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Old 18-Dec-2011, 10:45 PM   #21
scott784
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
I'm not into sports, mainly sitcoms, action movies, crime dramas & a little news & weather.
I like some wood working, garden/landscaping & a few other things at times.
With the antenna, I'll probably just have to get what's offered on PBS for those, but that's OK.
This is just some miscellaneous information here (which you may already be aware of). One nice thing since the digital/HD conversion is the fact that many broadcast stations now have subchannels. While some of these subchannels aren't great, there are some decent ones that provide added entertainment.

For example, WGHP High Point has subchannel 8-2 which is called 'Antenna TV'. This subchannel airs vintage TV programs (such as many old sitcoms). There's also WXII Winston-Salem subchannel 12-2, which is called THIS Carolina. This subchannel shows old movies. Or WFMY Greensboro which shows weather forecasts 24/7 on 2-2.

Obviously, if you are able to view the Charlotte networks, there are other subchannels. Some of these are duplication of what is offered in the Triad, but not totally. For example, WCCB Fox Charlotte airs MeTV on 18-3. This is somewhat like Antenna TV on 8-2, but with a completely different lineup of old shows.

Subchannels supplement your viewing options and are a nice feature of digital TV.
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Old 18-Dec-2011, 11:37 PM   #22
Electron
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Tv Reception with Tv antennas

Many of these "old shows" the current generation have never seen so are now "new shows".
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Old 22-Dec-2011, 7:27 PM   #23
slowhike
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OK, thanks to all the great help here I think I decided on the Winegard HD-8800 antenna.
After S&H, I can save better than $10 ordering it from Winegard Direct instead of buying it in the local Electrician Supply.

I checked the mounting straps that were on the chimney from many moons ago & although there's a little rust on the straps, it looks plenty strong.
I think I'll at least use it for now & if I decide that is a good location, I'll consider buying a new chimney mount kit later.
I will just need to buy the U-bolts with nuts.

For the mast, I'm thinking I might use a section of "galvanized steel top rail" like used for a chain link fence. I already have a new section & it looks to be the same OD, 1.25".
I'm guessing it would be similar in strength to the masts sold for antennas.

About the cable... Winegard Direct only sells a 100' length with ends in place. I checked the distance from were the top of the antenna would be to the TV and 25' would reach the TV with a couple feet to spare.
I guess I could buy a 25' section from another source, but if I bought a 50' length, I would have room for testing the antenna other places on the roof peak, as well as the option of moving the TV if I chose to do so.
Would having the extra, unnecessary cable length take away much from signal?
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Old 24-Dec-2011, 7:35 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
OK, thanks to all the great help here I think I decided on the Winegard HD-8800 antenna.
After S&H, I can save better than $10 ordering it from Winegard Direct instead of buying it in the local Electrician Supply.

I checked the mounting straps that were on the chimney from many moons ago & although there's a little rust on the straps, it looks plenty strong.
I think I'll at least use it for now & if I decide that is a good location, I'll consider buying a new chimney mount kit later.
I will just need to buy the U-bolts with nuts.

For the mast, I'm thinking I might use a section of "galvanized steel top rail" like used for a chain link fence. I already have a new section & it looks to be the same OD, 1.25".
I'm guessing it would be similar in strength to the masts sold for antennas.

About the cable... Winegard Direct only sells a 100' length with ends in place. I checked the distance from were the top of the antenna would be to the TV and 25' would reach the TV with a couple feet to spare.
I guess I could buy a 25' section from another source, but if I bought a 50' length, I would have room for testing the antenna other places on the roof peak, as well as the option of moving the TV if I chose to do so.
Would having the extra, unnecessary cable length take away much from signal?
After considering all the information you have gathered from various sources, it is your decision to determine what is best for you. Personally, I think you made a good choice with the Winegard HD-8800 antenna. Indeed it is more than you need for the Triad locals from your location. But the fact that you are also shooting for access to the Charlotte locals (some of which are close to 70 miles away)..... you want to ensure you can maintain good signal strength on those stations 24/7. Plus, as you said before, you've got those large trees in your yard to consider.

You may lose some signal with the length of the coax. But I wouldn't imagine the difference between 25 and 50 feet is going to make much difference. In fact, I would suspect it would be minimal. What really hurts is when you start splitting the signal off a single coax to go to multiple TV's. Since you are not doing that, I think you should be fine. You could always trim the coax length later on (if you want to). It's certainly better to start out with more coax than you need so that you've got room to experiment with.

In my view, I think you are off to a good start. Best wishes with your new antenna. Post back your results when you are done.....Happy holidays to you and yours.
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Old 24-Dec-2011, 11:25 PM   #25
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Yeah, I thought about shorting the coax cable after deciding on a permanent location but it looks like I would have to buy a tool (around $30 or more).
I'll report back later.
A very Merry Christmas to each of you.
I hope Santa keeps an eye out for all those new antennas
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Old 30-Dec-2011, 12:37 AM   #26
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OK, the antenna & the coax cable came to my door today! I wasted no time in getting the antenna put together & on the mast attached to the chimney.
I left it facing east with the intention of going back to make adjustments, but it got dark so I just had the TV search for channels as it was.
So far, I'm extremely pleased!
I'm getting 32 channels, all perfectly clear!

Here are the 32 channels I get from the new antenna.

2.1 WFMY HD
2.2 WFMY SD
3.1 WBTV-DT
3.2 WBTV-SD
3.3 BOUNCE
4.1 UNC-TV
4.2 UNC-KD (Kids)
4.3 UNC-EX
8.1 WGHP
8.2 TV8.2
12.1 WXII-TV
12.2 THIS TV
16.1 ION
16.2 qubo (Kids)
16.3 ION Life
20.1 WCWG
20.2 WCWG D2
20.3 WCWG D3 (Spanish)
20.4 WCWG D4
26.1 UNC-TV
26.2 UNC-KD (Kids)
26.3 UNC-EX (Science)
36.1 WCNC-HD
36.2 WCNC-LW
43.1 WLXI-SD
43.2 WLXI-HD
43.3 WLXI-SD2
43.4 WLXI-SD3
45.1 WXLV HD
45.2 WXLV-SD
48.1 WMYV HD MY48
48.2 WMYV SD The Cool TV
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Old 31-Dec-2011, 1:16 AM   #27
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I'll give that a try.
Today I have seen some occasional problems on 2 or 3 channels.

Sometimes the picture would momentarily freeze, show lots of squares & the sound would break up.
I'm guessing that's what you're calling pixelations, right?

And a few times the screen turned blue & at the bottom it said "Unusable Signal".
I'm guessing that's called a dropout, right?

And I'm guessing from what is being said that those issues come from a lack of strong signal, right?

I looked on the TVs menu but did not find a way to view the antenna signal strength. I'll see if I can find the owners guide that came with the TV & see if it's talked about there.
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Old 31-Dec-2011, 1:56 AM   #28
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Thanks for posting your results. It looks like your Winegard HD 8800 is doing well.

There are a number of additional Charlotte channels, which you could receive if you turn your antenna towards the SW. If you do so, you should be able to pick up WSOC 9.1, WCCB 18.1, WJZY 46.1, WMYT on 55.1, WUNG on 58.1, and WAXN-TV on 64.7 (as well as the subchannels that come with a number of these stations). Note: you may also see WAXN on 64.1; but that is the exact same programming as 64.7. (64.7 is a translator for 64.1). I receive these channels at my home in addition to the other ones you mentioned on your list (with the exception of 16.1 WGPX).

Just know (with any placement of the antenna) that your signal strength (for any given channel) can fluctuate. If your television has a good built-in signal meter, you can view the results on your TV, as you experiment with the direction of the antenna. There is a bare minimum signal level that you want to try to maintain. Otherwise, you may sometimes notice pixilations and dropouts.

Be aware of 16.1 WGPX ION. The tower is located north of Greensboro in Reidsville, NC. And the signal level is generally weak as it heads into a lot of areas in Forsyth and Davidson Counties. I have never seen this station OTA under any circumstances, despite the fact that I can get just about all of the out of market Charlotte channels. So the fact that you can see 16.1 WGPX is great. But do know that it 'may' be very temperamental, based on weather conditions and the direction of your antenna. I also mention this because you 'may' lose this station by rotating your antenna in a different direction. So I would also suggest that you make an assessment of how important that network is to you.

If you are not too concerned about WGPX, I would say that turning your antenna to the SW (towards Charlotte) may be the optimum direction for maximizing the largest number of stations you can receive OTA. Since your home is only 23 miles (as the crow flies) from most of the Triad stations), you may be able to reliably view most of the Triad stations off the back side of your Winegard HD 8800. But the best thing to do is to experiment by placing the antenna in different directions, doing a new channel scan, and also checking your signal strengths....if you have a built-in signal meter on your TV.

Note: you posted and I edited my response later

Last edited by scott784; 31-Dec-2011 at 5:13 AM.
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Old 31-Dec-2011, 2:00 AM   #29
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"And I'm guessing from what is being said that those issues come from a lack of strong signal, right?"

Signal strength can certainly be a factor. It's perhaps the easiest factor of signal quality to understand. Other factors such as noise and various types of interference can also cause the symptoms you describe.

Often, it's assumed that simply making the signal stronger will solve reception problems. I'll gladly settle for a 'clean' weak signal as opposed to a strong but distorted signal plagued with interference. (Just as I would prefer a sip of clean water as opposed to a barrel of polluted water.)

Often, as you turn a directional antenna away from the best aim point for a given signal, you'll still have enough signal strength, but you'll begin to pick up weaker reflected 'copies' of the signal that vary in strength and phase... these signal will be more difficult to decode error free, even if you amplified them.
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Old 31-Dec-2011, 2:07 AM   #30
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Note the channels you have problems with and return to the tvfool analysis for some help making things better. I have a DTVPal DVR (five actually) which tells me how strong the signal is onscreen whenever I change to a new channel. This has taught me a lot about the effect of weather, season, and time of day on my reception.

I have tall red pines around my house and reception is worst when the tree tops are wet and moving. Downpours or heavy snow between my house and a particular station can be problematic.

I did, however, have a group of stations that were routinely unavailable or marginal and was able to fix that by replacing my db8 with an XG-91 (for UHF) and a Y5-7-13 (for VHF) combined with a CM-7777.
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Old 31-Dec-2011, 4:46 AM   #31
scott784
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Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
I'll give that a try.
Today I have seen some occasional problems on 2 or 3 channels.

Sometimes the picture would momentarily freeze, show lots of squares & the sound would break up.
I'm guessing that's what you're calling pixelations, right?

And a few times the screen turned blue & at the bottom it said "Unusable Signal".
I'm guessing that's called a dropout, right?

And I'm guessing from what is being said that those issues come from a lack of strong signal, right?

I looked on the TVs menu but did not find a way to view the antenna signal strength. I'll see if I can find the owners guide that came with the TV & see if it's talked about there.
The answer is yes to all 3 of your questions. If your antenna is still facing to the east, I would guess that you experienced these issues on some of the Charlotte channels on your list (or the weak WGPX ION affiliate here in the Triad). Was that the case?

Keep in mind, some of the CLT channels are close to 70 miles away from you (i.e. WBTV and WCNC). And if your antenna is facing east (away from Charlotte), the signal levels on those networks are probably very low (with the antenna facing the east). So if you are shooting for access to both markets (Charlotte and the Triad), you may want to rotate your Winegard to the SW (toward Charlotte).

If you do so, (hopefully) it will correct that issue. You could then experience an issue on a local triad station (i.e. the weak signal of WGPX). However, you are close enough to most of the other Triad stations where your antenna is going to be able to pick them up without pixilations and dropouts, even with your antenna facing away from them. That is the hope anyways!

A lot of it is trial and error. But you are in an excellent location (overall) for good results. If your TV has a good built-in signal meter, or one you can get your hands on, it may be very helpful to show you the real world results concerning how much signal you are really working with.....with the antenna faced in a particular direction.
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Old 31-Dec-2011, 7:13 PM   #32
slowhike
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I rotated the antenna to SW.
I lost 6 channels. You'll still see them in the updated list below but with a minus sign - beside them.
The new channels will begin with a +
I gained 19 new channels. There are two more listed but I didn't count then because of the problems listed beside them, along with "No good".
That brings it to a total of 45 if I'm not mistaken.

I'm not sure that I want to lose 16.1 ION because of some of it's programs, but maybe some of the others will have the same or maybe I can find a way (with help here) to get about all of these.

I did not see the new channels after the antenna rotation until I put the TV through another "Channel Search", so I'm wondering how that works with a rotor on the antenna.

Here is my TVFool info again. http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...403359c6ee02ef

2.1 WFMY HD
2.2 WFMY SD
3.1 WBTV-DT
3.2 WBTV-SD
3.3 BOUNCE
-4.1 UNC-TV
-4.2 UNC-KD (Kids)
-4.3 UNC-EX
8.1 WGHP
8.2 TV8.2
+9.1 WSOC-TV
+9.2 WSOC WX
+9.7 WSOC TV2
12.1 WXII-TV
12.2 THIS TV
+14.1 WHKY DT
+14.2 WHKY DT
+14.3 WHKY DT
+14.4 WHKY DT
-16.1 ION
-16.2 qubo (Kids)
-16.3 ION Life
+18.1WCCB DT
+18.2 WCCB SD
+18.3 WCCB-Me
20.1 WCWG
20.2 WCWG D2
20.3 WCWG D3 (Spanish)
20.4 WCWG D4
+(No good) A21 poor reception
26.1 UNC-TV
26.2 UNC-KD (Kids)
26.3 UNC-EX (Science)
36.1 WCNC-HD
36.2 WCNC-LW
43.1 WLXI-SD
43.2 WLXI-HD
43.3 WLXI-SD2
43.4 WLXI-SD3
45.1 WXLV HD
45.2 WXLV-SD
+46.1 WJCY-HD
+46.2 ANTENNA
+46.3 Test
48.1 WMYV HD MY48
48.2 WMYV SD The Cool TV
+55.1
+(No good)55.2 Says "Audio Only" but no picture or sound.
+55.3 SBN
+58.1 UNC-TV
+58.2 UNC-KD
+58.3 UNC-EX
+64.7 WAXN-TV1
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Old 1-Jan-2012, 6:33 PM   #33
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Tim,
Living in this area (as you do), I am not surprised in regards to the stations you gained by turning your antenna to the SW while losing the other ones that you listed. But the net effect is that you have more (total) channels to view with the antenna facing SW. Some of this is duplication, particularly in primetime. But that is not the case 24/7.

However, I can understand your concern about losing WGPX. Their tower out in Reidsville, NC only operates at 95kw and it's not very tall either. That's why it does a very poor job of reaching many parts of the Triad viewing area. As a result, there are many people in this area who can only watch WGPX on cable or satellite. I have contacted that station in the past; but they don't appear to have any plans to 'build out' the upgrade permit they received some time back from the FCC. It seems the status quo will remain with WGPX due to money issues.

If that station is really important to you, you could consider placing your antenna on a rotator in the future as GroundUrMast mentioned. Or you could get more fancy and get two antennas (facing different directions) (as he also mentioned).....while perhaps using an A/B switch. If you go with a rotator (keeping a single antenna only), I am not aware of any ways to avoid doing a channel scan for the missing channels. But you could have a second auxillary antenna as GroundUrMast posted earlier (with no need to do channel scans). The other option would be returning your antenna to the east position. But in my view, that defeats the purpose of having a long range antenna, such as what you purchased for the Charlotte stations.

So I guess it gets back to WGPX (ION) station and how important it is to you. In my case, I got used to the fact that I was never going to see WGPX (at all) unless I watched them on cable. At my house, it makes no difference at all which way I turn my antenna, I simply can't see WGPX with an antenna. under any circumstances whatsoever. So I just keep my antenna pointed to the SW and it picks up the Triad locals on the side. Even though my antenna is not facing any of the Triad stations, I rarely get pixilations or droputs on them. And you are even closer than I am to most of the Triad stations (towers located in Level Cross/Randleman area). So I would think your prospects of picking up the Triad stations (on the back end of a long range antenna) reliably and without pixilations and dropouts would be good. But if you could view the signal strength on any given channel with a signal meter, that would give more of the hard facts.

Best Wishes with the new antenna. Aside from the WGPX (ION) dilemma, it sounds like things are working out very well with your Winegard HD 8800.

Scott
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Old 1-Jan-2012, 7:00 PM   #34
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Yeah, losing the ION station is not a real big deal, but I'll be curious to see if some of the programs I like from there might be seen on other stations.
Criminal Minds & Flash Point are a couple that come to mind.

If rotating would indeed require rescanning on a regular basis, I might consider the "second antenna with A/B switch" option if that works well with out having to rescan.

But over all, I'm externally happy & will defiantly be "Cutting the cable" with Time Warner this week!!!
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Old 1-Jan-2012, 7:01 PM   #35
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Footnote to earlier post

If you decide to keep things simple (no rotator or second antenna)....along with keeping your antenna facing the southwest, I would just keep an eye on the Triad locals. If for any reason you see that your TV is acting up (pixilations and/or dropouts), you *could* consider buying a preamp to boost the Triad signal levels higher.

But *if* you considered this option, you would probably want to keep the antenna facing away from the Triad stations (keep the antenna facing SW). Preamps can cause an overload of signal on a station that is already close to you (i.e. the Level Cross/Randleman towers). As you know, your home is only 23 miles from most of the Triad stations.
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Old 1-Jan-2012, 7:15 PM   #36
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Yeah, losing the ION station is not a real big deal, but I'll be curious to see if some of the programs I like from there might be seen on other stations.
Criminal Minds & Flash Point are a couple that come to mind.

If rotating would indeed require rescanning on a regular basis, I might consider the "second antenna with A/B switch" option if that works well with out having to rescan.

But over all, I'm externally happy & will defiantly be "Cutting the cable" with Time Warner this week!!!
Like you, I feel some of the stuff on ION is appealing. Of course, they are also known for their infomercials....which I hate. But for sure, their over the air signal (OTA) is very bad. Too funny that I can see CLT stations without any problems on a 24/7 basis.....but I've never seen WGPX over the air......not even once, yet it is marketed as a Piedmont Triad station.

Glad to hear the antenna is working out for you....overall. Many people will say that the HD pic quality on OTA is actually a better than what they see on cable and/or satellite. And OTA combined with other options, such as NetFlix or similar, can make for a pretty good combination as far less cost. I think more people would try OTA if they understood its potential. But the majority of people just continue to pay their cable or satellite bill and never think about it.
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Old 1-Jan-2012, 7:27 PM   #37
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Like you, I feel some of the stuff on ION is appealing. Of course, they are also known for their infomercials....which I hate. But for sure, their over the air signal (OTA) is very bad. Too funny that I can see CLT stations without any problems on a 24/7 basis.....but I've never seen WGPX over the air......not even once, yet it is marketed as a Piedmont Triad station.

Glad to hear the antenna is working out for you....overall. Many people will say that the HD pic quality on OTA is actually a better than what they see on cable and/or satellite. And OTA combined with other options, such as NetFlix or similar, can make for a pretty good combination as far less cost. I think more people would try OTA if they understood its potential. But the majority of people just continue to pay their cable or satellite bill and never think about it.
Yeah, I hate the infomercials too
What are " CLT stations"?
On the picture quality, I couldn't be more happy. Sharp as sharp can be!
And yes, I'm informing some friends already about this antenna thing
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Old 1-Jan-2012, 7:33 PM   #38
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Oh yeah, on the signal meter, I'm not seeing that option on my TV's menu.
I haven't been able to find the owners manual for this TV (might be able to look it up on line using the model #)
If it does not have that feature built in, is that something that can be added with out to much cost?
I'm guessing it would be installed between the coax cable & the TV.
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Old 1-Jan-2012, 9:24 PM   #39
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Yeah, I hate the infomercials too
What are " CLT stations"?
On the picture quality, I couldn't be more happy. Sharp as sharp can be!
And yes, I'm informing some friends already about this antenna thing
CLT means Charlotte. Glad to hear the pic is very sharp. Btw, are you getting any pixilations or dropouts now with the antenna facing SW?

As for the signal meter, most newer televisions have a built-in signal meter. They are all different and some are more useful than others. For example, one of my televisions is a 2010 Panasonic Vierra LED. This particular TV's built in signal meter measures signal strength in terms of percentages. And with this particular TV, you 'generally' need to maintain about 50 percent signal strength to maintain a clear, consistent, HD picture. Otherwise, the pixelations and dropouts can occur when atmospheric conditions change.

But keep in mind, every TV has its own type as well as the manner in which those signal meters measure signal strength. And again, some are more useful than others. Assuming you have a built-in signal meter, I would try to find the owners manual. Otherwise, maybe you could contact the manufacturer of the TV and ask them to send you the owners manual.

You don't 'have' to measure the signal strength. But sometimes it's very handy to have this information so that you have hard facts in terms of how much signal your TV is working with on any given channel. This can be especially helpful for people who are experimenting with various placements of their antenna. Keep in mind, any signal strength can (and will) fluctuate as atmospheric conditions change from day to night or with different weather conditions. But normally, if your signal strength is high enough during good atmospheric conditions, it will not drop low enough for the picture to pixilate or drop out during inclement weather or other bad conditions.
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Old 2-Jan-2012, 12:15 AM   #40
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Oh yeah, on the signal meter, I'm not seeing that option on my TV's menu.
I haven't been able to find the owners manual for this TV (might be able to look it up on line using the model #)
If it does not have that feature built in, is that something that can be added with out to much cost?
I'm guessing it would be installed between the coax cable & the TV.
I forgot to answer one of your questions. If you don't have a good built-in signal meter on your TV (again they're all different and some more useful than others).....you 'could' temporarily hook up an external device and run your coax through that external device first. Then take the coax from that device into the back of your TV. At this point, the external device 'is' your tuner and also serving as the device from which you could get your signal strengths.

For example, I use TiVo, which is obviously an external device so it serves as the tuner for my TV. And this device (TiVo) has it's own built in signal meter. From my own experience I can tell you that their tuner has a very good built in signal meter...which happens to operate in much the same manner as my built in Panasonic's tuner. In other words, a good working number would be signal strength of at least 50 percent (minimum) to avoid pixilations and drops. Note: keep in mind again that other tuners (whether they are built into the TV or not may use different numerical measurements to assess the same signal strength). So when I say 50 percent minimum, that does not mean it's necessarily the same on every other type of signal meter device...whether it's built into the TV or external.

I am not suggesting that you spend money on a TiVo subscription. I just have one because I like to record shows. But you *could* go to a place like Best Buy and get one (just to try out). You would need an internet connection to set it up. And you would then have 5 days of full functionality of that TiVo before it stops working (without a subscription).

With this five days, you would have complete guide information on your channels, recording capabilities, and every other feature to include the signal meter. Then after 5 days it would stop working (at least most features). At that point, you could take it back to the store and get your money back. This is just a thought for you...

One final thing about this signal meter stuff, it is perfectly normal for the channels (in which the antenna is pointed) to have the highest signal strength. So if you keep your Winegard HD 8800 facing SW, you 'should' expect the Charlotte channels to have higher signal strength numbers. But that does not matter for the Triad local channels. Because, again, as long as you can maintain the minimum level of signal strength needed (for any given channel).....then you should not have pixilations and drops. And generally speaking, *if* you want to maintain access to two local television markets, (i.e. Greensboro and Charlotte), it is best to keep the antenna pointed to the TV market that is the farthest away. You've already seen that when you rotated your antenna to the SW.

You don't have to get into all this unless you are so inclined. But as I said before, it is sometimes helpful to see the real world signal strength results so you know what is going on behind the scenes.

But at the same time.....if you are now (not experiencing any drops) on the channels you are currently receiving, and you don't want to trouble yourself, you could just leave well enough alone.

Hope this helps....
Scott
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