OTA HD reception

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by AWAHOO, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. AWAHOO

    AWAHOO New Member

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    Oct 21, 2004
    Emporia, VA
    Just got a new Panasonic 42" plasma and am anxious to get HD programming. D* is coming tomorrow to install my HD DVR and OTA antenna.

    What is the distance that HD programming can be received, assuming flat territory? I am about 70 miles south of Richmond, VA, and currently receive local channels from there.

    Will I have a problem receiving HD with the OTA antenna at that distance? Are boosters needed with OTA antennae?

    Final question: D* says you cannot get network programming if you are getting locals, and that locals rarely, if ever, give their permission for the networks...what then is my option to get HD programming if my OTA is not sufficient?
     
  2. bpratt

    bpratt New Member

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    Nov 20, 2004
    Salt Lake...
  3. AWAHOO

    AWAHOO New Member

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    Oct 21, 2004
    Emporia, VA
    Thanks. This will help the installer, but I still don't know whether or not I will be able to get the HD being 70 miles from source.
     
  4. mikeny

    mikeny New Member

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Long Island, NY
    This antenna is rated at 70 miles or more: Link to DB8 at antennasdirect

    I've seen some posts with people using the Channelmaster 4228 with an amp at that range.Channelmaster Series

    If D* is coming they will bring the wineguard bat wing antenna which won't be good for you. You'll need to get those others on your own.

    As to your non OTA options, D*, will probaly upgrade your market to get HD LIL in Mpeg-4 but not for a while. They are working on converting the top 12 DMA. I see Richmond is 60th on one particular list. Nielsen 210 DMA It took a while to get SD LIL over there, didn't it?

    Then again, there's always your local cable offering, right? Is that an option?

    Others have reported that they use a NY or LA address to get the big 4 networks in HD, although, that of course is illegal.
     
  5. AWAHOO

    AWAHOO New Member

    75
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    Oct 21, 2004
    Emporia, VA
    Thanks for the quick reply, Mikeny. I switched from cable (Adelphia) which was my only choice and it was terrible. When D* installer does his thing, am I wrong to assume that he will check out reception with the antenna he installs? If the cheap Winegard doesn't work, what then?

    I never thought that getting HD would be this involved. I have heard of the "wrong address" approach, but , as you say, that's illegal.
     
  6. mikeny

    mikeny New Member

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Long Island, NY
    You could try and do it yourself or find a private installer.

    If he doesn't check it, you can do it by going to DirecTV Central, Messages and Setup, Settings, Check OTA Reception. (someplace around there) It would be helpful if you could communicate on a cell phone if necessary while he's tweaking.


    Also, I've read that some have haggled with D* to credit back the fee for the non working (if that's the case) OTA install.

    ..
     
  7. newsposter

    newsposter Poster of News

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    Aug 18, 2002
    SE PA
    If you have truly flat terrain and can 'see' the towers, I'd think the DB8 would be good. Im 40 miles out and have trees and a house in the way but still get 70 to 80s strength for most of my channels most of the time and I have it in the attic.

    if you have lower UHF channels, you should have no problem but the upper end is what gives me problem. Someone said thats inherent in uhf.

    i'm jealous of your unimpeded view :)
     
  8. TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

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    Sep 6, 2004
    The DB8 has slightly higher gain in the middle UHF channels, while the 4228 has significantly higher gain in the higher UHF channels. If you are having trouble with channels in the 50's-60's, maybe the 4228 would be a better choice. The DB8 peaks at about channel 40 and rolls off significantly, while the 4228 has a flatter response.
     
  9. csweeny

    csweeny TIVO Junkie

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    Jun 9, 2004
    Northern...
    AWAHOO,

    Are your local channels Owned and Operated (O&O) by the parent companies or locally owed?

    I live outside of DC and two of the locals (Fox and NBC) are O&O so I get the NY HD feeds through D*. Plus I have an OTA antenna to get all the DC HD channels.

    Being 70 miles out you will have a lot of signal issues to contend with, so good luck.
     
  10. newsposter

    newsposter Poster of News

    35,614
    63
    Aug 18, 2002
    SE PA
    channel 42 is the worst for me with the DB8, but is 2 degrees off every other channel. I thought that DB8 was a better choice because it's less directional and I thought that's what I'd need to get in channel 42 since it's 2 degrees off. Is my thinking correct? While I'd love to get stronger signals in the 50s and 60s channels, I wouldn't do it at the expense of having no chance at getting in channel 42 with the directional 4228.

    thoughts?
     
  11. bdlucas

    bdlucas Right side up again.

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    Feb 15, 2004
    Exurbia
    As you can see from the plots at http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/types.html, the 4228 isn't so directional that 2 degrees makes much of a difference.
     
  12. newsposter

    newsposter Poster of News

    35,614
    63
    Aug 18, 2002
    SE PA
    I wish i could find one locally so i could take it back. But hate to order then have to return something thru the mail.
     
  13. TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

    3,604
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    Sep 6, 2004
    bd is right, as usual. You would have to be 10-20 degrees off to likely be seeing a problem caused by a more-directional antenna than the one you have. It is also a great choice for OTA DT, and in most cases the 4228 is only marginally better.

    Antennae are measured by a 3 dB beamwidth. IOW, if the signal drops by half as you rotate off axis, that defines the beamwidth, or directionality of the antenna. But you can still receive, in many cases, well outside the beamwidth, just at a lower signal level. We're talking shotgun-like scatter patterns, not lasers, and terrain and obstructions can blur the pattern even more.

    What is probably at work here with your problem channel is something related to multipath interference or level. But you have made pretty much the right move getting the DB8, and while there is a tiny chance that the 4228 could have made the difference, I'm thinking probably not.

    I would try to peak for the problem channel. Even though it is slightly off-axis, if you peak that channel for the best performance, the others will likely not suffer. If that doesn't work I would try the variable amp/attenuator/fm trap technique that I have been touting elsewhere on this forum. PM me if you need more help.
     
  14. newsposter

    newsposter Poster of News

    35,614
    63
    Aug 18, 2002
    SE PA
    hopefully finishing the saga

    They mounted the DB8 on the chimney with a 10ft pole this morning but it appeared even though it was on the roof, I couldn't get in ch 64 and 67 in the high 80s like i did in the attic. My guess is the chimney was 5 ft to the right of the original spot inside and i guess that made the difference. But i didnt' want the hassle of a tripod.

    Anyway, after over 1 hour of struggling aiming the antenna 1 millimeter at a time, and trying a pre amp from the guy (turns out my regular amp was better anyways), I've now gotten fox to be solid mid 60s and channel 67 and 64 seem to be solid 68ish or 72 ish. If everything stays as is, i'll be thrilled as I can record solid 60 signals. Even channel 54 is a solid 65 now. But I was wondering if the dense fog helped or hurt the aiming this morning? If all the channels die tonight after the fog is gone, i'll scream lol.
     
  15. TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

    3,604
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    Sep 6, 2004
    After looking this up today, I realized that I had this completely ass-backwards. Switch the two antennas in this post, and that is how it should read. :rolleyes:

    My apologies for the late correction.
     

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