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Over-the-Air Digital Reception Issues and Discussion


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148 replies to this topic

#51 OFFLINE   n3ntj

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 10:58 PM

I've given up on getting WPVI 6.1 from Philly. I've tried several VHF antennas, including 2 that I built tuned specifically for 85 MHz. One has approx. 6.2 dB gain and I get no PSIP info about 70 miles west of Philly. WPVI raised their power to 30 kW and still no go. Not sure if the power increase has helped the large majority of people closer to Philly that still couldn't get the WPVI signal. I think the only chance I still have is if WPVI decided to go back to UHF. The Philly UHF stations are much stronger here (with a UHF antenna, of course).

HD Snob - "Friends Don't Let Friends Watch Cable".
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#52 OFFLINE   nnnn3950

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 02:05 PM

Do you have a strictly UHF antenna or a VHF/UHF model? Did any of your stations change to VHF? YOu might want to check at antennaweb.org or tvfool to see what changed.


I have a VHF/UHF antenna. I live 80 miles from the stations towers. But on antennaweb.org it says I only get channels 7.1. I get more then what they say. I contacted FCC to try to find out what was going on they said I should be thankful for what i have. But like I said I got those channels perfectly fine before they turned off analog and again those are DTV Channels and not analog channels. That's what puzzles me.

What about there reception strength?:confused:

#53 OFFLINE   n3ntj

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 02:21 PM

When did Antennaweb.org change from listing the stations you may get to only showing the very local stations? I am near Phily, Baltimore, and DC and can get many of these stations OTA, in addition to those in my market (Harrisburg/Lancaster, PA). Now when I use antennaweb.org, however, only the Harrisburg stations show up on their list.

HD Snob - "Friends Don't Let Friends Watch Cable".
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DirecTV Equipment: HR24-200 (2), 5LNB Slimline, AM21, SWiM 8 installed (MRV), Cinema Kit (Wifi connection)
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#54 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 05:46 PM

I have a VHF/UHF antenna. I live 80 miles from the stations towers. But on antennaweb.org it says I only get channels 7.1. I get more then what they say. I contacted FCC to try to find out what was going on they said I should be thankful for what i have. But like I said I got those channels perfectly fine before they turned off analog and again those are DTV Channels and not analog channels. That's what puzzles me.

What about there reception strength?:confused:


Most likely what has happened is they are operating at a much lower power than they were b4 the analog cutoff...Several of my stations are actually operating at lower power than b4 they cutoff the analog signal...

#55 OFFLINE   ChrisPC

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 03:33 PM

D* finally updated their channel mapping for Nashville. They added the new ThisTV subchannel on 5.3.

#56 OFFLINE   Jerry Springer

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 07:15 AM

The way that the FCC designed the power limitations of the new DTV is that the reception range is about 60 miles.

In the analog days there were two effectively transmitters for the TV
station.

A transmitter for the video and a transmitter for the audio.
The video transmitter was Amplitude Modulation see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTSC

The audio was FM at a much lower power.

The reason that the video was a higher power is that AM is more susceptible
to noise requiring a stronger signal at the receive and a higher power
output of the video transmitter

http://en.wikipedia....evision_station
"In North America, full-power stations on band I (channels 2 to 6) are
generally limited to 100 kW analog video (VSB) and 10 kW analog audio (FM),
or 20 kW digital (8VSB) ERP. Stations on band III (channels 7 to 13) can go
up by 5dB(W) to 316 kW video, 31.6 kW audio, or 63.2 kW digital. Low-VHF
stations are often subject to long-distance reception just as with FM.
There are no stations on channel 1.

UHF, by comparison, has a much shorter wavelength, and thus requires a
shorter antenna, but also higher power. North American stations can go up
to 5000 kW ERP for video and 500 kW audio, or 1000 kW digital. Low channels travel further than high ones at the same power, but UHF does not suffer from as much electromagnetic interference and background "noise" as VHF, making it much more desirable for TV.

Despite this, in the U.S., the FCC is took another large portion of this band (channels 52 to 69) away, in contrast to the rest of the world, which has been taking VHF instead.

This means that some stations left on VHF will be harder to receive after the analog shutdown".



UHF communications are more "line of sight" communications than lower
frequency VHF.
It is sort a like having a sound vs a light.
If you make sound it radiates in all directions, around buildings, through walls, down into holes (valley).

Shining a light does not go around corners or through walls and if it is a
pinpoint light it doesn't go down into the valleys.

The earth is round and eventually the beam of light, UHF TV the beam will
no longer touch the earth but go up into the sky.

Here is some information concerning line of sight and how it effects TV
http://www.softwrigh...ure_values.html

http://www.ian-ko.co..._Discussion.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horizon

The height of the transmitting antenna is factored into the power output of
the TV station.
The power output for TV & FM is rated in ERP (Effective Radiated Power)
There are a number of factors the go into this calculation.
Several Key items are:
Height of Antenna. listed both as HAAT (Height Above Average Terrain) and
AMSL (Height Above Mean Sea Level)

Gain of antenna: Just like your receiving antenna has gain in db so does
the transmitter.
Remember 3db gain is equivalent to doubling the output power. or 1/2 the
electric consumption expense.

Silly people who live around Philadelphia and watched analog television and does not understand how digital television works will always be disgruntled and wonder why I cannot receive this station anymore.

The power of the digital station is lower than the analog because the digital is going to take up more available channels - some for the real station and some for the translators and the FCC took away a large part of the useable bands for reception.

The goal is to have as many channels as possible in as small a space as possible.

With all the cell phones and pagers and WIFI, police, fire, news something had to give up some of it's bandwidth to allow more space for the other mobile communications. So you gained some telephone service and you lost some television service. That's all well and good for important people who HAS to have cell phone, but does nothing for a person like me - who doesn't give a damn if all the cell phones in the world stopped working today!

I cringe everytime I see a young person walking around with a cell phone to their ear, like they are someone important. The world is full of idiots.

#57 OFFLINE   Jerry Springer

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 07:24 AM

Here is a calculator for Friis Transmission Equation

http://www.random-sc...onics/friis.htm

Enter in transmit power, transmit antenna gain, receiver antenna gain, received power, range, frequency and wavelength and it will tell you how much power you can expect to receive at your location.

The numbers on the edge of the report - which is generated by your address and antenna height on the TV Fool report is a generalized estimation of how much power you can expect to receive at your location.

Once you get past -80 nm (db) - you can pretty much forget it!

http://www.tvfool.co...apper&Itemid=90

#58 OFFLINE   n3ntj

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 11:43 AM

Is anyone in the Philly market having problems receiving WYBE (35.x) using an HR20-700? I can receive it at 80%+ on my tv's tuner but only get 771 message (no signal) on the HR20. The other Philly stations I can get on the tv tuner, I can get on the HR20-700.

I wonder if the HR20-700 isn't mapping WYBE correctly. This has been going on for months.

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#59 OFFLINE   BernieL

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 08:08 AM

I am in the Atlanta Area and use an OTA antenna as well as subscribe to Dish Network locals. In Atlanta, the guide shows almost exclusively the main channel, e.g., XX.1. The other subchannnels just say DTV service. A friend in Panama City, Florida gets almost all the subchannel information on the Dish Guide in his area. Does anyone know why Dish does not show subchannels in a major city like Atlanta, but does so for a smaller city in Florida?

#60 OFFLINE   Jerry Springer

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 05:34 PM

Is anyone in the Philly market having problems receiving WYBE (35.x) using an HR20-700? I can receive it at 80%+ on my tv's tuner but only get 771 message (no signal) on the HR20. The other Philly stations I can get on the tv tuner, I can get on the HR20-700.

I wonder if the HR20-700 isn't mapping WYBE correctly. This has been going on for months.


Everyone in the Philly market is having problems with the DTV transition.

If you go up the page and read what I posted, you will see how the signal is transmitted.

A polite way to explain why you are having problems is due to the fact that WPVI is on real channel 6. The power level is 30.20 Kw

WZPA is even worse on channel 2 with a .045 Kw.

WHYY is on channel 12 - at 20 Kw

For the most part, all the other stations is on UHF.

If you lived in downtown Philly, you would have about 45 gettable stations, if you had a antenna that was a large antenna that was higher then everything else around you. For the most part, there is no co channel interference. But there is enough adjacent channels that multipath plays havoc with your signals.

Anytime you have a building that is more then 3 stories high between you and the signal, you will have problems trying to receive the signal.

Yes the power level is down from the analog signal, but it does not take as much power to transmit as far with digital as it did with analog. Again - look at my previous post.

UHF does not go through steel reinforced concrete very well if at all.

The FCC knows that there is a problem, but there is no short term solution to the problem. VHF - especially around channel 6 is affected by FM radio signals in the same area in about the same frequency as the television signals. There is no way to use a pre amplifier in the Philly market.

The only advice I can give you is to forget everything you knew about analog television and listen to anyone that has experience with digital communications and do what they say.

Put your antenna outside, at least 10 feet above the main roof of your house.

Point the antenna directly at the market you wish to receive.

Use a large antenna, not something that looks like it came in a box of cereal.

Use the best RG 6 coax you can get your hands on and the best F type crimp on terminals.

Good Luck!

For all the apartment dwellers who lives on the wrong side of the apartment building, sorry - but you are out of luck!

#61 OFFLINE   Jerry Springer

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 05:42 PM

I am in the Atlanta Area and use an OTA antenna as well as subscribe to Dish Network locals. In Atlanta, the guide shows almost exclusively the main channel, e.g., XX.1. The other subchannnels just say DTV service. A friend in Panama City, Florida gets almost all the subchannel information on the Dish Guide in his area. Does anyone know why Dish does not show subchannels in a major city like Atlanta, but does so for a smaller city in Florida?


My brother was down there for two months doing a job at a local power plant and he said that the main cable channels did not show the sub channels.

He also said that when he did a rescan of the digital television, he picked up the sub channels when he was down in Florida. Crystal River

The reason why all cable companies do not carry the sub channels is due to the fact that there is only so much bandwidth available to the cable companies to use for transmission of cable television.

Instead of wasting that bandwidth on channels that they could never recoup their investment, most cable companies choose to only carry the most important local channels to keep more room for all the home shopping network channels that does pay to be on air.

Just like you might have read for my advice for the op that lives in the Philly area, if you have 48 - 52 gettable channels in the area, how many of them are you going to be willing to carry on your program schedule? There is only so much room, especially when you count the High Def signals that they are broadcasting simulcasting while the standard definition channels are running the same program side by side.

In time, Standard definition will be dropped and everyone will be forced to pay for the High Def channels, if they want them or not.

If you want to watch the sub channels, I would suggest that you spend the money to purchase a good television antenna and wire and build your own system for local programming. That's what I did and I can tell you that the Sat Dish is hardly on anymore.

#62 OFFLINE   n3ntj

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 06:27 PM

OTA -Philadelphia, PA DMA

Can anyone in the Philly market with the HR20 tell me if they have issues with WYBE?

I can't get WBYE-DT 35.x channels on my HR20-700 although these stations show a 90% signal strength on my tv's tuner and are watchable there. Same antenna connected to the TV and HR20. I only get 771 on the HR20. This has happened for a while. Rebooting and redoing the OTA setup doesn't fix it. Any idea if this is a mapping issue on my HR20? How do I get D* to see if this is a mapping issue?

Edited by n3ntj, 22 November 2009 - 06:35 PM.

HD Snob - "Friends Don't Let Friends Watch Cable".
Electrical/RF Engineer & Inspector
DirecTV Equipment: HR24-200 (2), 5LNB Slimline, AM21, SWiM 8 installed (MRV), Cinema Kit (Wifi connection)
Configuration: Native OFF. Units OFF when not in use.
TVs: 2 Panasonic Plasma TV's each using HDMI (one 1080p/one 720p)
DirecTV customer since 1998. Plus HD DVR package w/ NHL Center Ice & MLB Extra Innings.
OTA Antenna: Homebrew UHF & VHF antennas w/ 30dB amplifier fed w/ RG-6 Quad-shield coax.


#63 OFFLINE   Jerry Springer

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 09:42 PM

Here is a evaluation by PC Magazine
http://www.pcmag.com...,2096897,00.asp

Basically it is not without its faults.

Signal strength has nothing to do with reception due to the fact that no manufacturer calibrates their signal strength meters to other manufacturers or even posts what it is equal to in DBI or DBM..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DBm

My guess is that either your television antenna is too small or not directional enough or not mounted in a proper place or pointed in the right direction.

Can you give us a TV Fool report and address so we can look at your reception issues.

We also need to know the make and model and year of the antenna you are using, Which type of amplification - if any and splitters and wire used in your system.

You are there and I am here and there is no way for me to guess what it wrong with your set up.

One other guess is multipath, where more then one signal - of the original signal is reaching the tuner at the same time.

As we all know, with a digital signal, all being ones and Zero's, if you corrupt the data coming into the tuner, it is worse then having no data at all.

Are you sure that you are talking about WBYE - that is a AM radio station 1370 - Calera, Alabama, USA

WYBE is not all that powerful, at 450 Kw, but it is a UHF station and could probably be received on a paper clip.

#64 OFFLINE   machavez00

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 11:15 PM

lost KAET 8.1 and sub channels (no longer in guide) after resetting OTA. I did a reset because I was getting searching for signal for 7.2

#65 OFFLINE   Jerry Springer

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 08:42 AM

lost KAET 8.1 and sub channels (no longer in guide) after resetting OTA. I did a reset because I was getting searching for signal for 7.2


So what is your question?

#66 OFFLINE   machavez00

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 10:40 AM

just saying

#67 OFFLINE   n3ntj

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 05:16 PM

Here is a evaluation by PC Magazine
http://www.pcmag.com...,2096897,00.asp

Basically it is not without its faults.

Signal strength has nothing to do with reception due to the fact that no manufacturer calibrates their signal strength meters to other manufacturers or even posts what it is equal to in DBI or DBM..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DBm

My guess is that either your television antenna is too small or not directional enough or not mounted in a proper place or pointed in the right direction.

Can you give us a TV Fool report and address so we can look at your reception issues.

We also need to know the make and model and year of the antenna you are using, Which type of amplification - if any and splitters and wire used in your system.

You are there and I am here and there is no way for me to guess what it wrong with your set up.

One other guess is multipath, where more then one signal - of the original signal is reaching the tuner at the same time.

As we all know, with a digital signal, all being ones and Zero's, if you corrupt the data coming into the tuner, it is worse then having no data at all.

Are you sure that you are talking about WBYE - that is a AM radio station 1370 - Calera, Alabama, USA

WYBE is not all that powerful, at 450 Kw, but it is a UHF station and could probably be received on a paper clip.


Yes, indeed I am talking about WYBE-DT 35.1 (w/ 3 subchannels) from Philly. They transmit on RF channel 34. I just find it strange that I can get a 85~90% signal on my TV's ATSC tuner and then unplug the RG-6 out of the TV and plug it into the HR20's ATSC tuner and get no signal (only 771). The antenna is a homebrew UHF yagi antenna that I built and tuned using an HP Network Analyzer at work. I am an RF Engineer. There was no null at the ch. 34 freqs and I did try another length of RG-6 just to see if somehow the coax length was resonant at the ch 34 freq.

I can get the various other UHF Philly digital TV stations (except for 61.x) with signals ranging from about 60%~100% on the TV and HR20's tuners. I have a 20dB gain amp in line b/w the UHF antenna and TV/HR20.

I have the antenna tweaked for max signal for the Philly stations (since most of them are all in the same location). Again, since I get an 85~90% signal on my TV's ATSC tuner (it is maxed out regarding it's aiming for max signal), I don't think it's an aim issue as to the 771 on the HR20. Due to the performance on the TV's tuner, I can think of nothing to explain the 771s other than a crappy tuner in the HR20. ;)

HD Snob - "Friends Don't Let Friends Watch Cable".
Electrical/RF Engineer & Inspector
DirecTV Equipment: HR24-200 (2), 5LNB Slimline, AM21, SWiM 8 installed (MRV), Cinema Kit (Wifi connection)
Configuration: Native OFF. Units OFF when not in use.
TVs: 2 Panasonic Plasma TV's each using HDMI (one 1080p/one 720p)
DirecTV customer since 1998. Plus HD DVR package w/ NHL Center Ice & MLB Extra Innings.
OTA Antenna: Homebrew UHF & VHF antennas w/ 30dB amplifier fed w/ RG-6 Quad-shield coax.


#68 OFFLINE   Jerry Springer

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 10:51 AM

Yes, indeed I am talking about WYBE-DT 35.1 (w/ 3 subchannels) from Philly. They transmit on RF channel 34. I just find it strange that I can get a 85~90% signal on my TV's ATSC tuner and then unplug the RG-6 out of the TV and plug it into the HR20's ATSC tuner and get no signal (only 771). The antenna is a homebrew UHF yagi antenna that I built and tuned using an HP Network Analyzer at work. I am an RF Engineer. There was no null at the ch. 34 freqs and I did try another length of RG-6 just to see if somehow the coax length was resonant at the ch 34 freq.

I can get the various other UHF Philly digital TV stations (except for 61.x) with signals ranging from about 60%~100% on the TV and HR20's tuners. I have a 20dB gain amp in line b/w the UHF antenna and TV/HR20.

I have the antenna tweaked for max signal for the Philly stations (since most of them are all in the same location). Again, since I get an 85~90% signal on my TV's ATSC tuner (it is maxed out regarding it's aiming for max signal), I don't think it's an aim issue as to the 771 on the HR20. Due to the performance on the TV's tuner, I can think of nothing to explain the 771s other than a crappy tuner in the HR20. ;)


I guess I didn't cover that subject on this forum.

Not all tuners are the same and not all signal strength meters are the same because there is nothing to calibrate one against the other and the manufacturers are not held to any standard when they install a signal strength meter in their tuner.

If you have the equipment, you might want to do a field survey and find out just how much signal is available at your location.

Type in the address in a TV Fool Report and send me the coordinates for your home location and the height of antenna and I will take a look at it if you want. I am not saying that I am any more educated then you are. All I am saying is that 4 eyes are better then 2.

http://www.tvfool.co...apper&Itemid=90

As far as a cheap converter box goes, I have had very good success with the Channel Master CM 7000 and the Zenith DTT 900 - 901

But neither of them are still being made or sold by the manufacturer. When the coupon program ended, so did production. Most manufacturers were just out for the $40 coupon and was not as concerned by the quality and felt that even if the consumer did not like the box, the government still paid them $40 to make it and throw it in the garbage - which is where most of them belonged. The HR 20 is no exception.

#69 OFFLINE   n3ntj

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 05:11 PM

I am located near 40.109182, -76.497269. Antenna is up about 35' and very similar to the CM4228. I've actually also tried the CM4228 (just to compare) and had very similar results. It is pointed towards Philly and locked in position for max signal from the Philly UHF stations. I can get KYW (3.1), WCAU (10.1), WPHL (17.1), WTFX (29.1), WPSG (57.1) all with 80%+ signals on the TV and HR20 tuners. The issue is with WYBE (35.1) on the HR20.

As I said earlier, the stations come in great on the TV's tuner but no signal at all for 35.x on the HR20 ATSC tuner. About the only thing left to try is a different length of RG-6 coax just to see if there is a resonance issue with the HR20's ATSC tuner at RF ch. 34 (WYBE's RF channel).

HD Snob - "Friends Don't Let Friends Watch Cable".
Electrical/RF Engineer & Inspector
DirecTV Equipment: HR24-200 (2), 5LNB Slimline, AM21, SWiM 8 installed (MRV), Cinema Kit (Wifi connection)
Configuration: Native OFF. Units OFF when not in use.
TVs: 2 Panasonic Plasma TV's each using HDMI (one 1080p/one 720p)
DirecTV customer since 1998. Plus HD DVR package w/ NHL Center Ice & MLB Extra Innings.
OTA Antenna: Homebrew UHF & VHF antennas w/ 30dB amplifier fed w/ RG-6 Quad-shield coax.


#70 OFFLINE   swise

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 02:54 PM

Long time reader, first time poster. We live in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton DMA. Just recently the ABC affiliate (16) converted their local translator to digital so we can now use the HR20-700 to receive the off-air signal. The problem is we receive 16-1 with no problems (using an attic antennae) but we cannot receive 16-2, even though we have the same signal strength on both, on either HR20-700. However we can receive both 16-1 and 16-2 on our H20-100. Directv said they would escalate the problem to engineering but I don't hold out much hope. Does anyone have any idea what the problem could be?

#71 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 06:28 PM

try to do a complete reset of the antenna settings then redo the setup....the H20 will actually scan for channels, none of the others will, they just use a databse of what you should be able to recieve based on zip code. It's also possible that Tribune hasnt corrected the channel "database" for your area yet. There's a good chance this is not really a D* issue at all...

#72 OFFLINE   swise

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 06:41 PM

Thanks for the reply. Since we have already contacted Directv does that mean tribune will be contacted by Directv? We have redone the setup so many times we could do it in our sleep. thanks for your help.

#73 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 07:46 PM

Just to be clear, you actually reset the antenna settings, and set them up again from scratch, or you just re-ran the antenna setup? Believe it or not they actually seem to work differently, and most had to do the complete antenna reset, then redo it, just redoing it didnt work unless it was accompanied by the reset b4hand. There's got to be someone else out there from your DMA that can chime in and say if they are experiencing the same issue. YOu are better off calling your local station and make sure the station engineer has reported the change..What does it show at www.zap2it.com for your local stations? If it's not listed Tribune doesnt have the correct info meaning your local station dropped the ball most likely.

#74 OFFLINE   swise

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 10:57 AM

Yes we reset settings and then reran the antennae setup. What should it say at zap2it? Should it show 3 different ABC, one for 16 from directv, one for 16-1 over the air and one for 16-2 over the air? I have never used the web site.

Just checked Zap2it and both 16-1 and 16-2 are listed under broadcast.

Edited by swise, 04 December 2009 - 11:27 AM.
more info


#75 OFFLINE   KRK

KRK

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 11:04 AM

I am having a strange issue where my receiver won't play any OTA signal. I just recently moved to San Angelo, TX, and I no longer receive my locals from DirecTV, so I must resort to OTA.

I only get 3 HD Channels here. When using my HTPC, I can usually get good reception on 2 of the 3, and spotty to good on the 3rd, however, when hooking up to my HR20, I am only showing signal on 1 channel. While that is a problem, that isn't the problem I am reporting here. The problem is, on the 1 channel I do get, it shows as 100% signal strength, however, when I tune to that channel, I only get a black screen. When I tune to the other 2 channels with the HR20, I receive a "searching for signal" or whatever the on screen message is.




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