Anyone know if the HD tv signal will be stronger?

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I have cable, and don't think I could live without it, but my aunt is using an antenna.
She just dropped cable, and asked me to hook her antenna back up. She is only getting 2 channels. There is one more channel that can barely be seen.
What would be the chances she could get another channel after the switch?
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This website will tell you what digital channels she will likely receive, based on her location:
http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx
My guess is that with a digital TV converter box and a good HDTV antenna such as the "Antennas Direct DB2" antenna she should get more channels than before.
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scorpionleather wrote:

There is a bit more detailed reception analysis here: http://www.tvfool.com
Either way, after the transition, most if not all of the digital channels will be transmitting at significantly higher power levels. Be sure to test reception with her existing antenna before looking for any "hdtv" antenna, since there is no such thing as an "hdtv" or "digital" antenna. It's still the same radio frequencies and the old antenna if it's in good shape should work fine. Of course if the old antenna hasn't been used in some time you should check it and the downleads for damage.
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She needs a better antenna, they are cheap, but cable boxes are not equal, consumer reports just did a test of maybe 30 and I see 60% are not great.
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when it works, it'll be perfect and noise free. when it doesn't, it'll cut in and out like a broken cable.
If you remember the transition from analog cell phones to digital, you'll have an idea what it will be like. A difference is that you hopefully won't be in motion and there won't be any tower handoffs.
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metspitzer wrote:

I just made the initial experiment -- we're on antenna w/ the three networks plus PBS watchable w/ some snow. The digital was zilch, nada, nothing from any of the three. What I know for sure is the closest (60 miles) is broadcasting two subchannels according to them; I'm not sure of the others yet. What comparative broadcast strength is I also have no data for, but it appears unless they boost their output or I do major antenna or other upgrades we'll likely just be without. I've contacted Engineering of the one station but no response, at least so far.
--


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transmitting antenna location during this transition phase. After February, be sure to check again.
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I talked to one of the stations when I was having trouble, and they said that my twin lead might be the trouble. I tried going with a coax cable, which din't help, but orienting the antenna better got the job done. I'm just glad I didn't have to fish a coax down an outside wall. If you haven't done it yet, try adjusting antenna direction or using coax.
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+1, the Digital stations don't always have the same center as the analog ones, I have a rotor, but may as well unplug it now that I've found the sweet spot.
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We live in a fringe area, and barely got reception even with a 200 mile antenna and a top quality amplifier. since we got the digital converter box, or reception is fantastic, more channels, flicker free, bright picture, flawless sound. We had a bad wind storm that broke 1/3 of the radials off of the antenna, & it didn't effect our reception at all, that would have killed it on analog.
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Eric in North TX wrote: ...

What's your line-of-sight distance and tower height?
That's essentially the description of our situation but my initial experiment w/ the converter box was a complete failure.
Oh, what converter box do you have? There was only one on the shelves here when my coupon was expiring, unfortunately, having forgotten about it... :(
Are you using any amp now and if so, what is it, do you recall?
--
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The converter box is a Digital Stream bought at Radio Shack, The antenna is abut 30' up , no tower, just on the eve of a 2 story I estimate my line of sight at 50 miles with near by hills to interfere, my Amp is Winegard not sure of the model, it mounts on the pole with a power supply in the house. I just bout the biggest DB gain I could find.
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Eric in North TX wrote:

OK, thanks...about the same except no hills here... :)
Our closest is about 60 mi. The antenna is on a tower but it also sets at eave height of the two-story farmhouse. Right now I'm not using an amp although the antenna is nearly new after a big blow destroyed the old one last year. I bought about the highest gain I could find for the idea of this coming.
Somebody else mentioned the twin-lead--it's what Dad pulled when he redid the house in the mid-70s so that may be a weak point but previously a coax run directly didn't make much difference altho I've not tried the experiment w/ the digital box.
If aiming turns out to be so critical that an average of the three that's been adequate for analog since forever won't do I guess it's possibly a rotor.
Whatever, it's a real pita to have to deal with when as is is just fine... :(
OBTW, I did look at the signal strength map for a coarse guesstimate based on zip code--it thinks we should have 20+ dB NM (noise margin, however they figure it). That seems as though _should_ be adequate so perhaps when have some time to look at it further it'll be not too bad a fix.
--
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Digital is much more sensitive to background noise than analog was. We tolerated noise and ghosts in an analog picture, but you'll get drop- out's or no picture at all if there's noise on a digital signal.
Unless you are distributing your signal to multiple TV's or VCR's, an amplifier is likely to introduce more noise and distortion than the weak signal it's trying to improve (noise is boosted along with the signal).
Also, most digital stations are currently in the UHF band, so you'll need to make sure your amp is rated for that. Many older amps were only rated for the VHF band.
In my case, I found my signal to noise ratio (SNR level) was actually LOWER with a new 15db UHF rated amplifier than just running the cable directly from the antenna.

Sometimes moving left or right just a bit can make a big difference in signal strength too. It all depends on topography and obstructions between you and the source.
My SNR varied about 5-10 points depending on where I walked with my antenna, and mounting the antenna outside raised my SNR about 15 points compared to mounting in the attic. All pointed in the same direction, of course.

Twin-lead is out of the question, and you should be using at least RG-6 coax cable for the best shielding. I also found the cheap "crimp-on" style of connectors let a lot more noise in than the professional compression type of connector.
I spent about 3-4 months trying to get the best signal levels, and I'm only 20 miles from the broadcast antennas (all in the same basic direction). I tried a variety of antennas and locations, before settling on a DB2 style of antenna mounted outside on the eave of our single-story house. For now everything is working well since my digital stations are all on the UHF band. But come February, a few of my stations are moving back to the VHF band so I may need to get a different antenna to pick up the lower frequencies.
Anthony
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That's not true. One of the biggest advantages of any digital transmission is that it can tolerate much higher levels of noise and still deliver a perfect signal. On the receiving end the system only needs to determine if a "1" or a "0" has been received, the absolute value of the signal level doesn't effect the data. Hence, you can tolerate a lot of noise, still be able to determine which of the two it is, and recover the signal.
It is true that if the signal is poor enough instead of seeing a crappy picture that you might have had with analog, you'll get no picture. But for the vast majority of people receiving via OTA, that is an acceptable tradeoff.

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On Oct 24, 11:18�am, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

months ago as a test. about 20% overall decrease in viewers who couldnt get signals anymore.
the turn off will be delayed by years, right now we wouldnt be told so manufacturers can use up their inventory oif digital decoders........
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On Fri, 24 Oct 2008 08:18:16 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:
[snip]

That applies to individual bits, not to the picture as a whole. It takes multiple bits, you may receive some but not others.

Or you'll get a crappy picture. I see a lot of that here, especially when the antenna needs to be adjusted.

I get better pictures (with digital TV) on the channels I can get OTA.
[snip]
--
61 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
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Pretty good, *IF* she improves her antenna.
I can't remember where I read it or about which community/area it involved, but there was a test recently where all the broadcasters in a given area performed the transition EARLY as a test.
I recall the biggest complaint was insufficient antenna.
I went to my barber the other day. He uses an antenna and isn't in a particularly good place with regard to line-of-sight/obstructions and the like.
He was using a newly-Walmart-purchased, RCA converter box. The picture was noticeably improved. The biggest improvement I noticed was that the captions were PERFECT. Previously, using analog, they were pretty garbled most of the time.
--
:)
JR

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wrote:

If someone offers you Direct Tv, run the other way as fast as you can. They have over 22,000 complaints in the last year alone with the BBB. Direct TV is fricking useless!
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On Wed, 22 Oct 2008 15:57:12 -0700, Direct TV Not wrote:

I had DirecTV until early this summer. The main reason I quit was the VERY poor customer service.
--
64 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
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