Yet another 811 OTA digital problem


SatelliteGuys Family
Original poster
Jan 19, 2004
I posted awhile back that I had totally lost my local digital ABC (previously 68-73% reception) and PBS (previously 80-85% reception) out of nowhere for no apparent reason. Well, I'm sad to report that my my local digital CBS (previously 75-80% reception) is now 49-65 % and won't lock. So, I've now lost ALL of my digital OTA's in a span of four months. What in the world has happened?
That seems very strange, how far from the towers are you? Is it possible they have built somthing in between? Has your antenna moved? Your connections loose? Cable bad? Could be so many factors you may have to start over from square one and reconnect everything? Do you still get reception on any OTA channels? :confused:
Since I still get the PAX digital OTA at the same rate as before and I still get the analog OTA CBS that broadcasts from the same station and location, I'm out of ideas.
I share the same problems, and have a CM4228 antenna/preamp/and rotor. Inexplicably previous signals that are solid disappear and the 811 fails to lock. Signals vary widely-one second at 80% and the next the dreaded 49%. All I can say is the 811 has problems locking on signals that are impacted by trees/leaves/buildings that produce multipath that overcome the abilities of the OTA tuner that unfortunately has poor performance in dealing with real world problems. Technology has to be available to deal with these problems, but putting a quality OTA tuner in Dish receivers is obviously of secondary importance-after all they want to sell you their own HDTV packaging, and could really care less if you can't reliably grab and HOLD FREE over the air programming. After all there has to be a PROFIT motive to improve technology, and since there is none they will put inferior OTA tuners in their products-UNLESS they feel the heat of subscriber anger, and alas that will probably not happen in sufficient volume to make cost effective improvements. I'm with you-it is infuriating to lose stations due to the vagaries of atmospheric conditions and poorly engineered tuners.
Its Spring time. Try checking to see if foliage has grown. Just seems like maybe the obvious. Hope thats the problem and then just break out the chainsaw
Just to update, this morning my digital OTA CBS is coming in crystal clear at 72-78% without anything changing at all. What gives?
I am no expert, but I have read that some local broadcasters sometimes vary the level of their signal, at times broadcasting at a higher power, and at times broadcasting at a lower power, depending on time of day, other needs, etc. Maybe that is part of what is going on in your situation.

-- Albert
kpeercy said:
Just to update, this morning my digital OTA CBS is coming in crystal clear at 72-78% without anything changing at all. What gives?

This is just the nature of the beast.

On any given day, I have no idea which (of the dozen or so channels I routinely get) channels I will actually get. Weather and varying station conditions (outage, varying power, etc.) make it a crap shoot day to day. Fortunately, I usually have a choice of 2 major cities, so I can usually get a particular show OTA if I want it.

Sometimes they have to work on their studio equipment ... sometimes the transmitters ... sometimes the wind is blowing so hard the trees create impossible multipath ... just be patient ... this OTA HD thing is still pretty new for some stations.
kpeercy said:
Just to update, this morning my digital OTA CBS is coming in crystal clear at 72-78% without anything changing at all. What gives?
My bet is that if you lost the signal completely, that the station just wasn't transmitting.
We have that all the time here in Northern CA, San Francisco. Many of the stations transmit from Sutro Tower but they are in the process of seismic retrofit so they shut down most transmissions during the day except on Sunday.
For me, I live about 50 miles north so reception is iffy when they are transmitting but can usually tell if they have the transmitter turned off, no signal at all on my 811. If it is weather conditions, lower than usual power, or some other reasons, I will get some signal, usually 49%. When everything is right, and the Gods are smiling on me, I will get some network stations in the
65 to 75% area.
I'm looking forward to the day when they finally get their act(s) together and we can get more reliable service OTA. It is now summer rerun season so I'm not so anxious to get better signals right now. BUT, when football season starts, I hope, I hope, I hope I will get decent signals................
811 OTA sucks

I am still experencing the 49% bug even with the newest s/w. My signal varies from 74% to 49%.
I can't wait until my contract is up this fall. I will be Vooming.
i dont think its the receivers fault, my ota digital channels come in just fine like they did before i had a 811. my tv has hdtv built in

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