently have a Directv HR24 DVR. If I get the DIRECTV AM21N TV Tuner, would I be assured of obtaining those 22 channels and maybe more?

    Thanks!


    Mark
     
  2. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    If you have a "humongous" antenna, and your OTA is mostly on UHF now, that is why. You need a UHF antenna. Those big ones are VHF. Check antennaweb.org and see what channels are in your area, and replace the antenna with the correct one.
     
  3. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    You would only get channels that are in DirecTVs database, the hardware does not do any scanning.
     
  4. ESA1178

    ESA1178 AllStar

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    Any idea why I would be getting 5 OTA channels on 1 TV and 22 on the other?

    Mark
     
  5. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    You dont say what kind of antenna is hooked to the other one. If they are both hooked to the same antenna, then you have a bad coax, bad connector, or the run to the Sony is a lot longer with more attenuation, if running through a splitter. If you are just swapping the cable between sets then:

    Are you scanning for DIGITAL channels on the Sony? If you just scan with an older Sony tube TV for regular channels, you will only get analog ones. If the channels are all single digits without a decimal point, and another number, thats analog. You need to scan for Digital. If you dont have an ATSC tuner built into the Sony, you will need a digital converter box.
     
  6. kevinturcotte

    kevinturcotte Active Member

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    Outside...
    I checked, and your Tv DOES have an ATSC tuner. Your Tv is 5 years old, so the AM21N would PROBABLY pull in more channels, but there are NO guarantees when it comes to OTA (Trust me lol), but as Davenir said, check antennaweb.org and tvfool.com and it will tell you what's broadcasting in your area. They may all be VHF, or they may be a mix of VHF and UHF. As he also mentioned, if the cable is longer, it will lose some signal. If you can afford to get some new coax cable, try it get it JUST as long as you need. This is MY preferred cable: http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=SSCBLQ&d=Solid-Signal-Custom-Cable-Lengths-RG6-Quad-Shielded-with-High-Quality-Solid-Signal-Connectors-%28SSCBLQ%29, but that's probably overkill (Not that it will hurt). This here is cheaper: http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=SSCBLS&d=Solid-Signal-Custom-Cable-Lengths-RG6-with-High-Quality-Solid-Signal-Connectors.
    Also, are there any connectors/splitters between the antenna and the Tv, or is it a direct line? That will make SOME difference.
     
  7. ESA1178

    ESA1178 AllStar

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    Thanks guys!

    There are no splitters involved. In fact the TV that pulls in 22 channels is further away from the Antenna than the Sony. I used the digital scanner on the Sony and it only brings in the 5. The coaxial is brand new...

    Mark
     
  8. kevinturcotte

    kevinturcotte Active Member

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    Could be just a lousy tuner then.
     
  9. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Try hooking the one that picks up 22 channels to the coax the sony is hooked to, and rescan. See if it still finds 22 channels. Should point out if its the coax/antenna or the Sony at fault.
     
  10. ESA1178

    ESA1178 AllStar

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    Using the same coaxial. I am convinced it is the Sony Tuner..

    Mark
     
  11. tigerwillow1

    tigerwillow1 Legend

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    I've got OTA tuners in an AM21, newer Sony Bravia TV, and Philips SD DVR recorder. The Sony and Phillips tuners are both substantially superior to the AM21 in pulling in weak stations. They are all fed from the same splitter driven by the same antenna.
     
  12. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Sounds like it. Those 1st gen atsc tuners were horrible.
     
  13. ESA1178

    ESA1178 AllStar

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  14. mdavej

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

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    I wouldn't. I'm pretty sure those cheap converter boxes are SD only. I'd check your ant/CBL setting in the TV and the wiring again. Sounds like you may even have the antenna connected to the wrong input, assuming there are 2. Also is the impedance right? I've never seen any reports of failed tuners in recent Sonys like yours. The fact that it picks up some stations tells me the tuner is probably fine. If the tuner really is bad, you could try to find an HD tuner, but it will be pricey.
     
  15. ESA1178

    ESA1178 AllStar

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    I ended up getting a Channel Master 2020. Looks like the majority of my local OAT channels are UHF, and this antenna is good for up to 60 miles. All keep you all posted.

    Mark
     
  16. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    This may have more to do with the additional coaxial cable acting as an antenna than what's upstairs.

    Did you use a proper balun when connecting the coax to the antenna?

    How far away are the transmission towers?
     
  17. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    If you still have trouble even with the new antenna, and decide to get a new tuner, if DirecTv carries all your HD locals, then a converter box will get those other Standard Def subchannels, but wont be HD. There are very few HD ATSC tuners, and none of them are especially affordable.
     
  18. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    You should not be convinced until you rescan. That is the first step. If the last scan was done before the analog shutoff in 2009 when many HD channels had not moved to new virtual channel slots, that would explain why many channels are missing. A recent scan will be the only thing that will eliminate those sorts of obstacles. Sets are scanned at setup and rarely ever scanned again, and that may mean you have not scanned since 2007. We won't know if this is an issue until you actually do that, but I would eliminate it as an issue first, as that is quick and easy.

    I had a 2004 Grand Wega, and its tuner was as good as the Tivo tuner of its day (HR10-250), actually somewhat better. Tuner technology has improved in leaps and bounds since 1999, and a year or two difference in tuner age between 1999 and about 2010 made a huge difference. These days the improvements are minimal, as they have sort of topped out as the technology matured, but this means that a 2011 tuner will run rings around a 2007 tuner.

    And it also means that your 2007 tuner should run rings around my 2004 Grand Wega tuner, which means the 2007 tuner was nothing to sneeze at, and should work nearly as well as most tuners. Only if you are in a difficult reception spot should it make any difference anyway; in a good location even a 2007 tuner should be able to receive almost all channels using nothing more than a paper clip.

    Don't be concerned with cable runs, splitters, and loss. Those were issues when analog ruled the day, but things have changed completely. A proper antenna system from 20 years ago (assuming it contains UHF capability) will do a better job receiving todays digital channels than it did receiving yesterdays analog channels, so don't question existing distribution that gets that many channels on a Haier.

    Loss and low signal levels are not problematic with digital reception (up to a point of course). A good analog signal needed a 46 dB s/n ratio, while an average digital signal needs a 15 dB s/n ratio. If your old distribution was good for analog, it will be more than good enough for digital as far as raw levels go.

    The limiting factor for analog was raw RF power levels. That is not the case for digital. The limiting factor there is freedom from multipath interference, which can be solved at the antenna, and at the tuner. When you are "far" from a digital station and can't receive it, it typically has nothing to do with the power levels you are receiving; it has to do with curvature or the earth and line of sight, both of which become worse over distance meaning that the multipath ratio becomes worse over distance. The very reason the Grand Alliance chose 8VSB for ATSC in the first place was because the self-limiting factor of increased multipath over distance made it ideal for preventing co-interference from adjacent markets which would have until 2009 twice as many signals to worry about.

    The "converter" boxes are called "converters" because they convert ATSC to analog SD NTSC. That is not what you want. Outboard tuners also are not the answer.

    I think the best answer is the AM21. While not the best tuner out there, its pretty good and unless you are trying to pick up adjacent markets through a canyon, will work just as well as any other tuner. Plus, that is the only way to record OTA from DTV, other than the HR20.

    Scan first, and then you will know where you stand. Solve that first. If you still only get 5 channels, you have a bad tuner, not a bad antenna or a bad distribution system (which works pretty well for the Haier).
     
  19. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Problem with the AM21 is it wont pick up stations unless DirecTv has them in the database. If so, that would be the best bet.
     
  20. codespy

    codespy Ted- Get some free agents NOW!!! DBSTalk Club

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    Unless you get the new HD DirecTiVo, allowing scanning w/AM21, which is a whole different situation. Would be nice if DTV would finally integrate this in their HD IRD's.
     

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