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-   -   Cutting the cable (http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=2895)

slowhike 10-Dec-2011 10:13 PM

Cutting the cable
 
Well, I'll soon be cutting the cable.
I've been doing some research rather than just buy an antenna blindly. Only problem is, I'm not much into all the technical info I'm seeing... I get confused, sleepy even:)
So I'm just going to ask & hope you guys & gals aren't so tired of the basic newby questions that you boot me out:o Hopefully you will suggest what you think will likely take care of my needs.

In addition to local stations, it just seams that while I'm researching & buying an antenna, I may as well get set up to pick up as many stations as I can so I'll have more possibilities to choose from.

Though I get confused on all I've been trying to read, I get the impression that I may need two or even three antennas to get the full range of stations in my area.
Maybe I'll need an amplifier & a rotator too.

Here is my location info... http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...403359c6ee02ef

Thanks in advance. ...Tim

GroundUrMast 10-Dec-2011 11:01 PM

Would a fixed aim 'local' antenna and a rotatable 'all the rest' antenna make sense to you?

How many and what type of TV(s) and tuners do you have?

slowhike 11-Dec-2011 2:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GroundUrMast (Post 14420)
Would a fixed aim 'local' antenna and a rotatable 'all the rest' antenna make sense to you?

How many and what type of TV(s) and tuners do you have?

I would have to guess "fixed aim" to be the same as directional, & "local" maybe referring to picking up closer TV stations maybe?
And when you say "rotatable 'all the rest' antenna", I would guess you are talking about a 2nd antenna that picks up the channels coming from the farther stations.
You mention the 2nd antenna being rotatable. Would it be on a separate mast or on the same mast?

You can see that in my area, I'm surrounded by towns at about 10-20 miles away, so I think my local channels would be coming from all directions. So wouldn't the antenna picking up closer channels need to rotate as well?

Dave Loudin 11-Dec-2011 3:17 AM

You got what GUM was trying to say, except the part about fixed equalling directional. The "local" antenna will be a low-gain antenna like an RCA ANT-769 that remains sensitive over a broad range of angles. It might be possible to find an aim with such an antenna that will catch all your stations in green and most of the ones in yellow. To chase the weaker stations, you will need a higher gain antenna, which is sensitive over a narrower range of angles. A rotator will be needed to aim that antenna to the stations you want.

We like to avoid having to recommend rotors, as using one will add complexity to real-life use.

Electron 11-Dec-2011 8:01 AM

Reception
 
Simple to install and use. Receives all directions with one antenna. Install a Channel Master CM3000A antenna above the roof. Here are some roof mounts , http://www.ronard.com/909911.html , http://www.ronard.com/34424560.html , http://www.ronard.com/ychim.html . Here are some places to buy antennas , http://www.channelmasterstore.com , http://www.solidsignal.com , http://www.amazon.com , http://www.starkelectronic.com , http://www.3starinc.com.

GroundUrMast 12-Dec-2011 8:22 PM

Most folks are looking for simple and reliable.

Any of the reputable antenna brands 4-bay UHF panel antenna facing east would give you a fairly comprehensive line-up.

U4000, DB-4, DB-4e, CS4, CM-4221 or HD4400.

http://www.antennacraft.net/Antennas/AntennasUHF.html
http://www.antennasdirect.com/store/...-Antennas.html
http://www.channelmaster.com/Channel...ntenna_s/3.htm
http://www.winegarddirect.com/cview....nly%20Antennas

However, at the risk of being more complex, if you want to see the signals from other directions, I was thinking of a Winegard HD7698P plus preamp (CPA-19 or HDP-269) and a rotator (NTE U-106 + TB-105). I was thinking of a somewhat unconventional method of connecting the two antenna systems: http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=2882

The result is that you would end up with one antenna feed that would serve general viewing needs. You would have the option to run the axillary antenna to one, some or all sets... depending on your preference. (For the sports fan with a "man-cave" TV, wanting to see signals from out of town, this idea may make good sense.)

This idea can easily fit on a tripod and 10' mast section. The larger rotating antenna would be at the top.

slowhike 12-Dec-2011 9:29 PM

I just want to let you know that I am looking into what you are telling me & checking the links you provide.
And I do appreciate you taking the time to give me this info.

I'm not into sports, mainly sitcoms, action movies, crime dramas & a little news & weather.
I like some wood working, garden/landscaping & a few other things at times.
With the antenna, I'll probably just have to get what's offered on PBS for those, but that's OK.

The simple antenna set up might just do the trick, but since it's nice to have more options to pick from when I do turn on the TV, I'm still thinking that I may need to be able to both reach further.
Also, it seams that I have stations coming from all directions (even the closer ones), so I'm still wondering if the investment of the bigger antenna, rotor & amplifier might be worth while.

GroundUrMast 12-Dec-2011 9:55 PM

If you have only one set, and the set allows you to add channels manually or by 'additional scan', one rotating antenna may work very well.

A rotatable antenna usually works best when connected to only one tuner. A rotator can be a source of frustration for other viewers who don't have control of the antenna aim.

Electron 13-Dec-2011 1:11 AM

Re: Tv Reception with Tv antennas
 
Due to the fact that your location has digital tv transmitters all around the compass. No one or even two directional type antennas such as , U4000 , DB-4 , DB-4e , CS4 , CM-4221 , HD4400 , ANT751 and other directional antennas will receive the stations all around the compass. Directional antennas are in fact directional , less signal is received at the back of the antenna and even less is received at the sides of a directional antenna , the front of a directional antenna is where most of the signal is received. . . The digital tv transmissions in the green and yellow zones are plenty strong enough to be received buy the CM3000A in All Directions. The other digital tv transmitters in the red/pink zone and on down have , adjacent channel and co channel interference and will not be easy to receive with any antenna. Install a CM3000A antenna.

slowhike 13-Dec-2011 4:07 PM

For now I will only be using one TV. Later I may add one or two more, but it will be a while.
Does splitting the antenna signal to two or more TV sets take away from the picture quality?
Can two TVs show different stations at the same time from the same antenna?

GroundUrMast 13-Dec-2011 6:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowhike (Post 14479)
For now I will only be using one TV. Later I may add one or two more, but it will be a while.
Does splitting the antenna signal to two or more TV sets take away from the picture quality?
Can two TVs show different stations at the same time from the same antenna?

Splitting the signal reduces the signal strength available to each set. This does not effect the picture quality so long as there is enough signal power for the TV tuner to automatically adjust it's internal gain. (A symptom of low signal strength or poor signal quality would be pixelization or loss of signal)

Yes, each set can be tuned to what ever channel the viewer desires, with no affect on other tuners.

scott784 14-Dec-2011 1:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GroundUrMast (Post 14467)
Most folks are looking for simple and reliable.

Any of the reputable antenna brands 4-bay UHF panel antenna facing east would give you a fairly comprehensive line-up.

U4000, DB-4, DB-4e, CS4, CM-4221 or HD4400.

http://www.antennacraft.net/Antennas/AntennasUHF.html
http://www.antennasdirect.com/store/...-Antennas.html
http://www.channelmaster.com/Channel...ntenna_s/3.htm
http://www.winegarddirect.com/cview....nly%20Antennas

However, at the risk of being more complex, if you want to see the signals from other directions, I was thinking of a Winegard HD7698P plus preamp (CPA-19 or HDP-269) and a rotator (NTE U-106 + TB-105). I was thinking of a somewhat unconventional method of connecting the two antenna systems: http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=2882

The result is that you would end up with one antenna feed that would serve general viewing needs. You would have the option to run the axillary antenna to one, some or all sets... depending on your preference. (For the sports fan with a "man-cave" TV, wanting to see signals from out of town, this idea may make good sense.)

This idea can easily fit on a tripod and 10' mast section. The larger rotating antenna would be at the top.

GroundUrMast, it looks like you've given Tim a lot of excellent information and links to check out.

As for general topic (on this thread) about his signals coming from different directions around the compass, that is true. But the majority of what Tim would receive (in the green) are coming from the towers to his E/SE near Randleman, NC. The exception to that (in the green) is WXII and WUNL on Sauratown Mtn (to his north).

The majority of his stations in the yellow area, are the neighboring market locals (Charlotte). Those towers are to his S/SW from NE Charlotte and Dallas, NC (near Gastonia, NC).

I just mention these specific locations for the benefit of this poster (Tim) as I live in his same general area. From his tvfool report, it looks like he has very good potential for OTA reception.

slowhike 16-Dec-2011 11:34 PM

Another issue that I haven't mentioned is large oak trees on both sides of my house.
My property is not far from the highest in my community, so that should help, but the trees are nice & thick with leaves in the summer & quite a bit higher than my roof peak.

Quote:

Originally Posted by GroundUrMast (Post 14467)
Most folks are looking for simple and reliable.

Any of the reputable antenna brands 4-bay UHF panel antenna facing east would give you a fairly comprehensive line-up.

U4000, DB-4, DB-4e, CS4, CM-4221 or HD4400.

http://www.antennacraft.net/Antennas/AntennasUHF.html
http://www.antennasdirect.com/store/...-Antennas.html
http://www.channelmaster.com/Channel...ntenna_s/3.htm
http://www.winegarddirect.com/cview....nly%20Antennas

However, at the risk of being more complex, if you want to see the signals from other directions, I was thinking of a Winegard HD7698P plus preamp (CPA-19 or HDP-269) and a rotator (NTE U-106 + TB-105). I was thinking of a somewhat unconventional method of connecting the two antenna systems: http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=2882

The result is that you would end up with one antenna feed that would serve general viewing needs. You would have the option to run the axillary antenna to one, some or all sets... depending on your preference. (For the sports fan with a "man-cave" TV, wanting to see signals from out of town, this idea may make good sense.)

This idea can easily fit on a tripod and 10' mast section. The larger rotating antenna would be at the top.

I have been looking at the links from GroundUrMast. It seams there is quite a range of prices for the fixed antennas, from 21.89 to 89.99. I realize prices will vary as I shop around. But although cash is a little tight right now, I don't want to scrimp on this project.
If I try a fixed antenna & later decide I want to try a multidirection w/ preamp & rotor, I'm thinking that it was said earlier that I could still use the fixed in conjunction with a rotating, multidirection.
But maybe I'll be satisfied with a good fixed antenna (or two).

I have thought about the more complex alternative GroundUrMast talked about, but when I read the post he linked http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=2882
I start thinking I might get into more hassle than I know how to deal with:)

If I were going to go with the more complex system, I would like to try to buy most if not all of the components from the same place, so I could take advantage of a 6 months/no interest deal & pay it off in steps. I can get most of the listed items from Winegard except the rotor. What are your opinions of the rotors offered by Winegard?
http://www.winegarddirect.com/sview.asp?q=rotor

Quote:

Originally Posted by scott784 (Post 14489)
GroundUrMast, it looks like you've given Tim a lot of excellent information and links to check out.

As for general topic (on this thread) about his signals coming from different directions around the compass, that is true. But the majority of what Tim would receive (in the green) are coming from the towers to his E/SE near Randleman, NC. The exception to that (in the green) is WXII and WUNL on Sauratown Mtn (to his north).

The majority of his stations in the yellow area, are the neighboring market locals (Charlotte). Those towers are to his S/SW from NE Charlotte and Dallas, NC (near Gastonia, NC).

I just mention these specific locations for the benefit of this poster (Tim) as I live in his same general area. From his tvfool report, it looks like he has very good potential for OTA reception.

Thanks for the local info on directions Scott. Very helpful.
I'm thinking from this that maybe two (or even three?) fixed direction antennas might do the trick. Only concern is that all three directions you mentioned will be pointing through the large oaks & I'm not sure how much that is going to interfere.
Have you told elsewhere here about the stations you pick up Scott?

scott784 17-Dec-2011 8:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowhike (Post 14552)
Another issue that I haven't mentioned is large oak trees on both sides of my house.
My property is not far from the highest in my community, so that should help, but the trees are nice & thick with leaves in the summer & quite a bit higher than my roof peak.



I have been looking at the links from GroundUrMast. It seams there is quite a range of prices for the fixed antennas, from 21.89 to 89.99. I realize prices will vary as I shop around. But although cash is a little tight right now, I don't want to scrimp on this project.
If I try a fixed antenna & later decide I want to try a multidirection w/ preamp & rotor, I'm thinking that it was said earlier that I could still use the fixed in conjunction with a rotating, multidirection.
But maybe I'll be satisfied with a good fixed antenna (or two).

I have thought about the more complex alternative GroundUrMast talked about, but when I read the post he linked http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=2882
I start thinking I might get into more hassle than I know how to deal with:)

If I were going to go with the more complex system, I would like to try to buy most if not all of the components from the same place, so I could take advantage of a 6 months/no interest deal & pay it off in steps. I can get most of the listed items from Winegard except the rotor. What are your opinions of the rotors offered by Winegard?
http://www.winegarddirect.com/sview.asp?q=rotor


Thanks for the local info on directions Scott. Very helpful.
I'm thinking from this that maybe two (or even three?) fixed direction antennas might do the trick. Only concern is that all three directions you mentioned will be pointing through the large oaks & I'm not sure how much that is going to interfere.
Have you told elsewhere here about the stations you pick up Scott?

Tim,
I live in the 27104 zip code (west side of Winston). Here is my tvfool report:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...403393c07c6564

I receive all of the stations in green and yellow without using my rotator. The stations in pink (on my report) are a bit sketchy, some of which I have never seen regardless of the direction of my antenna.

I thought I'd share my tvfool report with you since you are located in my general area; and you asked about my channels. But obviously you will want to keep in mind that it is very specific to each location. For example, there are some viewers in Winston-Salem that would have a difficult time accessing the Charlotte locals. And as you get farther away from any towers (in any direction), your specific location generally becomes more important.

As far as antenna selections and accessories, there's really not a 'one size fits all' for everyone. But having said that, it is my personal opinion that your time and effort in getting your setup running is worth far more than the cost of any particular antenna. So I would encourage you to get the best to accomplish your particular objective.

For example, do you want to ensure reliable access to the (out of market) Charlotte locals in addition to the ones in the Triad? If so, that should be taken into consideration when factoring in the choices you make to include the size and type of antenna you purchase. On the other hand, if you don't have much interest in the Charlotte locals, I believe you can go with a more simple solution. As far as those oak trees, it is my belief that it's difficult for anyone to speculate (on what level) they may impact the signals. But the fact that your house is well elevated is certainly a big plus; and it is reflected on your tvfool report.

GroundUrMast has a wealth of knowledge about antennas and electronics. And the links he has provided you can be used for your consideration. He is just trying to give you some options to consider.

Also, see the PM I sent to you.
Scott

slowhike 17-Dec-2011 3:20 PM

Thanks Scott. Seeing all the channels you receive with out using your rotor, I'm thinking that I may just go with one of the fixed direction antennas. I have a feeling it will do well at this location, even with the large oak trees.

Now to chose a really good directional antenna. Still so many choices:confused::)
I'm guessing that price & antenna size is no guarantee on choosing what might be the best. I don't mind spending more to get an antenna that tends to rank high in results.

GroundUrMast 17-Dec-2011 3:52 PM

There are small technical differences in performance among the 4-bay antennas listed previously. If money is tight, don't be afraid or ashamed of using price as a deciding factor.

scott784 17-Dec-2011 9:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowhike (Post 14570)
Thanks Scott. Seeing all the channels you receive with out using your rotor, I'm thinking that I may just go with one of the fixed direction antennas. I have a feeling it will do well at this location, even with the large oak trees.

Now to chose a really good directional antenna. Still so many choices:confused::)
I'm guessing that price & antenna size is no guarantee on choosing what might be the best. I don't mind spending more to get an antenna that tends to rank high in results.

When looking at antenna choices, be aware that every station in your area is on the UHF band (14-51). For example, WXII uses virtual ch 12 (displayed on your tv tuner). But the real frequency is RF31. These changes occurred after the digital/HD conversion with television.

You don't need to be too concerned with this information. However, I just point it out in case someone asks you if you want (or need) a VHF/UHF antenna or just a UHF antenna. In my particular case, I chose a UHF only antenna b/c I was trying to keep the size down while still getting a long range antenna--for the out of market Charlotte stations that I wanted to receive. And presently, there is not a single station broadcasting on the VHF band that I could receive at my location.

While the broadcast stations in this area (and Charlotte) primarily use UHF, (WTVI Charlotte is the only VHF exception I can think of)....just be aware that there is always the possibility that the FCC could send some stations 'packing' in the future. If that ever happens, some of these stations could be forced to relocate back to the VHF band (2-13). I hope that will not happen b/c the HD broadcast signals do not always perform well in VHF...particularly low band VHF. That has been demonstrated on other areas. But if changes do occur in the future, I would possibly have to make other arrangements for my setup.

slowhike 17-Dec-2011 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GroundUrMast (Post 14571)
There are small technical differences in performance among the 4-bay antennas listed previously. If money is tight, don't be afraid or ashamed of using price as a deciding factor.

Now that's what I call "Good, honest advice"!
I know that price is not always a reliable indicator of worth for the end product.
When I hear advice from someone like GroundUrMast who is not trying to sell me anything, but instead is taking the time to help folks figure out what might work best for them, it is truly appreciated.
Thank you sir.

slowhike 17-Dec-2011 10:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scott784 (Post 14586)
When looking at antenna choices, be aware that every station in your area is on the UHF band (14-51). For example, WXII uses virtual ch 12 (displayed on your tv tuner). But the real frequency is RF31. These changes occurred after the digital/HD conversion with television.

You don't need to be too concerned with this information. However, I just point it out in case someone asks you if you want (or need) a VHF/UHF antenna or just a UHF antenna. In my particular case, I chose a UHF only antenna b/c I was trying to keep the size down while still getting a long range antenna--for the out of market Charlotte stations that I wanted to receive. And presently, there is not a single station broadcasting on the VHF band that I could receive at my location.

While the broadcast stations in this area (and Charlotte) primarily use UHF, (WTVI Charlotte is the only VHF exception I can think of)....just be aware that there is always the possibility that the FCC could send some stations 'packing' in the future. If that ever happens, some of these stations could be forced to relocate back to the VHF band (2-13). I hope that will not happen b/c the HD broadcast signals do not always perform well in VHF...particularly low band VHF. That has been demonstrated on other areas. But if changes do occur in the future, I would possibly have to make other arrangements for my setup.

It seams that I may have read something to the effect of "If you only need UHF, get a UHF only antenna, because an antenna that does both VHF & UHF may have some interference issues, giving lesser results than the UHF only.
Would that be correct?

GroundUrMast 17-Dec-2011 10:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowhike (Post 14588)
It seams that I may have read something to the effect of "If you only need UHF, get a UHF only antenna, because an antenna that does both VHF & UHF may have some interference issues, giving lesser results than the UHF only.
Would that be correct?

Consider an example where there are powerful FM signals near by. An antenna with UHF only capability will receive less FM signal than an antenna designed to cover the FM band. There may be other examples like this, such as land mobile radio (police, fire, etc.). So yes, there may be situations where you would be better off with an antenna that is optimized for the frequencies of interest.

scott784 18-Dec-2011 10:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowhike (Post 14468)
I'm not into sports, mainly sitcoms, action movies, crime dramas & a little news & weather.
I like some wood working, garden/landscaping & a few other things at times.
With the antenna, I'll probably just have to get what's offered on PBS for those, but that's OK.

This is just some miscellaneous information here (which you may already be aware of). One nice thing since the digital/HD conversion is the fact that many broadcast stations now have subchannels. While some of these subchannels aren't great, there are some decent ones that provide added entertainment.

For example, WGHP High Point has subchannel 8-2 which is called 'Antenna TV'. This subchannel airs vintage TV programs (such as many old sitcoms). There's also WXII Winston-Salem subchannel 12-2, which is called THIS Carolina. This subchannel shows old movies. Or WFMY Greensboro which shows weather forecasts 24/7 on 2-2.

Obviously, if you are able to view the Charlotte networks, there are other subchannels. Some of these are duplication of what is offered in the Triad, but not totally. For example, WCCB Fox Charlotte airs MeTV on 18-3. This is somewhat like Antenna TV on 8-2, but with a completely different lineup of old shows.

Subchannels supplement your viewing options and are a nice feature of digital TV.

Electron 18-Dec-2011 11:37 PM

Tv Reception with Tv antennas
 
Many of these "old shows" the current generation have never seen so are now "new shows".

slowhike 22-Dec-2011 7:27 PM

OK, thanks to all the great help here I think I decided on the Winegard HD-8800 antenna.
After S&H, I can save better than $10 ordering it from Winegard Direct instead of buying it in the local Electrician Supply.

I checked the mounting straps that were on the chimney from many moons ago & although there's a little rust on the straps, it looks plenty strong.
I think I'll at least use it for now & if I decide that is a good location, I'll consider buying a new chimney mount kit later.
I will just need to buy the U-bolts with nuts.

For the mast, I'm thinking I might use a section of "galvanized steel top rail" like used for a chain link fence. I already have a new section & it looks to be the same OD, 1.25".
I'm guessing it would be similar in strength to the masts sold for antennas.

About the cable... Winegard Direct only sells a 100' length with ends in place. I checked the distance from were the top of the antenna would be to the TV and 25' would reach the TV with a couple feet to spare.
I guess I could buy a 25' section from another source, but if I bought a 50' length, I would have room for testing the antenna other places on the roof peak, as well as the option of moving the TV if I chose to do so.
Would having the extra, unnecessary cable length take away much from signal?

scott784 24-Dec-2011 7:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowhike (Post 14770)
OK, thanks to all the great help here I think I decided on the Winegard HD-8800 antenna.
After S&H, I can save better than $10 ordering it from Winegard Direct instead of buying it in the local Electrician Supply.

I checked the mounting straps that were on the chimney from many moons ago & although there's a little rust on the straps, it looks plenty strong.
I think I'll at least use it for now & if I decide that is a good location, I'll consider buying a new chimney mount kit later.
I will just need to buy the U-bolts with nuts.

For the mast, I'm thinking I might use a section of "galvanized steel top rail" like used for a chain link fence. I already have a new section & it looks to be the same OD, 1.25".
I'm guessing it would be similar in strength to the masts sold for antennas.

About the cable... Winegard Direct only sells a 100' length with ends in place. I checked the distance from were the top of the antenna would be to the TV and 25' would reach the TV with a couple feet to spare.
I guess I could buy a 25' section from another source, but if I bought a 50' length, I would have room for testing the antenna other places on the roof peak, as well as the option of moving the TV if I chose to do so.
Would having the extra, unnecessary cable length take away much from signal?

After considering all the information you have gathered from various sources, it is your decision to determine what is best for you. Personally, I think you made a good choice with the Winegard HD-8800 antenna. Indeed it is more than you need for the Triad locals from your location. But the fact that you are also shooting for access to the Charlotte locals (some of which are close to 70 miles away)..... you want to ensure you can maintain good signal strength on those stations 24/7. Plus, as you said before, you've got those large trees in your yard to consider.

You may lose some signal with the length of the coax. But I wouldn't imagine the difference between 25 and 50 feet is going to make much difference. In fact, I would suspect it would be minimal. What really hurts is when you start splitting the signal off a single coax to go to multiple TV's. Since you are not doing that, I think you should be fine. You could always trim the coax length later on (if you want to). It's certainly better to start out with more coax than you need so that you've got room to experiment with.

In my view, I think you are off to a good start. Best wishes with your new antenna. Post back your results when you are done.....Happy holidays to you and yours.

slowhike 24-Dec-2011 11:25 PM

Yeah, I thought about shorting the coax cable after deciding on a permanent location but it looks like I would have to buy a tool (around $30 or more).
I'll report back later.
A very Merry Christmas to each of you.
I hope Santa keeps an eye out for all those new antennas:D

slowhike 30-Dec-2011 12:37 AM

OK, the antenna & the coax cable came to my door today! I wasted no time in getting the antenna put together & on the mast attached to the chimney.
I left it facing east with the intention of going back to make adjustments, but it got dark so I just had the TV search for channels as it was.
So far, I'm extremely pleased!
I'm getting 32 channels, all perfectly clear!

Here are the 32 channels I get from the new antenna.

2.1 WFMY HD
2.2 WFMY SD
3.1 WBTV-DT
3.2 WBTV-SD
3.3 BOUNCE
4.1 UNC-TV
4.2 UNC-KD (Kids)
4.3 UNC-EX
8.1 WGHP
8.2 TV8.2
12.1 WXII-TV
12.2 THIS TV
16.1 ION
16.2 qubo (Kids)
16.3 ION Life
20.1 WCWG
20.2 WCWG D2
20.3 WCWG D3 (Spanish)
20.4 WCWG D4
26.1 UNC-TV
26.2 UNC-KD (Kids)
26.3 UNC-EX (Science)
36.1 WCNC-HD
36.2 WCNC-LW
43.1 WLXI-SD
43.2 WLXI-HD
43.3 WLXI-SD2
43.4 WLXI-SD3
45.1 WXLV HD
45.2 WXLV-SD
48.1 WMYV HD MY48
48.2 WMYV SD The Cool TV

slowhike 31-Dec-2011 1:16 AM

I'll give that a try.
Today I have seen some occasional problems on 2 or 3 channels.

Sometimes the picture would momentarily freeze, show lots of squares & the sound would break up.
I'm guessing that's what you're calling pixelations, right?

And a few times the screen turned blue & at the bottom it said "Unusable Signal".
I'm guessing that's called a dropout, right?

And I'm guessing from what is being said that those issues come from a lack of strong signal, right?

I looked on the TVs menu but did not find a way to view the antenna signal strength. I'll see if I can find the owners guide that came with the TV & see if it's talked about there.

scott784 31-Dec-2011 1:56 AM

Thanks for posting your results. It looks like your Winegard HD 8800 is doing well.

There are a number of additional Charlotte channels, which you could receive if you turn your antenna towards the SW. If you do so, you should be able to pick up WSOC 9.1, WCCB 18.1, WJZY 46.1, WMYT on 55.1, WUNG on 58.1, and WAXN-TV on 64.7 (as well as the subchannels that come with a number of these stations). Note: you may also see WAXN on 64.1; but that is the exact same programming as 64.7. (64.7 is a translator for 64.1). I receive these channels at my home in addition to the other ones you mentioned on your list (with the exception of 16.1 WGPX).

Just know (with any placement of the antenna) that your signal strength (for any given channel) can fluctuate. If your television has a good built-in signal meter, you can view the results on your TV, as you experiment with the direction of the antenna. There is a bare minimum signal level that you want to try to maintain. Otherwise, you may sometimes notice pixilations and dropouts.

Be aware of 16.1 WGPX ION. The tower is located north of Greensboro in Reidsville, NC. And the signal level is generally weak as it heads into a lot of areas in Forsyth and Davidson Counties. I have never seen this station OTA under any circumstances, despite the fact that I can get just about all of the out of market Charlotte channels. So the fact that you can see 16.1 WGPX is great. But do know that it 'may' be very temperamental, based on weather conditions and the direction of your antenna. I also mention this because you 'may' lose this station by rotating your antenna in a different direction. So I would also suggest that you make an assessment of how important that network is to you.

If you are not too concerned about WGPX, I would say that turning your antenna to the SW (towards Charlotte) may be the optimum direction for maximizing the largest number of stations you can receive OTA. Since your home is only 23 miles (as the crow flies) from most of the Triad stations), you may be able to reliably view most of the Triad stations off the back side of your Winegard HD 8800. But the best thing to do is to experiment by placing the antenna in different directions, doing a new channel scan, and also checking your signal strengths....if you have a built-in signal meter on your TV.

Note: you posted and I edited my response later

GroundUrMast 31-Dec-2011 2:00 AM

"And I'm guessing from what is being said that those issues come from a lack of strong signal, right?"

Signal strength can certainly be a factor. It's perhaps the easiest factor of signal quality to understand. Other factors such as noise and various types of interference can also cause the symptoms you describe.

Often, it's assumed that simply making the signal stronger will solve reception problems. I'll gladly settle for a 'clean' weak signal as opposed to a strong but distorted signal plagued with interference. (Just as I would prefer a sip of clean water as opposed to a barrel of polluted water.)

Often, as you turn a directional antenna away from the best aim point for a given signal, you'll still have enough signal strength, but you'll begin to pick up weaker reflected 'copies' of the signal that vary in strength and phase... these signal will be more difficult to decode error free, even if you amplified them.

wizwor 31-Dec-2011 2:07 AM

Note the channels you have problems with and return to the tvfool analysis for some help making things better. I have a DTVPal DVR (five actually) which tells me how strong the signal is onscreen whenever I change to a new channel. This has taught me a lot about the effect of weather, season, and time of day on my reception.

I have tall red pines around my house and reception is worst when the tree tops are wet and moving. Downpours or heavy snow between my house and a particular station can be problematic.

I did, however, have a group of stations that were routinely unavailable or marginal and was able to fix that by replacing my db8 with an XG-91 (for UHF) and a Y5-7-13 (for VHF) combined with a CM-7777.

scott784 31-Dec-2011 4:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowhike (Post 18714)
I'll give that a try.
Today I have seen some occasional problems on 2 or 3 channels.

Sometimes the picture would momentarily freeze, show lots of squares & the sound would break up.
I'm guessing that's what you're calling pixelations, right?

And a few times the screen turned blue & at the bottom it said "Unusable Signal".
I'm guessing that's called a dropout, right?

And I'm guessing from what is being said that those issues come from a lack of strong signal, right?

I looked on the TVs menu but did not find a way to view the antenna signal strength. I'll see if I can find the owners guide that came with the TV & see if it's talked about there.

The answer is yes to all 3 of your questions. If your antenna is still facing to the east, I would guess that you experienced these issues on some of the Charlotte channels on your list (or the weak WGPX ION affiliate here in the Triad). Was that the case?

Keep in mind, some of the CLT channels are close to 70 miles away from you (i.e. WBTV and WCNC). And if your antenna is facing east (away from Charlotte), the signal levels on those networks are probably very low (with the antenna facing the east). So if you are shooting for access to both markets (Charlotte and the Triad), you may want to rotate your Winegard to the SW (toward Charlotte).

If you do so, (hopefully) it will correct that issue. You could then experience an issue on a local triad station (i.e. the weak signal of WGPX). However, you are close enough to most of the other Triad stations where your antenna is going to be able to pick them up without pixilations and dropouts, even with your antenna facing away from them. That is the hope anyways!

A lot of it is trial and error. But you are in an excellent location (overall) for good results. If your TV has a good built-in signal meter, or one you can get your hands on, it may be very helpful to show you the real world results concerning how much signal you are really working with.....with the antenna faced in a particular direction.

slowhike 31-Dec-2011 7:13 PM

I rotated the antenna to SW.
I lost 6 channels. You'll still see them in the updated list below but with a minus sign - beside them.
The new channels will begin with a +
I gained 19 new channels. There are two more listed but I didn't count then because of the problems listed beside them, along with "No good".
That brings it to a total of 45 if I'm not mistaken.

I'm not sure that I want to lose 16.1 ION because of some of it's programs, but maybe some of the others will have the same or maybe I can find a way (with help here) to get about all of these.

I did not see the new channels after the antenna rotation until I put the TV through another "Channel Search", so I'm wondering how that works with a rotor on the antenna.

Here is my TVFool info again. http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...403359c6ee02ef

2.1 WFMY HD
2.2 WFMY SD
3.1 WBTV-DT
3.2 WBTV-SD
3.3 BOUNCE
-4.1 UNC-TV
-4.2 UNC-KD (Kids)
-4.3 UNC-EX
8.1 WGHP
8.2 TV8.2
+9.1 WSOC-TV
+9.2 WSOC WX
+9.7 WSOC TV2
12.1 WXII-TV
12.2 THIS TV
+14.1 WHKY DT
+14.2 WHKY DT
+14.3 WHKY DT
+14.4 WHKY DT
-16.1 ION
-16.2 qubo (Kids)
-16.3 ION Life
+18.1WCCB DT
+18.2 WCCB SD
+18.3 WCCB-Me
20.1 WCWG
20.2 WCWG D2
20.3 WCWG D3 (Spanish)
20.4 WCWG D4
+(No good) A21 poor reception
26.1 UNC-TV
26.2 UNC-KD (Kids)
26.3 UNC-EX (Science)
36.1 WCNC-HD
36.2 WCNC-LW
43.1 WLXI-SD
43.2 WLXI-HD
43.3 WLXI-SD2
43.4 WLXI-SD3
45.1 WXLV HD
45.2 WXLV-SD
+46.1 WJCY-HD
+46.2 ANTENNA
+46.3 Test
48.1 WMYV HD MY48
48.2 WMYV SD The Cool TV
+55.1
+(No good)55.2 Says "Audio Only" but no picture or sound.
+55.3 SBN
+58.1 UNC-TV
+58.2 UNC-KD
+58.3 UNC-EX
+64.7 WAXN-TV1

scott784 1-Jan-2012 6:33 PM

Tim,
Living in this area (as you do), I am not surprised in regards to the stations you gained by turning your antenna to the SW while losing the other ones that you listed. But the net effect is that you have more (total) channels to view with the antenna facing SW. Some of this is duplication, particularly in primetime. But that is not the case 24/7.

However, I can understand your concern about losing WGPX. Their tower out in Reidsville, NC only operates at 95kw and it's not very tall either. That's why it does a very poor job of reaching many parts of the Triad viewing area. As a result, there are many people in this area who can only watch WGPX on cable or satellite. I have contacted that station in the past; but they don't appear to have any plans to 'build out' the upgrade permit they received some time back from the FCC. It seems the status quo will remain with WGPX due to money issues.

If that station is really important to you, you could consider placing your antenna on a rotator in the future as GroundUrMast mentioned. Or you could get more fancy and get two antennas (facing different directions) (as he also mentioned).....while perhaps using an A/B switch. If you go with a rotator (keeping a single antenna only), I am not aware of any ways to avoid doing a channel scan for the missing channels. But you could have a second auxillary antenna as GroundUrMast posted earlier (with no need to do channel scans). The other option would be returning your antenna to the east position. But in my view, that defeats the purpose of having a long range antenna, such as what you purchased for the Charlotte stations.

So I guess it gets back to WGPX (ION) station and how important it is to you. In my case, I got used to the fact that I was never going to see WGPX (at all) unless I watched them on cable. At my house, it makes no difference at all which way I turn my antenna, I simply can't see WGPX with an antenna. under any circumstances whatsoever. So I just keep my antenna pointed to the SW and it picks up the Triad locals on the side. Even though my antenna is not facing any of the Triad stations, I rarely get pixilations or droputs on them. And you are even closer than I am to most of the Triad stations (towers located in Level Cross/Randleman area). So I would think your prospects of picking up the Triad stations (on the back end of a long range antenna) reliably and without pixilations and dropouts would be good. But if you could view the signal strength on any given channel with a signal meter, that would give more of the hard facts.

Best Wishes with the new antenna. Aside from the WGPX (ION) dilemma, it sounds like things are working out very well with your Winegard HD 8800.

Scott

slowhike 1-Jan-2012 7:00 PM

Yeah, losing the ION station is not a real big deal, but I'll be curious to see if some of the programs I like from there might be seen on other stations.
Criminal Minds & Flash Point are a couple that come to mind.

If rotating would indeed require rescanning on a regular basis, I might consider the "second antenna with A/B switch" option if that works well with out having to rescan.

But over all, I'm externally happy & will defiantly be "Cutting the cable" with Time Warner this week!!!

scott784 1-Jan-2012 7:01 PM

Footnote to earlier post
 
If you decide to keep things simple (no rotator or second antenna)....along with keeping your antenna facing the southwest, I would just keep an eye on the Triad locals. If for any reason you see that your TV is acting up (pixilations and/or dropouts), you *could* consider buying a preamp to boost the Triad signal levels higher.

But *if* you considered this option, you would probably want to keep the antenna facing away from the Triad stations (keep the antenna facing SW). Preamps can cause an overload of signal on a station that is already close to you (i.e. the Level Cross/Randleman towers). As you know, your home is only 23 miles from most of the Triad stations.

scott784 1-Jan-2012 7:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowhike (Post 18771)
Yeah, losing the ION station is not a real big deal, but I'll be curious to see if some of the programs I like from there might be seen on other stations.
Criminal Minds & Flash Point are a couple that come to mind.

If rotating would indeed require rescanning on a regular basis, I might consider the "second antenna with A/B switch" option if that works well with out having to rescan.

But over all, I'm externally happy & will defiantly be "Cutting the cable" with Time Warner this week!!!

Like you, I feel some of the stuff on ION is appealing. Of course, they are also known for their infomercials....which I hate. But for sure, their over the air signal (OTA) is very bad. Too funny that I can see CLT stations without any problems on a 24/7 basis.....but I've never seen WGPX over the air......not even once, yet it is marketed as a Piedmont Triad station.

Glad to hear the antenna is working out for you....overall. Many people will say that the HD pic quality on OTA is actually a better than what they see on cable and/or satellite. And OTA combined with other options, such as NetFlix or similar, can make for a pretty good combination as far less cost. I think more people would try OTA if they understood its potential. But the majority of people just continue to pay their cable or satellite bill and never think about it.

slowhike 1-Jan-2012 7:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scott784 (Post 18773)
Like you, I feel some of the stuff on ION is appealing. Of course, they are also known for their infomercials....which I hate. But for sure, their over the air signal (OTA) is very bad. Too funny that I can see CLT stations without any problems on a 24/7 basis.....but I've never seen WGPX over the air......not even once, yet it is marketed as a Piedmont Triad station.

Glad to hear the antenna is working out for you....overall. Many people will say that the HD pic quality on OTA is actually a better than what they see on cable and/or satellite. And OTA combined with other options, such as NetFlix or similar, can make for a pretty good combination as far less cost. I think more people would try OTA if they understood its potential. But the majority of people just continue to pay their cable or satellite bill and never think about it.

Yeah, I hate the infomercials too:rolleyes:
What are " CLT stations"?
On the picture quality, I couldn't be more happy. Sharp as sharp can be!
And yes, I'm informing some friends already about this antenna thing:)

slowhike 1-Jan-2012 7:33 PM

Oh yeah, on the signal meter, I'm not seeing that option on my TV's menu.
I haven't been able to find the owners manual for this TV (might be able to look it up on line using the model #)
If it does not have that feature built in, is that something that can be added with out to much cost?
I'm guessing it would be installed between the coax cable & the TV.

scott784 1-Jan-2012 9:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowhike (Post 18775)
Yeah, I hate the infomercials too:rolleyes:
What are " CLT stations"?
On the picture quality, I couldn't be more happy. Sharp as sharp can be!
And yes, I'm informing some friends already about this antenna thing:)

CLT means Charlotte. Glad to hear the pic is very sharp. Btw, are you getting any pixilations or dropouts now with the antenna facing SW?

As for the signal meter, most newer televisions have a built-in signal meter. They are all different and some are more useful than others. For example, one of my televisions is a 2010 Panasonic Vierra LED. This particular TV's built in signal meter measures signal strength in terms of percentages. And with this particular TV, you 'generally' need to maintain about 50 percent signal strength to maintain a clear, consistent, HD picture. Otherwise, the pixelations and dropouts can occur when atmospheric conditions change.

But keep in mind, every TV has its own type as well as the manner in which those signal meters measure signal strength. And again, some are more useful than others. Assuming you have a built-in signal meter, I would try to find the owners manual. Otherwise, maybe you could contact the manufacturer of the TV and ask them to send you the owners manual.

You don't 'have' to measure the signal strength. But sometimes it's very handy to have this information so that you have hard facts in terms of how much signal your TV is working with on any given channel. This can be especially helpful for people who are experimenting with various placements of their antenna. Keep in mind, any signal strength can (and will) fluctuate as atmospheric conditions change from day to night or with different weather conditions. But normally, if your signal strength is high enough during good atmospheric conditions, it will not drop low enough for the picture to pixilate or drop out during inclement weather or other bad conditions.

scott784 2-Jan-2012 12:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowhike (Post 18776)
Oh yeah, on the signal meter, I'm not seeing that option on my TV's menu.
I haven't been able to find the owners manual for this TV (might be able to look it up on line using the model #)
If it does not have that feature built in, is that something that can be added with out to much cost?
I'm guessing it would be installed between the coax cable & the TV.

I forgot to answer one of your questions. If you don't have a good built-in signal meter on your TV (again they're all different and some more useful than others).....you 'could' temporarily hook up an external device and run your coax through that external device first. Then take the coax from that device into the back of your TV. At this point, the external device 'is' your tuner and also serving as the device from which you could get your signal strengths.

For example, I use TiVo, which is obviously an external device so it serves as the tuner for my TV. And this device (TiVo) has it's own built in signal meter. From my own experience I can tell you that their tuner has a very good built in signal meter...which happens to operate in much the same manner as my built in Panasonic's tuner. In other words, a good working number would be signal strength of at least 50 percent (minimum) to avoid pixilations and drops. Note: keep in mind again that other tuners (whether they are built into the TV or not may use different numerical measurements to assess the same signal strength). So when I say 50 percent minimum, that does not mean it's necessarily the same on every other type of signal meter device...whether it's built into the TV or external.

I am not suggesting that you spend money on a TiVo subscription. I just have one because I like to record shows. But you *could* go to a place like Best Buy and get one (just to try out). You would need an internet connection to set it up. And you would then have 5 days of full functionality of that TiVo before it stops working (without a subscription).

With this five days, you would have complete guide information on your channels, recording capabilities, and every other feature to include the signal meter. Then after 5 days it would stop working (at least most features). At that point, you could take it back to the store and get your money back. This is just a thought for you...

One final thing about this signal meter stuff, it is perfectly normal for the channels (in which the antenna is pointed) to have the highest signal strength. So if you keep your Winegard HD 8800 facing SW, you 'should' expect the Charlotte channels to have higher signal strength numbers. But that does not matter for the Triad local channels. Because, again, as long as you can maintain the minimum level of signal strength needed (for any given channel).....then you should not have pixilations and drops. And generally speaking, *if* you want to maintain access to two local television markets, (i.e. Greensboro and Charlotte), it is best to keep the antenna pointed to the TV market that is the farthest away. You've already seen that when you rotated your antenna to the SW.

You don't have to get into all this unless you are so inclined. But as I said before, it is sometimes helpful to see the real world signal strength results so you know what is going on behind the scenes.

But at the same time.....if you are now (not experiencing any drops) on the channels you are currently receiving, and you don't want to trouble yourself, you could just leave well enough alone.

Hope this helps....
Scott


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