DTV Reception is bad

D

DaveE

Guest
#1
I purchased only one converter box. When I connected that box I was totally disgusted with the reception. I’d never had a problem with my “rabbit ears” with analog but digital is garbage. I’ve come to find out that there are a lot of people with like experience. We’re waiting for something to happen regarding lousy reception issues before we invest in additional boxes!
I’ve questioned the local broadcasters about the reception issues but the only thing that they all agree upon is that their station is available on cable. Supposedly they’re required to supply the same “power” for digital broadcast as they did for analog, but that ain’t happening. I live within 20 miles of any broadcast tower.
 

CptlA

DTVUSA Member
#2
Are you asking this because you only want to use rabbit ears? 20 miles away from broadcast towers is about the limit for rabbit ears reception from what I've read on here and that's in really good conditions like flat ground and no trees around your house.
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#3
I purchased only one converter box. When I connected that box I was totally disgusted with the reception. I’d never had a problem with my “rabbit ears” with analog but digital is garbage. I’ve come to find out that there are a lot of people with like experience. We’re waiting for something to happen regarding lousy reception issues before we invest in additional boxes!
I’ve questioned the local broadcasters about the reception issues but the only thing that they all agree upon is that their station is available on cable. Supposedly they’re required to supply the same “power” for digital broadcast as they did for analog, but that ain’t happening. I live within 20 miles of any broadcast tower.
They are not required to transmit at the same power for digital ad they did for analog. Not by a long shot! What they are supposed to do is cover roughly the same area, and even that is open for interpretation.

If you can put up an outside antenna, or even an attic one, I would. There is no substitute for height and having an outdoor antenna.

Even if you can't get an antenna outdoors, I would try a UHF antenna like a loop or bowtie indoors. Most DTV broadcasting is on UHF so the rabbit ears antenna won't work as well.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#4
If your antenna only has the ears (i.e. the telescoping dipoles) it is the wrong type of antenna for most DTV stations. Rabbitears are for VHF, most DTV stations broadcast in UHF. You need a loop or bowtie antenna for UHF. I can pick up DTV stations at 49 miles with the simple loop antenna shown in my avatar. Before the digital transition most major stations broadcast in the VHF band, now most of those stations moved to UHF. There are still some VHF stations, so it is best to get an antenna that works for both bands.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#5
:welcome: Dave E.

The magic is always in the antenna and we can help you select an appropriate attic or rooftop antenna if you go to this website TV Fool and plug in your details. Please post the resulting URL here for us to scrutinize. The TVFOOL website will automatically conceal all of your personal information.

Jim
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#6
Dave,

I get stations from 65 and 100 watt transmitters from 10 to 30 miles away, in mountains. But you won't get hardly anything with rabbit ears at 20 miles.

I highly doubt that you would have gotten a "We're on cable" response from all the stations you contacted, and you did nothing but hook up rabbit ears - you didn't try anything else - so your post seems a little off.

I don't know if you:
A> Have a problem and are really seeking help,
B> Just want to complain, and don't want to bother investing maybe $50 or less and a little time to make it work for you,
C> Are a troll for the cable companies, sent here to try and stem the flood of "cable-cutters".

If it's "A", please follow Jim's advice and post your TVfool link here, and we'll help you.
If it's "B" or "C", we just can't help you.
 

CptlA

DTVUSA Member
#7
Dave,

I get stations from 65 and 100 watt transmitters from 10 to 30 miles away, in mountains. But you won't get hardly anything with rabbit ears at 20 miles.

I highly doubt that you would have gotten a "We're on cable" response from all the stations you contacted, and you did nothing but hook up rabbit ears - you didn't try anything else - so your post seems a little off.
I really hope we can help the OP but I highly doubt all of the stations responded like that too. All too often people get frustrated and make a big deal out of a problem instead of taking little steps to fix it.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#8
If your antenna only has the ears (i.e. the telescoping dipoles) it is the wrong type of antenna for most DTV stations. Rabbitears are for VHF, most DTV stations broadcast in UHF. You need a loop or bowtie antenna for UHF. I can pick up DTV stations at 49 miles with the simple loop antenna shown in my avatar. Before the digital transition most major stations broadcast in the VHF band, now most of those stations moved to UHF. There are still some VHF stations, so it is best to get an antenna that works for both bands.
I don't know how many people I've seen trying to pick up UHF DTV with dipoles, it just doesn't work! I corresponded with a broadcast engineer from one of the local PBS stations and he said that 99% of the reception problems people were having came down to two issues. Either the people were using the wrong type of antenna, or there was an "air gap" between the antenna and the TV. I helped a coworker, and her problem ended up simply being faulty cabling. We were picking up our local stations, at more than 20 miles, through trees and over terrain on a coat hanger. Don't let anyone fool you, after you educate yourself on how to receive it, DTV reception is great.
 
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