Range for OTA HD reception

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by AWAHOO, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. AWAHOO

    AWAHOO New Member

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    Oct 21, 2004
    Emporia, VA

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    Can anyone give a ball park range for receiving OTA HD signals? I realize that it is somewhat dependent on the power of the local station that is broadcasting, but is there a maximum range? If you can received SD OTA, would it be correct to assume that, given the proper antenna, you could also get HD?

    I am 65 miles from my locals. Before I had cable and then D*, I could get the OTA channels fine.

    I had the cheapie D* OTA antenna (round) installed since it was free, but cannot pull in an channels from Richmond, VA.
     
  2. DavidS

    DavidS Member

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    Sep 27, 2000
    Dayton Ohio
  3. JimSpence

    JimSpence Just hangin'

    30,915
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    Sep 19, 2001
    Binghamton, NY
    Just because you can get SD OTA doesn't mean you can get HD OTA. Why? Because your locals are using different frequencies for SD and HD and the output power is different.

    Check that website for your particular situation.
     
  4. AWAHOO

    AWAHOO New Member

    75
    0
    Oct 21, 2004
    Emporia, VA
    I appreciate your quick response, but that site only gives, direction, distance and frequency.

    Is there a particular antenna that is best for frequencies 6-35? Will a normal VHF antenna pick up the HD? Given the distance of 65 miles, should I expect decent reception or not?
     
  5. DavidS

    DavidS Member

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    Sep 27, 2000
    Dayton Ohio

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    The site also gives you the antenna rating you will need, though it doesn't recommend specific models.

    You might also check the local reception area at AVSForums (co-owned with this board). There may be a thread for your area.
     
  6. HogarthNH

    HogarthNH DirecTV Addict

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    Dec 28, 2001
    Somewhere, OK
    No, Maybe and Probably not, respectively.

    Antennaweb, in addition to giving you distance, should have indicated a color code for kinds of antennas that would possibly work. Follow their advice. :)

    Most HD broadcasters are either not yet at full power or broadcasting near frequencies used by others. Most are broadcasting in UHF. Some are broadcasting in VHF. A normal antenna is all you need -- but you'll need a good one, a large one, and one mounted outdoors as high as possible. :)

    I have trouble getting some stations at 13mi.

    At 65mi, you may actually be far enough out to be in a "white area" and receive Distant Network Services.

    H
     
  7. AWAHOO

    AWAHOO New Member

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    Oct 21, 2004
    Emporia, VA
    Thanks, HorgarthNH. I did not go far enough in the antennaweb.org site.

    I already have what appear to be a channelmaster 3671 mounted on my roof from a previous VHF setup. The channelmaster site shows this as "HDTV compatable". Maybe I can get my local TV repairman to check this out for HD reception.

    Thanks for all your help. I never would have known where to go for this inf.
     
  8. csweeny

    csweeny TIVO Junkie

    52
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    Jun 9, 2004
    Northern...
    Awahoo,

    It looks like your antenna is a VHF/UHF antenna, so if you could get HD OTA you have an antenna capable. If you have an ATSC tuner give it a try.

    Good Luck
     
  9. TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

    3,604
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    Sep 6, 2004
    The ATSC plan is that the new DT channel coverage is designed to replicate the original analog channel coverage. In general, and in most circumstances, if you can get the SD channels OK, you should be able to get the DT channels. YMMV due to terrain and idiosyncratic issues, but you certainly have a fighting chance. There is currrently a tendency for some DT channels to operate at partial power, which could foil this, however. I have a friend who gets DT from 90 miles away using an attic antenna pointed 90 degrees the wrong way and obstructed by mountains (pointed east towards Phoenix but also gets Tuscon), so anything is possible.

    Get the best antenna you can for your situation, put a CM 7775 or 7777 preamp on it, and mast-mount it as high as you can.
     
  10. Runch Machine

    Runch Machine New Member

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    Feb 7, 2002
    Minneapolis
    Like the others said, hook it up and try it. I think it is very likely that you will get reception. By the way, MOST digital channels are at full power, as required by FCC regulations. Stations affiliated with the 4 major networks were required to be at full power last year or lose their protection from other channels.

    Of course if there were extenuating circumstances, waivers could be granted. However, most of the big 4 network affiliate are at full power and should be able to be received as far out as their analog stations are.
     
  11. JaserLet

    JaserLet New Member

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    Dec 13, 2005
    Midwest
    My DT reception sure surprised me. My digital stations are from the same transmitter farm as the analog stations, yet the digital stations are much easier to pick up. The analog stations required way too much fine tuning of my antenna. I had the strange 90 degree off problem with the analog stations, that bizarre position is where I got the best analog signal. But for digital I just gave the yagi a best guess aim (no line of sight due to hills) and ba-da-bing, signal strength in the upper 80s.
     
  12. Scott D

    Scott D Active Member

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    Jun 17, 2001
    Pasadena, Texas
    What do you think the lowest signal strength might be before a loss of signal for OTA antennas? :(
     
  13. Mark Lopez

    Mark Lopez Just click ignore

    7,427
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    Jan 1, 2000
    Hondo TX
    Do you mean on the Tivo meters? If so, I start getting annoying picture breakups at around 70.
     
  14. cheer

    cheer Registered Offender

    1,406
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    Nov 13, 2005
    Gurnee, IL
    Is that really true? Here in Chicago I know that WBBM (CBS) at least operates at lower power because the frequency assigned for their DTV transmissions (VHF 3...NICE GOING, FCC!) steps on another station in a nearby market.

    Also keep in mind that many/most DTV transmissions are UHF, so even if you get the analog version fine you might have issues with the digital version depending on your antenna, etc.

    FWIW, I found that the previous owners of my house had put some kind of antenna in the attic. I'm 40+ miles from the Tower, but I figured what the heck. Ran an RG6 feed down to my TV and voila, I get pretty much everything but WBBM, though I occasionally lose WMAQ (NBC) in poor weather.

    If you can go outside the attic, that's much better -- you lose roughly 90% of the signal by being in the attic. (So one of my projects is to either relocate the existing antenna or just get a new one and mount it. Soon as I get over my fear of heights...)
     
  15. SpankyInChicago

    SpankyInChicago New Member

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    May 13, 2005
    As far as I know since earlier this year, WBBM-DT (VHF 3) has been operating at fully licensed power of 4.4kW.

    http://www.fccinfo.com/CMDProEngine.php?sCurrentService=TV&tabSearchType=Appl&sAppIDNumber=1069502

    AFAIK, there will be no increase in this power until (and if) WBBM-DT moves to VHF 11 in 2009.
     
  16. newsposter

    newsposter Poster of News

    35,616
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    Aug 18, 2002
    SE PA
  17. newsposter

    newsposter Poster of News

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    Aug 18, 2002
    SE PA
    Sorry just had to refute this since it was such a blanket statement. Depends on what you are shooting thru (reflective surfaces etc). I have just wood and shingles and get virtually the same readings inside the attic as the antenna is now mounted in the same spot on the roof for most of my channels. The difference is that my low powered fox did need the "little bit" of oomph the roof was taking away to get it into the 65-70 signal range. The uhf 64 and 67 still have the same low 80s readings inside or out.

    And of course all topography is different too :)
     
  18. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

    3,959
    3
    Oct 14, 2004
    Philadelphia...
    I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I just ordered an HR10-250 and I live 1.5 to 2 miles from all local broadcast points according to antennaweb. At this close distance, can I get away with an indoor antenna? All of the stations I care about are located south of me, and my TV will be in a south-facimg room. (UPN is north, but since they dropped Enterprise, I don't watch that channel anymore anyway, and they will not become the new CW channel later this year.)
     
  19. jautor

    jautor Also wants a pony

    599
    2
    Jul 1, 2001
    Houston, TX
    Holy cow - that close and you can probable get them with a coat hanger, or maybe just a 3 ft. piece of cable lying on the ground!!! :D

    Absolutely should be able to get them with a set top antenna. I would buy the absolute cheapest one you can find, and definitely one without any sort of amplifcation. If fact, you're likely going to need a signal attenuator to reduce the signal strength (see RadioShack), as the TiVo tuners can be overdriven by very strong signals.

    There is also a chance that being so close, you may have some bizzare reception issues, which may require more help that I have the experience to talk about...

    Jeff
     
  20. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

    3,959
    3
    Oct 14, 2004
    Philadelphia...
    Ok thanks. I'll pick up the $9.99 special at radio shack tomorrow. The HD TiVo is supposed to arrive friday!
     

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