: ON - Ottawa, Vanier, Gloucester, Orleans - OTA
2012-05-09, 02:34 AM
...and had decent reviews on Azn1500+ posts here in the thread for your area and you're looking at Amzn reviews?!!! :D Your solution is much simpler than you seem to be thinking, based on the great replies, on all the previous posts in this thread, and on the massive amount of info here at this site in a wide variety of other threads. We've done almost all the heavy lifting for you already. :)
2012-05-10, 12:43 PM
I'm having this issue with TVO causing my receiver to reboot. This happens only with TVO. Initially I thought signal overload, but this occurs with other antennas with much lower gain than the main antenna, as well, it happens at times when the TVO signal is lower (my tuner Q meter shows signal strength from 80 to 100%). Several other channels have much higher signal strength than TVO causing no tuner issue. Any idea what might be causing this problem?
2012-05-10, 01:33 PM
^^^Interesting. I haven't seen this problem, but I have seen a problem with TVO recordings on my MythTV HTPC where when you play the recording, everything is fine, but if I do a loss-less transcode (to trim the beginning and end) it will sometimes end up cutting off the recording part way through the show. I have never figured out why but the issues may be related.
2012-05-10, 01:52 PM
skipticum I was briefly looking through your previous posts and didn't notice which type/model of ATSC tuner or other OTA gear you are using. If this is a TVO PSIP problem (my guess is it is something in their transport stream) I'll put this discussion into a thread that is better focused on that.
2012-05-10, 03:16 PM
I have three ATSC tuners: Samsung TV tuner, sonicview hd8000 tuner and the 950Q. The problem is more serious for the first two. The 950Q can handle the problem, but I have to play with the setup to get it to do it. I'll start another thread as stampeder recommends.
2012-05-15, 09:30 PM
I finally had a chance to move my indoor Terk omnidirectional antenna to the bedroom upstairs and stand it by the window. Earlier it was on the ground floor and not really by the window, and of the 14 local channels, picked up only 42, 43, and 11 from Herbert Corners, the latter pixellated. The results upstairs are much better!
I had a high-back chair, let's say it looks vaguely like this one (http://www.richardrothstein.com/queen-anne-wing-chair-sw1539.html) at least in terms of shape. I put it in front of the bedroom window (which is 5' wide and runs from 4' off the floor to 7' off the floor), balanced the antenna on the wing (top of the chair), connected directly (no amplifier) to a digital-analogue converter and then by coax to an old 13" TV sitting on the seat. I took a picture though haven't figure out where to upload it for linking from here.
Although the antenna is omnidirectional I pointed it vaguely in the direction of HC. Camp Fortune is 121° away from HC and even in the analogue days the stations I got were from HC. The results of this first connection, made around midnight on a Saturday:
# id signal intensity/quality
4 cbot 100/100
9 cboft 71-72/58-70
11 chch 100/100
13 cjoh 100/30-40 bouncing and pixellating
14 omni2 100/100
24 tvo 100/100
30 civo 50/15-25 no pixellating but a static image (off air)
40 chot 68/75-80
42 cts 100/100
43 chro 100/100
60 omni1 100/100
65 city 72/100
That's 12 of 14 possible stations. I'm only missing Global and V (entirely) and have an unusable signal on CTV. It was weird that CIVO was clear with such poor quality, but it was off the air and a static list of programs with animated background (so pretty undemanding in terms of bandwidth?).
In a reliving of my youth (or a Mr. Bean episode for those a little younger), holding the antenna in my hand led to great improvement in the CTV (CJOH) signal. :)
Turning the antenna to point toward CF didn't make a difference on the marginal stations, it did reduce the measured quality (from the gauge on the D-A box) of the HC stations, though they were subjectively still okay (perhaps 70% quality instead of 100%).
In theory I should now move to an attic installation but that does seem like hard work. It's very tempting to install a shelf to hold the Terk at the top of the window, on the left (non-opening) side. But I know it's not the right solution.
Thanks everyone for the support and advice so far!
2012-05-16, 11:15 AM
^^^Strange that you are having problems with CJOH. It should be very strong and receivable regardless of the antenna. Is there a building in the way? It is slightly lower on the tower than CBOFT so that might be a factor.
You could try a $10 pair of unamplified rabbit ears to see if they help (shorten them to about half length for channel 13 and have them 180 degrees apart to make a dipole). As a test, connect them directly to your tuner (you will loose most of your other channels, but this is just a test). If it works, you can use a UVSJ to combine your VHF and UHF antennas.
As for CIVO, I suspect it was a transmission problem. The receiver isn't likely going to display a static image as a result of a weak signal.
2012-05-16, 12:30 PM
Thanks Roger, the building I'm in takes a jog to the north and sticks out a couple of feet (IOW the unit next to mine is recessed in the front and sticks out in the back). Not sure it would matter, but it makes sense so I'll try moving my rig (i.e. chair with antenna and TV on it ;)) from the middle to the south end of the window where it might clear.
I haven't been using a compass (not sure I even have one, and have been gazing longingly at the OTA iPhone app and wishing there were an Android version) so it's possible the CF tower is just behind that sticking-out of the building. There are other townhouses a little further away and I guess it's possible they're blocking the bottom portion of the tower.
I do have my old "analogue" antenna ($7 special from FactoryDirect) which has a loop in the middle and rabbit ears. I think from what I've read that it would have a shot at picking up CJOH? I can try that in place of the Terk and see what happens. First I'll move the chair. :)
Sorry, to clarify re: CIVO, they were off the air (perhaps an inaccurate way to describe, their programming day was complete) so their signal was a static list of the programs that were on the next day. There was an animated background but very minimally animated, almost like a screen saver. I wasn't able to test the setup in daytime the next day and I figured at those Quality readings they were probably not watchable. To be honest, TQ is probably last of my 14 stations in priority, unless perhaps there were a specific program I wanted.
2012-05-16, 01:15 PM
I do have my old "analogue" antenna ($7 special from FactoryDirect) which has a loop in the middle and rabbit ears. I think from what I've read that it would have a shot at picking up CJOH?
Of course. Rabbit ears on the second floor should be fine for channel 13, unless you're on the wrorng side of a steel building.
CJOH broadcasts with almost 10 times the power of channel 9, so you should be able to get it.
Is your omnidirectional antenna amplified? If so, channel 13 could be sufferring from harmonics from the FM broadcasters at Camp Fortune between 105 and 108 MHz at Camp Fortune, which would be CISS 105.3, CHEZ 106.1, and CKBJ 106.9. (Of course, channel 9 would have to contend with 93.9 and 94.9, which are higher powered than the others)
2012-05-16, 01:25 PM
TVFool's Maps function works well as it will draw a line from the tower to where you drop the marker and you can see what the signal is passing through. Don't worry about things that are a long ways away as the signal will bend around them, but closer objects are more of a problem.
As for CIVO, was it late at night? It could have been they were off air for the day. Stations often put up text for a short while after they go off air. The moving backdrop may be as you say a screen saver to prevent burn in or to prevent their monitors from going into low power mode (most do if they see a static image for too long).
2012-05-16, 01:29 PM
The signal intensity was reporting at 100% and it was only the signal quality that was low (with the Terk). Does that make sense in this context? Perhaps the broadcast signal is so strong that the neighboring building/obstruction was interfering with the quality but it was still coming in strong?
The antenna wasn't amplified in this test, though it comes with an amplifier. My understanding from reading here is that the amplifier increases the signal sent out by the antenna, not what it receives? So with a 3' run from antenna to D/A converter, an amplifier wasn't needed. If I do end up with antenna in 2nd floor window, or in attic, there's probably going to be a 2-way splitter and then a 100' RG6 cable down to the living room (counting door frames) and possibly into a dual-tuner TiVo, and at that point I'd need the amplifier? I hope that doesn't screw up my signal.
And I guess Global is a write-off? I read this thread and mostly it talks about Global applying to switch from 6 to 14 and hoping that will improve things.
I can't test any of this stuff until the weekend so I'm open to any and all ideas.
2012-05-16, 01:33 PM
re: CIVO, yes it was late. I thought midnight but clearly later, according to http://www.telequebec.tv/horaire/ they start broadcasting at 6am and stop broadcasting around 130-2am.
They were definitely in the "hors d'ondes" period, I was just surprised that even a totally static image (which this wasn't, quite) wouldn't pixellate as presumably it's being continually received and not just a static image (at least not on my end :)).
2012-05-16, 01:45 PM
re: maps, I had used the TVF map function earlier, gave it my postal code and then actually dragged the marker to my bedroom window. :) The green line to CF is so thick it isn't obvious if it's clipping the corner of the house, though I'm not sure how important that is, it's not like this is a border line signal I'm trying to pull in.
Towards CF there's a taller townhouse complex that I have to clear. Towards HC, for the first potential obstruction the line from my window literally goes between two buildings (!) and only after that does it have to clear a diferent taller townhouse building. So it may actually be that neighboring building (and I guess it may be that even my little Terk would get CJOH from the attic).
I did try lifting the Terk to the ceiling (well, top of the window, I did it without touching the antenna as it was sitting on a hardcover book), and it didn't improve the CJOH signal (unless actually gripping the antenna).
This weekend I'll try moving to the south end of the window. On a separate note I'm concerned about introducing the amplifier to accommodate a 2-way splitter, 100' of RG6, and a TiVo Premiere. But that's a separate thing. :)
2012-05-16, 02:04 PM
For CJOH, maybe you are dealing with multipath interference due to reflections off of buildings. That might explain the signal level jumping around so much.
2012-05-18, 06:14 PM
I get no signal at all in downtown Ottawa. The TVfool analysis says I should easily get the local stations with a set top antenna. But I get hardly a blip when a scan is performed by the little 15" Polaroid digital tv. I bought two set top antenna and both have booster amplifiers but neither gets more than a few
lines when scanning over the stations from 1-125.
There are a couple of ten story buildings just to the north and west of
my house. Could they be blocking the signal? I used to get good analogue signals with a rabbit ear type antenna.
2012-05-18, 06:48 PM
Is it possible the settings in your TV are set to Cable? Channels 1 -125 sounds like Cable to me.
Make sure your TV is set to Antenna or Air before scanning and it should scan from 2 thru 69.
2012-05-18, 07:30 PM
Never thought of that ,Major. Will try it.
2012-05-19, 01:47 AM
Haven't tested further yet. Did do more research, leading to a couple of questions, many from a single video I found on YouTube.
1. Do I need RG6 with an OTA setup? I saw a video posted by AntennasDirect (demonstrating installation of a CS2) and the guy is waving around 100' of RG59. I know RG6 is better for digital cable but maybe in an uncompressed 14-channel OTA setup, RG59 is enough? Doesn't make much difference but why over-engineer (also RG59 is thinner right?). If RG6 is a safer bet then I'll stick with RG6 (my run could be 100').
2. Is the CS2 omni-directional? They keep talking about pointing at the tower, obviously you'll get better results, but will the CS2 pick up CF at 121° away from HC? Or in my case, since I've got better LOS to HC, perhaps I want to point at CF and get HC off the back? I'll be trying both. My little Terk indoor antenna claims to be omnidirectional, and is getting signals from both CF and HC, but I won't be surprised if I end up with a CS2 when all is said and done. I'm also likely to end up setting up and supporting another setup in Montreal, it's 79° between MR and MM which strikes me as potentially trickier than 121° (is it?). On the bright side I can see St. Joseph's Oratory out the window.
3. I've been getting advice to put an antenna in the Ottawa attic, and I do plan to try both the Terk and (if necessary) a CS2 there. I had figured for the CS2 especially, I'd need to get a J-mount mast, screw the J-mount mast to a sheet of 2'x4' or 3'x4' plywood, and place the plywood perpendicular to the joists. Then I saw this YouTube video where the guy appeared to have dumped a CS2 flat on the insulation between two joists and was getting great reception. That didn't strike me as a good setup, including from the POV of compressing the fibreglass insulation (=less effective)! Any opinions?
All in all this YouTube video is weird. It was posted by AntennasDirect and is presented and demonstrating the importance of antenna placement with a CS2 or any antenna. It looks like it was put together by someone with a sense of humour and maybe stage presence, who bought a CS2 antenna and was happy with it. But it insults Best Buy ("I bought this CS2 at Best Buy, I don't recommend them they're pretty expensive") and closes with "up here in the attic I could have pretty much any antenna and it would get a decent signal". Did I mention it was posted by Antenna Direct? (!).
The video is fun though, it's at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43lq4kt-yjU
Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks!
2012-05-19, 02:24 PM
Now that OTA goes up to channel 51 only, using RG6 is not as critical. For cable runs under 50', using a pre-amp, rg59 may work well. Though I would always recommend RG6, especially if your run will be closer to 100' as you mentioned.
Note that OTA channels are indeed compressed. The ATSC standard utilizes MPEG2 compression.
I wouldn't recommend a Terk for an attic installation. Since aesthetics are less of an issue in an attic, why not go for a larger higher gain antenna?
2012-05-19, 03:40 PM
Thanks, I'm happy to use RG6 I just figured if RG59 would work, why not? I don't imagine it's that much cheaper though I haven't checked.
I was sure I'd seen references in YouTube videos to OTA being uncompressed (videos from legitimate sources, e.g. AntennasDirect or others, though I can't find one right now). Perhaps they were saying it's less compressed than from cable?
To your last question, with the Terk I was already getting close to 100% signal quality (at 1am) on the English channels I'm getting through my bedroom window (see post #1506, essentially it appears perfect on all but Global [missing] and CJOH [poor]; the measured quality is <100% on a couple of French channels but the picture didn't seem degraded). Perhaps the reception will be worse in daytime or evenings.
The Terk cost me $20 shipped to US. I'm not opposed to a CS2 (or CS2V) in principle if I get more, but they're $40-$80 shipped and if the Terk-in-the-attic turns out to give me perfect picture on all 14 stations (perhaps combined with a dipole and UVSJ to get 6 and 13 as someone suggested), what would (e.g.) a CS2 give me?
That last question is neither sarcastic nor rhetorical; the nearest US station is 74mi so I assume I'm limited to the 14 Canadians. If the Terk in the attic gives me a watchable signal on all 14 (which it doesn't yet from the bedroom), would the CS2 make a difference, like will I lose my reliable signal when I split my Terk to 3 tuners (TV+TiVo) which I haven't tried yet? If not, what would the CS2 (or other higher gain) antenna give me?