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HR20 - ATSC/OTA Discussion


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511 replies to this topic

#26 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 07:58 AM

One quick question. With my HR10-250 I only had 2 cable runs and used a diplexer, and I understand that I need a dedicated line for the HR20. My question is can I use a splitter on the OTA line and run one to the HR10 upstairs and run one line downstairs to the HR20? Or will this make the signals too weak?


That only depends on one thing: is the signal strong enough in the first place? I have mine split 3 ways with no preamp or distribution amp and my signals are (on my Sammy TV)

ABC: 7/10
CBS: 10/10
PBS: 10/10
NBC: 10/10
FOX: 7/10
CW: 7/10

==================================================

Maximize Your OTA Performance Primer (follows below)

==================================================

Let's assume for a minute that your OTA signal is a bit weak, if so you can do this:

Option 1: (the best)

Put an antenna mounted preamp at the antenna, and split the signal as you asked about (in the house). You will have a BETTER signal after the split, than you had before you put the antenna mounted preamp on, and then split it. In other words, the antenna mounted preamp when split will give you a better signal than you had with no split and no antenna mounted preamp. (again assumes your signal is a bit weak to begin with...if it is strong at first, then don't use an antenna mounted preamp...it will overload the HR20 and your sensitivity will go DOWN, not UP.) Try good quality passive splitters first, then option #2 below if that isn't good enough.

Gain has ONLY ONE FUNCTION in an RF preamp....it sets or "freezes" the noise figure of the SYSTEM. Once you have enough gain to "set" the noise figure previously discussed, then no more gain helps at all...in fact, is likely to make it worse.

How much "gain" is enough?

Typically 15 dB is quite adequate

Option 2:

If your signal is moderately good to begin with, then use this same antenna mounted preamp in the house, set to its lowest gain setting (assuming a switch and not an adjustable pot), and split off of it...you are then using the antennna mounted preamp in the house as a signal distribution amp.

Why do I suggest using the antenna mounted preamp in both cases, instead of the typical el cheapo distribution amps that get used:

The design and performance of antenna mounted preamps is FAR superior to the typical distribution amps that you can afford or will have access to. The key variable in evaluating ANY amplifier for OTA is Noise Figure NOT GAIN. Again, I repeat NOT GAIN, NOT GAIN, NOT GAIN....Noise Figure is EVERYTHING for OTA!

If the device you are going to buy does not specify its noise figure ...then you can be pretty sure its noise figure is POOR. The noise figure should be no worse than 4 dB...and it would be much better if 3 dB or less. The lower the noise figure, the BETTER the sensitivity that preamp will provide. (Be sure you are looking at its UHF noise figure and not VHF...they are usually specificied separately in a decent RF amplifier.)

Keep in mind with this "in house antenna mounted preamp as distribution amp":

Any cable loss ahead of the preamp or distribution amp ADDS directly to the noise figure of the preamp/distr. amp. So, if you get a 2 dB noise figure preamp and put 4 dB of coax loss in front of it (the run from the antenna to inside the house where you install your preamp/distribution amp), you end up with a SYSTEM noise figure of 2 dB + 4 dB = 6 dB...which is NOT very good...then again, it may suit your needs, don't panic.


Option 3: (the worst, but may be better than nothing but a passive split)

A garden variety distribution amp with no antenna preamp. Gain: no more than 10 dB...and noise figure no worse than 4 dB

Summary:

1. Put your lowest noise figure device as close to the antenna as possible in weak signal situations.

2. A 100' of RG-6 cable in front of a preamp/distribution amp DRAMATICALLY reduces system sensitivity.

3. Use antenna mounted preamps for distribution amps, and then split off of them

4. Don't use any more gain than necessary in any amp or it will make things worse rather than better.
...hasan, N0AN

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#27 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:02 AM

So, if I want OTA on 2 HR20s, then is that 4 runs? Or can you not record 2 OTAs at the same time?

I'm sorry, I'm new to OTA and my Pop is now interested in OTA because of PQ.


The HR20 can use 1 antenna for both it's tuners...it has an internal splitter. Only 1 OTA run per HR20 is required.
...hasan, N0AN

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#28 OFFLINE   Capmeister

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:10 AM

12/2? Look at his original posts. He built this thread on 11/27 which means he had it at least a couple days before that. He's special....


He is special--to us. :)

I think it's very clear to D* what Earl means to us and what his info is worth to them when he provides it to us and our info back to them through these forums. I think by letting "one of us" be in this role, D* is saying this relationship is good for all of us. Man, I'd take this over Charlie Chats ANY day.
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#29 OFFLINE   jgrade

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:17 AM

Earl:

Can you put to rest the debate about how many simultaneous recordings are possible with OTA activated? Is it 2 max or does the OTA add a third?
A flute without holes, is not a flute. A doughnut without a hole, is a danish.

Samsung HL-S7478W
DirecTV HR20-700
Sony STR-DA3300ES

#30 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:19 AM

It's in the release comments where he started the threads:

It's 2, just like he has been saying for MONTHS.
...hasan, N0AN

SlimLine5-SWiMLNB/DECA/WHDVR
HR44-700, WD20EURX 2 TB eSATA/ThermalTake Max 5 Enclosure

HR24-200, WD20EVDS 2 TB eSATA/ThermalTake Dock
HR24-200, H21-200. Samsung UN60C6400 60" LED/LCD
DirecTV since 1995

#31 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:20 AM

Earl:

Can you put to rest the debate about how many simultaneous recordings are possible with OTA activated? Is it 2 max or does the OTA add a third?


There is a TOTAL NET: of 2 recordings at a time.

1 SAT
1 OTA
1 SAT - 1 OTA
2 SAT
2 OTA
Earl - Gotta Love Karma

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All comments are my own. Unless specifically stated, my views do NOT represent the views of DIRECTV

#32 OFFLINE   jgrade

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:25 AM

hasan chillout man. I did not see the bold letters in the second thread. I believe what Earl says but wanted to confirm since it is official. As you know engineers like to change specs at the last minute. A simple yes or no would have done just fine.
A flute without holes, is not a flute. A doughnut without a hole, is a danish.

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Sony STR-DA3300ES

#33 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:26 AM

Sorry...didn't mean it to sound as gruff as it looked. (how's that for a mixed metaphor?)
...hasan, N0AN

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HR44-700, WD20EURX 2 TB eSATA/ThermalTake Max 5 Enclosure

HR24-200, WD20EVDS 2 TB eSATA/ThermalTake Dock
HR24-200, H21-200. Samsung UN60C6400 60" LED/LCD
DirecTV since 1995

#34 OFFLINE   gvatty

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:27 AM

Thanks Earl, I'm getting my Terk indoor antenna tommorrow. Hopefully I got the software upgrade last night (I'm at work). I don't have access to my manual. How will I hook up my indoor antenna to the HR20. Thanks.

#35 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:29 AM

There's an F connector on the back labled "Off Air In"
...hasan, N0AN

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HR44-700, WD20EURX 2 TB eSATA/ThermalTake Max 5 Enclosure

HR24-200, WD20EVDS 2 TB eSATA/ThermalTake Dock
HR24-200, H21-200. Samsung UN60C6400 60" LED/LCD
DirecTV since 1995

#36 OFFLINE   jgrade

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:29 AM

No problem. I will "listen" to your text more intently next time. Anyway, Earl, since I am in the same market as you, what antenna did you purchase. (or did you already answer that too):D
A flute without holes, is not a flute. A doughnut without a hole, is a danish.

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DirecTV HR20-700
Sony STR-DA3300ES

#37 OFFLINE   gvatty

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:31 AM

There's an F connector on the back labled "Off Air In"


Thank you

#38 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:33 AM

Nice one!:)

Have you looked at "antennaweb.org" site?

If you go there, you can type in your Zip code, (and a couple other simple variables) and it will tell you what digital stations are in your area, and what kind of antenna will be required to see them...it's a pretty nice resource...if for nothing else it's interesting to see what it says.

I don't know the layout of your transmitters in Chicago...are they all in one "antenna farm", or are they all over the place?

If you do go to the site, please report back what you find out...I'm curious.

Or just give me your zip and I'll go look myself.
...hasan, N0AN

SlimLine5-SWiMLNB/DECA/WHDVR
HR44-700, WD20EURX 2 TB eSATA/ThermalTake Max 5 Enclosure

HR24-200, WD20EVDS 2 TB eSATA/ThermalTake Dock
HR24-200, H21-200. Samsung UN60C6400 60" LED/LCD
DirecTV since 1995

#39 OFFLINE   christo76

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:38 AM

There is a TOTAL NET: of 2 recordings at a time.

1 SAT
1 OTA
1 SAT - 1 OTA
2 SAT
2 OTA


Earl, Is this the permanent total or will they be working to get the box to match the manual, and eventually we will be able to record 2 +1OTA?

#40 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:38 AM

I have had my antenna for three years now (started with a SAT-520, then the HR10, then the H20, then the HR20)..

I got a RadioShack VX-120... it is attic mounted.
I get amazing reception for all the channels, except WBBM-DT (CBS)... It is VHF-3 and I am simply just too far, with the attic mount, to get it reliably.

I get 28 "channels" via OTA, as I do pickup a few from Gary Indiana

Do check the Local Reception forums at AVS (links in the 2nd post), for a lot of help and information about what to get and how to set it up.
Earl - Gotta Love Karma

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All comments are my own. Unless specifically stated, my views do NOT represent the views of DIRECTV

#41 OFFLINE   hitdog042

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:39 AM

Has anyone other than Earl actually received this? I'm in Ohio, still grayed out.

Just curious.

#42 OFFLINE   gusbuf

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:41 AM

What about spliiting the Antenna signal between the HR-20 and also directly into my TV's antenna input? Will that degrade either picture? I have a Sony KDS60A2000 and the OTA HD picture is amazing with my DB4 antenna. I would like the option of watching OTA through the HR20 or the TV directly. Any thoughts?

Also, for those of you who have OTA activated already, how good does the internal tuner seem to be? Is your signal strong across all available OTA HD channels? How's the picture so far through the OTA input? Thanks!

#43 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:45 AM

What about spliiting the Antenna signal between the HR-20 and also directly into my TV's antenna input? Will that degrade either picture? I have a Sony KDS60A2000 and the OTA HD picture is amazing with my DB4 antenna. I would like the option of watching OTA through the HR20 or the TV directly. Any thoughts?

Also, for those of you who have OTA activated already, how good does the internal tuner seem to be? Is your signal strong across all available OTA HD channels? How's the picture so far through the OTA input? Thanks!


A split is a split is a split, it doesn't matter WHAT it's being split to. I'm splitting mine:

HR20
TV
Panasonic DVD/Hard Disk Recorder

I listed my signal strengths on my Sammy TV in another post. If your signal is good enough to begin with, then you can split 2 or 3 times with nothing more than a passive splitter. See my other post in this thread.
...hasan, N0AN

SlimLine5-SWiMLNB/DECA/WHDVR
HR44-700, WD20EURX 2 TB eSATA/ThermalTake Max 5 Enclosure

HR24-200, WD20EVDS 2 TB eSATA/ThermalTake Dock
HR24-200, H21-200. Samsung UN60C6400 60" LED/LCD
DirecTV since 1995

#44 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:47 AM

Has anyone other than Earl actually received this? I'm in Ohio, still grayed out.

Just curious.


Only the West coast has it at this time. It's being rolled out slowly. Earl is the exception in the midwest. It looks like Monday or so for the midwest/east coast. The roll out is deliberately slow so they can gather some data, without being overwhelmed and having to do a national retraction.
...hasan, N0AN

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HR44-700, WD20EURX 2 TB eSATA/ThermalTake Max 5 Enclosure

HR24-200, WD20EVDS 2 TB eSATA/ThermalTake Dock
HR24-200, H21-200. Samsung UN60C6400 60" LED/LCD
DirecTV since 1995

#45 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:47 AM

Has anyone other than Earl actually received this? I'm in Ohio, still grayed out.

Just curious.



"Extended Staggered Rollout: Small subset of users first (mostly Pacific Timezone), then a gradual increaes of the user base. primarily by timezones. Being that this is such a large release, it make take several days for everyone to receive the update. Please don't ask why you don't have the update, unless you see an update that the release has gone national; and you don't have the release yet."
THIS SPACE FOR RENT

#46 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:48 AM

Has anyone other than Earl actually received this? I'm in Ohio, still grayed out.

Just curious.



There have been a couple
http://www.dbstalk.c...ead.php?t=72264
http://www.dbstalk.c...ead.php?t=72263

Check the "release note" discussion thread.
This is an "extended staggard" release, it will take a few days for everyone to get it.
Earl - Gotta Love Karma

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All comments are my own. Unless specifically stated, my views do NOT represent the views of DIRECTV

#47 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:49 AM

Earl, Is this the permanent total or will they be working to get the box to match the manual, and eventually we will be able to record 2 +1OTA?


I wouldn't count on it any time soon, if ever with this system.
Earl - Gotta Love Karma

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#48 OFFLINE   nocaster

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:52 AM

Has anyone been able to compare the HR-20 ATSC tuner with the H20? I have both (for a couple more days anyway). The tuner in the H20 is rock solid and I was just wondering if the HR20 could be even better.

I'll have to say that the integration of OTA with the H10 and H20 works really well and I can't wait to have the added capability of a DVR with OTA (I don't have the new software yet). The fact that these recievers take two fundamentally different signals and integrate them seamlessly in the quide has always been impressive to me. When D* can add more bandwidth next year, get a few more bugs worked out, and finally add more HD channels the HR-20 should be quite a nice box.

#49 OFFLINE   krkeeton

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 09:05 AM

I know that you can only record two programs at once. I have read that. However, can you, for instasnce, watch something on the OTA tuner while recording 2 programs on the satellite tuners?

I am sorry if it is the same question as recording. I was just not sure how the technology worked. Thanks for any response.

#50 OFFLINE   jforgione

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 09:05 AM

Earl - I currently have a 3lnb dish and have a diplex on one of the feeds which currently splits my antenna feed into the TV with the other end going into the SAT HR20. The release discussion indicates that it is not recommended to diplex the signal.

Can you explain why it is not recommended to diplex the signal and what will happen if you do? I'd rather not have to run a separate line from the antenna down to the box if I don't need to.




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