Digital broadcasting has to go!!! Huge mistake made!!!

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Old 07-07-09, 08:28 AM
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Digital broadcasting has to go!!! Huge mistake made!!!

At the moment, I cannot get Mtv and Vh1 cable channels, and some others are spotty at times.

The idiots!!! Instead of some slight snow from poor reception, now my screen is broken into these ever shifting squares. And the action on screen is like a stutter, visually and audibly, where there is herky jerky motion and sound. It's horrible.

So basically, I am paying for cable service and only receiving a partial product, for the same money!!!!!

This is our new technology and we have to live with this non-sense? Give me analog back!!!
 
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Old 07-07-09, 08:31 AM
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ecman...normally digital is either good or non-existant. What are you using? A converter box? I've seen reports that some of the cheaper ones don't work very well.
 
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Old 07-07-09, 08:55 AM
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I have a cable-ready tv. You should not need anything auxilliary.

The channels that are good, are good. But then there are those where the cable companies satellite dishes must not be picking up the signal too well, and I get the problem I am talking about.

The very same problem, a good friend of mine has, on his analog set(he does not subscrbe to cable because he is poor), where even with his converter box, he still has to adjust his rabbit ears just so, to avoid those squares. I have to laugh. He gets up to adjust the rabbit ears to get rid of the squares, he sits back down, and when he sits down, the he squares come back. Etc.

Reminds me of when Shemp was ironing these pants, and the one end of the pants would roll up while he ironed, and he thought he could outsmart it by holding it down, and when he did, the other end would roll up.
 
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Old 07-07-09, 09:07 AM
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Wink

Did you call the cable company? Are you paying for it and not getting service? Maybe you need to buy a conveter box. There are Goverment certificates for $40.00 off. I think this is the right amount. Ask the cable guy when he comes if you need one. It maybe the tv set isn't wired for this.
 
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Old 07-07-09, 09:54 AM
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ecman Sorry, missed the part about you having cable.

Well, unless you are paying for the big package..its probably not digital that you are getting to your TV. I know some of the companies switched all their channels to digital to be able to cram more in, but most left the lower channels alone for people that don't want to rent boxes.

I got a little bit of that pixilation last week, but only when we had some storms in the area..I presume it was affecting the digital feeds to the cable company. I'm not sure if it affected my garage(analog) TV or not.

Actually had to trade in my cable box after the changeover, the old one I had couldn't pick up 3-4 channels, even though my direct connected TV's and VCR could.

If it does continue during good weather, I'd call the cable company for an explanation or a service call.

Hey on a different note..I had to have my phone line moved on the house for clearance for some future construction. They couldn't really tell me how much, but said they would send a guy to give us an estimate, said it would prob just be a service call charge. Guy showed up and said they had put it in as a new service + line drop. Said he'd write it up on the order and tell them $45. (after I saw how easy it was, could have done it myself..but it is THEIR side of the box..so, better safe than sorry)
Well, bill came in and it was 2 charges of $30 ea, new service + line drop. Called Cust Serv and told them of all the problems.
BADA BING...dropped both charges for my trouble...COOOOL!
 
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Old 07-07-09, 01:26 PM
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I've had my convertor box for about 1 yr. When I first got it, all the digital channels came in crystal clear. Over the next 6 months several digital channels were added. Nothing's changed [same antenna] except there aren't any more analog signals [except for 2] but now half of the digital channels have spotty reception

Did they cut the power to the digital towers after june 12
 
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Old 07-07-09, 01:39 PM
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Hmmm I think there was something about some stations being allowed to reduce power..or it could have been a dream...lol

You could always try to contact the engineering department at a couple of the stations.
 
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Old 07-07-09, 01:50 PM
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Stupid question, but do you have the newest digital box that the cable co. uses? I have cable and every now and then, there's a channel that doesn't come in quite right, but overall, they're coming in good.
Now, I also have a couple small tv's (which I decided to buy HD's instead of a converter box), w/o cable, along with new atenna's, and ever since the change, I'm constantly having to move those darn things around! Really irritating!
I know (around my area anyway) that a couple stations were allowed to increase the power because so many people were having problems. A couple other's still need to do so.
I don't think it's because they cut power, but just need more with this digital crap!
 
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Old 07-07-09, 01:51 PM
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Fortunately I don't watch a lot of TV
......and the satelite always comes in crystal clear.
 
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Old 07-07-09, 02:03 PM
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Ya'll could always move out here..we don't have any TV or radio stations w/i 150 miles...just low powered "translators", so no digital transmission signal required. Its either expensive cable or sat if you want HD.

What kills me is that they made the transition to free up the frequencies and then they auction them off for piddling amounts to companies who will probably make billions!
 
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Old 07-07-09, 05:49 PM
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Where I am Comcast is making changes to digital one channel at a time. It was at least a year ago (maybe more) that CSPAN2 went digital along with the TV Guide channel. More recently it has been Oxygen and VH1 or MTV, one of those silly "music" channels. If you don't have a Comcast digital converter box you won't get the digital channels no matter what kind of tuner you have in your television. Oh, if your tuner has a descrambler card slot you can lease the descrambler card from Comcast. (I forget what that descrambler card is called.)

What I find irritating is that CSPAN2 is supposed to be a "free" channel and it is below that channel 30 cutoff that is supposed to remain analog. Also, Comcast has really been hit-and-miss in transmitting the TVGuide information that my Panasonic DVR downloads to display a weeks worth of programming for recording purposes.
 
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Old 07-07-09, 07:48 PM
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first, all stations are digital with the exception of some low powered stations as of June 12, 2009. That is what the whole deal was about and it is federally mandated so there was no choice. There is no exception for those under channel 30, at least that I have ever read about.

All "full power" broadcast stations are now required to broadcast in a digital format. LPTV (low power television) is limited to a radiated power of 3kW for VHF and 150 kW for UHF. They can remain analog, for now but I understand even they will eventually be required to change to digital eventually.

the situation you are having is called "tiling". It is due to lack of signal or low signal strength. Instead of getting snow like on the old analog broadcasts, the digital processor will continue to display the last image presented. Since the signal is not good, it is not getting the entire data load for the entire pic and you get tiling. When the signal degrades enough, it will just go blank.

anyway, since you have cable, you do not need a dtv converter.

What you need to do is call you cable provider and tell them you are having problems. It is their responsibility to maintain their signal integrity.
 
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Old 07-07-09, 08:21 PM
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There is no exception for those under channel 30, at least that I have ever read about.
I never stated there was an exception for over-the-air broadcasting. It is what COMCAST has told its subscribers in my area they will do concerning analog and digital CABLE signals. In my area the channels from 2 through 29 are included in the lowest-cost tier of cable television. It includes (again, in my area) the following networks: ION, ABC, NBC, CBS, DISCOVERY, two PBS channels, CSPAN, CSPAN2, HALLMARK, several local educational channels, local, county and state government and several local mixed-interest channels along with several shopping and religious channels.

Believe it or not there ARE significant numbers of people that have no interest in most of the so-called "premium" (second tier) channels and so they subscribe at the lowest cost offered.

COMCAST has stated that they will continue to offer the lowest tier in an analog format and that means that no COMCAST converter will be necessary for anyone that has a "cable-ready" television made in the last twenty years or so. COMCAST has stated that they WILL digitize the channels from 30 through whatever and they HAVE already started this.
 
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Old 07-07-09, 08:37 PM
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Most of the channels you listed are over the air higher power stations. There are a few that might be low power and still analog such as the small local stations and the local gov tv but CSPAM, DISCOVERY, and most all those you have in capital letters are broadcast in digital.

The channels of <30 is a Comcasts designation only. They are converting to analog. They receive it in digital. That is how, in my area, I get, as an example, broadcast channel 16 but it is on Comcast channel 8. They can put is wherever they want to on their channel line-up.

btw; I get Comcast up to (if memory serves me) up to 79 with an old non-converter using analog TV.
 
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Old 07-08-09, 07:42 AM
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My cable company is locally owned and I had a conversation with them last week regarding analog/digital and HD. Currently they are offering both digital and analog reception, at the same price. Advantage of analog is that no converter boxes are needed and transmission is via the traditional coax. However, analog is being phased out and all new customers are required to go on digital, no exceptions. My big problem is that their version of digital requires Cat 5/6 wiring rather than coax, and my house was pre-wired with coax when it was built. Since the basement is 100% finished, routing new Cat 5/6 will be difficult, if not impossible, unless I'm willing to accept wiring stapled to the baseboards and stapled to the siding all around the outside of my house. So if/when I buy a new HD capable TV, I'll either be forced to pay big bucks to rewire the distribution system, or live with OTA signals. The other thing that baffles me....all individual TV signal runs must terminate inside the house, where they will install a router (which must be powered by AC). Boggles my mind how something as simple as watching TV is becoming a major hassle. I must be getting old...
 
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Old 07-09-09, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by nap View Post
first, all stations are digital with the exception of some low powered stations as of June 12, 2009. That is what the whole deal was about and it is federally mandated so there was no choice. There is no exception for those under channel 30, at least that I have ever read about.

All "full power" broadcast stations are now required to broadcast in a digital format. LPTV (low power television) is limited to a radiated power of 3kW for VHF and 150 kW for UHF. They can remain analog, for now but I understand even they will eventually be required to change to digital eventually.

the situation you are having is called "tiling". It is due to lack of signal or low signal strength. Instead of getting snow like on the old analog broadcasts, the digital processor will continue to display the last image presented. Since the signal is not good, it is not getting the entire data load for the entire pic and you get tiling. When the signal degrades enough, it will just go blank.

anyway, since you have cable, you do not need a dtv converter.

What you need to do is call you cable provider and tell them you are having problems. It is their responsibility to maintain their signal integrity.
"Tiling", eh? Sounds properly descript. And yes, it will go blank.

I was about to look up that fancy word Gunguy threw at us.

Those channels mysteriously became perfectly clear yesterday, with the same type of weather going on. Maybe someone else complained for me.

But I am going to call them, so I can learn about what happened. What is so odd is these channels on my screen are 26(NICK), 31(VH1) and 32(MTV) - and some other channels do have a little snow, yet do not have "tiling". And I can't figure that out either - how one station would have tiling, while another has dash-shaped snow.

?????
 
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Old 07-09-09, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Beachboy View Post
Boggles my mind how something as simple as watching TV is becoming a major hassle. I must be getting old...
Yeah. And the next step will be they will put Comcast or whatever cable into cars next, via laser satellites or something - and mechanics will not only be trying to figure out the best way to change a sepentine belt (or even find where it is), or where to look for the battery(some cars, no joke), or if the rear of the engine has to get jacked up to change spark plugs - but they will also have to hire electronics whizzes.
 
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Old 07-09-09, 05:43 PM
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dash shaped snow?

sounds like a blizzard in Michigan. The snow flies sideways

I would suggest you check any splitters you have and all your connections within your control. If you have a good tv and others are having problems, it is most likely your equipment. Connections can corrode and deteriorate over time. Cables get chewed on by animals. Splitters can fail.

what you described sounds like a bad connection problem (the dashes) where possibly some other RF source is being injected into the signal.

the tiling can be from a poor connection within your equipment as well but I have found it to generally be from the provider problems.


Those channels mysteriously became perfectly clear yesterday, with the same type of weather going on. Maybe someone else complained for me.
very possible.

But I am going to call them, so I can learn about what happened.
if you have comcast, I can promise you they will have no idea. You might find somebody to lie to you and say this or that but the folks you talk to really do not have any idea.
 
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Old 07-09-09, 05:49 PM
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nap,

While I had tiling on those 3 channels, I had one(maybe two) with horizontal dashed snow, while all the others (about 40 more channels) were crystal clear. And I only have one tv, no splitters. If I had a connection problem, the whole lot would be bad. I believe if memory serves me that last night after I discovered the 3 channels cleared up, that I still had one with horizontal dash snow.

BTW -I went for days with that herky jerky tiling business going on.
 
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Old 07-10-09, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
What is so odd is these channels on my screen are 26(NICK), 31(VH1) and 32(MTV) - and some other channels do have a little snow, yet do not have "tiling". And I can't figure that out either - how one station would have tiling, while another has dash-shaped snow.
Those three networks are owned by Viacom and come in on the same bird to the cable company's head-end. If they had a problem with their dish it would affect only those channels system-wide.

As for the dashed snow, the sparkles are usually due to data errors. Is the channel in question 1080p?
 
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Old 07-10-09, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick Johnston View Post
As for the dashed snow, the sparkles are usually due to data errors. Is the channel in question 1080p?
1080p? I'm not privvy. What is that? Does anyone get over 1000 channels? - is that what the high number is? I can't recollect which channel had the snow. If it is still going on, I'll try to remember and let you know.
 
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Old 07-10-09, 08:52 AM
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1080p is a resolution for HD signals. Like 720p, 1080i.....
 
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Old 07-10-09, 05:17 PM
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Does p then stand for pixels?
 
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Old 07-10-09, 05:37 PM
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No clue...must be an engineer thing
 
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Old 07-10-09, 10:36 PM
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"P" = progressive as compared to "I" = interlaced.

a "P" progressive scanned television refreshes every line of the picture continuously. If the refresh rate is 60 hz, then it refreshes 60 times per second. 24, 30, and 60 hz used to be the standard refresh rates. There are now sets that boast 120 hz and I have even seen one or two that claims 240 hz. Obviously, the faster the picture is refreshed and with the entire pic being refreshed (progressive scan), the pic will be clearer and the reaction to movement will be faster.

"I" or interlaced televisions refresh every other line of the picture each time. That way, it only requires 1/2 the data each time but it also means the picture lags a bit.

progressive is the most modern of the two and provides the best picture.

the 1080 is the number of horizontal lines that make up the picture so if it is a progressive scan tv, each of those 1080 lines gets altered with whatever data is fed the tv. In an interlaced design, only 540 lines are refreshed each time and the next refresh, the other 540 lines are refreshed.


a "standard definition" tv is is 480 lines of horizontal resolution. the next step up is 576 (enhanced definition). Then you get into the lower quality high definition with 720 and then finally the currently highest definition using the 1080 lines of resolution.
 
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Old 07-11-09, 05:15 AM
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Here's more to add to the confusion:

Refresh rates and scan rates are two different things.

Both progressive-scan and interlaced TVs receive new picture information 30 times per second. Each picture is called a frame. Thus, 30 frames per second, or fps.

Years ago the film industry determined that 24 fps was fast enough for our eyes to perceive sequentially displayed still images as continuous motion (thanks to retinal retention). Any slower and our eyes would see the images flicker. Any faster was a waste of film.

When NTSC TV was developed early last century, engineers needed a way to sync the receivers with the transmitted signals. The 60 Hz AC power system in the USA was the logical choice for a sync clock, since the AC sine wave is pure and constant. Bandwidth limitations prevented them from drawing the complete picture 60 times per second, so they opted instead to draw half the picture every 1/60th of a second, which adds up to 30 complete frames per second. But they didn't choose to draw the top and bottom halves. Instead, they chose to draw the odd lines on the screen followed by the even lines. The odd field and the even field equal one frame.

That has not changed. The digital broadcasting system is still based on 30 fps.

An interlace-scan TV will draw the odd field of a frame in 1/60th of a second, and the even field of the frame in 1/60th of a second. A progressive-scan TV will store both fields for a brief time, deinterlace them (which means combine them into one frame) then draw all of the scan lines sequentially every 1/30th of a second.

A 720p TV has 720 horizontal lines of resolution which it draws 30 times per second. A 1080i TV has 540 horizontal lines of resolution which it draws 60 times per second.

Which is better? That's a point of debate (although everyone agrees that 1080p is the best available to date).

The term "scan line" is no longer valid with digital TVs, since LCDs can display the entire raster at the same time. Because they do that, and due to the relatively slow rate at which the pixels shut off, they tended to blur fast-moving images at 60 Hz. The 120Hz and 240Hz TVs don't have more picture content -- they simply refresh their screens faster to reduce blur.
 
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Old 07-11-09, 10:16 AM
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very good explanation Rick.
 
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Old 07-11-09, 12:41 PM
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As promised: Checked out all channels. But none now are bad at all. None have snow nor jerky squares.

Interesting last 2 posts. Very humbling. I did know about the 24 fps though, although I thought maybe it was 28 -32 fps...but I did know the concept. Learned that back in grade school when we made those cartoons by flicking cards with pics on them that were slightly changed in each pic, to create motion.

Nap, you have now insured you will never get banned by Rick.
 
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Old 07-12-09, 08:47 AM
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One thing to note is that most cable companies compress the broadcast signals as they only have so much bandwidth.

As more and more signals are being added to cable (TV, Radio, Internet, HDTV, Phone), they have to compress them even more.

Most local broadcasters send their signal via fibre to the cable companies, thus you probably wouldn't notice much deterioration unless the cable company has compressed it to the max. Others are brought in via satellite, microwave, and/or Off-Air.

Perhaps that may be the case with some of your channels.
If the signal came in via satellite, re-broadcasted on cable, where the signal may have been deteriorated because of a storm, then yes you would see pixalization.

Best bet as others have noted, would be to call your cable provider and explain to them your problem.
 
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Old 07-12-09, 09:51 AM
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I will call for the education - not really as much to complain, without first knowing what is going on. May be outside their control.

But while I am on the line with them, I may request they hire someone locally to clean snow out of the satellite dishes, as that puts many channels out of commission in the winter, especially on snowy weekends, or evenings. Cable provider is in neighboring state, and I do not appreciate paying a full bill for un-full service.

Can't they have those satellite dishes heated up with say heat-tape or something? They have stuff like that for bird baths in the winter.
 
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Old 07-12-09, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
Can't they have those satellite dishes heated up with say heat-tape or something? They have stuff like that for bird baths in the winter.
There is a solution that can be sprayed on the dishes for the winter time, however it is very expensive, and most if not all local broadcasters/cable companies use it.

It's the same solution that gets sprayed on to airliners during the winter months.
 
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Old 07-14-09, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
I will call for the education - not really as much to complain, without first knowing what is going on. May be outside their control.

But while I am on the line with them, I may request they hire someone locally to clean snow out of the satellite dishes, as that puts many channels out of commission in the winter, especially on snowy weekends, or evenings. Cable provider is in neighboring state, and I do not appreciate paying a full bill for un-full service.

Can't they have those satellite dishes heated up with say heat-tape or something? They have stuff like that for bird baths in the winter.
Ahhh, you can scrap the inferior cable picture and get a dish. This way you can clean the dish anytime you like.

fred
 
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Old 07-15-09, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
The very same problem, a good friend of mine has, on his analog set(he does not subscrbe to cable because he is poor), where even with his converter box, he still has to adjust his rabbit ears just so, to avoid those squares. I have to laugh. He gets up to adjust the rabbit ears to get rid of the squares, he sits back down, and when he sits down, the he squares come back. Etc.
No surprise there. Rabbit ears are for VHF. Digital broadcasts require a UHF antenna. Your friend needs to invest in a decent UHF antenna.
 
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Old 07-15-09, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Glen B View Post
No surprise there. Rabbit ears are for VHF. Digital broadcasts require a UHF antenna. Your friend needs to invest in a decent UHF antenna.
Many channels that were formerly VHF in analog went to temporary UHF frequencies while they were simulcasting analog and digital programming. Now that the analog programming has ceased, many of the former VHF stations are reverting back to their original VHF frequencies. Some former VHF stations stayed on UHF (basically channels 2-6). Now that the transition is complete, you may need a combination VHF/UHF antenna. You probably should check with each local TV station to see what frequency they have permanently adopted, now that the dust has settled.
 
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Old 07-15-09, 02:41 PM
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try these two sites:

TVfool.com
antennaeweb.com

fred
 
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Old 07-16-09, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Glen B View Post
No surprise there. Rabbit ears are for VHF. Digital broadcasts require a UHF antenna. Your friend needs to invest in a decent UHF antenna.
Not necessarily. If the rabbit ears have a round loop or figure-8 chunk of heavy wire between the antennas it's also a UHF antenna.

That said, any TV antenna system installed today should be capable of both VHF and UHF. Most broadcast areas have stations in both bands.
 
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