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Old 9-Nov-2011, 8:14 AM   #1
ecopete
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Help needed in antenna choice & setup

I dropped cable a few months ago but would like to be able to access "live" tv (local news, sports).

I'm not sure what type of antenna to purchase. My info is below and I appreciate any help.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...4bbad72b6b6667

My house (typical colonial) faces north with many tall (~40') trees around it. I don't mind putting up an antenna on the roof. I have a plasma monitor 720P (that I use with Roku) so I also need a digital tuner. Any recommendations are welcome. I saw the Zenith DTT901 listed in another post but they don't seem readily available.

This is certainly a noob question but what would I need for a full installation?
1. Antenna
2. Cable
3. Splitter? - Likely add another tv in the near future
4. Digital Tuner
What am I missing?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 9-Nov-2011, 3:29 PM   #2
MisterMe
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Are you sure that your "monitor" does not have an ATSC integrated digital tuner? There is a technical difference between devices advertised as digital tuners as opposed to digital converters. The Zenith DDT901 is a digital converter. It receives digital signals and converts them to analog which is the transmitted to your analog TV commonly over RF Channel 3 or RF Channel 4. No more HD. A digital tuner also receives digital signals. A tuner may be able to communicate with the monitor via component video, DVI, or HDMI. The upshot is that a digital tuner preserves your HD programming. The downside to a digital tuner is that it is more expensive than a digital converter. However, the Zenith is expensive as digital converters go. The ChannelMaster CM7001 is the type of set top box that you want for just a few dollars more than the Zenith.
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Old 9-Nov-2011, 4:51 PM   #3
GroundUrMast
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A Winegard HD7694P pointing at 214 would do well. Smaller antennas would probably work also but the additional gain would insure enough signal power to drive a two or four-way splitter with no amplifier needed.

Use RG-6 or RG-6U cable. You can find pre-cut lengths with connectors installed at the big box home improvement stores. You will also see RG-6Q (quad shield) which will work just as well but offers no benefit to over the air reception. RG-6Q has extra shielding that is needed in satellite reception applications.

The big box home improvement stores also stock splitters. Choose a splitter with the number of output ports you intend to use. If you install a 4-way splitter and only connect two or three sets, you'll need to install terminating resistor caps on the unused ports and you will deliver less signal to the connected sets compared to a two or three way splitter. Also, choose a splitter rated for OTA/CATV frequencies, 5 to 1000 MHz. Satellite grade splitters are rated for 5 to 2500 MHz and often cost a bit more but provide no useful benefit to OTA reception.

Some folks opt to use a home theater PC which lets them use Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and any other internet video/audio provider. Tuners such as Silicondust HDHR3 and Hauppauge's various offerings make over the air reception and recording in HD possible with no monthly service fee like Tivo.

Channel Master is expanding it's offerings of HD set top boxes to include DVR and IPTV functions.
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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; 11-Nov-2011 at 4:36 PM. Reason: Corrected typo in antenna model number
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Old 11-Nov-2011, 7:16 AM   #4
ecopete
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Thanks for the feedback!

MisterMe: Yes my plasma has no tuner. It's just a big giant monitor. Thanks for explaining the difference btwn tuners and converters. I would need a tuner so thanks for the link.

GroundUrMast: Great stuff! I'll have to look into the home theater pc option. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
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Old 11-Nov-2011, 7:46 AM   #5
GroundUrMast
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Re. HTPC and tuner options...

My experience with the SiliconDust tuner
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Old 11-Nov-2011, 7:48 AM   #6
ecopete
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GroundUrMast: I'm having some difficulty locating the Winegard HD7964P. Do you know if it has been discontinued or updated? I found a HD7694P. Did you transpose some numbers?

Thanks
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Old 11-Nov-2011, 2:26 PM   #7
phone man
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
Re. HTPC and tuner options...

My experience with the SiliconDust tuner
Wow! Great thread. I didn't know equipment like that existed. Your antenna farm must resemble a post war soviet spy nest. LOL!!
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Old 11-Nov-2011, 4:36 PM   #8
GroundUrMast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecopete View Post
GroundUrMast: I'm having some difficulty locating the Winegard HD7964P. Do you know if it has been discontinued or updated? I found a HD7694P. Did you transpose some numbers?

Thanks
I'm going to go get tested for dyslexia...

HD7694P is a current model number.
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