ATSC 3.0 OTA channels in St. Marys

I have been looking at dumping cable but really want to still be able to view the local stations. I tried a couple of antennas but could only get a really good signal for the PBS stations. I could get a weak signal for NBC, CBS, and Fox (ABC7, which is the one we watch the most, was completely non-existent) but they weren't watchable. I suspect it is due to the frequencies especially with ABC and CBS since they ride on VHF. All of the locals are currently also broadcasting in ATSC 3.0 (NextGen TV) on RF channel 33 which I know has a stronger signal. Is there anyone in St Marys, Hollywood or further south, that has had success with picking those up on ATSC 3.0? Before I go out and buy a tuner capable of seeing it, I am hoping someone on here already tried it out.

As a side note my preference would be to attic mount an antenna, so a monster 12 footer isn't really feasible. Any antenna suggestions that might work for this setup would also be appreciated. I suspect if I mounted one of the big Winegards on my roof I might be able to receive the regular broadcasts but if that remains my only option then I am stuck with cable. I looked at Hulu and YouTube TV but they are a little too clunky and would be confusing for some of my family to use.
 

Sneakers

Just sneakin' around....
 

sastanley

Active Member
Sneakers link will save you some time. I had a long reply all typed up but I basically abandoned OTA TV when I moved a couple years ago. I have probably already posted all of the personal trials I had in the thread linked above. When I was tinkering with antennas and ATSC, not all OTA was UHF; ABC 7 & CBS 9 stayed VHF, while FOX & NBC moved up into the UHF band. I had two antennas for a while (a high gain UHF & Hi-VHF).
One remote life has been pretty convenient, except now we are back to 2 remotes with a Fire TV..it handles all of our streaming, and we've just about found an 'app' for each of the shows we like to watch. I am still trying to figure out an easy way to "DVR" local channels so I can ditch DirecTV, without lots of extra remotes and inputs and tuners/receiver boxes.
edit - Quickly scanning that thread, I am glad to see some forumites having success with OTA
 
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limblips

Well-Known Member
PREMO Member
There is a service where you pay them ~$35, provide location and they will analyze you location, desires and provide you with specific antenna recommendations. Friend just did it for the Eastern Shore. He got maybe 7 weak channels. After getting one of the recommended antenna he is getting 35+ channels. You'll have to google it because I don't remember the name. (His antenna was ~$150!)
 

Sneakers

Just sneakin' around....
Sneakers link will save you some time. I had a long reply all typed up but I basically abandoned OTA TV when I moved a couple years ago. I have probably already posted all of the personal trials I had in the thread linked above. When I was tinkering with antennas and ATSC, not all OTA was UHF; ABC 7 & CBS 9 stayed VHF, while FOX & NBC moved up into the UHF band.
Well, yes and no. You have to look not only at the virtual channel number, but the digital channel number as well. They are not the same, and a channel that looks to be UHF may actually be transmitting in the VHF range, or vs versa.

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RoseRed

American Beauty
PREMO Member
Sneakers link will save you some time. I had a long reply all typed up but I basically abandoned OTA TV when I moved a couple years ago. I have probably already posted all of the personal trials I had in the thread linked above. When I was tinkering with antennas and ATSC, not all OTA was UHF; ABC 7 & CBS 9 stayed VHF, while FOX & NBC moved up into the UHF band. I had two antennas for a while (a high gain UHF & Hi-VHF).
One remote life has been pretty convenient, except now we are back to 2 remotes with a Fire TV..it handles all of our streaming, and we've just about found an 'app' for each of the shows we like to watch. I am still trying to figure out an easy way to "DVR" local channels so I can ditch DirecTV, without lots of extra remotes and inputs and tuners/receiver boxes.
edit - Quickly scanning that thread, I am glad to see some forumites having success with OTA
YTTV has an unlimited DVR service.
 

sastanley

Active Member
Thanks for the explanation sneakers..I see you are keeping up with it much better than me. 👍
Here is another thread with a bunch of OTA and cordcutter stuff, but it is older than the OTA thread, and I am sure everything I posted in there at the time is now out of date.
 
I had read that thread, but I didn't see anything about NextGen TV since those all broadcast on the UHF frequency RF 33 and I can easily pick up WETA on RF 31 I am hopeful that is a possible solution especially since they are all in the same direction. Given that I would also need to lay money out for not only the antenna but an RTSC 3.0 capable tuner I was hoping someone had some success picking that signal up before I went down that road.
 

sastanley

Active Member
Well..maybe this will be the NextGen TV thread!!

And $65/month (YTTV) for another 'streaming service' is a little steep for me, but they do offer a free trial..
 

Clem72

Well-Known Member
I had read that thread, but I didn't see anything about NextGen TV since those all broadcast on the UHF frequency RF 33 and I can easily pick up WETA on RF 31 I am hopeful that is a possible solution especially since they are all in the same direction. Given that I would also need to lay money out for not only the antenna but an RTSC 3.0 capable tuner I was hoping someone had some success picking that signal up before I went down that road.

Take one for the team and let us know how it goes?
 

Sneakers

Just sneakin' around....
I had read that thread, but I didn't see anything about NextGen TV since those all broadcast on the UHF frequency RF 33 and I can easily pick up WETA on RF 31 I am hopeful that is a possible solution especially since they are all in the same direction. Given that I would also need to lay money out for not only the antenna but an RTSC 3.0 capable tuner I was hoping someone had some success picking that signal up before I went down that road.
ATSC 3.0 is very very limited right now, not widespread in usage. As far as a tuner, a TV upgrade is probably in order.
 
ATSC 3.0 is very very limited right now, not widespread in usage. As far as a tuner, a TV upgrade is probably in order.
Yeah, I know it is limited but the DC stations are one of the markets where it is live now. I just bought my current TV last year before I even knew what NextGen was and was still ok with just having cable so that isn't really feasible. Silicon Dust has a DVR device that will take the OTA channels and stream them to any of your smart devices over your home network through an app which is one option I had looked at.
 

Sneakers

Just sneakin' around....
I may end up doing that but probably will wait until late spring/ early summer if I do. The blogs that I have been reading are predicting more options coming out by early spring 2022.
That's my plan. Just keeping an eye on it, and waiting for it to mature a little more before investing in a new TV.
 
Attic mounted will attenuate your signal significantly.

Suggested antenna is a Televes DAT Boss LR.
I saw that in the other post and will definitely look into that one. Thanks

I know it will attenuate the signal but I was able to get a really strong signal from the PBS station from one of the cheap antennas I tried in the attic so hopefully it will be able to pick it up. The other option I would consider is mounting it on my garage roof but that doesn't put it that far off of the ground even though it does have a pretty clear line of sight there.
 
Update: I ended up installing the Televes DAT Boss LR mix antenna and still couldn't manage to pull in WJLA at all. I can pick up WUSA (channel 9) which is also a VHF signal although it is very weak. I purchased a SiliconDust HDHomerun Flex 4K and it was able to pull in the NextGen channels including WJLA however I found the overall quality of the HD Homerun lacking.

First off, since the NextGen stations use AC-4 audio that means that most TVs that can't natively tune to ATSC 3.0 also cannot play the audio unless the app they're using has a transcoder for it (video comes through fine). The HDHomerun is able to be seen by several different streaming apps such as Plex so that you could integrate it into an app you may already use. However as of now, the only app that seems to have a working transcoder for AC-4 is the SiliconDust HDHomerun app.

On top of that, even though they have their app available for different platforms (android, Fire TV, Roku, Apple, etc.), I could only get the NextGen channels to play through my phone or the Fire TV. The Roku Homerun app sees the channels are there but it can't tune to them, which I verified is a problem with the app itself. The streaming from the Homerun to the Fire TV was often very poor even with a wired connection, there was a lot of stuttering that I didn't see on the phone which was using the wifi connection and it often completely stopped streaming a channel to which the fix was to tune to a different station and then come back to the original one. Through some further digging I found that SiliconDust has an awful reputation when it comes to updating and fixing their native app.

I ended up returning it, not just because of the shoddy app but the unit suddenly stopped seeing the ATSC 3.0 channels after about 3 weeks. So I am hopeful that some better atsc 3.0 tuner options will start to appear in the market over the next few months but until then it looks like a failed experiment.
 
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