Major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS) not showing

Reception, channel detection, network issues, CableCARD setup, etc.
hipchecker6
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Major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS) not showing

Postby hipchecker6 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:18 am

I recently moved to the Seattle area and am unable to access the major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS). It's not that the reception is bad. They don't even show up on the initial scan in the setup. I get 24 stations in total, like the shopping networks, CW, Grit - the ones I don't want. I do get one Fox station, but not the one lower on the channel numbers (I get 22 not 13). I'm using HDHomeRun Dual with the latest software. Anyone else have this problem or know of a solution? Thanks.

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jseymour
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Re: Major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS) not showing

Postby jseymour » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:56 am

Have you a TV with a tuner and tried scanning with that? Have you plugged your street address into TV Fool to see what should be available? Checked your zip code with zap2it?

wellthatsnotgood
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Re: Major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS) not showing

Postby wellthatsnotgood » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:58 pm

KOMO (ABC), KING (NBC), and KIRO (CBS) all broadcast from the top of Queen Anne. KSTW (The CW) and KCPQ's channel 22 broadcasts, on the other hand, come from towers near Madison and Pine. (KCPQ's channel 13 broadcast comes from west of Bremerton, so its signal in the city itself is not as strong, both 22 and 13 are the same broadcast, so you really only need to get the one).

So it seems you're having no problem picking up those channels near Madison and Pine (I would guess you can get KCTS/PBS as well), but can't get the Queen Anne ones. You should check what's between your antenna and Queen Anne. Where are the windows? What side of the building are you on? Are there any large buildings between you and Queen Anne that might be blocking the signal? If there are any obstructions, you might need a stronger antenna to pick up those stations.

hipchecker6
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Re: Major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS) not showing

Postby hipchecker6 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:06 pm

I've been moving my antenna around with limited success in getting the major networks. NBC showed up briefly as a channel but timed out. On TV Fool, NBC is in the yellow so not a huge surprise. Fox 13 showed up a few times with bad reception. Odd because it's in the green on TV Fool. ABC and CBS are both in the yellow on TV Fool, but ABC shows up strong whereas CBS is hit and miss.
I'm on the north side of the building on the 3rd floor. I'm in Burien, so quite a ways from Queen Anne with lots of obstructions in the way.
Thanks for your help.

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ACraigo
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Re: Major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS) not showing

Postby ACraigo » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:21 pm

Also keep in mind FOX 13 is VHF. Most 'HD' Antennae are UHF, so you may need a VHF/UHF dual band antennae to cover all the ground. Your LOS (line of sight) channels are under 30 miles away, but one of those is 13 (VHF). You've also got possible targets, some LOS, but at different directions AND different bands (VHF/UHF).

Many of your targets are well within range, but if I were doing it I can't imagine I could get away with a single antenna. It's probably going to take at least 2 in an array, UHF/VHF aimed in different directions, then patched back together with a diplexer, or a backwards splitter fed with equal lengths of coax into a single lead headed to the tuner(s).

If you had an attic space under a non-metal roof, you might get good results with some high gain antennae up there, but it'll take careful planning, execution and a fair amount of fiddling - made much easier with that SD Signal Strength app for your phone in play while fiddling. That would remove a LOT of guesswork and reveal how much antennae you'll need to get the job done.

Ideally you'd head up, or out with a live coax and whatever antenna you have now, then start aiming it at your targets and see what you get. That will tell you what you'd need for solid signals with much more accuracy than a wild guess.

I've not studied your tvfool images very closely, but you're basically surrounded with some decent signals. Seems like a fun project to me, but I've been fiddling with antennae for 50 years, so this is the kind of stuff that to me would be fun... don't know about you.

:)

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jseymour
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Re: Major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS) not showing

Postby jseymour » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:38 am

As in "on the 3rd floor of an apartment" and trying to use an indoor "digital" antenna? And it sounds like you're further away from some of them than your OP at first suggested.

Echoing ACraigo's point: At least one of your stations is VHF, and many "digital" antennas don't work on VHF worth spit. (The Winegard Flatwave Amped is one that does.)

The UHF stations, in particular, and the higher-frequency UHF stations most of all: If you have "a lot of obstructions" between them and you, you may be out of luck. UHF can survive edge diffraction, but obstructions (mountains and very tall hills, being in low valleys, multiple tall buildings) are usually a show-stopper. Only way is to get over or around the obstruction(s).

Be advised also a nationwide broadcast TV repack is in the works. It starts now (some stations have already moved) and continues in phases through early 2020. The good news is all the "high UHF" stations will be moving down. The bad news, for some people, is some of them are moving into VHF-high and a few are even moving into the previously-abandoned VHF-low, where even the antenna noted above might not work.

Ken.F
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Re: Major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS) not showing

Postby Ken.F » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:00 am

The bad news, for some people, is some of them are moving into VHF-high and a few are even moving into the previously-abandoned VHF-low, where even the antenna noted above might not work.
VHF-low has not been abandoned. I currently have two of them, WDPN on 2 and WPVI on 6. I also have WHYY on 12 so there isn't much room for them to move anything else from UHF to VHF in my market.

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ACraigo
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Re: Major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS) not showing

Postby ACraigo » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:01 am

As in "on the 3rd floor of an apartment" and trying to use an indoor "digital" antenna? And it sounds like you're further away from some of them than your OP at first suggested.
Here's my answer to lo-gain 'indoor' antennae:

Image
(there's a DB8 on a j-pole bolted to the floor behind)
:)

HBU-25 top - green-lighting stations in a market 45-65 Miles distant, the Channel Master 4221 and DB8 (behind) is working some distant UHF at 60-70 Miles at slightly different directions. Second floor, Cementitious siding. This setup (not designed or approved by the 'little woman') had to go here to peek out under the 100 yr old metal roof negating any use of the attic space above.

A Channel Master 4248 is an 8 bay opposed to the 4 bay above that does get better VHF-High than a DB8 due to a continuous reflector - but nothing beats an antennae cut for the band it's supposed to be working in.
Be advised also a nationwide broadcast TV repack is in the works. It starts now (some stations have already moved) and continues in phases through early 2020. The good news is all the "high UHF" stations will be moving down. The bad news, for some people, is some of them are moving into VHF-high and a few are even moving into the previously-abandoned VHF-low, where even the antenna noted above might not work.
Oh, you mean those same frequencies they ran us off of a few years ago? Well, I'd be surprised at that, but I'm not.

I kinda liked VHF High, as the antennae didn't have to be very big (long - like the little HBU25 duct taped to the entertainment cabinet above) and the signal still enjoyed some 'bendy/bouncy' between the tower and me/you). Let's hope I don't have to try to deal with any VHF-Low stations, but down here in the canyon, if anyone fires one up within 60 miles of here - I'm gonna have to try (dammit).

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jseymour
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Re: Major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS) not showing

Postby jseymour » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:37 pm

The bad news, for some people, is some of them are moving into VHF-high and a few are even moving into the previously-abandoned VHF-low, where even the antenna noted above might not work.
VHF-low has not been abandoned. I currently have two of them, WDPN on 2 and WPVI on 6. I also have WHYY on 12 so there isn't much room for them to move anything else from UHF to VHF in my market.
It was abandoned in most markets. There appears to be only a couple dozen stations in the entire U.S. using it. Anyway: My point remains: Many "digital" antennas don't even perform at VHF-Hi, much less VHF-Lo, the repack is happening, and some of that repack is to move formerly UHF stations into VHF-Hi and even VHF-Lo (not many of the latter, however).

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jseymour
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Re: Major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS) not showing

Postby jseymour » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:42 pm

Let's hope I don't have to try to deal with any VHF-Low stations, but down here in the canyon, if anyone fires one up within 60 miles of here - I'm gonna have to try (dammit).
You can check your market(s) here: RabbitEars Repack Plan tool


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