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Will a different antenna help my OTA HDTV reception?

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January 23, 2005 1:27:22 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

If this is the wrong forum for this question, I'm happy to be pointed
to the right one. That said:

I'm in Washington, D.C., between 9 and 10 miles from all the local HDTV
transmitters, according to www.antennaweb.org. I've got a Stealthtenna
3010 with an amplifier on the roof, about 20 feet off the ground.

Currently, unless the air is perfectly still and perfectly clear, Fox
is the only channel that comes in consistently, and even in the best
conditions, UPN and WB don't come in at all. Any weather or wind and
CBS becomes unwatchable, and NBC and ABC aren't far behind.

So, if I was to change to medium multidirectional antenna, like say the
5646 Super-Vee, would this improve my reception? Or is there something
else I should try with my current antenna? I could get a 10 foot mast
instead my current 5 foot one, for example.
Any help appreciated. Thanks.
January 23, 2005 1:41:34 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

I would disable the amplifier first and try it. You are so close to the
towers that the amplifier might be your problem. Way too much signal
gain.
January 23, 2005 3:45:23 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Thanks to both of you for responding and so quickly.

Did this backwards, but the results were:

Unplugged the indoor part of the amp, ran the antenna cable directly
into the DVR. No noticable change it picture quality. [We've got 20
mph winds today, so every channel except Fox is breaking up.]

Plugged the amp back in, found the signal strength function, flipped
around. Fox is in the high normal to low normal range. All the other
channels were at low normal with frequent dips into bad, on a bad -
normal - good scale.

I'm not clear on the physics of what things exactly would be reducing
the signal. My antenna isn't above the tops of the trees at the end of
our street that are between our home and the transmitters. Don't know
about the elevations and radio towers, etc. between here and there.
What would be the next step?
Related resources
Anonymous
January 23, 2005 4:57:36 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Also check the "Signal Level" with the on screen graphics. Most OTA tuners
and TVs with imbedded HD tuners have this feature. If the signal level is
sufficient then again try the antennea without the amp, as suggested. Being
that close to most of the stations you are receiving you should not
necessarily require an amp.
"jimw" <jimw@visi.net> wrote in message
news:1106505694.539950.200160@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
>I would disable the amplifier first and try it. You are so close to the
> towers that the amplifier might be your problem. Way too much signal
> gain.
>
Anonymous
January 23, 2005 7:14:19 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Eric wrote:

> I'm not clear on the physics of what things exactly would be reducing
> the signal. My antenna isn't above the tops of the trees at the end
> of our street that are between our home and the transmitters. Don't
> know about the elevations and radio towers, etc. between here and
> there. What would be the next step?

Before spending money, just try moving the antenna around. No matter
how good the overall conditions are, any one position might just happen
to be a bad spot. Try several different locations around your roof.
And do try raising it higher. After that, if there's no great
improvement, try a different type of antenna. That "Stealthtenna"
doesn't look like much to me. I'd suggest trying a bowtie array -- it
might manage to get a stronger signal through obstructions.
January 23, 2005 8:08:22 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Thanks.

I'll give those things a try . . . assuming I can get my wife to let me
onto the roof again.
January 23, 2005 8:22:12 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Putting "stronger signal through obstructions" into google, I came up
with this page:

http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/siting.html

which I obviously wish I'd read before I installed the antenna the
first time. Again, thank you all.
Anonymous
January 24, 2005 12:21:06 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Could be you may have some terrain or buildings affecting your signal.
Higher is better within reason for a cleaner, stronger signal. It's
best to use 4 guy wires on the mast to help support it during winds or
icy conditions.

I would recommend the winegard PR-4400, 4 bow tie antenna at your
distance if that's about 20 to 35 miles. It lightweight and easy to
install. The antenna mounted amp is mainly to overcome any coax loss.
Im sure it also helps the signal some. You may not need the amp. Try
it both ways, see which has the best picture on all channels. Write
down your results. Stick with RG-6 coax as its best.

Check and see if all you TV transmitter towers are located all in one
group as in most larger cities. Try pinpointing your weakest station
for the best signal. I found sometimes using a analog channel is
easier to find the strongest signal but only if its located in the
same digital group of towers.

hdtvfan

On 23 Jan 2005 10:27:22 -0800, eric@pinder.net wrote:

>If this is the wrong forum for this question, I'm happy to be pointed
>to the right one. That said:
>
>I'm in Washington, D.C., between 9 and 10 miles from all the local HDTV
>transmitters, according to www.antennaweb.org. I've got a Stealthtenna
>3010 with an amplifier on the roof, about 20 feet off the ground.
>
>Currently, unless the air is perfectly still and perfectly clear, Fox
>is the only channel that comes in consistently, and even in the best
>conditions, UPN and WB don't come in at all. Any weather or wind and
>CBS becomes unwatchable, and NBC and ABC aren't far behind.
>
>So, if I was to change to medium multidirectional antenna, like say the
>5646 Super-Vee, would this improve my reception? Or is there something
>else I should try with my current antenna? I could get a 10 foot mast
>instead my current 5 foot one, for example.

>Any help appreciated. Thanks.
January 24, 2005 3:02:51 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

At 9-10 miles, a set top "Silver Sensor" antenna ought to easily pull in
your locals. Otherwise I'd add a rotator to the outdoor antenna so you can
fine tune each channels reception.


<eric@pinder.net> wrote in message
news:1106504842.728302.159800@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> If this is the wrong forum for this question, I'm happy to be pointed
> to the right one. That said:
>
> I'm in Washington, D.C., between 9 and 10 miles from all the local HDTV
> transmitters, according to www.antennaweb.org. I've got a Stealthtenna
> 3010 with an amplifier on the roof, about 20 feet off the ground.
>
> Currently, unless the air is perfectly still and perfectly clear, Fox
> is the only channel that comes in consistently, and even in the best
> conditions, UPN and WB don't come in at all. Any weather or wind and
> CBS becomes unwatchable, and NBC and ABC aren't far behind.
>
> So, if I was to change to medium multidirectional antenna, like say the
> 5646 Super-Vee, would this improve my reception? Or is there something
> else I should try with my current antenna? I could get a 10 foot mast
> instead my current 5 foot one, for example.
> Any help appreciated. Thanks.
>
Anonymous
January 24, 2005 1:43:55 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

<eric@pinder.net> wrote in message
news:1106504842.728302.159800@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> If this is the wrong forum for this question, I'm happy to be pointed
> to the right one. That said:
>
> I'm in Washington, D.C., between 9 and 10 miles from all the local HDTV
> transmitters, according to www.antennaweb.org. I've got a Stealthtenna
> 3010 with an amplifier on the roof, about 20 feet off the ground.
>
> Currently, unless the air is perfectly still and perfectly clear, Fox
> is the only channel that comes in consistently, and even in the best
> conditions, UPN and WB don't come in at all. Any weather or wind and
> CBS becomes unwatchable, and NBC and ABC aren't far behind.
>
> So, if I was to change to medium multidirectional antenna, like say the
> 5646 Super-Vee, would this improve my reception? Or is there something
> else I should try with my current antenna? I could get a 10 foot mast
> instead my current 5 foot one, for example.
> Any help appreciated. Thanks.

It's hard to say on digital. What do the analog channels look like from
those same stations? Very snowy?? IF so thn a better antenna would help.
You can have problems with noise (RF corona from power lines and FM
stations) that can reduce your signal to noise ratio and cause you problems.
January 24, 2005 7:37:01 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Your comment about wind has my interest. Why would wind cause you to loose
a channel except it was moving the antenna and loosing signal strength. Do
you have the antenna pointed at the signal source and is there any terrain
between you and the source? Maybe you need to realign or secure the
antenna.

I live about 30 miles from my signal source and get about 50% signal
strength.

Clark

"Jeff Rigby" <jeffg212@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:zOKdnY5nsJg4imjcRVn-qQ@comcast.com...
>
> <eric@pinder.net> wrote in message
> news:1106504842.728302.159800@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
>> If this is the wrong forum for this question, I'm happy to be pointed
>> to the right one. That said:
>>
>> I'm in Washington, D.C., between 9 and 10 miles from all the local HDTV
>> transmitters, according to www.antennaweb.org. I've got a Stealthtenna
>> 3010 with an amplifier on the roof, about 20 feet off the ground.
>>
>> Currently, unless the air is perfectly still and perfectly clear, Fox
>> is the only channel that comes in consistently, and even in the best
>> conditions, UPN and WB don't come in at all. Any weather or wind and
>> CBS becomes unwatchable, and NBC and ABC aren't far behind.
>>
>> So, if I was to change to medium multidirectional antenna, like say the
>> 5646 Super-Vee, would this improve my reception? Or is there something
>> else I should try with my current antenna? I could get a 10 foot mast
>> instead my current 5 foot one, for example.
>> Any help appreciated. Thanks.
>
> It's hard to say on digital. What do the analog channels look like from
> those same stations? Very snowy?? IF so thn a better antenna would
> help.
> You can have problems with noise (RF corona from power lines and FM
> stations) that can reduce your signal to noise ratio and cause you
> problems.
>
>
Anonymous
January 24, 2005 8:04:28 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"Eric" <eric@pinder.net> wrote in message
news:1106529732.867756.217790@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Putting "stronger signal through obstructions" into google, I came
> up
> with this page:
>
> http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/siting.html
>
> which I obviously wish I'd read before I installed the antenna the
> first time. Again, thank you all.
>
Too bad any idiot can make a web page.

Analog stations have the following maxium effecive radiated power

Ch 2-6 100,000 watts
Ch 7-13 316,000 watts
Ch 14-69 5,000,000 watts.

And stations can't "argue for and get a higher limit."

Digital TV requires LESS Power , not more, and Channels 14-51 are
limited
to 1,000,000 watts for digital, and most use no more than 300,000
watts.

And his wave diagrams are wrong for the horizontally polarized
signals used in the US.

And trees don't block 90% of the signal.

And "weeds and shrubs" are not important.

And the rest of this guy's pages are great for a laugh...


++++++++++++INFORMATION BELOW THIS LINE IS WRONG++++++++++++++

Rural stations usually believe their audience wants an earlier
schedule, such as 10pm news. Rearranging the evening schedule
requires them to videotape early network feeds. But these stations
do not generally have HD video taping equipment. Thus they are
forced to broadcast these shows SD.

Every time the broadcaster changes resolution you have to move your
chair.

Without data compression, the bandwidth for 1080i would be 300 MHz.

The real problem with 1080i is that when motion is complex and
sustained, frames usually have to be deleted. Suppose that for
720p, sustained motion has reduced the frame rate to 30 per second.
For the same images, since 1080i has twice as many pixels, the frame
rate would likely be 15 per second. Thirty frames per second is a
barely noticeable compromise, but 15 frames per second looks really
bad.

The terms 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i were never formally defined.
Yet they are universally understood.
January 25, 2005 7:10:18 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

>> And trees don't block 90% of the signal.

How much do they block? There is a line of trees between me and signal
source that starts about 50 yards from my house. It's probably 30
yards deep. Beyond that is an office building (400 yards away maybe?)
that is up hill from me. Lord knows what's beyond that.

If the trees do block a significant amount of signal, maybe that would
explain why I get worse reception in wind. The movement of the
branches is disrupting the signal?

Like I say, I don't know. Eventually I can change the aim of the
antenna and try it in a couple different spots on my roof, but my wife
won't let me up there until the snow has melted off. 8(
January 26, 2005 8:35:55 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

I did pickup a set top antenna on the way home today. At first I was
getting nearly identical reception with it to what I was getting from
the roof, and then suddenly I wasn't. Don't know what happened, but I
experienced a drop in signal across the board and couldn't get any
strong signals back. Weird.

Something that frustrates me, particularly today with the set top
antenna, is that the signal strength is so up and down. It is in
constant motion on all the channels, so it is hard to tell if I'm
making things better when adjusting the antenna.
January 27, 2005 3:58:42 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

I am smack dab in the middle of a FOREST of trees , with branches dang
near touching the antenna. I have perfect reception for OTA digital and
HD. Tree's are not a problem, and I'm 50 miles from the towers.
January 28, 2005 5:54:40 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

What antenna are you using?
Anonymous
January 28, 2005 12:38:23 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Poorly worded question. For ANY situation a different antenna may help
reception.

"jimw" <jimw@visi.net> wrote in message
news:1106859522.916784.61890@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
>I am smack dab in the middle of a FOREST of trees , with branches dang
> near touching the antenna. I have perfect reception for OTA digital and
> HD. Tree's are not a problem, and I'm 50 miles from the towers.
>
March 29, 2009 1:09:15 AM

JimW said:
Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

I am smack dab in the middle of a FOREST of trees , with branches dang
near touching the antenna. I have perfect reception for OTA digital and
HD. Tree's are not a problem, and I'm 50 miles from the towers.

Jim I need your secret I have a similar situation but wind today is messing me up.
April 15, 2009 7:29:46 PM

OTA HDTV uses the same frequencies as analog TV. Any antenna that picks up analog should work for digital. Since you are close to the signals, an antena with low directionality (omnidirectional) should be a good choice. You're currently using a directional antena, so it may not be pointed very well for many of the stations.

The wind leads me to question how securely your antenna is mounted. If it's being blown around, that would explain why you lose signal on windy days. It may be blown enough to not point at the one station you are getting.

Also, are you using RG6 cable from the antenna to your TV? Lesser cable won't carry HDTV signals properly.
!