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What is a good set-top tuner?

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Anonymous
May 11, 2005 11:11:34 PM

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

Hello folks,
Can anyone tell me what are good, available, set top
HDTV tuner/converters? I would like something to use for now
with an outdoor antenna and my regular NTSC television, but
that I can use later with a better plasma or other HDTV
monitor. Any thoughts on what is good/bad/ugly about
available models. Any features I should be aware of to
look for or avoid?
Clearly an S-video connection to connect to my current
set is desirable. Do these things output line level stereo,
decoded line level 5 channel surround, digital audio, or what?
Maybe some combination of those?
Finally, I am in something of an RF black hole where
I live. A regular VHF rooftop antenna will pull in
a very poor, ghost ridden, image from my locals. These
locals are probably only 30 miles or less away. Does
the nature of digital broadcast have a hope of overcoming
this problem? I'd like to find a place with a good return
policy in case this is just a non-starter, but I really
need to get some feel for what tuner/converters are
available first.

Bill Ranck
Blacksburg, Va.

More about : good set top tuner

Anonymous
May 11, 2005 11:56:22 PM

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

ranck@vt.edu wrote:
>
> Hello folks,
> Can anyone tell me what are good, available, set top
> HDTV tuner/converters? I would like something to use for now
> with an outdoor antenna and my regular NTSC television, but
> that I can use later with a better plasma or other HDTV
> monitor. Any thoughts on what is good/bad/ugly about
> available models. Any features I should be aware of to
> look for or avoid?

Samsung T-451 ASTC Digital Tuner ($250)

Channel Master 3021 ($25) UHF 4 bay bow tie antenna with
RG-6 antenna Cable



> Clearly an S-video connection to connect to my current
> set is desirable. Do these things output line level stereo,
> decoded line level 5 channel surround, digital audio, or what?
> Maybe some combination of those?

For HDTV/Digital Audio 'processing', consider an Onkyo SR-502
AV receiver ($250) which has Dolby & DTS audio hardware..

> Finally, I am in something of an RF black hole where
> I live. A regular VHF rooftop antenna will pull in
> a very poor, ghost ridden, image from my locals. These
> locals are probably only 30 miles or less away. Does
> the nature of digital broadcast have a hope of overcoming
> this problem?

Try http://www.antennaweb.org & enter your 9 digit ZIP Code
and then select the digital options....

Mountain valleys are not the best place for OTA TV..
A good Time Warner Cable Co is another way to go...
The Samsung OTA tuner is not too (QAM) compatible.

I'm saying OTA antenna reception & Cable TV are 2 different
options..

Consider how many of the 7 major Networks you find
under AntennaWeb site.....


I'd like to find a place with a good return
> policy in case this is just a non-starter, but I really
> need to get some feel for what tuner/converters are
> available first.
>
> Bill Ranck
> Blacksburg, Va.
May 12, 2005 2:59:16 PM

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

Hi,
<<Finally, I am in something of an RF black hole where
I live. A regular VHF rooftop antenna will pull in
a very poor, ghost ridden, image from my locals. These
locals are probably only 30 miles or less away. Does
the nature of digital broadcast have a hope of overcoming
this problem? I'd like to find a place with a good return
policy in case this is just a non-starter, but I really
need to get some feel for what tuner/converters are
available first.>>

I don't see how digital TV broadcasts from your locals are going to be any
better than VHF/UHF; after all, digital TV is carried by VHF and UHF. You
won't get ghosts or a blurry picture, either a good signal or zip. Well, at
times on digital you can get pixelation if the signal gets disturbed.
Do you not have good cable in your area?? If a rooftop antenna can't get
decent local stations, I'd say simply you will be wasting precious money and
time getting an ATSC tuner. I just got a Sharp LCD with built in ATSC tuner
for my daughter, and while stations under 8 miles come in crystal clear,
with an indoor Terk HDTVi antenna, nothing beyond a 10 mile range is
visible.
Roger
Related resources
Anonymous
May 12, 2005 3:42:02 PM

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

"Roger" <nospam@world.com> wrote in
news:8GGge.28232$Fa.1221814@twister.southeast.rr.com:

> If a rooftop
> antenna can't get decent local stations, I'd say simply you will be
> wasting precious money and time getting an ATSC tuner. I just got a
> Sharp LCD with built in ATSC tuner for my daughter, and while stations
> under 8 miles come in crystal clear, with an indoor Terk HDTVi
> antenna, nothing beyond a 10 mile range is visible.

I think the writer should first go to http://www.antennaweb.org/ to learn
where the digital transmitters are, and what they think about likely
reception quality.(Sometimes the DTV transmitters are at different
locations from the standard transmitters.) I was pleasantly surprised that
the Philips/Magnavox MANT310 amplified settop antenna brought in stations
up to 35 miles away when I cranked up the amplification and positioned it
very carefully. Of course, a lot depends on the terrain, etc., so your
mileage may vary.
Anonymous
May 13, 2005 1:42:51 AM

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

Dennis Mayer <Polaris1@execpc.com> wrote:


> > Finally, I am in something of an RF black hole where
> > I live. A regular VHF rooftop antenna will pull in

> Try http://www.antennaweb.org & enter your 9 digit ZIP Code
> and then select the digital options....

Been there, and they show me as being able to receive
pretty much all the ones I want, but I know that house
2 blocks away get far better reception than I do. It's
a terrain thing. I'm sort of behind a hill from the
transmitters.

> Mountain valleys are not the best place for OTA TV..
> A good Time Warner Cable Co is another way to go...

Time Warner is not an option. I get Adelphia (oh joy).

> I'm saying OTA antenna reception & Cable TV are 2 different
> options..

I understand that. I would love to dump my cable if
I could, but finding out if digital is better in my
neighborhood than regular VHS is the trick. Not expecting
much digital on my cable any time soon.

Bill Ranck
Blacksburg, Va.
Anonymous
May 13, 2005 4:53:22 PM

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

Joe Moore (munged@bad.example.com) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
> Did you use the map option at AntennaWeb? With that, you can
> locate your house to within a few feet. I've found that it can
> make a significant difference in the results.

With a full street address, it only seems to be about 30 feet difference
from reality for me. And, it's still just a starting point. For me:

Bear Dist Ch
yellow WUSA-DT CBS WASHINGTON DC 161° 17.7 34
yellow WTTG-DT FOX WASHINGTON DC 161° 17.3 36
yellow WRC-DT NBC WASHINGTON DC 163° 18.3 48
yellow WJLA-DT ABC WASHINGTON DC 161° 17.7 39
lt green WPXW-DT PAX MANASSAS VA 201° 27.2 43
red WBDC-DT WB WASHINGTON DC 152° 18.6 51
red WETA-DT PBS WASHINGTON DC 174° 20.4 27
blue WJZ-DT CBS BALTIMORE MD 81° 33.4 38
blue WDCA-DT UPN WASHINGTON DC 161° 17.7 35
blue WFPT-DT PBS FREDERICK MD 338° 7.0 28
blue WNUV-DT WB BALTIMORE MD 81° 33.5 40
blue WNVC-DT IND FAIRFAX VA 188° 20.8 57
violet WBFF-DT FOX BALTIMORE MD 81° 33.5 46
violet WNVT-DT IND GOLDVEIN VA 206° 39.2 30
violet WMAR-DT ABC BALTIMORE MD 81° 33.4 52
violet WBAL-DT NBC BALTIMORE MD 81° 33.4 59

The reality is that the "blue" WDCA-DT should really be "ultraviolet" due
to the 1.3kW they are broadcasting with.

The "violet" WNVT-DT comes in nicely even though my antenna is pointed
at the 161° grouping, yet the "lt green" WPXW-DT in the same direction is
actually quite hard to pick up unless you point the antenna right at it.

--
Jeff Rife | "Hey, Brain, what do you wanna do tonight?"
|
| "The same thing we do every night, Pinky...
| try to take over the world."
Anonymous
May 13, 2005 10:47:00 PM

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

Joe Moore <munged@bad.example.com> wrote:
> ranck@vt.edu wrote:

> >a lived a few blocks away from my present house. My neighbors for about
> >2 or 3 houses on either side can't get VHF either, but go farther than
> >that and it's fine. I'm just sort of hoping digital does better.

> Did you use the map option at AntennaWeb? With that, you can
> locate your house to within a few feet. I've found that it can
> make a significant difference in the results.

I just played with it some more, and while it does seem to know that
the reception in my area is worse than on the other side of town,
I know it's overly optimistic for my exact location. According to
them I'm only 14 miles from the antenna site and they show me in
blue zone for most of those, and red only for one station.

Bill Ranck
Blacksburg, Va.
Anonymous
May 15, 2005 3:21:37 AM

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

I put your town and zip into antennaweb.org, and it came up with 5 digital
channels, WPXR-DT 38.1 (PAX), WDBJ-DT 7.1 (CBS), WBRA-DT 15.1 (PBS), WSLS-DT
10.1 (NBC), and WFXR-DT 17.1 (FOX). They all seem to be about the same
orientation (103-105 deg) as well distance (15-16 miles). This isn't a
guarantee that you will be able to receive them, but I'd go for it.

Phil



<ranck@vt.edu> wrote in message news:D 5tld6$9ne$4@solaris.cc.vt.edu...
> Hello folks,
> Can anyone tell me what are good, available, set top
> HDTV tuner/converters? I would like something to use for now
> with an outdoor antenna and my regular NTSC television, but
> that I can use later with a better plasma or other HDTV
> monitor. Any thoughts on what is good/bad/ugly about
> available models. Any features I should be aware of to
> look for or avoid?
> Clearly an S-video connection to connect to my current
> set is desirable. Do these things output line level stereo,
> decoded line level 5 channel surround, digital audio, or what?
> Maybe some combination of those?
> Finally, I am in something of an RF black hole where
> I live. A regular VHF rooftop antenna will pull in
> a very poor, ghost ridden, image from my locals. These
> locals are probably only 30 miles or less away. Does
> the nature of digital broadcast have a hope of overcoming
> this problem? I'd like to find a place with a good return
> policy in case this is just a non-starter, but I really
> need to get some feel for what tuner/converters are
> available first.
>
> Bill Ranck
> Blacksburg, Va.
>
>
!