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  #31  
Old 11-13-2017, 12:02 PM
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Yeppers...(grin) Now, THIS is "Reaching Back', but seems like TVs worked better if they were hooked up to an antenna, rabbit ears, whatever... Ones hooked up toa"Cable" system, just didn't look all that great. This was the era of WBIR TV-10, which was at the time, ONE of the tallest structures on Earth. Something was WRONG w/that antenna-It NEVER quite lived up to all the fol-der-all they dreamed up for it.
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  #32  
Old 11-13-2017, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy G View Post
Yeppers...(grin) Now, THIS is "Reaching Back', but seems like TVs worked better if they were hooked up to an antenna, rabbit ears, whatever... Ones hooked up toa"Cable" system, just didn't look all that great...
Analog cable systems consisted of cascades of multiple analog RF amps. Each one had to be flat within a gnat's eyebrow, or the variations would add up to something visible (and typically did) by the time the signal got to your home.
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  #33  
Old 11-13-2017, 12:26 PM
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I remember the opposite, CATV always had a beautiful picture in my area. Videotron had it nailed, the test pattern looked ideal, and the signal was always strong and beautiful. No interference from electric motors or car ignitions, no signal loss according to time of day... no need to every touch fine tuning. just beautiful colour TV.

The installers always used the best products too, they would hook up your TV with Belden coax cable, with the best terminations, and expensive low loss splitters... miles better than the junk you could buy at Radio Shack.

I do remember though that "private" systems in places like hotels often looked like garbage compared to the CATV system at home.

Last edited by maxhifi; 11-13-2017 at 12:29 PM.
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  #34  
Old 11-15-2017, 01:05 PM
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An antenna and lead-in with a "notchy" or otherwise non-flat response over the 6 mc of your favorite channel, would likely cause issues similar to a sloppy CATV system.

Dad was certain the 10-foot JFD-LPVCL500 and the Belden fat-foam lead-in was the bees knees for the 1971 Chromacolor with "super gold video guard" tuner. The wacky-disc helical UHF part of that antenna would barely get channel 17 though.

And being 45 miles and just one big hill away from Philly's Roxborough tower farm should have made perfect color on 4 VHF channels a slam-dunk but... WFIL 6 looked really good compared to 3, 10 and 12. Color for ABC's 1972 Olympics was out of this world on that Zenith.
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  #35  
Old 11-15-2017, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DavGoodlin View Post
An antenna and lead-in with a "notchy" or otherwise non-flat response over the 6 mc of your favorite channel, would likely cause issues similar to a sloppy CATV system.



And being 45 miles and just one big hill away from Philly's Roxborough tower farm should have made perfect color on 4 VHF channels a slam-dunk but... WFIL 6 looked really good compared to 3, 10 and 12. Color for ABC's 1972 Olympics was out of this world on that Zenith.

Your area is much closer to Lancaster than to Philadelphia, as I found out on TVGuide.com when I searched on your zip code, 17601. How was your area's reception of channel 27, WHTM-TV in Lancaster? I would think, given that you are in the Lancaster metro area and in a near-fringe area for Philadelphia TV, you would have much, much better reception on channel 27 than on Philadelphia's channel 6. You wouldn't have needed a big outdoor antenna to get all three Lancaster network stations.

BTW, the reason you were getting such poor reception on Philadelphia's channel 17 may well have been because of the distance involved (45 miles). UHF signals do not reach as far as VHF ones, so fringe-area reception of the former is somewhat iffy when you are some distance from the transmitters. That you are 45 miles from Philadelphia's TV towers, with a hill thrown in (!), makes matters somewhat worse, requiring the use of an outdoor antenna (or cable) almost mandatory for good reception of all four of the city's VHF stations. Channel 12 is in Wilmington, Delaware, which is probably outside the Philadelphia metro area, probably won't reach your area without an outdoor antenna. I live in northeast Ohio and remember what a dickens of a time we had when Cleveland's first UHF station, a PBS (then NET, National Educational TV) affiliate went on the air in 1965. I was perhaps 16 miles from downtown, 30+ miles from the station's towers, and could barely see the station's test pattern through heavy snow, even using a small outdoor TV antenna mounted on an old window-shade roller and attached to the side of the TV stand. Our TV was not that great, either; just a 17-inch Sears Silvertone all-channel portable. That the PBS station was only running one million watts ERP at the time wasn't helping matters much, either. I bet no one much except the local elementary school, just down the road from me at the time (it has since been torn down), was seeing this station in its early years. I doubt very much if anyone in those days saw Cleveland's PBS station where I live today, a small village some 30 miles from Cleveland and 35-40 (!) miles from the transmitters. The station had several UHF translator stations to address this issue, but none of them were meant to reach my area.
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Last edited by Jeffhs; 11-15-2017 at 04:45 PM.
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  #36  
Old 11-16-2017, 12:43 PM
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I did extensive antenna testing since moving here in 1989, testing all manner of antennas all on 40-foot Rohn Towers. The VCR's had all the possible channels programmed in, even Washington DC's 4-5-7-9 and a rotor was a must. On a few memorable summer nights, every VHF channel showed a picture here, while some were BW only, others made no sound! On extra-special nights and summer mornings - with e-skip New York channels over-powered Baltimore-DC, while New Haven and Hartford stepped all over KYW-3 and WGAL-8, no small feat!!!

Adding mast pre-amps, knowing the effect on cheaper amps from image frequencies of nearby FM flamethrowers, I was able to select equipment because I could S-E-E what was happening a Sony KV-1711 or Magnavox T995. I even saw effects of radiated noise and interference from switch-mode power supplies. No more.

I had the key benefit of knowing how analog reception was here before the shutdown and only the frequencies have changed NOT the transmitter locations. Appalachia, these Blue Mountain and Pocono foothills and even most of New England is similar this way. Good UHF over 40 miles away required an amp, including Philadelphia UHF's.

In a 1962 PF reporter, I read with nostalgia how Winegard and JFD antenna full page ADs touting the Midwest's VHF reception over 200 miles. Channel 13 of Toledo received in Milwaukee was in one ad, 248 miles! That dealer sure was proud, I bet.

Out of all the "local channels" for this market area, WHTM is the elusive one like WOIO is in Cleveland, every area has at least one problem channel that drives the minimum acceptable installation, and its usually VHF.

WHTM was RF 27 in analog days, but was still a bugaboo to get 40 miles away unless the rotor was dead-on for 27, ABC default was WPVI-6. Normally, all but channels 4-5-7-9 was receivable on my 1967 Philco hybrid color, using built-in rabbit ears , but only up in the attics of both our 2.5 story houses. This is how good it was compared to WHTM.

Low rolling and wooded hills west of Philly are small but biggest factors affecting digitized RF are nearby trees, not reflected signals. Multipath was not a problem due to agricultural surroundings, so increasing antenna elevation is mostly used to overcome near-obstacles like trees, and equally important, reduce terrain-reflected noise.

The distance factor is why Antenna rabbit or antenna web shows "one edge", not line of sight, reception for all the Philly and Baltimore Stations.

The VHF signals for the ABC channels in Harrisburg-10 and Philadelphia-6 (with 2-3 subs each) are generally hard to get without an outdoor fringe-rated VHF antenna. Forget using anything else, even the little broadband ones like "Radio Shack's VU-90, or the ones sold now by CM that are similar.

Believe it or not, the most reliable local ABC reception is from WMAR, which was VHF-2, now DT RF-38. But that is in a different direction.
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Last edited by DavGoodlin; 11-16-2017 at 12:48 PM.
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  #37  
Old 11-16-2017, 11:04 PM
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Anyone who DOESN'T believe that there is a healthy dose of Black Magic in TV & FM reception oughta come down here. Sometimes, you could BARELY get any of the Knoxville stations on FM,& then other times, the ENTIRE FM band was one solid station. The BEST times, generally, are when the weather is changing over from one season to another. The sky is that gorgeous "Chrome Blue" that you'll have for maybe a week in the spring & fall. Roanoke, Virginia, is roughly 200 miles from here-a tough catch, ordinarily, but on the "Chrome" days they boom in here like there's no tomorrow..
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