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Local Reception Problem

Discussion in 'Local Reception' started by jimstick, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. jimstick

    jimstick AllStar

    Feb 5, 2007
    Here is my question:
    I receive the "big 4" networks OTA. 3 of them are from the same direction and the other is off by about 10 degrees. I am in the "deep fringe" area of town. All of the stations are UHF. I have two UHF antennas in the attic, connected together, and amplified. The coax runs about 75' to my TV room, is split through another amp and connected to my TV and a Directv HR20-700. One antenna receives the three (ABC, NBC, FOX), and the otherreceives CBS.

    The problem is, when I am watching prime time HD programming on CBS, I experience a lot of "pixelating" of the picture, accompanied by audio dropouts, which occurs for only a second or two at a time, but happens frequently (up to 25-30 times an hour). Some days are better, some are worse. Sometimes it doesn't happen hardly at all. This is the only channel this happens on. It NEVER happens during SD broadcast, like during the local news. It is a weaker signal than the other stations, but I get a signal of 65-70% on my Panasonic 42" plasma. The others are in the 85-100% range. It doesn't seem to happen in the daytime, but there is very limited HD programming during the day in our area, so it's hard to say for sure, because it doesn't happen during SD. The signal meter doesn't change when it happens, but it may not be fast enough to pick it up. Sometimes it goes with electrical spikes, like if the buzzer on the clothes dryer goes off, but it happens more often than that, when there are no obvious electrical spikes.

    The problem occurs whether I am using the TV's tuner, or the HR20, but it seems worse when using the HR20.

    Could it be beacause I am using two antennas?
    Would a jointenna fix this?
    Is it my local station?
    It seems to me if it were an antenna problem it would happen on all the channels, Yes?
    If it were the local channel, I would think others would be complaining, but I have checked the local forums, and have not seen any other complaints of this.This has been happening ever since the transition to digital. At one point shortly after the transition it was unwatchable, and they determined there was a faulty part at the transmitter, which they replaced.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance,
  2. bleggett29

    bleggett29 Legend

    Feb 2, 2008
    The signal for the CBS station is too low. Unlike analog tv where if the signal is low you get a snowy picture, digital tv you will get a clear picture or pixelation/nothing. There is some error correction in digital tv where it may be able to recover lost packets which will work better in lower bandwidth programming(SD) than higher bandwidth programming(HD).
    When connecting together antennas in the same band and pointing in different directions you are actually reducing the gain on both antennas by a few dB. With only 10 degrees of seperation, remove one of the antennas from your setup and point that one to the CBS station. Hopefully you still get the other stations with a good signal. If not, you may want to use a seperate line for both antennas and use an A/B switch at the TV/HR20 to switch between the antenna to be used.
  3. Tower Guy

    Tower Guy Godfather

    Jul 27, 2005
    This is the generic TVfool report for your city.

    Your specific location would be helpful in figuring out the best solution.

    Note that the FOX station is VHF and in a slightly different direction than the UHF stations.

    To start with you could try a Y5-7-13 or Y10-7-13 aimed at FOX and use a UVSJ to couple it to one of the UHF antennas, which would be aimed more toward the middle of the UHF group of stations.

    A more specific TVfool report might offer other options.
  4. Jim5506

    Jim5506 Hall Of Fame

    Jun 7, 2004
    First thing is get that antenna OUT of your attic.

    You have cut your signal at least in half, just by putting the antenna in the attic.

    Your signals are not that low and should be easily receivable, at least from the generic TVFool report.

    Please post your exact location Report and we can be more specific.

    Having 2 UHF antennas connected together and NOT in the same direction often makes things worse.

    Get a good UHF antenna (since you did not tell us what antennas you have we cannot evaliate it), put it OUTSIDE and you probably will be OK.

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