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Old 30-Sep-2013, 1:04 AM   #1
villaFool
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Windows Media Center Not Picking up Some Stations

Anyone have any issues with Windows Media Center not picking up certain OTA stations when other TV software does? I have a Windows 7 HTPC with a USB TV tuner. When I plug in the coax into the tuner and fire up WMC, my ABC affiliate station doesn't come in at all. But when I run a different media center app on the same PC, ABC comes in clear as crystal. Does WMC not look on all the bands and frequencies it should be looking at? Any suggestions on making WMC get these elusive stations?

FYI, the reason why I don't go with the other media center software is because WMC passes the wife acceptance test in terms of usability.
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Old 30-Sep-2013, 3:28 AM   #2
GroundUrMast
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I presume the ABC affiliate you're having trouble with is KGO... http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=13689

As I recall, WMC asks for your ZIP code when you set it up. It seems to limit you to stations that it find's listed in the guide data retrieved using that ZIP code. Try changing the ZIP code to another that's closer to the station WMC is refusing to display.
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Old 30-Sep-2013, 5:49 AM   #3
villaFool
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I'll give it a try once I dig up a keyboard to plug into it (I can't figure out how to enter keystroke via a Harmony remote). The thing is, KGO/ABC is already in the program guide. There's just no picture.

Some other pieces of information that might be useful. When I did the initial TV setup, WMC said that it failed to do the TV signal scan but said that I could proceed with the setup and skip that step. So now it presents me with the full program guide, even channels that are way outside my range. Furthermore, when I do a signal strength scan, every station comes up at one bar, even stations that are coming in crystal clear. It just seems like something is all gummed up with how WMC checks signal strength in my case.

So I'll try a different zip code, but if this new information gives anyone some more ideas, I'm all ears (or eyes in this case).
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Old 30-Sep-2013, 7:33 PM   #4
elmo
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I'd think there's a disconnect between WMC and the tuner's driver. I'd be wary of that failed TV setup. Check the vendor's site for the latest versions of the drivers and see if there's some support there as well. There could be an issue that's known. And you should be able to redo the setup with just a remote. But a keyboard is nice to have around too.
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Old 1-Oct-2013, 11:42 PM   #5
teleview
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Windows has Known issues with broadcast tv reception combine that with a tuner stick and the issues get worse.

Also Tivo tuners have Known issues with broadcast Tv reception.

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Tv's have the best tuners for broadcast reception.

And here are Tuner/Recorders that are Very Good at Broadcast Tv Reception and Very Good Useability.

http://www.epvision.com.

___

Channel Master has Tuner/Recorders.

http://www.channelmasterstore.com.
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Old 2-Oct-2013, 5:09 AM   #6
villaFool
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Well, I didn't touch setting and today ABC/KGO came in through WMC. The reception was on the flakey side and I did get a lot of stuttering video. But I also got some stuttering with other TV applications as well. I guess it's just one of those signals where the stars have to align just right for a decent picture. I'm kinda stuck with it since I can't easily move my antenna to adjust the signal for that one channel. I already stapled down the cable in the garage and it would be a pain to loosen it up and move the antenna.
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Old 2-Oct-2013, 5:47 AM   #7
GroundUrMast
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If you find you can't make the USB tuner work by improving the antenna aim or location, the SiliconDust HDHR3-US is worth looking at. It connects to the PC via Ethernet. This means you can locate the tuner close to the antenna if there is power and a CAT-5 wired connection to your LAN. (Wireless may work, but it's more prone to packet loss which will make the video and audio quality unacceptable.)

http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=820
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Old 2-Oct-2013, 3:51 PM   #8
villaFool
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Thanks for the HDHomeRun suggestion. I was thinking of going in that direction, but I think I want to "cut the cable" first, save some money, and then see if I even care enough about getting that one station. Unless the SuperBowl or another big sporting event is on ABC, I can live without it.

I think I have a spare in-line amplifier sitting around somewhere. I may give that a try and see what happens.
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Old 7-Oct-2013, 5:12 AM   #9
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I've been doing some more investigation. Here are two new little nuggets of information:
  • The KGO signal appears stronger in the evening. My success rate of getting any picture during the day is almost zero. At night, it does come through -- sometimes very clear but most of the the time very choppy. Does that make any sense or is it a coincidence? Do stations broadcast a more powerful signal during primetime or something?
  • I bought an in-line signal amplifier from RadioShack. However, it really didn't improve my KGO reception. It's still nil during the day and somewhat choppy at night. It's a 12 db gain with 4 db noise along the 50MHz to 900MHz range. Should I return it and get something more powerful or am I barking up the wrong tree with signal amplifiers? It seemed pricey for an amplifier ($37). Any recommendations on good ones?

I run about 66ft of cable (16 from the antenna, then 25ft in the garage, and another 25 feet through the house). I haven't tested KGO reception by plugging something into the outlet in my house which would cut out 25 feet of cable. But if KGO did come in great with less cable, what are my options? I can't really move my TV or go out and buy an HDHomeRun.

Not getting that one station is like missing a piece in a jigsaw puzzle -- you see the entire picture but that little blank spot just kills you.
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Old 9-Oct-2013, 4:19 AM   #10
villaFool
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I think the problem is solved (I know, I've said that before). I manually removed the station in WMC and then added it back manually and it comes in fine now. I'll need to give it a few more days to be sure. I guess WMC must put in the wrong frequency for that station for my zip code because it works fine when I entered the value from the TV Fool analysis tool.
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