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How do I get over-the-air digital signals?

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October 19, 2008, 12:57 PM
Rick
How do I get over-the-air digital signals?
I have my new HDTV connected to cable, but that cable occasionally goes out so I wanted to also connect a rabbit ears for those times. I connected the rabbit ears to the ANT input, changed the Source to Air, but it will only pick up the analog stations. How to I get the digital stations? I know I can connect the rabbit ears thru a converter box but I was under the impression all new TV's must have a digital tuner. I've read the instruction books and cant figure out how to get over-the-air digital signals. Can anyone help?
October 19, 2008, 01:12 PM
James R. Cutler
Just like problems with your Mac --

Make? Model Number?
October 19, 2008, 04:09 PM
Mike Gawet
Rick,

You might find this link helpful. http://www.dtv.gov/consumercorner.html#faq6

In particular, read these links within it "How do I know if I already have a digital TV (DTV)?" - and - "How can I be sure that I am buying a digital TV (DTV)?"

Though you may have purchased the TV recently, you may have bought one that was made prior to the date mentioned.
October 19, 2008, 04:32 PM
James R. Cutler
That's why I asked for the make and model number. So that I can check the specifications and determine the correct procedure for that model.

It also depends on location with relation to the TV transmitter. Two useful web sites are www.antennaweb.org and http://www.2150.com/broadcast/default.asp

This message has been edited. Last edited by: James R. Cutler,
October 19, 2008, 08:54 PM
Chuck M
From Best Buy:

quote:
An "integrated digital tuner," when combined with a sufficiently sized and properly positioned antenna, allows reception of unencrypted digital signals provided by local "over-the-air" broadcasters.


You should notice a difference in the quality of the OTA signals - they should be BETTER.
October 19, 2008, 09:03 PM
Donna
Do the converter boxes for which the government issues $40 coupons enable you to receive those new digital signals and view them on your old analog TV?
October 19, 2008, 09:43 PM
James R. Cutler
Donna,

Yes, either by antenna cable and channel 3 or 4 or by composite video and stereo audio.
October 20, 2008, 07:18 AM
Rick
quote:
Originally posted by James R. Cutler:
Just like problems with your Mac --

Make? Model Number?


Its a Samsung LN46A580/P6F
October 20, 2008, 01:07 PM
Mary Jo Disler
Rick - Have you tried using the remote (?or tuner on the set) to advance the channels? For example: Go to Channel 56, then advance the channel to the next one with the arrows (NOT by entering a number). If you get 56-1, that is the digital signal. Even with a converter box it would read 56-1, NOT just 56.

By using the arrows you can advance again to 56-2, and 56-3. The 3 settings AFTER plain 56 are all digital signals. Sometimes 56-1 and/or 56-3 have different programming, but 56-2 is always the digital signal for the main broadcast.

Network channels work the same way: For example, Channel 7 is analog, 7-1 is digital, 7-2 has a 24-hr local weather report.

Here & there the other over-the-air channels have sub-channels also.


"For what is age but youth's full bloom,
A riper, more transcendent youth" - Oliver Wendell Holmes
October 20, 2008, 01:10 PM
Mary Jo Disler
Donna - The answer is "yes." We have a converter for a small older TV, and it picks up digital OK (mostly - wouldn't get a signal for 62 yesterday ???)

HOWEVER, keep in mind that the aspect ratio is different, so the digital picture won't fill the height of an older TV.


"For what is age but youth's full bloom,
A riper, more transcendent youth" - Oliver Wendell Holmes
October 20, 2008, 02:20 PM
James R. Cutler
Rick,

I can't find the manual for a LN46A580 online. Here is the generic procedure:

Open the setup menu.
Look for channel search setup.
Look for ATSC channels. ATSC is the over the air signal standard.

Depending on your location, rabbit ears may work fine. Remember that digital TV pictures don't get noisy as the signal weakens. They just stop....
October 20, 2008, 02:38 PM
Mike Gawet
quote:
Its a Samsung LN46A580/P6F


Rick,

I did some nosing around for your particular model number (the searches didn't yield anything until I removed the slash, to read Samsung LN46A580P6F)

I was looking specifically for specifications, and couldn't find any - including on Samsung's site. I downloaded a PDF of the user's manual, and didn't even find any specs there. What I did find in the user's manual was this statement listed in the Features. "Excellent Digital Interface & Networking : With a built-in HD digital tuner, non-subscription HD broadcasts can be viewed with no Cable Box/Satellite receiver (Set-Top Box) needed."

There is a good chance I'm wrong about the following. But, the lack of specification information that I was able to find online, plus the somewhat vague statement above, leads me to believe that your TV may not have a digital tuner (DTV) or an HDTV tuner (HDTV) built-in.

Perhaps James can provide more info - or, it's possible that your TV was made or shipped prior to March 1, 2007.

The easiest way to find out might be to call the store that you bought the TV from.
October 20, 2008, 03:01 PM
Mary Jo Disler
Somehow I get the opposite impression from Mike's comments. - Sounds to me like the set DOES have a built in digital tuner, since it says "no Cable Box/Satellite receiver needed."

If you haven't tried my suggestions to use the remote arrow keys to locate sub-channels (digital signals), give it a try. Can't hurt.


"For what is age but youth's full bloom,
A riper, more transcendent youth" - Oliver Wendell Holmes
October 20, 2008, 03:04 PM
Mary Jo Disler
P.S. - Jim Cutler's comments re a channel search setup scan are important. We had to do it both with our LCD-TV and with the old TV/converter box as I recall.


"For what is age but youth's full bloom,
A riper, more transcendent youth" - Oliver Wendell Holmes
October 20, 2008, 03:05 PM
Mary Jo Disler
P.S. - Jim Cutler's comments re a channel searchsetup scan are important. We had to do it both with our LCD-TV and with the old TV/converter box as I recall.


"For what is age but youth's full bloom,
A riper, more transcendent youth" - Oliver Wendell Holmes
October 20, 2008, 03:19 PM
Jack Beckman
All digital receivers (in-built or external) require a "setup" routine to scan for the available channels.


===
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: “Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That’s what being a scientist is all about.”
Cubert J. Farnsworth: “No, that’s what being a magical elf is all about.”

October 20, 2008, 08:48 PM
Chuck M
Since this is a recent model, it's likely it contains an integrated digital HDTV tuner. Why don't you call Samsung Tech Support anyway?

Samsung Digital HDTV Support: 1-800-SAMSUNG (1-800-726-7864)

Or get into Samsung's Live Support on the Internet?

It does have an "Antenna In" female BNC connector on the side I/O panel. See this website. That's where you'd plug in the rooftop antenna coax cable. You might want to get an amplified antenna, for "pulling in" distant stations, e.g., Ann Arbor or Toledo. You might need such communications if an event prevented you from receiving cable.

You may still want a digital convertor box with analog pass through if you have an old SDTV, or if you want to receive CBET (aka, CKLW). Most converter boxes will have S-VHS connectors, so you can also use that to receive OTA signals.


The TV show "Unreliable Sources" (RTN) did a special last night on the DTV conversion.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Chuck M,