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Old 27-Aug-2011, 8:20 PM   #1
woolfie
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Question Canada OTA is going digital - help this newbie pick an antenna!

Hi,

Canada is switching over to digital broadcast over the air. I currently have a LCD TV with a digital tuner and can receive a few channels already with rabbit ears, but having to play with the rabbit ears and re-search for every channel is getting tiresome. I need a decent antenna. What to pick?? I have no idea what is really needed.

Here's a link for my location with the antenna at 4ft (approx current height of the rabbit ears): http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...9e74a455c842dc

And this is the location with an antenna at 20ft, which I figure is the height with it in the attic. http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...9e742f8b3aaaf4

If I could put the antenna in the attic I would feel capable of doing it myself, but if it requires a roof-mount antenna I'll be getting someone else to do it.

There's a local company that seem to stock a good supply of antennas and equipment (http://www.otacanada.com/cgi-bin/ota_index.pl) - any comments on them would also be appreciated.

A couple of questions: does moving a passive antenna higher up automatically help, or does that then mean I need an amplifier/signal booster to overcome any signal loss that may occur from having to send the signal a further distance from the antenna's new location to the TV (e.g. would rabbit ears upstairs help the TV downstairs?)

Also, we only have one digital tuner TV, but if I were to add another in the future, can I just feed the antenna signal into the existing coax cabling that's in the wall for cable TV (which we don't have or use) and allow any TV to tap into that?

Thanks for answering another newbie's questions!
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Old 28-Aug-2011, 3:05 PM   #2
Billiam
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No amp needed at your location. Virtually every station is in the Green and will give you a strong signal. Usually the higher you mount your antenna the better your reception will be. But this is not true in every case especially with digital signals when in some cases you can find a "sweet spot" at a lower point on the property.

You will need a splitter if you want to add a second tuner or TV at some point. They are pretty cheap and only run a few dollars.

Question. Do you want digital signals only or do you plan to watch analog as well?
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Old 28-Aug-2011, 3:08 PM   #3
ve2dc
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Q1. Generally yes, unless you are talking about extraordinary cable lengths. Outdoors is better than in the attic, but how much better depends on the composition of the roof. Rule of thumb, don't use an amp unless you have to. If you do, don't use too much gain. They can be a real curse if you have strong local channels or any kind of radio transmitter relatively close. Unless you are in the boonies, the overload capability of the amp is probably more important than the gain or noise figure.
Q2 Yes you can. Depending on various factors you might need a distribution amp to overcome splitter loss, but if its only split once you may be OK.

You will be better off with a rotator.

some channel allocations will change in a few days, the frequency for CBMT has already switched to 21.

I'm going to put up a new antenna and will probably use one of the Antennacraft antennas and possibly their amp.

Have fun... and don't fall off the roof!
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Old 28-Aug-2011, 4:30 PM   #4
Tigerbangs
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I am former denizen of Ottawa, and have installed more than a few antennas there, so I believe that I can help you. The National Capital District has 2 transmitter locations: Camp Fortune in Gatineau, and Herbert's Corner in Manotick. CBC, CTV Global TVO , TV% and a couple of others are in Camp Fortune, and other stations like CHRO (A channel Ottawa) CHCH, CITY and the OMMI chalnnels come out of Herbert's Corner.

CBOFT, CIII, CBC Ottawa, CJOH (CTV) will remain on VHF after the digital conversion, including CIII-Global on channel 6, the only VHF channel coming outy of Herbert's corner will be CHCH, channel 11. You can use a single broadband antenna like a Winegard HD-7082P or an Channel Master Crossfire 3679 along with a rotator, which worked well for one TV set, but is awkward if multiple TV sets are used in the house. Another option would be to use a broadband antenna like the ones listed above aimed at camp Fortune, and a VHF-high-band plus UHF antenna like a Winegard HD-7694P aimed at Herbert's Corner. Run cables from each antenna into dedicated splitters to divide the signals to your TV sets, then run cables from each splitter to each TV set, then connect the the two cabled running to each room to an A/B switch which will allow you to select the signals from each antenna. Both systems will work well, but the latter system will allow the various TV sets in the house to see signals from both antennas at all times. Early reports indicate that CIII-Global, is currently on the air in digital, but has a weak signal: you will need the Winegard all-channel antenna, the HD-7082P in order to see Global clearly.
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Old 28-Aug-2011, 5:02 PM   #5
Billiam
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Tigerbangs. If he chooses the 7082p then he should move quickly to obtain one. I recently noted that both Winegard and Channel Master have removed several antennas from their websites including the 7082p which seems to indicate these models are about to be discontinued.

http://www.winegard.com/offair/vhfuhf-antennas.php
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Old 28-Aug-2011, 11:11 PM   #6
Tigerbangs
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Channel Master and AntennaCraft still make all-channel antennas, and the Crossfire 3679 and the AntennaCraft HD-850 and HD1200 are still available. Be aware that people are reporting lots of problems receiving CIII (Global) on channel 6 in Ottawa, so trying a smaller all-channel antenna may exclude Global. I was always a Global fan because they run most of the NBC lineup of programming.
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Old 29-Aug-2011, 3:11 AM   #7
woolfie
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Thanks everyone for the responses. I was able to get Global (6) in digital, but as far as I know my TV only adds digital channels if I search for them and the rabbit ears are very temperamental for that -- if I readjust them and rescan I gain one channel and lose another :-( Hence the reason for wanting a better antenna set-up.

I'm happy to receive all the digital channels, given that there will be a fair selection. I don't feel the need to go to extraordinary measures to pick up fringe analogue channels from further afield, but hey, if a better antenna picks a few up then that's a bonus.
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Old 29-Aug-2011, 3:48 AM   #8
John Candle
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Tv Antennas and Reception

I see ALL the antennas at , http://www.winegarddirect.com , And I all so see ALL the antennas at , http://www.channelmasterstore.com , and as a matter of fact Channel Master is adding more antennas. And as a matter of fact VHF low band channels 2 thru 6 are transmitting here in the USA , and are likely to be transmitting for some time to come , no matter how much some want them to go away. And as of AUG , 28 , 2011 , VHF low band is still be transmitted in Canada.

Last edited by John Candle; 29-Aug-2011 at 4:28 AM.
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Old 29-Aug-2011, 3:59 AM   #9
John Candle
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Tv Antennas and Reception

Here is information about the Canada Tv transition. http://www.user.dccnet.com/jonleblan...da_TV_Stations , http://www.tvtechnology.com/article/117022 , http://www.tvtechnology.com/article/105462 , http://www.digitalhome.ca , http://www.friends.ca , http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/home-accueil.htm , http://www.saveandreplay.com , http://www.trentondistributors.com , http://www.canada.com/entertainment/...ion/index.html

Last edited by John Candle; 29-Aug-2011 at 4:02 AM.
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