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Analog to Digital Broadcast Question

Old 06-16-09, 07:07 PM
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Analog to Digital Broadcast Question

I have 3 HDTV's with digital tuner that gets local channel through an antenna. But when the transmission changed on Friday, I lost all the channels. I tried scanning channels on one of the tv's and it found nothing. I thought a digital tuner would pick up the new digital channels

My question is this: Do I need to get a set top box at Best Buy or am I missing something here?
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Old 06-16-09, 11:18 PM
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Re: Analog to Digital Broadcast Question

No, you don't need a set top box if you have a tuner built in. And those boxes don't do HD output, anyway, they wouldn't be what you are looking for. Try scanning again.

Do you know if they changed anything substantial in your area? Transmitter location, lots of movement between UHF and VHF at the change, etc? What kind of antenna do you have?
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Old 06-16-09, 11:30 PM
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Re: Analog to Digital Broadcast Question

What TV's do you have? Were you getting many digital channels before Friday?
Some possibilities:
Your TV isn't using it's digital tuner; check the setup to make sure.
Your antenna is unable to tune the new channel landscape; what type of antenna is it?
Your tuner memory still has all the old channels; do a reset to defaults, then rescan.
Try these sites to help determine what to expect regarding available stations based on your location
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/engineering/maps/
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
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Old 06-17-09, 12:06 AM
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Re: Analog to Digital Broadcast Question

A lot of stations were broadcasting on UHF before the switch and changed to VHF, after. So for 10+ years, you happily received your OTA HDTV signal on a small, sleek, UFH-only antenna perfectly fine and thought you were set for the switch. Well, just kidding, you actually need a large, obtrusive, most likely outdoor antenna to receive the digital VHF signals some stations switched to.

Why did they change frequencies? Who knows. The "channel" you tune to on DTV is virtual. The actual channel is completely different. That's why the number didn't change but the frequency did. Why they couldn't have stayed where they are is beyond me.

In Dallas, our ABC affiliate, WFAA, was broadcasting in digital on channel 9 and changed to channel 8 after the switch. Since both of those channels are VHF, us Dallasites were more or less set from the get-go. Unfortunately, this was not the case in several other cities.
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Old 06-17-09, 08:25 PM
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Re: Analog to Digital Broadcast Question

Currently I have the $10 antennas from Wal Mart.

I rescanned my bedroom tv and it found about 60% of the channels. The one in the living room found 1.

So I don't need a set top box like you guys mentioned but I'll probably need a better antenna like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Terk-Amplified...5284619&sr=8-1

Thanks for the help guys!
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Old 06-17-09, 08:36 PM
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Re: Analog to Digital Broadcast Question

Check out this forum to find discussion about free TV in your local area. Perhaps you can gain insight on which antennas are having good results.
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Old 06-17-09, 09:11 PM
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Re: Analog to Digital Broadcast Question

If you can find the Zenith version of that antenna, you'll no doubt save money. Start at antennaweb.org to figure out where the channels come from, what numbers they are now really on, and what kind of antenna you need.

Oh, you also can simply try pointing your antenna more accurately once you know the proper direction.
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Old 06-18-09, 02:07 AM
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Re: Analog to Digital Broadcast Question

Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
If you can find the Zenith version of that antenna, you'll no doubt save money. Start at antennaweb.org to figure out where the channels come from, what numbers they are now really on, and what kind of antenna you need.

Oh, you also can simply try pointing your antenna more accurately once you know the proper direction.
It's pointing in the right direction right now. I rescanned and still missing some channels. I went to Wal Mart to get a more powerful antenna and they were sold out of every model. I couldn't believe it.

I'll try RadioShack tomorrow. Thanks again for the help guys.

I checked out the forum you guys reccomdended and I guess some stations are still having problems like ch 11 and 13 and no one can really get it yet.
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Old 06-19-09, 12:12 AM
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Re: Analog to Digital Broadcast Question

Damn, the Silver Sensors have really gone up in price. That link above isn't bad. They used to be $20. But they have often been considered the best, or pretty much near the best, indoor antennas.

Now, if you are too far away, indoor will be problematic regardless of antenna price or quality.
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Old 06-20-09, 09:26 PM
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Re: Analog to Digital Broadcast Question

Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
Damn, the Silver Sensors have really gone up in price. That link above isn't bad. They used to be $20. But they have often been considered the best, or pretty much near the best, indoor antennas.

Now, if you are too far away, indoor will be problematic regardless of antenna price or quality.
Got all my channels back! I went to RadioShack and bought their "best" $50 antenna and it didn't even work so I'm returning it. My brother rescanned his channel on his room and picked up all of them!

I rescanned the other tv's with the cheap antennas and it picked up all of them. I just had to rescan from scratch instead of "adding digital channels" and face the antenna's north. Thanks again for the all the help.
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Old 06-20-09, 10:15 PM
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Re: Analog to Digital Broadcast Question

My antenna was $27. It's up on the roof. Usually antennas almost seem to be the opposite of most products....meaning the more expensive work LESS well. A coat hanger properly bent may be the best antenna the world has to offer.

Glad you are up and running.
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Old 06-21-09, 04:24 PM
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Re: Analog to Digital Broadcast Question

Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
Usually antennas almost seem to be the opposite of most products....meaning the more expensive work LESS well.
That may be true for the various indoor "gimmick" antennas that claim to be doing some electronics magic to make them perform like a big antenna. But for the basic outdoor antennas, bigger antenna = better reception is just plain physics, and a bigger one will cost more than a smaller one.
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Old 06-21-09, 07:38 PM
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Re: Analog to Digital Broadcast Question

Before the digital switch over my local ABC and PBS would rarely, if ever come in (both were also still running analog). After the switchover all local channels seem to come in very well. On my TV all of them get at least 3 out of 5 bars, and most of the time they get 5.
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