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Burning question about local channel options


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19 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Confused1

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 02:13 PM

Hello everyone. I try to post in the correct areas and understand a forum as well as possible before posting to not be a burden on the community but I have to say that after a couple hours I can't understand most technical lingo on this board and I am completely lost. I salute all of you techies, I thought I was one and I now know that I obviously am not. I can't make heads or tails out of things, in general. Now onto my question.

I am about to purchase (probably) Direct TV service for my home. After speaking with the CSR I asked what local channels we would receive with the service. You see, I live in Southeastern Michigan and am at most 5 miles from Toledo, Ohio which is where most things in my life unfold. With our current cable service we receive the Toledo, Ohio local channels and would like to continue to receive Toledo local channels. The Direct TV CSR stated that I would receive Detroit local channels with Direct TV. I asked if there was a way to change that and she stated "no". She then said something about the FCC not allowing it or something. This is kind of a deal breaker for Direct TV & me.

I was wondering is there any way to get Direct TV service and change my locals to the Toledo, Ohio ones? I don't want two different areas, I simply want Toledo and only Toledo locals. I know I am in range of the Toledo spot beam. Can I simply go into some settings menu after the equipment is installed and switch something to the Toledo locals? Can I "talk" to the installer when he/she shows up to install it about just making my local channels the Toledo ones? I just want to know my options here. I will say that cost is a factor and I will not be buying any other satelite dishes or expensive equipment to make this happen. I am hoping for a somewhat simple solution.

I sure appreciate any help here folks. Thanks and I hope I put this thread in the right place.

Edited by Confused1, 06 March 2012 - 02:48 PM.


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#2 OFFLINE   Go Beavs

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 02:34 PM

Your local channels are based on your zip code and (sometimes) the county you live in. You can go on DIRECTV's web site and see for yourself which ones come up.

If you're stuck with the "wrong" locals, about the best thing for you to do would be to request the AM21 OTA add on module that will allow you to receive off-air broadcasts. You can pick the market you want with that unit and it will integrate all the channels into the guide.

The AM21 will NOT scan for channels as it uses DIRECTV's guide data to know what to look for. So, you may or may not get all available off-air channels that your TV might be able to receive. gct has a list of available satellite and OTA channels here.

Genie, Hx2x, nomad
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#3 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 02:38 PM

The AM21 will NOT scan for channels as it uses DIRECTV's guide data to know what to look for. So, you may or may not get all available off-air channels that your TV might be able to receive.


Partly correct, it's the receiver that doesn't scan, the AM21 will do a scan when connected to a HR34 receiver. For OTA channels that are in DIRECTV's database of locals your guide will have program information intergrated in the guide. For channels that aren't the channel will show in your guide but no programming information is provided, you have to set up manual timers to record anything thing from those channels.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#4 OFFLINE   Go Beavs

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 02:52 PM

Thanks RAD... forgot about the HR34.

Genie, Hx2x, nomad
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#5 OFFLINE   Confused1

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 03:03 PM

Thank you for the replies. I went to the other thread that the first poster linked and I can't make heads or tails of it to be honest. I don't know what any of those terms mean. local in local, over the air, off-air, conus, it's all greek to me. I can arrange to get an AM21 if that will solve the problem, but I'm not sure if you guys are saying it will get those channels or won't.

We have relatively newer Samsung TV's with digital tuners built in but when I auto program them looking for the Toledo local channels none show up. Does this mean that none will show up with the AM21? I know that Direct TV has Toledo local channels, they are DMA 70 if that matters (dunno what DMA means but found that on another thread here). Just hoping for a simple answer because I really don't know jack about this stuff.

I apologize for being a pain. I don't care if I can DVR the local channels or if they show up in the program guide. I don't even really care if they are HD. I just need to be able to get them in SD. Will the AM21 allow me to get them when the DirectTV CSR says that I can only have Detroit locals? If so why didn't she just recommend the AM21 to me? Thank you Thank you Thank you!

#6 OFFLINE   litzdog911

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 03:35 PM

You won't get the Toledo locals from DirecTV satellites due to your physical service address. That's not something they have any control over.

But if you're only 5-miles from Toledo, then you should be able to easily receive those channels with an off-air antenna, either directly using your TV's off-air tuner, or the AM21 Off-Air Tuner Accessory with the HD DVR. But you will need a suitable off-air antenna.
HD DVRs: HR34-700; HR24-500; (2) HR20-700 + WD eSATA 1TB drive/Antec MX1 case; HR21-700; HR21-200 w/AM21
Receivers: H25-500 HD Receiver; H21-100 HD Receiver
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#7 OFFLINE   Confused1

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 03:46 PM

Thanks alot. That was kinda what I was looking for in an answer. Unfortunately two different TVs in my home which I believe have off air antennas are not picking up anything but static so I don't have much faith that the AM21 would be successful either. I really don't know why I can't get a local digital signal but I suppose that is a seperate issue. Thanks again.

#8 ONLINE   Scott Kocourek

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 03:49 PM

The tv's have digital tuners but do you have an antenna connected to them?

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#9 ONLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 04:43 PM

Thanks alot. That was kinda what I was looking for in an answer. Unfortunately two different TVs in my home which I believe have off air antennas are not picking up anything but static so I don't have much faith that the AM21 would be successful either. I really don't know why I can't get a local digital signal but I suppose that is a seperate issue. Thanks again.

Enter your address here: http://www.antennaweb.org/Address.aspx

This will show what you can get and what direction, along with what type of antenna you'll need.
A.K.A VOS

#10 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 04:50 PM

(dunno what DMA means but found that on another thread here).


Dominant Market Area.

I'm sure Directv can't wait to get their hands on your unit.

 
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#11 OFFLINE   Herdfan

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 05:09 PM

Unfortunately two different TVs in my home which I believe have off air antennas are not picking up anything but static so I don't have much faith that the AM21 would be successful either.


The tv's have digital tuners but do you have an antenna connected to them?


That is what I thought as well.

This is a good little antenna: http://www.crutchfie...ch=terk antenna

You can probably find it cheaper locally and it should work for what you need.

#12 OFFLINE   Herdfan

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 05:10 PM

Dominant Market Area.


Designated Market Area.

#13 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 05:23 PM

Designated Market Area.


Whoops, I always screw that up since I'm used to calling them by the old Arbitron term: ADI (Area of Dominant Influence)

I'm sure Directv can't wait to get their hands on your unit.

 
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#14 OFFLINE   Go Beavs

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 05:58 PM

Here's what's available via DIRECTV's guide data for over-the-air channels from Toledo, OH. This is from gct's transponder maps.

Capture.JPG

1st column is DIRECTV's market number
2nd column is the station name
3rd column is the channel (30_1 = 30.1)

Genie, Hx2x, nomad
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#15 OFFLINE   Confused1

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 06:31 PM

Whoa! whoa! whoa! :D You guys rock, seriously...

The tv's have digital tuners but do you have an antenna connected to them?


No... Are they essential? Will they make absolutely no signal become a good signal? I am ashamed to admit that I thought if my TV had a digital tuner I was good to go

Enter your address here.

This will show what you can get and what direction, along with what type of antenna you'll need.


Thanks! Checked it out and it stated that all the channels I really want are available and classified them as "UHF Yellow" it then suggested I need a "small multidirectional antenna" to pick them up.


That is what I thought as well.

This is a good little antenna:
You can probably find it cheaper locally and it should work for what you need.


Awesome, thank you very much. So based on the above info I got from that website would you consider that antenna you listed to be a small multidirectional antenna capable of doing what's necessary?

Here's what's available via DIRECTV's guide data for over-the-air channels from Toledo, OH. This is from gct's transponder maps.

[ATTACH]28554[/ATTACH]

1st column is DIRECTV's market number
2nd column is the station name
3rd column is the channel (30_1 = 30.1)


Those are the exact channels I want. 11,13,24,30, & 36. I think this is probably good news but you say this is "guide data for over the air channels" and I don't understand that. :confused: Does that mean that if I got the AM21 I could get those channels for sure? Or does it mean something else? Like I said I knew that direct TV offered those channels to it's customer's in Toledo but I was told that I couldn't get them because I have the wrong zip code...

Thanks to everyone. I really appreciate it! It sounds like there are some possible solutions to me getting direct TV and still having the Toledo local channels which was the point of all of this :)

#16 ONLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 06:44 PM

Those are the exact channels I want. 11,13,24,30, & 36. I think this is probably good news but you say this is "guide data for over the air channels" and I don't understand that. :confused: Does that mean that if I got the AM21 I could get those channels for sure?

"It sounds like" an AM21 added to a receiver will give you the channels you want [with the right antenna] and the guide data will be part of the guide from DirecTV. "Multidirectional" suggests the stations are from at least two different directions, which can be a problem because most arel line of sight and if the station is "say off to the left" of where the antenna is pointed, then you'll have problems receiving it "until" to move/point the antenna in the correct direction.

[insert plug for a friend]

You might fill this request out and get someone to offer a good solution for "your" antenna needs: http://www.solidsign...ctor-help&mc=03
A.K.A VOS

#17 OFFLINE   Go Beavs

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 07:22 PM

Those are the exact channels I want. 11,13,24,30, & 36. I think this is probably good news but you say this is "guide data for over the air channels" and I don't understand that. :confused: Does that mean that if I got the AM21 I could get those channels for sure? Or does it mean something else? Like I said I knew that direct TV offered those channels to it's customer's in Toledo but I was told that I couldn't get them because I have the wrong zip code...


You live in the wrong zip to get those channels from DIRECTV's satellites but you can get them over the air with the right TV antenna (use VOS's link :)). DIRECTV has guide information (what programs are on at what times) for those OTA channels and will integrate that info right into your on-screen guide when you use the AM21 add-on tuner module.

If it all works out with your antenna, you should have Detroit locals (delivered from the satellite feed) and Toledo locals (delivered from OTA broadcasts) both integrated into your guide.

There... clear as mud? :)

Genie, Hx2x, nomad
D* customer since Oct '99


#18 OFFLINE   Confused1

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:33 PM

Clearer than mud! Thanks again you guys I couldn't ask for any better info, much obliged!:gott:

#19 ONLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:45 PM

BTW: from a quick look/guess of where you live, the Toledo stations are all from the same direction, and it was some other channel(s) from over by the lake that was why "multi-directional" was called out.
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#20 OFFLINE   Herdfan

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:25 AM

Its odd that the county WEST of you is in the Toledo DMA and you are not. Its just a screwed up system.

That Terk I linked to should do fine, but if not perhaps a higher gain directional would be needed. Keep in mind you do not have to mount this on your house. I have my antenna's mounted in my attic and they work just fine and no one even knows they are there.




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