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Over-the-Air Digital Reception Issues and Discussion


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148 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   Link

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 06:42 AM

WPVI on RF6 is experiencing major DTV problems in Philadelphia. Seems that you could climb to the top of their 1000 foot tower and 'holler' farther than they can transmit. :lol:

Now, many viewers cannot receive their DTV signal while they had no problems with the analog signal. When I lived in Cherry Hill NJ, I had no problem receiving WPVI (RF6) with a telescoping whip antenna on a battery powered Sony TV.

--- CHAS


I don't understand why the #1 station in Philadephia would choose to stay on the VHF low band when I've read so many things about reception issues with it.

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#22 OFFLINE   dhhaines

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 06:47 AM

I live about 50 miles northeast of Phila. WPVI-6 has the strongest signal I can receive from Philadelphia.


Strange. I'm 12 miles southeast and WPVI-6 is the only station I can't get. All other Philly stations are coming in at 60% +. Before the switchover WPVI had the strongest signal.
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#23 OFFLINE   HIPAR

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:18 AM

The transmission power levels calculated by the FCC account for the greater power efficiency of 8VSB digital waveform. So, even with lower DTV power, parity in coverage should have been maintained.


Here's the latest coverage prediction for the Philadelphia DMA .. big file WPVI is on page 29:

http://www.fcc.gov/d...adelphia_PA.pdf

Not only is coverage maintained but viewership is expanded. The decision makers at ABC most probably were swayed by these kinds of engineering studies. I believe the analysis was conducted in good faith.

So what technical parameter was in such gross error for the model? Is it real world multipath that obviously couldn't be modeled? The noise?

I would think impulse nose would generate complaints about annoying checkerboard breakups.

Notwithstanding impulse noise or RF interference during extended propagation, there's something fundamentally wrong.

Tis a puzzlement :confused:

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#24 OFFLINE   msmith

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:57 PM

the dtvanswers webstie would say those people need new antennas.


That's what the WPVI 6 e-mail people told me.

I got analog 6 snowy but watchable on the SAME antenna just before the switch occurred. I also got WPVI-DT on the UHF channel at over 90% signal strength. Now I get 41% signal strength and it fails to lock.

#25 OFFLINE   msmith

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:59 PM

The current thinking:

With some converter boxes, rescans are not replacing the old channel settings. The FCC is reporting channels are being found after two scans are performed; the first one without an antenna connected clears the memory then the second scan with the antenna connected finds the channels correctly.

--- CHAS


I don't think so. I'm using a Sony LCD screen with built-in ATSC receiver. It is clearly showing frequency 6 on the diagnostics screen.

#26 OFFLINE   dhhaines

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 01:21 PM

That's what the WPVI 6 e-mail people told me.

I got analog 6 snowy but watchable on the SAME antenna just before the switch occurred. I also got WPVI-DT on the UHF channel at over 90% signal strength. Now I get 41% signal strength and it fails to lock.


I honestly don't think it's an antenna problem. I have a VHF/UHF antenna that when I rotated it I could pull in both NYC and Philly stations on the old analog VHF frequencies. I can't get any signal from the "new" WPVI-DT signal at all.:nono2: ALL other Philly and even Atlantic City are coming in above 60%. There is interference or something with WPVI's signal.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
I read a report that said the typical symptoms of stress were eating too much, drinking too much, impulse buying, and driving too fast. Who are they kidding? That's my idea of a perfect day.



Directv 3/1998-9/2011
now with Verizon FIOS and loving the faster DVR and being able to use both the external & internal drives at the same time

#27 OFFLINE   Upstream

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 02:00 PM

On the other hand, I am near New Brunswick, and my Sony flatscreen shows about 70% signal strength on WPVI when I point my antenna (attic antenna) toward Philadelphia. I can't get digital channel 3 at all. and on channel 10 the HD channel (10.1) breaks up while the non-HD subchannels are fine.

#28 OFFLINE   HIPAR

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 04:21 PM

They turned their pretransition UHF transmitter back on!

http://www1.whdh.com...rsion/BO116478/

--- CHAS
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#29 OFFLINE   Kenkong586

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 04:03 PM

I'm having issues with dolby digital sound from OTA. On some channels (not all) the audio cuts in and out via Coaxial to surround sound. If I listen via tv speakers through HDMI, no sound issues at all. The video is flawless even with the sound issues. I'm not sure if it's the coaxial output from the tv or reception. If it is reception, all the levels seem fine and as previously stated, video is flawless. Any thoughts or advice?

Edited by Kenkong586, 18 June 2009 - 04:37 PM.

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#30 OFFLINE   William1

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 04:11 PM

Here in Richmond VA, channel 12 (WBBT) is staying on VHF 12 at a low power of 6 Kw (I think). Not sure of the particulars but many are not getting a signal at all and should be, appears to be a signal radiation issue. I know they and the FCC are working on it.
I've spoken wit the FCC and was told that several major markets are experiencing the same problems (Boston, Chicago and others) also.
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#31 OFFLINE   William1

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 04:13 PM

Strange. I'm 12 miles southeast and WPVI-6 is the only station I can't get. All other Philly stations are coming in at 60% +. Before the switchover WPVI had the strongest signal.


This is about the same scenario we are having here with ch12
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#32 OFFLINE   sat4r

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 04:21 PM

Is any one in the Dallas area having problems receiving 8-1 from antenna. I get
8-2 and 8-3 from antenna. I get 8 from satellite. Thanks


I live west of the DFW metroplex and 8-1 comes in well for me, new antenna installed after last years hail storm.I dont receive 4-2 Fox radar however 4-1 comes in strong.Is Foxes radar channel down?
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#33 OFFLINE   Jim5506

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 06:16 PM

All subchannels on any one main channel are carried on the same carrier (to be repetitive), so if the signal the station is transmitting is properly multiplexed, you will receive all subchannels with the same picture quality and same signal strength.

A missing subchannel indicates the station has a problem in their multiplexer. Some digital tuners may be able to decode even a crappy signal, evidently yours cannot.

I'd call the station and tell them you see 8.2 and 8.3 but not 8.1 and see if they eventually fix it. They probably will not admit to any error on their part, but plant the seed in their minds anyway.
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#34 OFFLINE   Mrmiami

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 04:40 AM

I don't understand why the #1 station in Philadephia would choose to stay on the VHF low band when I've read so many things about reception issues with it.


We have the same problem here in Albany, NY with the same channel number (6 WRGB) they were on channel 39 before the change over on 6/12 but then switched back to VHF Low Band 6 now at 13 miles from the tower 771 searching for signal!!! Before the switch 100% pinned at all times with zero problems on channel 39 assignment. Now were being told because it's low band 6 we need to add another "special" low band antenna because the antennas that were "specifically" designed for digital TV start at channels 7-69. What a bright idea huh? The reasoning behind it, if you can call it that is because we are more or less surrounded by mountains the VHF Low signal can better reach into those mountains so the suburb dwellers can receive WRGB's signal. It also gives the channel the ability to do it at less power and utilize some of the equiptment they already had in place for the analog signal.....hmm, NOW I think were getting a little closer to the "REAL TRUTH" it saves them money!!! Why else could you justify catering to a population of 20 homes per square mile vs 600 per square mile in the urban setting. What pisses me off the most though is that when Digital TV was initially purposed and approved ALL DIGITAL TV BROADCAST WERE TO BE DONE IN THE UHF SPECTRUM ONLY AND THAT IS HOW DIGITAL READY ANTENNAS WERE DESIGNED. Once broadcasters stopped stomping their feet, dragging their heals to make the changeover (it was a fight they couldn't win) they thought of ways they could save the extra funds by using current equipment in the VHF spectrum. Waivers were granted by the FCC thus throwing the additional cost of having to add another antenna or duel antenna back to the consumer. Now they have taken this even one step further by using the VHF LOW Band so gone are the days of only having to add one ugly appendage to your roofline, theres just no way around it now, if you want that additional one or two extra low band channels, you'll have to add a second antenna, joiner/combiner, extra coax and yes......extra cost.

#35 OFFLINE   Upstream

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 05:49 AM

What pisses me off the most though is that when Digital TV was initially purposed and approved ALL DIGITAL TV BROADCAST WERE TO BE DONE IN THE UHF SPECTRUM ONLY AND THAT IS HOW DIGITAL READY ANTENNAS WERE DESIGNED.


I don't think that is true. I'm pretty sure that the intent always was to make use of VHF and UHF frequencies once the digital transition was complete.

But most VHF stations got temporary UHF frequencies to simulcast digital signals while continuing to transmit analog signals on their VHF frequencies. So before the final transistion, while analog channels continued to use the VHF frequencies, all of the digital stations were on temporary assignment on UHF.

Some antenna companies and retailers, in order to make an extra buck, started selling special "Digital Antennas" and told customers that they needed to replace their existing antennas. Those "digital antennas" were UHF-only antennas, because they were cheaper to make and ship, and because they looked very different from the typical VHF antenna that people had. The different looking antenna reinforced the perception that your old antenna was no longer sufficient.

But the intent always was for digital stations to occupy both VHF and UHF frequencies. And in some markets, where a VHF frequency was available, those VHF frequencies were assigned for digital broadcast even before the final transistion. In the New York market, for example, WNJB was assigned Channel 8 for its digital broadcast in May 2001, and they continued to broadcast analog on their original channel 58. After the final transition, they turned off their analog channel 58, and continued digital on channel 8. So they are a station that actually moved from UHF to VHF.

#36 OFFLINE   Jerry Springer

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 05:47 PM

On the other hand, I am near New Brunswick, and my Sony flatscreen shows about 70% signal strength on WPVI when I point my antenna (attic antenna) toward Philadelphia. I can't get digital channel 3 at all. and on channel 10 the HD channel (10.1) breaks up while the non-HD subchannels are fine.


Attic antennas do not work well with the new DTV UHF reception.

Even a piece of flashing 6 inches wide will block the signal.

Although the building materials will not block the signal from going through the walls of the house. The moisture on top of the roof and the moisture under the shingles and the moisture in the wood will. A plastic vent stack will not block the signals, but the moisture inside of the pipe will.

UHF is line of sight.

If you really want to receive it, you have to mount your antenna outside of the house and as high up as you can get it. About 10 feet higher than the highest thing in your neighborhood works best.

Trees, leaves on trees, buildings more than 4 stories tall, hills and mountains will all block UHF signals.

You also have to use a large UHF / VHF antenna if you live in a fringe area.

Pre amplifiers are a must if you wish to connect more than two televisions or if your antenna wire is more than 50 feet long.

#37 OFFLINE   Jerry Springer

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 05:51 PM

I'm having issues with dolby digital sound from OTA. On some channels (not all) the audio cuts in and out via Coaxial to surround sound. If I listen via tv speakers through HDMI, no sound issues at all. The video is flawless even with the sound issues. I'm not sure if it's the coaxial output from the tv or reception. If it is reception, all the levels seem fine and as previously stated, video is flawless. Any thoughts or advice?


Most televison stations are not done switching their equipment from analog to digital and some are still transmitting on temporary transmitters and on temporary towers.

After the switch is complete, some stations reception will get better and as their transitions complete, some stations problems with break ups will either get worse or better.

Some old analog television programs do not translate well to digital and you get blocks in the pictures, blurred pictures and start and stop audio.

Some converter boxes such as the Zenith DTT 900 has internal clock problems where the sound doesn't always match the picture.

At this point, there isn't much that can be done about it.

#38 OFFLINE   scooper

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 07:58 PM

ALL DIGITAL TV BROADCAST WERE TO BE DONE IN THE UHF SPECTRUM ONLY AND THAT IS HOW DIGITAL READY ANTENNAS WERE DESIGNED.


And that statement RIGHT THERE is completely wrong, it was NEVER intended to be only UHF for several years now. There are between 400- and 500 (maybe as many as 600) stations now broadcasting on VHF digitally, to varying degrees of success. There have been several places where you could have found out "the truth" (AVSForum being a prime source) (Antennaweb.org another). If you blindly believed the advertising about only needing a UHF antenna and didn't check it for yourself - I'm sorry - now go fix your problem.

Screaming and arguing about it is not going to help.
You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...

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#39 OFFLINE   n3ntj

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 01:49 PM

Anyone else out there in the Harrisburg or Phily areas having issues with OTA reception of several channels? I can get WCAU 10.2 fine, but get only 771 on 10.1. Same for WGAL 8.1 and 8.2. The subchannel 8.2 comes in fine, but only 771 on 8.1.

I get all of these stations perfectly fine (90%+) on the TV's ATSC tuner. I rebooted numerous times and even reset the OTA setup and started over.

I can't get WPVI 6.1 at all (HR20 or TV's tuner).. I guess the 30 kW power level they are now at, still doesn't reach me. I even built a wire dipole for ch 6 (85 MHz).
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#40 OFFLINE   rlgold88

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 10:09 AM

I have an issue for my local Fox 2 from ota. I have an antenna on the house I have it split 7 different ways first to a 4 way splitter from there

1 out goes directly to Hr20-100 no signal for fox 2 (searching for signal)

another out goes to a 3 way splitter for TV, Hr20-700 and Hr20-100 reception great

next out goes to a 2 way splitter for a HDTV Box and an digital converter box Both have NO signal for fox 2 only. tried another splitter same issue. other channels great reception

Last out goes to an HDTV great reception.

All other local channels reception are in the 90's-100 including Fox 2 on the components I have reception. Fox 2 is the only channel that gives me the issue on some of my equipment.

What do you think is my problem?
any suggestions appreciated
Thanks Rob




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