Help with HDTV tuner, can't get a signal

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Je-P, Mar 13, 2004.

  1. Je-P

    Je-P Stunt Coordinator

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    Well my Samsung SIR-T151 came today and after hooking the system up, I cannot receive any signal at all. Here is my setup.

    I have the Samsung unit connected to my Mitsubishi 55" HDTV via component cables and into the inputs marked DTV. I purchased the Zenith Silver Sensor antenna and have that connected using the supplied coaxial cable to the DTV input of the tuner. The original owner had some settings saved including a few channels that I was receiving (Channel 7). Strange thing was that they were marked 7-1, 7-2 etc. Those I was receiving, nothing else. I tried moving the antenna around, even placing the unit and the antenna right next to the window and still nothing. I then had the tuner scan the channels to see which ones would pick up and after that I no longer get 7-1, 7-2, but instead everything with a -0 at the end. Is there something I'm doing wrong?

    Oh and according to antennaweb, I'm between 10-11 miles from all the channels that I want to receive.

    Is it because there's no HDTV programming being put out presently? I would think that I should get at least some sort of signal, no?
     
  2. Phil A

    Phil A Producer
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    It will pick-up digital or HD programming. Sites like titantv.com have program listings. An attic antenna has about a 25-30% signal loss vs. an outdoor one of the same quality. An indoor antenna would likely even lose more signal. Antennaweb also gives you info on the type of antenna that may be appropriate. Not sure where you are located but it is line of site. If you have bldgs. or a mountain in between it is a lot different than having nothing between you and the broadcast tower.
     
  3. Je-P

    Je-P Stunt Coordinator

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    I live in a residental part of the town, with no tall buildings with a few trees in the area. On antennaweb it shows everything being in the yellow to green area. I'm comparing antennaweb to the Zenith website and one thing I noticed is that on antennaweb it shows the majority of the channels I want to get as being VHF. The Silver Sensor says that it's only UHF and adds the following:

    "When using the enclosed antenna, you will only receive UHF channels. To receive VHF channels (Channels numbered 1 thru 13), you must slso connect a VHF antenna to the TV. You can install a device referred to as a "antenna combiner" which will combine the two antenna output signals into one 75 ohms for a single connection."

    Might this be why? Because all of the channels I want to get are from 2-13. If so what else would I need to buy?
     
  4. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    The Samsung you have will only tune digital tv broadcasts, the vast majority of which are actually broadcast on the UHF band.

    One feature of the digital tv system is that the channel will "remap" from it's actual broadcast channel to a virtual channel which is the same as the analog broadcast channel with a .1 or .2 after the number.

    I'll give a hypothetical example as I don't know what city you're in.

    Suppose your local NBC channel's analog signal is on channel 4. Their digital signal is most likely on a UHF channel, for this example we'll use channel 37. After a scan your box will pick up channel 37, but remap it so it shows up as 4.1. Some stations can and do broadcast multiple signals on their digital channels, hence one will be 4.1, another 4.2, and so forth.

    This is why your box originally had 7.1, 7.2 etc. before you did the scan.

    When you did the scan you erased all the channels that were already in the box, and lost the ones you were receiving as a result.

    Check with TitanTV.com to see whether your local digital channels are all UHF or not. If they are the Silver Sensor should work if you have it aimed at the broadcast towers and have few if any obstructions. If your home is brick or stucco or has a metal roof you will probably need an outdoor antenna.

    If you have the manual for the box, double check to make sure you have the antenna plugged into the correct input on the box, and also make sure you're doing the scan procedure properly.
     
  5. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    You need to adjust the antenna properly. First get the physical channel numbers (probably UHF channels 14-69) for the digital TV stations in your local area. Then manually punch in the physical channel number with the remote and adjust the antenna slowly for a full 360 degree direction. If you can get the pointing direction (compass heading) from www.antennaweb.org for your address that would help a lot. You may need to try the antenna outside to avoid reduction in the signals from the stucco walls.
     
  6. Je-P

    Je-P Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, guys did all that and it works! Well somewhat. I copied down the channels from TitanTV and inputed them into my tuner. It picked up the majority of them (UPN, WB, and PBS didn't, but got CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC). A few of the channels will lag momentarily, but I'm thinking that's based more on the indoor antenna. Hooked up the Silver Sensor and it's doing a great job. Can't wait to check my first show in HD tonight (Going to try CSI: SVU tonight in HD). Looks like the majority of my problems are fixed.

    Oh and couldn't get it to do Dolby Digital using the Digital Coax, but lucky me I had a spare Monster cable Fiber Optic cable laying around and got that to work. Thanks for the help guys!
     
  7. Je-P

    Je-P Stunt Coordinator

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    I compared split screens of The District (HD vs. standard) as well as Law and Order SVU and while I can see a noticeable enough difference, it's not as mindblowing as people have said it is. Could it be my cabling? I'm using the standard cheapo Acoustic Research Component cables that I had laying around. Would it be a bigger difference if I went out and bought some Monster Cable?
     
  8. Jay Blair

    Jay Blair Second Unit

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    If some of your channels are coming in weak, you might try adding a Channel Master Titan 2 antenna amp. I just added the Model 7777 amp to my Silver Sensor and the signal is much improved and some channels I couldn't get before with the Silver Sensor now come in. But I still can't get all of the channels with just the Silver Sensor and have to switch between it and a Jensen 930 amplified antenna. I think I live over 20 miles from the transmitting antennas for most of the channels I want to receive. I now get everything reliably with this setup in the Los Angeles area. It's a bit of a pain to have to switch antennas (with a passthru switch on the back of the Jensen) but worth it for the HD quality.

    Higher quality component cables will likely improve the pic over the AR cables, but not by a huge amount. If you do want to upgrade, don't get Monster Cables. Way overpriced, especially for the top of the line cables. You can get cheaper and probably better cables from places like bluejeanscables, one of the sponsors of this website (and no, I don't have any kind of relationship with them).
     
  9. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Comparing split screens of analog vs HD doesn't work. The set is either upconverting the analog signal to an HD scanrate to display it next to the HD signal's picture or downconverting the HD signal to 480p and displaying it next to the analog source picture. In either case you are not seeing the same pictures you would be seeing if the analog or HD pic were shown all by itself on the screen.

    In other words, in split screen mode the set cannot display the HD signal at 1080i and simultaneously display the analog signal at 480p, so you aren't comparing a real HD image to a real analog image.

    The only way to do a fair side by side comparison would be to have 2 sets next to each other, one tuned to the analog feed and another to the HD feed.
     

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