Why can't I get local channels over the air? - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 09-20-2007, 01:07 AM
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Default Why can't I get local channels over the air?

So I got a 32" Sharp LCD 1080p Gaming HDTV over the summer. I finally just got a little attenae thing. The problem is I can only get 1 digital channel. It doesn't even give me the main channels in analog (ABC or CBS). I get a pretty crappy NBC, but still not in digital. I went through the setup, I picked over the air, then did the channel search. So why can I not get some channels at all and why I can't get them all in digital HD?

I have looked at the manual, from what I can tell I have done everything it says. But when I type in 5.1, 4.1, 11.1, etc. it says unable to receive broadcast ... why?
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Old 09-20-2007, 01:27 AM
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You bought this TV and choose not to have digital cable???

Are you sure your local stations broadcast over-the-air in HD?
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Old 09-20-2007, 01:41 AM
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As MrEnglish said 1st you should make sure that your local channels send out an HD signal. Then what you have to do is find out which channel these stations are on. also, your antennae may not be strong enough to pick up those HD feeds from the stations. the Digital signals are not like SD where you can get "fuzzy" you either get it or you dont. The best source of info for your local area is probably AVS in their HDTV Local Programming Forum. I hate to send you away from this site, but that has the best info and probably the updated channel lists for you all in one place.
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Old 09-20-2007, 03:30 AM
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Right now I am in college, I mainly just use my TV for playing games and watching Blu Rays and HD DVDs. Digital Cable right now seems kind of like a waste. It will be good once I have life after college, but not right now.

I am pretty positive I should be able to get these local channels. My parents have basically the same TV only bigger, and they get the channels just fine. I know for a fact that the local news channels broadcast in HD (I have watched some on my parents TV), so that should not be the problem. I thought it might be something I am doing wrong, but if I do the channel search and I don't even pick them up, I guess that would lead one to believe I just can't pick up the signal. It is just odd though because I even got the external attenae.
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Old 09-20-2007, 10:40 AM
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getting hd channels over the air can be very fickle. i am sure with a strong enough antenna you would have better success. I have read that many people have to change the direction of the antenna depending on the channel. so it can be a pain for sure. (even though it's electronic)
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Old 09-20-2007, 01:27 PM
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Where are you located? Here's a website that should help you figure out where the local digital broadcasts are coming from and how far away they are...

www.antennaweb.org

I've found that if you live within 20 miles or so of an antenna and are pointed in the right direction, chances are you'll get a clear signal with a decent tuner.

I live in NJ about 16.5 miles from where the NY stations broadcast from, and never bothered signing up for digital cable because I receive 8 stations in HD plus some more channels and sub-channels that are digital but not HD.

In fact, I realized I don't need 60 channels that I don't watch so I don't pay for any cable or satellite TV services anymore. It's $600-$1000 that I don't miss spending each year.
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Old 09-20-2007, 05:53 PM
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Are you in a dorm? You'll probably need a powered antenna if the one you have isn't one. When I lived in Minneapolis, I was in an apartment and my reception of the digital channels was hit or miss sometimes. I moved farther away and live in a townhouse now, and I get great reception now.

If you do have a powered antenna, adjust the power level. I recall some stations not working if the power was turned all the way up.

Also, kind of silly, but just to be sure, does your TV have two antenna inputs? Make sure you've got the right antenna selected.
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Old 09-20-2007, 09:44 PM
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yes I live in a dorm at the University of MN. I will try some things out. Thanks.
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