Austin, TX FOX OTA signal degradation...

Discussion in 'DISH™ OTA Support and Discussion Forum' started by kpaustin, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. kpaustin

    kpaustin AllStar

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    Jul 18, 2007
    ...so today I noticed that Austin FOX 7 OTA HD was showing the yellow "connection lost" screen, and I remembered the transition, so I rescanned the locals. After doing so, everything comes up about the same as far as strength (most are 100%, some 90-95%), but FOX is now showing 70%, on both 622 receivers. Before today FOX was always at 100%. Additionally, even the FOX local HD off 129 is pixelating a lot more than usual. Anybody else seeing this? Thanks in advance!

    OK so this story seems to indicate that FOX will be increasing the signal strength over time. I'll just do a rescan every once in a while.
     
  2. Hamp89

    Hamp89 Cool Member

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    Feb 29, 2008
    Thanks for the link- I noticed after re-scanning that just about every channel is now in the 70-80% range, when they were previously all above 90%. I guess I'll have to rescan every once in a while to check for updates.
     
  3. kpaustin

    kpaustin AllStar

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    Jul 18, 2007
    Just FYI, I've been having additional problems tuning in FOX 7 lately in Austin, TX, but according to their web site they are installing a new antenna and should be at full power by Thursday July 23.
     
  4. kpaustin

    kpaustin AllStar

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    Jul 18, 2007
    So the FOX Austin web site says they are now (July 23, 2009) at full power. I am still not able to reliably receive an OTA signal through my 622s, but I have not done the "disconnect antenna, rescan, reconnect, rescan" routine. Can others in Austin chime in as to whether they are reliably receiving FOX OTA through their Dish receivers? And what OTA antenna you might be using. I'm using a DB2 in the attic - since I'm only 8 miles from the transmitters the UHF channels (24,36,42) are banging 100% most of the time, but VHF FOX is not working well. The DB2 is a UHF so I might need to add something. Thanks!
     
  5. ZBoomer

    ZBoomer Icon

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    Feb 21, 2008
    You hit on the problem here; when the digital transition happened, Fox 7 changed over to a VHF channel, whereas all the rest here are UHF.

    Unless you have a combination UHF/VHF antenna, you will not pick it up as well anymore. Unfortunately this is the pretty common; most DTV channels are UHF, so most antennas sold for it were UHF only.

    I have a roof-mounted UHF-only antenna way out in Leander, and I get 100% signal on all the UHF channels on everything, but about a 90 now on Fox 7. This is after using a 4-way splitter too, no booster. I was around 70 on it before they went to full power. (My antenna http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103088)

    Either way it comes in perfect, 90 is plenty. So the fact my antenna is big and roof mounted lets it pick up Fox good enough, even though it's a UHF-only antennal.

    I suggest getting a combination UHF/VHF antenna, or a small VHF only antenna and combine it with what you have.
     
  6. kpaustin

    kpaustin AllStar

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    Jul 18, 2007
    Yeah, I'm gonna try to combine a dedicated VHF antenna...I just figured being 8 miles away it should come in strong. Interesting that CBS, ABC, and NBC are between 600-1000kW, and FOX is going to top out at ~100kW - at least according to the sites I've seen. Thanks for the info.
     
  7. ziggy29

    ziggy29 Icon

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    Nov 18, 2004
    Portland DMA
    The biggest weakness in the education efforts in the DTV transition, I think, was in failing to mention that a lot of markets were going to start seeing VHF digital broadcasts where there previously were none.

    Everyone knew about the converter boxes, but it seems not enough people realized they might also need a VHF antenna. In Austin, before 6/12 if you had a UHF antenna, you got all of the full-power English language digitals. So many people may have thought they were "DTV ready" and then lost FOx programming when it moved back to VHF.

    That was, in hindsight, clearly the weak link in the DTV education effort.
     
  8. allargon

    allargon Legend

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    May 2, 2007
    KTBC messed that one up. Had they transitioned in February or ran more adds about their VHF change, things might have been different. At least they're high VHF.

    The low VHF channels are almost a nightmare to catch for a lot of people right now.
     
  9. ZBoomer

    ZBoomer Icon

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    Feb 21, 2008
    Question; wasn't part of the reason for DTV transition to give up some of the frequencies for other uses?

    If some DTV stations still use VHF, what is being given up?

    Totally; FOX started some small very unnoticeable "commercials" for like the last month at most that you would need to re-scan once the transition happened. It was basically one of their news anchors talking for 10 seconds. I kept seeing it and realizing it was awfully meager, especially given the total glut of DTV switch messaging over the past few years.
     
  10. jas88

    jas88 Mentor

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    Feb 8, 2007
    I don't quite understand what y'all are talking about. Fox 7 was *always* on VHF. I use a UHF yagi-type antenna but still would receive it just fine, and when they started transmitting digital, I got that too. Now they are back up to full power and I am getting Fox 7 again and I did not rescan anything. What is all this about rescanning and VHF being "new" to Fox 7? I should add I am in Dripping Springs so it's not like I am next door to the tower.

    BTW I am an Austin old-timer, I remember when channel 7 was CBS and 42 didn't even exist.
     
  11. moghedien

    moghedien Legend

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    Dec 3, 2007
    When stations around the country started building out their digital facilities, they received a second RF frequency because apparently you can't broadcast the analog and digital signals on the same frequency. In Austin, local stations were assigned the following frequencies:

    Station analog digital
    KTBC 7 56
    KLRU 18 22
    KVUE 24 33
    KXAN 36 21
    KEYE 42 43
    KNVA 54 49
    KAKW 62 13

    Because the digital standard allows for 'virtual channels' viewers could tune to the stations' original channel numbers and still get the right station, regardless of what frequency the station is actually transmitting from. Before 6/12 KTBC digital signal was coming from RF 56, a UHF channel. Since 6/12, KTBC has stopped broadcasting on RF 56, taken down their analog 7 signal, and is now broadcasting digitally from RF 7. This is what is being discussed in this thread. As to how you got Fox 7 back without rescanning, I don't know. I suspect your yagi can pick Hi-VHF signals, and your digital tuner scans for new stations automatically...
     
  12. jas88

    jas88 Mentor

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    Feb 8, 2007
    OK, so if I hear you, then my old scan should have been picking up Fox 7 on UHF 56, and now it is on VHF 7, is that correct? I have 2 dish receivers, a 211 and a 622 (DVR), are they capable of figuring out this change for themselves? They seem to have done that, I did not rescan them, and they are both getting Fox 7 very well now that KTBC got their new antenna up.

    Now, OTOH, the little digital converter box in the kitchen that my wife uses to watch "American Idol" without disturbing the DVR in it's duties, *did* have to be rescanned, I did that last night.
     
  13. kpaustin

    kpaustin AllStar

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    Jul 18, 2007
    I have two 622s, and AFAIK, they are not able to determine by themselves that the channels need to be rescanned. And yes, "virtual" FOX 7 was on "physical" UHF 56 before the transition, and it's on VHF 7 now.

    I purchased a Yagi type combined VHF-UHF antenna and mounted it in the attic near the DB2, and disconnected the DB2. The Yagi pulls in FOX 7 now at about 92%...but CBS is now down in the 80's. So, I'm going to try to combine the two, using the Yagi solely for VHF and the DB2 for UHF, if that can be accomplished. I know I can combine them, but I'm wondering if I'll get "ghosting" or if the combiner will also act as a filter on the UHF from the Yagi...it's a $5 combiner so we'll see when it gets here.
     
  14. kpaustin

    kpaustin AllStar

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    Jul 18, 2007
    So I got one of these signal combiners and it seems to work well, isolating and combining the VHF and UHF sides. No apparent ghosting issues from the combination of an attic mounted DB2 and this Yagi from WallyMart, also in the attic. CBS, NBC, ABC all 100% and FOX now ~92% strength.
     
  15. Davenport

    Davenport New Member

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    Sep 14, 2009
    Do you have the combined signal running into a preamplifier?

    I currently have a DB4 running into a CM7775 UHF preamplifier. Solid Signal is recommending I use a standard coupler and replace my CM7775 with a CM7777 VHF/UHF preamplifier, but I'm wondering if I can avoid getting a new preamplifier.

    What a hassle for just one channel. I wish they would have continued to broadcast the DTV signal on UHF 56.
     
  16. kpaustin

    kpaustin AllStar

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    Jul 18, 2007
    No preamp...I split the resultant signal 4 ways (2 direct to TVs and 2 to VIP622s). And I've noticed the FOX signal getting stronger every day. Lately it's been in the mid 90's for me. Everything else is pretty much stuck at 100.
     

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