Dtv

Nate

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
The current state of the economy has brought my family to the brink of economic destruction. I've been laid off from my factory job for 7 months now, and we're dwindling down our savings to pay the home loan, electricity, and water.

Last year we purchased a converter box and connected it to our outdoor antenna and got 0 digital channels. I didn't really care much about because I thought that TV stations were going to up their broadcast power after February 09.

Here we are, Feb. 20th, and all of our stations have been converted and we receive 1 channel that intermittently shows a garbled picture. What am I to do? Update my antenna? My family doesn't have much entertainment that we can afford right now. Free TV may be a pathetic thing to complain about for the have's who have cable or satellite, but I can't afford that kind of luxury right now. I have a hard enough time maintaining a mortgage and feeding my family.
 
#2
does your antenna have an amp? if not one of those amplifiers that go inline between the antenna and the converter works wonders. digital transmitters don't have the same power as analog so you may need extra gain. about 12db in most cases will suffice.

Sorry to hear about your situation. i don't agree with the government pushing this transition on us anyways, eventually we'd all move on as technology progresses anyways. we didn't need HDTVs pushed on us, technology moves at a pace. why anyone would force it to speed up when the economy is in trouble and a war on our hands in the first place escapes me. while i have nothing against DTV for the extra channels and features, i don't think we all need this all or nothing choice.

what i'm concered with is this transition may spark more transitions. how about Hybrid Car Transition? Compact Fluorescent Transition (wait, they're already banning regular bulbs now aren't they?) i think the government needs to stay out of our personal lives. it's beginning to look like the movie, 1984. ya know, that 1960s epic where they were seeing the government controlling everything and everyone as if they were marienettes. iirc they used TV screens to rule too.
 
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Nate

DTVUSA Rookie
#3
does your antenna have an amp? if not one of those amplifiers that go inline between the antenna and the converter works wonders. digital transmitters don't have the same power as analog so you may need extra gain. about 12db in most cases will suffice.

Sorry to hear about your situation. i don't agree with the government pushing this transition on us anyways, eventually we'd all move on as technology progresses anyways. we didn't need HDTVs pushed on us, technology moves at a pace. why anyone would force it to speed up when the economy is in trouble and a war on our hands in the first place escapes me. while i have nothing against DTV for the extra channels and features, i don't think we all need this all or nothing choice.

what i'm concered with is this transition may spark more transitions. how about Hybrid Car Transition? Compact Fluorescent Transition (wait, they're already banning regular bulbs now aren't they?) i think the government needs to stay out of our personal lives. it's beginning to look like the movie, 1984. ya know, that 1960s epic where they were seeing the government controlling everything and everyone as if they were marienettes. iirc they used TV screens to rule too.
I think the whole thing is ridiculous. Thank you for your help. I purchased the home back in 2004 and it already had the antenna installed. I know the line runs through our attic, but I have no idea if there is an amplifier installed. I looked around the net about a year ago, and found an article that talked about an amp only helping if the distance between the antenna and the TV is greater than 50'.

Never saw 1984, but it seems like the whole transition thing is BS. It's bad enough in a good economy spending an extra $50 for something that is and has always been free, but with the current state we're in (in my kneck of the woods, there are towns of folks looking for jobs) I just can't see enforcing something like this. To be honest, I really don't care about TV, but my wife and kids always love to watch the game shows and a couple of other shows during the week.
 
#4
Actually i could watch analog TV all day and night without an amp, but with digital TV i get zilch if i turn it off.

Stations are at least 18-25 miles from me, and a few are in Indiana, the next state up from Kentucky. so i need an amp to pickup the digital signal. it's great when it works. i made sure it can survive a hurricane; the last wind we had was 65mph NW winds from canada, a winter time event all winter long at times, and while it was whistling out there i decided to make sure the antenna is stable, might as well do it when the condition is there, so you can guarantee it will work come wind. better than finding out later.

Amps are generally required DTV equipment to anyone living in the woods, in the rural areas, and anyone within 20-30 miles of the nearest station. it basically takes your antenna's signal and gives it some extra strength.

This whole transition reminds me of the big Y2K scare. how many people scrambled to buy 'Y2K ' or 'Year 2000 Compliant' appliances for fear the date changeover would render their toaster inoperative? this is going over just like Y2K, but in the end it will just happen. nothing we can do as long as our government turns to benevolence
 
#6
i like the clear picture and more channels myself. but what i don't like is the same cliff effect during bad weather that reminds me of Dish Network's satellite dropouts in bad weather. that's just one disadvantage, but the advantages far outweigh it. i love RTN (Retro TV Network) it's way better than TV Land, and i do like MyNetworkTV. i get my daily fix of Frasier there.

Not too bad for being distant and getting a clearer picture than analog. i would've upgraded anyways since after i cancelled Dish (long story) i missed having the 'info' key that described the episode i was watching and the Electronic Program Guide. i love having that back without the bill. the picture is so clear it's hard to believe i have a CRT TV with two knobs. it's so clear i swear it is HD. (better contrast too than most HDTV LCDs)
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#7
... the advantages far outweigh [the disadvantages]...
I agree completely. There are very compelling reasons for going digital, both in terms of service provided to viewers and in terms of the benefits to the American people from reallocating a portion of what used to be television bandwidth to other purposes.
 
#9
I know, but i wouldn't be able to notice...

Besides, it is clear enough on the HD channels that you'd think it is HD even though it's not. the 4:3 channels are not as sharp (think youtube quality). esp if you got zoom enabled to see it full-screen without bars at top and bottom.

HD reception and sharp DTV SDTV reception is unpercievable by me, i just cannot tell the diff.
 

Nate

DTVUSA Rookie
#10
I agree completely. There are very compelling reasons for going digital, both in terms of service provided to viewers and in terms of the benefits to the American people from reallocating a portion of what used to be television bandwidth to other purposes.
I would probably agree with you if I could get good reception atleast 75% of the channels I used to get. Added an amp (borrowed from friend), and we now get 5 channels, but are still missing 4 more according to tvfool. Too much time and money spent for this stupid changes, and I'm sorry, but the subchannel programming is horrible. I'm having my friend come over tomorrow to check where I installed the amp and make sure I've got everything connected ok.
 
#11
One thing to remember is, if your thinking of getting a better antenna setup, wait till aftr the transition so you know what stations are at what power levels, and what channels are staying and changing.

As well as band changes, vhf to uhf and uhf to vhf
 

Nate

DTVUSA Rookie
#12
One thing to remember is, if your thinking of getting a better antenna setup, wait till aftr the transition so you know what stations are at what power levels, and what channels are staying and changing.

As well as band changes, vhf to uhf and uhf to vhf
why aren't they broadcasting full power now? Seems unfair for people who don't live in town.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#14
Most stations not operating at full power now are that way because the FCC will not license them for full power until after the transition, i.e., after analog broadcasts cease, because their full power signal would interfere with analog broadcasts.
 
#15
Fox is moving here to UHF, just saw an ad for it. that's a relief, my VHF reception stinks!

That means only one VHF channel to go. hopefully it will move along, too. i don't think the others are moving yet however.
 
#16
There are some going back to VHF because they have found that their coverage area is limited on the UHF side. VHF can get over hills and terrain better, UHF is more line of sight.

and it costs alot of money to power 2 transmitters, so they have to keep the digital lower so they can afford it
 
#17
if VHF is so much better than why does it suck so much here? i have the hardest time picking up Fox and PBS which are the only ones on VHF since they are so bad about anything interfering. any breeze or rain and nothing. the UHF seems to hold up fine so long as you get a halfway good signal. i had RTN working last night during a Severe T-storm (two antennas work fine so far!) but Fox went out like a light. zero percent. after the storm passed it started coming back up.

ABC/RTN: 57% (Apex) halfway (Zenith)
CBS/MyNetworkTV 97% (Apex) same (Zenith)
KET 57-70% (Apex-Watchable) 30-45% (Zenith, not watchable :( )

PBS 90% (Apex) 95% (Zenith, this i don't get, it is that strong and still cuts out below 80%)

Fox 35-37% (Apex, watchable in calm weather) 20-35% (Zenith, red-zoned-too much fluctuations)

NBC/WeatherNOW/THIS TV 37-70% (Apex, weather dependent) same (Zenith, same)

The VHF ones are super-bad about rapid fluctuations and therefore most boxes aside from the Apex will not view them due to the 'red-zone' problem, which the Zenith is very bad about.
 
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#18
Its all about antenna system and coax the more signal you can draw and the less loss means better tv. I get as good OTA or better than my Sat. service. and I am 45+ miles from my nearest transmitter
 
#19
my biggest mystery is why PBS comes in so strong yet is intermittent. also why is it so strong when it's a tad more distant than my strongest rock-solid UHF signal? (CBS/MyNetworkTV)

UHF holds up very solid even in unforgiving weather, but VHF just breaks up if someone walks in front of my trailer. that's how bad it is. the fluorescent lamp on my soda machine outside also causes VHF to go dead if it's being switched on or off. VHF cannot hold a candle to UHF here. (which is probably why Fox is moving to UHF soon)
 
#20
it maybe to strong to much signal is as bad as to little the pbs could be overloading your tuner. this is where directional antennas work best you could turn away from the pbs and maybe toward one of your weaker signals and still get the PBS.
 
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