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Over-the-Air Digital Reception Issues and Discussion


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#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.

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#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".
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DirecTV Equipment: HR24-200, HR24-100, 5LNB Slimline, AM21, SWiM 8 installed (MRV)
HR-2x 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, HR24-100, 5LNB Slimline, AM21, SWiM 8 installed (MRV)
HR-2x 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, HR24-100, 5LNB Slimline, AM21, SWiM 8 installed (MRV)
HR-2x 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

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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.

#76 OFFLINE   KRK

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 03:35 PM

Ok.. so I put up a new antenna and now get 100% on all 3 channels on the PC, however, I still do not receive anything on the HR20. I actually got a little bit of a signal on another channel through the HR20, I think maybe up to 35%, the other channel still showing 100%, and the 3rd channel still at 0. I do not get anything on any channel, including the channel that show 100% strength. I mentioned before it was just a black screen, but after further review, it does give me the "searching for signal" error on that channel as well.

#77 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 10:49 PM

I'm going to assume that you told DIRECTV of your change of address.

Have you asked them to send you (or initiated online) a "rehit"?

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -- JFK


#78 OFFLINE   KRK

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 06:55 AM

DirecTV is aware of the new location, though I'm not sure that should matter being I am talking about OTA reception. I had an installer come out to put up the new dish for me last weekend, and I saw on Monday or Tuesday the old Locals disappear from my guide, so all is good with things on DirecTV's end.

I am guessing that there is just something wrong with my HR20 because the signal coming in from the antenna is a good signal as indicated by my HTPC being able to receive all 3 channels at nearly 100% signal strength. The only other thing could be is if the HR20 isn't looking for the OTA signal on the right frequency, and maybe that is what you are talking about, however, that is based off what the local networks report to DirecTV I believe. Is there any way to manually add channels with the HR20?

#79 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 07:43 AM

Is there any way to manually add channels with the HR20?

No! The HR20, H20 and indeed any H®21-3 series receiver equipped with an AM-21 can only receive what DIRECTV tells it it can receive at the frequencies in their database. If your HR20 didn't get the whole message, it may be trying to tune the wrong frequencies.

In view of this widely recognized stupidity, I suggest you request a "re-hit".

The other possible issue is that you have too much signal. How far away are your broadcast towers (tvfool.com or antennaweb.org will tell you)?

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -- JFK


#80 OFFLINE   KRK

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 09:24 AM

I am between 12 and 27 miles. I tried a "re-hit" that didn't work, I also tried a complete "Initial Setup" of the antenna section with no luck. I have attached the summary information from TvFool.

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  • Radar-Digital.png





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