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Is UHF antenna enough? Can I ignore VHF?
This thread has 21 replies. Displaying posts 1 through 15.
Post 1 made on Tuesday February 23, 2010 at 15:49
jinhr
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I am not satisfied with my RCA ANT806. I am looking for a new one.

Question is should I get 1) UHF-only or 2)VHF/UHF combo?

My favorite channel is CBC (channel 5.1).

Before I come to this website, I thought channel 5.1 was using channel 5 which belongs to VHF.

After I come to this website and read this page [Link: remotecentral.com] I began to realize there are concepts of "virtual channel" and "actual channel".

Correct me if I am wrong, according to the article, CBC is virtually channel 5.1, actually channel 20.1. Does that mean CBC is using UHF band, not VHF band?

Please advise.
Post 2 made on Tuesday February 23, 2010 at 17:55
BillFromGI
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Correct. CBC (CBLT) broadcasts on UHF 20.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong on this one: You will eventually need a UHF/VHFhi antenna. Presently, CHCH broadcasts on UHF 18 and CFTO on 40. But when the Canadian DTV switchover occurs, CHCH plans on going back to VHF 11 and CFTO to VHF 9. CBLT will remain on UHF 20.
Post 3 made on Tuesday February 23, 2010 at 22:50
hd fan
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Yes some channels will use VHF Hi Band 7-13, including A-channel from Barrie. BTW CBLT still broadcasts in Analog in Ch 5 but CBLT-DT broadcast the HD digital version on channel 20 labeled as channel 5.1.
Post 4 made on Friday February 26, 2010 at 10:16
lipingziy
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you can use the digital rf modulator to slove this problem
Post 5 made on Friday February 26, 2010 at 12:35
hd fan
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Care to explain how? and more important care to explain why is it called digital RF modulator when the output signal is analog NTSC-M (or even the various PAL and SECAM standards) as per the link in your signature.
Post 6 made on Friday February 26, 2010 at 19:02
Daniel Tonks
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Yeah, I really think it was a mistake to not completely abandon VHF. UHF antennas are so much easier for the population to deal with.
Post 7 made on Monday March 1, 2010 at 02:58
Ernie Bornn-Gilman
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On February 23, 2010 at 22:50, hd fan said...
Yes some channels will use VHF Hi Band 7-13, including A-channel from Barrie. BTW CBLT still broadcasts in Analog in Ch 5 but CBLT-DT broadcast the HD digital version on channel 20 labeled as channel 5.1.

I have looked into this for my Los Angeles area market, and UHF plus hi-band VHF are needed. I have seen this when checking several other markets, too. I have found that stations that used to be on frequencies 7 - 13 have gone back or will go back to those frequencies.

My favorite is the Channel Master 2016. It's not too expensive. It's small, as it's basically a UHF antenna with one pair of added elements for 7 - 13.

On February 26, 2010 at 19:02, Daniel Tonks said...
Yeah, I really think it was a mistake to not completely abandon VHF. UHF antennas are so much easier for the population to deal with.

Bingo. It's the stupidest thing since wet bread.

On February 26, 2010 at 10:16, lipingziy said...
you can use the digital rf modulator to slove this problem

Li Ping,
please tell us the brand and model of what you are talking about. Present affordable modulators with digital signals do not use the same kind of modulation as over-the-air (OTA) stations, so most TVs cannot tune them in when set to tune in OTA stations.
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
Post 8 made on Monday March 1, 2010 at 14:07
hd fan
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On February 26, 2010 at 19:02, Daniel Tonks said...
Yeah, I really think it was a mistake to not completely abandon VHF. UHF antennas are so much easier for the population to deal with.

I do not think so. Markets like ours , GTA, with only very few TV channels will have no problem accomodating everyone within the now narrower UHF band (14 - 51). But what about South Florida for instance with Miami and Naples occupying almost every channel on both bands. I was acctually surprised when I came to Toronto that there were only a handfull of channels available after being used to watch those from Florida back in Havana. And even now there are a few more channels like Telefutura, Mega TV, CH 41 and who knows which more. The North American standard , ATSC , has to accomodate everyone not only a few markets like ours.

I beleive during testing there were problems with CH 2 and CH 3 on the low VHF band, impulse noise EMI related, so unless no other choice no one will probably use those. The world is bandwith hungry , and will always be, so rather that getting rid of frecuencies or channels, we acctually need more.

Other countries got rid of VHF and are going to use UHF fully for DTV but as per wikipedia the end of the UHF band was auctioned at a higher prize in NA by the FCC , so maybe this is the "technical" explanation, lol. And as usual, Canada followed suit.
Post 9 made on Thursday March 4, 2010 at 17:49
wogster
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I agree I think the reasoning behind the VHF/UHF decision was money, the high UHF band would bring in a lot more cash for the FCC then the much lower VHF band, so rather then decide what works best for the customer, they decided what would allow them to offer the largest executive bonuses. 

I think some of the most bone headed digital decisions were made so that it closely mirrored the analog system, even where it made no sense to do so. 

For example, there is no real technical reason to stay with the 6MHz channel spacing, although you probably want to stay within even multiples, so 2MHz or 3MHz would work, even 4MHz works, but limits the number of digital channels until the cut over.   Say they used 3MHz and numbered the channels starting at 101, even forgetting the VHF band, and the missing UHF channels, you still would have more then 70 channels.  Using channel numbers in the range 101-199 would make it easier for cable companies, in that they could have left that block open for local digital terrestrial stations.


Post 10 made on Monday March 8, 2010 at 00:50
Daniel Tonks
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Removing UHF channels (and selling them) is the absolute only reason they couldn't have abandoned VHF completely, and frankly that's a poor excuse. Let's not forget that they already trimmed UHF down once before.

And what about the fact that analog channels had to be staggered while digital channels could be directly adjacent from the same broadcast point? That should have made up some of the slack...
OP | Post 11 made on Thursday March 18, 2010 at 10:17
jinhr
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Thank you everyone for responsing. You guys are so informative on UHF/VHF.

I climbed to my dark attic for the first time and found out signal is stronger than 2nd floor. I got 20 digital channels, 80% of them 1080i!

Meanwhile, I still want to give "Antennas Direct DB8" a try. It looks having better gain than my current "RCA ANT806", which BTW Lowe's overprices.
Post 12 made on Thursday March 18, 2010 at 21:47
wogster
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On March 8, 2010 at 00:50, Daniel Tonks said...
Removing UHF channels (and selling them) is the absolute only reason they couldn't have abandoned VHF completely, and frankly that's a poor excuse. Let's not forget that they already trimmed UHF down once before.

And what about the fact that analog channels had to be staggered while digital channels could be directly adjacent from the same broadcast point? That should have made up some of the slack...

I wonder if they shouldn't have tossed the whole system and started again, analog channels need to be 6MHz wide, digital ones could have been 3MHz wide, meaning that the tuner would look for a digital signature on the lower 3MHz if it didn't find one, it would look for an analog signature on 6MHz.   If it did find a digital signature on the lower 3MHz it would look for another on the upper 3MHz.  This would mean that digital transmitters and receivers would need to be different from analog ones.  In these days of cheap microchips this should have been easy.

By the same token, I would propose that we renumber the channels, take the analog channel number, subtract 13, multiply by 2 and add 99, for the lower channel, 100 for the upper channel.   Channel 14 would become 101 and 102, channel 20 would become  113 and 114, 51 would become 175 and 176. 

As analog channels went off the air, you would gain space for 2 digital channels, as is if the channel space is full, you can't gain any additional space for new channels. 
Post 13 made on Friday March 19, 2010 at 00:08
BillFromGI
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On March 18, 2010 at 21:47, wogster said...
I wonder if they shouldn't have tossed the whole system and started again, analog channels need to be 6MHz wide, digital ones could have been 3MHz wide, meaning that the tuner would look for a digital signature on the lower 3MHz if it didn't find one, it would look for an analog signature on 6MHz.  

With all respect to Wogster, what is done is done, and decided is decided. His post caused me to research all the various digital broadcast formats, causing my head to literally explode. South America vs North America vs Japan vs Russia/Europe/Australia.. . There are four standards out there, neither of which is perfect in its own right, but they/we choose the way we did and we have to live with it.. .
Post 14 made on Friday March 19, 2010 at 13:58
donnyjaguar
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Its all about maintaining backwards compatibility. We should've had digital TV years before we did but it got bogged down in the politics.
Donny Jaguar
Post 15 made on Friday March 19, 2010 at 16:48
wogster
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On March 19, 2010 at 00:08, BillFromGI said...
With all respect to Wogster, what is done is done, and decided is decided. His post caused me to research all the various digital broadcast formats, causing my head to literally explode. South America vs North America vs Japan vs Russia/Europe/Australia.. . There are four standards out there, neither of which is perfect in its own right, but they/we choose the way we did and we have to live with it.. .

I think the issue is that they all try to have some kind of compatability with their own analog systems, and considering that there were at least 3 different analog standards, it makes sense that there are several digital ones.  As to whether done is really a done deal well, that depends, the future is a long time period.  

I suspect the next advance in Television will be Internet based, where the TV contains a wireless network card, and connects to the home network, a new protocol, will run at the station that provides schedule and other information, sites will troll for that info, and provide an interface.  From your TV remote you can then pick from any station anywhere in the world, either to watch or record on the TV itself.  I don't suspect that this is more then 10 years from now.   Want to watch the A-Team in Japanese, no problem the classic TV station from Hiroshima has it!!!!!
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