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Old 4-Apr-2012, 3:45 PM   #1
echesh
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Newbie cutting the cord, which antenna??

Hello out there!

I am kicking cable to the curb and going for OTA only for all my HDTV channels. Problem is, I'm pretty clueless when it comes to antennas. I've looked on antenna web, and while most channels I currently watch are listed in yellow, there are also ones that are in other colors of the rainbow, which just confuses me.

Here's my report: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...267e4f514f88df

I live in a metro area, but far enough away that I'm on farm land with no tall buildings or even trees anywhere around. I used to have a satellite dish, and it was located (by the installers) on the back of my two story house (facing due south), but only about 15ft up, not on the roof or anything. I'm not sure if I should go with an indoor or outdoor, but if outdoor, it's very windy here, so my options might be limited. My house is about 15 years old, vinyl siding, basic colonial really, let me know if you need more info.

The other thing I'm not sure of is how to connect one antenna to more than one tv. I'll primarily be using two HDTVs connected to TiVo boxes (one upstairs, one down) but would love to get reception on other sets as well. Can I just connect the antenna to my existing cable setup (the way the satellite did)?

Thanks for any help!
Clueless Tech Lady

Last edited by echesh; 4-Apr-2012 at 4:51 PM.
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Old 4-Apr-2012, 5:09 PM   #2
GroundUrMast
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Because you're using Tivo, I'd recommend using an outdoor mounted antenna. You'll enjoy better signal quality which will translate to more reliable recording.

A mid size all-channel antenna such as the Winegard HD7015 should be able to drive a 4 or 8-way passive splitter. Aimed at about 30 you'll have a lot of programming to choose from.

Connecting multiple sets is accomplished by using a splitter. An example is the Ideal brand #85-134: http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...&storeId=10051
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Old 4-Apr-2012, 5:31 PM   #3
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Tv antennas and Tv reception

The link is working now. Install a heavy duty long lasting Winegard HD7082P antenna above the roof aimed at about 48 degree magnetic compass. Here is how to aim antennas , http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html. Here are some Strong and Strudy antenna mounts , http://www.ronard.com/9009911.html , http://www.ronard.com/34424560.html , http://www.ronard.com/ychim.html , http://www.ronard.com. Buy the ronard mounts at solidsignal by typing the word ronard in the solidsignal search box or by from ronard. Here are places to buy antennas and etc. , http://www.solidsignal.com , http://www.winegarddirect.com , http://www.amazon.com. The HD7082P antenna will supply signal to , 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , Tvs.
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Old 4-Apr-2012, 5:38 PM   #4
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Tv antennas and Tv reception

The Tv/s Must Scan for the Digital Broadcast Tv Channels sometimes called the , 'Air Channels' or 'Antenna Channels' in the Tv set up menu because the tv transmissions travel through the air from the transmitting antenna to your receiving antenna. Do Not scan for cable tv channels.
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Old 4-Apr-2012, 5:49 PM   #5
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Okay, it sounds like one of the Winegard antennas is the best bet (you two don't happen to work for Winegard, do you? ). Question is, can I put it on the roof of my two car attached garage (about 20 ft up if I'm guessing), or would the second story interfere too much? Reason being, there is absolutely no way I could access my second story roof (or would want to even attempt), so I'd definitely have to hire a professional, which I'm betting would be pricey. I could install myself in my attic, but not sure if this antenna would work there.

Second question, can I use my existing coax lines (from my old cable and satellite) that already run through my house, or do I need to physically run a line from the antenna to each tv? (My house has a lot of crazy wiring, so pulling wires isn't that bad a job to reach the downstairs tvs since the wiring runs through the basement, but trying to access each upstairs television separately with new cable might be.) Also, my internet will still be provided by the cable company, so um, not sure if that messes anything up with the cables. (Sorry if this is really, really, basic stuff, but I'm pretty clueless unless we're talking rabit ears!)

Alternately, should I just be hiring an professional point blank???
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Old 4-Apr-2012, 5:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electron View Post
The Tv/s Must Scan for the Digital Broadcast Tv Channels sometimes called the , 'Air Channels' or 'Antenna Channels' in the Tv set up menu because the tv transmissions travel through the air from the transmitting antenna to your receiving antenna. Do Not scan for cable tv channels.
My tivos are set up to scan for "antenna only" so I'm assuming they do that already. But for the tvs that will not be connected to the tivo, do I need some sort of set top box?
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Old 4-Apr-2012, 6:03 PM   #7
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The cables left behind from a satellite or cable install can be re-used. If you are still connected to the cable company, even if just for internet or phone service, be sure that no cable signals are connected to the OTA antenna system.

If your roof is wood framing and asphalt shingles, attic mounting is likely to work well. Metal roofing and HVAC ducts are going to block or reflect OTA signals. If you choose attic mounting, a larger, rather than smaller antenna will help overcome some of the signal lost as it penetrates the building structure.

Can you list the make and model of the TVs?
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 4-Apr-2012 at 6:10 PM.
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Old 4-Apr-2012, 6:15 PM   #8
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No, I don't work for Winegard... Similar antennas from Antennacraft, Channel Master, RCA, Phillips, etc. will accomplish the same thing.

In fact, the Antennacraft product is a bit easier to re-fold if you get it in the attic and decide to move it outside later. (I'm thinking the Antennacraft HD1200 would be an attic mount candidate in your case.)
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Old 4-Apr-2012, 6:51 PM   #9
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The attic is wood framed with asphalt shingles and that pink, paper-backed insulation. There is absolutely nothing in the attic except a small attic fan in the roof, I don't think there's even duct work up there. It's a large space, however the only access is one of those square holes in the ceiling of the upstairs hallway (no stairs, just use a regular ladder to access). Would the antenna fit through that?

Any recommendations for cables/splitters to tie into the existing coax lines?
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Old 4-Apr-2012, 6:56 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
The cables left behind from a satellite or cable install can be re-used. If you are still connected to the cable company, even if just for internet or phone service, be sure that no cable signals are connected to the OTA antenna system.

Can you list the make and model of the TVs?
Hmm, okay, so where the signal for the internet comes into the house, it should be connected to the modem & phone modem only with no splitter or anything, is that what you mean?

I can certainly list the tvs, but not off hand. I will have to wait until I get home. I know for sure one is a Toshiba Regza (but that one's connected to a tivo), but the rest I'm not sure of.
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Old 4-Apr-2012, 7:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echesh View Post
The attic is wood framed with asphalt shingles and that pink, paper-backed insulation. There is absolutely nothing in the attic except a small attic fan in the roof, I don't think there's even duct work up there. It's a large space, however the only access is one of those square holes in the ceiling of the upstairs hallway (no stairs, just use a regular ladder to access). Would the antenna fit through that?

Any recommendations for cables/splitters to tie into the existing coax lines?
Your attic sounds like it's going to be OTA friendly. The antennas suggested ship in a folded state. Generally they'll fit though attic access holes without difficulty if you don't unfolded them first.

The big box home improvement centers stock splitters. Ideal brand seems to be common, with modestly better performance spec's than the GE and RCA branded parts. You're looking for a splitter rated for 5 to 1000 MHz and only enough ports to connect the expected number of tuners. If you have five tuners, you'll likely need to settle for an 8-way splitter, though once in a while you might find a 6-way devise.
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Old 4-Apr-2012, 7:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echesh View Post
Hmm, okay, so where the signal for the internet comes into the house, it should be connected to the modem & phone modem only with no splitter or anything, is that what you mean?

I can certainly list the tvs, but not off hand. I will have to wait until I get home. I know for sure one is a Toshiba Regza (but that one's connected to a tivo), but the rest I'm not sure of.
If you have two devises, an internet modem and phone modem, I would expect the cable service drop would connect to an existing splitter. Leave the internet and phone modem connected as they are now. Leave the existing splitter where it's at. If you disconnect several cables from the existing cable splitter, to use them for OTA signal, They would connect to a new splitter that is not connected in any way to the cable network.

Unused ports on any splitter should be terminated with terminator caps: Example, http://www.homedepot.com/buy/ge-f-co...ck-310487.html

Newer TVs will have digital capable OTA tuners built in.
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Old 4-Apr-2012, 8:28 PM   #13
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Tv antennas and Tv reception

My evaluation is that Winegard currently makes the highest quality outdoor tv antennas. You can also use a http://www.antennacraft.net , HD1800 antenna or a http://www.channelmasterstore.com , CM5020 , if you choose to. The antennas listed on these posts from the begining of this thread will not supply enough signal strength to power a 6 or 8 way splitter on the weaker Tv stations in the yellow and red reception zones of the tvfool radar report. If more the 4 Tv's will be connected then use a CM3418 distribution amplifier. Put 75 ohm terminators on any unused outputs of the CM3418. We are doing our best to help you receive the Digital Broadcast Tv Stations/Channels. It really is not a joke , we are serious about helping people.

Last edited by Electron; 4-Apr-2012 at 8:48 PM.
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Old 4-Apr-2012, 8:36 PM   #14
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You can use any of the coaxes that are in or on your home that are not connected to any type or kind of cable delivered service or satellite delivered service. You can disconnect them and use them for the antenna system.

Last edited by Electron; 4-Apr-2012 at 8:45 PM.
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Old 5-Apr-2012, 8:26 PM   #15
echesh
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Thank you!

Okay, so I think I have decided on doing an attic mount, which means I can do it myself (hopefully). I will be connecting four televisions (two used often and two only occasionaly. I have a fifth in the basement that is rarely used, but have a set of rabbit ears that I currently use with it that will do just fine). I will edit this post to include makes and models tonight in case I may need additonal tuners.

So, to recap, could you tell me what my best bet antenna is for an attic mount installation in particular location, the Winegard HD7015/HD7082P or the Antennacraft HD1200/HD1800? (The Winegard seems to be quite a bit cheaper, I noticed.) Would you recommend installation on the ceiling, wall, or floor of the attic (please let me know if I should be asking this question in a separate forum) for best reception?

I will obviously need a four way splitter, and it looks like the Ideal brand is my best bet based on your replies. Still unsure exactly how I get the cables from the attic to the basement (since there were never any cables up there to begin with), but I am sure I will figure it out.

For the installation in the attic would you still recommend the Ronard mounts? Is there one in particular for the specific antenna you recommend above? Anything else I would need for installation that I have not mentioned?

Is there any difference where I aim the antenna for the particular one you recommend? I notice both 30 and 48 degrees in the previous posts.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 5-Apr-2012, 8:56 PM   #16
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Tv antennas and Tv reception

Use heavy duty string or cord to hang the antenna in the attic as high up as you can get the antenna aimed in the recommendation. Other then that , I do not work or sell or get money from Winegard. You choose the antenna that you think is best. I am here to help people with honest information.
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Old 6-Apr-2012, 12:28 AM   #17
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Here are more antennas to choose from , RCA ANT3036WR , Terk TV38 , Phillips SDV4401/27 .
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Old 10-Apr-2012, 5:00 PM   #18
echesh
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Winegard HD7015 vs. FV-HD30

This board has been so helpful - thank you! I am almost ready to purchase, but just want to be double sure I am making the right decision. I would just like to know what the difference is between the following two Winegard antennas:

1) Winegard FreeVision FV-HD30 Compact Ultra Powerful DTV TV Antenna Free Vision (FV-HD30 FV-30BB)

2) Winegard HD7015 VHF/UHF/FM Prostar 1000 TV Antenna (HD-7015)

They are a comparable price, and both come recommended for my location and needs through different sources (TV Fool and Solid Signal).

For reference, here is my location: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...36164f514f88df

It will be either an attic mount (approx 25-30ft.) or an outside mount (back corner of house (approx 15-20 ft) facing southeast.

Thanks for the assisitance!
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Old 10-Apr-2012, 6:24 PM   #19
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The Free Vision, FV-HD30 is designed to receive strong local signals starting with real channel 7, up to the top of the UHF range. You can mount it in the weather. It's small enough to mount indoors or on a wall.

Expect performance similar to a set of rabbit ears, very modest gain, roughly the same as a reference dipole antenna which by definition would be rated at 0 dBd.

This antenna will not be very directional. Though it will be more sensitive to the front and rear than to the sides.

The HD7015 is designed to receive all channels. It is primarily intended for outdoor mounting and like any other antenna, will perform best if it's given a clear and unobstructed view.

This is a mid-sized directional antenna with gain from 2.5 dBd @ CH-6 to 9.9 dBd at CH-32. It is most sensitive toward the front and receives very little from the sides and rear.

Of these two antennas, the HD7015 is better suited to your location, particularly because you have WPVI on real channel 6 and if you mount in the attic, some gain and directivity will help overcome some of the building penetration loss.

@echesh, Because your last question (in post #18 of this thread) is both a generic antenna question and a 'Help With Reception' question, I've taken the liberty to merge it with this original thread. I'll also create a thread in the Antennas forum for each of the antennas you're asking about. You did nothing wrong by posting in the Antennas forum... but hopefully I've optimized the organization of the forums a bit.

I'd like to encourage the other regular contributors to add to the Antennas forum in similar way.
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 10-Apr-2012 at 7:09 PM. Reason: Merged threads
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Old 10-Apr-2012, 7:00 PM   #20
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Thank you! That's what I thought. One of the guys at Solid Signal told me all I would need would be the FreeVision, but I was slightly skeptical, especially for an attic mount. I'm going to go with the HD7015. Thank you so much for helping clear that up!

Now to tackle installation...
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