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Old 12-Feb-2012, 12:18 AM   #1
fallen_trumpet
Fred
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Plano, TX USA
Posts: 8
Question Antenna Recommendation (Plano, TX)?

Hi,

I am new in this forum and have read through quite a bit of the excellent information here, as well as on other sites. I think I'm on the right track, but any recommendations will be welcomed. (Hopefully, I've complied with all forum guidelines... if not, my apologies in advance.)

(1) I hope NOT to rekindle any of the somewhat controversial threads I've read (such as re the "HD Stacker" product).

(2) My TV fool analysis can be viewed here, http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...0b86ec20f6d33f

(3) My primary stations of interest are, in terms of "Real RF (Virtual Channel)", as listed below:

8 (8.1) WFAA ABC
9 (52.1) KFWD
11 (11.1) KTVT CBS
14 (13.1) KERA PBS
19 (11.1) KTVT CBS (broadcast on two different frequencies?)
29 (21.1) KTXA
32 (33.1) KDAF
35 (4.1) KDFW FOX
41 (5.1) KXAS NBC

As can been seen, three are VHF-Hi and the others are UHF.

All transmit from essentially the same Cedar Hill tower sites, approximately 39 miles from my home at ~ magnetic compass 196 to 199.

(4) I realize this is a bit distant for an attic installation, but also know of people in my area and even farther from these towers that receive ALL these local channels in HD with an attic installation (using an HD Stacker). I have quite a bit of attic space available on the side of the house facing southwest (196-199 degrees), in a typical wood frame construction / asphalt shingle roof... no metal pipes, conduits, etc. on that side of the attic. (Attic is above a two story home, so perhaps 25 feet or so above ground.)

I also realize if the attic installation doesn't result in satisfactory reception, I may need to move the antenna outdoors.

PRELIMINARY CONCLUSIONS:
HD Stacker was attractive, primarily because of some of the testing provided by Denny and others...and by the relatively compact size... but ultimately, I am presently leaning AWAY from selecting this antenna for a variety of reasons.

I considered separate VHF-Hi and UHF antennas (something like perhaps an Antenna Craft Y10-7-13 or Winegard YA1713, with perhaps an Antennas Direct 91XG, combined with a VHF/UHF combiner such as the Tru-Spec Model UVSJ (NOT full range splitter/combiner). But although I've read about "optimizing", using such antennas versus a single VHF-Hi/UHF antenna, when I compare specs (mostly comparing antenna gain) at the frequencies that correspond to MY stations of interest, it appears a single antenna (such as Winegard 8200U) should outperform these separates. (Perhaps I'm overlooking something? I remain open to separates, if there is a possibility of improving my reception... it would actually be a bit simpler to install two separate antenna's in my attic space instead of a single, larger VHF/UHF antenna (like the Winegard 8200U and it's 14 ft beam....). However, perhaps separates would be a bit less convenient to install, if I ultimately decide to move the antenna (antenna's) outdoors.

So... if I were planning an outdoor single antenna installation, it seems something like a Winegard 7084P would be a good fit... so I am seriously considering Winegard 8200U as a sort of "step up" to improve my chances of receiving the desired signals in an attic installation. (Might be a bit of overkill if I have to move the 8200U outdoors, but the price difference is somewhat negligible to me.)

Oh... I have DirecTV for my other TVs... I intend to connect only ONE TV in my home office for occasional viewing to this antenna.

Thanks in advance for your time and sharing any thoughts/recommendations.

Regards,
Fred
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Old 12-Feb-2012, 4:32 AM   #2
Electron
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Tv antennas and Tv reception

Install the hd stacker in the attic and see what happens.
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Old 12-Feb-2012, 3:20 PM   #3
fallen_trumpet
Fred
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Plano, TX USA
Posts: 8
Smile HD Stacjer

Thanks for your reply. I am open to trying the Stacker... I've sent a few emails to Denny's the past 3 weeks or more but have not received a response (which makes me nervous...) but I will try by phone, next.

The Stacker seems a bit overpriced, but if it works, that is only a minor concern.

From Denny's test results for my specific stations, it looks like the Stacker should equal or outperform the 8200U, except for RF14 and RF29...but my TV report shows NM of 30.5 and 31.6 for those stations, so I expect no issues, there.
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Old 16-Feb-2012, 5:08 AM   #4
Electron
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Tv antennas and Tv reception

KTXD-TV 46 is Me-TV http://www.metvnetwork.com
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Old 16-Feb-2012, 1:24 PM   #5
fallen_trumpet
Fred
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Plano, TX USA
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Smile

Thanks, Electron. Hopefully, I will receive that channel, also. My TV report shows NM of 21.6. But I was not previously aware of "ME TV".
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Old 16-Feb-2012, 2:27 PM   #6
fallen_trumpet
Fred
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Plano, TX USA
Posts: 8
It may be a bit unfair, but I'm already having second thoughts about "trying the HD Stacker", based on my initial experiences with Denny's Antenna Service. Still zero responses to emails.... and Monday, when I phoned, Denny's confirmed they had the antenna "in stock" and that they would send it UPS such that I should receive it "Thursday or Friday" this week (today/tomorrow). However, UPS tracking shows Denny's did not create a shipping label until Wednesday (two days after they charged my credit card), and as of today (Thursday), UPS still has not received the antenna. UPS now estimates delivery mid next week, at the earliest, so I will be unable to install this weekend, as I had planned.

Two strikes... or am I spoiled by major online retailers (such as Amazon) and expecting too much from a smaller retailer such as Denny's?

Wishing I had ordered Winegard or separates... and hoping the Stacker works well enough to "keep", so I don't have to go through the trouble of installing, then uninstalling and returning.
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Old 26-Feb-2012, 9:37 PM   #7
fallen_trumpet
Fred
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Plano, TX USA
Posts: 8
To close the loop on this discussion, for anyone following along...

I received the Stacker antenna Tuesday. I had second thoughts about my planned attic installation after realizing (a) attic space is a bit tighter than I thought (vertical dimension) and (b) I need to point my antenna directly toward my neighbors 2-story house and large tree.

I exchanged a few email with Denny (very prompt responses) and decided to give it a try, so into the attic I went Saturday, directly connecting to a single TV. Allowing my Sony Bravia TV to search, 71 digital channels were found. (Several of these were actually sub-channels, Spanish channels and so on, but I did receive all the channels I initially mentioned as requirements, plus several more.

I have not found a way to display "signal strength" on my low-end Sony... if I find a way, I'll display some quantitative values for each channel... (anyone know how to do this?) but at least for now, the Stacker, being "disadvantaged" in almost every possible way in my installation - mounted inside my attic, only 1-2" clearance between the antenna members and rafters/roofing material on almost every side, pointed directly into the side of my neighbors home, and so on... yet I still receive the channels I wanted.

Of course, more channels would be better, and if I had chosen a different antenna or moved this Stacker outdoors, perhaps I would receive even more channels, but I have not way to know for certain.

All I can say for now with certainty is that I'm happy with the initial reception. Now, only time will tell if the reception remains constant or fades with the seasons.

Regards,
Fred
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Old 26-Feb-2012, 9:57 PM   #8
fallen_trumpet
Fred
 
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Location: Plano, TX USA
Posts: 8
Me-TV OTA in Dallas

Hi Electron,
FYI, per the ME-TV web site, channel 47 switches to ME-TV programming estimated March 1. (And I do receive 47.)
http://metvnetwork.com/wherewatch.ph...5025&x=29&y=17
Thanks!
Fred
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Old 7-Mar-2012, 5:39 PM   #9
fallen_trumpet
Fred
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Plano, TX USA
Posts: 8
Post MeTV Dallas (starting March 9, 2012)

As an update for anyone that may be interested, according to the folks at MeTV, scheduled programming is expected to start this Friday morning (March 9), consisting of:

* paid programming 4am-6am

* religious programming 6am-9am

* classic TV shows 9am-11pm

Regards,
Fred
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Old 7-Mar-2012, 6:29 PM   #10
Electron
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Tv antennas and Tv reception

Thanks fallen trumpet. This adds to my update list.
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