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Old 27-Jan-2011, 3:22 PM   #1
draken
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Need Antenna Assistance

I've recently cut the cable to my satellite provider and am getting all of my tv entertainment from Netflix. I'd like to expand this to handle OTA broadcasts as well. I've just ordered a HTPC with a tuner card in it and I need antenna recommendations. Here's my plot:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...3cf4dc3ff88d9f

I have an existing satellite dish mount on the lower edge of my roof, near the gutter. I'd like to use the mast from that if possible to prevent adding more holes to the roof. I'd also like to keep the antenna small if possible. I know the claims on the 150 mile antennas are over stated, but would something like that work in my case? I'm interested in the ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX stations out of DC (the yellow part of my plot), not interested in the ones from Richmond (the red part of the plot).

Thank you in advance for any and all help!

Last edited by draken; 27-Jan-2011 at 3:22 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 27-Jan-2011, 5:45 PM   #2
GroundUrMast
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I would not buy the antenna you refer to. The advertising claims seem quite exaggerated to me. http://www.amazon.com/Lava-HD-2605-A...rBy=addOneStar

If you use the existing dish mount, can an antenna 'see' the NW horizon? Or will the antenna be 'looking' into the roof?

You have a relatively easy shot at the group of stations to the NW (38 per your compass). I would be inclined to recommend an Antennacraft HBU-33.

How many sets will you connect?
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If the well is dry and you don't see rain on the horizon, you'll need to dig the hole deeper. (If the antenna can't get the job done, an amp won't fix it.)

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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 27-Jan-2011 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 27-Jan-2011, 6:53 PM   #3
draken
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I figured the 150 miles were exaggerated, but didn't know if it would work okay for the 30 or so miles I need. Guess I'll avoid it. Using the existing mount, it would be pointed towards the North, North West, not into the roof. My back yard is a huge hill though, so it wouldn't have LOS.

Only plan on having it run to the TV tuner card in the HTPC. If it goes well, and I need to see/record more than one channel, I may add a SiliconDust network tuner in the future. I'd use the existing RG6 that is used for the satellite. It enters the attic under the eaves, go down a wiring pipe into the basement (two story plus basement) to my multiswitch (satellite) which will be pulled out. Run then goes halfway across the house then up one level to the main level in the living room.

Someone (not here) recommended the Winegard HD 7698p, tripod mount on roof ridge, CM7777 pre amp, and rotator. Seemed to me to be a bit overkill, but not knowing much about this, I came here for some help. No way am I putting up a 168" antenna like the Winegard.

Would I need a pre amp with the HUB-33?

Thank you!
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Old 27-Jan-2011, 7:39 PM   #4
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I would try the HBU-33 'barefoot'. It has 7 dB of gain which puts you over the top with enough signal to split later on... If in the future, you find you need gain to make up for cable and splitter loss, you can add a preamp. If you did, I would play it safe with a modest gain, high input design such as the Winegard HDP-269. Driving one receiver you should not need it though.
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Old 27-Jan-2011, 9:20 PM   #5
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If you want WDCW 50 out of DC (The CW network), I suggest going to a Winegard 7695. Channel 50 is tough to get past Manassas even with a Winegard 7694 which is a bit weaker than the HBU-33.
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Old 27-Jan-2011, 10:06 PM   #6
GroundUrMast
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I am not at all inclined to discourage use of a bigger antenna, especially when the desired stations are in a tight group.

(Sometimes I think we presume that we should recommend the minimum... if we do, we risk being overcome by factors not accounted for in the TVF prediction model)
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Old 28-Jan-2011, 12:56 AM   #7
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50 is my most difficult channel, so going larger is recommended.
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Old 28-Jan-2011, 12:49 PM   #8
draken
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There is only a 5" difference between the HBU-33 and the 7695, so that isn't a big deal. Would I still aim this at 38 degrees as that is where most of the stations are, or somewhere in the middle as WDCW is at 41 degrees? With either antenna, due to their length, and the short height of the satellite dish mount, I'm concerned that either may touch the roof preventing proper aiming. Anyone know what the minimum mast height would need to be for a roof of typical slope?
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Old 28-Jan-2011, 1:46 PM   #9
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You'd be hard pressed to aim it that accurately. You've got 10 degrees of play, at least.
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Old 28-Jan-2011, 1:49 PM   #10
draken
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Good to know, thanks. Once the snow clears off the roof, I'll have to go up there and take some measurements to see if these will fit on the existing mount without interfering with the roof.
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Old 31-Jan-2011, 1:25 PM   #11
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Received my HTPC over the weekend and did some playing around with it. I have an old school set of rabbit ears (no base, no wire loop) that I hung out of the door on the entertainment center. Had them in a V configuration that was horizontal and perpendicular the the general direction of the transmitters. This is on the ground floor, north side of the house. I was surprised that I was able to pick up WTTG with a full green signal (as per Media Center) but no other channels from DC. Very short lead prevented me from moving it and trying other orientations. Anyhow, just thought it was an interesting data point.
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Old 31-Jan-2011, 3:43 PM   #12
draken
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Found a decent price (and reasonable shipping) on the Winegard 7695 so I pulled the trigger and ordered it. Will update once I'm able to get this thing mounted. Thank you everyone for your input and guidance.
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Old 9-Feb-2011, 12:55 AM   #13
tjb122982
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Quote:
Originally Posted by draken View Post
I figured the 150 miles were exaggerated, but didn't know if it would work okay for the 30 or so miles I need. Guess I'll avoid it. Using the existing mount, it would be pointed towards the North, North West, not into the roof. My back yard is a huge hill though, so it wouldn't have LOS.

Only plan on having it run to the TV tuner card in the HTPC. If it goes well, and I need to see/record more than one channel, I may add a SiliconDust network tuner in the future. I'd use the existing RG6 that is used for the satellite. It enters the attic under the eaves, go down a wiring pipe into the basement (two story plus basement) to my multiswitch (satellite) which will be pulled out. Run then goes halfway across the house then up one level to the main level in the living room.

Someone (not here) recommended the Winegard HD 7698p, tripod mount on roof ridge, CM7777 pre amp, and rotator. Seemed to me to be a bit overkill, but not knowing much about this, I came here for some help. No way am I putting up a 168" antenna like the Winegard.

Would I need a pre amp with the HUB-33?

Thank you!
Okay so if a antenna has a range of "150 miles," what does that really mean? Does a 150 mean 75-100 miles in reality?
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Old 9-Feb-2011, 1:05 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by tjb122982 View Post
Okay so if a antenna has a range of "150 miles," what does that really mean? Does a 150 mean 75-100 miles in reality?
http://www.dennysantennaservice.com/1496626.html
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Old 9-Feb-2011, 1:16 AM   #15
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Thanks I' am looking over it now.
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Old 9-Feb-2011, 2:04 PM   #16
draken
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Good information in that link. Also those antennas don't have a range of element sizes. Doubt they can get good signal since they aren't sized to the wavelengths across the entire VHF/UHF band. I ended up getting the Winegard 7695 as suggested above and even with it, I'm not getting half of the stations out of DC. My updated post is located here.

Last edited by draken; 9-Feb-2011 at 2:05 PM. Reason: Inadvertent smilie.
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Old 9-Feb-2011, 2:16 PM   #17
tjb122982
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Well, let me give you more information about what I might do if I do end up getting this job and moving. The town I am might be moving to is about 60-70 miles away from my hometown TV towers. I am not sure how hilly it is on their in but my area is basically just corn fields. I really want to say everything between is just corn fields. Could this work?
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Old 9-Feb-2011, 2:25 PM   #18
draken
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The old adage says if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Read the reviews at the link posted by GroundUrMast in the second post. They sound like they are cheaply made and poor performing. I got the Winegard 7695 shipped to my house for less then these small antennas and the Winegard is made in the USA and looks to be of high quality to me. Poor location seems to be the problem with my reception, not sure if an amp would suffice or if I need to move the antenna. I'm glad I didn't waste my time on the 150 mile antenna. But if you do get one, by all means, please post your results and impressions about it here.

Also, do a search for one of them on here. You'll find a lot of posts asking about them, but few if any about anyone actually owning one. That should tell you a lot.
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Old 9-Feb-2011, 2:36 PM   #19
tjb122982
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Originally Posted by draken View Post
The old adage says if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Read the reviews at the link posted by GroundUrMast in the second post. They sound like they are cheaply made and poor performing. I got the Winegard 7695 shipped to my house for less then these small antennas and the Winegard is made in the USA and looks to be of high quality to me. Poor location seems to be the problem with my reception, not sure if an amp would suffice or if I need to move the antenna. I'm glad I didn't waste my time on the 150 mile antenna. But if you do get one, by all means, please post your results and impressions about it here.

Also, do a search for one of them on here. You'll find a lot of posts asking about them, but few if any about anyone actually owning one. That should tell you a lot.
I checked for the one that is poorly made it on Amazon and read some of the reviews but the problem is that the reviews were mixed. Overall it had 3.5 stars out of 5 but the thing is that there were a lot of very bad reviews and then some were okay-good. My problem with basing my decision off of reviews on Amazon and other sites is that some people always give bad reviews and sometimes people do not follow instructions and they blame everyone else except themselves. I know most people don't do this but trust me I have these kind of people in my family so I know they exist.
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Old 10-Feb-2011, 11:31 AM   #20
John Candle
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Tv Antennas and Reception

Are any splitters in the antenna system?? If so what type and kind of splitter/splitters?? Are any splitters connected that the outputs of the splitters are not connected to any thing?? Each time split takes place with a passive splitter the signal is reduced. . Are there any amplified distribution splitters in the antenna system??
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