Feedback on HDHR5-4US

Reception, channel detection, network issues, CableCARD setup, etc.
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revengineer
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:24 pm

Feedback on HDHR5-4US

Post by revengineer » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:17 pm

I have been an earlier adopter of HDHR5-4US to test whether going OTA is an option for my family. So far the answer is negative based on the tuner (not the programming). I live near Baltimore and getting stations WBAL and WJZ is a must for me. Both stations seem to be VHF channels and working on receiving them has been an issue from day one. I have tried TV-top antennas and went as far as installing an antenna in the attic. Nothing has worked so far.

Early on, both stations were playing with regular pixelation and symbol quality was bouncing between 100 and 0. My understanding is that this was an issue with the demodulator. However, both firmware updates, which were supposed to fix the issue, have only made things worse. With the 20190621 firmware, my signal strength is about 75% and symbol quality shows as none for both stations. The picture is now unwatchable and sound is received in form of random blips. This used to be much better. Tracking the history, I am confident that it is your product and not my setup, and you need to get a handle on your firmware to make the product usable. At this time, I cannot recommend purchasing this product to anyone.

I will keep trying your attempts to fix this mess, but for now I need to stick with HDHR-CC for reliable service.

jasonl
Silicondust
Posts: 13777
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:23 pm

Re: Feedback on HDHR5-4US

Post by jasonl » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:12 pm

What antenna are you using currently?

revengineer
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:24 pm

Re: Feedback on HDHR5-4US

Post by revengineer » Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:07 pm

I am using this antenna: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DN ... UTF8&psc=1. The antenna is mounted in the attic. The coax run is about 15 feet. No splitter, no amplifier.

The antenna and its orientation has not changed since I had a better experience with the 20180921 firmware.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

jasonl
Silicondust
Posts: 13777
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:23 pm

Re: Feedback on HDHR5-4US

Post by jasonl » Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:48 pm

Consider an antenna that has better performance on VHF. Those GE antennas are a reasonably good UHF antenna with rabbit ears tacked on for VHF. The 3 front elements plus the screen are all for UHF; only the loop at the back is for VHF. The design is fairly directional on UHF, which minimizes a lot of potential issues from multipath. On VHF, however, they're nondirectional, and that leads to performance issues in areas with multipath. Sometimes you can find the perfect spot for them by moving the antenna around and monitoring the signal levels until you find just the right spot. Overall, you're better off picking an antenna that is more directional on VHF. I typically recommend the Winegard HD7694p for situations like that.

revengineer
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:24 pm

Re: Feedback on HDHR5-4US

Post by revengineer » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:29 pm

The recommendation looks like a nice antenna. But how do I know that multipath is my issue? Tonight I see WBAL at 75% signal strength, signal quality hovers at 50% and symbol quality bounces between 0% and 100%. Other channels play fine at 50% signal strength where they get 100% symbol quality. No dice at all with WJZ, the app reports "unable to play channel". All quality parameters are 0%. I used to get this station at least to play and there is no change in the antenna direction.

jasonl
Silicondust
Posts: 13777
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:23 pm

Re: Feedback on HDHR5-4US

Post by jasonl » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:14 pm

Multipath is the #1 enemy of the 8VSB modulation scheme used by ATSC. Having a more directional antenna is a primary way to combat multipath. You have an antenna that is fairly directional on UHF and works fine on those channels. It's not directional at all on VHF and doesn't work so well on those channels. These add up and point to multipath.

revengineer
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:24 pm

Re: Feedback on HDHR5-4US

Post by revengineer » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:04 pm

Ok, thank you. I will give this a shot when I find some time for a new installation.

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