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  1. Member
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    Originally Posted by PHX Tide
    I have an RCA ANT 525 (a very crappy indoor antenna) as well as a Zenith DTT901 and live in downtown Phoenix (85004 to be precise). All my signals come in strong except for PBS, FOX, and NBC (8, 10, and 12 respectively) which do not come in at all. From reading the previous posts, these are VHF signals (I admittedly had no clue there was difference before reading this). According to a few reviews I found, the antenna should pick-up both UHF and VHF.

    Is my tuner somehow the problem or are the reviews inaccurate in its ability to receive VHF? Or is the antenna is so awful it does not pick channels that should have high signal strengths for my location?

    I have my antenna pointed due south (180 degrees).
    The Zenith DTT901 is reputed to have better tuner sensitivity than average. Have you re-scanned your channels since June 12? Also, the dipole antenna elements need to be aligned perpendicular to the direction of the incoming VHF signal.
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  2. Man of Steel freebird73717's Avatar
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    Got this from a user review at newegg.com
    Cons: When the amplification is turned on the digital signal becomes completely unusable. Signal strength would drop from 80% to 20% even when the amplification was on at very low levels
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882125184

    So try and turn off the amplification.
    Donadagohvi (Cherokee for "Until we meet again")
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  3. Member
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    Originally Posted by freebird73717
    Got this from a user review at newegg.com
    Cons: When the amplification is turned on the digital signal becomes completely unusable. Signal strength would drop from 80% to 20% even when the amplification was on at very low levels
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882125184

    So try and turn off the amplification.
    Yes, in general, amplification should not be needed for full=powered stations that are within 10 miles and may cause reception to worsen when turned on for those channels.
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  4. Member
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    I do not have line-of-site, unfortunately, do to the (somewhat) high-rise buildings in downtown Phoenix.

    I have rescanned, both amplified and deamplified, with the dipole elements going east-west, but to no avail. The other signals actually preferred the antenna amplified it that makes a difference.

    I have not tried the rabbit ears but will do so.

    Any other thoughts? The prompt responses have been appreciated, thank you.
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  5. Member
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    Originally Posted by PHX Tide
    I have not tried the rabbit ears but will do so.

    Any other thoughts? The prompt responses have been appreciated, thank you.
    The rabbit ears are the dipole elements of the antenna. They are for VHF reception. The loop is only for UHF.
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  6. Member edDV's Avatar
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    You are in an area of multipath*. Amplification usually makes reception worse in a strong signal area. Start with a simple dipole. Next look into a more directional antenna for multi-path rejection.


    * multipath means signals are bouncing around from all directions. You want the tuner to pick the strongest path.
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  7. If you read http://www.broadcastingcable.com it looks like most if not all the problems with the transition are with temp Us switching to the permanent Vs.

    I've seen the same problem in our market.
    tgpo famous MAC commercial, You be the judge?
    Originally Posted by jagabo
    I use the FixEverythingThat'sWrongWithThisVideo() filter. Works perfectly every time.
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  8. Member
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    I live in a semi-urban area, not quite suburban. Previous area was closer to urban. Our television reception started out pretty nice with converter and an amplified antenna (learned quickly that a basic antenna would have been better).
    We considered putting the anty outside but it'd have to be covered up, it's an indoor - though that would have granted better reception and allowed the use of the amplification.

    So far, picking up about the same channels I did on broadcast, albeit much higher quality.
    The channels that were UHF range (Fox and PBS) both have some finnickyness and require regular re-adjustment of the antenna, sometimes between two different positions - something we shouldn't really have to do.

    The rabbit ears of the antenna are pretty much useless but for one station, and actually provide interference to the other stations.

    So far I have actually picked up one channel, from a nearby city ~hr away, that I was unable to pick up at all before or even knew about - but that channel is only really findable on a guess, it rarely ever stays stable.

    Overall I found the transition to be useful, but again, semi-urban area, within a few miles of all but two stations (one for a big-4 channel, one for that nearby city channel).

    Found that two of the big-4 channels added an additional channel, one is a weather and local govt channel, the other a "MyTV" channel, which is a stupid syndication channel of about a dozen other properties. PBS has 3 extra channels, none of which come in all that often (and PBS is spotty at best).
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  9. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Run your address through www.tvfool.com or www.antennaweb.org for a plot of direction and distance to each likely dtv channel. Then we can help you select an antenna. There is no universal solution. It depends on UHF vs. VHF, geographic concentration of transmitters, distance, altitude and terrain.
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  10. You can also use http://www.fcc.gov/mb/engineering/maps/
    However I'm noticing that even on the FCC's site, they are not showing translators. Heck in my market the FCC is really screwin the pooch. They only show 2 channels, in a few zipcodes I checked. However, they actually have many more (16 - 20)

    Since the other sites pull info from the FCC, I checked tvfool and antennaweb and both don't show translators for certain stations.

    I think there should be a congressional hearing on how bad the FCC did considering they had YEARS to prepare
    tgpo famous MAC commercial, You be the judge?
    Originally Posted by jagabo
    I use the FixEverythingThat'sWrongWithThisVideo() filter. Works perfectly every time.
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  11. Member edDV's Avatar
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    The FCC doesn't correlate broadcasters to translators. Translators are licensed separately from what they program and most often are owned by local communities, non-profits or individuals. Digital translators get more complicated since they can carry multiple broadcaster subchannels in one RF channel.

    These sites use similar USGS topographic databases and FCC transmitter data but may differ in their reception predictive algorithms. If you are in a tough spot, try them all.

    Where I am, the FCC doesn't list translators at all. They also lack an antenna height variable and don't factor in trees.
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  12. Originally Posted by edDV
    The FCC doesn't map broadcasters to translators. Translators are licensed separately from what they program and most often are owned by local communities. Digital translators get more complicated since they can carry multiple broadcaster subchannels in one RF channel.
    Say what?
    If you broadcast say on your new 45 UHF and server about 80%, you ask the FCC for a license for a translator on your original 12 VHF to serve the remaining 20%

    The station (not community) holds the license for both UHF and VHF... The FCC puts this in their data base. Why...to figure out if your VHF will impose on any surrounding VHF's that might be on 12

    Then they (FCC) will grant you certain power and mask filter



    Edit:
    didn't see your additions while making my post
    tgpo famous MAC commercial, You be the judge?
    Originally Posted by jagabo
    I use the FixEverythingThat'sWrongWithThisVideo() filter. Works perfectly every time.
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  13. Member
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    Its better finally. I live maybe 7 miles line of flight from Downtown Chicago. An area well known for its mountains... hehehe. I think that the digital stations finally boosted their power because at long last I can get the CBS station which had its former position at Channel 2 improved all the way up to channel 3. What the heck is up with that? I was finallly able to get that channel 2.1 on two of my digital tuners today. Its still a little wonky at times. I have turned down the amplification on my antenna. I caught on to that trick right away.
    My point is. In analogue days you could get a signal without an antenna. Now I have to amplify and I'm practically sitting inside the transmitter?
    Makes you wonder how far down they have the power on those babies saving money doesn't it? They used to broadcast at "A million watts" (that's directly from their commercials. Hey maybe they are just being green. Anyway, my money is on they are turning up their power because they were restricted from broadcasting at full power for interference reasons.
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  14. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by stiltman
    Originally Posted by edDV
    The FCC doesn't map broadcasters to translators. Translators are licensed separately from what they program and most often are owned by local communities. Digital translators get more complicated since they can carry multiple broadcaster subchannels in one RF channel.
    Say what?
    If you broadcast say on 45 UHF and server about 80%, you ask the FCC for a license for a translator on your original 12 VHF to serve the remaining 20%

    The station (not community) holds the license for both UHF and VHF... The FCC puts this in their data base. Why...to figure out if your VHF will impose on any surrounding VHF's that might be on 12

    Then they (FCC) will grant you certain power and mask filter

    Edit:
    didn't see your additions while making my post
    This varies. Yes a station can own a translator but it usually doesn't broadcast the translator from the same tower. They would locate to best serve a shadowed area and at much lower power. I have yet to see a translator show up on a stations FCC primary license page. In isolated rural areas, translators are often community or individual owned. They are an alternative to building a cable system.
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  15. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Billf2099
    Its better finally. I live maybe 7 miles line of flight from Downtown Chicago. An area well known for its mountains... hehehe. I think that the digital stations finally boosted their power because at long last I can get the CBS station which had its former position at Channel 2 improved all the way up to channel 3. What the heck is up with that? I was finallly able to get that channel 2.1 on two of my digital tuners today. Its still a little wonky at times. I have turned down the amplification on my antenna. I caught on to that trick right away.
    WBBM-DT (CBS) isn't on 2 or 3. Last Friday they moved to RF Channel 12.
    http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/tvq?list=0&appid=1240838#10001

    Originally Posted by Billf2099
    My point is. In analogue days you could get a signal without an antenna. Now I have to amplify and I'm practically sitting inside the transmitter?
    Makes you wonder how far down they have the power on those babies saving money doesn't it? They used to broadcast at "A million watts" (that's directly from their commercials. Hey maybe they are just being green. Anyway, my money is on they are turning up their power because they were restricted from broadcasting at full power for interference reasons.
    The "Effective Radiated Power" (ERP) is what the FCC regulates. This includes both raw power and antenna design. Idea is to reach a specified contour.

    That said, WBBM-DT is currently only broadcasting 8KW. That is probably because it is a temporary antenna while the main site is rebuilt.

    Maybe not. This is the latest plan in the FCC database.
    http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/getattachment_exh.cgi?exhibit_id=752251&...387&q_num=5030

    WTTW moved to Channel 47
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  16. Member edDV's Avatar
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    I find this Rabbit Ears page useful for drilling down to detailed TV station info.
    http://www.rabbitears.info/market.php

    Plus they list some station owned translators.
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  17. Member
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    Well, reception via my roof top antenna is much improved on my 1983 American made Zenith. However, when I reset my VCR back up, I found that I can't copy one program while watching another. I went to the US Gov. website and it is posted that I need a seperate converter box for the VCR.

    Can this be true? I know that I can split the signal AFTER it comes OUT of the converter box, but will that fail since the VCR is and of itself a TV tuner?

    Is there a solution without having to purchase another converter? Thanks to all for any help.
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  18. Member
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    Originally Posted by [url=https://www.videohelp.com/tools/GOM_Player
    gom[/url]]Well, reception via my roof top antenna is much improved on my 1983 American made Zenith. However, when I reset my VCR back up, I found that I can't copy one program while watching another. I went to the US Gov. website and it is posted that I need a seperate converter box for the VCR.

    Can this be true? I know that I can split the signal AFTER it comes OUT of the converter box, but will that fail since the VCR is and of itself a TV tuner?

    Is there a solution without having to purchase another converter? Thanks to all for any help.
    No.
    Basically, the converter boxes output a specific signal only on channel 3, or through the video output.

    If your VCR had its own digital tuner inside (was ATSC compatible) it could be put in line BEFORE the converter box, and able to do that for you... but unfortunately, that's not a likelyhood, so you're stuck with two converter boxes. That being said, didn't they give you two coupons?
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  19. Member edDV's Avatar
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    The only NTSC source left for that VCR tuner is cable.
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  20. Member
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    Originally Posted by gedrean
    Originally Posted by [url=https://www.videohelp.com/tools/GOM_Player
    gom[/url]]Well, reception via my roof top antenna is much improved on my 1983 American made Zenith. However, when I reset my VCR back up, I found that I can't copy one program while watching another. I went to the US Gov. website and it is posted that I need a seperate converter box for the VCR.

    Can this be true? I know that I can split the signal AFTER it comes OUT of the converter box, but will that fail since the VCR is and of itself a TV tuner?

    Is there a solution without having to purchase another converter? Thanks to all for any help.
    No.
    Basically, the converter boxes output a specific signal only on channel 3, or through the video output.

    If your VCR had its own digital tuner inside (was ATSC compatible) it could be put in line BEFORE the converter box, and able to do that for you... but unfortunately, that's not a likelyhood, so you're stuck with two converter boxes. That being said, didn't they give you two coupons?

    Thanks for answereing. Yes, I do have 2 coupons. I thought they were for the fact that most folks have at least 2 TV's. Never considered the VCR at all. I guess I'll have to buy another box. It would have to be a different make than the one that services the TV so there is a different remote.
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  21. Member
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    Originally Posted by [url=https://www.videohelp.com/tools/GOM_Player
    gom[/url]]
    Originally Posted by gedrean
    Originally Posted by [url=https://www.videohelp.com/tools/GOM_Player
    gom[/url]]Well, reception via my roof top antenna is much improved on my 1983 American made Zenith. However, when I reset my VCR back up, I found that I can't copy one program while watching another. I went to the US Gov. website and it is posted that I need a seperate converter box for the VCR.

    Can this be true? I know that I can split the signal AFTER it comes OUT of the converter box, but will that fail since the VCR is and of itself a TV tuner?

    Is there a solution without having to purchase another converter? Thanks to all for any help.
    No.
    Basically, the converter boxes output a specific signal only on channel 3, or through the video output.

    If your VCR had its own digital tuner inside (was ATSC compatible) it could be put in line BEFORE the converter box, and able to do that for you... but unfortunately, that's not a likelyhood, so you're stuck with two converter boxes. That being said, didn't they give you two coupons?

    Thanks for answereing. Yes, I do have 2 coupons. I thought they were for the fact that most folks have at least 2 TV's. Never considered the VCR at all. I guess I'll have to buy another box. It would have to be a different make than the one that services the TV so there is a different remote.
    Well that's their intention. Anyhow, sad thing is unless you wanna run a split to your antenna (possible interference alert) you may need a second antenna. And the hookup will be complicated.

    Basically, Two converter boxes in parallel, one with coax or composite going to the VCR, one with coax or composite going to the TV, and the VCR going to the TV with whatever output/input combination is left to the TV. If the TV /only/ does coax, you can buy a switch box to choose which is going to the TV, either antenna or VCR.

    Yeah, this whole digital changeover got to be a real bitch.

    Plus, it's harder to find new VCRs these days and I bet a VCR doing ATSC isn't likely anytime soon.

    Good luck, have fun.
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    Originally Posted by gedrean
    Plus, it's harder to find new VCRs these days and I bet a VCR doing ATSC isn't likely anytime soon.
    It isn't likely at all. VCR-only units are not being made for the US market any more, as far as I can tell, and movies on video tape aren't being made either. There is just old stock left. http://articles.latimes.com/2008/dec/22/entertainment/et-vhs-tapes22

    The only new VCRs I have seen are sold as one componet of a combo unit featurning a DVD recorder or a DVD player. Anyone who buys one of these needs to read the technical specs carefully. Sometimes the combo units don't include an ATSC tuner (or any tuner at all), or the VCR may only be for playback, not recording, or the VCR won't record from the ATSC tuner, only line inputs.
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  23. Member edDV's Avatar
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    You can get DVD recorders with an ATSC and sometimes QAM tuners. Some even let you record 16:9.
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    Talked to a guy at Denny's TV in Youngtown and he said the reason that most people in the Phoenix area are not able to get good DTV reception is because they live in Stucco houses that are built with chicken wire. The only way they can get good reception is with an outdoor antenna.

    When I asked why I could receive all these channels a year ago with my powered indoor UHF/VHF antenna and not now, he said that a lot of stations dropped their transmitting power. Said he gets calls constantly from people asking the same question. He said that they may boost their power in August (when FOX 10 is supposed to be full operational ready) but he would not bet on it.

    The only way that I can see that people who cannot put up huge outdoor antennas in their neighborhoods can receive all the channels that the FCC says they should be able to get with an indoor antenna is if the FCC forces the stations to boost their signal and I'm not sure they will be then since according to the FCC, all the channels are already broadcasting a strong signal that most people in Maricopa County should be able to receive with an indoor antenna but it ain't happening. Even for the guy that is 10 miles from the tower.
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  25. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Chicken wire will interfere. At that distance you wouldn't need much of an outdoor antenna, or you could shoot out a window.

    Foil backed insulation can also be a problem.

    Many big cities have central TV towers on high rise buildings or large structures (e.g. New York City, Chicago, San Francisco). These markets have moved DT to temporary structures while old analog antennas are removed and new digital antennas are installed. This will take until October in NYC and San Francisco. You can access specific station info on their web sites or in their FCC files. You can also call the station directly.
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