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 :)
Don Bruder - email@example.com - If your "From:" address isn\'t on my whitelist,
or the subject of the message doesn\'t contain the exact text "PopperAndShadow"
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.
For email, replace firstnamelastinitial
with my first name and last initial.
You might take a look here:
There are also forums there for TVs and such.
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http://www.pronews.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! >100,000 Newsgroups
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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.
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.
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>
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
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
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).
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.
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
Perhaps I feel invested in my rep siince I was a campaign volunteer?
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.
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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