Digital TV

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I can no longer find the message, but I'm sure that it was on one of these two newsgroups within the past few days that I read an allegation that the move from analog to digital for TV broadcasting was a plot to push vast numbers of people to cable or satellite because the digital signal is receivable only over a very small area.
I mentioned this allegation to a broadcast engineer yesterday. He told me that in fact many people are not getting good reception of the OTA digital signals and are moving to cable or satellite because many of the expensive HD TVs on the market have appallingly insensitive antenna inputs -- far inferior to the almost-free converter boxes that were distributed over the last couple of years.
Perce
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wrote:

Never ascribe to malice that which be explained by ignorance and stupidity.
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AZ Nomad wrote:

So true
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Robert A. Heinlein from Napoleon's, "Never attribute to malice what can be satisfactorily explained by incompetence."
Best, R.E.F.
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Never attribute to malice what can
satisfactorily be explained away by stupidity.
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On Wed, 13 Jan 2010 09:58:06 -0600, AZ Nomad

progress is a big conspiracy
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Fuck that. Bring back ntsc, tube TV's that bloom when you try to tune them, low resolution color, and lots of overscan to make up for lousy convergence.
I don't find it worth it paying the cable company $80/month for digital tv to three tv sets, so in my situation, cable means analog sometimes snowy, and OTA is high definition digital and just about perfect.
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On Wed, 13 Jan 2010 10:45:34 -0500, "Percival P. Cassidy"

That certainly appears to be true of my new 40" Samsung. I have the Magnavox converter that gets me several of the local UHF channels crystal clear with a "loop" but the Samsung doesn't see them at all with the same antenna in the same spot.
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I hadn't heard that, but it is disturbing. I get great reception with my converter box, in what had formerly been a fringe area. I have been toying with buying a 52" Samsung LCD, but if it would be a step backwards, I'll continue with my 36" CRT.
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I'm also in a fringe area. I recently replaced my work shop TV, a 20+ year old 19" CRT with a converter, with a Sanyo LCD. The Sanyo works just fine. FWIW the signal strength meter is in the same range (high 60s to low 80s, depending on the channel) as the meter of the converter box.
Just make sure the store you buy the LCD from has a return policy.
When I first connected the converter to the old CRT I got a much better picture than I'd ever seen with analog broadcasts. I believe that the problems associated with the analog to digital conversion has less to do with technology than geography. I'm not sure that the "great' pictures people are lamenting losing with the conversion were all that "great" at all. They were just used to looking at a substandard picture caused by weak a signal and interference, none of which digital is forgiving of. Good riddance, as far as I'm concerned.
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My big pioneer plasma seems to do a good job with digital channels in the DC area
I have numerous ways of capturing the digital signals here all the devices seem about the same to me, but great difference can be seen in what antennae is used and it's placement
I live in a high rise apartment - 24th floor of 26 - SW facing balcony -- not idea, but I have a big HD antennae on the balcony next to the DirecTV dish and get good reception on nearly all channel in the area even though I can not get a direct view of probably 50-60 of the compass.
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On Wed, 13 Jan 2010 10:45:34 -0500, "Percival P. Cassidy"

To the people that use OTA digital, how far do you live from the TV stations?
I live in an area where we could never get good TV signals. I am interesting in hearing from people that had poor TV and are using OTA for digital. I live 45-60 miles from the stations.
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I live 20 miles from the transmission towers. I live atop a 400' hill. I had to put a large antenna on the roof to get good digital reception. Some local stations have done some tinkering over the past months to help on their end.
BTW, I've always heard that the integral digital tuners in TV's are superior to converter boxes.
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On 1/13/2010 12:18 PM, Metspitzer wrote:

I live only 10 miles from most of my transmitters and found that even a highly amplified, directional indoor antenna did not give me satisfactory reception even though the land is almost flat between here and there. I needed to spend hundreds of $ to have a rooftop directional antenna installed (my roof is high, peaked, and I'm no spring chicken). Reception is excellent except when there are storms, high winds, or low altitude airplanes in the transmission path. When those conditions pertain, I get a little pixelation and occasionally a dropout for a second or two.
I do have a second element on the mast pointing in a different direction to receive one UHF PBS station that is 22 miles away. Interesting enough, the reception quality and problems is identical to the problems I have with the transmitters that are only 10 miles away. No preamps or line amplifiers in use, and the signal is being split 3 ways for 3 different rooms in the house.
I've always had OTA reception and figured that after only about 6 mos, if the rooftop antenna doesn't cut it, I can always go to cable. The cable bill in 6 mos for just basic service would exceed the cost of the antenna installation.
45-60 miles? GOOD LUCK WITH OTA!!
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If you are only 10 miles away over flat territory and using an amplifier, that is likely your problem. You are getting too much signal. If you remove the amp you should do better.
Chip
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On 13 Jan 2010 17:37:58 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@cox.net wrote:

Also with the indoor antenna, if you're having trouble with VHF stations it could be because the rabbit ears are extended too *far*. I'd always assumed they should be fully extended, but that's not necessarily the case.
I'm using a cheapo $10 dipole+UFH loop antenna. Here in Sacramento, 20 miles from the transmitters, I was getting all of the UHF stations fine after the transition, but the local ABC and PBS station moved back to VHF-high (channels 9 and 10) and I couldn't get them consistently. I finally stumbled upon:
http://www.kyes.com/antenna/rabbitear.html
And after pushing the dipoles in to be ~30" tip to tip, the signal improved significantly. We don't have any stations in VHF-lo anymore (some markets do); if we did I suspect a compromise length would be needed. I also hung the antenna using the UHF loop from a hook ~6 ft high on the wall to get it away from the TV itself. Fortunately all of the worthwhile stations here transmit from the same location located straight perpendicular to that wall.
Josh
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On 1/13/2010 12:37 PM, snipped-for-privacy@cox.net wrote:

I bought the amplified indoor antenna after I was unable to get satisfactory reception using several different configuration traditional unamplified indoor antennas. The reception with the amplified antenna was much better than using the unamplified antenna, but still unsat.
I'm in the DC metro area. One of my biggest reception problems is with a major network outlet that is broadcasting in a lower VHF channel and dropped it's effective radiated power from about 220KW analog to 12.5 KW digital!! That's right, not a typo. When I called the station engineer to ask why they were using such low power, they told me that they had petitioned the FCC to transmit with greater power, but the FCC was concerned that greater power would cause interference in the Baltimore metro area (which is more than 40 miles north of DC). So, I can't receive a decent signal 10 miles away with an indoor antenna and the FCC is worried about interference 40+ miles away. No wonder OTA reception of this station is so difficult.
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Have you tried an outside antenna? Your results would no doubt be excellent.
Chip
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On 01/13/10 06:26 pm, snipped-for-privacy@cox.net wrote:

Depending on the direction of the flaky station in relation to the others, an antenna with sufficient gain and directionality to get that one might result in significantly poorer reception from the others.
Our TV stations are on channels as low as 7, are in directions ranging from 17 degrees to 125 degrees from here, and are as far as 50 miles away.
Perce
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A rotor would probably be necessary.
Chip
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On 1/13/2010 6:26 PM, snipped-for-privacy@cox.net wrote:

Chip, Sorry that you must have missed my earlier postings in this thread. That's exactly what I ended up doing, but even so, still do not get reception free of occasional pixelation and short drop-outs when there are strong storms, high winds, or airplanes in the line of sight between the transmitter and my rooftop directional antenna. Peter
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