Question: What is the difference between HDTV and HD-Ready TV?

#1
It really depends on where you are located:

US: HD ready means the TV can display HD signals, however it does not contain a digital tuner.

Europe: HD Ready is an official marking that means the set is truly a HD set and can show the viewer HD broadcasts in HD.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
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#2
US: HD ready means the TV can display HD signals, however it does not contain a digital tuner.
It also MAY have a digital tuner. There's nothing "official" about the designation AFIK.
 

dave73

DTVUSA Member
#3
I have an aunt & uncle who have a Samsung TV that's HD-Ready, but doesn't have an ATSC (digital) tuner built-in. So if they ever decided to go back t OTA TV, they'd have to get a converter box for their TV. Given that they live over 50 miles from Chicago I doubt they'll go back to OTA TV, since their area needs deep fringe antennas & a preference for having their antennas on a tower.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#4
I have an aunt & uncle who have a Samsung TV that's HD-Ready, but doesn't have an ATSC (digital) tuner built-in. So if they ever decided to go back t OTA TV, they'd have to get a converter box for their TV. Given that they live over 50 miles from Chicago I doubt they'll go back to OTA TV, since their area needs deep fringe antennas & a preference for having their antennas on a tower.
Of course that depends on the area. DTV can carry well over flat areas. The Denver stations that are at 49 miles away and second edge come in easily for me. They won't know unless they try.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
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#5
Dave73,

I agree with dkreichen: your Aunt and Uncle will never know if they can receive stations 50 miles away without trying. I receive a 2-edge 580 kW channel from 75 miles away and an analog translator which also is 2-edge, putting out 28 kW from 38 miles away. What made me a believer was receiving a digital translator 17 miles away (LOS) that had a barn-burning 40 watts output ... less energy than my porch light consumes!

I've been directly involved building or helped build antenna systems for people all over my region and two that were in 'hopeless' locations are now believers. How about posting their TV Fool result and let the crew here take a stab at it?

Jim
 

dave73

DTVUSA Member
#6
Dave73,

I agree with dkreichen: your Aunt and Uncle will never know if they can receive stations 50 miles away without trying. I receive a 2-edge 580 kW channel from 75 miles away and an analog translator which also is 2-edge, putting out 28 kW from 38 miles away. What made me a believer was receiving a digital translator 17 miles away (LOS) that had a barn-burning 40 watts output ... less energy than my porch light consumes!

I've been directly involved building or helped build antenna systems for people all over my region and two that were in 'hopeless' locations are now believers. How about posting their TV Fool result and let the crew here take a stab at it?

Jim
Here's the chart. I put it conservatively at 15 ft, because the house is 1 story & a roof that doesn't have a high pitch to it. The land around the area is overall flat & corn & soybean fields. As I mention, they do need a deep fringe antenna, due to the distance, and needing as much gain as possible. There aren't many houses around the area using outdoor antennas. Most people who do watch TV either have cable or satellite. The few houses that do have 1 or more have antennas that are at least 110 inches long. The one I use for Chicago stations in Gary Indiana is 20 inches longer than that.

Now I can't say that they'd consider going back to OTA TV or not. They've been on both cable & satellite for several years now. The living room TV is still on cable & internet is thru the cable. The family room TV is on Dish Network, & that TV has only been on satellite since 2002 or 2003, when the addition was put onto the house for the family room & to relocate the 3rd bedroom. They've had cable since 1988, but lived in the house since 1987. I can tell you that they're not DX'ers. So they're not gonna try to get Champaign/Urbana stations with any antennas.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#7
Are you sure their neighbors aren't using set top antennas for local channels? Based on that TVfool, get one of these, Channel Master 2016 DIGITAL ADVANTAGE (HDTV / VHF / UHF) point it toward 16 degrees magnetic, and they will get 17 main channels plus sub-channels.

Actually, I just realized that WLS is repeated on UHF, so it would be possible to use a UHF only antenna like this one. http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103088 Or, if they really want a lot of channels this one. http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3739596 There are a whole lot of us that totally envy that TVfool report.

Don't let pay-TV fool you, TV is free!!!
 
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MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
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#8
These stations are distant, but they're still pretty strong. You've got all your stations on UHF - until you hit 12, CBS. Once you've got that you don't need to go any lower on the chart. 12 is high on the VHF band so it shouldn't be too difficult.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#9
These stations are distant, but they're still pretty strong. You've got all your stations on UHF - until you hit 12, CBS. Once you've got that you don't need to go any lower on the chart. 12 is high on the VHF band so it shouldn't be too difficult.
Thanks Pogi, I missed that channel 12. But, I believe based on my experience that the Channel Master 2016 should pick it up. 45 miles isn't very far over flat terrain. My Denver stations are 49 miles over cliffs and bolders and they come in fine on the north side of the house. This shows that free DTV is fighting a lot of misinformation. The analog was probably quite snowy, but the digital is crystal clear and HD, and best of all it's free.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#10
Yea, if it weren't for that lone VHF-hi, I'd go for the U-75r there, too. The only CBS station he's got...
 

dave73

DTVUSA Member
#13
Dave73,

Their TVFOOL report looks very promising, especially at only 15 feet above the ground. I would enjoy working to establish free OTA for them, based on it.

Jim
I don't know if they'd be interested in going back to OTA. I don't speak to them often. If there's stuff they watch on pay TV, then I don't see them dropping either pay service.

To dkreichen1968: WLS-TV requested for RF 44, because they thought that RF 7 would be alright for them, but they found ou that they lost some coverage with their digital signal on RF 7, compared to their analog coverage on the same channel. Part of the problem is that with the allowed wattage of 4.75kw non-directional doesn't go far. That was done not only to protect WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, MI on the same channel, but also to protect WMKE-CA Milwaukee, also on RF 7. Before, WLS-TV made it almost all the way to Milwaukee, but must protect them now. They had an STA for 9.5kw, but didn't help. They planned to use RF 32 as a translator, but decided to abandon VHF completely. Before they do that, they're using an existing channel 44 antenna on the John Hancock (left by WSNS when they used to be on the John Hancock), along with their existing backup channel 7 antenna on the John Hancock. In the meantime, work is being done on the Sears Tower to remove the channel 7 antenna, & replace it with a channel 44 antenna, & new lines. Most of that work is done. I don't know how much more must be done. But once the work is complete, they'll turn in their channel 7 license, & operate on 44 exclusively. Had WWAZ Fon Du Lac, WI not changed channels (station currently off the air), WLS-TV would have had to go with a translator.

WBBM-TV put in for a translator on RF 26, but it hasn't made it past the filing status, and this was last year. I don't know what the holdup is with this one. If another UHF channel were available, I believe WBBM-TV would go to the UHF as well. They're the only Chicago station that never broadcasted on the UHF. They were on 2 for analog & 3 for pre-transitional digital (I picked up this one with no trouble), & on 12 (originally planned to be on 11) for post-transitional digital.

As for where I live, if I had the money for a UHF only antenna, I'd have an antenna for South Bend, & add 4 additional UHF stations. WHME-TV is the only station that I haven't received from South Bend, & don't care if I never do either. I get WSBT-TV nightly off the side of my Philips VHF/UHF combo antenna & pre-amp. When the weather is a lot warmer, I'm able to get WSJV & WNIT as well, but WNDU is an iffy, since my current antenna doesn't really like higher UHF channels (especially higher than 30), and WNDU is on RF 42. I had better luck with them when they were on RF 16. I even occasionally get WMVS Milwaukee on RF 8 (never got them in the analog days). I've posted my chart before, but I know people will ask again. This is my chart. Just to let you know that W25DW no longer wants to move to RF 2, & instead wants to flash-cut to digital on 25. I only concentrate on 333° - 336° for Chicago, 188° just for WYIN (use a Philips VHF/UHF combo antenna for Chicago & Winegard HD-1080 for WYIN with a Winegard CC-7870 coupler to join the 2 antennas). The eventual plan is to replace the Chicago antenna with something else, and also add a UHF only antenna for South Bend stations in the 88° - 90° direction. I'm thinking of a Winegard HD9022 or Antennacraft MXU47 for South Bend, or maybe an 8 bay antenna. I already tested out the Winegard HD-1080 antenna on Chicago stations, & I lost WBBM-TV after 3 days, but got WLS-TV on RF 7 with no trouble. While I don't believe this is the actual Philips model, it's like this model: the SDV7700K/17 antenna.


My Winegard antenna: HD-1080
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#14
Part of the problem is that with the allowed wattage of 4.75kw non-directional doesn't go far.
The very first digital television station I ever received was K26IC-D, a CBS affiliate translator 17 miles away from me that at the time had a "barn burning" 40 watts ERP. My front porch light bulb consumes 100 watts. Readers should think about that.

In the process of antenna testing, something went nuts with my graphing: my prior numbers had nothing to do with the new numbers I was collecting, so I contacted the Chief Engineer of the (primary) station, KIRO. He was astonished I had been receiving their (absolutely solid) signal at all. That's when I was told what their ERP was at the time ... 40 watts but (now) bumped up to 900 watts and their signal is still perfect (imagine that).

Per the above post, please consider 4.75 kW (kilowatts) ERP is pretty close to what most standard broadcast AM radio stations are allowed to transmit as their maximum ERP and it is nearly 5 times what Ham radio operators are allowed to transmit and they communicate all around the world ... many Hams use far less power below that limit, as I have. I realize we are talking about UHF transmissions, but I have to go with imperical proof.

My suggestion is to NEVER GIVE UP! -- until you have actually tested to see if free OTA is actually 'in the air' to be received. Free TV works for me.

By the way, a clean low-strength signal trumps a noisy high level signal, every time.

Jim
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#15
When I first set up my system I was getting KLPD-LD from Denver (49 miles and 2nd edge) it has a ERP of 15 kW on channel 28. I got a weak, but steady signal. They realligned their antenna. I lost them, but before I noticed they were gone people from Fort Collins (60 miles to the north of the towers) started reporting on AVS that they could receive it. I wish I still could since they retransmit the RTV station (and MTV-Tr3s). It makes me wonder what I could pull in if I had my 8-bay on the roof rather than in the attic.
 
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Trip

Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
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#16
By the way, a clean low-strength signal trumps a noisy high level signal, every time.
This is the important thing to note about what you said. UHF, in general, is very quiet. The noise floor is very low. This is not so on VHF. For example, I could almost decode WFXR-17 when they were putting 1.1 kW in my direction at 79 miles, but WBRA-3 at 2.3 kW was basically unwatchable much of the time even with a proper low-VHF antenna, and that was considered "full power" while WFXR was considered to be at very low power.

ATSC is designed to operate well in rural areas where received power is low, but if the noise floor is high, then there's pretty much nothing you can do. In a major city like Chicago, that's a serious issue, along with building penetration.

- Trip
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#17
Trip,

Did KNOP-2 North Platte recently go from 8 kW to 16 kW? I seem to remember it at 8 kW, but I can't find evidence of an official change. That is my parent's NBC station. I've notice that the predicted signal strength has gone up on TVfool, and the last time I was there the signal on their Magnavox converter box suddenly doubled (from 30% to 60%).
 
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dave73

DTVUSA Member
#18
The very first digital television station I ever received was K26IC-D, a CBS affiliate translator 17 miles away from me that at the time had a "barn burning" 40 watts ERP. My front porch light bulb consumes 100 watts. Readers should think about that.

In the process of antenna testing, something went nuts with my graphing: my prior numbers had nothing to do with the new numbers I was collecting, so I contacted the Chief Engineer of the (primary) station, KIRO. He was astonished I had been receiving their (absolutely solid) signal at all. That's when I was told what their ERP was at the time ... 40 watts but (now) bumped up to 900 watts and their signal is still perfect (imagine that).

Per the above post, please consider 4.75 kW (kilowatts) ERP is pretty close to what most standard broadcast AM radio stations are allowed to transmit as their maximum ERP and it is nearly 5 times what Ham radio operators are allowed to transmit and they communicate all around the world ... many Hams use far less power below that limit, as I have. I realize we are talking about UHF transmissions, but I have to go with imperical proof.

My suggestion is to NEVER GIVE UP! -- until you have actually tested to see if free OTA is actually 'in the air' to be received. Free TV works for me.

By the way, a clean low-strength signal trumps a noisy high level signal, every time.

Jim
I haven't given up on OTA TV, like some people I know. My mom would still like to have pay TV, whether it comes from Comcast, or DirecTV or Dish Network. Most of my family gave up on OTA TV years ago, and so far show no interest in going back. That's their problem.

I forgot to disclose that with WLS-TV on RF 7, that since they're currently on the John Hancock, they're transmitting at 7kw with a directional signal. 44 is 1000kw directional on the John Hancock. Once they get their UHF antenna up & running on the Sears Tower, 44 will be at 473kw non-directional. Once their channel 7 license is turned in, it's anyone's guess as to who will get it next. I believe it'll still be used for full power use, & not changed to low power use. Maybe a minority group might show interest in the channel, even if it's not a good channel for the immediate downtown area.

As for low power WOCK-CD, I only get it with a pre-amp & my large all channel antenna. IN the summer time, it's a problem to receive as it likes to break up. I didn't have that same problem with WBBM-TV on RF 3 at only 2.8kw (WBBM-TV would have gone to 4.4kw with less directional signal had they stayed on 3). WOCK-CD is seeking an STA to test out 810 watts on the same directional antenna to see if people will be able to receive it better (they already tried 405 watts earlier this year). Who knows, maybe they can see if they can request WLS-TV's channel 7 license after it's turned in, and move their station to that channel. Had WCHU-LD waited for WLS-TV to vacate 7, they would have been given a high power of 4.75kw to transmit from the John Hancock, & they would have been considered a full power station with the coverage they would have had (normally, LP digital VHF stations are only allowed 300 watts). WOCK-CD did put in for channel 30, which is currently being used by WDCI-LD, but not sure a Class A digital station can bump a station off their channel that have call letters ending in -LD, or a translator. I know full power stations can, as WLS-TV bumped out WCHU-LD from 44.
 
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FOX TV

Contributor
#19
50 miles is not all that far a distance for some stations with the correctly selected antenna with adequate height on the installation. We have viewers with good signals at 75 plus miles in a very mountainous area. Every area is different, but they really won't know until they try as stated before. Someone in engineering from one of the stations may be able to help on this, and a visit to TV Fool can reveal if reception of these stations is at all possible.
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#20
This is the important thing to note about what you said. UHF, in general, is very quiet. The noise floor is very low. This is not so on VHF. For example, I could almost decode WFXR-17 when they were putting 1.1 kW in my direction at 79 miles, but WBRA-3 at 2.3 kW was basically unwatchable much of the time even with a proper low-VHF antenna, and that was considered "full power" while WFXR was considered to be at very low power.

ATSC is designed to operate well in rural areas where received power is low, but if the noise floor is high, then there's pretty much nothing you can do. In a major city like Chicago, that's a serious issue, along with building penetration.

- Trip
Another advantage that UHF has is that it is relatively stable, propagation wise. On VHF you have to deal with tropo enhancement and seasonal Eskip a lot more often than on VHF. In fact on low VHF you may even encounter F2 propagation during the solar peaks. Great for DXers, lousy for people who want to watch local stations since they will get lots of co channel interference.
 
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