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  1. Member brassplyer's Avatar
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    An Insignia 1080 tv went out so I grabbed an on sale 4k TCL Smart TV. It's also a bargain brand but it's a "smart" set whereas the other one was just a basic set.

    When I went through the broadcast TV setup this TCL locked in on far more stations than the Insignia TV did and shows a stronger signal. Using the exact same antenna setup - a coax cable going to a signal booster then to a long cable routed into the attic going to an inexpensive flat, sort of butterfly-shaped plastic antenna with metal strips adhered to it nailed to a rafter. I can't find a pic of one online, they might not even make them anymore. It's probably been at least five years since I got one.

    I bet it picked up at least double the number of stations and they mostly come in strong. This TCL tv shows both a "strength" and "quality" that both show a numerical percentage whereas the Insignia just had green strength bars.

    The one anomaly that's similar is that the local NBC affiliate shows a sort of hit and miss signal even though it's not far away. It'll show 100%, will suddenly break up and get pixelated then go back to being fine - even in good weather.

    Apparently the tuner itself has a bearing on the perceived strength of the signal? Anyone have insights?
    Last edited by brassplyer; 3rd Jan 2022 at 13:21.
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    Most RF channels broadcast an HD signal (ATSC 1.0 standard), a growing number of stations broadcast a UHD signal (ATSC 3.0). A 4k UHD television is needed to receive a UHD signal. Most stations that broadcast a UHD signal also simulcast an HD signal for high definition televisions. The simulcast is on a different RF channel and may be from a different broadcast tower.
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    Originally Posted by sum_guy View Post
    Most RF channels broadcast an HD signal (ATSC 1.0 standard), a growing number of stations broadcast a UHD signal (ATSC 3.0). A 4k UHD television is needed to receive a UHD signal. Most stations that broadcast a UHD signal also simulcast an HD signal for high definition televisions. The simulcast is on a different RF channel and may be from a different broadcast tower.
    There are 3 OTA networks where I live that broadcast using ATSC 3.0 (in addition to ATSC 1.0) but none are in 4K resolution. From what I have read, virtually no US cities have any ATSC 3.0 stations that regularly broadcast in UHD resolution at present. Cable TV and satellite TV are more likely to deliver 4K content.

    Although the only TVs that have an ATSC 3.0/NextGen tuner are 4K TVs, most new 4K TVs still only have an ATSC 1.0 tuner. Sony's X80J Series is the least expensive 2021 TV I've found with an ATSC 3.0 tuner. The other 2021 TVs that have an ATSC 3.0 tuner are all high-end models from Samsung, LG, and Sony. Bargain brands like TCL, Hisense, Amazon, and Vizio don't yet have any models with an ATSC 3.0 tuner. Maybe more TVs with ATSC 3.0 tuners will be released this year.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 3rd Jan 2022 at 11:46. Reason: typo
    Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord, Snoopy329
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  4. Member
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    Originally Posted by brassplyer View Post
    The one anomaly that's similar is that the local NBC affiliate shows a sort of hit and miss signal even though it's not far away. It'll show 100%, yet suddenly break up and get pixelated then go back to being fine - even in good weather.

    Apparently the tuner itself has a bearing on the perceived strength of the signal? Anyone have insights?
    It is possible for an OTA signal to break up if it is too strong.
    Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord, Snoopy329
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    It's not important the problem be solved, only that the blame for the mistake is assigned correctly
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    Details regarding the availability of 4K OTA broadcasts in the US: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6CebBGZ8Xc TLDR version: It doesn't really exist yet.
    Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord, Snoopy329
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  7. This is because RF frontends can be challenging to do - some cheap brands don't care sufficiently on this - if country doesn't require particular quality level then you may have poor reception...
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    We're getting off the OP's original question of whether all ATSC tuners are the same, they are not. OTA reception of course is, highly subjective. I mean no disrespect guys.
    It's not important the problem be solved, only that the blame for the mistake is assigned correctly
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