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Old 11-25-2007, 08:58 AM   #1
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I'm in the process of converting both TVs inside my coach to HDTV and haven't been able to find a definitive answer to a question reqarding the required cables to display an HD signal.

I have two coax cables coming from my Wineguard dish to my multiplex box and a single coax running from there to each tv.

I believe that I should be able to display OTA HD signals with these cables but am not sure about the DirecTv set up. I currently use a SD Tivo receiver along with an RF remote so I can control this one receiver from both the salon and bedroom. When I switch to an HD DVR is it safe to assume that I will no longer be able to connect the Bedroom tv via coax and still display HD? Are my choices to either add a second receiver in the bedroom or route component video cables from the salon to the bedroom? Any other ideas?

Thanks!
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Old 11-25-2007, 08:58 AM   #2
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I'm in the process of converting both TVs inside my coach to HDTV and haven't been able to find a definitive answer to a question reqarding the required cables to display an HD signal.

I have two coax cables coming from my Wineguard dish to my multiplex box and a single coax running from there to each tv.

I believe that I should be able to display OTA HD signals with these cables but am not sure about the DirecTv set up. I currently use a SD Tivo receiver along with an RF remote so I can control this one receiver from both the salon and bedroom. When I switch to an HD DVR is it safe to assume that I will no longer be able to connect the Bedroom tv via coax and still display HD? Are my choices to either add a second receiver in the bedroom or route component video cables from the salon to the bedroom? Any other ideas?

Thanks!
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Old 11-25-2007, 09:14 AM   #3
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Rick;

I think you are OK. My son at his house just purchased a new HD TV. He is using his old TV antenna and old lead in. His TV has a perfect HD signal. There has been another post where one of our members has a good HD picture with his old Winegard batwing.

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Old 11-25-2007, 09:36 AM   #4
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No special cables are required for HD TV. The only restrictions I am aware are of that you need are RG6 coax cables between the Satellite dish and the DVR. However the RG6 cable requirement is the case as well with SD satellite receivers.
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Old 11-25-2007, 02:56 PM   #5
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Rick...need some more info. How many LNBs on your Winegard antenna? When you say 'multiplex box', do you mean a satellite multiswitch or the video switching box for Ant/Sat/VCR/Aux? Is there a DirecTV receiver in the bedroom already or do you have to watch the same channel as the front TV?

Here's some info to digest. Over the air HD signals can be received with your standard TV antenna. Your TV may require you to use a HD RF input on the TV or it may not. Mine does.

Directv offers HD on several LNBs but if you have less than 3 LNBs or your Winegard is not skewable, you may have to switch the antenna around manually or electrically to get the HD channels.

An HD DVR needs 2 inputs from the satellite antenna. If you have 2 now (and don't add any more), BOTH will have to go to the DVR to get the benefits of the DVR. You would need to run a second set of cables from a satellite MULTISWITCH to the rear TV and have a receiver in the bedroom to watch Directv in the back if you set up a DVR in the front.
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Old 11-25-2007, 04:06 PM   #6
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You have RG6 cable already going to the sat reciever so that part is ok. With the new HD channels being offered by Direct TV you need one of the newest satelitte dishes on the roof capable of picking up the Ku band sats that directtv is using for these channels. There are actually 5 LNB's used to acquire all the sats needed for all the Directtv channels. You only need 2 feeds from the dish to the reciever if you are planning on using a HD-DVR and even then you can use just one feed. That will not allow you to record one channel and watch another for that you would need two feeds. If you get the standard HD reciever the HD-20 they only use 1 feed. Now for the tv to get true HD you need an HDMI cable from the reciever to the tv. The coax used feed the signal to the tv will not be enough for a good HD signal. Also you cannot feed it through the switching box as it will decay the signal both ways. If the TV has a builtin tuner the signal from the coaches antenna (if digital signal is available) will give you HD. If it is just a monitor (no tuner) than again the DirectTV box acts as your tuner and you will need that HDMI cable to see it in HD.
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Old 11-25-2007, 05:08 PM   #7
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If you use your Winegard TV Selector switch for off air, that is all you will need for transmitted HD Network Broadcast signals. As long as both TVs have HD tuners you will get HD on both TVs. You will have to use component cables or HDMI cables from the DirecTV receiver to the TV for satellite HD. To receive HD in the back of the motorhome you will have to run component or HDMI cables to the TV in the back.
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Old 11-26-2007, 07:39 AM   #8
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Wow, this is great info. Thanks so much. I love this forum!

My current set up starts with an automatic Winegard AS-2003 which seems to have only one LNB but has the capability to switch between two sats. I have assumed correctly that I will need to replace the dish with a new one.

I knew I needed RJ6 cable but couldn't find any clear marking on it but I guess it has to be RJ6 or I wouldn't be picking up sat signals now.
I also have two feeds coming from the roof dish but have not yet traced where both go. I need to do that.

I run one lead from the sat into my SD TiVo and then from the TiVo back to the video swith box. I don't currently use a multiswitch. I was concerned about degrading an HD signal by running it through this video switch box and it sounds like that is going to be an issue.

Also in my current set up, I use an RF remote control so I can watch and control my Tivo (which is located in the front of the coach) from the bedroom. It works great but that's only an SD signal routed through the coax and video switch box. If I understand correctly, I will no longer be able to do this once I switch the Tivo to a DirecTv DVR. It sounds like the RJ6 will carry OTA HD signals but not those from the HD DVR... or is it just that the DVR doesn't have a coax output? I assume my options are to either route HDMI/component cables to the back of the coach, or to add a second DVR and put it in the bedroom?

One last question; does anyone know if a program saved in HD on an HD DVR could be passed to the bedroom via the coax and viewed in SD?

Thanks again!
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:50 AM   #9
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This should work fine. I even took a program off my HD DVR and put it on plain old fashioned VCR tape the other day. It played fine. First time I have had my VCR on since got the DVR a few months ago!!!!!!!

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by RickO:

One last question; does anyone know if a program saved in HD on an HD DVR could be passed to the bedroom via the coax and viewed in SD?

Thanks again! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 11-26-2007, 12:40 PM   #10
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Thanks BZam! I'm looking forward to this but it probably won't be long before I get spoiled having HD in only the salon area and add a second DVR to the bedroom!
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Old 11-27-2007, 02:49 AM   #11
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Rick, if you replace your dish with a new one, then all this connectivity is going to change. The weak link will become that video switch box in the front. It only passes RF, not video, which as you have already noted does not come out of the Directv DVR (DVR does not have a coax output). And the signal will be SD, not HD.

For SD to my other TV's, one of the things I'm considering is a SVideo to RF modulator. This would allow me to take the SVideo out of the DVR and run it to the video select box and put the channel I'm watching on the DVR on any TV. You might look into that as an alternative to running dual coaxes back to an additional DVR in the bedroom. I'm sure an antenna installer can run additional cables to the back, but it may not be pretty.

DVRs don't support dual HD outputs. You'll need a second satellite box or DVR if you want HD at your bedroom TV. The multiswitch is used to route the incoming satellite signal to multiple sat boxes or DVRs. It's not used to route sat box or DVR out signals. I guess they could be used depending on pass frequency, but you'll still need different cables run to the rear of the coach.

As far as new antennas go, I highly recommend MotoSat. Specifically the open antenna series. I'm not a dome fan. I have the MotoSat for Directv HD (3 LNB), but I understand they have newer 5 LNB antennas now. Mine has worked well for over 3 years.
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:16 AM   #12
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Thanks Jim! I'll look into the SVideo to RF modulator.

So if I'm adding a second HD DVR for the bedroom shouldn't I be able to use a multiswitch from the coax coming from the sat and then route from the multiswitch to the front DVR and back DVR... using the existing coax but bypassing the video switch box in front?

This would make viewing OTA and cable programs in the bedroom a challenge but shouldn't the sat HD work in this configuration?

Have you ever seen an HD compatible video switch box that uses coax connections? I couldn't find one. I do have an HD video swithc box from a previous life/project but it only accepts component video connections.

As for having an installer run the cables... I've seen examples of their work on stick houses and don't think I want them touching my coach unless I can find someone who specializes.
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:31 AM   #13
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Rick, if you're adding a DVR for the rear, then a multiswitch from the new satellite antenna would allow you to send sat signal to the rear DVR.

But.....1) my mobile satellite antenna did not come with a multiswitch. You'll have to make sure you get one installed. 2) there is only one coax going from the video switch to the rear TV. If you're using a DVR, you'll need 2 coaxes. If you're just getting a HD Sat receiver (not DVR), then you can use just 1 coax. This might allow you to use the video switch box for VCR, OTA, Aux etc. You'll still need the multiswitch though.

Just my opinion...but 2 DVRs seems like overkill in an RV.

I've never seen an HD compatible switch box with coax.
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:36 AM   #14
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Thanks Jim. I understand the sentiment of two HD DVRs being overkill in an RV but we're pretty much full timing so this is "home". Besides, if I run out of projects I'll get bored!
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Old 11-27-2007, 10:00 AM   #15
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We full timed for a couple of years and I understand completely the 'home' aspect and 'projects'.

We're not done working yet, but fulltiming is the way we're headed when the work stops.

Very jealous of you.......
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:29 AM   #16
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Well, I did it. I got a 32" Sony Bravia for the bedroom as the first step in my upgrade and got it in place (but not "installed" yet) last night so we could watch it.

Wow! Sure beats the 20" 4:3 TV that came with the coach. I haven't yet made any other changes to the configuration but do seem to get a few HD OTA channels.

I'll post photos of the installation when I'm done. I think I'll be able to use the original mounting structure with the addition of a wall mount tilt bracket... although I may need to have a plate welded on to the stock mounting frame. Although I've always liked Sony, my choice of sets was really driven by physical dimentions. It completly fills up the space above the dresser very nicely and it was hard to find other choices with these dimensions.
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:35 PM   #17
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Still very jealous.....
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Old 11-30-2007, 12:32 PM   #18
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The issue of cables gets interesting and I see some confusion here.

Anytime you talk coax, the destination has to have a tuner. That tuner takes the signal from the coax and converts it to something that can be displayed.

Modern TV's with coax inputs will tune the old style NTSC (analog) signals, the new DTV broadcast standard ATSC signals (can't call them TV's without this one since February 2007), and (often) the QAM signals cable companies use for DTV.

Cable and satellite boxes that use a coax to your TV are probably feeding an NTSC signal to the TV. That is not what you want these days. If indeed your cable or sat box is feeding digital through the coax, it should be well featured that you need a TV with an ATSC or QAM tuner to get the newer digital and high definition quality from that service.

Look for the set top boxes, DVD players, and TV's to start having HDMI connections. The connectors on these are like the flat USB connectors except they have a few more contacts. These are digital and two way and support content protections and high definition signals. Multi channel (up to 8) audio is included with video on these cables so they are a convenient, one cable does it all, setup.

The other common way to get a high definition signal to a TV is via component cables. A lot of DVD players support this method as it directly transfers how video is recorded on a DVD. It needs a set of three cables and they usually use the typical RCA phono jacks on either end. Audio has to go on its own cables. That is either a stereo audio pair or a digital coax or optical cable.

S-Video and composite video, both of which use one cable for the video data, are essentially NTSC analog that has already been through most of the tuner. S-Video is kinda' like a third of the way from composite to component. Both S-Video and composite need separate audio just like component.

A clean analog old style NTSC signal can look rather good. That is essentially what the standard definition digital TV (DTV) is. It is what standard DVD players provide.

The big deal with DTV is that is allows for more than just standard definition. With modern TV's there is a new experience as people start to see what high definition is all about in a home theater experience.

TV stations can send several standard definition shows or one or two high definition shows in the same channel with DTV. The HD-DVD versus Blue Ray competition is all about how to put high definition movies on a disk. If you have been used to noisy standard definition all your life, a high definition noise free picture is an "oh, wow" gestalt.

It is going to be a long time before the NTSC analog coax feed between a set top box and the TV goes away. The FCC decided in September that larger cable companies had to provide broadcast signals this way, even if they had to down covert digital broadcasts.

When getting new equipment, look for HDMI connections.
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:03 PM   #19
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Thanks so much for the comprehensive reply. I think I've got it now. All we need now is for the coach manufacturers to start pre-wiring these very expensive motorhomes with HDMI. It's very disappointing to own a brand new coach which came equiped with a 27" CRT TV, and a switch box that has VCR connections. At least they used RJ6 instead of RJ59. The thought of trying to string HDMI throughout my coach is chilling so I think I'll end up with a second receiver in the bedroom if I want HD there.
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