Lost channels on my converter box

IwantmyDTV

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
I have 2 RCA DTA800 converter boxes for two separate televisions. Both tvs have only indoor (rabbit ears) antennas.
I set both up several months ago, and went from having 2 very fuzzy channels, to 9 very clear channels. One of the local stations made the switch to digital on the 17th. I haven't received any of the 3 channels from that station since that day. I have unplugged, reset, rescanned numerous times, and adjusted the antenna many times, with no results.
My question is, why would I lose these channels now when my set-up passed all of the "are you ready for DTV" tests the station did prior to the switch.
And what can I do to get the channels again?
My zipcode is 63472. WGEM is the lost station/channels.

I've spoken to several people locally with the same complaint.
 
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#2
hate to break it to you, but those RCA DTA800 boxes are nothing short of crap. i had one that lasted two weeks and even then it barely pulled in a station and i blamed my antenna. these boxes are sold at Wal-mart and i tried three antennas in addition to the one on my roof and blamed that. when i tried another DTV converter it seemed to pick up all 15 channels, even though the RCA could barely pull in the local PBS station.
 

IwantmyDTV

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#3
I have no complaints about the convertor box itself. I still recieve the other 6 channels clearly. It's the channels that tested "ok" prior to the station's conversion that are now gone, that I'm upset about. Why would they be received one day and not the next?:confused:
 
#4
probably because they relocated to another band which means you need to rescan. if that doesn't work, it's possible they moved their transmitter or have constructed it in an area too far from you, sucks doesn't it? i'm missing KET now and the CW channel isn't going digital in my area, just in Madisonville, too far for me to get it.

The RCA boxes aren't good with weak signals, plus when they go out they have that annoying CD-skipping noise that's infuriating. the signal meter menu is also wonky and displays 0% when it's not 0% (you can tell since no beeping happens). there are boxes that can hold onto and/or lock onto weaker stations as low as 30%. the RCA won't work until it's well past halfway if you want a stable picture.
 
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TonyT

DTVUSA Member
#5
probably because they relocated to another band which means you need to rescan. if that doesn't work, it's possible they moved their transmitter or have constructed it in an area too far from you, sucks doesn't it? i'm missing KET now and the CW channel isn't going digital in my area, just in Madisonville, too far for me to get it.

The RCA boxes aren't good with weak signals, plus when they go out they have that annoying CD-skipping noise that's infuriating. the signal meter menu is also wonky and displays 0% when it's not 0% (you can tell since no beeping happens). there are boxes that can hold onto and/or lock onto weaker stations as low as 30%. the RCA won't work until it's well past halfway if you want a stable picture.
If they've relocated from VHF to UHF or vice versa, you'll need to do another auto channel scan. One of the many drawbacks to the digital transition.
 
#6
and also, if your antenna is only one way (VHF or UHF, and not both, or there's no 'halo' for UHF meaning simple rabbit ears) that won't pick up half your stations. i remember when using a coat hanger would guarantee perfect reception, but those days are done. although you can 'build' a UHF halo from one if you're skilled in electronics.

hehe i used to 'hack' pay cable back in the 'descrambler' days by wearing a foil suit and tying wires from that to the cable box back when, looked like crap but was watchable!
 
#8
I think it was parodied in Salute Your Shorts on nickelodeon. (they did it in the episode 'Budnick and Micheal fake being sick' and got Spanish TV)

Back in the late 1980s cable was through a set-top box like DTV converters are now, for your TV to support cable (back when TVs were not as they called it 'cable ready' meaning their tuners didn't support the signal and it would be 'scrambled') you rented a cable converter for a very similar reason you get a digital to analog box to view digital television.

The cable converter was also called a 'descrambler' for what it did, took the scrambled signal that would otherwise display on the TV and convert it to a format viewable by the TV and the person watching it.

'Pay Cable' was the term that was later replaced with Pay Per View or Premium content. any of the playboy/adult stuff, or movie channels, or sporting events were on pay cable and required a fee to use it. otherwise it'd just be scrambled (passed through the box itself in a manner similar to analog pass through). this made the V-Chip not even a required or thought of component as all other cable was family friendly then.

But if one was skilled enough to find a pay cable channel that kinda worked and kinda didn't (could sorta make out the picture) enough amps, foil, and spaceman suits tied to cable cords could 'hack' it where it would display in kinda reverse black and white video but still be watched and heard. this was before cable and satellite got sophisticated and didn't require a smart card or encryption yet. i was able to view some old Disney Channel Movies (back when the Disney Channel was a pay cable movie network only) and a good 5 minutes of Playboy before the channel became too scrambled to view even with the foil suit. i was only a child then so i got this impression of the playboy logo bunny being some neat-o cartoon channel, but found out the hard way. i was kinda glad it was only 5 minutes, i don't think mom appreciated me asking questions of what was going on.
 
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