811 and OTA Signal Lock Problems (1 Viewer)

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jsb_hburg

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Sep 12, 2003
299
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Hello,

I picked up some ChannelMaster diplexers, hooked them up and got the dreaded 49% signal strength issue. With the Voom setup, I received all of my locals using the supplied diplexers. I am 5 to 20 miles from the towers. I am getting nothing on the 811.

My CM eight-bay bowtie is on the roof and connected to a pre-amp. I am getting the locals on a small integrated HD set and on an analog set connected to the old Voom STB - both of these runs are non-diplexed off a splitter.

For a 75 ft. coax run, is the ultimate solution providing a seperate coax run for OTA for the 811?
 
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Harry

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 11, 2003
305
0
Las Cruces, NM
jsb_hburg said:
Hello,

I picked up some ChannelMaster diplexers, hooked them up and got the dreaded 49% signal strength issue. With the Voom setup, I received all of my locals using the supplied diplexers. I am 5 to 20 miles from the towers. I am getting nothing on the 811.

My CM eight-bay bowtie is on the roof and connected to a pre-amp. I am getting the locals on a small integrated HD set and on an analog set connected to the old Voom STB - both of these runs are non-diplexed off a splitter.

For a 75 ft. coax run, is the ultimate solution providing a seperate coax run for OTA for the 811?

I would say either the diplexors are the wrong type (freq), are bad, you hooked something up wrong or your pre-amp is being blocked. Being 5-20 miles away, you shouldn't need a pre-amp. Try running a cable directly from the antenna to the 811 without the pre-amp and see what you get. If that works ok, try with the diplexors installed. If that works, trash the pre-amp!

I use diplexors I bought at Lowes and they work great.
 

Harry

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 11, 2003
305
0
Las Cruces, NM
Harry said:
I will have to check when I get home and let you know.

Well, I checked but there is no info on them! (except for made in China) Just check the package and they should say if they are compatable with Dish Network or give the frequencies. Sorry.
 

Kevinw

Just a regular guy
Pub Member / Supporter
Dec 2, 2003
2,992
13
Jacksonville, FL
Id run a seperate line but also try taking the amp out of the line. I don't think you need one that close if you have a 4228. You may be overdriveing the signal. One other thing the 49% is usually a sign of multipath .
 

jsb_hburg

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Sep 12, 2003
299
0
I have always needed the pre-amp considering the terrain in southcentral Pennsylvania. I unplugged the power brick for the pre-amp and got nothing.

I will probably have to fish a new line for OTA.
 

ats7627

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Sep 10, 2003
341
4
If you are using any type of Dish Network switch in your system, then the antenna and satellite signal has to be combined after the switch. Dish Network switches will not pass OTA signals.
 

jsb_hburg

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Sep 12, 2003
299
0
I made use of an extra RG-6 line going to the living room from the attic that time almost forgot. Perhaps, one of the diplexers was bad. Anyway, I now get my digital locals via the 811. The Voom OTA digital tuner, however, is better.

As an example, I get the 49% error message for a few seconds and then it tunes my local CBS channel at about 90% signal strength. The VHF antenna is on the roof pointed directly at the local CBS tower. Oh well.
 

Harry

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 11, 2003
305
0
Las Cruces, NM
jsb_hburg said:
I made use of an extra RG-6 line going to the living room from the attic that time almost forgot. Perhaps, one of the diplexers was bad. Anyway, I now get my digital locals via the 811. The Voom OTA digital tuner, however, is better.

As an example, I get the 49% error message for a few seconds and then it tunes my local CBS channel at about 90% signal strength. The VHF antenna is on the roof pointed directly at the local CBS tower. Oh well.

The 811 DTV tuner is definately sub-par, but it works. I get the same thing on our CBS channel. My OTA, STB tunes right in where the 811 will "hesitate" and then lock in. The STB gets a great picture where the 811 will pixelate some on PBS-HD.

Hopefully E* will put better components into the 811 replacement when Mpeg-4 comes out.
 

joverstr2

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Dec 20, 2004
229
0
Mobile, Al.
Harry said:
The 811 DTV tuner is definately sub-par, but it works. I get the same thing on our CBS channel. My OTA, STB tunes right in where the 811 will "hesitate" and then lock in. The STB gets a great picture where the 811 will pixelate some on PBS-HD.

Hopefully E* will put better components into the 811 replacement when Mpeg-4 comes out.

The exact same thing is also happening to me now that I got everything hooked up correctly. CBS hesitates then locks in and two of the three PBSHD pixelates.
 

normang

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 4, 2003
180
0
Somehow just because the tuner pauses while it works to aquire and lock a signal to me does not make it sub-par or worse than any other tuner. It may work differently in how it locks the signal, it could be something in the digital signal itself. My CBS channel does the same thing, perhaps its something that CBS does. If it failed to aquire and lock a signal that another tuner could side by side, then one might have a point
 

Devil24

Proud Supporter of SatelliteGuys.US
Supporting Founder
Mar 3, 2005
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Houston, TX
Harry,

You can count me in as another 'victim' of the not-so-stellar OTA tuner present on the 811... mine shows the exact same symptoms.


normang,

My V* STBs never did this... they both were always able to tune and lock signals perfectly when combined with either my Winegard Sensar III GS-2200, my 4-bay Channel Master... yet, when I combine my 811 with any of these antennas, the results are always a 'hit-and-miss' because it will either work (with signal readings of 70%~75%) or not work at all. Heck, it even does it with a brand new Silver Sensor I just got this past Monday for 'testing' purposes only... so yeah, I would say that there is something definitely wrong with its OTA tuner.
 

Harry

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 11, 2003
305
0
Las Cruces, NM
normang said:
Somehow just because the tuner pauses while it works to aquire and lock a signal to me does not make it sub-par or worse than any other tuner. It may work differently in how it locks the signal, it could be something in the digital signal itself. My CBS channel does the same thing, perhaps its something that CBS does. If it failed to aquire and lock a signal that another tuner could side by side, then one might have a point

No, the 811 tuner is sub-par. Even the analog tuner is sub-par. My OTA STB gets better reception, faster locks, does not pixelate on stations that the 811 does and has better picture quality. Plus, it gets program guide info from the OTA stations (that are broadcasting it) while the 811 displays no program info what so ever. ( I guess they map from locals if they show anything at all) The 811 was a breakthrough for Dish, but, as an OTA receiver it is 2nd class.

If you want to invest in an OTA STB, I suggest LG as they have the reputation of being the best. If not, the 811 works ok, just not as well. As you can see, others who have OTA STB's tend to agree with me.
 

Edgar_in_Indy

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 19, 2005
152
2
I would have to agree that the OTA tuner in the 811 could do a better job of holding a signal. Before buying the 811, I was using the LG LST-3510A (combo upconverting DVD player & ATSC tuner) for my OTA DTV. With the LG I get all of the networks (UPN, CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, WB, FOX, PAX). I get very strong signal meters on all of the networks except for UPN and FOX. Those two networks will have occasional hiccups, resulting in very brief pixelation, but are still extremely watchable. (And wouldn’t you know it, PAX gets the strongest signal—what’s up with that???) :(

The 811, on the other hand, kind of chokes on UPN and FOX. Even though the signal meters on all networks appear to be about 5-10% below what I get on the LG, I feel that the biggest problem is the way the 811 handles a less-than-ideal signal. Instead of allowing a little bit of breakup and pixelation to creep into the broadcast, the 811 blacks out the picture and brings up an error message until it is again completely satisfied with the signal. As a result, UPN and FOX are difficult to watch on the 811. I was watching American Idol last night and it would work fine most of the time, but I always knew that another error screen was just around the corner. I ended up switching to the LG to watch the show.

Since I have both the LG and 811 hooked up to my TV (51" Sony Wega CRT) I was able to make a subjective PQ comparison between the two tuners. While I have always been blown away by the HDTV picture from my LG, I was surprised to find that I actually thought that the 811 looked a little better in back-to-back comparisons. It seemed like I was seeing just a little bit more detail on the 811. The picture from the 811 was also just a tad brighter than that of the LG, so maybe that explains why I perceived more detail. Regardless, the PQ on the 811 was more than satisfactory.

Background: I live about 15 miles south of Indianapolis and I have the biggest outdoor antenna Radio Shack sells (VU-190 XR) installed in my attic (1 story house, vinyl siding). I have a direct line going from the antenna to a Philips 24db amp (PH61111) I found at Wal-Mart. The amp, which has two outputs, is located behind my TV. One output is going to the LG receiver while the other is going to the 811, so they should be receiving identical, undiluted signals. The LG is connected to the TV using HDMI, while the 811 is going through components.

BTW, regarding the OTA guide on the 811: When I first had my 811 hooked up I was not getting program information in the guide for my OTAs. I called tech support about this issue, and they forward me to "advanced" technical support. The advanced tech told me that the only way I could get guide information for the OTAs was to subscribe to the locals. I expressed in no uncertain terms that I didn't appreciate having to pay for programming that looks extremely poor on an HDTV just to have the guide data, and that I felt like they were just trying to squeeze me for 5 more dollars a month (with the acquisition of Voom channels I canceled my Top 120 pack and now subscribe to only HD). The situation was not resolved by tech support, but the next day the guide data suddenly started showing up for the OTAs. I don't know if it just takes the 811 some time to integrate the PSIP information into its guide or if something changed on Dish's side, but it's working on all of the OTA channels except for the primary PBS channel and (maybe) UPN.

PS. Does anybody have any suggestions on improving my reception on UPN and FOX? It seems like I’m just at the threshold of have a stable signal on those stations. Because of the size of my antenna, there is no room for turning it, but it is pointing roughly North. Does anybody see something I could change in my setup to get a slightly stronger overall signal?

Thanks

Edgar in Indy
Go Pacers!
 

normang

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 4, 2003
180
0
If you have a side by side comparison and someone else's tuner works better, great, use it and spend the few hundred extra $$ and the extra level of complexity it makes in viewing your locals.

Everyone's mileage is going to vary with an OTA tuner, I suspect if an OTA Tuner such as the LG was discussed with a microscopic view as the 811's tuner is, you could find people having problems receiving channels with it as well. Because there are so many variables in getting good OTA Reception.

Its why so many people rely on cable and sat for their TV because most of the time you select a channel, its there and it just works, the PQ of an SD channel may vary, but it isn't hit or miss as it can be when your dealing with OTA..

I think I mentioned it somewhere, some of the variables in OTA are line of sight, distance, terrain, transmission power (some digital channels are still not using full power still) Antenna type (usually UHF for Digital channels) cable type & quality, how many times it maybe split causing signal loss, Good pre-amp, bad one, no rotor, rotor for appropriate aiming. I am sure if I thought about it some more there are others..
 

Harry

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 11, 2003
305
0
Las Cruces, NM
Edgar_in_Indy said:
I would have to agree that the OTA tuner in the 811 could do a better job of holding a signal. Before buying the 811, I was using the LG LST-3510A (combo upconverting DVD player & ATSC tuner) for my OTA DTV. With the LG I get all of the networks (UPN, CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, WB, FOX, PAX). I get very strong signal meters on all of the networks except for UPN and FOX. Those two networks will have occasional hiccups, resulting in very brief pixelation, but are still extremely watchable. (And wouldn’t you know it, PAX gets the strongest signal—what’s up with that???) :(

The 811, on the other hand, kind of chokes on UPN and FOX. Even though the signal meters on all networks appear to be about 5-10% below what I get on the LG, I feel that the biggest problem is the way the 811 handles a less-than-ideal signal. Instead of allowing a little bit of breakup and pixelation to creep into the broadcast, the 811 blacks out the picture and brings up an error message until it is again completely satisfied with the signal. As a result, UPN and FOX are difficult to watch on the 811. I was watching American Idol last night and it would work fine most of the time, but I always knew that another error screen was just around the corner. I ended up switching to the LG to watch the show.

Since I have both the LG and 811 hooked up to my TV (51" Sony Wega CRT) I was able to make a subjective PQ comparison between the two tuners. While I have always been blown away by the HDTV picture from my LG, I was surprised to find that I actually thought that the 811 looked a little better in back-to-back comparisons. It seemed like I was seeing just a little bit more detail on the 811. The picture from the 811 was also just a tad brighter than that of the LG, so maybe that explains why I perceived more detail. Regardless, the PQ on the 811 was more than satisfactory.

Background: I live about 15 miles south of Indianapolis and I have the biggest outdoor antenna Radio Shack sells (VU-190 XR) installed in my attic (1 story house, vinyl siding). I have a direct line going from the antenna to a Philips 24db amp (PH61111) I found at Wal-Mart. The amp, which has two outputs, is located behind my TV. One output is going to the LG receiver while the other is going to the 811, so they should be receiving identical, undiluted signals. The LG is connected to the TV using HDMI, while the 811 is going through components.

BTW, regarding the OTA guide on the 811: When I first had my 811 hooked up I was not getting program information in the guide for my OTAs. I called tech support about this issue, and they forward me to "advanced" technical support. The advanced tech told me that the only way I could get guide information for the OTAs was to subscribe to the locals. I expressed in no uncertain terms that I didn't appreciate having to pay for programming that looks extremely poor on an HDTV just to have the guide data, and that I felt like they were just trying to squeeze me for 5 more dollars a month (with the acquisition of Voom channels I canceled my Top 120 pack and now subscribe to only HD). The situation was not resolved by tech support, but the next day the guide data suddenly started showing up for the OTAs. I don't know if it just takes the 811 some time to integrate the PSIP information into its guide or if something changed on Dish's side, but it's working on all of the OTA channels except for the primary PBS channel and (maybe) UPN.

PS. Does anybody have any suggestions on improving my reception on UPN and FOX? It seems like I’m just at the threshold of have a stable signal on those stations. Because of the size of my antenna, there is no room for turning it, but it is pointing roughly North. Does anybody see something I could change in my setup to get a slightly stronger overall signal?

Thanks

Edgar in Indy
Go Pacers!

Good information Edgar. The opposite is true for my 811/ LG STB. I am using DVI on the 811 and Component on my LG as I only have one DVI interface on my TV, a Hitachi 46". Being a rear projection TV could account for some of it as well. I should try and swapping them and see what results I get.

I live about 45+ Miles from the transmitter and use a Channel Master 3018 and use a 3042 amplifier. I get CBS, FOX, PBS-HD and PBS-Digital. NBC and ABC are not transmitting enough signal yet but that will change soon.

I have the LG 4200A (was thinking about getting the 3510A though) and it works very well.

Have you tried an amplifier? I would think being 15 miles away you wouldn't need one but from experiance (ABC and NBC) some are still transmitting at very low power. This is due to change in July as the FCC mandates stations will transmit their Digital signal to at least the same power as their analog.
 

Edgar_in_Indy

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 19, 2005
152
2
normang said:
If you have a side by side comparison and someone else's tuner works better, great, use it and spend the few hundred extra $$ and the extra level of complexity it makes in viewing your locals.

:rolleyes:

I didn't intend to suggest that somebody with an 811 go out and spend extra money on a separate tuner that may or may not give them better reception. I bought the LG tuner with my TV almost a year ago, but I just bought the 811 a week ago. I just wanted to give an apples-to-apples comparison of the two tuners in what should be identical circumstances, and I wasn't trying to slam the 811. As I said, I actually preferred the PQ from the 811, but as with all things, YMMV. The only variable between the two boxes is that the 811 is going through component while the LG is going through HDMI (which could explain the difference in PQ). Both tuners, however, were plugged directly into the antenna amplifier, so any variables on the reception side of the equation should be eliminated.

The main thrust of my observations is that I think the biggest problem with the OTA Tuner in the 811 is how it handles a less-than-perfect signal. I wish that it would just allow some imperfections to creep into the broadcast (as it does with the satellite channels) instead of immediately blacking out the screen and displaying an error message. If Dish could change the software in that respect then I think the 811 would be a much better tuner.

Edgar in Indy
 
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