DBSTalk Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I've seen repeated requests for this, I thought I'd give the instructions their own thread to make it easy to find (for a day or so).


Menu > Help & Settings > Setup > Sat & Ant > Antenna Setup > Edit Off-Air Channels

Right cursor, then down cursor to Signal Meter.

Hit Select to change through your channel list, and observe signal levels on both tuners. The two tuners may show different signal levels, but not wildly different after the signal measurement settles. Mine for example:

Channel 5-1 WOIDT: 44/47 (tuner1/tuner2) ...and they reverse and change
Channel 8-1 KCCIDT: 100/100
Channel 11-1 KDINDT: 87/100
Channel 11-2 KDINDT2: 91/100
Channel 13-1 WHODT: 100/100
Channel 17-1 KDSMDT: 84/86
Channel 17-2 KDMSDT2: 84/85

These levels bounce around and reverse which one is stronger over a period of a f ew seconds.

The signal meter does not measure strength, it measures some variant of bit-error-rate (BER), which is the standard for evaluating digital signals.

Don't try to make inferences about small variations in readings...they are constantly on the move, if less than 100%.
 

·
Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07
Joined
·
9,809 Posts
Good post. And as I noted in another thread, the goal here isn't to get 85+ as it is in sat. All you need is a signal lock. If all you get is 50 but it's a nice steady signal you are just fine and you will get the station in just fine. And since rain fade isn't an issue all you need is that signal lock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
bonscott87 said:
Good post. And as I noted in another thread, the goal here isn't to get 85+ as it is in sat. All you need is a signal lock. If all you get is 50 but it's a nice steady signal you are just fine and you will get the station in just fine. And since rain fade isn't an issue all you need is that signal lock.
Yes, I noticed (and strongly agree with) your comment. That is why I included my signal levels, showing one channel in the mid 40's working just fine.

I got a REAL scare last night. Immediately upon testing 0x10b after the upgrade, CH 5-1 was no longer there....no signal. I just about fell out of my chair (as it had been working just fine with 0x108). I rescanned, reinitialized...nada.

As a double check, I went to my TV OTA...guess what...it was gone there too. About 15 min later it came back on the air...further testing:

This channel was averaging a 7/10 on my Sammy for the last couple months. The HR20 is now showing it at 44%. I just went back to the Sammy, and it is showing a 4/10!!!

It seems the outage last night has resulted in them coming back up after the outage at well below their previous power level. While it's probably a complete coincidence, both the Sammy and the HR20 are showing approximately the same signal level:

44% on the HR20 and 4 out of 10 on the Sammy. I say coincidence because there is no reason whatsoever to believe they are using a common scale or measuring technique (except both use some variant of bit-error-rate).

I wonder how long it will be before they come back up to full power for me...it was well over a month last time. Anyway, this shows just how a mere coincidence could have led to all sorts of false conclusions.
 

·
Legend
Joined
·
148 Posts
hasan,
Call your station and tell them that you are getting less of a signal.
Whatever testing they are doing may not make any changes for them to pump the power back up. But they may be glad to know that you are watching and that you noticed.

I work at a TV station and we recently dropped our analog tower to 50% for some longer term equipment rehab and after a month of the repairs since we got zero calls inquiring about lost signals we never bumped it back up which for our old tower saves us a good chunk of change on the electric bills. Clearly most people are watching either over cable or sat.

They also may be looking at different equipment and this signal strength may be an unexpected side effect. We are putting in new encoders which should improve our HD clarity.

dwenn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
dwenn said:
hasan,
Call your station and tell them that you are getting less of a signal.
Whatever testing they are doing may not make any changes for them to pump the power back up. But they may be glad to know that you are watching and that you noticed.

I work at a TV station and we recently dropped our analog tower to 50% for some longer term equipment rehab and after a month of the repairs since we got zero calls inquiring about lost signals we never bumped it back up which for our old tower saves us a good chunk of change on the electric bills. Clearly most people are watching either over cable or sat.

They also may be looking at different equipment and this signal strength may be an unexpected side effect. We are putting in new encoders which should improve our HD clarity.

dwenn
That's a good idea...I'll email them and if no response, call them on Monday.
 

·
Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08
Joined
·
4,107 Posts
What OTA HD Channels Should I Be Getting?

You may be amazed by what HD channel you can get with your old antenna. At 60 miles onto the fringe around Chicago, we get only 8 staticy Standard Definition channels but 23 great HD channels! The HR20 is locking on even the ones with a 40% signal!

As you check your signal strength with hasan's steps you might be wondering what channels you should be getting. (Those steps are also in your latest Tips & Tricks.)

To see what channels you might be able to get, everyone mentions:
http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/Address.aspx

antennaweb.org will list your strongest channels first. The color codes help tell what kind of antenna you will need. HD is UHF and sometimes VHF just like standard definition.

Antenna Web may be missing many of your HD channels. In my area, they said I could only receive 6 HD channels. Even a 20-year-old $20 TV antenna gets 8 channels.

The HDTV Magazine site tells more:
http://www.hdtvmagazine.com/programming/broadcast.php

To see your bearings and distances, you need to register, but it is free. After you register, click your Designated Market Area (DMA).

HDTV Magazine shows you on a map of your local channels which really helps anyone who does not know where 56.1° is. Click on the Print link to see a great table with all of your channels.

Antenna Web shows that in the Chicago market there are only 14 HD channels. HDTV Magazine shows that there are really 29! In addition, HDTV also shows you how powerful their signals are. Why can't anyone in Chicago get 2.1? Because 2.1 is 100 times less powerful than the others! Plus it is on a low VHF channel.

Here are two of the forums at our sister site, www.avsforum.com:

HD OTA FAQ (and a lot more acromyns!)

A Zillion More OTA Links

Two of the top manufacturers of antennas and amplifiers are:
www.winegard.com

www.channelmaster.com

Many also swear by: www.radioshack.com

A good site with comparison charts of antennas and amplifiers is:
www.solidsignal.com

Take care,

- Craig
 

·
DBSTalk Club Member
Joined
·
485 Posts
I find the signal meter for OTA poor at best. Sometimes I get no signal on the HR20 meter when there is a good signal. Could be it would come back if I did a reset.
 

·
Hall Of Fame
Joined
·
12,971 Posts
When looking at the signal for your OTA, sit on the meter for a good few minutes. You might get a good signal lock for a few seconds then find you get a variation and a drop.

The drop may come from multi-path (especially if you are in a wooded area or are using an indoor antenna or you are close to the tower and getting overload) or from something as simple as a tree moving in the wind.

With satellilte, if you get a lock, it is pretty firm except if you have a moving obstruction or weather issues. With OTA, there is so much signal bouncing around, especially in urban and suburban areas, that you can't just breeze by and see that you have a 92 on a channel for a second or two and think all is well.

I don't have an HR20 yet (still on HR10 for a variety of reasons and the HR10 tuner is pretty bad with multipath) so I don't know how good the OTA tuner is (I dare say few do yet) but be patient with measuring and adjusting.

And don't assume stronger is better. I just went from amplified antennas to a simple loop and my reception improved dramatically.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top