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Old 04-09-2004, 07:38 PM   #601
midas
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Thanks Doug, I can actually almost understand that

But of course, now we need specifics. In theory I should get a strong signal. I'm about 14 miles from the towers. Unfortunately my last HD receiver didn't have a signal meter so I can't give any real numbers. But the reception didn't seem great. I have a relatively short line to the receiver, probabably less than 30 feet. And the antenna itself is a monster, 131" boom and about 110" wide.

But when I tried to split the signal one time things got worse. And when I tried to buy a cheap Radio Shack amp I basically got nothing. Obviously it introduced more noise to the system.

Now maybe a better amp would have worked better. But it wasn't the cheapest one they had. But if I ever want to send the signal to more than 1 set I'll have to do something. Now, unless the guy that installed the antenna did a really lousy job, I can't imagine a 30' line would normally introduce much signal loss.

It could be a multipath issue I suppose. But there are really no large buildings behind the antenna. So the first question I suppose is what would splitting a multipathed signal do? And, if I had a receiver with a strength meter, would I see a strong signal if it's multipathed? And of course, if it is multipathed, I don't think a pre-amp would do much good.
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Old 04-09-2004, 07:48 PM   #602
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Quote:
Originally posted by midas
Thanks Doug, I can actually almost understand that

But of course, now we need specifics. In theory I should get a strong signal. I'm about 14 miles from the towers. Unfortunately my last HD receiver didn't have a signal meter so I can't give any real numbers. But the reception didn't seem great. I have a relatively short line to the receiver, probabably less than 30 feet. And the antenna itself is a monster, 131" boom and about 110" wide.

But when I tried to split the signal one time things got worse. And when I tried to buy a cheap Radio Shack amp I basically got nothing. Obviously it introduced more noise to the system.

Now maybe a better amp would have worked better. But it wasn't the cheapest one they had. But if I ever want to send the signal to more than 1 set I'll have to do something. Now, unless the guy that installed the antenna did a really lousy job, I can't imagine a 30' line would normally introduce much signal loss.

It could be a multipath issue I suppose. But there are really no large buildings behind the antenna. So the first question I suppose is what would splitting a multipathed signal do? And, if I had a receiver with a strength meter, would I see a strong signal if it's multipathed? And of course, if it is multipathed, I don't think a pre-amp would do much good.
For one thing, I'd be concerned about the cheap Radio Shack amplifier. ou saw the difference in noise specs on several amplifiers; where did the Radio Shack units fall? 2 of the 3 in that list did worse than if they weren't in line at all.

Do you have any FM towers nearby? Another consideration would be strong FM stations causing your preamp to clip everything because there's too much power coming in over the FM band; some preamps have a switchable FM trap; others require it be added separately.

If you have any analog stations you can receive near some of the digital channel frequencies, how do those look? Ghosty? Clear? Snowy?

That antenna has nice clean radiation plots without much rear gain at all. I suppose maybe something off in the direction you're aiming could be reflecting towards you and causing multipath problems.

If you can get to the antenna to inspect everything, this coul djust be a bad install; maybe a loose wire on the balun or bad coax connector splice, or maybe some elements bent/shorted.

Do you know if your stations are broadcasting at full power or at some lower, maybe much lower power? Do you know people in your neighborhood who can receive them well?
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Old 04-09-2004, 08:29 PM   #603
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Well right now I don't have a pre-amp. And the reason I got it installed was that I can't get up on the roof. It's not that it's very high or even very slanted, I'm just a woos! I had to buy one of those attachments to a leaf blower so I could clean the gutters. So the idea of ME geting up and doing any inspection just isn't going to happen.

Do I have FM towers nearby? Who knows. This is Chicago, there seem to be towers everywhere. But again, no pre-amp, so I doubt clipping would be an issue.

As far as analog stations, that's hard to tell. It's been so long since I've actually watched OTA that it's hard to compare. I would say they looked snowy to me, but there was no ghosting. In my mind that would say weak signal without multipathing. But obviously I don't really know.

I don't know if all the stations are at full power right now. But since all the major networks here are O&O, I would hope (not assume) they are. I know we had major trouble with the CBS stations because they are on channel 3. For the longest time they had to operate at very low power because it was messing up the cable systems in the area until they all moved their default box setting to channel 4. Now they are at full power. But even when they were at 25% that was my most dependable signal.

I don't know anybody else in the immediate area, but I know a lot of people that have no problem picking up any of the stations from as far away as 40 miles. This would tell me that the power levels at the stations are not the issue.

So here's the real questions. I just signed up for the $99 HD deal from D*. Part of that deal is the OTA antenna install. Now I know for a fact that the current antenna I have is better than the one they'll give me. But I figure I have about a 50/50 chance of the install being better. It's also possible that the Panasonic receiver just had bad OTA reception and the HDTivo will be much better. The $99 one is only a temp until I get that.

My initial thoughts are to first hook up the receiver and see what kind of repception I get. If it's OK, obviously the problem is solved. But if it's not, then the fun starts. Ideally I'd like to get the installer reaim and run new cables from my antenna. But I have a feeling that the installer won't want to do that. Then the decision is do I want him to install the antenna he brings?

Unfortunately that's not going to fly too well. My wife is already POed that I'm getting the HDTivo. And she was really unhappy when I put the antenna up because it's so HUGE. I guess if I could talk him into using my mast and thus taking down what I have now that would be OK.

But is is possible that a smaller antenna would actually work better? I find it hard to believe that the one I have is TOO GOOD. And I'm pretty sure the installer will be no help in making a decision. So that's why I ask the experts here
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Old 04-10-2004, 08:08 AM   #604
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Wrong thread.
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Old 04-10-2004, 08:39 AM   #605
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Your antenna could be too good if you can see the tower from your house clearly. Not likely, though.
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Old 04-10-2004, 09:02 AM   #606
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Midas, do u have a rotor on your HD-7084P antenna?
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Old 04-10-2004, 09:56 AM   #607
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This is the wrong thread but:

With such a large and presumably high gain antenna only 14 miles away from the towers, I would be more inclined to put in an attenuator rather than an amplifier!

And as Tom asked, do you have a rotator? A high gain antenna may need precise aiming. You might consider using a smaller antenna.
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Old 04-10-2004, 01:33 PM   #608
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Thanks guys. I wish I had a rotator on it. That would make life much easier and at least take care of one of the variables. I'll see what the installer says when he gets here Monday, although like I said, I don't expect him to know much.
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Old 04-10-2004, 04:08 PM   #609
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just curious if u'd tried to tweak the direction for a better signal which u could do easily with a rotor. I think we'll all be curious to hear what happens on Mon.

That gigantic (high gain) antenna should be pulling in a strong signal from 14 miles. I bet it's been moved by those strong Chicago winds or maybe there's a short in the line as Doug suggested. I almost bought the same model Winegard(HD7084P) to pull in ota from almost 70miles but decided to go with the largest model at RS cuz they had it in stock and on sale at the local RS store (VU-190XR) 160 in.
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Old 04-10-2004, 04:23 PM   #610
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I've waffled on getting a rotor for a long time. If could get on the roof and do it myself I probably would have done it a long time ago. But paying someone to do it really raises the price. I just figure that once I find the sweet spot I'll never have to move it again.
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Old 04-10-2004, 04:33 PM   #611
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Quote:
Originally posted by midas
I've waffled on getting a rotor for a long time. If could get on the roof and do it myself I probably would have done it a long time ago. But paying someone to do it really raises the price. I just figure that once I find the sweet spot I'll never have to move it again.
Well, for that $60-$90 you can actually find the sweet spot without numerous trips up and down a ladder to move the antenna, go look at the signals, take notes on reception quality/strength, move the antenna again...

Plus with the rotator, you'll be able to play around when there's a good troposheric forecast and see what else you can pick up.

http://www.iprimus.ca/~hepburnw/tropo.html
http://www.iprimus.ca/~hepburnw/tropo_wam.html
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Old 04-10-2004, 04:47 PM   #612
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Oh I agree, if it were only $60-90, I'd do it. But to have someone come out and do it for me would probably cost at least another $100. Now we're talking about some serious coin.
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Old 04-12-2004, 06:49 PM   #613
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IF you can get on the roof to move the antenna can't you put a rotor on too???
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Old 04-12-2004, 06:55 PM   #614
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I can't get up on the roof at all, that's the problem. Oh well, the installer just left and it was an interesting experience to say the least. But I throw the details in the $99 deal thread.
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Old 04-14-2004, 01:05 PM   #615
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Since HD programming info is in the FAQ, then I guess it is OK to ask this here...

Has anyone contacted DirecTV about Bravo HD availability?

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Old 04-14-2004, 01:34 PM   #616
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The 8-ball says, "ask again in May after the 7S is operational".

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Old 04-14-2004, 02:04 PM   #617
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The 8-ball says, "ask again in May after the 7S is operational".

Hong.
I just received an email back from them. They can't comment since it isn't announced, but my request will be forwarded to the programming people...

Oh well, maybe sometime. Significant Others is a great show....I'd like to watch all TV in HDTV.
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Old 04-16-2004, 01:24 AM   #618
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Satellite C Kit???

Do I need a satellite C kit? I currently have a 3-year-old elliptical dish and receive HD on my SAT-HD100, which I assume is pointed at 101/119. Apparently the C Kit will add 110. What exactly will I be missing if I don't add the C Kit to get 110?
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Old 04-16-2004, 03:54 PM   #619
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Re: Satellite C Kit???

Quote:
Originally posted by robnalex
Do I need a satellite C kit? I currently have a 3-year-old elliptical dish and receive HD on my SAT-HD100, which I assume is pointed at 101/119. Apparently the C Kit will add 110. What exactly will I be missing if I don't add the C Kit to get 110?
just to be sure, tune to channel 99 and check if u can see a DirecTv symbol.
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Old 04-20-2004, 06:54 PM   #620
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midas-

I also live in Chicago...North side along the lakefront.
I had gotten on that directv customer retention deal for a HD receiver. had it installed.
Well, I have a midrise building that is in direct line to the Hancock building (and in line with the Sears also). The off-air antenna they installed did me no good.
Bought an amp'd antenna to see if I could do better. With Too Much dicking around, I was able to get 5, 7, 9, 11, 32, 50 (others too, but those are all I cared about) But, the position for some channels knocked out the others. Never could get 2 in at all. Meaning I would have to be constantly moving the antenna to get all the available channels I listed.
That said, I find HD at this point to be quite a disappointment and as of today, got DirecTV to take the whole thing back. Much of the off air stuff is in 4:3 resolution, not 16:9. The DirecTV HD channels come in good and look very good, but honestly, not so amazing compared to the general great quality of standard res Directv. To me there simply isn't enough HD stuff that I want to even watch. Also, what the heck was I thinking, thinking that I could look at non-tivo'd TV. What? Watch shows live and on time? No way :-)

As to the Upcoming HD DirecTiVo....At this point, not even close to being worth $999,at least to me.
The experience was educational just the same. My longing for HD is now on hold until there is much more HD content available.
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Old 04-20-2004, 07:03 PM   #621
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I guess it all depends on what you like to watch. I watch a lot of stuff that's already in HD so the HDTivo will be of big value to me. Of course, I already had an HD receiver that I sold for $350. I'll sell the Hughes I got on the $99 for at least a $200 profit. And I'll also sell my current DirecTivo for at least $150. So if add that all up it's at least $700. With the $100 discount from VE my end cost will be about $200 and that includes all the antenna work I got D* to do last week. Well worth it to me.

BTW, I'm around Belmont and Cumberland so my area is much more conducive to good reception.
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Old 04-20-2004, 07:14 PM   #622
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well financially, you're certainly making out. And yep, it depends on what you watch. Glad you're getting more use out of it than I did. I know DirecTV is working on more HD content and I wouldn't be surprised to find myself with an HD DirevTivo before the year is up, or early next year....if enough has been added.
Thanks
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Old 04-22-2004, 11:27 AM   #623
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Midas, I also live along Belmont in Chicago. What antenna do you use?
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Old 04-22-2004, 03:09 PM   #624
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Feldon,
I'm sorry if this has been covered before (I didn't search) but I just wanted to confirm that there is NO optical cable included with the HDTivo. You may want to change the faq accordingly.
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Old 04-22-2004, 03:15 PM   #625
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Quote:
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Please let me know if there are any mistakes/oversights in this FAQ.
Very cool piece of info. One small nit about the shows that are offered.

Quote:
UPN offers Enterprise and Jake 2.0 in HDTV.
UPN canceled Jake 2.0 awhile ago, and hasn't been aired in a few months.
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Old 04-22-2004, 03:19 PM   #626
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Midas, I also live along Belmont in Chicago. What antenna do you use?
Well at this point that's a very complicated question. First read this message and then read this one.
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Old 04-22-2004, 03:44 PM   #627
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D8 should offer INHD and INHD2, currently only for cable people. I don't have an HDTV yet, as the HDTV situation in hartford-NH is not terribly pretty.
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Old 04-24-2004, 03:30 PM   #628
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Does the DirectTV HDTV Tivo support ethernet via a USB adapter for it's phone calls?

Thanks,
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Old 04-24-2004, 08:05 PM   #629
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Does the DirectTV HDTV Tivo support ethernet via a USB adapter for it's phone calls?

Thanks,
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There are 2 USB ports for "future" use
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Old 04-24-2004, 08:23 PM   #630
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Does this mean I will have to get a land line again? I heard somewhere that it can get all of its programming data over the satellite. The only thing you need the phone for is to purchase movies...

Is this true?

-- Ken
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