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Old 16-12-2008, 18:47   #16
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The big digital change change is only happening in the US and folks traveling to the Bahamas, Mexico or the Caribbean will need to receive TV signal just as they have in the past and certain TV broadcasts here in the US will still be broadcasting their digital signal over VHF, So all that is needed is an antenna that receives VHF and UHF, which most antennas that we have all been using do, so no high tech or specific digital enabled antennas are needed, I am not too sure why this is so difficult to understand. There is no need for special antenna designs or ability to communicate among the stars. An antenna that receives VHF and UHF, that is it. Signal boosters do help to bring in distant stations just as they did before.
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Old 16-12-2008, 19:08   #17
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I bought the converter box to use with my old Seawatch mini amplified antenna on the mast, and have been happier with the digital reception than I was with the analog. The digital signals are in the UHF band, and the mini seems to like that band. If you are in a marginal area, a directional digital antenna like the double bow tie will boost your signal as long as the boat doesn't swing.

Your box should be able to pass through analog signals where they are available.
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Old 16-12-2008, 19:13   #18
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A big plus we found with the new digital channels is that many local stations have a 24 hour weather broadcast going with real time Doppler radar. From Houston Texas to South Carolina we were able to watch the radar and get advance notice of approaching bad weather. And we did not have to pay any subscription fees. Just another tool in our weather arsenal.
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Old 16-12-2008, 20:43   #19
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If you go to this location:
TV Fool

You can enter your address and get info on which stations you will likely receive per which quality level. It shows reception capability and ground interferance such as hills, between you and any given transmitter. It does this both for the current digital channels and alternately for the frequencies that will be used after the changeover in February. (Some channels will change frequency once the VHF band is freed up from the current analog b'casts.)
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Old 19-12-2008, 16:05   #20
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Chuck:
I presume your last post on this subject was directed at my previous post, I have no difficulty understanding your view. I thought I made that clear in my first post, again, I agree that an analog antenna that was designed for VHF and UHF will receive the new digital transmissions. Also after the Feb. changeover there will still be some VHF TV transmission ( in US)for which I may miss out on with my UHF only ant. I predict these will be phased out in a few years. I know nothing about analog reception outside the US but I suspect that IF there is reception in the Bahamas (plan to be there this time next year) it's low budget, non network that I would not be interested in. Same opinion of the remaining US transmissions in VHF.
One of the benefits of digital is we get more stations, better reception, HD and we use less of the frequency spectrum which will be sold by the government for other uses. Here is the point I'm trying to make; if you are buying a new antenna you want to buy one designed for the frequencies you want to receive and only those. I think that most of the metropolitan network stations are going to UHF. There are reputable antenna manufactures who are making antennas for digital, the double bow tie I mentioned has been around sense the 60's. By the way the post about it being directional if the boat swings is true, it can be frustrating but mostly I watch weather or news only for a short time and I can run out to the cockpit and reorient it.
My advice would be to wait until the changeover and see if what you are using is satisfactory if so keep what you got. If you really love TV get a Trac-it satellite tracking device and you can take your dish with you, they work well and cost less than $1,000.
Regards
Bob
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Old 08-03-2009, 23:45   #21
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Great DTV reception with old Boatenna

My boat is tucked into a hideaway marina near Calvert Cliffs on the Chesapeake. With the hills on each side except the east I have a lot of terrain between me and the nearest tv stations in Washington, DC. Baltimore is a little clearer shot but twice the distance up the bay. A moderate distance to the ENE across the bay are Salisbury and Ocean City. Not close, but not much terrain elevation between me and their two stations.

Using an old Boatenna and analog TV, I could not pick up any DC stations. The low Baltimore channels were not resolvable, while the middle channels (11,13, etc) came in, varying from somewhat acceptably to almost ok. Some higher UHF channels came through moderately ok. The PBS station channels out of Annapolis and Owings Mill came through pretty good (depending on conditions one would be better than the other). Best reception was the CBS staion (16) and ABC (47) over on the eastern shore in Salisbury and OC.

So I was not expecting much when I hauled the antenna up tonight and plugged in the 12v DTV convertor box I just got, connected to my old tv. Given the terrain shadowing and distances I expected only a few DTV channels, and those breaking up often.

Was I ever wrong!

The convertor scanned and located 23 digital channels, and every one came in crystal clear, sharp, and no breakups or mosaic effects at all! I still don't see DC but every Baltimore station came through with strong hi quality signals. All the Maryland Public TV stations came through. As well as the eastern shore stations. Not one exibited any artifacting at all.

I was drop jawed stunned. I would have been very happy with a third of those stations. But fact is, still tucked into that little cove, I receive more DTV channels than I ever did in analog! And every one is a clean and clear as can be. Given distance alone, I did not expect to see much, if anything, from Baltimore.

And again, this is not with any special antenna, just an old Boatenna hauled up by main halyard about 30ft above the water.
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Old 09-03-2009, 08:46   #22
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I have a country home and last year our local channels went to a trial version of their digital system. I could not pick up the digital signals with a VHF antenna at all. I had to get a dedicated UHF antenna to receive those digital signals. Here is an article from a "local" (60 miles) TV station that explains it pretty well.

Quote:
ANTENNA, ANTENNA, ANTENNA... the key to receiving the DTV signal is your antenna. First, it must be a UHF antenna. Even though WOWK channel 13 is transmitting a digital signal on VHF channel 13, it is a "high V" and can be received by a good and well oriented UHF antenna. Many homes have older antennas that are just VHF, which worked great for the lower channel numbers like 3 -- but our DTV signal is actually broadcast on a UHF channel. Regardless of where you live your antennas should be pointed toward Milton, West Virginia and St Albans, West Virginia. That's where the TV transmitting towers are located.
I don't know if all digital broadcasts work that way, but it is my understanding they will. Good luck. --Bill--
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