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Old 06-04-2012, 02:57 PM   #1
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Digital TV questions

We are new to digital TV in an RV via an antenna. Not all campgrounds have coax. TV available or only at a few selct sites so we have to go with digital TV sometimes.

Have a few questions I can't find answers to yet.

Is air digital available across the US? We were at one c/g a month ago and couldn't get any digital TV signals (did search/setup). Someone their said you can't get air digital TV in most places around the US because they aren't supposed to transmit it by air (what??).

How on earth do you aim your antenna to optimize the signal strength? Just when I think I have it aimed okay, by the time I sit down, the image is all screwed up again.

If you aim the antenna for one station, do you need to keep re-aiming it for optimal signal on another channel? What a pain that's going to be if so.

What are the ".2" stations, as in 24.2 for example? And where can you find a guide for the digital channels so you can find what is on or coming up?

I have to say that we are very impressed with the picture quality (when working okay). The downside is that most of the channels are shopping channels, in another language, or music video stuff (crap to us). Maybe only a couple of channels have anything on worth watching. We're freaking out that we won't be able to see Survivor or Dancing With the Stars some day.....
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:04 PM   #2
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I may be able to help with some of your questions.

Almost all channels are now broadcasted in high definition over the air. The problem is how far your camp site is away from where the signals are coming from. This will determine whether or not you will pick them up. And in most areas, each channel or group of channels is coming from a different direction, so you will usually have to rotate the antenna for each specific channel you want to watch. Antennaweb.org is a great site for locating what direction your antenna should be aimed for a specific channel in your area. They also make antenna extensions/boosters to help pick up a better signal and more channels. These will just clip onto or replace the existing antenna on the roof of your TT. The biggest problem with high definition, is you either get it or you don't. So you will never have a fuzzy HD channel, it just won't come in all together.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:09 PM   #3
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When I use my antenna at a CG, I either look at the direction other camper's antennas are pointing, or use a compass to point to the nearest big city near by.
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amxpress
When I use my antenna at a CG, I either look at the direction other camper's antennas are pointing, or use a compass to point to the nearest big city near by.
That's a good tip!
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:07 PM   #5
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The digital signals they are broadcasting now don't carry as far as the old vhf signals. Hopefully you have one of the yagi digital add-ons on your existing antenna. No electrical connection but they make a big difference. The new multi-directional antennas eliminate the pointing problem and some are better than others. Ours does a fair job but when we're down home country we're just too far away to get the signals. Thank goodness for cg cable.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:34 PM   #6
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My 19RR came with the cheesy default antenna that you can't aim or point. I have friends who have FR campers with the ones you can raise up and aim. They get channels just fine while mine gets maybe one channel for 10 minutes. I've given up trying and know I must upgrade my antenna to watch TV. I just bring DVD's for now until I get up enough nerve to update. The only time I ever watch TV anyway is right before bed so I doubt I'll upgrade it soon.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty75
I may be able to help with some of your questions.

Almost all channels are now broadcasted in high definition over the air. The problem is how far your camp site is away from where the signals are coming from. This will determine whether or not you will pick them up. And in most areas, each channel or group of channels is coming from a different direction, so you will usually have to rotate the antenna for each specific channel you want to watch. Antennaweb.org is a great site for locating what direction your antenna should be aimed for a specific channel in your area. They also make antenna extensions/boosters to help pick up a better signal and more channels. These will just clip onto or replace the existing antenna on the roof of your TT. The biggest problem with high definition, is you either get it or you don't. So you will never have a fuzzy HD channel, it just won't come in all together.
The Antennaweb.org website shows stations with colored-coded antenna types. What do the colors mean for us with the usual Winegard antenna?
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:14 PM   #8
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Doh! Figured it out on my own.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toby View Post
My 19RR came with the cheesy default antenna that you can't aim or point. I have friends who have FR campers with the ones you can raise up and aim. They get channels just fine while mine gets maybe one channel for 10 minutes. I've given up trying and know I must upgrade my antenna to watch TV. I just bring DVD's for now until I get up enough nerve to update. The only time I ever watch TV anyway is right before bed so I doubt I'll upgrade it soon.
Toby, which antenna is that?
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:31 PM   #10
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Today I bought a Winegard Sensar add-on yagi type antenna. Will have to wait until we are camping again to see how well it works. It's supposed to increase gain by up to 100%.

I now understand that two big factors are trees in the way and line of sight. So if you are in a low area surrouded by trees, nothing much will help anyway.

Still trying to figure out where to find a programming guide for the DTV signals. That website link helps a lot, thanks!
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