I can not get the coverter box to pick up a signal.

Lynn

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
I am hooking the converter up through a VCR. I have an amplified antenna that is six years old. The set up scans for a signal but just says "weak signal". Also if it does not work the first time it will not start a complete setup again even if I turn everything off and start all over. Do I need a stronger antenna? If this antenna works for the TV now why do I need a stronger antenna? THANKS
 

Lynn

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#3
bad connection??

ok, please tell me what I need to do if this is the case. how do I correct this?
If you have any specific instructions or recommendations, please tell me.

thank you.
 

Byte24

DTVUSA Member
#4
Give us some details on the antenna (is it bunny ears or what is the manufacture and part #) and your zip code so we can determine how far away from the broadcast towers you are. Indoor antennas are only good for receiving signals 20 miles or less away.
 

Lynn

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#6
The antenna which is amplified because it is plugged in and has a little transformer, is an RCA rabbit ears.
we live in the metropolitan Sacramento area and receive the CBS,FOX,NBC,ABC stations very well on our Sony Trinitron 8 yr old analog TV.

I will go to the TV fool site and run this thru.
 
#8
alot of your stations are LOS (line of sight) which is good.

What kind of antenna do you have? have you tried an amplified unit? You have ALOT of stations coming from all different directions. If you want to get almost all of them you might need an outdoor antenna on your roof.

For indoor antennas I can recommend the silver sensor. Experiment a bit.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#9
The Silver Sensor, or its twin, the Terk HDTV1, both should be good choices for tuning in the first seven channels on the list from TV Fool, without even extending the rabbit ears. You may need to extend the rabbit ears to get your PBS station after the transition.
 

TonyT

DTVUSA Member
#10
Most of those stations are right at the edge of where an indoor antenna could receive them which is about 20 miles. Think I'm with Static on this one, amplified indoor antenna is the way to go, but it'll be guess at best without knowing what kind of deflections and terrain is around your house.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#11
Perhaps. Of course, the terrain is different out there, but I'm 18 miles from the transmitters, and my plain-old came-with-the-television rabbit ears work fine (not perfect, but fine) with my Zenith DTT-901. I do have amplified antennas elsewhere in the house, including the Terk HDTVa on one set, and find I have to bring the amplification all the way down (but not off -- a little bit of amplification seems to do some good), or I start having problems.
 

Lynn

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#12
I HAVE an amplified antenna! it has a plug on it and a transistor.

we are on the second floor.

the rabbit ears are extended as far as they can go out...if that is what you mean.

it sounds like we need a new antenna, from what i am reading...

should we just go to Fry's or Best Buy and buy a Silver Sensor or the Terk HDTV1?
any idea of the cost?
thanks for bearing with me on this.
 

Lynn

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#13
how does a person "bring the amplification down"?? i have no way that i can see to control this.

i am getting frustrated. but please keep advising.
 
#14
Some amplified antennas have a gain knob so you can turn it down and up. Depending on how close you are to the transmitters, an amplifier might not even be needed. To much amp can drown out the signal. (no joke).

The silver sensor's are available at best buy for $79.99. What's to lose for trying it? If it doesn't work you can always return it. Like I said, experiment a little bit. Buy a few and see which works better. The RCA ANT111 is $10 I bought one and it works BETTER then my amplified ANT587!

All the LOS stations should be easily picked up. Are there any hills around you? tall building that block your house? Trees? All these obstacles can block the signal from getting through to hit your antenna.
 
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Lynn

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#15
there are two knobs on the antenna base, and i don't know if they are connected to the amp situation; i thought they were to tune in the UHF channels better.

we are on the second floor. there is one two story house next to us. there are lots of tall trees around us but no other big buildings or hills.

it is hard to believe that these kinds of things can impact reception in this day and age. our surroundings do NOT affect our antenna's reception for analog.

i suppose i will buy the antenna you suggest, or any other that a salesperson suggests and see what works. i just hope that this is the crux of the problem so we can attach the converter box and scan for the stations and GET the stations without this problem!

thank you
 

Lynn

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#16
another question:
at this point, do all the major stations in major cities (hopefully such as Sacramento) now broadcast in digital?
so that if we get the converter box to work, we can just "go digital" and not worry about not receiving any stations that have not yet converted?
or do i have to contact every station in our city that we use and ask them??
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#17
it sounds like we need a new antenna, from what i am reading...
From what I've read so far, I don't see anything specific that would indicate that you need a new antenna. That might change once you let us know what antenna you are using; model number would be great.

should we just go to Fry's or Best Buy and buy a Silver Sensor or the Terk HDTV1? ny idea of the cost?
You can do that if you wish, but I don't think we know enough of your situation, yet, to know whether or not that will make a difference. Tony feels you need an amplified antenna, so the Silver Sensor won't do, and you'd need Terk's HDTVa, instead of the HDTV1. However, since you already have an amplified antenna, again, I don't think we know enough yet to say that getting a new antenna would make a difference for you.

there are two knobs on the antenna base, and i don't know if they are connected to the amp situation; i thought they were to tune in the UHF channels better.
Once we know the model number, we can try to find information online that indicates what those two knobs do.

we are on the second floor. there is one two story house next to us. there are lots of tall trees around us but no other big buildings or hills. it is hard to believe that these kinds of things can impact reception in this day and age.
The Laws of Physics will not change. These things will always affect radio frequency reception, in some way.

our surroundings do NOT affect our antenna's reception for analog.
Then it is unlikely that those things will affect its reception for digital. However, note that the way analog and digital each work is different: With analog, reception gets worse (snowy, etc.); with digital, reception cuts out (and with digital tuners, if reception cuts out too much, the tuner will simply assume that you cannot receive the channel at all, and report that to you). If you are getting great reception on analog channels, then you shouldn't have trouble getting digital reception.

Except ... remember that not all digital channels are being allowed to broadcast at full power yet. You may have to wait until June 12.

i suppose i will buy the antenna you suggest, or any other that a salesperson suggests and see what works.
Sounds like a hassle, given that we have no reason to believe, yet, that it will help.

another question: at this point, do all the major stations in major cities (hopefully such as Sacramento) now broadcast in digital?
About 1/3 of stations are broadcasting only in digital. For the other 2/3, the vast majority are transmitting a digital signal, but for many, it is currently operating at low-power, waiting for FCC authorization to move to their post-transition channel and power-output level.

None of the stations in Sacramento have completed the digital transition yet. KCRA is operating on its post-transition channel, but I don't know if it is at full power yet. KVIE is currently on channel 53, but it is moving to channel 9 on June 12. KXTV is going to move from 61 to 10. KOVR is staying on channel 25, but again, I don't know if it is currently at full-power. And so on...
 
#18
when analog isn't in the way anymore alot of stations will be raising their DT transmitters to the top of the towers and might even boost their ERP.

They want to get the farthest coverage area they can get.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#19
None of the stations in Sacramento have completed the digital transition yet. KCRA is operating on its post-transition channel, but I don't know if it is at full power yet. KVIE is currently on channel 53, but it is moving to channel 9 on June 12. KXTV is going to move from 61 to 10. KOVR is staying on channel 25, but again, I don't know if it is currently at full-power. And so on...
More details for you:

KCRA is operating at 93% power, and that actually will continue through August (i.e., past June 12).

KOVR is operating at full post-transition power -- if you can't get KOVR now, it won't be getting any better.
 

TonyT

DTVUSA Member
#20
More details for you:

KCRA is operating at 93% power, and that actually will continue through August (i.e., past June 12).

KOVR is operating at full post-transition power -- if you can't get KOVR now, it won't be getting any better.
Don't know how you found that, but great info!
 
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