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Old 24-Oct-2014, 5:12 PM   #1
M.Unit
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Question Winegard HD7697 in attic

Hello again.

I had previously posted inquiring if the RCA ANT751 would suffice for attic placement in lieu of a strong and favorable TV report...a couple of responses make me think I should just go with something stronger to ensure success from the first try.

I live chatted with a tech from solid signal and they recommended the Winegard HD7697 with a Winegard 39" J mount if I wanted to stick with an attic placement. They mentioned that although I do have strong signal to begin with, the fact that it's in the attic and would be connected to a total of 3-4 tv's may substantially decrease signal strength.

It seems like a reasonable choice and not terribly expensive. Anyone have any experience with this antenna?

By the way, the tv report shows I'd be receiving channels 7-58 with signal Nm(dB) numbers in the 60-30 range and signal Pwr(dBm) numbers in the -30 to -56 range.....all clustered at 26 miles away, 261deg magnetic.

Thanks for any advise!
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Old 24-Oct-2014, 7:09 PM   #2
M.Unit
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OK, spoke with another tech who recommended the Clearstream 2V for the attic.

Anybody have any advice regarding the Winegrad vs the Clearstream choices? For ease of mounting and space, I'd prefer the Clearstream 2v but both can fit in my attic.

Thanks!
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Old 24-Oct-2014, 8:15 PM   #3
Jake V
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Glad you obtained good advice.

You didn't provide a TV Fool report, so no one will be able to provide you with a recommendation.

You might want to provide one, as an extra check: http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?opti...pper&Itemid=29
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Old 24-Oct-2014, 8:23 PM   #4
M.Unit
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Jake V,

Sorry about not posting the report, but I did pull the important info from the report and put it in my initial post. At any rate, here it is:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...d2438093a8ba73

I think I'm leaning towards the Clearstream 2V - comes with a 20" mount and 30' of coax cable for $89.99. I was told I may need to get an amplified distribution splitter since I'm connecting 3-4 tv's total....figured I'd set everything up and see what channels we get/dont get and can always make a run to the store and get one for $40.

Any red flags going off with the above set up? I'd love to get it right the first time to not have to ship stuff back and repurchase product
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Old 24-Oct-2014, 8:54 PM   #5
Jake V
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You have a favorable report.

You should receive a full slate of the Phoenix channels with either the RCA ANT751 or Clearstream 2V aimed at 260 degrees on a compass if mounted on the roof. Attics are strange places. Sometime an antenna works fine in an attic and sometimes it does not. You just have to try. Others might comment if you tell them what your roof and siding is made of.

You also have possibilities if you want some of the Tucson stations. Maybe a DB-8e with one panel at 260 degrees and the other at 129 degrees. You might need a separate VHF antenna the high VHF channels (8 & 12).

Wait for others to comment (there are some real experts participating here).
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Old 24-Oct-2014, 9:08 PM   #6
M.Unit
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Thanks Jake V!

So as for our roof and siding - we live in the land of stucco here in Arizona and our roof is standard wood with barrel roof tile on top. There's no metal sheeting or radiant barrier or anything like that (we have spray foam insulation). There are no obstructions around us either.

So we used to have the RCA ant751 but it was outdoor mounted about 8-9ft from the ground...and we didnt use any amplified splitters or pre-amps or anything like that. Got fantastic reception of all the channels. We're essentially within the same neighborhood (same distance from towers)...you think the RCA is worth trying in the attic or should I just skip it and go straight to the Clearstream 2V in the attic? Roof is not an option at this point...and my husband wants to keep it at or below $100.

Thanks again for the advice!
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Old 24-Oct-2014, 9:13 PM   #7
Jake V
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Either should work fine, but for others to comment before purchasing. You also have other options, like the HBU-11

When you do get the antenna, try it in the attic with your coax run through the attic entrance to the television before doing any permanent mounting. If it doesn't work, mount it outdoors.
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Old 24-Oct-2014, 9:32 PM   #8
timgr
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Stucco could be a problem because of the wire mesh embedded in it. Aiming through the roof may be ok. If it's a big attic, move the antenna around in it if it does not work perfectly at first.

A red ceramic tile roof? This does not sound promising. Steel and stone.
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Old 25-Oct-2014, 1:45 AM   #9
M.Unit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timgr View Post
Stucco could be a problem because of the wire mesh embedded in it. Aiming through the roof may be ok. If it's a big attic, move the antenna around in it if it does not work perfectly at first.

A red ceramic tile roof? This does not sound promising. Steel and stone.
It is concrete roof tile with wood underneath. Is that bad?
As for the stucco, the attic thankfully isnt surrounded by it. I would definitely point it upwards and out through the side of the roof....

The RCA ant751 says it's 40 miles....the Clearstream 2V says 50+ miles
I'm assuming the Clearstream should work better?
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Old 25-Oct-2014, 1:21 PM   #10
timgr
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Dense materials like stucco and concrete will attenuate TV signals more than lighter materials like wood and asphalt. Wire mesh should shield out near 100% of TV signal.

But attic antenna performance is very unpredictable. Your report is favorable. If you want to try it, it might work. Up to you.

Both are good antennas. RCA does not publish technical data on the ANT751, so it's hard to compare quantitatively. The distances given are just advertising. Personally, I think the C2V is in a different, higher class from the ANT751. But the ANT751 is a great value for the price, and a good choice for many people.

I repeat my advice from the other thread to buy a cheap antenna, a long cable, and move it around in the attic and on the roof, to check reception.

You might look around for a local retailer that you can buy from, in case you want to return the smaller antenna and go bigger. http://www.walmart.com/ip/RCA-Suburb...-Mast/10828410 Or if you fail in the attic, any of these antennas would work fine for you on the roof.

Last edited by timgr; 25-Oct-2014 at 1:38 PM.
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Old 25-Oct-2014, 2:45 PM   #11
M.Unit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timgr View Post
I repeat my advice from the other thread to buy a cheap antenna, a long cable, and move it around in the attic and on the roof, to check reception.

I'm a bit confused. I thought that if I go with some cheap antenna that I'd be setting myself up for failure with the attic mount? I figured if I went with a good quality antenna that surpasses the distance requirement (to adjust the fact that some signal will be lost thru the attic) that it would give me the best shot at success?

If that's the case, that a cheap antenna could work just as well, what about the GE Attic Mount antenna? It's rated for up to 60 miles and it's HD/VHF/UHF. Got some good reviews on the Walmart site....they sell it in the store for $40. If it didn't work, I could just return it and go with the RCA.
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Old 25-Oct-2014, 3:17 PM   #12
timgr
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Test with the cheap antenna. It's just a test instrument. Use it to test signal strength and then throw it away. If the reception in the attic is lousy, it will give you an idea of what to expect from a bigger antenna. Compare the results to what you get on the roof.

If you get lots of channels with the $6 antenna on the roof, and nothing in the attic, then you know what to expect.

If you want, you can test with the ANT751. Or with the GE antenna. (BTW an "attic antenna" is just an outdoor antenna that is not weatherproof. Marketing only.) Buy it from your local Walmart, and return it if the results in the attic are not satisfactory.

Look, you don't lose some signal in the attic. An attic surrounded by stucco and concrete is a particularly bad attic for an antenna. You lose A LOT of signal in the attic. But you have A LOT of signal in the air. It might work. If you want to try it, doing some simple tests may reduce the uncertainty.

Digital TV is not like radio, or the old analog TV. Either it works perfectly, or you get nothing. If you are on the border, it will work sometimes, and pixelate or go away occasionally. But if you get a reliable picture, there is no way to tell from the TV picture whether that is a strong signal, of just an adequate signal. So read the online reviews with that in mind.

The RIGHT way to do this is to buy the ANT751 that you were happy with, and put it on the roof. Attic installations are very uncertain. No amount of discussion will remove that uncertainty.

For your tests, many TVs will tell you the strength of each channel, and the signal quality. If yours does not, you could just count the number of channels you get in each location, and compare.

If you want to go all out for the attic, with no additional testing, buy an Antennas Direct DB8 and put it in your attic pointed at Phoenix. That's within your $100 budget, and it's a very sensitive UHF antenna. But the results may still be unsatisfactory ... there's no way to know without testing it.

Last edited by timgr; 25-Oct-2014 at 3:31 PM.
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Old 25-Oct-2014, 3:31 PM   #13
M.Unit
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Got it timgr! Thanks for the explanation.

I'm crossing my fingers that we get the important channels in the attic (ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, FOX)...my kids only watch PBS cartoons in the daytime and my husband will watch whatever football is on. That's about it. It's why we cut the cord to begin with - rarely watched TV and we stream videos/movies online for us and the kids. We save the money from not having cable tv and throw it at our internet cable bill, LOL.

Thanks again everyone for all your input!
I think I'm settled - I'm going to Walmart and getting a half way decent antenna to try in the attic and if it's a no-go, then we'll just have to bite the bullet and mount it outdoors
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