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Don Bruder wrote:

That's interesting because according to The FCC, a VHF station here is going to be transmitting DT on their present VHF channel.
TDD
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According to the research I've done, other than "low power" stations (and I still haven't found a satisfactory definition for what makes a station "low power" - I imagine if I were interested enough to root through the FCC legalese and tech stuff, I could find it, but I'm not motivated enough to bother) after the switch, broadcast TV is going to exist only on the frequencies that now correspond to UHF channels 14 through 51. Which means that for "proper" reception, the range the antenna needs to be useful on is 470-698MHz. Expecting any kind of decent performance at all out of a ham antenna tuned for 145MHz on TV frequencies is... Well, putting it as kindly as possible, just short of utterly insane. Quite literally, you'd get better performance by cutting off a chunk of co-ax cable and stripping a bit more than 4 inches (VERY approximate number - Exact length can be calculated from online information) of the braid off one end to make a quarter-wave "wick" antenna before plugging the other end into your TV/converter box.

Since you'd be working on standard UHF frequencies, a standard UHF amp should work just fine, but make sure you locate it as close as possible, electrically, to the antenna's feedpoint to minimize the inevitable RF "crunge" the rest of your feedline is going to add to the mix. You want to amplify signal, not noise, doncha know :)
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I got the standard box the satellite company provided. It works good. I live in the XXXtreme SW corner of Utah, and I get stations from all around the US.
Steve
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snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com (Jimw) says...

The same old signal amps will work fine for digital. If you aren't running a mast mount antenna and RG6 coax, that is probably your signal problem. UHF is higher frequency than VHF, and there is quite a bit of loss in coax, particularly cheap coax. The old twin lead is even worse.
Mast mount amplifiers are the best, but more work to install. If you use an inline amplifier, mount it as close to the antenna as possible, and before any splitters.
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You might take a look here: http://tinyurl.com/96hqmw There are also forums there for TVs and such.
Dean
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Nobody here can rate them for you, nobody has all the units, Google the ratings, Consumers Reports is posted through google somebody set up a free link, they tested maybe 20. A few other companies that sell many different units did their own ratings. What I know is the good ones are mail order only, they are at no stores. I dont have the name handy but one model stands out by several ratings, google for the ratings. I am buying 2 online so I will google ratings again.
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If you find consumers reports rating you will see only maybe 30% have a quality picture, some are poor, and none of the top ones are at local stores, reception also varies.
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On Wed, 07 Jan 2009 16:56:05 -0800, ransley wrote:

CU's converter box ratings are "free". Click on "Recommendations & Notes" for write-ups on the individual boxes. CU rates on picture and sound quality and features.
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/electronics-computers/tvs-services/digital-tv-converter/ratings/dtv-converter-boxes-ratings.htm
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(Ann) says...

CU doesn't rate fringe reception, which is what the OP was asking about.
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On Thu, 08 Jan 2009 06:52:12 -0800, Larry Caldwell wrote:

I wasn't replying to the OP. Look back in the thread; it was someone else who posted that the CU report rated "reception". Posting the url clarified that and any misconception that it is "pay" content. The information in the report may be useful to those interested in "picture and sound quality and features". Anyway, since when has staying on-topic been a requirement for posting to m.r? <g>
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These maps show the both the individual stations' analog coverage areas and new DTV coverage areas. For example three fringe VHS stations I now receive have cut their coverage areas (and changed the pattern) - which explains why I don't/won't receive their UHF digital signal.
"Map Book of All Full-Power Digital Television Stations Authorized by the FCC" http://www.fcc.gov/dtv/markets /
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This looks like a useful thing, until you look at the choices. They are only the biggest cities. Where I live, the stations come from smaller cities, and they are not on the list. Once again, us rural folks are ignored. That's my major gripe about DTV. Anyone in medium or large city can buy a converter and brag how they got more stations and (supposedly) a better picture.
The rest of us in small cities or rural areas are either losing channels or not getting any. Or else we get constant dropouts and blank screens. I never much complained when I'd get periods of snow and sometimes almost full picture loss on analog. I could always at least still hear the sound and continue with the program I was watching. It was rare it would get so bad that I'd have to leave that channel. I very much hate the ALL or NOTHING signals of DTV. Either it works perfectly, or the station is blank. That is more than annoying. THen there are those screen breakups, where it looks like someone made a jigsaw puzzle out of the picture. Also very annoying. Much worse than screen "snow".
What really irks me the most is that they call this "progress". Progress is when something gets BETTER and/or EASIER to use. This is NOT progress. And for those who think the picture is better, I honestly dont see any difference (when I do get a signal). Sure, its a perfect picture, but half the time there is no picture at all. I've gotten a "perfect" picture on analog tv too, and when it's not perfect, its still watchable most of the time. If *I* was the person to make the choice of what IS progress, I'd choose ANALOG. The reason is simple. When I'm watching a football game, I want to watch that game. If the screen gets a little fuzzy, I can still see the game. But when a DTV signal goes blank, I'm finished watching the program.
Once again, the city folks will seldon have blackouts (signal loss), so they will be happy and brag how great DTV is, but us rural folks (who are the least likely to have access to cable tv), will be left out in the cold, with a tv that only works part of the time and at any moment can just lose signal in the middle of an important program.
I dont have access to cable, and doubt it will ever happen in the near future. Satellite tv is extremely expensive around here. So, as far as I'm concerned, I will be left with a worthless tv, converter or not.
Jim
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On Fri, 09 Jan 2009 00:54:42 -0600, Jimw wrote:

The list is by market areas - which areas include small cities, towns, and rural. What I did was look at the maps for the three different market areas where the transmission towers for the stations I receive are located.

I do more listening to TV than actually watching it and find the sound cutting out more annoying than the pixillation.

That "city folks" get better OTA reception is incorrect. In the two cities where I've lived, cable was a necessity (for analog).

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In your case, I have to assume that your tv stations are in other cities, not the one you live in. If thats the case, I can see where tall buildings and such would block the signal. But if the stations are in your own city, there is no reason you cant get a signal, unless you only got rabbit ears.
Jim
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On Fri, 09 Jan 2009 15:17:19 -0600, Jimw wrote:

Problems were blocking and ghosting from taller buildings and electrical interference.
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you sum up the problem very well, sadly those with cable or satellite wouldnt care much.
and after calling my congressmens office I found out the lady answering the phones doesnt care either.:(
I haD A VERY UNPLEASANT CONVERSATION WITH HER:(
I hate to see anyone get fired, but she aT LEAST DESERVES A STRONG WARNING.
Perhaps I feel invested in my rep siince I was a campaign volunteer?
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

So who is your rep?
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Oh my God, you actually thought your elected representative cares about *you*? Why, you're not and endangered species like some rare snail or rodent are you? Perhaps if you became a news story,......hummm, call the press and pitch a story about a poor rural family who can't get TV reception and how *the children* are suffering because of what President Bush did and you could get all kinds of attention.
TDD
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You might want to look a little closer. The FCC follows the standard MSA convention - that is Metropolitan Statistical Area. If you find the nearest MSA and look inside, you should find your "local" stations.
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On Fri, 09 Jan 2009 07:33:27 -0700, Robert Neville wrote:

No, as the page says, those are the FCC's (214) designated market areas - 210 of which correspond to Nielsen's market areas plus 4 (offshore) added by the FCC. The U.S has 363 MSAs.
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