Quantcast LCD TV gets more channels through DTV converter box hooked to VCR - digitalFAQ Forum
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  #1  
08-19-2010, 03:16 AM
Sossity Sossity is offline
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I have been struggling to get all the channels I used to get on my tube TV with a set of rabbit ear/loop antenna. When it is connected directly to the TV, I get different channels in different parts of my home, in one room I may get ABC 10, CBS 8, but not in another room, & in another I get KUSI 51, & FOX 69. But I never seem to get all channels in one room.

I then tried hooking up my DTV converter box to my VCR, & TV with all of these connected with 3 RF cables, I now get all the channels, but the picture is worse, grainy, & all are with pillar boxes like standard def. I noticed for example when I had the antenna hooked directly to the TV, ABC 10 would come in full wide screen with a nice clear picture, but through converter box & VCR, it was standard def & grainy. I set it up like this, so I would be able to record the over the air signal.

I went into the TV's "advanced video" setting among picture settings, there are these options; auto aspect ratio, wide screen,zoom, normal, & cinema modes. Which of these modes should I set the picture to?

is there any way to get the nice clear pictures that I got with direct connection to my antenna? & also get all the channels, & be able to record them with my VCR?

would a new indoor digital antenna solve this?
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  #2  
08-19-2010, 12:35 PM
Steve(MS) Steve(MS) is offline
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A better indoor antenna may or may not help, it is according to how far away you live from transmitters.
The best reception is to use a large outdoor antenna with mast mount amplifier but that might not be a choice for you.
Since I live in the country, that is what I have and pick up stations +75 miles away.
I could pick up stations up to 100 miles away when they used to be analog.
Analog vs digital is a mixed bag in my opinion.
Analog goes farther but as distance increases, more snow or it fades in and out.
Digital is much clearer but better antennas are required because
it doesn't snow or fade like analog, it pixels and freezes if signal
isn't strong enough.
I notice too that digital signals from far distances are more influenced by weather conditions much more than analog ever was.
For instance lightening strikes can cause brief loses of the signal.
I have noticed that even windy conditions can problems and even a vehicle passing by that has faulty ignition system can cause loss of signal.
But I am sure most of this is caused by me being far away from stations so none of this may not be relevant to you.
I use the same antenna system that I had before digital, at the time it was the largest vhf/uhf directional antenna radio shack had, along with the mast mount amplifier.
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08-19-2010, 03:11 PM
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I know this antenna works well: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B0017O3UHI
It's the Antennas Direct - ClearStream 2 Long-Range HDTV Outdoor Antenna
I bought that one for my parents. Very clear reception, nice and strong.
I mounted it in the house, on the wall, behind the HDTV. Works fine. If you want to place it in the attic, it would work there, too. If you put it outside, it might work better. But I seriously doubt it -- bird crap would probably reduce the signal strength!
It's no larger than the 20x30 painting that used to be behind the TV.

Best Buy has it, too, but price is MUCH higher (and taxed):
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Antennas...nna&cp=1&lp=14

They're about 30-40 miles from the transmitters, along flat ground.
I'm also 30-50 miles from my transmitters, but the geography changes too much. I had a hard time getting 2-3 analog channels, and now I get nothing at all. On a good day, I can sometimes get 1 digital channel, with a lot of signal break-up. I either subscribe to cable or satellite, or have no local TV.

A lot of antennas sold in stores are garbage. Waste of $25-50 bucks. I've tried all of them: Magnavox, Philips, RCA, etc. Just a bunch of of crap that didn't work any better than a pair of rabbit ears I got free with a TV in 1990.

DTV, HDTV and the whole "digital transition" did more harm than good. Yeah, there's a few more pixels on the screen, so you can see zits on teenagers and age spots on older folks. But reception is worse, and you had to spend a bunch of time and money to discover it. Framerates and motion are unchanged, so no big strides in quality there. Worse yet, old TV looks worse on newer HD sets. Those old "good colorful sharp" VHS tapes are now "fuzzy off-color pretty crappy" VHS tapes, on the big fancy widescreen!

The only real comfort I've had is some better TV sets, like the Sony XSRD series, added quality filters, and you could buy a huge 50-60" set for under $2k. That was unheard of before HDTV came along. So it wasn't all bad. Just not all good, either.

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  #4  
08-19-2010, 03:19 PM
Sossity Sossity is offline
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So your saying it is the antenna? is that what is causing the fuzzy signal through the converter box? I asked about this on another forum & they suggested my RF connections may be the problem & this antenna; http://www.amazon.com/Winegard-SS-30.../dp/B001DFZ5II

Last edited by Sossity; 08-19-2010 at 03:37 PM.
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08-19-2010, 03:27 PM
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I don't know what "fuzzy signal" means.
That could be anything from bad reception, to bad broadcast, to bad wiring, to expecting too much quality for what you're receiving.

Lot of variables here. I'm just guessing.
Would need to see examples.

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08-19-2010, 04:52 PM
Steve(MS) Steve(MS) is offline
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Yeah, a good outdoor antenna would probably help, I live in hills but they are not mountains so I don't know how an outdoor would do for mountain areas.
I had to add the mast amplifier to get better reception.
The closest one to me is 45 miles and all the rest are 50 to about 75 miles.
Directional antenna work best for good reception but sometimes that requires turning the antenna for different directions.
I can pick up 14 stations with what I have.
Back in analog days, I could pick up stations out of Memphis at night but they were fringe signals at best, somtimes they came in clear, sometimes not at all.
Memphis is about 100 miles from where I live.
I lost one CBS and one NBC affiliate completely when digital started up so I only have one of each of those now which is a bummer if they change programming for local interest.
I also have Sat. but only the basic package.
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08-19-2010, 09:09 PM
Steve(MS) Steve(MS) is offline
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I'd like to share another situation while helping my wife's friend not far from where we live.
She was having trouble picking up anything from the digital converter box, maybe one station.
So I decided to go take a look at what was wrong with her reception, keeping in mind that I wasn't going to pay for anything that might make it better.
Now I have read many articles about digital OTA and from what I read it was supposed to only use UHF.
She has a small outdoor antenna with the worse possible wire feeding in to the STB, a 300 ohm.
Someone had even made it worse, whoever hooked it up had a one of those super cheap push ons that makes you either pick UHF or VHF, can't get both because of the layout.
It was on the VHF side so I decided to switch to the UHF side to see if reception was better.
Much to my surprise it picked up different digital channels than with it on the VHF but still wasn't improving things that much so I decided to temporarily connect both sides and to my amazement stations were coming in, many of the same ones I can pickup.
So I went home and got one of my unused 300ohm to 75ohm tranformer, a small length of 75 ohm cable and got her fixed up.
I really don't know what to make out of this except if someone is only choosing one side of the TV spectrum reception might suffer, they may need to make sure they have both UHF and VHF hooked up to receiver.
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