I've been spending many hours answering DTV emails, so please let me apologize for not posting here more often. I promise to add things here more often. Here's a great question I got this week from Judy, followed by my answer.
My mother is in a nursing home in Freeburg,Il. They now have an antenna and do not intend to switch to cable or satellite. I bought a converter box and hooked it up. She only gets 11&30. Without the box she was receiving 2,4,5,11,&9. Why can't she get the old channels? I have e-mailed the converter box company 2 times and have not received a reply. Should I get a new box? Please Help!!!!
This sounds like an antenna problem, and we hear about this alot with older antennas. You have to have the right type of antenna, and it has to be in the right spot. Another problem can be that if there's only one antenna for all the TV's in the nursing home, the signal degrades too much before it gets to the converter box.
1st) Have them check the antenna - is it on the roof? That's always best.
2nd) Make sure it's a good UHF antenna. Older antennas could often pick up UHF signals, but they aren't ideal for UHF Digital signals. Several companies make reasonably priced antennas designed especially for this purpose. ( www.antennasdirect.com )
3rd) If the cable is longer than 30 feet from the antenna to the TV, or if the signal is split to a number of TV's, even if you're getting good signal strength at the antenna, it may be too weak by the time it travels down the line to the TVs. An antenna "amplifier" is one option - IF you are getting good signal strength at the antenna to begin with.
4th) Have them check the cable. Some older antennas use a thin, two-wire cable. Digital signals are best received over Rg6 Coaxial cable.