Washingdon DC area HDTV questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Patrick Ferrara, Mar 30, 2001.

  1. Patrick Ferrara

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    Dear Forum,
    I live in Germantown, MD about 12 or so miles from DC and have just acquired the Sony 53HS10 and the Mitsubishi DirecTV/HTDV combo tuner (HD-SR5 I think is the model)
    Could anyone please answer these questions:
    1. Please recommend an antenna. I bought the RadioShack double bow-tie antenna and have it in my attic, connected by about 100 feet of coax cable. It is connected to the coax via a 300->70ohm converter. I get great reception for CBS (WUSA), Fox sometimes comes in at about 40-50 signal strength and NBC, ABC, and PBS not at all. I can also pick up a fuzzy signal for UPN and if this could be clear too I would be very happy.
    2. Do the Washington stations transmit on their HDTV channels all the time? I know only a few programs are available in HDTV, but do the stations only transmit when they have programming recorded in HDTV, or do they always transmit even if they are only upconverting 480i signals. This is driving me crazy, because I don't know if the reason my antenna is not getting a signal is because it is pointed in the wrong direction or the signal is too weak, or if there is no signal at all and the antenna is fine!
    3. My Sony 53HS10 puts the 1080i signal into 'widescreen' mode when using the HD inputs. On the few CBS shows I have watched, WUSA includes a station logo in the top left of the screen. The "W" in WUSA is partially cut off. Should this be?
    Thanks in advance,
    Patrick
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  2. Tom Pfarr

    Tom Pfarr Agent

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    I live in Bowie and can get all the DC and Baltimore channels with the CM 4-bowtie UHF antenna in the attic with rotor since the channels are separated by about 170 degrees between dc and balt.
    I get DC, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS and FOX
    Balt. NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX, PBS in annapolis is not broadcasting yet.
    I have coax all the way (about 100ft) with the RS top model amp ($60) at the antenna with VHF filtered out. Some folks have said that going from 300 to 75 ohm is not a good idea but I do not know if that's a real problem. With me positioning of the antenna was key. A few degrees in rotation, tilt and height make a lot of difference with UHF.
    The question about the logo on cbs, yes it's normal on my DTC100 to be slightly off the screen.
     
  3. Matt DeVillier

    Matt DeVillier Supporting Actor

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    1) I'm in college park (U of MD dorms) and use the double bowtie antenna. Get all the wash/balt stations (signal strength about 20 or so - how are you getting 40-50?!?!), just need to rotate the antenna a little depending on whether the station is a balt or wash one.
    2) Yes, they broadcast on the HDTV stations all the time. Most of it it just upconverted 480i, but some sporting events and PBS stuff is native HDTV.
    3) the W is not cut off for me, but I'm not viewing on a HDTV set (using a WinTV-D tuner card output to my wega in 16x9 mode)
    -Matt
     
  4. Scott Gilbert

    Scott Gilbert Stunt Coordinator

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    I live in Vienna, Virginia. I had an old antenna on my chimney that was not giving me any real reception. I had Davis antenna come the recommended a better antenna a rooter and install for 550.00 Two hours later I was set up. I now can dial in all the locals with 100% signal strength. and can even dial over and get the Baltimore stations. I usually leave my antenna facing South West because I can then pick up 4,5,7 and 9 with out having to move the antenna. I do have to move it for PBS and Baltimore. BTW I can even pick up some of the west Virginia stations NonHDTV and a whole lot of stations I didn't even new existed OTA.
    For me and all the money I have in my equipment that was a bargain for not having to get on the roof that is 3 stories high at the chimney.
    Remember it is the UHF antenna that is HDTV.
     
  5. Patrick Ferrara

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    Thanks everybody,
    Over the weekend I adjusted my double bow-tie antenna with pretty good results. I have it pointed at the Washington stations and now get CBS and ABC at 100 signal strength. Fox now comes in at 72-79 which provides a solid picture. I'm still getting a big, fat 0 for NBC and PBS, but in terms of the programming that those two stations have available I don't mind not getting them.
    All it took was a turning of the antenna about 45 degrees from South to Southeast and BAM! instant ABC and Fox.
    For the $15.00 it cost me for the bow-tie antenna, I think I'll keep this setup until NBC convinces me with programming that they are worth the investment in a router and new antenna.
    Matt,
    Too bad about UMD on Saturday. Looked like they shifted into "protect the lead" mode a little too early. Did you burn anything? Maybe I saw you on the news...
    Patrick.
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  6. JimW

    JimW Auditioning

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    Hi all,
    The fact that you're having luck is encouraging... I live in Crofton (right next to Bowie) and I can get CBS (fairly consistantly), but that's about it. It's frustrating that I can get the other channels (Balt. ABC, NBC, & FOX) at about 75-80%, but I keep getting dropouts!
    I'm using the Radio Shack double bowtie antenna with RG-6 cable to the Dish 6000. The only things I can think of are:
    1. The way the antenna is connected to the RG-6 (I have one of those plastic 'converters' that connect the two wires coming off the bowtie to the end of my RG-6 coax)
    2. My Dish 6000 (or OTA module) is defective? (I doubt it's the 6000 because I always get HBO and the dish demo channel perfectly, but how would I know if the OTA is defective?)
    3. I have too much interference (I've tried in the attic and can't get a thing, so now it's outside but there are a lot of trees) BUT, I'm STILL getting 95% with CBS and at least 75% with most of the others (that drop out).
    If you think you can help, I'd really appreciate it. All my friends love the HDTV (Satellite), but I hate showing them the OTA channels because of the dropouts!
    Thanks,
    -Jim in Crofton
     
  7. JimW

    JimW Auditioning

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    Just bumping it up since I couldn't get on the board for a while and not sure if anyone else could either! :)
     
  8. Patrick Ferrara

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    Jim,
    I am using the converter that you mentioned and am not having any problems with it. I have not moved my antenna since my last post so I am still getting CBS and FOX and ABC but not PBS or NBC.
    I only get drop-outs occassionally and I think it's mostly weather related. I just read a review of the HD-SR5 HD unit from Mitsubishi in one of the HT mags. The reviewer claimed that this unit locks on to the OTA signal better than other units. I don't know if they Dish receiver has had any problems in this department, but I just wanted to point out that for some people, the problem may be hardware related.
    Good Luck,
    Patrick
     

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