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Old 15-Jan-2013, 4:13 PM   #1
conrad
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Missing a Few Stations in Queens, NY

Hello, I've recently switched from cable to OTA in NYC. I'm in western Queens, only 3.4 miles from the Empire State Building.

Here's my signal analysis:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...1dda9f3fd3d8c8

I'm on a second floor apartment, window facing west (toward the ESB) and I'm currently running a Clearstream 2 directly to a Tivo (25 ft RG6, antenna probably about 12 ft from the TV). I do have a balcony and have considered hooking the antenna up outside, but for now it's in the window.

My first question is about a couple of stations I don't receive. The way the antenna is currently situated, I receive 2, 4, 5, 7, 13 and I believe a few higher stations I haven't investigated. I'm not sure why I'm not receiving 9, 11, and 31. I DO receive 9-2, but not 9-1. It looks like they're all coming from the ESB, same as ABC, CBS, and several other networks I am receiving. I do have some success with them when bringing the antenna outside and varying it's direction.

Does it sound like I should just figure out an outside mounting solution for the antenna or are there a few things I could try to receive those three with the antenna indoors? Would a different antenna make a difference? Since I do receive 7 and 13, it's not strictly a VHF vs UHF problem, right?

My second question is about signal strength. I don't seem to receive anything stronger than around 50, but the quality and consistency of even the networks in the 30's looks great. Is there a reason why my strength is so low, and does it really even matter if the picture is coming in strong despite the signal weakness?

Thanks for reading and I greatly appreciate any feedback.
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Old 15-Jan-2013, 5:10 PM   #2
GroundUrMast
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Television reception is more difficult when the signal is reflected off of terrain or buildings. Strong FM signals can also interfere with TV reception.

It's unlikely that you are having trouble with signal strength. Instead, I suspect you're dealing with a signal quality problem. Many TV signal meters indicate signal quality rather than strength... the digital ATSC format provides for error correction, so your tuner has the mechanism in place to calculate both strength and error rate. There's no standard as to how signal strength or quality is reported so an indication of 50 units on one TV may be excellent while on another, 50% may be an indication of very poor strength or quality.

Back in the days of analog TV, signals that reflected off of a building would appear as a relatively stable 'ghost' image on the screen. Signals bouncing of a plane, truck or car would also appear as a ghost, but would 'flutter' as the strength and phase of the reflected signal was changing quickly due to the movement of the reflective object.

Now, in a digital format, ghosting has been eliminated. So long as the tuner can keep a lock on the signal and recover the data error free, you see essentially a perfect picture.

If you can't get a lock on a signal, try:
Changing the aim of the antenna.
Changing the location of the antenna.
Adding an FM trap.
Changing to a more directional antenna.

In this case, you're blessed with many strong signals. So, an amplifier is not needed or advised. An amplifier in this situation would very likely overload, leaving you with less reliable reception.
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Old 15-Jan-2013, 5:36 PM   #3
teleview
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Your location is Very Close to the Tv transmitters.

The signal strengths are -->Very Strong<--.

Yes , Tv signals can be Too Strong.

And the Strong Signal multipath , signals bouncing all around is Not Good for reception.
_______________

Tivo , Digital Broadcast Tv Tuners have - ongoing - issues - with there ability to deal with less then perfect digital reception.

All digital broadcast reception is less then perfect.

________________

I recommend use a Antennas Direct 1296F variable attenuator , to Dial Down the signal strengths of the Tv channels and at the same time will Dial Down the reflected bouncing around signal Tv reception.

Can buy the 1296F attenuator at , http://www.amazon.com.

__________________________________

As a Test of reception , I recommend -->By Pass the Tivo<-- disconnect the Tivo -->Completely , and connect the antenna Directly to a Digital Tv.

Digital tuners can develop - Digital Glitches - that are not cleared out with a simple channel scan.

Do a Double channel scan.

http://www.dtv.gov/rescan.html.

Last edited by teleview; 24-Jan-2013 at 4:12 AM.
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Old 15-Jan-2013, 5:42 PM   #4
ADTech
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Try the C2V instead of the C2. Channels 7, 8 (Edison), 11, & 13 are your local high-VHF stations.

Channel 9-2 is broadcast as a sub-channel on one of the UHF stations.

WPXN operates on UHF 31 with a highly directional transmitting antenna that faces away from you. Not much of their signal power is coming your direction which will make that station particularly susceptible to multi-path. Try the antenna in various locations and orientations to see if you can improve its reception.
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Old 15-Jan-2013, 6:27 PM   #5
conrad
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Thanks for the help!

In regards to high-VHF stations, I actually don't have a problem receiving 7 and 13, just 11. I have received 11 when taking the antenna outdoors and changing it's position/direction. The only problem with that is that I'd prefer to keep it indoors and seemed to lose some other stations when I made those adjustments. Would the CV2 improve reception indoors? Alternatively, I can play a bit more with positioning outdoors and figure out where I'd install it.

I realize Channel 9-2 is a sub-channel of 9-1, but is there a reason why I would receive 9-2 and not 9-1?
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Old 15-Jan-2013, 10:40 PM   #6
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On the C2, the first several feet of the coax from the antenna is the VHF "element". You can play with the cable and see what you get, but it's generally going to be inconsistent. Switching to the C2V provides a very predictable VHF element that usually does well.

9-2 isn't a sub-channel of 9-1, it's actually a sub-channel of WNYW (5.1). Channel 5-2 is actually a sub-channel of channel 9 (WWOR). Ain't virtual channel numbering wonderful (and confusing, too). The stations are owned by the same company, so they "cross-carry" the other channel's programming, improving the odds that something gets through to antenna users.

In any event, you've got an antenna that isn't a good match for your location and you're in an area that is notoriously tough for any indoor antenna with the digital system.
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Last edited by ADTech; 15-Jan-2013 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 24-Jan-2013, 3:13 AM   #7
conrad
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So trying a few things:

Variable attenuator - did nothing but kill my signal. I'll be returning it.

Messing around with a few permutations, i tried the CV2 and a set of rabbit airs with a diplexer. Then I tried JUST the rabbit ears in my west facing window. And voila - everything I had before, PLUS 9 and 11. And coming in strong.

So now I'm only missing Ion (WPXN, 31). It looks to me like they're broadcasting from the Empire State Building, as many of the other stations I'm receiving are. ADTech - how can you tell their antenna is not facing my direction? I received a very weak signal a couple of times moving the antenna around, but now nothing. Any ideas?

And this is more of a bonus question, but from my location what would one do to receive WLIW, the Long Island PBS affiliate? I'd be perfectly content with figuring out Ion and leaving it at that and obviously WLIW is farther away and in the opposite direction. But I'm curious.

Thanks again for all the help!
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Old 24-Jan-2013, 4:50 AM   #8
teleview
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The CS2v complete antenna should be providing great reception.

I am thinking there is something not correct with connections of the CS2v Complete antenna.

Or the coax that connects to the CS2v Complete antenna.
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Old 24-Jan-2013, 3:28 PM   #9
conrad
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Sorry, typo. It's a CS2, not CS2v.
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Old 24-Jan-2013, 8:17 PM   #10
teleview
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The CS2 antenna should be providing great reception.

I am thinking there is something not correct with the connections of the CS2 antenna.

Or something is not correct with the coax/s that connect to the antenna and connect to the Tv.
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Old 24-Jan-2013, 9:31 PM   #11
conrad
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It was providing a very good reception, but would not pick up channels 9-1 and 11.

The rabbit ears provide the same level of reception, but also pick up those two stations.

They were both connected with the same coaxial (which is brand new), so it's definitely not the coaxial. I adjusted the connection to the CS2 a few times with no luck.

The only way I was ever able to pick up those other two stations was by putting it outside the window. And even that wasn't very good. I was considering mounting it outside or trying another antenna, but then I gave the rabbit ears a shot and they're working from inside.

Could it be a defect with the CS2 itself? I'm not expert, but it seems doubtful since 2, 4, 5, 7, 13 and a few higher stations were all coming in (mostly) flawlessly.

Anyway, any idea why I can now get everything BUT Ion (WPXN 31), which seems to be broadcasting from the same place as most of those other networks?
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Old 24-Jan-2013, 10:05 PM   #12
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The ClearStrem 2 is a UHF only design. That should cover the signal from WPXN on real CH-31. However, as I mentioned earlier, the buildings around you can make reception more difficult than your TV Fool prediction would suggest.

The rabbit ear type antenna typically has elements for both UHF and VHF... so it's not a surprise that that antenna does a better job with real channels 2 through 13.

My earlier suggestions still stand, including the option of a more directional antenna, preferably mounted outside in the clear. Consider the Winegard HD7000R, HD7010 and HD7015 as well as comparable models from other manufactures such as Channel Master and Antennacraft. (ex. CM-3016 & C290)
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