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Watching HDTV in Downtown area?
This thread has 5 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Thursday September 9, 1999 at 13:48
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Anyone out there watching HD terrestrial broadcasts in a downtown metropolitan area? I am especially interested in the Boston metro area but any input on success & failure in dealing w/ multipath would be helpful. Please include a list of equip. being used, HD receiver, display, and antenna, w/ replies.
OP | Post 2 made on Tuesday September 14, 1999 at 10:41
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I'll give you the semi-short version. Most HDTV I've run into or heard about is running in the low-mid UHF freq's (400-675MHZ). Here in Seattle/Portland areas, ch 18 to 48 UHF. VERY line-of-site, doesn't do well over hills like VHF (and that ain't saying much!), VERY sensitive to noise, specifically signal to noise ratio. I found that early Mitsubishi decoder boxes are lousy, Samsung very forgiving, Pioneer good, Zenith Good, Panasonic spotty, Sony ok-not consistant. Some will work with very weak signal levels, (-40db!) if it's clean. And AGC effect is lousy, compared to regular TV's. It's dependent on how many buffers and how big they are in the box. That's why mis aiming the antenna works, it has less multipath (ghosting) to deal with, and all you need is one fair signal and it looks great. Antennas make a big difference depending on what your problem is. I've found the long Radio Shack UHF yagi works well where multipath exists, the older style "bedspring" ones where gain is most important. Booster amps can help in the outer areas, but weed out the VHF before hand. Experimentation is the key. Done dozens of HDTV installs since November, been putting up VHF and satellite since late 60's. Very frustrating at times, too, as some TV stations are still experimenting with power and antenna location/designs, etc. What works one day fails the next.
Does that make you feel warm and fuzzy ?!
Can give more details if you tell me some, like what your freq's are, distance, brand of box, terrain, etc.
Hey, it ain't all bad. Once it's running, pictures are usually awesome, when they actually transmit actual HDTV and not up-converted NTSC stuff.
OP | Post 3 made on Tuesday September 14, 1999 at 16:54
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Have you heard anything about newer Mitsubishi decoders? I purchased Mitsu's VS70803 but decided to wait awhile on the external decoder as it was priced at about 2K. One more thing, if I get set up with Direct HDTV, do I still need Mitsu's decoder? Thanks!
OP | Post 4 made on Tuesday September 21, 1999 at 16:59
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No new Mits decoders on the horizon for this year, maybe next spring. The ones out now are the same design as last fall, although they probably have some updates, internally. They don't seem to be any more sensitive or stable than earlier models. Direct TV supposedly worked out a deal with the major TV manufacturers, and will have a seperate decoder box that will output the HDTV signal. No word on what that really means, like RGB component or agreed upon cabeling pinouts or whatever. Could mean you don't need the box. Again, most everyone seems to be looking at the spring for anything new. I wouldn't spend the money for a decoder, there isn't much to watch.
I would get a good deal on a demo or 2nd hand line doubler or better and hook it up to a good dvd player. That makes an awesome picture on HDTV sets and dvd's are cheap and here now. If you have a library with a good magazine stock, check out Home Theater Mar or Apr 98 road test on line doublers and big screens. I set up a Pioneer HD700 with a Phillips DVX8000. Knock your socks off. Also, if you can find the right guy, get a certified big screen setup of your Mits. Had it done on a new set, the 80", and it made a big difference in picture quality. Not cheap, but worth it if you want to get the last little bit out of the set.
In any case, your set has great potential if fed the right signal.
OP | Post 5 made on Tuesday September 21, 1999 at 20:45
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Thank you so much for your response, I really appreciate it. I wonder if you know how a line doubler works with the pixel multiplier that is housed within the T.V.? Would it be a redundant system? I have been looking for reasonable prices for ISF technicians. Do you know what a fair price would be? I have a little time to do the research as they say the set should "settle-in" for at least 3 months. Did your adjustment make a really big difference?
OP | Post 6 made on Wednesday September 22, 1999 at 12:44
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Due to the vague terminology vendors use, not sure what is meant, exactly, by pixel multiplier. Could mean a doubler or some algorithm that fills in the spaces between scan lines or ? It may work with a doubler, may not. A doubler doesn't actually double the number of lines, it just takes the two scans and paints them as one progressive scan. The result is still same number of lines, but little or no space between, depending on the brand and method of laying them together. Thats the difference between the $10,000 and $3,000 ones. Some sets will show this difference, others won't, therfore, it gets back to the the $64 question, is your set capable of showing it? Thats why I suggested a demo or used one from a reputable source. Better still, if you could "test drive" one before buying on your set. Like most manufacturers, the sets come out of the box in wide varying states of tune. How much yours would need will only really be known when you try to tweak it. You could put on a test dvd, and it might show you are really close, but when the tech goes to tweak it, there may be no adjustment possible or be at its max range/limit. One thing is for sure, it will show what your set will do at it's best and if there are any fixable defects. Best done while it's in warranty, too! Price? Each area is going to have different labor rates. Could be $50 to $100/hr, but might only take one or two hours. Again, every set is unique. I have seen some respond well, others just a little, but all look better to some degree. The builders just don't have the time to max 'em out.
Bottom line, you have a set that can look great, and will give you some great dvd performance if the above mentioned is tried/applied. Just depends on how fast (read $$$ spent) you want to go!

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