Missing most channels, midtown Portland, OR

Jim Carr

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
I own a Dell flatscreen TV (Dell W2300 LCD TV) (Documentation) which I use mostly for watching DVDs. No cable hookup currently. With nothing connected, I pick up a faint signal on channel 5 only. I understand this is a re-broadcast of a High Def channel 33:

("KRCW-TV... broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 33 from a transmitter in the Sylvan-Highlands section of Portland... It operates a low-powered repeater, KRCW-LP channel 5, that has a transmitter co-located with KRCW's digital signal.)

With the addition of a cheap antenna:
Amazon.com: GE 24731 HDTV Antenna: Electronics

I am now able to watch this same channel, 5, although it is of poor, snowy analog quality, and channel 47, digital-quality but stretched aspect ratio. I can find NO other signals on any other channels at all. The tuner runs from channels 2 through 69. I am right in the middle of town. My TV Fool report can be viewed here:

TV Fool

I should be getting strong signals form channels 2, 3, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 22, 33, and possibly a few others.

When I operate the channel up/down buttons, the tv jumps from channel 5 to 18 (no signal) to 47 (picture, but in Spanish) to 52 (no signal). The tv works great with DVDs.

What could I possible be missing here?
 

Trip

Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
Staff member
#2
47 is not digital quality. 5 and 47 are both analog signals.

From what I can tell, your TV set does not have a digital tuner built in. You will need an external digital tuner. The converter boxes are cheap, but will only provide you with a 480i (SD) image. There are HD tuners available, but they are harder to find and do cost more.

- Trip
 

Jim Carr

DTVUSA Rookie
#3
A disappointing but likely correct answer. Thanks for taking the time. I did find one cheap HD box, Access HD 1080D, at Amazon for 26.95. Seems like the cheapest one. Thanks again for the help.
 

Trip

Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
Staff member
#4
Beware. That box, despite its name, appears from its specs to be a cheap converter box. To my knowledge, it will only provide you with 480i (SD).

There is good news in your post though; if you got 47 analog in clearly, you're likely in good shape for most of the digital signals once you do get yourself up and running.

- Trip
 

Jim Carr

DTVUSA Rookie
#5
Seems I could get a digital-to-analog box like the one above, it claims 1080D, or I could get a digital tv tuner, as the tv provides a port for a 24 pin digital-only DVI cable--but apparently not HDVI. So, any ideas which would be the better solution?
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#6
"it claims 1080D"
No, that's just the confusing name they gave it. It's 480i SD.

Your TV is HD, but it has no digital tuner. DocumentationYou could just get a cheap converter box and live with 480i SD - Digital SD is actually pretty good, and since your TV is 0nly 23" diagonal, you'll hardly notice. That's what I would do.

Your TV DOES have DVI and VGA inputs, and it's max res is 720p (1280 x 768). If you have a computer with VGA or DVI out, you could buy a USB tuner for your computer, and run a DVI or VGA cable to your TV. You would have an HDTV / DVR and it would cost the same as a cheap converter box. It's not as easy to use as a box, but more versatile.
 

Trip

Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
Staff member
#9
It's a great box with a tuner I love (I own like 5 of the things), but it's still not capable of outputting HD video.

- Trip
 

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#10
A guy here on Craigslist has a new-in-box Zenith DTT901 for $30. Does that sound like ta good one?
That's like dirt cheap for a Zenith as I've seen them online for $80.00 and up. We've had four of them since before the analog shutoff in 2009 and they still work great and they're better than most tv tuners. As long as it has the remote, I'd say go for it.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#12
That's like dirt cheap for a Zenith as I've seen them online for $80.00 and up. We've had four of them since before the analog shutoff in 2009 and they still work great and they're better than most tv tuners. As long as it has the remote, I'd say go for it.
Even if it doesn't have a remote, you can buy a new one that will work with it for about $10. Watch out for older remotes - many are for sale dirt cheap, but they won't control your box, or if they do, they lack the decimal point needed to tune digital channels.
 
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