Sonicview 8000HD ATSC OTA performance (1 Viewer)

JohninSD

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 7, 2009
79
1
San Diego
Anyone using the Sonicview 8000HD to watch OTA ATSC stations? I'm new to the FTA world and trying to decide whether to buy this unit so I can combine OTA and FTA setup. Right now I have two of the coupon converter boxes, labeled Sansonic - they work pretty well, get all the San Diego locals in SD using a Channelmaster 3018 antenna on the roof. I also have a Samsung SIR T451 HD Receiver which I bought about 3 years ago in anticipation of the digital switchover. It is sitting in the closet as it does not tune in all the stations that the Sansonic units do.
I had DirecTV for two years, dropped it about a month ago - I got it mainly so I could see the Tour de France and they dropped Versus from their lineup so I was paying for nothing - most of what I want to see is available for free OTA.
My interest in FTA is to get the Create TV network from PBS - I see it's available on one of the satellites. The local PBS station here had it on one of their sub channels for a while but they replaced it with V-Me - I emailed them and asked why and they said they had just been carrying it to test the technology - no one was expected to actually watch it - seemed kind of strange.
Anyway, before I hooked up the Sansonic boxes I was not aware of the large variations in ATSC receiver performance - thought the Samsung would do better than the Sansonics - but there is a big difference which is why I ask whether anyone is using the Sonicview's OTA capabilities.
thanks,
John
 

kirara386

SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 29, 2008
114
0
North Central Florida
I've been using my 8000HD to watch OTA. It works very well. The tuner in it is better than the one that is built into my Samsung TV, which is why I ended up hooking up to the SV. Plus it will download programming info for the guide from many of my local stations that provide it.

I also like the signal meter...really helps when you're aiming the antenna.
 

JohninSD

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 7, 2009
79
1
San Diego
OTA Performance disappointing -

The 8000 arrived today - I had ordered it Tuesday evening from Shop4FTA. Quick service. It has a manufacturing date of May 2009. I hooked it up to my antenna and did a scan or actually 3 scans - one on VHF Low, one on VHF high, and one on UHF. It only sees 4 channels versus the dozen or so that my Sansonic box sees. Repeated scans pick up a few more channels sometimes. The local NBC channel has 2 subchannels which the SV picked up without seeing the main channel. Seems kind of odd. Anyone had better luck using this box for OTA? I do have a preamp on order for the antenna - maybe that'll help. On the bright side, the EPG works nicely for the channels it does get. I have no satellite dish yet so can't report on that aspect of the box.
 

Splicer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 18, 2007
231
0
You can try entering the channels directly to see if the scan is just missing them. But enter the real channel number and not the virtual channel number.
 

JohninSD

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 7, 2009
79
1
San Diego
The SV 8000 doesn't seem to have any way to enter channels that the scan doesn't find. Anyone found a way to do this? (I'm only talking about the ATSC channels here - don't know what it can/can't do in FTA mode).
 

Splicer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 18, 2007
231
0
Not sure, but FTA is satellite and OTA is, well, over the air. ;)

I would imagine you just press the real channel numbers and then 'enter' on the remote. I honestly can't see why that wouldn't work. Especially for such an expensive and feature laden unit as the SD8000.
 

JohninSD

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 7, 2009
79
1
San Diego
I've tried entering channel numbers with the remote - no response. As it is right now there are 8 OTA channels in the memory. Entering a number between 1 and 8 takes me to one of those channels. The CBS and ABC affiliates here are on channels 8 and 10, the same as they were before the switchover. Their "real" and "virtual" assignments are the same. My Sansonic boxes show them as 100% signal and between 90 and 100% quality, yet the Sonicview doesn't see them at all. I've tried a 6db attenuator, thinking maybe they were too strong - no help. Tried an amplifier that came with an indoor antenna - no help. I have a preamp on order -will see if that helps.
 

JohninSD

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 7, 2009
79
1
San Diego
Yesterday I installed a drop amp, a PCT-MA2-2P I bought from Amazon. It is an 11db boost dual port amp. I connected the antenna to the input port and power to the power port (it comes with an AC adapter for the power). I hooked up one output port to the SV 8000HD and the other to the Sansonic "coupon" box. The SV connects to the TV via the S-Video cable and the Sansonic box connects to the TV via the RF connection to Channel 4. The result is that the SV still doesn't see the VHF channels but the 8 that it does see have higher signal quality. The Sansonic box sees the same channels that it saw before, still with 100% signal strength on the VHF channels. I can't tell the signal strength on the SV as the display shows 0 strength and various levels of signal quality on the "Signal" display. It looks like I'll have to send this Sonicview in for warranty repair - it doesn't do what they say it will do, at least not for the OTA channels.
 

Splicer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 18, 2007
231
0
Thats too bad. I'm curious as to why the SV won't pick up the same stations. Keep us updated if you will.
 

JohninSD

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 7, 2009
79
1
San Diego
There is a thread on the SV 8000 on the FTA forum. Look over there for details. Long story short, a firmware update helped.
 

JohninSD

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 7, 2009
79
1
San Diego
Response from Shop4FTA

Here's what the dealer has to say about the SV 8000 HD's OTA capabilities. Seems the ads need to be updated. Also the website they list in the email doesn't seem to respond to inquiries...

Anyway, here's the email response in its entirety

-- do not edit --

John,

Our customer support team personnel has replied to your support request #411190

Hi,

After some research, I found out that the original firmware that came with the receiver does not yet fully activated to handle Sonicview OTA features. You may also need special OTA antenna for that too. I strongly suggest you to contact Sonicview official support to get more information about this. If you want to find out when they will release the patch/firmware with this feature, you can contact Sonicview directly at www.SonicviewUSA.com.

Thank you.

Customer Service
SHOP4FTA.com - The best place to shop for your FTA needs!
Email: info@shop4fta.com
Website: http://www.shop4fta.com

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Terms of Use - We do not provide or condone the use of third party software. Our satellite receivers are designed and intended for 100% legal use only. We will refuse sale to anyone whom we believe intends to use our product illegally or sell our products for illegal use.

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harrysamuel

New Member
Jun 24, 2007
2
0
SONICVIEW SV-HD8000

Got mine two days ago. It only sees half the channels that my five ATSC boxes see, and of course my Westinghouse TV sees the same ones my five boxes see. I am greatly disappointed with SONICVIEW as I am reading posts from 2009 with no solution posted. The e-mail from the dealer was not needed and my dealer says to contact SONICVIEW as well. I can see were this is going. I would tell anyone reading this post to stay away from this box. Wish in my searching before I bought it I found these. Will update If I get a solution.
 

JohninSD

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 7, 2009
79
1
San Diego
Harry;
I just checked and I'm using version 4.43 firmware - don't remember where I got it but you should be able to google it. This one gave me the best OTA performance with this box. It finds almost every channel that my TV finds, only failing to scan in the local PBS station for some reason - but then I get my PBS mostly from the 125W satellite anyway.
John
 

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