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Tech: Digital TV converter boxes

Sawzaw 01 Mar 09 - 02:10 PM
Acme 01 Mar 09 - 03:11 PM
JohnInKansas 01 Mar 09 - 04:13 PM
open mike 01 Mar 09 - 04:40 PM
Tangledwood 01 Mar 09 - 04:50 PM
Sawzaw 01 Mar 09 - 06:43 PM
bobad 01 Mar 09 - 06:52 PM
JohnInKansas 01 Mar 09 - 07:36 PM
johnross 01 Mar 09 - 09:02 PM
Acme 01 Mar 09 - 10:06 PM
Sawzaw 01 Mar 09 - 10:51 PM
GUEST 02 Mar 09 - 12:11 AM
JohnInKansas 02 Mar 09 - 03:17 AM
Simon G 02 Mar 09 - 04:13 AM
Mr Red 02 Mar 09 - 05:27 AM
Penny S. 02 Mar 09 - 05:41 AM
JohnInKansas 02 Mar 09 - 05:43 AM
Sawzaw 02 Mar 09 - 01:51 PM
Sawzaw 02 Mar 09 - 01:56 PM
GUEST 02 Mar 09 - 02:35 PM
Acme 02 Mar 09 - 04:11 PM
JohnInKansas 02 Mar 09 - 05:26 PM
Sawzaw 03 Mar 09 - 12:58 AM
Sawzaw 03 Mar 09 - 01:22 AM
JohnInKansas 03 Mar 09 - 02:18 AM
JohnInKansas 03 Mar 09 - 02:22 AM
Sawzaw 03 Mar 09 - 02:09 PM
Sawzaw 15 Sep 10 - 12:33 AM
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Subject: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: Sawzaw
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 02:10 PM

'Catters:

I could not find another thread on this so I thought I would start one so people could pool their knowledge about and the changeover from analog to digital broadcast TV and selecting a box.

First of all it seems vendors are pushing digital TV antennas. Any antenna that works with analog will work with digital signals so there is no need to replace an antenna that is working.

I put an antenna in my attic years ago mainly to receive local weather and traffic information that is lacking on the satellite channels. It works great with the box I selected.

I selected and obtained an Insignia NS-DXA1-APT digital TV converter box at Best Buy for $59.95 before the $40 coupon.

It has both coax and RCA phono plug outputs. I hooked it up to my analog TV using the red whits and yellow RCA jacks. It auto tuned 33 channels that are sharper than any of the dozen or so channels that were coming in on analog.

Some stations have three channels. At least 4 are all local weather. The remote controls the volume using the phono plug outputs but not using the coax output. the remote does turn the TV off and on so you don't have to juggle remotes.

LG makes the Insignia and an identical Zenith box. Some people were saying the Zenith branded box has a better tuner that gets a clearer picture. I don't think it could get any clearer on an analog TV.

The only thing I think it lacks is an S video output and a better program guide with more rows. The guide only has one row.

It has an on screen signal meter and beeper for aiming the antenna like the satellite boxes do and it finds all the channels automatically.

I think and and I hope that when analog cuts off and digital broadcast TV cuts in 100%, it will give some competition to the cable and satellite gougers.

They can't transmit digital at full power until they cut off the analog transmission, so I heard. So it is costing them more $$ to transmit both. That is why broadcasters are whining.

Seems to me that the boxes should be made in America if the government is going to pitch in $40 of our future tax money.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: Acme
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 03:11 PM

I've been very happy with the images we're watching through the converter box. I do have to fiddle with the in-house antennas, and will probably but an antenna on the chimney and use the coaxial cables that run from the now-retired dish up there to the receivers in the house.

Radio Shack had some really good quarters last year because they sold so many of the Digital Stream boxes. It has a channel (analog) pass-through feature, but I've never used it.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 04:13 PM

While "any antenna for analog will work" it should be noted that all digital TV is (so far as I can find any info on it) in the UHF range, so the big beam you might have had for VHF analog reception is useless. Only the "bow tie" for UHF is (maybe) useful.

My first connection of a converter was useless, and the instructions that came with it insisted I needed a better antenna. I somewhat foolishly blew close to $100 for "the best available" antenna, which made absolutely no improvement in digital reception. (High gain, and advertised as specifically for DTV.)

The (slightly modified) homemade antenna I made using the dimensions from You Tube Instructions gets very much better reception than the high-priced one. (I used clothesline wire that's considerable stiffer than the wire recommended, but the rest of it is pretty much as shown.)

Reception is still dismal, but it's because I'm in sort of a "black hole" for UHF signals. Even my cell phone runs the battery down in about 2 days at home, but lasts a week or more per charge anywhere else.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: open mike
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 04:40 PM

THE ORIGINAL DATE OF FEB. HAS BEEN DELAYED UNTIL TIL JUNE
IF YOU GET YOUR T.V. SIGNAL THRU CABLE OR SATELLITE ANTENNAE


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: Tangledwood
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 04:50 PM

It might be useful in discussions like this to mention which country it's referring to as broadcast systems differ.
Our conversion in Australia started a few years ago.

The converter that I got is made by TEAC and includes a hard drive recorder which has proved to be very useful. It's more flexible to use than VCR. If going this way it's worth spending more to get
a convertor with dual tuners which enables simultaneous viewing on one channel while recording another. The unit works fine but the instruction book is poor. I had to go back to the dealer to find out how to delete recordings. He had trouble too but discovered the method by trial and error.

The only annoyance with the recorder is that the data format is not compatible with other formats and it seems that there is no conversion software around. It would be nice to be able to transfer them to DVD. There are now combined DVD recorders around which weren't available when I got mine.

With that in mind there can be advantages in not rushing to make the switch unless the analogue system is closing soon.

VHF antennae aren't totally useless, it depends on your reception area. In a strong area, line-of-site to the transmitter, they work perfectly. If you are in a weaker area or suffer from reflections from adjacent buildings you are more likely to need a specific UHF antennae, maybe high gain, and more directional (to minimise reception of the reflections).


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: Sawzaw
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 06:43 PM

"While "any antenna for analog will work" it should be noted that all digital TV is (so far as I can find any info on it) in the UHF range, so the big beam you might have had for VHF analog reception is useless. Only the "bow tie" for UHF is (maybe) useful.

I am in the US.

My antenna is a rather large, 6'? combo UHF VHF antenna stuffed into my attic so the neighbors won't complain (HOA rules). It is aimed at one city but with the box it picks up everything in another city 90 degrees+- from that direction. It is also picking up UHF stations perfectly that are nearly 180 degrees off of the heading, nearly "behind" it, but closer.

There are smart antennas that somehow optimize the direction that it receives from. I think they need a box that feeds back to them. I don't know much about them because my old antenna works fine with the box, even better than it did without the box.

You don't get "snow". You get little blocks in the picture when the signal is weak. The blocks get bigger as the signal gets weaker and then the sound goes out. I have one channel that seems to be fading in and out but it might be the current bad weather.

All I can say is it beats the hell out of analog reception and the change would be worthwhile even if it was not mandatory.

I expect that due to this improvement, the local broad casters will prosper after the changeover and be better able to compete with cable and satellite.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: bobad
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 06:52 PM

"THE ORIGINAL DATE OF FEB. HAS BEEN DELAYED UNTIL TIL JUNE
IF YOU GET YOUR T.V. SIGNAL THRU CABLE OR SATELLITE ANTENNAE"

Where we live in Canada we receive two US PBS stations of which one has delayed the switch over 'til June but the other has implemented it as of February 11 and we no longer receive their signal.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 07:36 PM

In the US, there was much publicity about a year ago advocating that government "rebate coupons" to assist purchases of converter boxes would be in short supply, so people should order early.

Being the obedient citizen, I ordered my alloted 2 coupons; and they were received soon after.

Unfortunately, when they arrived, only ONE seller - of more than a dozen that I called - had any converter box available for sale.

I bought one box.

It was crap, didn't work at all except intermittently.

Intensive research, via local media, internet, etc., found ZERO available information on whether any converters on the "government approved list" were any better than the p.o.s. I had bought already.

Since I had NO WAY to pick a better box to place an order, I continued searching locally for "anything different." During the last month before my remaining coupon expired there was NO DEALER WITHIN 100 MILES OF MY HOME who had ANY box available. My second coupon expired and cannot be replaced.

When I dug the original converter out of the box to try it again, the remote was completely dead, and you can't even change channels on the box except by using the remote. It took three weeks and five phone calls (total elapsed phone time 7 hours) to get the manufacturer to admit that it might be defective, and then SEVEN WEEKS for them to return a replacement. The replacement works - sort of.

Meanwhile, local broadcasters have begun "advertising" the need for everyone to get a converter (if they will need one) but give NO INFORMATION about which channels are broadcasting, or at what fequencies. They continue to blather the INCORRECT lie that "all TV stations must go digital soon." (Only "full power" stations are required to got digital. Lower powered stations, of which there are at least eight or nine in my area, are NOT REQUIRED to stop broadcasting analog - but I can't find anyone to say which ones plan to (optionally) go digital and which intend to remain analog.)

Meanwhile, the originally schedule switchover has been "postponed" - but with the hitch that now all of the channels that expected to switch on February 17 are prohibited from switching until "later" - unless they file for and get Fed approval to make the switch as originally intended - but subject to the requirement that at least one "major channel" in each broadcast area MUST CONTINUE analog broadcasts - but with no Fed process for selecting which one(s) will not be given permission to go ahead with the switch now, so that the one electing to remain analog can apply for the separately required permit from the Fed.

I'm sure everyone clearly understands the situation now -- --- right?

Oh yeah....

"THE ORIGINAL DATE OF FEB. HAS BEEN DELAYED UNTIL TIL JUNE
IF YOU GET YOUR T.V. SIGNAL THRU CABLE OR SATELLITE ANTENNAE"


In the US, if you get your signal thru cable or satellite, the cable/satellite broadcaster is entirely at liberty to use any signal (within their assigned bandwidth) and there is NO REQUIREMENT that they make any change at any time. Most of them have been broadcasting digital channels for years now, but the box that they provide to subscribers takes care of receiving whatever they choose to send. They are completely unaffected by the change in broadcast TV.

In my own little black hole, the digital picture is "better" - sometimes; but often there's no sound, or their's intermittent sound a bit like someone "racking" a pinball machine. At other times there is very good sound, but with only a static patchwork of pixels for a picture. Most of the time, three fourths of the channels that a setup search "finds" cannot be received at all. And when there is some reception both picture and image react when a car drives past on the street, or when the wind changes, or when a bird flies over, or when the neighbor's yard light comes on or goes off - and they don't "recover" after the transient interference goes away, without rescanning for "available channels."

Our Federal Government (Bush era) at work, solely for the benefit of the people. (I'm sure.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: johnross
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 09:02 PM

I bought one of those Insignia boxes at Best Buy (actually made by Zenith). The first one produced a lot of background noise on the digital channels, so I exchanged it for another that was not quite as bad.

I later bought a second box at Fry's, made by Channel Master. The CM box is a lot more solid (metal rather than plastic case, sems like better build quality), with a better remote control and less background noise, but it's not as sensitive as the Insignia -- doesn't receive as many digital channels.The one distant station that had a marginal analog signal (the PBS station in Tacoma) is completely gone on every box I have tried.

I recently looked at a Philco box in a store. Looked like good quality, but I wasn't able to test for sensitivity. It has fewer options on the remote control, which could be good or bad, depending on your attitude toward gizmoes and obscure features.

Note that I am within less than three miles of the major Seattle TV transmitter sites -- Queen Anne and Capitol Hills -- and maybe twelve miles from the other stations. So my experience may not mean anything for those who live in more distant suburbs.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: Acme
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 10:06 PM

You need to rescan for channels every so often. New ones are coming online all of the time. And you may need to move the antenna around in the house, if it isn't picking up well in one spot, 12 inches in another direction might work perfectly.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: Sawzaw
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 10:51 PM

bobad: try a converter box. You might be able to get more stations. I do.

JIK: Best buy has Apex and Insigina boxes stacked on skids. I got ose insignia and one Apex. I am not going to open the Apex box. I am going to take it back and get another Insignia.

I heard the Radio Shack model is crap.

Review:

OEM version of Zenith DTT901 and Insignia brand converters Great, August 1, 2008
By Chris Zee Shutterbug (Baton Rouge La) - See all my reviews

LG makes these converter boxes and sells them as either a Zenith DTT901 or a Insignia brand (at BestBuy). After much research at AVSForum re selection, here is a quick summary of my own experiences.
Out of the half dozen or so READILY available boxes, this one is by far the best. Some other ones are prone to: locking up requiring a reset, sound problems, running very hot, may be impossible to add channels manually, and have difficulties setting the aspect ratio such that the program fills the screen best. These LG/Zenith/Insignia boxes have none of those problems, but make sure that you get one built after April '08 (there is a sticker on the side of the box with either ie "built May 2008" or something like 05A08). Setup is easy, sensitivity is great. With a set of rabbit ears I get stations from 70-90 miles away (see TVFool website for antenna directions and maps for your own area).
Picture Zoom is settable for each channel, box can turn off the TV, and has an independent volume control. There are a couple of small items not quite up to par: Program guide is VERY simple, only current program and NEXT program are described, power cord is only 5ft long, if you set the converter on top of a large tv on a stand, it has a hard time reaching a floor level outlet. The signal strength meter (used for fine tuning the antenna position)has its own button on the remote, with a bar and amplitude varying beeps, but it lags the antenna movement by second or two, so you have to pause after moving the antenna each time to get a true signal level. Oh, and by the way, the picture quality (PQ)is excellent over the composite RCA outlet, and almost as excellent over the RF coax output. And yes, when turned off, the box will pass analog signal to the TV (APT), I thought that would be important, but all of my stations analog signals are duplicated on digital channels, and once you see a perfect quality signal it is very hard to watch a snowy picture. The DTT901 boxes are approved for the [...]$ rebate coupon (but some websites may have problems redeeming them and you may have to try a BM (brick and mortar store) instead.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Mar 09 - 12:11 AM

Worked GREAT until Obamanaia took office.

Now...it is best to go back to analalog....an airplane 150 miles away is enough to send off the signal...and scramble it for a minute.

Sincerely waiting for a "Yes" to mean YES and and not a feable "maybe" from the current government.

Sincerely,

What hath Joe's lower-world member only embargo wrought???? More *&%> politics appearing in the upper kingdom threads.


    Yeah, but Gargoyle, we tolerate you because you're so entertaining....
    love, Joe


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 02 Mar 09 - 03:17 AM

JIK: Best buy has Apex and Insigina boxes stacked on skids.

Availability now is academic, since my second coupon expired more than three months ago. I'll wait until I can get valid and trustable laboratory test reports and useful specifications before I'll be interested in another box, antenna, or just a switch to internet streaming.

There doesn't appear to be much incentive to rush. Last night when I reran the search for channels, I found five (and three of them actually could be received, sort of); but the menu showed current program "Paid Programming" on all five and next program up "Paid Programming" on all five. Not a lot of inspiration there.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: Simon G
Date: 02 Mar 09 - 04:13 AM

Digital Terrestrial tuner boxes in the UK are $20-$30 which seems to be the price after the $40 coupon in the USA.

Is the USA switching over completely on one day? In the UK we are taking 4 years over it, the first area to switch was in 2008 and more follow this year.

The PVR boxes with a disk and two tuners are worth every penny. The best tech buy I've ever made. Our broadcast format is identical to DVD so as long as you can get the file off the box you can make a DVD or watch on a PC. There are utilities around to strip the headers off the file. Many boxes have a USB connection but usually you have to connect an external disk, copy the file then connect the external diak to your PC.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: Mr Red
Date: 02 Mar 09 - 05:27 AM

At the IVFDF last w/e I noticed the Exeter UK region is ready for the switch-over and Cumbria have already done it.

Firstly - in the UK the aerial best suited for digital needs to cover a wider frequency range and that means a yagi with elements at different spacing (logarithmic at that) and bow-tie elements. If close enough to the transmitter maybe you can get away without one. If you wait till switchover maybe the old aerial will suffice, but don't bet on it. They will boost the power because interference is no longer an issue (oh yea?) and reception in marginal areas is. This will also be plan in the US from what I read. Where I live they haven't even bothered to provide repeaters for Channel 5 - so don't expect universal coverage or the same coverage.

I use a loft aerial with masthead amplifier which just does it unless the roof is laden with rain or snow or there is a mains LAN operating locally. Or sporadic E (from sunspots) is particularly strong. Or something I can't imagine. Come switchover this will be OK (I hope).


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: Penny S.
Date: 02 Mar 09 - 05:41 AM

UK. Almost line of sight from Crystal Palace, just below a small hill. Loft analogue aerial works fine. What didn't was my initial box, which the Freeview rendered impossible by changing the numbers of the channels in a way which my Thomson box couldn't deal with so that BBC 1 for example was something like 816. I now have a double tuner box with hard drive, but it is linked with Top Up TV and keeps trying to get me to sign up to it and downloading rubbish in the middle of the night.

I may be moving to a place which bans aerials and uses some sort of cable. May be useless again.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 02 Mar 09 - 05:43 AM

Simon G -

The US order was that all "full power" TV broadcasts must be digital as of February 17. Lower powered stations, usually small independents serving a local market, may continue to broadcast analog signals.

Because of the observed number of people who would be unprepared for the switch (based largely on estimates of the number of converters distributed) Congress decided to delay the switch for a month - subject to some complex restrictions that apparently even the broadcasters in my area haven't been able to figure out.

Many stations have been broadcasting simultaneously both analog and digital signals for several months, but often with the digital at reduced power pending the full changeover. There is, unfortunately, NO INFORMATION available to the users on which stations are broadcasting digital, or whether the ones that you find by scanning with your converter are at full power - so there's no way to tell if you'll have an acceptable signal level once the full changeover goes into effect, which might be the case if the power level goes up even a little in my marginal location.

There is also no sure way to know whether a channel that isn't now found as a digital one will remain analog, or is just waiting until everybody else is digital. (Thus far I can't find the only PBS channel in the area on digital, but also can't find out if they intend to remain analog or intend to go digital soon. It is a "reduced power" channel that doesn't have to make the change.)

Most of the converter boxes available through the coupon/rebate program are NOT CAPABLE of receiving both digital and analog, and my coupons in fact expired before there was any information published by the government to identify the four or five that were dual-mode. I was able to find most of the ones that are, via other investigations - although I couldn't buy one in my local market; but the widespread LIE that all channels will be digital probably prevented most people from even asking.

Altogether, the US change has been run as a "strictly propaganda" campaign, devoid of honesty and truth, and apparently really only benefitting those who can now (and mostly have) bought the use of the vacated bandwidth. (Although there are still arguments about who gets to use certain parts of it, and how, the gov't has made several billion dollars off of what's already been sold.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: Sawzaw
Date: 02 Mar 09 - 01:51 PM

"NO INFORMATION available to the users on which stations are broadcasting digital"

See http://www.tvfool.com

This tool can help answer questions like

    - Which broadcasters are transmitting locally?
    - How far are the transmitters from me?
    - Which direction should I point my antenna?
    - How strong are the signals in my area?
    - What analog and digital channels are available?
    - (NEW) How will things look after the analog shutoff in Jun-2009?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: Sawzaw
Date: 02 Mar 09 - 01:56 PM

"Most of the converter boxes available through the coupon/rebate program are NOT CAPABLE of receiving both digital and analog, and my coupons in fact expired before there was any information published by the government to identify the four or five that were dual-mode. I was able to find most of the ones that are, via other investigations - although I couldn't buy one in my local market; but the widespread LIE that all channels will be digital probably prevented most people from even asking.

Altogether, the US change has been run as a "strictly propaganda" campaign, devoid of honesty and truth, and apparently really only benefitting those who can now (and mostly have) bought the use of the vacated bandwidth. (Although there are still arguments about who gets to use certain parts of it, and how, the gov't has made several billion dollars off of what's already been sold.)

John"


I think John needs a hug.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Mar 09 - 02:35 PM

The digital systems used in the US and UK are not the same, so the experience of British viewers and their converters is not relevant to choosing a converter in the US.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: Acme
Date: 02 Mar 09 - 04:11 PM

Guest, sign your name or fix your cookie.

I find the Radio Shack box to be working very nicely. And we have three of them.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 02 Mar 09 - 05:26 PM

Sawzaw

The link may be "interpretable" for my location, but it indicates "line of sight" accessibility for my location, and based on past performance for the same transmitters' analog signals there simply isn't a line of sight to my specific location from any of them.

When we moved from the west coast to our present location, I found that a Radio Shack nearby had a "how to select a TV antenna" book hanging on a chain with a map of the immediate area with colored zones correlated to the various antennae that Radio Shack had to offer. I checked the models and found one pretty similar to the "150-mile" antenna I'd brought with me from Seattle, and thought I'd look for their recommendations for how high I should need to mount it.

On their map, my house was the center for the only "purple zone" - a small purple "blot" (with a radius of 2.4 city blocks) - for which it was noted "there is no antenna available from any manufacturer that will permit you to receive any TV signal in this location."

The chart was "almost correct" for analog, although I managed to get some fuzz on about 5 channels analog for about 10 years. Of the digital channels shown on the report (from your link), about a third of them (based on my best antenna orientation) are coming to me via a bounce from directions at least 70 degrees off from the transmitter locations shown in the report.

Useful signals are received only for about a fourth of the channels that the current box detects, but I'll have to do some checking to see if the ones the box detects even match what the report says should be there. Local broadcasters have been "on and off" since I started looking for info. The link gives a report based on what frequencies are authorized to be used but doesn't give me whether the "owner" of the frequency actually is using them now, or will be in the near future.

(And reception remains better with my home-made antenna than for the $100 Sylvania DTV Antenna with 120 dB-amplified gain, probably because the S/N ratio is too low for the signal that needs to be amplified to be separated from surrounding noise that the high-gain antenna amplifies along with the signal.)

I've had similar results for each of the thirty-odd times the Fed has "simplified" the income tax to "help" me. Always 20% more forms, and 15% more taxes.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: Sawzaw
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 12:58 AM

John:

You could be in a dead zone. You can always get a box at Best Buy and return if if you don't like it but you cannot get your coupon money back. Just get one and if it works take it back and get another one using a coupon. itf it does not work, just take it back. I recently bought a refrigerator at Sears that turned out to be crap and they gave me a refund.

The sensitivity of the different boxes is an issue but I have heard the the Zenith/Insignia are among the best. Go to a site like Amazon and read the reviews. Channelmaster is supposed to be one of the best but they do not have analog pass thru.

The thing that strikes me about the digital signal is there is no "ghosting". You either get a clear picture, one with some blocks that increase as the signal gets poorer or no picture.

I used to repair TVs back in the vacuum tube days and put up antennas.

With analog, if your antenna is not aimed exactly right you ghosting, like an echo of the picture shifted off to one side or another. Almost every channel requires a tweaking of the antenna direction to minimize the ghosts. Even a nearby building or tower can cause a ghost that you could not eliminate. And airplanes would cause a ghost that moved around the screen for a while.

We frequently installed motorized Tennarotors that would aim the antenna and the box would click click click until the antenna moved to the new heading. Caveman stuff.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: Sawzaw
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 01:22 AM

John: Try

http://www.antennaweb.org

http://www.dennysantennaservice.com/better_digital_tv_reception.html

http://www.crutchfield.com/learn/learningcenter/home/antenna.html


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 02:18 AM

The basic problem here, Sawzall, is that information wasn't available when I needed it. That it's out there now is of very little interest,as I've already spent $100 for the antenna that didn't work, and that's more than I should have needed to spend for the entire switchover based on the lies still being pushed out and about.

I don't have cable or satellite because what's on is of such marginal interest that I'm not willing to spend more on junk TV than I do on food.

If I can't figure out a way to make it work with the junk parts I've got out back, I'll just turn it off. I may putter with it for a while, but buying any new components is simply "out of budget" and impossible to do, much less to justify.

Suggestions appreciated; but there's little I can do to make good use of them directly. Being exceedingly clever(?), I may be able to use them for some new inventions of my own ... if I work up enough new interest - later.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 02:22 AM

Sorry about the typo, Sawzaw. For once I wasn't trying to be funny. Just rushing the post while I'm in and out doing some other stuff.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: Sawzaw
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 02:09 PM

John:

I would get a box. Choose a good sensitive box after reading the reviews at various places like Amazon. I am satisfied with the Zenith/Insignia. My son said he saw Zeniths at Wallmart for $49.95

The box is returnable if you don't like it. I do this all the time, I get two things and return the one I don't want.

If you use a coupon, you cant get the $40 back so get it without the coupon, return it and get one with a coupon if you want to keep it.

If you don't have the coupons, sign up and get inline for them, the money ran out in December but Porkulus has money in there for more coupons. https://www.dtv2009.gov/ApplyCoupon.aspx

Maybe even borrow a box but not a crappy one.

Get your antenna as high as possible.

The bigger and higher the antenna, the stronger the signal.

Try it at different spots on your roof.

Check with your neighbors to see it they have an antenna, what they are receiving and where the antenna is pointed.

It is possible you are in a dead zone and are screwed.

I don't feel I have been lied to except for people pushing digital antennas as if you need a digital antenna to get digital television when old existing antennas will work.

The digital stations are not able or not allowed to transmit the digital signal at full power until the cutoff date for analog. After that date, the situation might improve.

One station I am receiving is actually 4 channels in one with 4 different programs. I don't know what the limit is.

Back in the vacuum TV days we got 4 watchable channels here, 3 networks and 1 independent station. Now I get 33 and I don't have to turn my antenna each times I change channels to get a clear picture.

Back in those days we had to actually get up out of our chair to change the channel, re adjust the horizontal hold, re tune the fine tuning and maybe tweak the horizontal hold the get something watchable.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital TV converter boxes
From: Sawzaw
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 12:33 AM

John in Kansas:

How are you coming with your reception?

I have been building my own antennas with great success from the information I found on this forum:

AVS Forum > HDTV > HDTV Technical > How to build a UHF antenna...


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