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HD installation help!

06-02-2005, 09:47 PM
Sorry for the Newbie question...

I have the Dish HD box and have the HD Pak subscription. Obviously I have had no problem waching ESPNHD, HBOHD, etc. I just purchased a HD amplified antenna and am trying to get my local channels in HD. I have hooked the antenna up to the HD box but am not sure what settings need to change on the Dish menu to activate these local channels. Any help?

06-02-2005, 10:19 PM
I'm sure to make this as painless as possible and to receive the fastest "correct" answers more info will be needed.Such as which HD receiver? Have you been to this website to insure you have the proper antenna? http://www.antennaweb.org What have you tried so far? Have you done a search on the receiver?What is the name of your dog? :D

06-02-2005, 10:34 PM
I have the 811 box.
I have a proper antenna.
I have run the "Digital Channel" search and came up with two channels, both of which have the "offair digital signal lost" message. They are lingering around 49% in signal strength.
My dogs name is Bunker.

Thanks for you help - any info you can give me will most likely help.

06-02-2005, 10:42 PM
Hmmm...proper pointing of the antenna? Is an amplifier needed? What is your terrain? Does it allow LOS to the transmitting towers?

06-02-2005, 11:26 PM
I was watching the DishNet Technical Forum the other night and DishNet acknowledges a problem with the 811's not receiving some local HD broadcasts.

Apparently, the box sees the broadcast but cannot interpret the overhead information, i.e. station name, content descriptions and so forth. DishNet claims to be working with the networks to work out the problem and that a software update in the near future should resolve the issue.

Another user on this forum was able to call DishNet and get a replacement 811 which fixed this issue.

06-02-2005, 11:33 PM
My antenna has a bulit in amplifier. I live in Colorado Springs which does have some mountain terrain but that's where they have mounted the towers. I really don't think it is the terrain as I know of a few other guys in the neighborhood which receive the OTA.

Depending on where I sit the antenna, I can get 2 to 3 channels although antennaweb.org lists 5 digital channels in town. The big problem is that the signal for each of the channels I find seems to flip back and forth between 0 and 49 and I constantly have the error - "lack of signal" message.

Thinking I might have a setting or two out of place somewhere in the 811 set-up menus....


06-02-2005, 11:46 PM
Mountainous terrain can inflict multi-path which most receivers have a problem coping with. It is picking up the directly transmitted signal, plus mulitple reflections off the mountains or other large structures, in theory this is good, but signals are arriving at different times. I dont think DishNet equipment utilizes rake receivers to take advantage of multi-path, so it just hurts it in the end.

I would recommend a highly directional antenna and a remote rotator. Your current antenna may be directional, but possibly not enough to reject the other reflected signals.

Any other ideas guys?

06-03-2005, 12:00 AM
That is a good point. The antenna is not really directional at all. It is shaped kind of like a figure-eight. Will a more directional antenna make an impact in an area like this?

06-03-2005, 12:04 AM
For sure! How far away are the towers that you are trying to receive from? Omni antennas are fine for Urban broadcasts where you live within 2-4 miles of the transmitter. For you though, even if you live 4 miles from the transmitter, the reflections can be screwing you up just enough.

Check transmitter distance here: www.antennaweb.org (http://www.antennaweb.org)

Radio Shack lists a HD directional antenna for $79. I've seen them other places in the $50 range.

06-03-2005, 04:48 AM
One thing no one has mentioned that is very important in receiving digital signals is HEIGHT ....
The higher the antenna the better.

I use a Radio Shack antenna ($99), Channel Master rotor(90) and a pre-amp (75)

It may seem like a lot of money, but I can get my HD locals as well as HD signals from 60 miles away.

This is good because, sometime the local is not delivered in HD, but the larger city is.

Higher the better


06-03-2005, 09:00 AM
Yeah, according to antennaweb.org I am 14 miles from the transmitter. I will stop out today and grab a directional antenna and give ya'll an update later. Thanks for the help.

06-03-2005, 09:14 AM
Most likely you'll need a larger directional antenna if you getting such a weak signal. Also in many cases digital station are not transmitting at full power yet. Tuning for digital can be differcult because all you have to go with is a signal bar. Also try tuning in analogs to get a better idea of reception for example snow and ghost. Getting ghosts can be really bad for digital channels

06-03-2005, 03:41 PM
Well, I bought a nicer directional antenna today. It is Samsung digital amplified indoor antenna. I hooked it up and am still having trouble. I should be picking up 5 channels in Colorado Springs however it is only picking up 2...both of which don't have a picture...just a "offair digital signal lost" message. What am I doing wrong???

06-03-2005, 11:02 PM
What you're doing wrong is trying to use a POS indoor antenna... get a real antenna for outdoor from Winegard or Channel Master & put it up as high as possible outside. Check antennaweb.

06-04-2005, 03:01 PM
Well the thing is, a friend of mine is using a "POS indoor antenna" and it is doing the job just fine. I don't think thats it.

06-05-2005, 05:43 AM
Does your friend live next door in the same kind of construction on the same floor with the same view?

Check www.antennaweb.org

06-05-2005, 07:28 AM
Why bother with an outdoor antenna if an indoor one is working fine?
I use an indoor ant. for my locals that are about 20 mi away.
14 miles should be a cinch. Assuming there are no major obstacles in the path.
Granted, if I thought E* would never have HD-locals on Sat. I would do something more permanent, but for now it does the job just fine with an occassional tweaking. I use the Zenith Silver Sensor, no amps.

06-05-2005, 08:46 AM
Well the thing is, a friend of mine is using a "POS indoor antenna" and it is doing the job just fine. I don't think thats it.

Try this: Buy your friend a 6-pack of his favorite and invite him to bring his POS indoor antenna to your house to see if it works. If it does, then get one just like it. If not, you just got some experience. (Experience is what you end up with when you didn't get what you wanted :banghead: )

06-05-2005, 11:47 AM
The friend I am refering to is a guy down the street who is using the exact same antenna that I just purchased. That's the problem...

Same neighborhood, same POS indoor antenna, same terrain. However he is receiving all of the local HD channels while I am receiving nothing.

I would blame it on the 811 box however at times the local PBS will pop on for 2-3 seconds (very distorted). That makes me think the box is doing its job. I just don't know why I'm not getting anything.

I'm wondering if I've got a setting wrong somewhere in the Dish setup menus.

06-05-2005, 12:07 PM
Your new antenna is very directional, meaning also very sensitive to pointing... is your antenna at the same height as your friends? Is he maybe pointing thru a window?

Life is what happens while we're busy making plans... :)

06-05-2005, 12:33 PM
Same neighborhood, same POS indoor antenna, same terrain. However he is receiving all of the local HD channels while I am receiving nothing.

The one common point I keep seeing in this forum is that there is nothing the same about antennas. Your friends results are a good starting point for you but don't be bummed by differences. Always get your antenna from a place that you can return it to. People usually have better luck outside, as high as they can get it, but that doesn't mean a different solution won't work for you - it's going to be trial and error until you find the one that works at your house. And, since the devil is in the details, don't forget to try as many locations, elevations, angles, and cusswords as you can for each antenna. Happy hunting!

Never blame a man for being human unless he makes a habit of it. :rolleyes:

06-05-2005, 01:23 PM
Tried something new...

Could it be possible that this indoor amplified antenna is too strong? I know that sounds lame as I am 14 miles from the transmitters but bear with me here.

I disconnected the amplified antenna today and hooked up an old pair of rabbit-ears that I took off of a 13" tv in the garage. To my surprise, the digital scan on the 811 box found 3 channels as opposed to 2 channels with the amplified samsung antenna. Although the amplified antenna picked up two channels, neither of them ever had a picture. Out of the 3 channels the rabbit-ears picked up one channel has picture with very minimal distortion.

What gives? Should maybe look for a non-amplified indoor antenna. I'm now more confused than ever....all I can figure is that this amplified antenna is too strong a 20 db gain.

06-05-2005, 03:39 PM
Yes, it's definately possible to have too MUCH signal as well as too LITTLE.

What you need to do is go to www.antennaweb.org and find their recommendation for an antenna type... they will also tell you all the available stations, and direction to their transmitting towers.

Higher, outdoor, antennas usually work better... and pointing direction is very important (with directional antennas) to avoid multipath - what causes ghosting on analog...

An interesting phenomena related to multipath is called 'local nulls'... kind of 'holes' in the electromagnetic field that have no signal... but moving your antenna even 1 meter this way or that can change everything... hehe... just to make you paranoid... ;)

06-05-2005, 06:49 PM
Just wondering if you ever went to antennaweb?Seeing as though it is mentioned 5 times in this thread. :eek: The mods should be sending an advertising bill to them. :D