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Godfather
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I'm new to this site, but am glad to be on board.

I have been a DirecTV customer for over 4 years now with Premium programming every month. I am a Tivo aficianado and can't live without it. I have 7 receivers hooked up currently: 3 Tivos (all Hughes models )...... (1- Tivo SD-DVR120 and 2-Tivo SD-DVR80s) and 1 DirecTV DVR-R15 , 2 DirecTV HD20s, and 1 old Hughes box in the garage; I have the HD package as well.

I must say that I'm really fed up with MPEG-4 so far. I'm pretty tech savvy when it comes to the programming, but what I can't figure out is why my local ABC HD (Sacramento, Ca- local affiliate) will not give me Dolby Digital? I have called DirecTV many times and they have no idea . It seems I need 4-5 transfers just to get someone who knows what they're talking about. I watch all the Saturday night College football primetime games and they never give me Dolby Digital; nor do other shows like 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'Desperate Housewives'. I just learned that the new HD Locals from DirecTV are compressed MPEG-4 signals. Is this why I can't get Dolby Digital? I know for a fact that it is available in my area, because I was able to pick it up via the OTA antenna; problem was that it just kept glitching. Not to mention that I don't even get FOX HD local because supposively they don't offer it according to DirecTV. This is very sketchy if you ask me. I've gone through 4 HDTV antennas and none of them work consistently. The channels keep 'glitching' and never pull a constant signal. I do know, however, that FOX HD is broadcast in my area because I've pulled the signal before. I petitioned for channel 81 (Los Angeles CBS HD) and 83 (Los Angeles NBC HD) a long time ago and luckily my waivers were granted. Unfortunately I keep getting my waivers rejected for channels 87 (Los Angeles ABC HD) and 89 (Los Angeles FOX HD).

I don't know what to do exactly. I can't get FOX HD no matter what I try. I can't pull the signal, short of buying a $200+ HDTV antenna (just for this one channel). I can't receive FOX through DirecTV HD locals because they say it isn't offered and I can't get channel 89 because my waivers keep getting denied. I'm really upset due to MLB playoffs I've been missing in HD.

Any help, input, or reccomendations would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Your Neighborhood Liasion
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Are you sure that your local ABC affiliate is broadcasting in DD 5.1? If they aren't broadcasting the 5.1 audio, then you absolutely can't get it from Directv (or any other source). As for your FOX channel, it sounds like if Directv isn't carrying the channel, they haven't worked out a retransmission agreement with the station. Soundsl like your only choice is to put up a good outdoor antenna (you did try an antenna on your roof, didn't you?). Keep in mind there's no such thing as an "HDTV" antenna, only UHF and VHF antennas. Most digital channels broadcast on the UHF band, but check antennaweb.org or your local area thread over at AVSForums in the Local HDTV forum to be sure.
 

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Godfather
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Just another thought.... you might want check your local ABCs website to see if they post information on Dolby 5.1 (or perhaps an email), our local ABC KRDO is a joke (as far as talent and technology), but they do broadcast in 5.1. The NBC affiliate took forever to get ther HD antenna up, finally broadcasting, but not to their intial promised format of 1080p they did post all the HDTV info on their website at koaa.com . They are working on 5.1 and do 1080i :( .
 

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No one broadcasts 1080p. That's not possible in the ATSC standard, or the 6 MHz that OTA stations are allocated.

Check with the station's engineering department, or with a competent TV dealer who has things hooked up to an antenna, and see if the station passes DD5.1.

Be aware, all Digital TV stations do Dolby Digital...it's part of the standard. But, not all of them do DD5.1 Surround.
 

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Beware the Attack Basset
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Mark Lamutt said:
As for your FOX channel, it sounds like if Directv isn't carrying the channel, they haven't worked out a retransmission agreement with the station.
Given that DirecTV doesn't seem to be able to reach and agreement and that Dish Network chose to carry an alternate network to Fox in Sacto, I suspect that the Fox station is suffering from recto-cranial immersion.
Sounds like your only choice is to put up a good outdoor antenna (you did try an antenna on your roof, didn't you?).
It is important to note that none of the listed DVRs are capable of receiving ATSC channels, so a rooftop would only provide a "live" signal for the TV.
 

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Mark Lamutt said:
Are you sure that your local ABC affiliate is broadcasting in DD 5.1? If they aren't broadcasting the 5.1 audio, then you absolutely can't get it from Directv (or any other source). As for your FOX channel, it sounds like if Directv isn't carrying the channel, they haven't worked out a retransmission agreement with the station. Soundsl like your only choice is to put up a good outdoor antenna (you did try an antenna on your roof, didn't you?). Keep in mind there's no such thing as an "HDTV" antenna, only UHF and VHF antennas. Most digital channels broadcast on the UHF band, but check antennaweb.org or your local area thread over at AVSForums in the Local HDTV forum to be sure.
Yes, KXTV-TV 10 (News 10) in Sacramento is transmitting DD for all of the mentioned shows in the original post.
 

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harsh said:
Given that DirecTV doesn't seem to be able to reach and agreement and that Dish Network chose to carry an alternate network to Fox in Sacto, I suspect that the Fox station is suffering from recto-cranial immersion.
FOX 40 in Sacramento is one button push away from launching their HD signal on DTV (MPEG-4). This is NOT a rumor; it's from the horse's mouth. The uplink already exists, it's tied up in legal but I've been told to expect to see it in time for 24 and American Idol (late 2006 / early 2007). :)
 

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Godfather
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Radio Enginerd said:
FOX 40 in Sacramento is one button push away from launching their HD signal on DTV (MPEG-4). This is NOT a rumor; it's from the horse's mouth. The uplink already exists, it's tied up in legal but I've been told to expect to see it in time for 24 and American Idol (late 2006 / early 2007). :)
Thank you very much for this info. I'm glad to see a fellow Sacramento affiliate member here. Do you get Dolby Digitial 5.1 through ABC HD local? How are you able to receive FOX KTXL-40 in HD?

As mentioned, I do know for a fact that ABC HD local here broadcasts DD 5.1 because I've gotten it before through an OTA antenna. I have not, however, bought a roof antenna. I was told it's against my homeowners regulations. I have bought 4 different OTA antennas, including a couple Terks, an RCA, and my current Zenith...... none work worth a crap. It'll pick up a signal sometimes, but then it will constantly 'glitch' throughout the programming and eventually go off air. I set my Zenith antenna on the side of the roof last week and was able to pick up FOX HD for about a 1/2 hour with no interuption during the MLB playoffs , but then it started glitching and just went off air :nono2: . I'm trying to weigh my options here and if ABC HD local here doesn't broadcast their DD 5.1 sound through DirecTVs MPEG-4 system, then I'll be better off just buying an expensive OTA antenna. To me it's not worth watching ABC HD local if I can't get 5.1 DD during college football, just isn't the same once you've experienced 5.1 DD.

Anyone know any good websites where I can purchase a high end, reliable OTA antenna?

Thanks everyone-
 

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logan2575 said:
Thank you very much for this info. I'm glad to see a fellow Sacramento affiliate member here. Do you get Dolby Digitial 5.1 through ABC HD local? How are you able to receive FOX KTXL-40 in HD?
Yes I do get DD 5.1 through my HR20 receiving News 10's (MPEG-4) through my AT-9 Dish (DirecTV's MPEG-4 local). I'm pulling FOX 40 through a LAME indoor OTA antenna (with minimal sucess) directly into the ATSC tuner into my plasma panel TV. It works OK at best.
logan2575 said:
As mentioned, I do know for a fact that ABC HD local here broadcasts DD 5.1 because I've gotten it before through an OTA antenna. I have not, however, bought a roof antenna. I was told it's against my homeowners regulations. I have bought 4 different OTA antennas, including a couple Terks, an RCA, and my current Zenith...... none work worth a crap.
Let me just say I feel your pain. I live in Rocklin and I too have owned a Terk and Zenith indoor antenna (various models) and I've had very little success. Usually if I stand on my head and hold out my right arm I can pull in FOX 40 on a good day. I live in a new housing development with CCNR's (no HOA) but I know what you mean. There are several outdoor antennas that offer a LARGE improvement and low profile. Some of which my neighbor and I have played with at his home. Many of which are small enough to mount next to the dish (pretty much out of site) and offer substantial increase in signal level. You might want to keep an eye out, you should be able to find something that works for you.

Good luck to you. I'm also interested in low profile outdoor OTA antennas if anyone has suggestions.
 

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Godfather
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I forgot to ask you in the PM, but does your ABC HD local channel audio (I mean regular audio) seem really low. Mine certainly does. In fact, all of the MPEG-4 local HD channels audio are horrible in comparison to the standard def locals. It must be the compression I keep hearing about. For instance, when I watch the news at 5pm on KCRA 3 NBC HD local, the volume is extremely low and I have to turn it up significantly to hear it. Well, when I switch over to standard def KCRA 3 NBC, the sound is extremely loud.

Just wondering if you or any of the other members here are having the same problems with their HD locals.
 

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logan2575 said:
I forgot to ask you in the PM, but does your ABC HD local channel audio (I mean regular audio) seem really low. Mine certainly does. In fact, all of the MPEG-4 local HD channels audio are horrible in comparison to the standard def locals. It must be the compression I keep hearing about. For instance, when I watch the news at 5pm on KCRA 3 NBC HD local, the volume is extremely low and I have to turn it up significantly to hear it. Well, when I switch over to standard def KCRA 3 NBC, the sound is extremely loud.

Just wondering if you or any of the other members here are having the same problems with their HD locals.
Yep, several dB of difference between the HD locals and the regular SD programming... I have to turn up anything I record from HD locals in comparison to the SD.
 

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For what its worth... I too live in a neighborhood with CC&R's that restrict exterior OTA antennas. I did some homework and found an old style antenna that would fit up inside my attic. I went to my friendly neighborhood Radio Shack and they set me up with an 18 element antenna for $39.99. Works great! I get all locals perfectly from about 30 miles away. There are a ton of hills and trees here in Seattle area, so the FOX station is hit or miss in the winter, but I tried all the in house antennas that Best Buy had to offer and had to return every one of them.
 

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Bman said:
For what its worth... I too live in a neighborhood with CC&R's that restrict exterior OTA antennas. I did some homework and found an old style antenna that would fit up inside my attic. I went to my friendly neighborhood Radio Shack and they set me up with an 18 element antenna for $39.99. Works great! I get all locals perfectly from about 30 miles away. There are a ton of hills and trees here in Seattle area, so the FOX station is hit or miss in the winter, but I tried all the in house antennas that Best Buy had to offer and had to return every one of them.
I assume it's installed in your attic? I've thought of doing the same thing... Thanks for the tip. $39, sounds like a good deal!
 

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Godfather
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logan2575 said:
I forgot to ask you in the PM, but does your ABC HD local channel audio (I mean regular audio) seem really low. Mine certainly does. In fact, all of the MPEG-4 local HD channels audio are horrible in comparison to the standard def locals. It must be the compression I keep hearing about. For instance, when I watch the news at 5pm on KCRA 3 NBC HD local, the volume is extremely low and I have to turn it up significantly to hear it. Well, when I switch over to standard def KCRA 3 NBC, the sound is extremely loud.

Just wondering if you or any of the other members here are having the same problems with their HD locals.
The volume difference is built in to the difference between DD and analog audio. Analog audio compresses the sound track to keep it from overmodulating, and raises the base volume level to give a better signal to noise ratio.

Digital signals can't overmodulate and don't have a signal to noise ratio, so they can provide a much wider dynamic range. While the base sound levels may sound quieter in digital, you will find that noisy passages are actually louder than their analog counterpart. Typical dialog sound levels are about 3dB quieter from a digital source.

A television set with an integrated receiver should be able to tell the difference. You might complain to the manufacturer. In February of 2009 everything will be digital, and the problem will disappear.
 

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Godfather
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update:

Well, I don't know what happened, but the DD 5.1 is working now. All of sudden on Sunday, it came on. Who knows why?

I'm just glad it's working now. If only FOX would come through HD now :nono2:
 

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logan2575 said:
Hello everyone,

I'm new to this site, but am glad to be on board.

I have been a DirecTV customer for over 4 years now with Premium programming every month. I am a Tivo aficianado and can't live without it. I have 7 receivers hooked up currently: 3 Tivos (all Hughes models )...... (1- Tivo SD-DVR120 and 2-Tivo SD-DVR80s) and 1 DirecTV DVR-R15 , 2 DirecTV HD20s, and 1 old Hughes box in the garage; I have the HD package as well.

I must say that I'm really fed up with MPEG-4 so far. I'm pretty tech savvy when it comes to the programming, but what I can't figure out is why my local ABC HD (Sacramento, Ca- local affiliate) will not give me Dolby Digital? I have called DirecTV many times and they have no idea . It seems I need 4-5 transfers just to get someone who knows what they're talking about. I watch all the Saturday night College football primetime games and they never give me Dolby Digital; nor do other shows like 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'Desperate Housewives'. I just learned that the new HD Locals from DirecTV are compressed MPEG-4 signals. Is this why I can't get Dolby Digital? I know for a fact that it is available in my area, because I was able to pick it up via the OTA antenna; problem was that it just kept glitching. Not to mention that I don't even get FOX HD local because supposively they don't offer it according to DirecTV. This is very sketchy if you ask me. I've gone through 4 HDTV antennas and none of them work consistently. The channels keep 'glitching' and never pull a constant signal. I do know, however, that FOX HD is broadcast in my area because I've pulled the signal before. I petitioned for channel 81 (Los Angeles CBS HD) and 83 (Los Angeles NBC HD) a long time ago and luckily my waivers were granted. Unfortunately I keep getting my waivers rejected for channels 87 (Los Angeles ABC HD) and 89 (Los Angeles FOX HD).

I don't know what to do exactly. I can't get FOX HD no matter what I try. I can't pull the signal, short of buying a $200+ HDTV antenna (just for this one channel). I can't receive FOX through DirecTV HD locals because they say it isn't offered and I can't get channel 89 because my waivers keep getting denied. I'm really upset due to MLB playoffs I've been missing in HD.

Any help, input, or reccomendations would be greatly appreciated.
I am in the Sacramento Area and I am able to receive the DD broadcasts in Dolby Digital. Both MP4 and OTA come in digital when they are broadcasted that way. Sounds like a receiver issue to me.
 

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DBSTalk Club Member
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Bman said:
For what its worth... I too live in a neighborhood with CC&R's that restrict exterior OTA antennas. I did some homework and found an old style antenna that would fit up inside my attic. I went to my friendly neighborhood Radio Shack and they set me up with an 18 element antenna for $39.99. Works great! I get all locals perfectly from about 30 miles away. There are a ton of hills and trees here in Seattle area, so the FOX station is hit or miss in the winter, but I tried all the in house antennas that Best Buy had to offer and had to return every one of them.
FYI, outdoor OTA antennas cannot be restricted per the FCC. Just do a google search on "FCC HOA Antenna"
 
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