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Question Seattle WA OTA ( AVS Forum Local HDTV Info and Reception )
Updated: 2008-06-11 08:30:12 (3270)
Seattle WA OTA

I've been able to receive Channel 27 (28-1, 28-2, 28-3, 28-4) KBTS, the Bates Community College PBS station since Monday.
Also, I notice KCTS Channel 9 is now multicasting all PBS feeds.
Lastly, Channel 33-1 (32) and a couple of shopping channels from Bellevue must have boosted power because I can get them in Shoreline quite well. They were not receivable prior.
I checked briefly, but didn't find similar post. If redundant, it is as my signature:

Answers: Seattle WA OTA ( AVS Forum Local HDTV Info and Reception )
Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Hendrix
PBSHD(9.5) - I've been experiencing problems with this channel for about the last 3 or 4 weeks. Before then I had no problems. But now for about 80% of the time when I tune into PBSHD, I'll be watching it through my MCE HTPC and after about 5 minutes, it'll blink out for about 1/2 a second, be fine for a minute, blink again for about 1/2 a second, and then on the third blink it'll give me a "Video error" warning and tell me I need to restart MCE. Restarting MCE doesn't always solve the problem.

I don't have this problem on the other channels (KOMO, KING, KIRO, KMYQ).

Did PBS change something in their signal? Didn't they add another subchannel to their lineup? Did that take away bandwidth from the PBSHD channel? Or, do I just need to re-align my roof antenna (which is not a fun thing to do)?

When I watch 9.5 via Comcast and QAM tuner on my Philips 19" LCD, it stutters (pausing for 1/2 second every 2-3 seconds or so). Makes it unwatchable. It feels like watching internet video where the bitstream is too slow, and the video pauses to buffer every couple seconds. But hey, prior to that 9.5 would occasionally just lock up the tuner in this TV requiring a power cycle.

Spike89

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Hendrix
PBSHD(9.5) - I've been experiencing problems with this channel for about the last 3 or 4 weeks. Before then I had no problems. But now for about 80% of the time when I tune into PBSHD, I'll be watching it through my MCE HTPC and after about 5 minutes, it'll blink out for about 1/2 a second, be fine for a minute, blink again for about 1/2 a second, and then on the third blink it'll give me a "Video error" warning and tell me I need to restart MCE. Restarting MCE doesn't always solve the problem.

I don't have this problem on the other channels (KOMO, KING, KIRO, KMYQ).

Did PBS change something in their signal? Didn't they add another subchannel to their lineup? Did that take away bandwidth from the PBSHD channel? Or, do I just need to re-align my roof antenna (which is not a fun thing to do)?

Joe
It's hard to figure out what the cause is from here, but they have done something.

First, I normally can't get 9 over air. I go through a row of trees that chop up their signal pretty good. My old tuner can't deal with it, so I just don't go there.
BUT, within the last month, I'm able to tune it again. When I look at waveshape on the scope, it still is ugly, but the tuner is able to decode it at 100%. Very surprising. Signal level isn't any better, db-wise. Previously, it never saw more than 10-20%, verifying the bad waveshape.
Now, watching the tuner at 100% in strength mode for a while, it does hiccup quite regularly down to 30-50. And watching any of the sub channels shows the same hiccups. Key word is regular, like something on their end or in the air is breaking it up.

So wassup. Again, I would normally attribute it to my trees just moving around. They have done something, though, because I've not been able to get it for several years, and my trees have not grown smaller!

Be great if one of their techs could comment. If I get time I'll try and call them. In the past it's been hard to talk to them, though.

Dan

DanKurts

Seattle WA OTA

I've got a Sony SAT-HD200 HDTV Receiver on an old analog antenna on a rotor. It is on our two story house about 15 feet above the roof peak.

I'm a couple miles south of Monroe. The guy I bought the receiver from got 4, 5, 7, 9, and KONG in Marysville, so I know the receiver works.

I can't pick up a single digital signal no matter which way I turn the rotor towards Seattle.

I bought an Channel Master 4228 but haven't installed it yet. What I'm wondering is if I put the CM up and I don't get digital, will I still be able to get analog?

I'd really like help getting digital but maybe Redmond Ridge in the way, but I do get 4, 7, 11, 13 and sometime 5 on a stormy day fine - that is- with analog.

thanks for reading

aeetes

Seattle WA OTA

My experience. I watch 9-5 very reliably on Vista MCE. I can watch for hours without the video error issue you are describing. When KCTS used to have 9-2 as "KCTS Kids" (SD), I recall that they used to timeshift 9-2 and 9-5. But now with the new 9-2 "V-me", there isn't any timeshifting at all so I'm guessing they had to rob from Peter (9-1, 9-3 and 9-5) to pay Paul (9-2).

zyland

Seattle WA OTA

how do I start a NEW post in Seattle, WA -ota

thanks

aeetes

Seattle WA OTA

aeetes - I'm no expert on predictiing how well reception will be in your area, but I can tell you that when I switched to a 4228 antenna, it made a big difference in the quality of my digital signal. HOWEVER - the quality of my analog signals took a dive. So, if you can easily switch out the antennas give the 4228 a try, it may be all you need. Best bet would be to have both antennas active, if you can.
If you post your cross streets or coordinates, there's a couple of guys in here that can give a professional opinion. You can also try this website: www.tvfool.com. There's some interesting tools on there, including a file you can look at in Google Earth that will let you visualize the local transmitters from your home, to see which may be in your line of sight.

James (who sold a Sony receiver to a guy in Monroe, is that you?)

Whidbey

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Hendrix
Did PBS change something in their signal? Didn't they add another subchannel to their lineup? Did that take away bandwidth from the PBSHD channel?
I can get PBS to come in fine most of the time, but I have noticed something different lately. Usually, when I have a weak signal, I get audio drop-outs and screen freezes. With PBS, sometimes areas of the screen sorta pixelize and become blurry, but no audio drop-outs unless the signal is totally lost.
A few weeks ago, it didn't do that. I either had the signal, or it came in and out with choppy audio and video. I'll take the occasional blur in the screen over that. Has PBS figured out a way to improve their signal?

James

Whidbey

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whidbey
aeetes - I'm no expert on predictiing how well reception will be in your area, but I can tell you that when I switched to a 4228 antenna, it made a big difference in the quality of my digital signal. HOWEVER - the quality of my analog signals took a dive. So, if you can easily switch out the antennas give the 4228 a try, it may be all you need. Best bet would be to have both antennas active, if you can.
If you post your cross streets or coordinates, there's a couple of guys in here that can give a professional opinion. You can also try this website: www.tvfool.com. There's some interesting tools on there, including a file you can look at in Google Earth that will let you visualize the local transmitters from your home, to see which may be in your line of sight.

James (who sold a Sony receiver to a guy in Monroe, is that you?)
Thanks for replying. I did by my receiver from a guy named James. Hum...

tvfool is a cool tool.

can you or someone tell me what the following mean from the google map of the fcc stations?

Height AGL, height AMSL, ERP

(edit found amsl above mean sea leavel - SO - does that mean the is the height of the part of the antenna that transmitts?)

I'll have to try your idea. Too rainy out here today.

aeetes

Seattle WA OTA

I do hope that KCTS is monitoring this site, and has some comments regarding the signal change. I do think that they lowered the bandwidth of 9-5 in order to get 9-2 on the air, which is a shame. 9-5 is, by far, my favorite channel. Any information would be useful.

Joe Hendrix

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by aeetes
how do I start a NEW post in Seattle, WA -ota

thanks
You just did!

If you meant NEW THREAD, then it won't happen. Each city is limited to the number of threads that run concurrently. This one is for all OTA questions regarding digital reception.

Regarding your other post: AMSL is as you found, the actual transmitter height above mean sea level. ERP is Effective Radiated Power. ERP doesn't really mean too much until you get beyond 40 miles. 100kW will actually carry beyond that distance if there are no obstructions and you have a decent tuner. When people gripe about a station's power not being at 1 Megawatt, it usually means they are having a problem and assume it is from too little signal and that is caused by too little ERP. 99 times out of 100 it is not the ERP level. There is also the effect of radiation pattern - most stations don't transmit equal power in all directions. In Seattle they try to cover everything east of Puget Sound. So people to the west have great difficulty sometimes.

Post your nearst cross streets and Dan or I can check you line of sight for hills.

quarque

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by quarque

If you meant NEW THREAD, then it won't happen. Each city is limited to the number of threads that run concurrently. This one is for all OTA questions regarding digital reception..
Thanks. Now I know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quarque

In Seattle they try to cover everything east of Puget Sound. So people to the west have great difficulty sometimes.

Post your nearst cross streets and Dan or I can check you line of sight for hills.
If this is a double post, sorry. My computer crashed in the middle of a reply, but I don't see it.

I'm at SR 203 and approximately 186st Street SE, according to Google Earth my elevation is 134 feet.

Thanks for any hlep.

aeetes

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by aeetes
Thanks. Now I know.



If this is a double post, sorry. My computer crashed in the middle of a reply, but I don't see it.

I'm at SR 203 and approximately 186st Street SE, according to Google Earth my elevation is 134 feet.

Thanks for any hlep.

aeetes
You're in the shadow of the big hill to the SW. By the time you add the height of all the trees, it's over 600ft. UHF is very line of sight. Never say never, but it's going to really be tough. And that tuner is not very sensitive. I own one, and have worked with many others. If you aim the antenna south, towards Duvall, you will probably pick up ch33. It will at least verify the tuner is working.
Dan

DanKurts

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanKurts
aeetes
You're in the shadow of the big hill to the SW. By the time you add the height of all the trees, it's over 600ft. UHF is very line of sight. Never say never, but it's going to really be tough. And that tuner is not very sensitive. I own one, and have worked with many others. If you aim the antenna south, towards Duvall, you will probably pick up ch33. It will at least verify the tuner is working.
Dan
Thanks. What, in your opinion, be a more "sensitive" receiver?

What is ch33, I take it that it is digital.

aeetes

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemikeb
I'm certainly not from any Seattle TV stations, but in case they're not here, I'll answer for them: The three DT stations moving to VHF in 2009 are KCTS-9 (PBS, only some care), KSTW-11 (CW -- almost there...), and KCPQ-13 (Darn!).
[...]
I put up a CM 4221 very recently which improved my 9-5 reception (from 60% to 94% on my ATI HDTV Wonder) and 13-1 went from 0-12% (never displayed) to 80-88% and works consistently. The rest of the lineup came in as before. So yippee!

I'm thinking that this antenna probably will be insufficient for VHF 9, 11, and 13. If so, I'll have to get a new antenna in a couple years. Are there any on the market with UHF as good as the CM4221 with comparable VHF? I could always get another midrange VHF/UHF like I was using for analog before (which did not have adequate reception for CH13-1 though however my antenna has been slightly damaged by fatso crows) but believe typically for combo antennas that the reception for VHF is better than the UHF companion.

Any thoughts? For now I'm set though, and won't have to climb back up there for a while. I didn't realize until wading through these last few pages that several stations would move back to VHF band.

--Ben

benwood

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by aeetes
Thanks. What, in your opinion, be a more "sensitive" receiver?

What is ch33, I take it that it is digital.
33 analog KWPX (ION)
32 digital KWPX with 4 subchannels

Both are transmitted from Tiger Mountain as well as

42 digital KWDK (daystar)
44 digital KHCV (jewelry television, Azteca America, AAT and America One)
45 analog KHCV (jewelry television)
50 digital KUNS (univision)
51 analog KUNS (univision)

zyland

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by aeetes
Thanks. What, in your opinion, be a more "sensitive" receiver?

What is ch33, I take it that it is digital.
aeetes
The Samsung H260F sold by Best Buy and Circuit City is very sensitive, best I've ever seen.
HOWEVER, not sure if it would work for you. You're in a really tough location.
Hate to see you pick one up if you couldn't return it. If anything will do it, though, this is the one.
Dan

DanKurts

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by benwood
I put up a CM 4221 very recently which improved my 9-5 reception (from 60% to 94% on my ATI HDTV Wonder) and 13-1 went from 0-12% (never displayed) to 80-88% and works consistently. The rest of the lineup came in as before. So yippee!

I'm thinking that this antenna probably will be insufficient for VHF 9, 11, and 13. If so, I'll have to get a new antenna in a couple years. Are there any on the market with UHF as good as the CM4221 with comparable VHF? I could always get another midrange VHF/UHF like I was using for analog before (which did not have adequate reception for CH13-1 though however my antenna has been slightly damaged by fatso crows) but believe typically for combo antennas that the reception for VHF is better than the UHF companion.

Any thoughts? For now I'm set though, and won't have to climb back up there for a while. I didn't realize until wading through these last few pages that several stations would move back to VHF band.

--Ben
Ben
I would just wait and try it out when the time comes. Who knows, might just work as is. If not, then you can leave the 4221, and get a VHF only and hook them together with a UHF/VHF combiner. Looks like a splitter, costs maybe $3at Rat Shack. They also have some small UHF/VHF combo antennas, but you'll probably find the UHF part won't work as good. No sweat. The combiner will keep the 4221 separate from the other antenna.
Dan

DanKurts

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by quarque
You just did!

If you meant NEW THREAD, then it won't happen. Each city is limited to the number of threads that run concurrently. This one is for all OTA questions regarding digital reception.

Regarding your other post: AMSL is as you found, the actual transmitter height above mean sea level. ERP is Effective Radiated Power. ERP doesn't really mean too much until you get beyond 40 miles. 100kW will actually carry beyond that distance if there are no obstructions and you have a decent tuner. When people gripe about a station's power not being at 1 Megawatt, it usually means they are having a problem and assume it is from too little signal and that is caused by too little ERP. 99 times out of 100 it is not the ERP level. There is also the effect of radiation pattern - most stations don't transmit equal power in all directions. In Seattle they try to cover everything east of Puget Sound. So people to the west have great difficulty sometimes.

Post your nearst cross streets and Dan or I can check you line of sight for hills.
quarque
I tried out the Pinnacle USB HD & QAM tuner stick. Couldn't find the one you had used. It would get some channels with the little antenna, but when I tried to watch one, it would start and then hang. Yet, if you pulled up the Task Manager, the CPU was just loafing along, and I had plenty of memory. Tried their website, downloaded patches, and scanned both cable and antenna. Just couldn't get it to work properly. It would lock up my mouse, but not the keyboard, go figure. Tried twice to get through to their support, but was on hold forever.
After reading other's hassles with this on the web, bailed on it.
Cool idea, but obviously has some application problems to sort out.
Dan

DanKurts

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanKurts
Ben
I would just wait and try it out when the time comes. Who knows, might just work as is. If not, then you can leave the 4221, and get a VHF only and hook them together with a UHF/VHF combiner. Looks like a splitter, costs maybe $3at Rat Shack. They also have some small UHF/VHF combo antennas, but you'll probably find the UHF part won't work as good. No sweat. The combiner will keep the 4221 separate from the other antenna.
Dan
Dan, how does a digital signal on VHF relate to an analog one? In other words, if you get a decent analog signal for channels like 9 and 11 right now, would that mean that you should be able to receive a digital signal on the same channel as well once they switch (suppose that the transmitted signal strength is similar)? In that case you can just check what analog channels you receive at the moment and what you can expect after the switch.

Rico66

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanKurts
Ben
I would just wait and try it out when the time comes. Who knows, might just work as is. If not, then you can leave the 4221, and get a VHF only and hook them together with a UHF/VHF combiner. Looks like a splitter, costs maybe $3at Rat Shack. They also have some small UHF/VHF combo antennas, but you'll probably find the UHF part won't work as good. No sweat. The combiner will keep the 4221 separate from the other antenna.
Dan
Thanks Dan. I suppose I can find out sooner rather than later by attaching the CM4221 signal to the analog TV I'm using downstairs. I can see from the beam pattern of the CM4221 that performance is better with higher frequencies, so I suspect that the signal dropoff from 18 to 13 will be too much, but maybe not. I just looked up the base freq of those channels, and 18 is 494 MHz and 13 is only 210 MHz.

If I go all digital in the near future including a DVR, I could just remove the VHF combo antenna and just wait for the frequency reassignment and then replace the 4221 if needed. At least, it wouldn't be much work with all the wiring and mast already installed.

Then in the meantime, I could remove the old antenna from the chimney where it's mostly just loosening the bricks now.

benwood

Seattle WA OTA

This is an unsolicited plug for Dan Kurts.

Dan installed an OTA HD TV antenna system at my house 3 years ago and he did a very professional job and I get excellent reception of all the local HD TV signals.

He knows what kind of antenna to use, where to point it and how to set it up for the best possible OTA HD-TV reception in your area.

Recently, Dan has taken a lot of his time to give me personal advice on choosing and setting up a new OTA HD-TV receiver at my house even though I am not paying him a dime for this.

I know a lot of you are DIY types, but I think it is well worth the fee that Dan charges to get set up right for OTA HD-TV reception.

I'm just making this post to return the favor to Dan for sharing his professional advice with me for free.

Dan is the MAN!

SteveCoug

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCoug
Dan is the MAN!
I'll second that, even though I've never hired him he has offered great advice.

James

Whidbey

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanKurts
quarque
I tried out the Pinnacle USB HD & QAM tuner stick. Couldn't find the one you had used. It would get some channels with the little antenna, but when I tried to watch one, it would start and then hang. Yet, if you pulled up the Task Manager, the CPU was just loafing along, and I had plenty of memory. Tried their website, downloaded patches, and scanned both cable and antenna. Just couldn't get it to work properly. It would lock up my mouse, but not the keyboard, go figure. Tried twice to get through to their support, but was on hold forever.
After reading other's hassles with this on the web, bailed on it.
Cool idea, but obviously has some application problems to sort out.
Dan
Too bad. The Viore I bought is available at Walmart and it works very well if you have enough horsepower in both CPU and Video. When I first got it my laptop was newer and faster than my desktop so that is where I tried it first. No stutterting etc. Then I tried it on my desktop which was a couple years older. Stuttering was very evident on HD and less so on SD. Then I upgraded my desktop (since I had an excuse!) and it too now works flawlessly. I'm still amazed that it pulls in 12 stations with a 6" whip.

I think the video chip and speed are most important for these units (maybe video memory too). Also newer chips work better than older ones, so if your stuff is more than 2 years old it may be too slow. You also need a fast CPU and USB port. It sounds like you maybe had 2 out of 3 on the hardware...?

quarque

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by quarque
Too bad. The Viore I bought is available at Walmart and it works very well if you have enough horsepower in both CPU and Video. When I first got it my laptop was newer and faster than my desktop so that is where I tried it first. No stutterting etc. Then I tried it on my desktop which was a couple years older. Stuttering was very evident on HD and less so on SD. Then I upgraded my desktop (since I had an excuse!) and it too now works flawlessly. I'm still amazed that it pulls in 12 stations with a 6" whip.

I think the video chip and speed are most important for these units (maybe video memory too). Also newer chips work better than older ones, so if your stuff is more than 2 years old it may be too slow. You also need a fast CPU and USB port. It sounds like you maybe had 2 out of 3 on the hardware...?

quarque
Thanks for the heads up on where to get it. I'll pick one up.
I thought the video might be a problem too, but I have a Nvidia HD card that's good enough to do over air in other PC's I've installed, lots of on borad memory. Wierd. My laptop has lot's of power and speed, and it also locked with their ap, but still functioned if I toggled to something else. So busy now I just didn't have the patience to play anymore. Since you had such good luck I'll just find the Viore.
Let you know how it works.
BTW, while up on Camano, I tried to get Victoria and Vancouver, BC with my meter, not even a whisper. I was on a hilltop about a half mile north of hwy 532 on Rekdal road (where do they get these names ?!). Also tried from the western side of Camano on the water, same thing. What's interesting is if you go to the Vancouver BC forum for over air
http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/show...=36748&page=17
they're getting some of our stations. I haven't been able to find their equivalent site to our FCC, where it shows all the transmitter data, but haven't looked that hard, either. In any case, would be curious to find if there's anyone up north (Bellingham, Anacortes, etc) pulling in Canadian HD.
Have you heard of anyone?
Later....
Dan

DanKurts

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCoug
This is an unsolicited plug for Dan Kurts.

Dan installed an OTA HD TV antenna system at my house 3 years ago and he did a very professional job and I get excellent reception of all the local HD TV signals.

He knows what kind of antenna to use, where to point it and how to set it up for the best possible OTA HD-TV reception in your area.

Recently, Dan has taken a lot of his time to give me personal advice on choosing and setting up a new OTA HD-TV receiver at my house even though I am not paying him a dime for this.

I know a lot of you are DIY types, but I think it is well worth the fee that Dan charges to get set up right for OTA HD-TV reception.

I'm just making this post to return the favor to Dan for sharing his professional advice with me for free.

Dan is the MAN!
SteveCoug & Whidbey
Thank you !
Always fun helping good peoples.
Dan

DanKurts

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rico66
Dan, how does a digital signal on VHF relate to an analog one? In other words, if you get a decent analog signal for channels like 9 and 11 right now, would that mean that you should be able to receive a digital signal on the same channel as well once they switch (suppose that the transmitted signal strength is similar)? In that case you can just check what analog channels you receive at the moment and what you can expect after the switch.
Rico66
How does great analog reception relate to getting good HD reception? In the UHF freq's, and from what I've seen, about 30% of the time you could say it translates well. Since we don't have any VHF to compare to right now, hard to say what it will do. However, VHF analog is far easier to get and "bends" over hills better. Assuming they keep their same power levels (in proportion to their analog output) and the polar patterns are the same as they are now, I would say it would translate far better. Something like maybe 60% or more of the time.
Naturally, your mileage may vary. I was badly fooled when they started HD in 1997, learned a lot. We'll just have to wait and see. I'm hoping for the best. There's a lot of people out there that could use a better ch9.
Dan

DanKurts

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by benwood
Thanks Dan. I suppose I can find out sooner rather than later by attaching the CM4221 signal to the analog TV I'm using downstairs. I can see from the beam pattern of the CM4221 that performance is better with higher frequencies, so I suspect that the signal dropoff from 18 to 13 will be too much, but maybe not. I just looked up the base freq of those channels, and 18 is 494 MHz and 13 is only 210 MHz.

If I go all digital in the near future including a DVR, I could just remove the VHF combo antenna and just wait for the frequency reassignment and then replace the 4221 if needed. At least, it wouldn't be much work with all the wiring and mast already installed.

Then in the meantime, I could remove the old antenna from the chimney where it's mostly just loosening the bricks now.
benwood
One more thing to note. Analog VHF is transmitted horizontally. The elements on any VHF antenna are designed the same to keep ghosting to a minimum. The 4221 elements are not, obviously, and will most likely give you a fair amount of ghosting. That's NOT a big deal in the HD world. The biggy is level across the entire HD channel. You won't know that until they turn it on. If there's no snow in the picture, that would indicate a fairly good level, which is a good thing.
Let us know how analog looks, if you do change over, and your cross streets so I can see where it fits in to what I know.
Thanks
Dan

DanKurts

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanKurts
Karyk
Ch11 has been at full power for over a year, maybe more. They do have an odd transmitting pattern, which might be a problem if you're not in their good area


Dan
I'm not sure how long ago it's been since I tried OTA. I have it through Comcast QAM now. I'll have to give it a try--it wouldn't be that hard.

Karyk

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by quarque
hence the word "rumor"...
Hence my adding the notation "citation needed" as Wikipedia is not in the rumor business. Isn't that what Usenet is for?

bigpoppa206

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by stoked
After successfully receiving NBC, ABC, CBS, etc, in Juanita, Kirkland, I seem to get stuttering especially on windy days. Is there any way to eliminate the stuttering with an indoor antenna? I have some generic RCA at the moment. Would a PHDTV1 help me?
stoked
Hard to say. You're working in tough conditions. If wind is bothering you with an indoor antenna, you're dealing with lots of splattered signals. Never hurts to try.
Make sure you can return it. I think Fry's also sold it, and they accept returns.
Dan

DanKurts

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanKurts
stoked
Hard to say. You're working in tough conditions. If wind is bothering you with an indoor antenna, you're dealing with lots of splattered signals. Never hurts to try.
Make sure you can return it. I think Fry's also sold it, and they accept returns.
Dan
Picked up the silver sensor yesterday, it actually helped quite a bit, occasional drops but much better than the RCA antenna. I also found the signal meter in my TV () Seems like the signal fluctuates quite a bit, from 86% to 65% where it starts to stutter.

stoked

Seattle WA OTA

Could someone tell me which would be a better choice for me a 4221 or a 4228, I live in Shoreline (1234 N 191st Street), have a Radio Shack 75-2160 antenna w/ rotor. It is very directional. I use the tuner from my Sony DHG HDD500. I was hoping to get something that didn't require me to rotate my antenna when switching channels. Could I get KVOS digital from this distance? I get the analog station pretty well now. Any chance on CHEK, CBUT or CKVU analog? My tuner selcts them when I scan for channels but have been unable to see anything on them yet.

I haven't been able to pull in the KBTC digitals as of the last couple of weeks.

Thanks,
Rob

Robert Brooks

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Brooks
Could someone tell me which would be a better choice for me a 4221 or a 4228, I live in Shoreline (1234 N 191st Street), have a Radio Shack 75-2160 antenna w/ rotor.
I'd go with the 4221. I live north of you, near Mill Creek and it works great. I started with a 4228 and returned it. The 4221 is less directional so I was able to pick up both queen anne stations and KCPQ with it, without needing to rotate it. I also get KBTC.

robglasser

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by zyland
I live in Redmond and am fortunate enough to get the following digital channels very clearly

KOMO, KING, KIRO, KCTS, KSTW, KCPQ, KONG, KTBW and KMYQ

Your mileage may vary. I recently redid all of the connectors and re-positioned the antenna which cleared up all the issues I was having on those channels.
zyland, what are your cross streets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanKurts
Basic cable for minimum bucks and a TV with a QAM tuner or card for your PC would let you pick up the locals in HD with out having to spring for the extra charge HD cable box
Newbie question here: how would having basic cable and then QAM or a card for my PC enable me to pick up local HD?

k-y

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by k-y
zyland, what are your cross streets?
I'm at the top of education hill on the side facing Seattle (main cross streets: 166th Ave NE & NE 104th ST).

Quote:
Originally Posted by k-y
Newbie question here: how would having basic cable and then QAM or a card for my PC enable me to pick up local HD?
Comcast's Limited Basic includes HD versions of KOMO, KING, KIRO, KCTS, KSTW, KCPQ, KONG and KMYQ. If you have a QAM tuner in your TV, you should be able to receive these at no additional cost.

zyland

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by k-y
Newbie question here: how would having basic cable and then QAM or a card for my PC enable me to pick up local HD?
There are two PC cards (that I know of) that will pick up QAM. One is the MyHD-130 and the other is the current Fusion cards. As far as I know both work only with their own software (although the Fusion will work OTA with software such as Sage, MCE, etc.)

There is also the HD Homerun, which is a two tuner newwork box that connects to your computer through a network cable. It will pick up QAM and OTA, and will work with software products such as Sage, MCE, etc. (in fact it doesn't have it's own software).

Being able to use products like Sage, MCE, etc. means it's more Tivo-like. You can set season passes, etc. With the MyHD and Fusion software you have to tell it each program to record each week.

A Comcast subscription, even the $12.95 limited basic plans, includes the local HD channels in clear QAM.

Karyk

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karyk
There are two PC cards (that I know of) that will pick up QAM. One is the MyHD-130 and the other is the current Fusion cards. As far as I know both work only with their own software (although the Fusion will work OTA with software such as Sage, MCE, etc.)

There is also the HD Homerun, which is a two tuner newwork box that connects to your computer through a network cable. It will pick up QAM and OTA, and will work with software products such as Sage, MCE, etc. (in fact it doesn't have it's own software).

Being able to use products like Sage, MCE, etc. means it's more Tivo-like. You can set season passes, etc. With the MyHD and Fusion software you have to tell it each program to record each week.

A Comcast subscription, even the $12.95 limited basic plans, includes the local HD channels in clear QAM.
There are more cards that support QAM these days (the ones you listed above are the more expensive ones...). E.g. the Avermedia A180, Kworld 115, Hauppauge 1600 all support QAM, and they are all cheaper.
But as you said the only one that supports MCE as of now is the HD Homerun.

Rico66

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rico66
There are more cards that support QAM these days (the ones you listed above are the more expensive ones...). E.g. the Avermedia A180, Kworld 115, Hauppauge 1600 all support QAM, and they are all cheaper.
But as you said the only one that supports MCE as of now is the HD Homerun.
The HD Homerun isn't that expensive when you consider it's dual tuner. And the ability to work QAM under Sage, MCE, etc. makes it a bargain, because you're likely going to want that.

And the MyHD is primarily designed for low end computers, since it has its own video system. Thus, the price for that one is worth it. I think there may be some work going on to get it to work under Sage, but I haven't followed that.

Karyk

Seattle WA OTA

Another newbie question about QAM:

Do you need a subscription to cable to get it, or can you get it if you have cable installed in your home? Can you get it off a jack without paying for the basic service? I only care because I can only get Millennium (also not sure what their QAM is like) and don't want to pay 30 bucks for their new minimum cable package. Comcast, how I miss thou!

fatejd

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatejd
Another newbie question about QAM:

Do you need a subscription to cable to get it, or can you get it if you have cable installed in your home? Can you get it off a jack without paying for the basic service? I only care because I can only get Millennium (also not sure what their QAM is like) and don't want to pay 30 bucks for their new minimum cable package. Comcast, how I miss thou!
Millenium has a forum as well, search for "AVS Forum > HDTV > Local HDTV Info and Reception > Seattle, WA - Millenium"
You can also download Millenium's channel lineup here

http://www.mdm.net/lineup/EKC.pdf

Looks like most of the local HD channels are available (via a QAM tuner) on Millenium's basic cable except KING, KONG and KSTW. KING and KONG you have to pay extra for and KSTW isn't an option.

If you have Millenium, Comcast isn't an option.

As with any cable service, you would need to pay for at least limited basic to receive any service. They physically come out and disconnect your cable.

zyland

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rico66
There are more cards that support QAM these days (the ones you listed above are the more expensive ones...). E.g. the Avermedia A180, Kworld 115, Hauppauge 1600 all support QAM, and they are all cheaper.
But as you said the only one that supports MCE as of now is the HD Homerun.
I have been happily using a Fusion card for the last 5 months and they work great. All packages have their pluses and minuses and all packages have software issues in some regard. But turning an old Dell workstation into a full blown HTPC was worth it...all for less than $200.00.

bigpoppa206

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpoppa206
I have been happily using a Fusion card for the last 5 months and they work great. All packages have their pluses and minuses and all packages have software issues in some regard. But turning an old Dell workstation into a full blown HTPC was worth it...all for less than $200.00.
I recently stumbled upon the Viore HDTV Wizard at Walmart.com. At $110 I was intrigued enough to order one. It is a USB dongle with complete ATSC and NTSC tuners. You install their software and plug in an antenna and you've got HDTV on your laptop or desktop PC. It comes with a little 5" whip antenna that pulled in everything local except 13 (always gave me trouble anyway with my Samsung T150). I pulled out my trusty Rat Shack double-bowtie and it pulled in 13 easily. So the tuner is impressive. But it is really remarkable that they fit all this in a package that is 3" x 1.5" x 0.5". It does require a decent CPU and video card/chip to work well. But I found my laptop worked OK even though it is slower than their "minimum" speed. It appears that the video hardware affects the performance much more than CPU speed. At any rate, it is a fun little device that I will take on vacations. I can't post the manual because the PDF excedes the upload limit, but I will email it to you if you want. Send me a PM. Oh, and did I mention it records HD too and it has a remote control and EPG!

quarque

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by quarque
I recently stumbled upon the Viore HDTV Wizard at Walmart.com. At $110 I was intrigued enough to order one. It is a USB dongle with complete ATSC and NTSC tuners. You install their software and plug in an antenna and you've got HDTV on your laptop or desktop PC. It comes with a little 5" whip antenna that pulled in everything local except 13 (always gave me trouble anyway with my Samsung T150). I pulled out my trusty Rat Shack double-bowtie and it pulled in 13 easily. So the tuner is impressive. But it is really remarkable that they fit all this in a package that is 3" x 1.5" x 0.5". It does require a decent CPU and video card/chip to work well. But I found my laptop worked OK even though it is slower than their "minimum" speed. It appears that the video hardware affects the performance much more than CPU speed. At any rate, it is a fun little device that I will take on vacations. I can't post the manual because the PDF excedes the upload limit, but I will email it to you if you want. Send me a PM. Oh, and did I mention it records HD too and it has a remote control and EPG!
quarque
WOW!
Gonna check this out right away. An old Air Force friend from my service days, that stayed in Japan, sent me an article about a chip that was developed that had the ATSC, NTSC, QAM and Direct tuners. It was to be used in upcoming TV's. Think it was about a year ago. Almost nothing in the chip world is beyond belief anymore.
Let you know how it works on my laptop.
Thanks !
Dan

DanKurts

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanKurts
quarque
WOW!
Gonna check this out right away. An old Air Force friend from my service days, that stayed in Japan, sent me an article about a chip that was developed that had the ATSC, NTSC, QAM and Direct tuners. It was to be used in upcoming TV's. Think it was about a year ago. Almost nothing in the chip world is beyond belief anymore.
Let you know how it works on my laptop.
Thanks !
Dan
I've been looking at the Pinnacle Systems USB ATSC tuner link here. If anyone has any experience with it, I'd love to hear thoughts. It's half the price of the previous mentioned one.

brownnet

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by quarque
I recently stumbled upon the Viore HDTV Wizard at Walmart.com. At $110 I was intrigued enough to order one. It is a USB dongle with complete ATSC and NTSC tuners. You install their software and plug in an antenna and you've got HDTV on your laptop or desktop PC. It comes with a little 5" whip antenna that pulled in everything local except 13 (always gave me trouble anyway with my Samsung T150). I pulled out my trusty Rat Shack double-bowtie and it pulled in 13 easily. So the tuner is impressive. But it is really remarkable that they fit all this in a package that is 3" x 1.5" x 0.5". It does require a decent CPU and video card/chip to work well. But I found my laptop worked OK even though it is slower than their "minimum" speed. It appears that the video hardware affects the performance much more than CPU speed. At any rate, it is a fun little device that I will take on vacations. I can't post the manual because the PDF excedes the upload limit, but I will email it to you if you want. Send me a PM. Oh, and did I mention it records HD too and it has a remote control and EPG!
Some of these little devices support ATSC but not QAM. Does this one do both?

Budget_HT

Seattle WA OTA

I hope this is a quickie (G)

UHF v. VHF?

I see most (all) antennas seem to distinguish. I am having drop-outs on Channel 13.1. What type of antenna can/should be used to get better reception? I also have some problems with higher numbered stations, too, but House, Bones and a few others, I would like to receive without losing sound or getting pixelization.

Seattle, south of Greenlake. I see the DB2 gets good reviews and is multi-directional so maybe it can get those antennas both to the southwest and to the southeast.

Thanks for any assistance.

fred2

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by brownnet
I've been looking at the Pinnacle Systems USB ATSC tuner link here. If anyone has any experience with it, I'd love to hear thoughts. It's half the price of the previous mentioned one.
Package looks different but I bet the guts are the same. Wish I'd seen this one first!

Dave - no, it does not appear either Viore or Pinnacle do QAM. Only analog and digital channels from 2-69. I may hook it up to the cable and check but there is nothing in the manual about QAM.

quarque

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by fred2
I hope this is a quickie (G)

UHF v. VHF?

I see most (all) antennas seem to distinguish. I am having drop-outs on Channel 13.1. What type of antenna can/should be used to get better reception? I also have some problems with higher numbered stations, too, but House, Bones and a few others, I would like to receive without losing sound or getting pixelization.

Seattle, south of Greenlake. I see the DB2 gets good reviews and is multi-directional so maybe it can get those antennas both to the southwest and to the southeast.

Thanks for any assistance.
Ch 13 digital is actually at 18 UHF. So you want a UHF unit for our local digitals. Note that 9,11,13 have applied to the FCC to revert back to their VHF channels when analog goes dark (circa 2010?). The CM 4221 is the most popular UHF unit but the DB2 may work fine too. Your problem with 13 may be due to hills. Post your nearest cross streets so we can check.

quarque

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanKurts
quarque
WOW!
Gonna check this out right away. An old Air Force friend from my service days, that stayed in Japan, sent me an article about a chip that was developed that had the ATSC, NTSC, QAM and Direct tuners. It was to be used in upcoming TV's. Think it was about a year ago. Almost nothing in the chip world is beyond belief anymore.
Let you know how it works on my laptop.
Thanks !
Dan
Dan - I think all these are using the same chip. There are now portable LCD TV's with ATSC & NTSC (but not for $110, yet). I am impressed with the tuner and software. The interface shows signal strength AND quality using 2 cell-phone-like bar graphs. It must be rejecting reflected signals and reporting the level/number of them on the second bar graph. Useful info if you're trying to decide on gain vs. beamwidth etc. When I have time I will compare antennas and see if the "quality" graph is real or baloney.

quarque

Seattle WA OTA

1st NE and NE 56th (just off the freeway and south of Greenlake).

Pretty flat to my south and drops off to the east (freeway) and west (Greenlake way). There are neighboring trees and a roof or two or three.

Thanks

fred2

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by fred2
1st NE and NE 56th (just off the freeway and south of Greenlake).

Pretty flat to my south and drops off to the east (freeway) and west (Greenlake way). There are neighboring trees and a roof or two or three.

Thanks
CH 13 tower is SW of you and there are no hills in the way. So it could be antenna placement and/or reflections that are causing trouble. What is your current antenna? Indoors or outdoors? Do you have access to the roof or 2nd floor or attic? Outdoors is better; higher is better.

quarque

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by quarque
CH 13 tower is SW of you and there are no hills in the way. So it could be antenna placement and/or reflections that are causing trouble. What is your current antenna? Indoors or outdoors? Do you have access to the roof or 2nd floor or attic? Outdoors is better; higher is better.
quarque, et al
Reception in this area can get wierd for ch 13. I know it looks easy, but ....
Outdoors is best, and try different locations. It acts like your in a heavily wooded area, but close in. Signal level can be fairly good, but it gets chopped up. Had one on 3rd and 60th, heck of a time with ch 13. Tried lots of antennas and tricks. Ended up using the 4221, but had to bail on their old Samsung 360 satellite tuner, but my test tuner, the new H260F Samsung pulled it in just fine, 8 out of 10 bars, solid. Customer is going to pick one up and use that for over air.
Others around there work fine ch13. Go figure.
Dan

DanKurts

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by quarque
Dan - I think all these are using the same chip. There are now portable LCD TV's with ATSC & NTSC (but not for $110, yet). I am impressed with the tuner and software. The interface shows signal strength AND quality using 2 cell-phone-like bar graphs. It must be rejecting reflected signals and reporting the level/number of them on the second bar graph. Useful info if you're trying to decide on gain vs. beamwidth etc. When I have time I will compare antennas and see if the "quality" graph is real or baloney.
quarque
Great. I'll let you know how it stacks up on the meter, as well. Hope to have some time next week.
Thanks again for the heads up.
Dan

DanKurts

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by brownnet
I've been looking at the Pinnacle Systems USB ATSC tuner link here. If anyone has any experience with it, I'd love to hear thoughts. It's half the price of the previous mentioned one.
It was such a great price and I've been looking for one for a while so I went out and picked this up at Best Buy tonight. Here's my experience.

I've installed it on a AMD Sempron 3100+ (1800MHz) system with 1Gb RAM running Windows XP MCE.

Install went smoothly. Configuration utility picked up 24 digital channels. Almost all of the digital channels my TV picks up.

The TV playing software that comes with it Pinnacle Media Center didn't pick up any analog channels. That was weird. The digital channels started off playing OK. SD channels played OK, HD channels played OK, then I started seeing.

Player app would hang when changing channels. Sometimes never come back.
Player app would crash with an error in the "Pinnacle PVR Core - Video Control Server".
Player would sometimes start with the message that I was running at 1803MHz and that HDTV may not play correctly, do I want to continue.

Aside from that, the HDTV channels appeared to play correctly. When they weren't crashing.
Channel order is based on DTV channel frequency and there doesn't appear to be any way to change this.

The tuner is supposed to be compliant with Windows MCE, so I tried that as well. Unlike the bundled player, the MCE configuration was successfull at tuning all of the analog channels I normally get. If you are looking for a tuner to work with Windows Media Center and you are only interested in analog channels, this is the tuner for you. Unfortunately, none of the digital channels offered any more strength than zero. So, I couldn't watch any of the digital channels on MCE. All of the analog channels came in quite well.

If you are only looking for an analog channels on MCE, this is the tuner for you.

For me, I want digital channels and a player that doesn't crash all the time, I'm taking it back and looking for another tuner. Any suggestions?

Update: After quite a bit of updating drivers, I got the digital channels to show up in Windows XP Media Center. It's much better now. But there is still an issue of sporatic buffering. Not horrible, but definitely not smooth. I'll let you know if I can resolve this issue. If not, I'll probably end up returning it anyway.

zyland

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanKurts
quarque, et al
Reception in this area can get wierd for ch 13. I know it looks easy, but ....
Outdoors is best, and try different locations. It acts like your in a heavily wooded area, but close in. Signal level can be fairly good, but it gets chopped up. Had one on 3rd and 60th, heck of a time with ch 13. Tried lots of antennas and tricks. Ended up using the 4221, but had to bail on their old Samsung 360 satellite tuner, but my test tuner, the new H260F Samsung pulled it in just fine, 8 out of 10 bars, solid. Customer is going to pick one up and use that for over air.
Others around there work fine ch13. Go figure.
Dan
Interesting, I think

I think 3rd/60th is a bit downslope to the north so they might have some things intervening. Is 13 "underpowered?" Or just flaky (sigh)

Then again, it could be my excess coax. Also split to to to tivo and tv. Since I think my location is somewhat set, I may attempt cutting and crimping if I think that I can manage that maneuver.

The current antenna is the Terk "winged" thingie - outdoor variety. Seems very DIRECTION specific. Then again, a question - how much is MY BODY affecting the "tuning" when I'm standing next to it trying to tweak its direction/angle? I'm not in front of it but is my MASS/conductivity an issue?

edited:

Currently, the antenna is attached to a fascia board (along roofline) runs down the house, into basement, across basement ceiling to a splitter. Since I have an amp in this setup (a radio shack with 4 out's but only two used), should the amp be located closer to the antenna, say where it enters the basement (and power is easily provided) rather than at the end of the 100 ft of coax? How 'bout the splitter. Right now it is close to the devices?

I do appreciate this. As a rabbit ears person for many years now, the last antenna I worried about was in Da Bronx on a 6-story apartment building!!!

fred2

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by quarque
Dave - no, it does not appear either Viore or Pinnacle do QAM. Only analog and digital channels from 2-69. I may hook it up to the cable and check but there is nothing in the manual about QAM.
Hence my choice for the Fusion package which DOES do QAM and all for only $150!

bigpoppa206

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by zyland
Update: After quite a bit of updating drivers, I got the digital channels to show up in Windows XP Media Center. It's much better now. But there is still an issue of sporatic buffering. Not horrible, but definitely not smooth. I'll let you know if I can resolve this issue. If not, I'll probably end up returning it anyway.
How I got rid of any buffering or stuttering issues was to NOT use the latest graphics drivers for my video card. Took some trial and error but drivers from about 2 years ago took care of the issue all together. Not sure if that will help in your case.

bigpoppa206

Seattle WA OTA

I don't believe that any of Tribune's stations anywhere are yet carried in HD by DirecTV. If KCPQ were transmitting from Queen Anne or Capitol Hill at least I would have a chance at OTA. I suspect it will happen after the baseball season (and most of the NFL) is over.

rdn

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baldone01
Finally got replies from both stations. KOMO says only that it'll be very soon. KCPQ's hangup is about sub-channel carriage; evidently, no sub-channel carriage--no agreement. Funny, but I see NO subchannels being carried by my local cableco. Oh well, I guess it'll happen when it happens & I'll have to keep my cable for a while longer.

Baldone01
Actually, Comcast carries most of the sub channels of ch's 5, 7, 9, and 16, and more. If you have a QAM tuner, you'll see them as 82-1, 82-3, 84-1, 84-13 and other wierd channel numbers.
They don't all come in on the cable box, but if you split the cable and run one in to the TV's QAM tuner, they will show up, and usually look better than using the cable box's output. The other local cable company, name escapes me, but they serve downtown Seattle and Duvall areas, among others, do not have these sub channels. Been a while since I checked, though.
It will probably be quite a while before the satellites have sub channels. Bandwidth and cost issues.
Dan

DanKurts

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanKurts
Baldone01
The other local cable company, name escapes me, but they serve downtown Seattle and Duvall areas, among others, do not have these sub channels. Been a while since I checked, though.
Dan
Millenium?

Electric T-Bird

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric T-Bird
Millenium?
Yup!

DanKurts

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanKurts
Baldone01
Actually, Comcast carries most of the sub channels of ch's 5, 7, 9, and 16, and more. If you have a QAM tuner, you'll see them as 82-1, 82-3, 84-1, 84-13 and other wierd channel numbers.
They don't all come in on the cable box, but if you split the cable and run one in to the TV's QAM tuner, they will show up, and usually look better than using the cable box's output. The other local cable company, name escapes me, but they serve downtown Seattle and Duvall areas, among others, do not have these sub channels. Been a while since I checked, though.
It will probably be quite a while before the satellites have sub channels. Bandwidth and cost issues.
Dan
Unfortunately, I have Wavebroadband & not Comcast or Millenium. I have the same stb that Comcast uses, but not even the firewire port is enabled. Sadly, I don't presently have a TV w/QAM tuner. Thanks for the info though, Dan.

Baldone01

Seattle WA OTA

I've got a HR10-250 (DirecTV's Tivo-based HD DVR), and it's been having some weirdness with 7-1/KIRO lately. Not the normal pixellation, but there are these times when the screen flashes/blanks out for a second. If I had to describe it it's like the signal was cut or interrupted. Only happens a couple of times/hour (at most). A sort of horizontal band will appear across the screen, only lasts a couple of seconds or so.

It doesn't happen on recordings of any other channel, HD or SD, OTA or Satellite, so I don't think it's a HR10 problem. And it happens on more than one show (CSI, Numbers) and it's only been happening for the last 2 or 3 weeks.

Anyone? Ideas?

jcricket

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcricket
been having some weirdness with 7-1/KIRO lately. Not the normal pixellation, but there are these times when the screen flashes/blanks out for a second. If I had to describe it it's like the signal was cut or interrupted. Only happens a couple of times/hour (at most). A sort of horizontal band will appear across the screen, only lasts a couple of seconds or so.
same here, was watching numb3rs on friday night and had the same problem.
fyi- direct ota tv tuner not dvr.

saywhat

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by saywhat
same here, was watching numb3rs on friday night and had the same problem.
fyi- direct ota tv tuner not dvr.
saywhat & jcricket
I know this sounds ultra redundant, but I've had customers with similar wierd problems on the new Hughes boxes, and a cold boot (unplug it from the wall, after you shut it down-Standby-through the menu) fixes a lot of strange things. It doesn't make much sense, because everything else is okay, but they sometimes have problems with a channel's info/location in memory, and it will clear up. A rescan, by going through the setup again, can sometimes clear it it up, too. The other thing is to check the "strength" of the signal. When you go there, it will already be on the right channel. Watch it for a few minutes. If it's bouncing around a few points, that's okay. If it suddenly drops a bunch, like 30 points or more, and then comes right back, then there are other things going on. Antenna may need a slight tweak, or a connection may be a little loose or corroded, etc.
Give it a good check.
Dan

DanKurts

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcricket
I've got a HR10-250 (DirecTV's Tivo-based HD DVR), and it's been having some weirdness with 7-1/KIRO lately. Not the normal pixellation, but there are these times when the screen flashes/blanks out for a second. If I had to describe it it's like the signal was cut or interrupted. Only happens a couple of times/hour (at most). A sort of horizontal band will appear across the screen, only lasts a couple of seconds or so.

It doesn't happen on recordings of any other channel, HD or SD, OTA or Satellite, so I don't think it's a HR10 problem. And it happens on more than one show (CSI, Numbers) and it's only been happening for the last 2 or 3 weeks.

Anyone? Ideas?
I've seen the same thing over the last few weeks. Only on channel 7. I've seen it on 2 different Dish Network HD DVRs that I have and it's been in the same spot on both. I have an OTA signal in the high 90's on both DVRs. I'm guessing it's a source issue here. Question would be it a KIRO thing or a CBS thing.

robglasser

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by robglasser
I've seen the same thing over the last few weeks. Only on channel 7. I've seen it on 2 different Dish Network HD DVRs that I have and it's been in the same spot on both. I have an OTA signal in the high 90's on both DVRs. I'm guessing it's a source issue here. Question would be it a KIRO thing or a CBS thing.
On the DirecTV technical support forum folks in other areas are expressing similar complaints, so it is probably a network issue. Does KIRO even do any local HD? I recall that the Seafair hydro broadcast was in 16:9, but it looked like upconverted SD.

rdn

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdn
On the DirecTV technical support forum folks in other areas are expressing similar complaints, so it is probably a network issue. Does KIRO even do any local HD? I recall that the Seafair hydro broadcast was in 16:9, but it looked like upconverted SD.

By KIRO problem vs CBS problem, I meant is it that way coming this way from CBS or is it a problem with the HD transmission gear that is sending out the signal to us (i.e. a problem with KIRO equipment). I don't think they produce and broadcast any of their own HD content, at least none that I've seen.

robglasser

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by robglasser
By KIRO problem vs CBS problem, I meant is it that way coming this way from CBS or is it a problem with the HD transmission gear that is sending out the signal to us (i.e. a problem with KIRO equipment). I don't think they produce and broadcast any of their own HD content, at least none that I've seen.
Glad (?) to see it's not just me or my equipment. It was seriously glitchy on the Steelers game this Sunday.

Dan, while I appreciate the suggestion, it's obviously not possible that everyone's antennas are messed up in a way that CBS, and only CBS, messes up in the same way on three different hardware platforms.

Is anyone here from KIRO? Or does anyone have a contact they can forward these issues to? KIRO's been reliable for me for more than a year until these recent issues. And the signal stays in the 80s throughout the entire event. It's not pixelation or signal break-up, or audio drop-outs/freezing in the fashion that I get periodically on marginal channels.

It's momentary glitches in the signal, resulting in a pop/break in the video and audio feed, usually accompanied by a very short audio loss and then it's right back on (no more than a second or two at a time).

jcricket

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcricket
Glad (?) to see it's not just me or my equipment. It was seriously glitchy on the Steelers game this Sunday.

Dan, while I appreciate the suggestion, it's obviously not possible that everyone's antennas are messed up in a way that CBS, and only CBS, messes up in the same way on three different hardware platforms.

Is anyone here from KIRO? Or does anyone have a contact they can forward these issues to? KIRO's been reliable for me for more than a year until these recent issues. And the signal stays in the 80s throughout the entire event. It's not pixelation or signal break-up, or audio drop-outs/freezing in the fashion that I get periodically on marginal channels.

It's momentary glitches in the signal, resulting in a pop/break in the video and audio feed, usually accompanied by a very short audio loss and then it's right back on (no more than a second or two at a time).
I am seeing the same problem from KIRO-DT on both of my HD TiVo units.

Some time ago, there were posts from a member KIRO Engineer (not sure of spelling, and the search engine is down right now so I cannot look for his prior posts). Since he has been inactive, even a PM may not be read or answered.

I just sent the following email to the programming folks at KIRO, since their web site does not offer an email path to their engineers:

Quote:
Please forward this message to the broadcast engineer(s). I have been watching KIRO-DT channel 7.1 since late 1999 or early 2000. I believe CBS has some of the best HDTV programs in prime time, and KIRO-DT has provided near-flawless transmissions to us nearly all of the time.

Recently (last few weeks) I have been seeing and hearing very short interruptions on KIRO-DT broadcasts of CBS network HD programming. I get the same interruptions in exactly the same place on both of my HD TiVo units (receiving OTA). Other members of the AVSForum Seattle reception threads are reporting the same problem. None of us are seeing the same problem on the other local channels. We have also seen similar reports from viewers in other areas of the country for their local CBS affiliates.

This message is intended to inform you of our observations in case you have not otherwise heard of this problem. I, and other AVS Forum members, would be happy to assist with further information or in any other way we can.

Thank you for your continued support of the HDTV viewers in Seattle.
Hopefully I will get an email response or telephone call from them.

Budget_HT

Seattle WA OTA

I just figured out the member name is KIRO Engineering. I just sent a PM with the same message (above) to KIRO Engineering.

Budget_HT

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcricket
Glad (?) to see it's not just me or my equipment. It was seriously glitchy on the Steelers game this Sunday.

Dan, while I appreciate the suggestion, it's obviously not possible that everyone's antennas are messed up in a way that CBS, and only CBS, messes up in the same way on three different hardware platforms.

Is anyone here from KIRO? Or does anyone have a contact they can forward these issues to? KIRO's been reliable for me for more than a year until these recent issues. And the signal stays in the 80s throughout the entire event. It's not pixelation or signal break-up, or audio drop-outs/freezing in the fashion that I get periodically on marginal channels.

It's momentary glitches in the signal, resulting in a pop/break in the video and audio feed, usually accompanied by a very short audio loss and then it's right back on (no more than a second or two at a time).
jcricket
I agree, it may very well be some glitch at their end. I watch KIRO news usually every day, and have not seen any problems, but I have a regular HD tuner, not a DVR. Obviously something that trips up the recording process. Kind of like the old Macrovision on VHS tapes that would prevent you from making a tape from an original studio tape. The signal would not affect normal viewing. Only when it was broken down in the recording process to be put on tape, then viewed on the new tape, would the picture start to act up. I would bet something similar is tripping up the DVR's. Curious to know if anyone out there see's this on a regular non-HD DVR.
Dan

DanKurts

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by saywhat
same here, was watching numb3rs on friday night and had the same problem.
fyi- direct ota tv tuner not dvr.
i reported it couple days back, i use vizio gv42l lcd hdtv - no dvr and have been having issues for about a week the most recent one was while watching numb3rs last friday night (10/20)

saywhat

Seattle WA OTA

FYI, I received a response from KIRO asking for more information.

I am going to point them to this thread at a post where this issue was first brought up.

Please keep reporting what you see on KIRO CBS HDTV broadcasts, including what program and what equipment you were using to receive their KIRO-DT HDTV channel.

Budget_HT

Seattle WA OTA

I haven't noticed any issues when viewing straight from the component outs of my Hughes E86.

However, within the last two weeks I started noticing that I was no longer able to view HD programming in full resolution on my notebook PC via firewire from my Comcast 3412 DVR. Looking into it I discovered that KIRO-DT was one of the few channels where the embedded CCI (Copy Control Information) was set at "2" (0x02 - copy once) full time.

I sent my complaint to KIRO and got a response back from Pat Otis who said they would look into it since they had recently put up a new encoder. I'm suspicious that the encoder is improperly embedding the CCI=0x02 value into the Mpeg stream which will pose problems over IEEE-1394 and may cause trouble with PC-based decoders as well.

If anyone has other contacts at KIRO engineering could you please share that information with me?

BTW, I recently found a similar issue with KCPQ-DT (FOX) during MLB Baseball and Seahawks games but not during other programming. I wonder if it's related.

Tim

tluxon

Seattle WA OTA

Tim,

Pat Otis is the KIRO person who responded to my email also.

Budget_HT

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Budget_HT
FYI, I received a response from KIRO asking for more information.

I am going to point them to this thread at a post where this issue was first brought up.

Please keep reporting what you see on KIRO CBS HDTV broadcasts, including what program and what equipment you were using to receive their KIRO-DT HDTV channel.
Budget_HT
Good idea.
And let them know the time. Might also help to know if it was during a commercial or the program.
Dan

DanKurts

Seattle WA OTA

This may, or may not be related to the same KIRO issue, but... I almost always watch my OTA HD via my HTPC, and have not had any problems with either KIRO or other channels. But, tonight around 8:15, since I was using my HTPC to record a show on KING and I wanted to watch Jericho, I switched my setup so I could watch KIRO via the internal HD tuner I have in my Pioneer Plasma 5050SX. The Pioneer was picking up all of the HD Channels, except 7.1 and 7.2. All it would display is a black screen. No video or audio.

Once I was done recording the show on KING at 8:30, I tried the HD Tuner in my HTPC and had no problems receiving 7.1. I then went back to the Pioneer tuner, and it was still black.

Joe Hendrix

Seattle WA OTA

Sounds like bad stream info on KIRO's part. Some decoders can handle it, some can't.

No problems for me OTA or satellite HD with a Dish 622.

Steve Schauer

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Schauer
Sounds like bad stream info on KIRO's part. Some decoders can handle it, some can't.

No problems for me OTA or satellite HD with a Dish 622.
FWIW, I too have a 622 and I have seen very minor hiccups on 007-01. The only show I watch on channel 7 is The Unit but for the last few weeks I have seen a number of instances were the video goes black and you get a quick pop on the audio, usually only lasting a split second. However, once, I think 2 weeks ago, there was a a period of about maybe 5 minutes where there was nothing, no audio, no video. Audio returned first, followed by Video.

This showed up on the HD recording I did on a Dish 622 and a Dish 942.

robglasser

Seattle WA OTA

I'll try re-scanning my channels on the Pioneer tonight, to see if that changes anything.

Joe Hendrix

Seattle WA OTA

FYI... I just re-scanned the channels on my Pioneer 5050SX at 6:30PM, and KIRO is showing just fine again.

Joe Hendrix

Seattle WA OTA

Hi guys,

I don't have much hope for this location, but I'm just wondering if someone can do me a check on my reception:

187th AVE NE and 155th AVE (off Avondale) in Woodinville

Lots of trees, and hills, and...comcast that costs too much.

Thanks much.

grapaslingo

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by grapaslingo
Hi guys,

I don't have much hope for this location, but I'm just wondering if someone can do me a check on my reception:

187th AVE NE and 155th AVE (off Avondale) in Woodinville

Lots of trees, and hills, and...comcast that costs too much.

Thanks much.
Bad news. You have a huge hill to the SW that is completely blocking your path to Seattle towers as well as Bremerton (CH 13). You will have to go cable or dish.

quarque

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Budget_HT
FYI, I received a response from KIRO asking for more information.

I am going to point them to this thread at a post where this issue was first brought up.

Please keep reporting what you see on KIRO CBS HDTV broadcasts, including what program and what equipment you were using to receive their KIRO-DT HDTV channel.
I have noticed these "dropouts" on KIRO through my Comcast 6200 cable box. I don't watch much KIRO live except for CFB games. But I do see these events on my Tivo-recorded Letterman shows coming off the 6200. If I single step through one I see a blank frame or two followed by a partial frame or two that are out of sync (frame split in the middle of the screen). Then it goes back to normal. I have not noticed them nearly as much on CFB broadcasts.

quarque

Seattle WA OTA

CFB = college football?

Budget_HT

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by quarque
Bad news. You have a huge hill to the SW that is completely blocking your path to Seattle towers as well as Bremerton (CH 13). You will have to go cable or dish.
No problem, thanks for checking though.

grapaslingo

Seattle WA OTA

quarque,how is the outlook for reception in North Everett (600 block of North Broadway). Thanks

richmondbeach

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally posted by richmondbeach
quarque,how is the outlook for reception in North Everett (600 block of North Broadway). Thanks
Not good. That area is at about 100 feet and a few miles south is the 600-foot hump near Hwy 526. OTA is DOA.

quarque

Seattle WA OTA

Don - as far as my experiences in the Yelm area, I'll have to agree with JM Anthony - KOMO is by far doing the best job as far as the majors go ( 4-5 and 7 ) I get KOMO at least 90% of the time with just the occasional pop in the audio. KING is only about 50% of the time and KIRO 10%. I don't understand why all the others ( 9-11-13-16-22 ) are 100%. One would think just the opposite would be true. Anyway, it's nice to see you take the time to keep us updated. Thanks

forum junkie

Seattle WA OTA

Don, to answer your questions you are correct it doesn't happen that often to me (once per half hour at most... usually less) and in my limited memory I can't remember it happening any time it was a non-HD show. Just becuase of the few times it has, it makes my wife nervous so she won't watch it on HD. I don't have the audio only problems... in fact I have never had audio drop out without the video dropping out too.

Right now I am just using an indoor antenna. Next month I am planning on getting one professionally mounted externaly - then I should be sure to rule out the possibility of multi-path problems (since that is what some people think it is). Then I'll have my wife watch it again in HD... to be honest I don't watch that much TV so I am a bad judge.. (LOL but the PBS-5 HDTV hawaii thing the other day sure was pretty )

chrhon

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally posted by quarque
Steve - a 30-degree spread is well within the range of many antennas. I won't say the JoinTenna is a bad idea, just that you may have something else going on there other than being too far off-axis. What antenna are you using?
Unfortunately I've got some fir trees I have to find holes to shoot through. I can get strong signals for everybody but KOMO, but only if I point to Bremerton for KCPQ.

I've got a 4228. I think I'll try a second antenna without the jointenna first. When I swing it towards KCPQ the Seattle stations drop off to almost nothing so I think it might work

Steve Schauer

Seattle WA OTA

Program Guide & Time of Day

First, I would like to thanks Don for introducing me to this forum (or the other way around) a while back. Then I have some questions regarding the above. Most DT stattions, if not all, except KOMO displays a strange time of day, it is always 8 hours behind (or 16 hours ahead, I forgot if it showed the date). For example, it shows 10am at 6pm and so on. Then the Programming Guide, I can never obtain it from KOMO (with an LST 3510A). Since I do not have such problems with (most) other stations I wonder if this is something that has not been in the KOMO broadcast data or it has a slightly different format that my receiver does not fully understand? Anyone out there with better results?

Regards,
tuquet

tuquet

Seattle WA OTA

The 8 hour difference is the time between PST and Zulu (Greenwich) time. In the spring (PDT)y ou'll see the difference go to 7 hours.

jameskollar

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally posted by tuquet
Program Guide & Time of Day

First, I would like to thanks Don for introducing me to this forum (or the other way around) a while back. Then I have some questions regarding the above. Most DT stattions, if not all, except KOMO displays a strange time of day, it is always 8 hours behind (or 16 hours ahead, I forgot if it showed the date). For example, it shows 10am at 6pm and so on. Then the Programming Guide, I can never obtain it from KOMO (with an LST 3510A). Since I do not have such problems with (most) other stations I wonder if this is something that has not been in the KOMO broadcast data or it has a slightly different format that my receiver does not fully understand? Anyone out there with better results?

Regards,
tuquet
Good Morning, tuquet -

KOMO does not presently provide program guide information. However it is coming. New PSIP generating equipment has been ordered which will allow the insertion of the program guide.

This morning, there are some vertical lines in the KOMO-DT picture. There is a problem with one of the video processors that is not corrected by the usual re-seating of a card or a reboot. The techs are working with the manufacturer for repair or replacement.

Don Wilkinson

Seattle WA OTA

forum junkie, I'm glad to hear you are getting the channels you do. I have not had that much success. I never get 7-1, have not had 5-1 in some time. I do get 4-1 but its signal strength is weak and right on the border of good reception and breakup. Signal strength this morning is 45 on 4-1 and 15 to 20 on 5-1 and 7-1. Of course 13-1 is a horse and 28-1 is too. I have had directv since I moved here as there was no cable then in my area. I wish our area had been included on directv's "A" list for local high def! I am getting tired of climbing on the roof trying to tweak my antenna to get reception. I have found that the crappier the weather the better signal strength I get? I can get 5-1 then and a snippet of 7-1 occasionally in those weather conditions. I wonder if Fort Lewis has any effect on the reception here also?

radtek

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally posted by Don Wilkinson
Good Morning, tuquet -

KOMO does not presently provide program guide information. However it is coming. New PSIP generating equipment has been ordered which will allow the insertion of the program guide.

This morning, there are some vertical lines in the KOMO-DT picture. There is a problem with one of the video processors that is not corrected by the usual re-seating of a card or a reboot. The techs are working with the manufacturer for repair or replacement.
Thanks, Don. I noticed the vertical lines since last night and was quite sure it was not my equipment. Thanks for the heads-up. How about the "time of day" issue? It is not my equipment that extrapolate from other channels, is it?

tuquet

Seattle WA OTA

Is anyone else getting subtle horizontal bars on KOMO 4-1? I've been getting this display corruption for 2 days, but the primetime shows seem fine, the local stuff like the news right now, is affected. ??

DrCrawn

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally posted by DrCrawn
Is anyone else getting subtle horizontal bars on KOMO 4-1? I've been getting this display corruption for 2 days, but the primetime shows seem fine, the local stuff like the news right now, is affected. ??
Not in my case. I'm looking at KOMO now and I can see the subtle vertical lines, but nothing horizontal.

JM Anthony

Seattle WA OTA

Quote:
Originally posted by JM Anthony
Not in my case. I'm looking at KOMO now and I can see the subtle vertical lines, but nothing horizontal.
Likewise.

Budget_HT

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