Silly.... "rabbit ears" don't work!

Discussion in 'Tuners' started by 50nstillhifi, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. 50nstillhifi

    50nstillhifi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    852
    Location:
    Carolinas
    Forgive me if this is a "re hash" of a past topic.... But

    I have tried a number of antennas (indoor) for tuning the local digital broadcast stations. No matter what the configuration, I continue to get screen freeze and lose signal during very important football games.

    Some of the various setups I have used: Crawlspace located outdoor antenna.. RV dircetional antenna. indoor dipole antenna, amplified indoor antenna, standard "rabbit ears" type antenna, UHF antenna, and finally a "store bought" indoor so called wall mounted HIDEF digital antenna.

    The recurring issue I have is screen freeze caused by the temporary loss of signal!?

    Is there a permanent solution... and if not... can anyone recommend a "proven remedy" or fixture?
     
  2. I LIKE MUSIC

    I LIKE MUSIC Super Member

    Yes, loss of signal can cause screen freeze, but it is not the only thing.

    Baring any defects with your TV, it is all about the quality and amount of signal that is available to be picked up by the antenna.

    Most, but not all over the air TV signals are in the UHF band. The starting frequency for the UHF band is 470 MHz. The antenna feed line losses are much higher than what we commonly discuss when talking about FM stereo reception. Depending on the coaxial cable the loss can be 6 dB or greater per 100 feet.

    Since some over the are signals are in the VHF band, the type of antenna becomes important.

    TV Fool and other sites can give you the actual RF channel as opposed to the channel number designator and a rough indication of the strength of the TV signals at your location.

    Just as an example I did a random search. Note that channel 6 actually broadcasts on UHF channel 22. I understand that this may not apply in your situation.

    upload_2017-10-10_16-51-40.png


    To be clear, you mention football games. Do you have the same issue with other broadcasts on the station that carries the football games and or different stations?

    You problem may be an antenna/ signal strength issue or it may be something else. More specific information may help.

    What is your location and what channel(s) have an issue? Is it possible that your signals are being blocked by your local topography/man made structures? Could it be an issue with your TV?
     
  3. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

    Messages:
    23,960
    Location:
    Athens, TN
    It's called a proper outside antenna on a rotator, installed on a mast as high as you can get and for the actual RF channels you need to receive. And if you're outside the strong signal area, you likely may well need a satellite or a cable subscription if you're more than 30 miles from the signal. Or if you have mountains or other terrain blocking your reception.
     
  4. Mitkraft

    Mitkraft AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,553
    Location:
    Houston
    It’s all about your location and signal strength. There are several channels I can get with a pair of rabbit ears. Some require more. My primary antenna is an old school channelmaster hoisted in my attic (I have a two story house with high peaks so it’s pretty high). I also checked a website a while back to determine the optimal direction to point it. I get all the major channels now perfectly. I’m not in a bad signal area and Houston is pretty flat so that helps.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  5. WobblySam

    WobblySam Active Member

    Messages:
    361
    Location:
    Middle of NC
    All of the above suggestions are fine. I think what you are experiencing is multipath. Screen freezes are common when it occurs. I'm just guessing, but probably somewhere in your TV's Setup there is a Signal Strength indicator. Switch to one of your "trouble" channels and then bring up the SS indicator. If the level is pretty good - generally above 7 or 70 - watch and see if it suddenly drops and then goes back up again. If it does, it's multipath. The amount of drop will vary with the weather and time of day. If it's bad enough, the only way around it is with a fairly directional antenna. There will still be multipath, but the desirable signal will be high enough to tolerate it. In the good ol' analog days, multipath just caused "ghosting", but with digital, it can ruin the intended signal.
     
  6. sqlsavior

    sqlsavior AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,521
    Location:
    Española NM
    This one picks up stations at least 70 miles away from us, broadcasting on a mountain about 4000 feet higher than us, with a mountain at 2500 feet higher than us at about 25 miles in between. Not certain it will cure your issue, but it works well for us. It is mounted about 20 feet high, and the elements can be pointed in at least two different directions. We have mountains on either side of us too, separate from the mountains 70 and 25 miles away, where most of the stations are, in Albuquerque. Expensive, but so is a month's worth of cable.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C4XVOOC
     
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  7. Beatnik

    Beatnik What's this ?

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  8. dzkfraser

    dzkfraser Active Member

    Messages:
    434
    Location:
    Syracuse NY
    Do you have aluminum siding on your house? I do, reception is terrible
     
  9. dewdude

    dewdude I fix stuff.

    Messages:
    3,077
    Location:
    Manassas, VA
    8VSB does not handle any kind of multipath...and the UHF signals of most HDTV transmissions are small enough wavelength they can be bounced around by anything.

    The last time I used a pair of rabbit ears...it was on a second floor apartment. There were no taller buildings within sight...so the line of sight was pretty clear. Reception was flawless.

    I live 5 miles from a HDTV transmitter...I could physically see it if it wasnt for the trees. My TV tells me 100% signal...which is natural. When it was an analog station it would come in crystal clear without any antenna hooked up.

    I cannot get a decode out of its ATSC signal.

    This is because the trees are causing the signal to bounce around...and each one is making it to the receiver at a slightly different time.

    During the analog days...this just caused ghosting. But 8VSB doesn't handle it in any way.

    Amplification won't help. The one thing that will is a directional antenna. This will allow you to "null out" signals that aren't coming from the direction it's pointed.

    Omni directional antennas are good sometimes...but not with HDTV given the flawed nature of 8VSB.
     
  10. KingBubba

    KingBubba "Too Much Stuff" Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,693
    Location:
    Brooksville, Fl.
    Another case of better is not better. Digital on air sucks no matter where you are. Think of all the people in the country that lost all TV and can't afford cable or satellite.
     
  11. loopstick

    loopstick AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,599
    Location:
    Shit 'n' Piss, Texas
    Seeing as you're in the Carolinas I'd make the investment now in time and money while the weather is still nice and put up an outdoor roof antenna. If all the stations you want are UHF then get a directional UHF only (if you don't have a directional one already). If the stations you want are all in the same general direction then you can skip the rotor. You can even buy a small digital TV from Walmart and take it up on the roof and find a location that's good for reception.
     
  12. NAD80

    NAD80 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,255
    Location:
    Carlisle PA
    [​IMG]I use this for digital tv. Average distance to tv stations are 25-45 miles. Sitting inside the house facing toward the transmitting antennas. TV Fool very useful.
     
  13. nedseg

    nedseg AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    171
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I have similar issues, w/ 'gen2' samsung tv (~2006?)...hadn't considered multipath issues, but do have steel mesh stucco on the outside walls.
    Abt 10 mi from the local broadcast tower 'farm'.
    Dropouts are strongly affected by wind & weather. No way to get a roof mount antennna line to it...very frustrating, and seems to be getting worse.
    Interestingly, similar vintage pan.plasma downstairs (below grade, even) works fine in almost all conditions.
    Question: how much do these TVs vary in tuner sensitivity/quality? Used to be a common spec in analog TVs, but haven't seen it mentioned on these.
    Very tempted to toss the (also otherwise pretty poor samsung LCD) and upgrade to a cheap 4kTV...but don't know if there's any reason to expect better tuners in newer models?
    Thoughts?
     
  14. dewdude

    dewdude I fix stuff.

    Messages:
    3,077
    Location:
    Manassas, VA
    Wind blows...trees move...multipath conditions change.

    The tuners in TVs vary greatly. Some are better than others. Some of the newer ones are using tricks to reduce multipath before any attempt to demodulate.
     
  15. NAD80

    NAD80 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,255
    Location:
    Carlisle PA
  16. 50nstillhifi

    50nstillhifi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    852
    Location:
    Carolinas
    WOW...... first let me thank the AK community and you guys that responded to my post! This is what I enjoy most... the collaboration of thoughts.

    So... in fact a couple of things were mentioned that perhaps is influencing the issue that I have found so elusive solving.

    And forgive me if I don't mention the individual posters by name... all of you posted prior to this response.

    1- In fact my home is "enveloped" aluminum siding.. a known reflectant of radio frequencies and may be a contributing factor as I have noticed a difference between my crawlspace receptor and other lower mounted anteneee... (my own made up word for more than one : ).

    2- I am using a length of coax to deliver the signal from the reception point to the t.v. devices.. this as far as 25 or more feet. I did not consider there could be bleeding or leeching of signal along this path?

    3- The antennas I am using are mostly jimmy-rigged.. and yes "old school"! Perhaps this is a case where you have to spend the money to get the quality I am looking for in a usable HDTV signal.

    4- And those logs that indicate signal, transmission, and cardinal direction thereof... I would thing to be very important in fine tuning my effort.

    Finally and not to be least in delivery... that "bowtie antenna"... I believe that to be a rather lucrative investment in signal quality as I remember the bowtie configuration to be prime for signal reception in the analog hayday.... it appears to have evolved with HD!?

    Well I am going to pursue all these avenues and I expect them to finally resolve my "freeze" dilemma!

    After all... Do I really want to miss out on the Panthers going all the way to the SuperBowl.... Oops.. did I say that?

    Really ... Thanks fellas.. you guys are great!
     
  17. ConradH

    ConradH AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,155
    Location:
    Canandaigua, NY
    I dunno, I'm 30+ miles from the antenna site and digital here is better than crappy old analog ever did at its best. Every station has about 3 sub channels, so I get 18 stations with no rotater and a wide angle antenna. Picture glitches are rare and there's a large house and many trees in my line of sight.

    BTW, get some good coax.
     
  18. 50nstillhifi

    50nstillhifi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    852
    Location:
    Carolinas
    Thank you... this is an excellent link where the t.v. antenna is promoted for 21st Century practical use.
     
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  19. NAD80

    NAD80 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,255
    Location:
    Carlisle PA
    Found his web site years ago. Check out the other antenna reviews. I learned some things. Had super bad multipath, signal strength issues when I lived in the middle of town. Got the 4 bay antenna to increase received signal, and eliminate the multipath as I turned the antenna toward the stations.
     
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  20. loopstick

    loopstick AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,599
    Location:
    Shit 'n' Piss, Texas

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