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Old 2009-09-20, 11:08 AM   #1
headdie
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Question ATSC Reception Affected By Power Lines?

My first post here... Hello to all of you guys ! I'm preparing to buy an HDTV. I plan to use the ATSC tuner. Actually, I feed my Sony analog with an antenna. I've always had picture quality problems. The transmitters are something like 15 km away. I can see them by my window. There is no tall building around, but I've just noticed that I see the transmitters through a power line, that's less than one km away from my house. Can it distort the FM/TV signal ? Would it be a problem with an ATSC tuner ? Thanks,
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Old 2009-09-20, 11:17 AM   #2
stampeder
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Hi and welcome here - power lines by themselves generally don't have a negative effect on OTA TV reception, but in some cases of an antenna being too close to a power line the VHF and FM Radio bands are usually the most degraded in general performance.

Also we've had situations at this site in which members attempting to aim their antennas "through" a power substation have found problems with interference.

In your case, a power line has been messing up your analogue reception, but DTV (ATSC) has a variety of error correction measures that will more than likely solve the problems. The OTA FAQ has lots of info about how it does that, and a ton of other useful info too!

What is your location (city, nearest major street corner) and what kind of antenna?
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Old 2009-09-20, 12:40 PM   #3
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Power lines can easily affect VHF low reception by adding noise. That will be seen as streaks or spots in an analog picture. That should not be a factor with ATSC or stations this close though. If there are no tall buildings nearby and the towers are visible, reception should be easy.
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Old 2009-09-20, 01:23 PM   #4
headdie
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Wow ! Two answers already :-)

I live in Quebec City, postal code G1M 2M1. I actually use some rabbit ears over my Sony TV set and a ribbon with my NAD FM tuner.

I haven't decided yet which new antenna(s) I should get. I rent the second floor of an old house. I could use the Attic or the roof top if required. I've tried different things in the attic before, but it wasn't better than my actual indoor set up.

Here's my reqs :

1. Better FM reception. Not more stations, but less noise/interference. FM Fool seems to tell me that stations are all around me, mostly in two opposite directions. Should I go for an omni or bi-directional ?

2. Better analog TV reception. My worst channels are number 2 and 15, but it's quite good on channels 4, 5, 11 and 20.

3. I understand that we have one HD station transmitter East to my house (Radio Canada on channel 12) and two HD station transmitter West coming soon (Télé Québec and V channel). As they are in opposite directions, should I go for a bi-directional antenna ?

Should I go for a combo antenna or separate for FM, DTV and analog TV ? Finally, I would prefer to avoid walking on the roof...

I know, a lot of newbie questions ;-)
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Old 2009-09-20, 01:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
FM Fool seems to tell me that stations are all around me, mostly in two opposite directions. Should I go for an omni or bi-directional ?
This would indicate a bidirectional antenna. Maybe stacked omnidirectional antennas pointing in opposite directions would work. A preamp will help reduce noise on weaker stations but a higher gain, better located antenna is preferable as a first step.

Quote:
Should I go for a combo antenna or separate for FM, DTV and analog TV
If the TV and FM stations are at the same locations, a combo antenna is indicated. VHF LO channels are especially problematic these days due to the high amount of EMR being produced in most homes. The only way to get around that is to place the antenna as high as possible. The attic is a good first choice since it requires no towers or special mounts. You need a VHF/UHF/FM combo antenna. At 15 miles, nothing special (aka very large) should be required. Again, I would experiment with various configurations, such a single directional antenna, dual stacked in opposite directions or running separate cables (if the stacked configuration doesn't work out.) If the signal is going to be split, an antenna mounted preamp will help with snowy pictures or FM noise.

You might also want to review the OTA reception thread for your city to see what others are using.
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