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Discussion in 'Local Reception' started by danallen, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. danallen

    danallen Cool Member

    Aug 21, 2007
    Do these really improve your OTA signal? I have an OTA, outside with amp. But I have heard some like the Samsung really improve reception and adds more channels. Thanks for the help!
  2. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 7, 2005
    Kittrell, NC
    Not sure I understand your question.

    ATSC tuners are for tuning a specific kind of signal. They won't give you better reception than NTSC, just different. You need ATSC for digital channels, and come Feb that will be especially important since most analog OTA will be shut down.

    Some ATSC tuners are better than others, but it's not always easy to make that comparison.
  3. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    After Feb 17, they'll improve you OTA reception tremendously, because without one, you'll get no OTA TV signals.

    ATSC is digital. Digital and analog signals work differently. With analog, a strong signal gave you a good picture, but as the signal got weaker, the quality of the picture degraded until finally, you just see snow.

    With digital, instead of picture quality being a gentle slope, it's more like a cliff. If, you need a 40% quality signal to get a picture, you'll get the same quality picture anywhere between 100% and say, 42%. Between 42-40%, you're on the edge of the cliff, and there will be macro-blocking and intermittent signal loss. Below 40%, and you've got nothing.

    So, if you live where digital signal is in the 40s-70s, you'll probably have a lot better picture than you did with analog. If you're in the 80's or above, you probably had a very good analog signal, so there might not be much difference (unless you're also comparing HD vs SD). If your digital signal is below 40% (on my made-up scale), then you might have been better with analog, as you might have been able to make out something through the snow, whereas with digital, you get nothing. But it's a moot point: after Feb 17, digital is all there will be, with the exception of some repeaters and a few low-powered stations, who have a bit more time before conversion is required.
  4. n3ntj

    n3ntj Hall Of Fame

    Dec 18, 2006
    I would expect after the transition finally happens that some stations may try to get amendments to the FCC for minor tweaks in their final digital signals (power output, pattern, etc.).

    On the FCC website, there are charts for every digital station with predicted analog and digital patterns. Some stations are gaining area, some are losing, and some are approx. the same. Of course, there are a lot of variables the data can't take into effect, namely the viewer's setup at home (antenna type and height, gain, feed line, nearby objects, etc.).
  5. HIPAR

    HIPAR Icon

    May 15, 2005
    I believe the original question pertained to the quality of one of those boxes that receives the DTV and outputs HD quality signals via HDMI or component outputs. Do these work better than the tuner that is integrated within the TV?

    --- CHAS
  6. Dknow

    Dknow AllStar

    Oct 11, 2006
    no. they do not.
  7. danallen

    danallen Cool Member

    Aug 21, 2007
    That is exactly what my initial post was about. After taking the OTA out of the Direct HD-DVR and going directly into the Sony TV, i waa able to double my channel reception. Of course, some additions are in analog for now. Some of the upper line tuners, via HDMI or component have helped some folks, based on reviews to assist signal boost, channels from a further distance from the frequency signal from 35 to 50 miles and in some cases have allowed them to cancel cable for locals and keep Direct for all the other stuff.
    Thanks for your replies and advise.
  8. Pepster

    Pepster Legend

    Oct 29, 2008
    Different TV tuners have different sensitivities, so all ARE NOT equal. The same problems arise with the converter boxes.

  9. Scott in FL

    Scott in FL Godfather

    Mar 18, 2008
    Correct. Several years ago I did over the air tests for an ATSC tuner manufacturer. The tests were in Philadelphia and NYC, indoors and outside. Their intention was to improve their tuner with regard to sensitivity and multipath. This was for a tv manufacturer, so the tuner is now in their tv's being sold today.

    Regarding those converter boxes, my daughter lives in an awful reception area: weak signal, multipath, 2 edge paths. I did a lot of research on CNET and other sites and found that the Zenith/Insignia boxes were the best available at the time. I'm told the Echostar box does a good job as well. Some of the boxes, on the other hand, are very poor.

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