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Digital TV is a bust!

by DigitalTVsucks / July 12, 2008 5:28 AM PDT
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have you
by givemeaname / July 12, 2008 5:13 PM PDT
In reply to: Digital TV is a bust!

tried moving your antenna??

1: the channel is not broadcast in digital yet
2: you have the wrong antenna for your area to get digital
3: you have the antenna in the wrong place or pointed in the wrong direction
4: your gain is too low
5: your cable is bad or not shielded

this will help you with 1, 2 & 3

what is the signal strength your getting???

4: shorten your cable length, if it is 50ft+ long, look at getting a power antenna or amp
5: if you have one of those thin/flat coxal lines for running under a window & screen, so you can close it. GET RIDE OF IT!!! I had that problem with my set-up. There unshielded and just make problems for picking up digital

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I have
by DigitalTVsucks / July 12, 2008 9:13 PM PDT
In reply to: have you

Well yes, the signal must be too weak on all but 2 stations. The antenna is huge and there is a booster on it as well. Also I have 2 different converter boxes, one is worse than the other.

Since analog comes in there is no justification to have a black screen when "upgrading the better TV", unless that's the idea of some derranged politico somewhere out there in payoff land.

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It must be your setup
by Dan Filice / July 13, 2008 2:13 AM PDT
In reply to: I have

I have cable, so I can't make a personal comment, but a friend at work just bought a Samsung converter box and he raves about it. Besides getting every regular SD over-the-air channel in better quality, the Samsung box gets him HD over-the-air channels too, so he is thrilled. I can only go by what he tells me.

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how far do you live from the stations
by gabereyes / July 13, 2008 4:47 PM PDT
In reply to: I have

digital channels have a drop off distance and if you live to far away you will not get them.

I have been using a outdoor antenna for about 3 years now for my digital channels, and I have no problems with any channels in my area.

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how far do you live...
by DigitalTVsucks / July 13, 2008 9:21 PM PDT

The 2 stations that come in are around 15 miles away, the rest, all that don't make it, are 30+. However, the digi stuff is promoted as "being better", not as "beyond your reach," especially since the analog signal can be accessed.

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by gabereyes / July 14, 2008 10:06 AM PDT
In reply to: how far do you live...

I think the blank screen does look better then the old analog signal.

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payoff land,
by Freestar32 / July 18, 2008 2:04 PM PDT
In reply to: I have

all hype to get you to buy,buy,spend ,spend. this mans opinion is one of the hit the nail on the head answer yet,not to mention when all you've seen is grief for weeks and you read this right to the point ,tell it like it is, how you could you not laugh your ever-lovin *** off at this truth. If people don't start standing up for what they want, were going to get what we deserve, zippo ,nothing. If nobody's noticing, no more rallying, marching or protesting at all. They see no evidence of it, so were getting walked on and or ancestors should be spinning in their graves for all they did for us,and everybody's sleeping,for the Love of God,

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The facts are what it is (or what it will be).
by ahtoi / July 19, 2008 2:03 AM PDT
In reply to: payoff land,

Come Feb. 2009, one can watch digitaltv or a blank display. No one is forcing us. I remember when I didn't have a tv and I got along ok. In facts, I love to listen to stories on radio; it increase our imaginations.

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givemeaname is right
by antennaguy / July 13, 2008 3:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Digital TV is a bust!

Consumer Reports has rated some of the available converter boxes at:

But TV reception starts with the right antenna. Viewers should certainly try their old antenna first. It?s true that any of these older antennas will pick up some signals, maybe all the broadcast signals a viewer wants to receive, depending on their location. If they?re getting all the OTA channels they want and almost completely uncompressed DTV and HDTV, unlike cable or satellite, than they?re good to go.

But many of the TV antenna designs now in use and on the market today such as the Yagi and rabbit ears have technology roots going back 30 years or more.

Most designs in use now were developed prior to the advent of much of the computer technology, software and algorithms in common use today left open numerous avenues to improve upon tried and true designs and develop new ones. Additionally, recent regulations and standards opened new doors for antenna engineers to develop much smaller antennas with greatly improved performance and aesthetics. Welcome to the digital age.

Antenna elements are based on the size of the waves they're designed to receive, and VHF frequencies are lower so the waves are longer, requiring a larger antenna surface to receive them. It is now possible to build a much more powerful and efficient UHF antenna (where most of the digital broadcast signals will be located) with more elements for stronger reception while keeping the antenna size physically very much smaller than old antennas.

The efficiency of an antenna tells us how much of the power makes it to the cable. In all antennas, a portion of the energy is wasted. For most antennas, mismatch loss is the single largest factor in determining the efficiency of the antenna. Older antennas are less efficient.

While it?s correct that antennas can?t tell the difference between analog and digital signals, there are definitely certain models which have higher DTV batting averages than others. Not all antennas are equally suited for DTV. A percentage of viewers will require something a little more tailored for DTV reception.

While cable and satellite program providers will continue to serve the great majority of homes as the primary signal source, missing HD local reception, compression issues, higher costs, billing add-ons, service outages, contact difficulties, in-home service waits and no shows have left many of these subscribers looking to OTA antennas as a good, alternative and Off-Air viewers happy with their free programming.

With one of the newer and smaller OTA antennas, with greatly improved performance, power and aesthetics, viewers may also be able to receive out-of-town channels, carrying blacked out sports programs, several additional sub-channels or network broadcasts not available locally. And for those with an HDTV, almost completely uncompressed HD broadcasts.

OTA viewers can go to to see quickly what stations are available to them, the distance, UHF or VHF and compose heading to help in choosing and aiming their antenna. And if they decide to buy a newer antenna, they should buy it from a source that will completely refund their purchase price, no questions asked, if it doesn?t do the job for them.

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I'm wondering...
by lonewolfette9847 / July 13, 2008 4:57 AM PDT
In reply to: givemeaname is right

Through that first link, I made my way to a DIY video for making a coat hanger antenna. Has anyone tried this yet? There's a couple videos of people who've attempted this & had it work for them.

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Welcome to the digital age?
by DigitalTVsucks / July 13, 2008 9:24 PM PDT
In reply to: givemeaname is right

Thanks for your reply and thanks for welcoming me to the digi age -- sounds like a stewardess welcoming someone to a place she just landed at as well <vbg>.

The antenna I have is the exact same model that Radio Shack sells as their top model. So if I was to break this all down:

1 converter box = $60
minus the $40 coupon that the feds "eats" = $20
+ sales tax on the full $60 = $5
1 digital antenna incl. signal booster = approx. $200
Sales tax = $17
1 digital tuner = approx. $350
Sales tax = $32
(I'm sure I missed something in all this, so it may even cost more)

Total = more or less $624
and there is no guarantee that I won't be watching a black screen.

I think I can do without TV and I certainly won't support the cable or satellite mafia, who are most likely one of the interest groups paying off the Washington crowd to push for the DIGITAL AGE in TV land.

BTW, BestBuy has a big sign up next to the boxes, stating that they will not accept returns, unless the converter box is defect. I assume they are aware of the black-screenTVs.

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If I am telling you...
by ahtoi / July 14, 2008 2:28 AM PDT

you are over paying your equipments, you problaly get sicker..sorry. But what's the digital tuner for?

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But what's the digital tuner for?
by DigitalTVsucks / July 14, 2008 4:04 AM PDT
In reply to: If I am telling you...

To your question:

Q: How can I pick up Over The Air (OTA) Digital and HDTV broadcasts?

A: There are currently 3 ways to pick up your local stations:
1. An over the Air only digital receiver that will tune in only the local channels. These can be purchased at any electronics chain for about $299-$399. One advantage to this, is there will be no monthly fees.
2. An HDTV with a built in OTA tuner. You will find that these "integrated" HDTVs will run $300-$600 more than a "HDTV ready" display.
3. An HD satellite tuner. Both Dish Network and Direct TV offer HDTV satellite receivers with the over the air tuner built into the same unit. The advantage of using this method is that there is no need to utilize separate equipment to receive premium HD networks like HBO HD and ShowTime HD. Also, the local and satellite channels can both be integrated into the program guide, to make it seamless for the viewer when switching between local and satellite. You will need an over the air antenna (like the ones we sell) as well as the dish connected to the receiver. These receivers can cost anywhere from $399- $599 although with specials & promotions it is often possible to find them for much less.



Even though I appreciate all the advice I got here, I understand it is human to blame the consumer first and foremost, without even questioning the system or the set-up. This does little to rectify or fix the issue, instead it demands to throw more money at a helplessly lost cause.

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by 3rdalbum / July 19, 2008 5:18 PM PDT

One thing that doesn't seem to have been mentioned yet in this thread is getting a new RF cable to go from the wall socket to your set-top-box. If your old RF cable has been in your TV for 15 years, it's probably brittle, so when you move it to the set-top-box, it breaks internally. Surprisingly enough, even when this is the case you can sometimes still pick up one or two channels.

In my experience (as a TV installer in Australia) buying a new RF cable can solve the described problem. Better to buy a $15 rather than a $5 too, as the cheaper RF cables can come "pre-broken" :-D

And yes, it's standard policy not to accept returns of STBs unless they are defective. Some aerial installers do shoddy jobs that result in bad signal strength to one or more aerial sockets in the home, and rather than redo their bad work, they install "gain boosters" which interfere with the digital signals. Some people even try to return STBs that work perfectly, just because they don't like having another remote control.

I think DigitalTVsucks should adjust their aluminium-foil hat, buy a new RF cable, and if necessary check for gain boosters (and if found, get a different aerial installer to fix the original problem).

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Welcome to the forum antennaguy
by jostenmeat / July 13, 2008 10:56 PM PDT
In reply to: givemeaname is right

and thanks for your excellent post.

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by CyclonicKitten / July 15, 2008 9:36 AM PDT
In reply to: Digital TV is a bust!

Im unsure why you would need a digital tuner AND a converter box. Not to be rude but i don't think you know what you are doing and blaming the government and other people for your lack of knowledge on the subject, plus you are over-paying for your equipment.
Where i work you can pick up a digital to analog converter box for 49.99 before the coupon. You pay 9.99. It comes with a remote and outputs via composite cables or Coaxil. Your first step should have been/be go to and locate the best signal direction and what type of antennae you will need based on your location. Then purchase the box (9.99) and an antenna. Depending on where you live this could run 19.99 to 99.99 it depends on the amplification you need. If you want a huge outdoor antennae then get one. Hook the antenna up to the box, the box to the TV and point the antenna in the right direction and adjust your gain. Some converter boxes will allow analog passthrough so you can receive your analog broadcasts in the mean time until February 2009 rolls around.
Just because everything is changing to digital doesn't mean there is a huge government conspiracy or the MAN is sticking it to you. Digital is better, its as simple as that. No more wavy lines in the TV due to poor reception, no more static. Crystal clear channels, assuming your are setting your equipment up correctly.

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by CyclonicKitten / July 15, 2008 9:38 AM PDT
In reply to: knowledge...

by the way you can get the 9.99 antenna with analog passthrough at sears.

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Re: knowledge...
by dponline / July 16, 2008 4:17 AM PDT
In reply to: knowledge...

Now here is a response from someone who has no grasp on reality. You know how many people can't get, or have lousy reception because of the digital signal? It either blacks out or freezes on the tube. It's a fact, not an issue of not not knowing "what [they] are doing and blaming the government and other people for your lack of knowledge."

Here is another video with "better quality" digital TV:

By the way, your response is rude, counterproductive and condescending.

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Re: knowledge...
by DigitalTVsucks / July 18, 2008 2:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: knowledge...

> By the way, your response is rude, counterproductive and condescending.

LOL, knowledge should tell that you tune out when someone starts a sentence with "Not to be rude, but..." or "With all due respect...". Not worth the energy.

Also thanks for the video (YouTube) link. There are some forces out in cyberspace that kill all posts regarding no TV reception, so the more this is made public, the harder it will be for them to cover up the facts.

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by CyclonicKitten / July 18, 2008 3:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: knowledge...

That Youtube link might be worth something to us if it wasnt from HELSINKI FINLAND!! Listen Jack, people can pick up digital TV with tiny indoor antennas. It works trust me i see it everyday. your doing something wrong. Its not the government its not the broadcasters its you. Read up on your stuff a bit more. Its very apparent you dont know what your doing because you claimed you bought a digital tuner AND a converter box. That in itself is wrong. There are plenty of articles on the internet about what to do and how to do it. Once again please check

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by johnisnotcool / July 18, 2008 5:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: knowledge...

This is all becoming clear, your not here because you can't get digital TV. Your here because the goverment is this big horrible monster who wants to silence everything about DTV. That can't cover the facts up at Cnet!!! but everywhere else the facts are covered up.

Come on man, you've got to be kidding. DTV works fine I've used it. It will only get better from here. When they make the switch they will no longer have to pay to brodcast in digital and analog. This switch needs to happen for alot of reasons, There will be bumbs but in the end everybody will be better off.

There is nobody out there trying to screw you mr. Digitaltvsucks. This is really just needless whinning about something you(or I) can't do anything about. So either go get a converter(for $10-20 after the coupon) or go sign up for cable.

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by stewart norrie / July 16, 2008 4:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Digital TV is a bust!

The small extra fee for the hi-def package via cable or satellite service will turn your hi-def t.v. into a movie theater experience Discovery h.d. theater alone is worth the extra few bucks gfo for it stewee

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Stewart, I agree with you whole heartedly, except...
by ahtoi / July 16, 2008 6:05 AM PDT

I don't think digitaltvsucks has a HDTV. The monthly fee is very reasonable but those 2 years contract turned me off every time; hehe.

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Alright where to begin...
by johnisnotcool / July 18, 2008 12:05 AM PDT

"1 converter box = $60
minus the $40 coupon that the feds "eats" = $20
+ sales tax on the full $60 = $5
1 digital antenna incl. signal booster = approx. $200
Sales tax = $17
1 digital tuner = approx. $350
Sales tax = $32"

The digital tuner and converter box are the same thing! So you are not pay 350 for anything.

Your source( is very outdated. It is almost impossible to find a tv without a digital tuner in it. They really only had them when HDTVs first came out, the last one I saw for sale was on clearence at sears about a year and a half ago.

Also like a couple people already said you are way overpaying for an antenna! Unless you are buying a roof antenna you can't even fine one that expensive.

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Re: Alright where to begin...
by DigitalTVsucks / July 18, 2008 2:23 AM PDT

I got a 160" Long Dual Boom, 57-Element Antenna that I purchased from Radio Shack about 7 years ago with dual booster. Since I'm not close to some broadcasters I would need something similar with 40-70 mile reception capability.

RadioShack claims that this antenna is
-- Recommended for suburb or rural use HDTV ready Instant --
but as some have pointed out the (H)DTV reception claim on a Yagi antenna may be overstated.

There suppose to be 43 TV stations in a 15-80 mile radius that broadcast digital signals, but even with the mentioned antenna I can only receive 2 of them. Other people in the area have the same problem, and some are pretty mad. The cable company has a real bad reputation here (but that's a different story all together).

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I think one of the problem here is that...
by ahtoi / July 18, 2008 4:29 AM PDT

you don't have more stories you can shop. The antenna you got frome radioshack is great for now (vhf-uhf); My gues is it is great for vhf but so-so for uhf and most digital channels are located in the uhf band.

How was your tv reception before? That shouldn't have been changed unless there are improper connection problems now. Just thinking out loud.

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Re: I think one of the problem here is that...
by DigitalTVsucks / July 18, 2008 9:31 AM PDT

Yes, analog still works the way it did before. One of the 2 stations that I get in digital is clearer than analog, but it's in Spanish ... I can watch digital soccer!!! <vbg>

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Maybe the amp died???
by givemeaname / July 18, 2008 10:25 AM PDT

have you tested the inline amps???

Do have lots of trees?

Is the antenna grounded?

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by Riverledge / July 18, 2008 11:17 AM PDT



Best wishes,


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I Have to agree..
by Tyger13us / July 18, 2008 1:01 PM PDT

I have a 120 mile radio shack special vhf/uhf/fm antenna mast mount with a 32db gain preamp signal booster,, with a coax lead from top to bottom,, and i receive all uhf channels as before,really clear, hooked up the digital streem 9900 digital converter back in March,,,, "we,, as in others in the neighborhood" got all dtv channels till the middle of june,, without a problem,,,, since june,,,,, signal fades out and complete loss of over half of the channels,, i have contacted the stations about the signal loss and the response was,,"they had equipment failure ",, Well,, ever since they so called repaired the equipment,, signal strength went from 75-85%,, down to 25-35% with no intentions of doing anything about it,,so we have switched back to uhf,,,it wasnt worth the time or money for digital set up,,the last comment i got from the station managers was that we were out of there broadcasting range,,,,, then why have we been getting signal from them for the past 20 years reply from them and nothing has changed as far as signal strength. the only other choice is satellite and im not going to pay for there "outage service" "no signal" blank screen that i already get for free.....

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