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  #1  
Old 06-13-2009, 10:28 PM
RhythmDoctor RhythmDoctor is offline
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Has your OTA reception improved since the digital transition?

It has only been a day, but it seems like the digital transition has greatly improved the reliability of over-the-air reception here in the Philadelphia area. Previously, I had very unreliable reception on Channels 6.x and 12.x, especially during stormy weather. (In fact, 12.x was virtually non-existant - I had never been able to record an entire show without losing the transport stream.) Both of those stations changed yesterday from UHF channels to their "native" VHF physical channels (i.e., broadcasting over physical channels 6 and 12). Some other UHF stations have also made changes to their "native" physical channels, and seem to have improved reception as well.

I had an opportunity during today's rain storms to check the reception of 6.x and 12.x, and signal strength and SNR were fine, and digital reception was great with smooth video and no macroblocking. This is a significant improvement vs. before. Finally I will be able to record and watch McLaughlin Group, Nova, American Experience, Great Performances, etc. with digital quality!

How about everyone else who is pulling HDTV from an antenna? Have things gotten noticeably better since yesterday's changeover to digital.
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  #2  
Old 06-14-2009, 02:06 AM
edgrbishop edgrbishop is offline
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Re: Has your OTA reception improved since the digital transition?

WHen I finally get this sorted out I will try to update this... lol!
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  #3  
Old 06-14-2009, 06:43 AM
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SnakeDoctor SnakeDoctor is offline
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Re: Has your OTA reception improved since the digital transition?

Of the OTA stations I receive, two of them are slightly better, two are about the same, one is a little worse, and one (FOX) is significantly worse. Apparently FOX dropped their power when they changed their RF. They were at 500kw when they were broadcasting on RF 57 and then dropped to 160kw when they switched to RF 21 on Friday. I can no longer record a program from FOX - totally unwatchable.

What's strange is that if I watch FOX directly (no BTV), the video/audio is fine. I think this just further proves that my BTV setup with HDHRs is far less tolerant of transmission errors than my TV.
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Old 06-14-2009, 10:06 AM
Tessian Tessian is offline
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Re: Has your OTA reception improved since the digital transition?

Slightly off topic, what HD Antennae do you use, RhythmDoctor? I am also in the Philadelphia area (Bucks County area) and never ended up getting one because I could never find an indoor antenna that anyone consistently claimed was decent. I'd be hooking it up to a Hauppauge HVR-1600
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Old 06-14-2009, 10:10 AM
SiliconJoe SiliconJoe is offline
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Re: Has your OTA reception improved since the digital transition?

For many people around the country and here included, the ironic answer is no, digital reception is actually WORSE. The reasons are because of various temporary technical issues in switching transmission antennas on tall towers and transmission bands.

Prior to the switch I was already receiving digital exclusively as analog reception in my area is pretty much impossible. Digital reception is surprisingly very good. When the switch happened on Friday two stations did something which made reception worse. One station went from broadcasting on a middle UHF frequency to a middle VHF frequency. The UHF antenna I use fortunately can also pull in VHF fairly well, although it wasn't designed for that kind of reception. Still I can see a change in how the channel displays, sometimes there's a slight pause in the audio where none existed before. Reception may get better in a few months when the station moves their temporary digital antenna higher on the transmission tower.

The other station that used to come in quite well is barely viewable now. The station cut their transmission power in half because of work they are doing on the tower. In fact it seems like all the digital stations on a certain tower have cut their power output in half so workers can work at the top of the tower without getting injured from exposure to high power RF energy. Eventually this problem will also go away as tower work ends and the stations will turn up the knob to full power again.
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  #6  
Old 06-14-2009, 10:27 AM
RhythmDoctor RhythmDoctor is offline
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Re: Has your OTA reception improved since the digital transition?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tessian View Post
Slightly off topic, what HD Antennae do you use, RhythmDoctor? I am also in the Philadelphia area (Bucks County area) and never ended up getting one because I could never find an indoor antenna that anyone consistently claimed was decent. I'd be hooking it up to a Hauppauge HVR-1600
I have a large outdoof VHF/UHF antenna from Radio Shack in my attic (something like #15-2152), with an antenna-mounted signal amplifier also from Radio Shack (#15-2507).

Since we are only 12 mi. from Philly, the antenna is bigger than the websites say I need, but I purchased it (and the amplifier) when I was living 10 miles north of Princeton, NJ and brought it here with me. It works here, so I did not want to spend money on a smaller one.

Similarly, the amplifier may not be needed, but it definitely helps signal quality vs. using the antenna without it. Part of this may be because our house has coax run to every room, so the amplifier may be needed simply to boost the signal for distribution. Having the amplifier right at the antenna ensures we boost the signal, and not the noise that the extensive coax cables undoubtedly pick up. Our house is at a low point in our densely populated town, so I believe our main reception problem is caused by multipath reflections and electrical noise.

It's been a long time since I bought this stuff, but I recall trying 3-4 different brands of amplifiers, and the Radio Shack one was by far the best. When we were in Princeton, we could pick up dozens of stations from NYC and Philly even though we were 50+ miles away from each. (All were analog - that was prior to our digital equipment.) I was the only guy in my neighborhood who did not have cable, and people could not believe that I could pick up all those stations for free.
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Last edited by RhythmDoctor; 06-14-2009 at 10:31 AM.
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  #7  
Old 06-14-2009, 11:08 AM
hmb29 hmb29 is offline
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Re: Has your OTA reception improved since the digital transition?

my reception is worst...
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  #8  
Old 06-14-2009, 12:36 PM
Banjo H Banjo H is offline
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Re: Has your OTA reception improved since the digital transition?

As far as I can tell, my reception is unchanged. The one that is schedule to make a dramatic change is NBC which is supposed to move their digital antenna further up the tower (switch with analog antenna). That is the only marginal signal I have.
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  #9  
Old 06-14-2009, 02:31 PM
rrapynot rrapynot is offline
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Re: Has your OTA reception improved since the digital transition?

Here in Sonoma County about 70 miles north of San Francisco I can now receive a total of zero channels. With analog I could receive all of the OTA networks from San Francisco.
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  #10  
Old 06-14-2009, 03:43 PM
ewokdaddy ewokdaddy is offline
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Re: Has your OTA reception improved since the digital transition?

I have to agree with Silicon Joe. Yesterday, I could get good signals with my old roof antenna and virtually no signals on my inside "HD" antenna. Now this afternoon nothing, nothing at all.....Maybe they ARE working on the towers and the signals will be back to usual.
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  #11  
Old 06-14-2009, 04:22 PM
jmyers97219 jmyers97219 is offline
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Re: Has your OTA reception improved since the digital transition?

Here in Portland my reception is better. I have been recieving OTA digital for a couple of years now and it is better post transition. Every channel is now 98-100%. A couple of channels moved from UHF to VHF so I was afraid that might mess things up, but it did not even though I am in a hilly area with a lot of trees. I have placed my UHF 8 bay bow tie antenna 40+ feet in the air because we on the back side of a hill that shields us from the transmission towers.
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  #12  
Old 06-14-2009, 04:52 PM
Wolfie351 Wolfie351 is offline
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Re: Has your OTA reception improved since the digital transition?

San Jose area here and my reception is horrible. I always got 98+ signal strength. Now, the majority of them are below 50 while a couple are at high 90s
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:42 PM
mikek753 mikek753 is offline
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Re: Has your OTA reception improved since the digital transition?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfie351 View Post
San Jose area here and my reception is horrible. I always got 98+ signal strength. Now, the majority of them are below 50 while a couple are at high 90s
I'm in S. San Jose, CA
So far I got mixed results
PBS 9.1-5 is better
NBC 11.1 isn't as good as was before
FOX - moved to another RF - I'm fixing my lineup for it
4.1 isn't good
5.1 and 7.1 are Ok

I hope it will be sorted out tomorrow
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  #14  
Old 06-14-2009, 11:38 PM
whyteknt whyteknt is offline
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Re: Has your OTA reception improved since the digital transition?

I'll agree with the other response from Portland, OR - my reception is BETTER post transition. All channels now at 98-100% (before I think they were at 90-96%)

now if only my Guide data was showing up....seems since my fresh scan, I can't get guide data anymore, even though the data says it's updated.

but, back to the topic at hand - reception did improve for me.

I have rooftop antenna, multiple tuners.
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  #15  
Old 06-14-2009, 11:51 PM
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Nick Burns Nick Burns is offline
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Re: Has your OTA reception improved since the digital transition?

FOX seems better and My13 KCOP is better. That is one station I could barely receive before. However, it doesn't have any programs I care to record/watch. Other stations also appear to have better reception.
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