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Why no digital signal?

Posted by sniffdog (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 24, 08 at 11:09

I am cross posting this from the Home Entertainment forum

I just purchased my first HDTV and hooked it up to my satellite receiver – everything looks great – love the HD.
I then decided to hook up my over air antenna designed for digital TV signals to see if I could get local news channels without having to use the satellite service (would be nice just in case the satv goes out – which it does when it rains hard).

I installed the antenna during the construction of the house – it is in the attic facing in the proper orientation. I used this web site

to make sure I bought the right equipment and pointed it properly. I live in the 20135 zip code and am trying to received signals from Washington DC – where the transmitters about 43 miles east of my house according to the web site above.

Oddly enough – I get the analog TV signals for channels 2,4,7,9 (as well as many others) out of Washington - and the picture looks quite good for standard def – very clear signals for the major networks. I also receive 4 digital channels (60.1 – 60.4) out of Martinsburg WV which is about 27 miles west of my house, but on the other side of the mountain I live on (there is quite a bit of blockage in that direction).

Is this simply a distance issue – am I too far away from DC to receive the digital signals?

Why do I receive very clear analog signals from DC but not the digital signals?

Could this be a station transmitter power issue that might be resolved in 2009 when analog TV goes away?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Why no digital signal?

In the world of antennas it is known that placing your antenna in the attic reduces its effectiveness by about 1/3.

This is more critical on digital as there is no fringe area. You either have enough signal and get a great picture or you don't have enough signal and you get no picture.

RE: Why no digital signal?

What antenna are you using? It looks like you are only receiving VHF channels 2-13(even 60.1 is broadcast as freq assignment 12). You probably just need an antenna that has better UHF reception.

RE: Why no digital signal?

Here is a link to the antenna type I am using

It is a winegard pr 8800 uhf antenna that is supposed to work for channels 14 through 69 which would cover the digital broadcasts. I see that the gain is pretty good but the beam is narrow. But I have it pointed exactly at 115 degrees.

I see that there are broader beam antennas advertised for HD such as the winegard HD9065P - I am wondering if I need something like that.

Any suggestions?

RE: Why no digital signal?

Try this -- Go out and buy a piece of 50 foot RG-6 coax, if needed to hook to your TV. Buy a cheap (one you can take back) -- antenna -- hook it up outside -- stand it up temporary -- I'll bet u will get the sigs -- I tried and tried to get an antenna to work in my attic -- took the same antenna outside -- actually just layed the thing on the ground -- got more flat on the ground, than in the attic. The actual signal loss in an attic is more like 40-60%. The best UHF (there is truly nosuch thing as "HD antenna" -- they are just grades of "uhf" antennas)
The best are from "" I have bought four or five for myself and friends and relatives. I personally use the DB8, with an amp and rotor -- I live in a hole -- Good luck-- you should be able to get anything within 40 miles with not too many probs as long as you take it out of the attic!!

RE: Why no digital signal?


great suggestion. in fact, I can just unbolt the antenna I have in the attic and connect it just outside the basement in the back of the house where I have access to the cable in the basement. if I get signal, then I know I need to mount outside.

Thanks for the suggestion. I will post back the resuls.

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