Rate your DTV converter

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Correct so far.

Partly correct, but for exactly the opposite reason you think. VHF antennas will indeed become essentially useless. However, this is because *ALL* digital transmitters are already on UHF (though some are operating at lower-than-licensed power levels) and will stay there. When the VHF signal is turned off in February, the VHF antennas will still function as (lousy) antennas, but performance is likely to be so poor that they won't be useful except in cases where there are very strong signals.
And no, it doesn't matter that a station is now on a VHF channel, yet transmitting digital - What's happening is that they're transmitting on two separate frequencies - The standard analog signal on their "old" VHF frequency, the digital signal on their "new" digital frequency. Which, in *ALL* cases, is in the UHF band.
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wrote:

and just use the end with the small beams..... Right? (Not that I intend to do this, just asking).
Or to put it another way, I could buy a UHF (only) antenna, and would have a much smaller antenna on the roof. Right?
I could see having a smaller antenna as a benefit, because I could make my mast a few feet higher without having so much worry about high winds ripping it down. Of course I am not sure if another 6 or 8 feet of mast would make much difference.

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In theory, yes. In practice, probably not. In most cases, those combination antennas have been carefully tuned so that they perform well across all the bands they pick up. Altering them in any way *WILL* alter their capabilities. Every piece of metal within (depending on which reference you want to believe) 1-4 wavelengths of any element has to be accounted for in the tuning process. Depending on the exact design being used (the "Yagi" is probably the most familiar), changing number of pieces, size of any piece, or spatial relationship between any two pieces even slightly can have anything from very little effect to an "I can't freakin' believe it!" huge effect on the antenna's performance. Lop a chunk off any of them, and it's pretty likely that they'll go almost completely "out of tune" for whatever part you try to keep in service. It wouldn't be impossible to retune an antenna once the VHF section is chopped off, but chances are high that it would take so much time/effort/tinkering to do it that it simply wouldn't be worth bothering to make the attempt.

Yep.

In theory (once again...) raising an antenna any amount is helpful. But in practice, there's a "minimum increase" number (Which I can't remember for certain without looking it up - I'm wanting to say it's 10-12 feet) below which the change doesn't give any significant payoff for the effort.

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...

Excepting, of course, for the case were raising it clears an obstruction or echo path or similar physical change as opposed to simply elevation above clear, flat ground.
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the lower elevation may be better, or worse.
Radio signals are like waves in a pond, drop a couple rocks in, ever notice where some waves get larger and others smaller and sometimes disappear altogether.
as to the ham radio antenna for tv viewing.
it can work if the antenna happens to be a multiple of the desired frequency.
this is part of how multi band antennas are designed
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snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com (Jimw) says...

Only about half of the VHF band is being repurposed. Some stations will continue to transmit a VHF digital signal.
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On Thu, 8 Jan 2009 07:00:41 -0800, Larry Caldwell

Well, this brings up a question I have had for awhile. WILL FM RADIO BE ELIMINATED NEXT? The reason is that FM radio is in the VHF band, right below (or is it above) TV Channel 6. I know this for fact, because when I was a kid, I lived in a city that had channel 6 tv. The sound from channel 6 tv could be listened to on the very bottom most position on the fm radio dial. (which is about 88 mhz). I remember a few times I'd have to go somewhere and would listen to whatever tv program I was watching on a portable or car radio. So, since the govt. wants the VHF band to sell to the cellphone companies, will they next get rid of FM radio?
Jim
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snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com (Jimw) says...

They have been broadcasting digital radio for quite some time, on both the FM and AM band. Google HD Radio for details. Not many HD receivers are available yet. Before Christmas I tried to buy a Bose Wave system with HD radio, and they don't make one.
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wrote:

They seem to be more popular for cars for some reason. I bought a new head unit for my old pickup truck last year and decided to get one with HD because it didn't cost much more than the regular ones and I was curious. (the real reason I bought one was because I wanted something other than "just a radio" so I got one with a CD player and auxiliary jack. The HD was just a nice little bonus.) I still pretty much only listen to NPR, but now I have three different channels to listen to :) The sound quality is very nice, too. Since analog radio isn't going away, the issues with digital reception are not as much of a problem with radio - when the digital signal drops out, the radio just drops back to analog and the only way you can tell is that the sound quality gets worse. Unless you're listening to one of the sub- channels, of course.
nate
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None of the VHF (hi or lo), or the FM bands are being reallocated at this time or anytime in the near future, so relax.
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I'm going to guess "no" as radio has already gone digital (aka "HD Radio") but on the existing frequencies. Of course, that doesn't mean that it never will. It'd be sad though as I've got far more old radios laying around than TVs (and it would suck if I couldn't listen to my old Blaupunkt AM/FM/SW in the living room)
nate
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Don Bruder wrote:

Not true in all markets. In fact, in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area, two stations are moving out of the UHF band down to channels 11 and 13! Previously, all stations were UHF here except for the low power catholic station on channel 7. I made a simple dipole cut for channel 12 and it works fine to pick up 11 and 13 digital signals.
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On 01/08/09 07:01 am BR wrote:

And here in W. Michigan the new channel assignments for digital TV broadcasting include channels 5 (moved from 52), 7, 8 and 11 -- all VHF.
Perce
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To bring this thread back to the original question, that being how to rate the performance of the DTV converters on the market today, it would help to keep in mind the following facts:
    - Most of the stations broadcasting DTV signals today are using temporary UHF frequencies at less than full power     - After the DTV transition, there will be a mix of VHF and UHF frequencies in use, so depending on your market, you may need a VHF/UHF antenna     - If you haven't been watching UHF channels before and your DTV stations will be on UHF, you may find your house coax/splitters needing attention. UHF frequencies are much more sensitive to substandard wiring.     - There is no difference from an antenna/coax perspective between analong and digital television. Anyone trying to sell you an HD unique antenna/coax/splitter doesn't know what they are talking about.
Given all the above, drawing conclusions about the performance of a given DTV converter (other than things like the GUI or remote) until after the switchover is difficult.
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Don Bruder wrote:

There is a station that holds and uses a DT license on VHF in my home market and I can think of at least 3 more markets that have DT operating on VHF.
When

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A dollar says that what you've actually got is a station in your market that has the DT license, transmits its primary signal on VHF in analog, ("business as usual") and operates a UHF "translator" (possibly at a reduced power level) that's simulcasting the same material as the analog/VHF signal (and probably one or more "extra" sub-channels) in digital on the UHF frequency. When the switch hits, expect the VHF signal to go dead.
The whole point of the switch is to get broadcast TV off the VHF bands so they can be used for other purposes. Leaving some stations on VHF would defeat that purpose. ("low power" stations are the exception - While I haven't been interested enough to chase down exactly what makes a "low power" station, it's a pretty safe bet that they're all so "quiet" they won't cause anything but minimal, if any, interference with whatever use the VHF band gets put to after the switch is completed.)
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Don, you really need to stop posting misinformation like this. Many VHF stations are broadcasting a DTV signal on a temporary UHFfrequency. When they kill their analog VHF broadcast, it will be replaced with a digital VHF broadcast.
Again, if you'd like a reasonably understandable article on the topic: http://www.hdtvexpert.com/pages_b/MusicalChairs.html

No, it isn't. The frequencies that are being auctioned off are high UHF.
What may be the source of your confusion is a proposal to utilize the "white space" VHF frequencies for other purposes.
Currently, VHF TV channels are not allowed to be adjacent to each other so they don't interfere. That leaves a lot of unused VHF frequencies around the country. IIRC, the thinking is that when TV goes digital, there won't be as great a potential for interference and thus those blank channels could be used for other purposes.
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Don Bruder wrote:

Sorry, you are just completely wrong. I know the engineering manager at that station and have seen most of their equipment and know how it works. I also know they were overjoyed to get the VHF DT allocation which they elected to keep.

to TV services and transfer it to other uses by decommissioning a block of the *higher* UHF channels.
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wrote:

This is *not* true -- some (not all) stations that are now broadcasting digital on a UHF channel will switch their digital broadcast back to a VHF channel.
Check www.antennaweb.org, among other sites, for detailed station locations from a specific address. For example, in Sacramento, KXTV is currently Channel 10 (analog) and Channel 61 (digital). On Feb 17th, they will broadcast digitial on VHF Channel 10 (and give up Channel 61). On the other hand, KCRA (channel 3 analog) will remain digital on channel 35, but according to the results, their antenna location will change.
I believe the FCC has similar information available somewhere online.
Josh
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I just ordered the TIVAX STB-T8 , supposedly top rated. I'll report my findings.
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