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Old 2-Sep-2012, 5:16 AM   #1
Eroc
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Should I get a preamp?

For starters here is my TVfool

I am currently using an RCA UHF/VHF antenna located in the attic that I inherited with the house. I have no clue of the exact specs but it has an 80" boom and a fairly short UHF side but it does have a reflector. I have a 2-way splitter in the attic. One goes directly to the living room TV and one goes to another 2-way splitter into my PC's TV tuner card (one for TV and one for FM).

I had problems getting KTVT until I realigned the antenna as it was around 230 deg. Now I get it with no problems, but now KXAS-DT cuts out. The odd thing is that they are both at about the same angle.

Now my questions are: Would a preamp help? How big a preamp should I get?

According to Channel Master if the towers are over 20 miles then you can get the big CM7777, though I believe it is more complicated than that and I do not want to overload my signal.

Any help or suggestions would be great! For now I may try some different positions in the attic.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 2-Sep-2012, 6:37 AM   #2
thom
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What's your roof made out of?

How many stations are you getting altogether?

How long are the cable runs from the splitters?
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Old 2-Sep-2012, 7:57 AM   #3
Eroc
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Roof is 1 layer of asphalt shingles.

I get 88 digital channels some of which show up as FM, etc. I can even see NFL, Starz, and Redzone among others. I assume these are some kind of satellite channels as they are "Encrypted." KHFD is about where I lose all signal, though, I can detect the station. This is all on my main TV as it has only one splitter between it and the antenna (though a longer cable run, see below).

As far as cable runs, I have to estimate at least 40 feet total as the antenna is on one side of the house over to the TVs on the other side of the house.

Ant-split 1 ~ 12ft
split 1-tv1 ~ 35ft (~47ft total)
split 1-split2/TV2 ~ 25ft (~37ft total)

The second splitter only has 2ft cables running to the tuner. Splitters are all -3.5db splits btw.

It is hard to follow the cable over the vaulted ceilings of the living area/den but I do know that the TV1 cable goes out of the attic and down the outside wall of the house (cable guy ran the lines for me, lol..), so it was hooked up already and I had to just disconnect cable and connect the Ant to the splitter.

I get pretty impressive reception for this old antenna. It has only 4 directors and 6 reflectors on the UHF side if I remember correctly. I think a mid to upper level (15-30db) preamp would help?

Thanks again!
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Old 2-Sep-2012, 1:48 PM   #4
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Do you have Any Type or Kind of satellite Tv service??

Do you have Any Type or Kind of cable service , cable tv , cable internet service , cable phone service??

As a Test of reception , run one long coax from the antenna to a Tv.

No couplers , No splitters , No amplifiers , No nothing.

Channel Scan for Digital Broadcast Tv Channels.

What is reception like now??

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Old 2-Sep-2012, 2:38 PM   #5
Eroc
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I do not have satellite but I do have a separate line with basic analog cable going directly to my cable modem only. It is only used for my internet connection.

I figured on needing to run a clean line straight to a tv to test the signal. I will do that and report back.
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Old 2-Sep-2012, 2:56 PM   #6
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Cable delivered service of -> Any Type Or Kind <- > Can Not Be Connected to the antenna system in Any Way Shape Or Form , Non , Zip , Zero , Zilch.

Do Not connect cable Tv service , cable internet , cable phone service , or any other type or kind cable delivered service or services to the antenna system coaxes in any way shape or form.

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Old 2-Sep-2012, 3:29 PM   #7
Eroc
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To descibe: Cable comes inside from behind the alley underground; goes into the attic to a male-male coupler that goes to one outlet behind my PC then directly to my cable modem. Thats it.

My antenna has a separate cable coming out of it to a separate splitter that runs to the TVs. They literally run parallel to each other but are not connected. There is no connection between my cable service and antenna. They are never joined or split off of each other.

I do not even own a combiner/joiner so I couldn't do that even if I wanted to, which, I wouldn't.

Thanks for the input! (no pun intended, lol)
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Old 2-Sep-2012, 3:59 PM   #8
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if you have a cooperative partner, the simplest thing to do is to have them watch the signal strengths (and shout them up to the attic) for KTVT and KXAS as you make small changes to the antenna orientation. That alone may solve your problem.
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Old 2-Sep-2012, 7:00 PM   #9
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A preamplifier or amplifier will most likely make the reception worse because the the Signal strengths are Strong at your location and a amplifier will most likely also amplify the problem.

Try putting the antenna above the roof and run a separate long coax to the Tv.

What is reception like now.

If cable channels are being received on the Tv , then somewhere somehow the cable Tv channels are being transmitted outside of the cable Tv system.

This seems like a good situation , (free cable tv) , however it is not.

Cable Tv uses many of the same frequencies as , police , fire department , air craft , and etc. and these cable Tv services are to be in the - closed system - of the coax.

I recommend call the cable company and they will use location finding receivers to find the cable leaks and repair them. Cable companies do get fined by the Federal Communications Commission for not having a closed system.

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Old 3-Sep-2012, 3:00 AM   #10
Eroc
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The channels that I am detecting are actually Direct TV channels. Stations like NFL and Red Zone give this away. In my area we have Time Warner Cable. Time Warner does not carry NFL network and Red Zone is a Direct TV channel.

I have not been able to put my antenna outside but as far as running its own cable...its already on its own long cable.

I did what was recommended and ran the cable from the antenna directly to my TV1 in the living room with no splitters. It looks like I still get some drop out. I am going to go back to the attic and try to move the antenna laterally since it is currently pointing right at a 2x6 board supporting the roof. Before, in it's previous alignment, it was pointed towards the side of the attic rather than at the slope of the attic. I am going to try to reproduce that.
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Old 3-Sep-2012, 4:16 AM   #11
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Sweated it out in the attic and fought the elements (and the antenna elements) and moved the antenna laterally and aligned it at 208 deg magnetic and reception has improved. This is with both TVs hooked up through the splitters and everything.

So far so good. I will keep you all updated.
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Old 3-Sep-2012, 5:25 AM   #12
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So then why is Direct Tv being received on a Tv antenna if you have no Direct Tv service??

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Old 3-Sep-2012, 7:07 AM   #13
Eroc
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Good question. It should be cable tv leakage, but, TWC does not have NFL network or Redzone and therefore does not broadcast these channels period. These are showing up in my guide, however, I cannot actually view these. They are encrypted.

There definitely could be a leak somewhere and I will try to figure that out.

First, I am going to disconnect the incoming cable line tomorrow, move it away from the antenna coax and see what happens. If it is a leakage inside my house this should take care of it, right? If the problem persists then it must be outside, whatever it is.

I will then call the cable company.

Thanks again.
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Old 3-Sep-2012, 6:30 PM   #14
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You may be seeing ION AIR Box or similar subscription service.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion_Television#AirBOX
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Old 3-Sep-2012, 7:25 PM   #15
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A New Startup Tv Service.

I wonder , will the audio or captioning be in Spanish and English??

http://www.rabbitears.info/market.php?request=airbox.

http://boards.radio-info.com/smf/ind...topic=210401.0.

http://www.airbox.com/sites/default/...ide_5-2012.pdf.

http://houstondtv.files.wordpress.co...rbox-flyer.pdf.

N8046A receiver , http://www.coship.com/en/ProductView.aspx?id=378&sid=12.

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Old 3-Sep-2012, 9:29 PM   #16
Eroc
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Yes I did some looking around this morning and came up with Airbox as well. Especially since one of the channels listed is Airbox. This is what I searched on Google. Not sure what to do or if I need to do anything.

Either way I cannot actually view the channels.

Guess I wont need to call the cable company.
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Old 3-Sep-2012, 10:25 PM   #17
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ION network has opted to use some of their OTA bandwidth to transmit subscription service content. You don't need to do anything unless you want to view the encrypted content.
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Old 1-Oct-2012, 4:21 PM   #18
Eroc
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Update:

Got my antenna fairly well aimed and receiving signals pretty well most of the time.

I may look into getting a better antenna, though, as i still get some total dropouts on Fox, NBC, and even CBS. NBC is the worst and the trend is UHF reception issues as ABC is good.

My old RCA antenna in the attic is an 80" boom with about 15" of it used for UHF with only 4 directors. It may do better outside on the roof but I want to avoid if possible.

This is the antenna I am thinking about getting to replace with: Here
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