Washington D.C. Metro area Voomers

wasch_24

wasch_24

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Mar 30, 2004
1,073
0
Nothern Virginia, D.C. Area
I didn't see it in the list so here it goes.

Anyone from D.C., Maryland, or Northern Virginia fell free to post comments.

I am in the Manassas area and am having OTA reception problems with the stock Stealthtenna. Voom is working with the installer to get me the upgrade.
I can pick up NBC, WUSA (CBS), and PAX quite well but that is it.
 
M

mike528

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 30, 2004
78
0
DC area
Arlington here

Hi Wasch,

I had Voom installed on 3/29.
I am in Arlington. I get good OTA reception on 4, 5, 9, and 26. Can't seem to get 7, 20, or 50. I am not using the Stealth, but rather a much larger antenna with a rotor that I bought several years back when I first ditched cable and started getting HD through DirecTV. (When they installed Voom they just switched dishes and STB's, leaving the old OTA antenna and all the old wiring in place).

Signal strength is not a problem for me. But I need the antenna rotor because I live so close to DC that the various transmitters are in different directions. I actually get the best signal on 4, 5 and 9 by pointing the antenna AWAY from DC and towards some tall buildings nearby -- I think I am getting signal reflected off the 20-story office towers nearby. I would guess that out in Manassas you probably have the opposite problem -- pointing the antenna towards the DC transmitters would not be too hard, but signal strength would be lower?

In general, OTA recption on the Voom box seems more stable for me than with my old Mitsubishi DireCTV box. I used to get dropouts and pixellation sometimes on CBS 9, but no more with the Voom box. But Voom is a little harder to tune because it doesn't have (so far as I can find) a signal strength meter to use when I am rotating the antenna around. I used to be able to get channels 7 and 50 on the old Mitsu box, but I just haven't managed to point the antenna the right direction to get them with Voom.

As for the program guide, a whole bunch of local channels show up (including many I never heard of) on my on-screen menu, but I get no program information for any of them. Do you?

Basically I'm pretty happy with Voom. I would like to get the other OTA channels, but its not critical for me. If I get CBS and NBC, I'm pretty satisfied (although i would like to get ABC 7 this afternoon to catch Freddy Adu's debut with DC United . . .).

Mike
 
wasch_24

wasch_24

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Mar 30, 2004
1,073
0
Nothern Virginia, D.C. Area
Mike

You can view the signal strength and power for OTA channels in the system settings menu. I'm at work so I am going from memory but I think that all you have to do is hit the Voom button, then the green button for options and settings, then choose number 7, sccroll one or two pages and there it is. It only shows the strength and power for the channel you are currently tuned to.

I also get no program info. Did you get any with your old box?
 
M

mike528

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 30, 2004
78
0
DC area
Sorry it took me a few days to respond.

Thanks for the tip on signal strength -- I knew that that meter was there for the satellite channels, but I didn't know that it was based on the last channel viewed, and that it could be used for the OTA channels also. I did manage to get channel 7 tuned in over the weekend, so I am now getting consistent signals on 4, 5, 7, 9 and 26. The only major ones I am missing are 20 and 50, and frankly, I'm not all that concerned about them. Quite a few more stations come up in my directory, but I dont know how realistic it is to expect to get them.

Still no program information on the OTA channels. I have been meaning to call Voom and ask about it, but I have not gotten around to it. I used to get program information on the local channels with my old DirecTV box.

Other than the missing program info, the Voom box definitely handles the OTA signals better than the old DirecTV box. The old box was very finicky -- I had to have the antenna positioned exactly right, and even then, I would sometimes get dropouts and have to experiment with repositioning the antenna a bit. The Voom box seems to do a better job of locking onto an OTA channel after I have tuned it in.

Mike
 
M

mike528

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 30, 2004
78
0
DC area
I tried unplugging the box for a few seconds and plugging it back in last night. After waiting for everything to reload I found that I not only had no program information on OTA channels, as before, but now the program information on the satellite channels was gone as well. The information still had not come back this morning when I left for work.
 
M

motopix

New Member
Apr 7, 2004
4
0
Hold the power button on the box for 5 seconds and once it starts to reboot, walk away and leave it alone for 10-20 minutes. I did it this morning and my program guide got reloaded.
 
M

mike528

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 30, 2004
78
0
DC area
Yes, last night I did the reboot again, and it got the program guide info back -- for the satellite channels. The OTA channels still have no program guide info (and they never have had it, since I first got Voom a couple of weeks ago).

From the other threads on here, it sounds like Voom is working on the OTA guide issue, so perhaps I should wait a few days before I call Customer Service and ask them to "hit" my box again. Besides, I don't want to take a chance on doing anything that could mess up reception of my local CBS station -- I plan on watching the Masters this weekend.
 
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traxxs

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 9, 2004
70
0
Hey mike528 I live in dale city area been installed for about a month now never had any Guide for my local channels until i rebooted last night and boom they were there .There is a thread related to this called (Off Air Channel Listing)may want to post in there and let sean know
 
M

mike528

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 30, 2004
78
0
DC area
Finally got my OTA channel listings

I did a front panel power button reboot last night, and it did not help.
I called customer service this morning, and amazingly, got right through with no wait. The rep re-hit my box, and had me do a power button reboot, and this time it worked -- I now have all the local program listings.
 
X

x5andr6

Member
Apr 12, 2004
5
0
Hi Traxxs, I'm in Lake Ridge and just got Voom installed this past weekend. Are you receiving the OTA local channels with the antenna that was included in the installation? I'm not getting any OTA local channels. I do, howeve, have the program listings. The installers said the included antenna was hit or miss. They suggested an upgraded antenna that costs ~$240. Just curious about your situation since we live pretty close to each other.
 
wasch_24

wasch_24

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Mar 30, 2004
1,073
0
Nothern Virginia, D.C. Area
Don't Pay A Penny!

x5andr6,
Don't pay for any upgraded antenna! Call 1-800-GET-VOOM and tell them that you have no OTA and the installer exhausted all possible options with the Stealth and they will schedule you for installation of the Channel Master 4228 8Bay antenna which has a 60 mile range
:D FOR FREE!!!!!! :D
 
X

x5andr6

Member
Apr 12, 2004
5
0
Thanks for the tip wasch_24...I'm gonna call Voom this evening!
 
T

traxxs

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 9, 2004
70
0
x5andr6 i get nbc, fox ,abc, cbs, and wb sometimes issues w/cbs but overall pretty good reception most of the time
 
jgantert

jgantert

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 7, 2004
1,903
0
Aberdeen, MD
Just installed...

Just got installed yesterday. I'm in Columbia, MD. Seems fine, except for the local channels. I can only get 2. 45, 11 and 13 are borderline (sometimes they go in/out). No signal on 54, 24 or 22. I think I am going to call Voom today to see if I get get a better antenna. They just installed the Stealth antenna (not amplified!).

Other than that, I got the new software on the box overnight, and channel flipping is much faster! Seems like the PG leaves much to be desired, compaired to my Dtv. No actor listings, repeat times, scouts, content info (ie: AL,AC,BN).

-John
 
jgantert

jgantert

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 7, 2004
1,903
0
Aberdeen, MD
Antenna Installs suck!

Getting an upgraded antenna is really a hassle!

I had an appointment last Saturday from 8-12. Around 9, DataLink calls and says the antenna never came in, and cancelled. Today I call Voom, and they say they have no weekend install days in May, so they schedule me for this Thursday afternoon and makes a note that I won't be home until 4:30.

Argh, I can just bet they will leave me a note "Sorry we missed you..." or I will get a call Thursday morning saying "We don't schedule apointments like that..."

-John

PS> Now that the leaves have come in, the stealth antenna they installed is right in the middle of a branch of leaves, so much so, that the branch is actually resting on the antenna!
 
riffjim4069

riffjim4069

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Apr 7, 2004
35,226
291
SatelliteGuystonfieldville, U.S.A.
VooM Rocks - OTA Install Hell...

I live outside Fredericksburg, VA (51 miles from Richmond/55 miles from DC broadcast towers) and My VooM was installed on 4/16/2004. Here is my (early) overview of the installation process:

VooM Satellite - installation was fast, friendly, and professional; installer was well qualified, knowledgeable, and even had VooM experience. He did an excellent job. Grade: A+ :D

VooM Programming – lots of HD…love it! Of course, I have not been watching VooM Exclusive HD channels long enough to form an objective opinion regarding their “content” at this time. Grade: A- (tentative) :)

VooM PQ – had some minor, sporadic quality issues that have been noted in other posts. When the PQ was off (softness, artifacts, etc.) they were quite noticeable. However, most of the time I experienced excellent PQ on all the channels. I am willing to cut VooM some slack over the next month or two. Grade: B :up

VooM Sound - did not experience any sound/stutter problems; Dolby Digital was rock solid and sounded excellent through my Yamaha A/V receiver. I noticed the STB would sometimes lock-in on a channels sound track while I was channel surfing. I found this to be annoying and, perhaps, why I locked up the STB. Grade: B+ (need to resolve some mysterious STB/software issues)

VooM STB - old software was very annoying with its 5-6 second channel changes. However, new software was downloaded overnight and it was a huge improvement. Having said that, I experienced one lockup over the weekend and my channel surfing is in slow motion due to my fear of freezing and having to reboot the box. Overall, I am content with the hardware/software at this point. My Mitsubishi doesn’t have DVI so hookups were done via component cables and optical audio. Bring on the firewire! Grade: C- :confused:

VooM Remote Control – nothing especially good or bad about it, but I’m glad I have an MX-700. Grade: C

VooM Programming Guide – this is my first experience with satellite and, since I refused to subscribe to Adelphia’s digital cable garbage, I have nothing to compare it to - it works. Grade: C

VooM Customer Service – except for one individual, the CSRs were always very friendly and appeared to be genuinely concerned with my OTA problems. Most of the CSRs seemed to know what they were doing and/or could point me in the right direction. Grade: A-

4/30/2004

VooM OTA – big, big, big nightmare! :mad: Installer did not bring my preauthorized Winegard PR-8800 on 4/16/2004. I was given preapproval for the upgraded PR-8800 on 4/5/2004 by VooM, Installs Inc. and the local installer Datalink. I was very proactive in this matter – arrgghh! I once again called VooM, Installs Inc. and Datalink on 4/16/2004 and was reapproved for the PR-8800. Ok, although the installer was indeed an outstanding Sat Guy, by his own admission he knew next to nothing about antenna installation outside the Stealth. Plus, even if he did have my antenna (according to Installs Inc. the installer is supposed to carry an upgrade antenna and mounting hardware to every installation), he didn’t possess a signal level meter. I would expect all VooM installers to possess an all-channel analog and digital signal level meter and be able to walk the roof, if necessary, in order to find the best place to install an antenna - heck, I purchased my own digital signal meter last year!

Installer asked if I wanted to use my antenna – I said NO! :eek: I use my antenna to pull in DC/Balt. stations and the VooM antenna will be used to pull in the Richmond stations. After all, the VooM programming guide displays both DC and Richmond locals for my zipcode and Adelphia provides both locals as part of its basic broadcast service. Why should I expect anything less? Anyway, I temporarily hooked MY existing antenna (CM-4228 w/CM-7775 preamp) to the VooM STB and pulled-in the same stations as my Mits w/internal tuner (does not have a signal meter). I like the fact the VooM STB has a built in signal meter, however I thought the picture looked better with my Mits. Anyway, no OTA antenna work was performed and the installer did not leave me the Stealth since he would be back out with my PR-8800 at a later date.

2nd Install 4/21/2004: morning install (0800-1200) – installer called me at 0900 to tell me he has a “hot” job up north (near the DC area) and that he couldn’t make it out to the house in the pm. He told me I could go to work and that he would meet me back at the house at 1700. Of course, since I start work at 0600…I would still miss another ½ day of work. :mad: In other words, I was blown off for a "good paying" job!

3rd Install 4/21/2004: installer shows up at 7:40pm (right at sunset). Although he had the PR-8800 antenna, he doesn’t have the mounting hardware nor does he have a clue how to mount the antenna…doesn’t even know where to point it! :mad:

4th Install 4/29/2004: Install Inc./VooM arranged for an install with another company after my numerous calls, complaints, etc. Installer was 2 hours late, did not bring my PR-8800 antenna (had a Stealth and something called a Sensar???), wants to hook up the antenna with a diplexer, wants to charge me to run a second coax, generally doesn’t have a clue how to install an antenna – spent an hour and fifteen minutes on the phone with Installs Inc./VooM, installer leaves while I am on the phone – miss another half-day of work. Needless to say, I called 21st Century Communications (local install company) dispatcher on 4/26, and again discussed this matter with the install tech when he called to confirm my appointment on 4/28/2004 - I clearly atriculated my OTA experiences and concerns. I was assured the tech would have the PR-8800 antenna and all necessary equipment. I am not a happy camper! :mad:

Installs Inc. is now telling me the installer must first use the Winegard Sensar (no model number on box) which is the new standard upgrade antenna. At this point I am forwarding my 12 pages of notes to senior leadership at Installs Inc. and VooM - this OTA madness cannot continue. For the record, I installed my own antenna last year and I know how difficult, time-consuming, and expensive it can be to properly install a deep-fringe antenna - I was perfectly willing to spend a reasonable sum to compensate the installer, however at this point I will not spend a dime.

Ok, besides the obvious "communication failures" I have noted with VooM/Installs Inc/Etc., IMHO the biggest problem are:

1. Installers are not properly trained for OTA
2. Installers are not properly equipped for OTA outside of Stealth/Diplexer
3. Installers don't know how to price a job based on items 1-2
5. IMHO Installers are not adequately compensated (see below)

Grade: F- (horrible, terrible, wretched! I can’t get an antenna and I can’t get it installed. I don’t feel my antenna will ever be professionally installed. However, I will give VooM, Installs Inc., and their multiple levels of subcontractors an opportunity to redeem themselves...or I will make their lives just as miserable in the process :river

VooM Installation Process – Ok, by in large VooM and Installs Inc. are doing a pretty good job with the dish install…however, multiple levels of subcontractors, and a overall general overall lack of OTA experience, is killing Quality Control and, thus, the Installation Process. Again, IMHO VooM just isn’t paying enough money to attract experienced OTA professionals! It's just this simple: $25 increase for Stealth installs and double the install fees for those requiring a PR-8800 and you’ll see a dramatic increase in quality installation. Grade: F+
 
jgantert

jgantert

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 7, 2004
1,903
0
Aberdeen, MD
Stealth got beat up

With all of the wind today, the stealth antenna took a big beating from the tree they installed it under.

The elements are all bent in different directions, and the pointing is a good 20 degrees off now!!! HAHA!!!

Glad they are going to replace it, because it is just a piece of junk now!!!

-John
 
B

brainiac

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 2, 2004
280
0
Just Outside the Beltway
I live in Manassas too, and you guys have me worried about the OTA reception. My installation is scheduled for the 10th of this month.
 

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