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Old 30-Sep-2010, 6:45 PM   #1
eyemgh
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Jacksonville Oregon...

I just cut the tie with DirecTV. We plan on doing most of our watching via internet streaming with a Roku box, but would like to pick up as many network channels as possible with the least hassle (yes, I want a free lunch ).

Here's my TV Fool analysis: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...a362e947151524

The problem is, my wife won't tolerate a big antenna. My local installer typically uses an Antennacraft C490, but there's NO WAY something that big will ever end up on our roof if I want to stay married. As much as I like the idea of good HD reception for free, I really do want to stay married. I also don't want to dink with motors.

So, what I'm looking for is the best compromise, something not too gargantuan that will pick up as many channels as possible. I'm not wanting to re-open a pandora's box here, but something like the Denny's Dual Stacker is as big as I could go.

What would you recommend?

Thanks!

Mike
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Old 30-Sep-2010, 8:05 PM   #2
John Candle
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Tv Reception

Your ride will be a real Short Ride. You and you wife do not want any Stirups , Bridle , Saddle. And you will not even take the Blinders off the Horse.
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Old 30-Sep-2010, 8:14 PM   #3
eyemgh
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Not sure exactly what to read into that John, but it sort of sounds kinky.

I'd consider a two antenna set up as long as they could be small like mentioned in the Columbia MO posts for Mizzou.

Mike
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Old 30-Sep-2010, 8:32 PM   #4
John Candle
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Tv Reception

So lets see , thats walking 20 miles to town to get food supplies and then carry the food supplies 20 miles back home. A community and social event. When the 'Walker' family goes to town , people ask , do they have a horse? , do they have a wagon? It is well known that he does not like the straps that hitch the horse to the wagon and she does not like the wheels part of the wagon , so they walk.

Last edited by John Candle; 30-Sep-2010 at 9:00 PM.
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Old 30-Sep-2010, 8:39 PM   #5
eyemgh
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So, based on the data (which reads like Greek to me), are you saying that the giant antenna like the 150" C490 is the only way to go? Help! I'd like to know what my specific options are and then I can decide if they are untenable based on what the wifey says.

Mike
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Old 30-Sep-2010, 9:07 PM   #6
John Candle
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Tv Reception

I will not help. Get ready to duck - here comes the word Aesthetics.
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Old 30-Sep-2010, 11:32 PM   #7
mtownsend
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Hello and welcome!

It looks like you have a lot of translator stations to your east. Do you know what network is being carried on each one?

The reason I ask is because all of your nearby channels come from three directions. Most of them are at compass heading 77 degrees (just east of Medford), and a few are coming from compass heading 317 degrees (King Mountain). There is one other "stray" channel at compass heading 126 degrees (Mt. Ashland).

The transmitters on King Mountain include KOBI, KSYS, and KDRV, which are NBC, PBS, and ABC affiliates, respectively. The transmitter on Mt. Ashland is KTVL, a CBS affiliate.

If the content of KOBI, KSYS, KDRV, and KTVL is already being re-broadcast on the translator stations out of Medford, then all you need to do is go after the Medford stations. This would make life simple since these stations are pretty strong and all coming from the same direction. You should be able to get by with a smaller antenna.

If some of the stations you want are missing from the set of translators, then you'll need to either get a second antenna to fetch the off-axis station(s), or install an antenna rotator to point your antenna to the other directions. Since these other stations are on VHF and further away, you will either need to add a somewhat large VHF-only antenna (if joining two antennas) or get a combo antenna that has a fairly large VHF section on it (if using a rotator).



Having said all that, here are three possible setups, depending on what channels you need to get:



1) If all you need are the Medford translators, then get a Winegard HD7695P on your roof pointing at compass heading 77 degrees.



2) If you need the Medford stations and ONE of the other transmitter groups (King Mountain or Mt. Ashford, but not both), then get two antennas. Get a UHF-only antenna like the Channel Master 4221HD pointing at compass heading 77. Get a VHF-only antenna pointed at the other channel group you want (compass heading 317 or 126 degrees). Join the two antenna feeds using a diplexer like the Pico Macom UVSJ (do not just use an ordinary splitter). The choice of VHF antenna depends on whether or not you need channel 5 (KOBI, NBC). If you don't need channel 5, then a high-VHF antenna like the Winegard YA-1713 should be good enough. If you also need to pick up channel 5, you'll need to go with something larger like the Winegard HD-5030.



3) If you need ALL THREE groups of channels, then you should get one slightly larger antenna and put it on an antenna rotator like the Channel Master 9521A. Again, the choice of antenna depends on whether or not you need to pick up channel 5. If you do not need channel 5, you can use an antenna like the Winegard HD7696P (narrower antenna because it does not support low VHF). If you need channel 5, then you can use something like the Winegard HD7084P (a wider, full band antenna).



The Stacker antenna from Denny's may or may not work for you. There are anecdotal reports of this antenna working well for some people, but there is very little hard data on this antenna (gain specs, radiation pattern, impedance match, etc.). Without a detailed computer model of the antenna or measurements against calibrated reference signals in an RF controlled lab environment, it is difficult to tell whether or not this antenna has any hidden weaknesses (i.e., lower raw gain on some channels, unusual positioning of lobes/nulls in the radiation pattern, impedance mismatches that lead to lower realized gain, etc.).

My gut feel is that the UHF (on bottom) and VHF (on top) sections of that antenna are too close together. While either part alone may be a very good standalone antenna, when you place them so close to each other, I would expect there to be some undesirable interaction between the two. Since this alters the radiation pattern, gain, and characteristic impedance of each antenna, you can end up with something that performs very different than the two antennas you started out with. That is why in most cases, when you combine multiple antennas, you want to make sure there is plenty of space (often several feet) around each of the antennas you are joining together.

Unfortunately, at this point in time, there is not enough independent analysis to tell where the strengths and weaknesses of this antenna are.
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Old 1-Oct-2010, 12:12 AM   #8
eyemgh
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Translators...

Thanks!

This is new to me and I don't fully understand the jargon, but one of the translators on Baldy (East) is K13JR-D, which broadcasts NBC. That eliminates the need to go to King as there's a PBS, ABC and FOX in addition to that translator. CBS is on Mt. A, but has a translator on Baldy, K47LD-D. If I'm understanding correctly, I can pull a signal from all of the major networks, Fox and PBS of Baldy at 77. Am I correct? Again, THANKS!

Mike
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Old 1-Oct-2010, 6:14 AM   #9
mtownsend
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Yes, if what you're saying is that all the TV programming you want is being broadcast from the translator stations near Medford, then all you need is a simple one-antenna setup. You should be able to pick up all of the Medford stations with a single modest size antenna (HD7695P) pointed in that direction.



In TV lingo, a translator usually refers to a transmitter that takes the signal from one channel and re-broadcasts it on a different physical channel. As a very simplified example, you might get channel 10 as input, shift the signal to channel 30, boost the signal back to broadcast power levels (i.e., watts or kilowatts), and send the "translated" signal back out into the world.

Translators are often used to serve isolated communities that might be blocked (due to terrain) from receiving the main signal directly. A different channel is often chosen so that the re-transmitted signal does not cause any interference on the main signal (don't want to send a slightly delayed copy of the same signal back out on the original channel).
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Old 1-Oct-2010, 2:34 PM   #10
eyemgh
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Thanks!

One last question. If I mount it on the roof and use the existing cable runs and distribution system that my DirecTV used, will I need to amplify? Again, thanks! You've been VERY helpful.

Mike
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Old 1-Oct-2010, 4:22 PM   #11
mtownsend
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Yes, I would recommend using a mast mounted pre-amp. Your signals *might* be strong enough to work without the amp, but an amp will make sure you have enough signal to overcome the loss of any signal splitters and long cable runs.

A good pre-amp choice for your situation would be the Channel Master 7777.

Note that pre-amps are usually installed on the mast close to the antenna and get their power on the same coax that is used to deliver the signal into your home. The pre-amp kit comes with a "power injector" that is installed inside your home and sends the power up to the amp. This power injector should be installed before the splitter that sends the signal to all the rooms of your house (don't want to send power through the splitter). There should be nothing else between the power injector and the pre-amp.



Hmmm. How was the DirecTV distribution system hooked up? I suspect that they did not use a passive splitter, but used a multiswitch instead. If you no longer have satellite service, you may need to disconnect the multiswitch and put in a passive splitter instead. Some multiswitches have the ability to pass OTA TV signals, but it's probably easier to just have a passive splitter instead.



BTW, if you have any unused ports in your system, it is recommended that you cap them off with a 75-ohm terminator.

This helps protect the connectors, and, most importantly, prevents any errant signals from leaking out or reflecting back into the system and causing interference.
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Old 1-Oct-2010, 5:54 PM   #12
Tower Guy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyemgh View Post
I would like to pick up as many network channels as possible with the least hassle

The problem is, my wife won't tolerate a big antenna.

So, what I'm looking for is the best compromise,
Aim an EZ-HD or ANT-751 at 92 degrees. It would pick up all the stations down to K34DJ that have their azimuth listed in green. Many of them are analog LPTV stations.

http://www.dennysantennaservice.com/...v_Antenna.html

If you consider an Eagle Aspen DB-2 you'd get the same stations except for K13JR.

http://www.amazon.com/Eagle-Aspen-Dt.../dp/B000GIT002

Because the LPTV stations are not necessarily digital, if you want to be sure of HD signals, you will need a rotor or a multiple antenna array.
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Old 1-Oct-2010, 8:12 PM   #13
eyemgh
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options...

Certainly all of those are smaller than the Winegard.

First, What's the difference between the RCA and the EZ-HD other than 2X the price?

Second, if I were to go with one of those smaller antennas, what would I lose over the Winegard?

Thanks!

M
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Old 1-Oct-2010, 10:49 PM   #14
Tower Guy
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Originally Posted by eyemgh View Post
First, What's the difference between the RCA and the EZ-HD other than 2X the price?
They look the same to me.
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Old 2-Oct-2010, 12:42 AM   #15
No static at all
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyemgh View Post

First, What's the difference between the RCA and the EZ-HD other than 2X the price?
The ANT-751 is made by Winegard, so you can't go wrong with that model. Never looked at an actual EZ-HD, but it does look the same by the photo from Denny's. I'm really impressed with the performance of the ANT-751 considering it's size.
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Old 2-Oct-2010, 5:37 AM   #16
eyemgh
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Winegard makes his antennas too. I think I'll get the RCA and the 7695 and try 'em both. Thanks for all the help.

Mike
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