Problems with FOX HD Broadcast

As I mentioned in previous comments, I got rid of cable TV last September and have been recording HD local broadcasts since then. Basically a full TV season has gone by since then and I have no regrets. However, over the last couple of months I’ve had varying degrees of problems with the reception of FOX.

The severity of the problem varies from nothing, to a bit of video corruption (horizontal rectangular strips across various parts of the picture that are clearly not correct and come and go), to more severe video corruption including some audio drop-outs, to very severe video corruption that is unwatchable, to something the TiVo is not even able to tune. Often, the problem only exists at the beginning of the 7pm recording and then goes away, but sometimes it lasts through all recordings for that evening (I almost never watch live TV).

For example, this last Tuesday’s American Idol didn’t get recording because no signal could be acquired, but Wednesday’s American Idol recorded fine with little to no corruption. I’ve considered that perhaps heat is an issue (the antenna is in the attic), but that doesn’t seem completely consistent (it wasn’t particularly hot on Tuesday). I haven’t checked on the antenna, which isn’t bolted down or anything, so could conceivably have gotten moved somehow (though I have no idea how), but then the signal will be perfectly fine later so that doesn’t seem likely.

This problem has led to me watching several episodes of Bones and House on FOX’s web site. I’ve watched occasional shows online over the past few years and I must say that there has been a significant improvement lately. The quality appears near-HD and the streaming is pretty much instant. I checked all of the main networks and this is pretty consistent across most of them. Very nice. Too bad not all the shows are available this way.

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  1. #1 by whall on May 22, 2008 - 10:32 pm

    I’m so glad my family is still in the dark ages with our “cavemen drawing images on the walls” analog TV. I get goosebumps just watching a DVD via component cables instead of composite.

    I think my eyes would burn if I watched HD.

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  2. #2 by Ren on May 23, 2008 - 9:37 am

    Most of the Time Warner channels are digital now — you’re not getting TV via an antenna like I am, correct? But you probably mean “analog” in the “not HD” sense instead of the “not digital” sense.

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  3. #3 by whall on May 23, 2008 - 10:24 am

    mostly. I meant “analog” as in

    a
    north american
    large optical gadget

    which just means “tv”. But you are also right that you inferred I do not have HD.

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  4. #4 by Ren on May 23, 2008 - 10:31 am

    My inference wasn’t that you didn’t have HD — I understood that explicitly from your comment — but rather that your use of “analog” includes non-HD digital.

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  5. #5 by whall on May 23, 2008 - 10:54 am

    I was trying to be ridiculous and stupid, but you’re ruining it for me.

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  6. #6 by Ren on May 23, 2008 - 11:11 am

    There is no try. Do or .. oh, wait, you’ve got that covered already — my bad. 🙂

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