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Old 10-Sep-2014, 2:08 AM   #1
MTrooper
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 3
Looking for help to cut the cord

Hello everyone,

I'd like to be able to ditch the dish and setup a OTA rig with a DVR for the big 4 networks. I'm really only interested in receiving NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX, anything else would be a bonus.

Here is the radar map for my house @ 25 ft. Taking it up to 40 ft bumps channel 50 up to 3.4 db.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...d243ceca68cfa2

We do have trees around the house. They are probably 40-50 ft tall and 75ft from antenna location to the East/West. 200ft from antenna to the North/South.

If I'm reading this correctly it would look like I'd need a DB8E (Or similar) with a separate Yagi for the H. VHF and some sort of Combiner/Preamp. We live in an HOA community. Although there are no rules prohibiting antennas, out of respect for the neighbor hood I would like to keep the antenna sizes to a minimum. (IE.. could the 10' Yagi work in my attic? Roughly 20' height)

We have a total of 7 TVs in the house that I would like to have OTA/DVR available at each location. Each TV location has an RG6 coax ran to the utility room in the basement. Antenna -> utility room run about 70'. TV runs very anywhere from 10' to 50'. Currently I'm considering a 4 tuner Tablo unit hooked up to the antenna and then use the coax cables for MOCA internet and run Roku's or other Ethernet devices at the TV's for live viewing or DVR content.

Definitely open to others feedback on what they use for OTA/DVR setups. Not opposed to monthly fees, but Tivos fee structure seems out of line to me.

Let me know if I've forgotten anything. And thank you for any help you can provide.

Chris
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Old 10-Sep-2014, 3:21 PM   #2
stvcmty
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MTrooper, thank you for the very detailed first post. It is very helpful to know exactly what channels you want, how many devices you have want to attach, your desired aesthetic constraints, and what your wiring situation is.

Your situation is slightly challenging because only 2 of the channels you want come from the same direction. Fortunately the UHF spread is only 30 degrees and you have strong VHF that is almost in the opposite direction of your weak VHF.

For your VHF stations (CBS on RF9 and ABC on RF 13), I would point an antenna craft Y5-7-13 at 217 degrees true to get RF13, the weaker VHF station. RF9 is very strong and has a predicted LOS path, so it should come in off the back of the Y5-7-13. I would not try to do that in an attic, and the Y5-7-13 is only 5’ long so it will be less aesthetically challenged than a 10’ yagi. I suggest the Y5-7-13 over the Y10-7-13 because the back-lobe on the Y5-7-13 should be stronger than on a 10’ VHF yagi and neither the station on RF9 or RF13 look like they have particularly challenging NM’s. [Should reception on RF13 be less than optimal, a Y10-7-13 can be added to the Y5-7-13. In that case, the 5’ VHF yagi should be pointed at 14 degrees true for CBS, the 10’ yagi should be pointed at 217 degrees true for ABC, and a channel 10 jointenna (available from the channel master online store) can be used to merge both VHF yagi’s into a single VHF feed.]

The dB8e should work for your UHF situation. Point both panels at 344 degrees true for NBC on RF50. Fox should be strong enough to come in. If fox does not come in, the dB8e gives you the flexibility to split the aim of the panels. However, before doing that, I would slowly rotate the dB8e to aim at a point between NBC and Fox to see if there is a sweet spot.

Alternatively, a channel master 4228 may work for you. If the 4228 is aimed north, it should get Fox on RF32, NBC on RF50, and have enough VHF performance to get CBS on RF9. It may even have enough RF performance to get ABC on RF13. (The reason the 4228 does so well on VHF is related the long reflector elements; they will probably do equally well with RF from the front as from the back). If the 4228 was able to get Fox, NBC, and CBS from the north but unable to get ABC from the south west, a channel 9 jointenna could be used to add a VHF yagi aimed for ABC.

I have mixed feelings about your situation and a preamp. The low signal strength of WPBN TV along with the number of splits you need makes me think you may need a preamp. Since your situation seems to call for separate VHF and UHF antennas, the RCA TVPRAMP1R or the antenna craft 10G221 would be good since they offer the option to use separate VHF and UHF inputs. The antenna craft may have less noise on VHF stations, but given the price difference, I think the RCA TVPRAMP1R is the better choice. I would hold off buying a preamp to see how NBC on RF50 came in with whatever antenna(s) you get. If you need 7+ splits, that starts to get into distribution amplifier territory, either with an active 8-way splitter or a distribution amp feeding a 8 or 16 way splitter. Sometimes a preamp and a distribution amplifier is called for, but most times more than one amp is asking for trouble. You wanting MOCA networking on your TV coax also adds an additional wrinkle to things because all splits need to be extreme broadband. I think a step by step build is called for rather than buying everything at once.

I suggest first you get (a) antenna(s) and make sure you can get good signal for your 4 stations at the terminals of the antenna(s). Then the appropriate filtering/preamplification, (UVSJ, Channel 9 jointenna, dual input preamp) can be worked out. Then the best way to do all your splits with MOCA can be worked out, once we know what is feeding it.

Last edited by stvcmty; 10-Sep-2014 at 3:25 PM. Reason: Spelling and punctuation
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Old 11-Sep-2014, 12:53 AM   #3
MTrooper
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Talking Thank you stvcmty!

Is the DB8e and Y5-7-13 a more preferable setup than the CM4228? I have no issues running a multi-antenna setup as it seems it would allow for the greatest amount of flexibility in tuning the system. I'm assuming that the dual antennas on the same mast should be separated by 3'?

So if I'm reading your recommendation correctly I should start with these items.

http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=DB8E&ss=285550

http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...7-13&ss=285555

http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=uvsj

I may order the TVPRAMP1R as well to play with since it's fairly inexpensive. Also I had no knowledge of a VHF block/pass device such as the join-tenna hardware. To clarify though, I'm assuming if I put up two VHF Yagis, I would want a channel 13 join-tenna since it has a lower loss on the pass channel input. It did occur to me as well that we do have a strong FM signal in town (About 8 miles from our house) on 102.3 FM. Not sure if this will affect my reception ability.

Also my ideal setup would only have one feed off of the antenna system connecting directly to a whole house OTA/DVR device such as the Tablo. All of the other coax cables in the house would only be used to deliver Moca Ethernet to streaming devices such as Roku/AppleTV/FireTV. They stream the content from the Tablo which either supplies live TV or recorded content to the streaming device.

Having said that I completely agree that I should start by just getting the basic components of the OTA system up and running to see what works and what needs to be tweaked.

Thank you again,
Chris
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Old 11-Sep-2014, 2:32 AM   #4
stvcmty
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Join Date: Mar 2013
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Either jointenna will probably work. I said 9 because I would guess the pass and notch filters to be tighter for the slightly lower frequency. I have experience that a ch 12 jointenna passes 11, 12 and 13. My concern is I dont know how wide the knotch is on a ch 13 jointenna and I wouldn't want the notch on the channel 13 jointenna to hurt channel 9. With the design of the filters used in the jointenna, the higher the frequency, the wider the notch or pass for the filter. So I suggested the channel 9 jointenna because the center frequency for channel 9 is lower than for channel 13 leading to tighter filters and hopefully less interaction between your channels. I have not used a scope or frequency generator to examine a jointenna, so I could be completely wrong.
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Old 16-Sep-2014, 3:28 AM   #5
MTrooper
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Talking Follow up

So far I've installed the DB8e at about 35ft AGL and the TVPRAMPR1 in combined mode with FM trap on. I'm currently splitting the signal two ways and have good reception on channels 50, 32, 27, and 9. I'm surprised that the DB8e is able to pick up channel 9 @100% strength on my Vizio tuner. The current channel configuration gives me what I wanted as channel 50 broadcast NBC and ABC on its primary and sub channel. Thanks for the help on my way to saving some coin.

Chris
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Old 16-Sep-2014, 3:12 PM   #6
tomfoolery
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTrooper View Post
The current channel configuration gives me what I wanted as channel 50 broadcast NBC and ABC on its primary and sub channel.
An interesting thing I noticed is that your weakest signal (real 50) corresponds to the highest gain of the DB8e (14.7 dBi at the bottom of real 14, increasing to 17.4 dBi at the top of real 51), which is a fortunate thing for you. It's also true for the other DB_e antennas, and the 91XG, but it looks like the stars aligned just right for your situation. I just thought that was interesting.
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