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Old 10-Dec-2011, 10:13 PM   #1
slowhike
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Cutting the cable

Well, I'll soon be cutting the cable.
I've been doing some research rather than just buy an antenna blindly. Only problem is, I'm not much into all the technical info I'm seeing... I get confused, sleepy even
So I'm just going to ask & hope you guys & gals aren't so tired of the basic newby questions that you boot me out Hopefully you will suggest what you think will likely take care of my needs.

In addition to local stations, it just seams that while I'm researching & buying an antenna, I may as well get set up to pick up as many stations as I can so I'll have more possibilities to choose from.

Though I get confused on all I've been trying to read, I get the impression that I may need two or even three antennas to get the full range of stations in my area.
Maybe I'll need an amplifier & a rotator too.

Here is my location info... http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...403359c6ee02ef

Thanks in advance. ...Tim
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Old 10-Dec-2011, 11:01 PM   #2
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Would a fixed aim 'local' antenna and a rotatable 'all the rest' antenna make sense to you?

How many and what type of TV(s) and tuners do you have?
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Old 11-Dec-2011, 2:17 AM   #3
slowhike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
Would a fixed aim 'local' antenna and a rotatable 'all the rest' antenna make sense to you?

How many and what type of TV(s) and tuners do you have?
I would have to guess "fixed aim" to be the same as directional, & "local" maybe referring to picking up closer TV stations maybe?
And when you say "rotatable 'all the rest' antenna", I would guess you are talking about a 2nd antenna that picks up the channels coming from the farther stations.
You mention the 2nd antenna being rotatable. Would it be on a separate mast or on the same mast?

You can see that in my area, I'm surrounded by towns at about 10-20 miles away, so I think my local channels would be coming from all directions. So wouldn't the antenna picking up closer channels need to rotate as well?
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Old 11-Dec-2011, 3:17 AM   #4
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You got what GUM was trying to say, except the part about fixed equalling directional. The "local" antenna will be a low-gain antenna like an RCA ANT-769 that remains sensitive over a broad range of angles. It might be possible to find an aim with such an antenna that will catch all your stations in green and most of the ones in yellow. To chase the weaker stations, you will need a higher gain antenna, which is sensitive over a narrower range of angles. A rotator will be needed to aim that antenna to the stations you want.

We like to avoid having to recommend rotors, as using one will add complexity to real-life use.
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Old 11-Dec-2011, 8:01 AM   #5
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Reception

Simple to install and use. Receives all directions with one antenna. Install a Channel Master CM3000A antenna above the roof. Here are some roof mounts , http://www.ronard.com/909911.html , http://www.ronard.com/34424560.html , http://www.ronard.com/ychim.html . Here are some places to buy antennas , http://www.channelmasterstore.com , http://www.solidsignal.com , http://www.amazon.com , http://www.starkelectronic.com , http://www.3starinc.com.

Last edited by Electron; 13-Dec-2011 at 12:55 AM.
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Old 12-Dec-2011, 8:22 PM   #6
GroundUrMast
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Most folks are looking for simple and reliable.

Any of the reputable antenna brands 4-bay UHF panel antenna facing east would give you a fairly comprehensive line-up.

U4000, DB-4, DB-4e, CS4, CM-4221 or HD4400.

http://www.antennacraft.net/Antennas/AntennasUHF.html
http://www.antennasdirect.com/store/...-Antennas.html
http://www.channelmaster.com/Channel...ntenna_s/3.htm
http://www.winegarddirect.com/cview....nly%20Antennas

However, at the risk of being more complex, if you want to see the signals from other directions, I was thinking of a Winegard HD7698P plus preamp (CPA-19 or HDP-269) and a rotator (NTE U-106 + TB-105). I was thinking of a somewhat unconventional method of connecting the two antenna systems: http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=2882

The result is that you would end up with one antenna feed that would serve general viewing needs. You would have the option to run the axillary antenna to one, some or all sets... depending on your preference. (For the sports fan with a "man-cave" TV, wanting to see signals from out of town, this idea may make good sense.)

This idea can easily fit on a tripod and 10' mast section. The larger rotating antenna would be at the top.
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 12-Dec-2011 at 8:43 PM.
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Old 12-Dec-2011, 9:29 PM   #7
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I just want to let you know that I am looking into what you are telling me & checking the links you provide.
And I do appreciate you taking the time to give me this info.

I'm not into sports, mainly sitcoms, action movies, crime dramas & a little news & weather.
I like some wood working, garden/landscaping & a few other things at times.
With the antenna, I'll probably just have to get what's offered on PBS for those, but that's OK.

The simple antenna set up might just do the trick, but since it's nice to have more options to pick from when I do turn on the TV, I'm still thinking that I may need to be able to both reach further.
Also, it seams that I have stations coming from all directions (even the closer ones), so I'm still wondering if the investment of the bigger antenna, rotor & amplifier might be worth while.
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Old 12-Dec-2011, 9:55 PM   #8
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If you have only one set, and the set allows you to add channels manually or by 'additional scan', one rotating antenna may work very well.

A rotatable antenna usually works best when connected to only one tuner. A rotator can be a source of frustration for other viewers who don't have control of the antenna aim.
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Old 13-Dec-2011, 1:11 AM   #9
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Re: Tv Reception with Tv antennas

Due to the fact that your location has digital tv transmitters all around the compass. No one or even two directional type antennas such as , U4000 , DB-4 , DB-4e , CS4 , CM-4221 , HD4400 , ANT751 and other directional antennas will receive the stations all around the compass. Directional antennas are in fact directional , less signal is received at the back of the antenna and even less is received at the sides of a directional antenna , the front of a directional antenna is where most of the signal is received. . . The digital tv transmissions in the green and yellow zones are plenty strong enough to be received buy the CM3000A in All Directions. The other digital tv transmitters in the red/pink zone and on down have , adjacent channel and co channel interference and will not be easy to receive with any antenna. Install a CM3000A antenna.

Last edited by Electron; 13-Dec-2011 at 3:51 AM.
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Old 13-Dec-2011, 4:07 PM   #10
slowhike
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For now I will only be using one TV. Later I may add one or two more, but it will be a while.
Does splitting the antenna signal to two or more TV sets take away from the picture quality?
Can two TVs show different stations at the same time from the same antenna?
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Old 13-Dec-2011, 6:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
For now I will only be using one TV. Later I may add one or two more, but it will be a while.
Does splitting the antenna signal to two or more TV sets take away from the picture quality?
Can two TVs show different stations at the same time from the same antenna?
Splitting the signal reduces the signal strength available to each set. This does not effect the picture quality so long as there is enough signal power for the TV tuner to automatically adjust it's internal gain. (A symptom of low signal strength or poor signal quality would be pixelization or loss of signal)

Yes, each set can be tuned to what ever channel the viewer desires, with no affect on other tuners.
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Old 14-Dec-2011, 1:35 AM   #12
scott784
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
Most folks are looking for simple and reliable.

Any of the reputable antenna brands 4-bay UHF panel antenna facing east would give you a fairly comprehensive line-up.

U4000, DB-4, DB-4e, CS4, CM-4221 or HD4400.

http://www.antennacraft.net/Antennas/AntennasUHF.html
http://www.antennasdirect.com/store/...-Antennas.html
http://www.channelmaster.com/Channel...ntenna_s/3.htm
http://www.winegarddirect.com/cview....nly%20Antennas

However, at the risk of being more complex, if you want to see the signals from other directions, I was thinking of a Winegard HD7698P plus preamp (CPA-19 or HDP-269) and a rotator (NTE U-106 + TB-105). I was thinking of a somewhat unconventional method of connecting the two antenna systems: http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=2882

The result is that you would end up with one antenna feed that would serve general viewing needs. You would have the option to run the axillary antenna to one, some or all sets... depending on your preference. (For the sports fan with a "man-cave" TV, wanting to see signals from out of town, this idea may make good sense.)

This idea can easily fit on a tripod and 10' mast section. The larger rotating antenna would be at the top.
GroundUrMast, it looks like you've given Tim a lot of excellent information and links to check out.

As for general topic (on this thread) about his signals coming from different directions around the compass, that is true. But the majority of what Tim would receive (in the green) are coming from the towers to his E/SE near Randleman, NC. The exception to that (in the green) is WXII and WUNL on Sauratown Mtn (to his north).

The majority of his stations in the yellow area, are the neighboring market locals (Charlotte). Those towers are to his S/SW from NE Charlotte and Dallas, NC (near Gastonia, NC).

I just mention these specific locations for the benefit of this poster (Tim) as I live in his same general area. From his tvfool report, it looks like he has very good potential for OTA reception.
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Old 16-Dec-2011, 11:34 PM   #13
slowhike
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Another issue that I haven't mentioned is large oak trees on both sides of my house.
My property is not far from the highest in my community, so that should help, but the trees are nice & thick with leaves in the summer & quite a bit higher than my roof peak.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
Most folks are looking for simple and reliable.

Any of the reputable antenna brands 4-bay UHF panel antenna facing east would give you a fairly comprehensive line-up.

U4000, DB-4, DB-4e, CS4, CM-4221 or HD4400.

http://www.antennacraft.net/Antennas/AntennasUHF.html
http://www.antennasdirect.com/store/...-Antennas.html
http://www.channelmaster.com/Channel...ntenna_s/3.htm
http://www.winegarddirect.com/cview....nly%20Antennas

However, at the risk of being more complex, if you want to see the signals from other directions, I was thinking of a Winegard HD7698P plus preamp (CPA-19 or HDP-269) and a rotator (NTE U-106 + TB-105). I was thinking of a somewhat unconventional method of connecting the two antenna systems: http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=2882

The result is that you would end up with one antenna feed that would serve general viewing needs. You would have the option to run the axillary antenna to one, some or all sets... depending on your preference. (For the sports fan with a "man-cave" TV, wanting to see signals from out of town, this idea may make good sense.)

This idea can easily fit on a tripod and 10' mast section. The larger rotating antenna would be at the top.
I have been looking at the links from GroundUrMast. It seams there is quite a range of prices for the fixed antennas, from 21.89 to 89.99. I realize prices will vary as I shop around. But although cash is a little tight right now, I don't want to scrimp on this project.
If I try a fixed antenna & later decide I want to try a multidirection w/ preamp & rotor, I'm thinking that it was said earlier that I could still use the fixed in conjunction with a rotating, multidirection.
But maybe I'll be satisfied with a good fixed antenna (or two).

I have thought about the more complex alternative GroundUrMast talked about, but when I read the post he linked http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=2882
I start thinking I might get into more hassle than I know how to deal with

If I were going to go with the more complex system, I would like to try to buy most if not all of the components from the same place, so I could take advantage of a 6 months/no interest deal & pay it off in steps. I can get most of the listed items from Winegard except the rotor. What are your opinions of the rotors offered by Winegard?
http://www.winegarddirect.com/sview.asp?q=rotor

Quote:
Originally Posted by scott784 View Post
GroundUrMast, it looks like you've given Tim a lot of excellent information and links to check out.

As for general topic (on this thread) about his signals coming from different directions around the compass, that is true. But the majority of what Tim would receive (in the green) are coming from the towers to his E/SE near Randleman, NC. The exception to that (in the green) is WXII and WUNL on Sauratown Mtn (to his north).

The majority of his stations in the yellow area, are the neighboring market locals (Charlotte). Those towers are to his S/SW from NE Charlotte and Dallas, NC (near Gastonia, NC).

I just mention these specific locations for the benefit of this poster (Tim) as I live in his same general area. From his tvfool report, it looks like he has very good potential for OTA reception.
Thanks for the local info on directions Scott. Very helpful.
I'm thinking from this that maybe two (or even three?) fixed direction antennas might do the trick. Only concern is that all three directions you mentioned will be pointing through the large oaks & I'm not sure how much that is going to interfere.
Have you told elsewhere here about the stations you pick up Scott?
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Old 17-Dec-2011, 8:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
Another issue that I haven't mentioned is large oak trees on both sides of my house.
My property is not far from the highest in my community, so that should help, but the trees are nice & thick with leaves in the summer & quite a bit higher than my roof peak.



I have been looking at the links from GroundUrMast. It seams there is quite a range of prices for the fixed antennas, from 21.89 to 89.99. I realize prices will vary as I shop around. But although cash is a little tight right now, I don't want to scrimp on this project.
If I try a fixed antenna & later decide I want to try a multidirection w/ preamp & rotor, I'm thinking that it was said earlier that I could still use the fixed in conjunction with a rotating, multidirection.
But maybe I'll be satisfied with a good fixed antenna (or two).

I have thought about the more complex alternative GroundUrMast talked about, but when I read the post he linked http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=2882
I start thinking I might get into more hassle than I know how to deal with

If I were going to go with the more complex system, I would like to try to buy most if not all of the components from the same place, so I could take advantage of a 6 months/no interest deal & pay it off in steps. I can get most of the listed items from Winegard except the rotor. What are your opinions of the rotors offered by Winegard?
http://www.winegarddirect.com/sview.asp?q=rotor


Thanks for the local info on directions Scott. Very helpful.
I'm thinking from this that maybe two (or even three?) fixed direction antennas might do the trick. Only concern is that all three directions you mentioned will be pointing through the large oaks & I'm not sure how much that is going to interfere.
Have you told elsewhere here about the stations you pick up Scott?
Tim,
I live in the 27104 zip code (west side of Winston). Here is my tvfool report:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...403393c07c6564

I receive all of the stations in green and yellow without using my rotator. The stations in pink (on my report) are a bit sketchy, some of which I have never seen regardless of the direction of my antenna.

I thought I'd share my tvfool report with you since you are located in my general area; and you asked about my channels. But obviously you will want to keep in mind that it is very specific to each location. For example, there are some viewers in Winston-Salem that would have a difficult time accessing the Charlotte locals. And as you get farther away from any towers (in any direction), your specific location generally becomes more important.

As far as antenna selections and accessories, there's really not a 'one size fits all' for everyone. But having said that, it is my personal opinion that your time and effort in getting your setup running is worth far more than the cost of any particular antenna. So I would encourage you to get the best to accomplish your particular objective.

For example, do you want to ensure reliable access to the (out of market) Charlotte locals in addition to the ones in the Triad? If so, that should be taken into consideration when factoring in the choices you make to include the size and type of antenna you purchase. On the other hand, if you don't have much interest in the Charlotte locals, I believe you can go with a more simple solution. As far as those oak trees, it is my belief that it's difficult for anyone to speculate (on what level) they may impact the signals. But the fact that your house is well elevated is certainly a big plus; and it is reflected on your tvfool report.

GroundUrMast has a wealth of knowledge about antennas and electronics. And the links he has provided you can be used for your consideration. He is just trying to give you some options to consider.

Also, see the PM I sent to you.
Scott

Last edited by scott784; 17-Dec-2011 at 8:20 AM.
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Old 17-Dec-2011, 3:20 PM   #15
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Thanks Scott. Seeing all the channels you receive with out using your rotor, I'm thinking that I may just go with one of the fixed direction antennas. I have a feeling it will do well at this location, even with the large oak trees.

Now to chose a really good directional antenna. Still so many choices
I'm guessing that price & antenna size is no guarantee on choosing what might be the best. I don't mind spending more to get an antenna that tends to rank high in results.
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Old 17-Dec-2011, 3:52 PM   #16
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There are small technical differences in performance among the 4-bay antennas listed previously. If money is tight, don't be afraid or ashamed of using price as a deciding factor.
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Old 17-Dec-2011, 9:15 PM   #17
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Thanks Scott. Seeing all the channels you receive with out using your rotor, I'm thinking that I may just go with one of the fixed direction antennas. I have a feeling it will do well at this location, even with the large oak trees.

Now to chose a really good directional antenna. Still so many choices
I'm guessing that price & antenna size is no guarantee on choosing what might be the best. I don't mind spending more to get an antenna that tends to rank high in results.
When looking at antenna choices, be aware that every station in your area is on the UHF band (14-51). For example, WXII uses virtual ch 12 (displayed on your tv tuner). But the real frequency is RF31. These changes occurred after the digital/HD conversion with television.

You don't need to be too concerned with this information. However, I just point it out in case someone asks you if you want (or need) a VHF/UHF antenna or just a UHF antenna. In my particular case, I chose a UHF only antenna b/c I was trying to keep the size down while still getting a long range antenna--for the out of market Charlotte stations that I wanted to receive. And presently, there is not a single station broadcasting on the VHF band that I could receive at my location.

While the broadcast stations in this area (and Charlotte) primarily use UHF, (WTVI Charlotte is the only VHF exception I can think of)....just be aware that there is always the possibility that the FCC could send some stations 'packing' in the future. If that ever happens, some of these stations could be forced to relocate back to the VHF band (2-13). I hope that will not happen b/c the HD broadcast signals do not always perform well in VHF...particularly low band VHF. That has been demonstrated on other areas. But if changes do occur in the future, I would possibly have to make other arrangements for my setup.
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Old 17-Dec-2011, 10:05 PM   #18
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There are small technical differences in performance among the 4-bay antennas listed previously. If money is tight, don't be afraid or ashamed of using price as a deciding factor.
Now that's what I call "Good, honest advice"!
I know that price is not always a reliable indicator of worth for the end product.
When I hear advice from someone like GroundUrMast who is not trying to sell me anything, but instead is taking the time to help folks figure out what might work best for them, it is truly appreciated.
Thank you sir.
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Old 17-Dec-2011, 10:10 PM   #19
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When looking at antenna choices, be aware that every station in your area is on the UHF band (14-51). For example, WXII uses virtual ch 12 (displayed on your tv tuner). But the real frequency is RF31. These changes occurred after the digital/HD conversion with television.

You don't need to be too concerned with this information. However, I just point it out in case someone asks you if you want (or need) a VHF/UHF antenna or just a UHF antenna. In my particular case, I chose a UHF only antenna b/c I was trying to keep the size down while still getting a long range antenna--for the out of market Charlotte stations that I wanted to receive. And presently, there is not a single station broadcasting on the VHF band that I could receive at my location.

While the broadcast stations in this area (and Charlotte) primarily use UHF, (WTVI Charlotte is the only VHF exception I can think of)....just be aware that there is always the possibility that the FCC could send some stations 'packing' in the future. If that ever happens, some of these stations could be forced to relocate back to the VHF band (2-13). I hope that will not happen b/c the HD broadcast signals do not always perform well in VHF...particularly low band VHF. That has been demonstrated on other areas. But if changes do occur in the future, I would possibly have to make other arrangements for my setup.
It seams that I may have read something to the effect of "If you only need UHF, get a UHF only antenna, because an antenna that does both VHF & UHF may have some interference issues, giving lesser results than the UHF only.
Would that be correct?
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Old 17-Dec-2011, 10:39 PM   #20
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It seams that I may have read something to the effect of "If you only need UHF, get a UHF only antenna, because an antenna that does both VHF & UHF may have some interference issues, giving lesser results than the UHF only.
Would that be correct?
Consider an example where there are powerful FM signals near by. An antenna with UHF only capability will receive less FM signal than an antenna designed to cover the FM band. There may be other examples like this, such as land mobile radio (police, fire, etc.). So yes, there may be situations where you would be better off with an antenna that is optimized for the frequencies of interest.
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