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Old 7-Jul-2011, 2:08 PM   #21
SVTarHeel
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I also live in Winston-Salem, across town from the OP, so I thought I would just add to this post in case others ran across it in their search for local info.

We recently switched from TWC to DirecTV. I use the OTA signal as a backup in the event of storm interference and would potentially like to add a better antenna than the inexpensive Radio Shack DTV rabbit ears I currently have (adjustable rabbit ears with a loop). Since the DTV switchover, this antenna has generally been pretty good at getting our local stations.

Also, I recently purchased a DirecTV OTA tuner so I can add the digital subchannels to the list of 'DVR-able' stations. Currently, I have split the signal from the antenna so that it goes into both the TV's tuner and the DirecTV OTA tuner. Currently, the antenna sits beside the TV - the distance to the TV is < 3' and the distance to the OTA tuner is about the same.

When I did the original scan for the DirecTV receiver (during the overnight hours), it missed about half of the available channels. I rescanned the next morning, and it got most of the missed ones. I tried later in the day and it found everything it should have. When I tried recording a movie from a local station's subchannel, there were a lot of lost signal issues during the recording. I'm wondering if I could solve that problem with an amplifier of some type or if the issue is likely due more to the inexpensive antenna.

Let me also say that I'm firmly in the 'something for nothing' camp - I'd like to make OTA into a usable backup for us, but, since it's not our primary reception option, I'm hesitant to spend $50 for an antenna, $50 for an amp, etc., just to add redundancy that will not be used that often.

Here's the link to my street level report: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...81a31bc0ee76e2

As an additional option, we do still have our ancient (~40 year old) antenna mounted to the chimney. We got cable in the mid-70s but never removed the antenna. (I know nothing about it other than the rotor control box says Alliance.) I will readily confess my ignorance as to whether or not that could be used as a better solution to this whole deal.

So, the bottom line is: would you have any thoughts as to my best bet? The way I see it, my options in order of increasing cost would be:
  • add an amplifier (before the splitter) to the existing rabbit ears setup
  • go with a better antenna
  • use a better antenna and an amp

(Or maybe bypass all that and use the existing mounted antenna somehow.)

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 14-Jul-2011, 12:38 AM   #22
scott784
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Originally Posted by SVTarHeel View Post
I also live in Winston-Salem, across town from the OP, so I thought I would just add to this post in case others ran across it in their search for local info.

We recently switched from TWC to DirecTV. I use the OTA signal as a backup in the event of storm interference and would potentially like to add a better antenna than the inexpensive Radio Shack DTV rabbit ears I currently have (adjustable rabbit ears with a loop). Since the DTV switchover, this antenna has generally been pretty good at getting our local stations.

Also, I recently purchased a DirecTV OTA tuner so I can add the digital subchannels to the list of 'DVR-able' stations. Currently, I have split the signal from the antenna so that it goes into both the TV's tuner and the DirecTV OTA tuner. Currently, the antenna sits beside the TV - the distance to the TV is < 3' and the distance to the OTA tuner is about the same.

When I did the original scan for the DirecTV receiver (during the overnight hours), it missed about half of the available channels. I rescanned the next morning, and it got most of the missed ones. I tried later in the day and it found everything it should have. When I tried recording a movie from a local station's subchannel, there were a lot of lost signal issues during the recording. I'm wondering if I could solve that problem with an amplifier of some type or if the issue is likely due more to the inexpensive antenna.

Let me also say that I'm firmly in the 'something for nothing' camp - I'd like to make OTA into a usable backup for us, but, since it's not our primary reception option, I'm hesitant to spend $50 for an antenna, $50 for an amp, etc., just to add redundancy that will not be used that often.

Here's the link to my street level report: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...81a31bc0ee76e2

As an additional option, we do still have our ancient (~40 year old) antenna mounted to the chimney. We got cable in the mid-70s but never removed the antenna. (I know nothing about it other than the rotor control box says Alliance.) I will readily confess my ignorance as to whether or not that could be used as a better solution to this whole deal.

So, the bottom line is: would you have any thoughts as to my best bet? The way I see it, my options in order of increasing cost would be:
  • add an amplifier (before the splitter) to the existing rabbit ears setup
  • go with a better antenna
  • use a better antenna and an amp

(Or maybe bypass all that and use the existing mounted antenna somehow.)

Thanks in advance for any help.
I am not so sure about you using your original wiring. Most likely, it is all corroded out. Also many years ago, the ribbon style wiring was used, which is completely outdated now. If you were going to try to use that outdoor antenna, I would suggest you at least replace your wiring with RG-6 coax. Although, as old as that outdoor antenna is, it might need replacing as well.

If you don't want to get into all of that (because you only want OTA as a backup), you could try an indoor antenna such as one of the ClearStream Micron Series of indoor antennas. The better ones have a range up to 35 miles.

I also live in Winston-Salem and I can tell you from experience, don't expect great results from WGPX (our ION affiliate). Their tower is NE of GSO and has a very weak signal coming into Winston. The other stations seem to do well, although WGHP can also be a little weak in some locations. The only way you will know for sure is to try an antenna out at your specific location.

As I am sure you are aware, an outdoor or attic mounted antenna will do best. For example, I have an Antennas Direct Clearstream 4 mounted in my attic. I get all of the locals (except WGPX). I am also able to get the Charlotte stations at my location. Below is a link to my tvfool report:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...03d993c07c6564

PS As we all know--your specific location has everything to do with your results. Here in Winston, I believe one of the worst locations is in the Oldtown area because it sits at the bottom of a hill. Best wishes with your decision.

Last edited by scott784; 15-Jul-2011 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 14-Jul-2011, 3:11 AM   #23
SVTarHeel
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I am not so sure about you using your original wiring. Most likely, it is all corroded out.
Well, that's where my ignorance comes in. The antenna is at least 40 years old and I wasn't sure if UHF analog was the same as UHF digital as far as the reception ability of the antenna was concerned or if the existing antenna is 100% useless in a post-analog world.

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Originally Posted by scott784 View Post
I also live in Winston-Salem and I can tell you from experience, don't expect great results from WGPX (our ION affiliate).
That's the station that's the least of my worries. Even with OTA as a backup, I'm set with belt and suspenders as far as ION - I was shocked to discover that the DirecTV channel lineup not only has the local station, but it has an East and West Coast national feed. So, even if I'm in the midst of storms, I can catch the West Coast feed 3 hours later.

And, since I live almost exactly between the Sauratown and Sophia towers, I was hoping I could split the difference between a table top and roof/mast mounted antenna and put something in the rafters that, unattended, can reliably get all those the signals, whether coming from the front or from the back.
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Old 14-Jul-2011, 9:09 AM   #24
dcp12345678
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Did you decide on an antenna? John is certainly far more of an expert 'on all things antenna' versus myself. However, I also live in Winston. Let me know if I can answer any of your questions concerning general reception issues in the Triad, or the purchase of an antenna. I've been using OTA for a while now here in your local area.
HI Scott,

Nice to find a couple of other folks here from Winston!

I haven't gotten the antenna yet because we are also going to be getting a new television, and I want to do it all at once. We are also looking at moving the dvd player to the closet and adding some shelves so this is quite a big project. But we will definitely be going with the outdoor antenna John Candle recommended unless something changes.

One question, you have an antenna in your attic, not an outdoor antenna, right? According to John's earlier post, ION shouldn't be a problem if you are using an outdoor roof mounted antenna. ION is a really important station for us because we watch a lot of syndicated programs on it, so I really hope we can get it. Do you think the roof mounted antenna will be good enough vs the attic one you have?

Last edited by dcp12345678; 14-Jul-2011 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 15-Jul-2011, 2:16 AM   #25
scott784
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HI Scott,

Nice to find a couple of other folks here from Winston!

I haven't gotten the antenna yet because we are also going to be getting a new television, and I want to do it all at once. We are also looking at moving the dvd player to the closet and adding some shelves so this is quite a big project. But we will definitely be going with the outdoor antenna John Candle recommended unless something changes.

One question, you have an antenna in your attic, not an outdoor antenna, right? According to John's earlier post, ION shouldn't be a problem if you are using an outdoor roof mounted antenna. ION is a really important station for us because we watch a lot of syndicated programs on it, so I really hope we can get it. Do you think the roof mounted antenna will be good enough vs the attic one you have?
Believe it or not, I've got both. I've got a Clearstream 4 in the attic for my upstairs bedroom TV. Then I've got an outdoor Winegard 9095P for my downstairs livingroom TV. If I had it to do over again, I don't know that I would invest in both as it cost more money. However, at the time, I wasn't sure how to get the two TVs hooked up together (on a splitter) since I've got a two story house with a load barring wall above the living room.

The Clearstream 4 (in the attic) gives really good results. In fact, it's almost as good as my outdoor Winegard. However, there is something to keep in mind here. My Clearstream 4 (in the attic) does not have to penetrate through any roof shingles. The line of sight for the signals happens to be through the A part of the roof line on the south side of my house. Therefore, the antenna only goes through the plywood on the wall part of the attic. That's it, and the signal is outside. So I am sure that helps my situation a lot with the attic antenna. Note: WXII and WUNL are very easy to get from Winston. So those two stations are not really big factors with any antenna buying decision. In fact-those two stations are directly behind my antennas and I still get them perfectly.

Your tvfool.com report should provide you with a good picture of what your real world results will be with an antenna. 'However', I hate to say it. But (at least for me), our ION affiliate is the one exception and I feel the database at tvfool.com needs to be updated for that particular station. I have reported this issue on this site in the past; but never got any feedback.

The database at tvfool.com suggests that there is plenty of signal from WGPX (ION) heading through Winston-Salem. But I know that is simply not the case. I live on the SW side of Winston and I have never seen even a hint of the signal from WGPX (even if I rotate my outdoor antenna directly to the NE--right at the Reidsville area). That station's tower is north of Greensboro (not far from Reidsville). It's a bit of an odd place for them to place a tower since all of our other towers are either on Sauratown Mtn or south of Greensboro in what some people refer to as the 'antenna farm' near the Level Cross/Randleman area.

I do know of an individual who lives in Rural Hall. He told me he gets our ION affiliate with his antenna; but only when his antenna is pointed directly at WGPX. On the other hand, I know someone else who only lives a couple of miles from me here in SW Winston, and he also does 'not' get WGPX (ION) at all.

Out of all of the Triad stations, it seems our ION affiliate puts out the weakest signal. I believe their power level for over the air is only 95KW. Plus, the WGPX tower does not have much height either.

Aside from not getting WGPX (ION), I do get every other Triad station, plus I am also able to get the Charlotte stations. I am able to get the Charlotte stations because I invested in longer range antennas. Longer range antennas usually means 60 plus miles. Yes, you would think if I can pick up Charlotte, then surely I would get our local ION, but again that is not the case.

In your zip code, there is always that possibility that you 'might' see WGPX (ION). However, I did want to alert you of my experience with them in SW Winston. Like I've said, aside from this particular station, I have excellent results.

Do keep in mind (as with any station), your specific location is very important in determining your level of success. For example, if you lived at the bottom of a hill, or with tall buildings around you, that would negatively impact your reception. The tvfool.com database is generally very good at taking these issues into consideration when you provide your specific address (prior to running your personal report). However, for some odd reason, the data is simply all wrong (at least for me) as it relates to WGPX (ION). Again, aside from that one station, the report gave me very accurate information before I ever had an antenna installed at my house.

I hope my experience helps you in some way. Let me know if I can answer any other questions
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Old 15-Jul-2011, 2:40 AM   #26
scott784
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Well, that's where my ignorance comes in. The antenna is at least 40 years old and I wasn't sure if UHF analog was the same as UHF digital as far as the reception ability of the antenna was concerned or if the existing antenna is 100% useless in a post-analog world.



That's the station that's the least of my worries. Even with OTA as a backup, I'm set with belt and suspenders as far as ION - I was shocked to discover that the DirecTV channel lineup not only has the local station, but it has an East and West Coast national feed. So, even if I'm in the midst of storms, I can catch the West Coast feed 3 hours later.

And, since I live almost exactly between the Sauratown and Sophia towers, I was hoping I could split the difference between a table top and roof/mast mounted antenna and put something in the rafters that, unattended, can reliably get all those the signals, whether coming from the front or from the back.
Keep in mind, there's really no such thing as a 'digital' versus 'analog' antenna. That is basically marketing hype. While the technology in the TVs (and the signal coming from the towers has changed), the basic makeup of antennas has not changed whether we are talking before or after the digital conversion.

The issue with your rooftop antenna is the age and the fact that your wiring is most likely in serious decay. Plus, the lifespan of an antenna is generally far less than the number of years that you've had yours sitting up there.

In your situation, an attic mounted antenna might work great for you. However, as many forum members on here will tell you, you must consider the types of materials that any such attic mounted antenna will have to penetrate to get outside. For example, is your home brick or frame? Do you have shingles on your roof or is it some other type of material? These are the types of issues you would want to consider. Obviously, a brick exterior or any type of metal on the roofing would have more of a negative impact on the ability of an attic mounted antenna to get at the signal.

My attic mounted antenna works great. However, my home is vinyl sided versus brick. My roof is just your average shingles. Plus, a bonus for my situation. I was able to place the attic mounted antenna on the A part of the roof line (in the attic). So all the antenna has to do is penetrate through the plywood and it can easily get at the signal outside. Obviously, while investigating things in the attic, you must keep in mind the direction in which your antenna needs to be positioned to get the best results. For example, my antenna is facing (south) inside my attic. It picks up all the signals from the Randleman/Level Cross area on the side (SE of me). Also, the antenna picks up the CLT stations (SW of me) on the side. With WXII and WUNL being so close, my antenna easily gets those signals--even though they are to my north (directly behind the direction in which my antenna is facing).

If your situation is favorable for an attic mounted antenna, you might want to consider this option versus going outdoors. You indicated that you really only care about over the air as a backup. Therefore, you may not want to spend the extra money and time that it would most likely require to install a new outdoor antenna. From my own experience, I can tell you that an outdoor antenna can become much more costly versus an attic install.

But everyone has to consider their own circumstances, what end results you are really hoping to obtain, and how much money you want to spend in the process. Hope this helps.

Note: unless you want to try to get any of the Charlotte stations with a longer range antenna, I would point any attic mounted antenna to the SE from Winston so it is facing directly at the antenna farm in the Randleman/Level Cross/Sophia area, south of Greensboro. Your antenna should be able to get WXII and WUNL on Sauratown Mtn (north of Winston) without much problem, no matter which way the antenna is facing. Of course, there's always exceptions--but that is generally the case with WXII and WUNL if you live in Winston.

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Old 15-Jul-2011, 10:38 AM   #27
dcp12345678
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1) Thanks for the detailed info. With your long range antenna, are there any ION affiliates in Charlotte you are able to get? As I said, that's just a really key station for us and one that we typically watch 2 or 3 nights a week with the great syndicated programs they have there. That's really weird that your friend in Rural Hall can get the ION station, since he's farther from Greensboro than we are.

2) It sounds to me like you are saying even a long range antenna isn't likely to be able to pick up ION. Is that correct? I know it depends on area as well, but I just probably don't want to fool with the whole antenna route if I know ahead of time I can't get ION.

3) We currently have the $10 per month broadcast cable service from Time Warner. It gives us the basic channels (including ION). But we have a really old TV. I was told with the newer TVs that this broadcast cable service will look really bad since it's non-HDTV. Do you agree with that?

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Old 15-Jul-2011, 4:39 PM   #28
SVTarHeel
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I wonder if anything would be gained from contacting the station? I'm sure they want their signal seen and may have advice...

Also, there's a thread specifically dedicated to HDTV in the Triad at http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=137768
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Old 15-Jul-2011, 9:01 PM   #29
dcp12345678
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I wonder if anything would be gained from contacting the station? I'm sure they want their signal seen and may have advice...

Also, there's a thread specifically dedicated to HDTV in the Triad at http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=137768
Thanks for the link. Looks like I'm not the only one feeling the pain . I called and was directed to where I could leave a message, which I did. Haven't heard anything back yet though, although I just called a couple hours ago.
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Old 15-Jul-2011, 11:11 PM   #30
scott784
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1) Thanks for the detailed info. With your long range antenna, are there any ION affiliates in Charlotte you are able to get? As I said, that's just a really key station for us and one that we typically watch 2 or 3 nights a week with the great syndicated programs they have there. That's really weird that your friend in Rural Hall can get the ION station, since he's farther from Greensboro than we are.

2) It sounds to me like you are saying even a long range antenna isn't likely to be able to pick up ION. Is that correct? I know it depends on area as well, but I just probably don't want to fool with the whole antenna route if I know ahead of time I can't get ION.

3) We currently have the $10 per month broadcast cable service from Time Warner. It gives us the basic channels (including ION). But we have a really old TV. I was told with the newer TVs that this broadcast cable service will look really bad since it's non-HDTV. Do you agree with that?
If you really want to try over the air, but only with the stipulation that you can have ION, I would keep your cash outlay limited until you find out for sure whether you can get WGPX at your home. Keep in mind, I can't say for sure that you will not get it. However, I can tell you that I live in a very good part of town for over the air reception; and WGPX is the single Triad channel that I cannot get.

As for the person I mentioned in Rural Hall, he would actually be slightly closer to the tower for WGPX. Keep in mind, we are talking as the crow flies with the mileage. And the tower for WGPX is north of Greensboro--not far from Reidsville. So again, Rural Hall would be slightly closer versus an area like SW Winston where I live. At any rate, that signal from WGPX gets very weak as it travels into Winston because the tower in Reidsville is not very high. Plus, their power level is only 95KW.

Here's one suggestion, buy an antenna locally (with a guaranteed return policy). Try to get one of the better ones! Take it home and hook it up to your TV (even if you just try it indoors, or perhaps (very) temporary with a RG-6 coax cable strung outside your window. See if you see any sign of WGPX at all. If you don't, then you will know not to go to the extra time and expense of getting something permanently installed outside or in your attic.

If you decide not to get an antenna (because of your requirement to have WGPX (ION), keep in mind that your broadcast cable subscription for 10-12 bucks a month will give you WGPX. Also, keep in mind, that any new TVs will pull in the HD version of our locals through the TV's built in qam tuner. Yes, this is true. Even without a TWC digital box, if you buy a new TV, you can get our locals, such as WXII, WFMY, WGHP, WGPX, etc, etc, in HD. Basically, when you buy your new TV, you will simply do a 'scan'. This scan will lock in all available channels to include the ones that are available in HD.

Many of HD signals over the TWC system are logical (like overthe air). For example, the true HD version of WXII will map on your new TV to 12-1, WGHP will map to 8-1, WFMY will map to 2-1. However, you will note some of the others will NOT map to their logical (virtual) channel number. You will still get the other locals in HD, but again, not all of them 'map' to their logical channel number. Basically, you have to scroll through your channels (after the auto scan), and find them. Or call TWC and ask them what channel WGPX maps to on their broadcast cable lineup in HD. Or I could easily find out for you.

Believe it or not, the Charlotte market does not have an ION affiliate. So I am not able to pull in that affiliate at all. Like you, I also like ION. I think they have some great movies and other stuff (hate those informericals though). However, for me, it was not a deal breaker. In other words, I was willing to give up ION because I've got plenty of other viewing stations.

One of the cool things I like about over the air is the ability to receive out of market locals (the Charlotte locals). Of course, that would not be true for everyone in Winston. It depends on your location (see your tvfool report). I have ties to that area and appreciate the ability to occasionally watch their local news--and the sub channels their networks have. Through cable and satellite, you are not allowed to watch any out of market local affiliates due to government regulations as it relates to the retransmission of local affiliates over a cable and satellite network.

At any rate, everyone's situation is different. And what is important to me, may be a non-issue for you. Also for me (even though broadcast cable is cheap in comparison to digital cable with a box), it still costs money. And with my setup, I can view all my channels for free OTA.

So just assess what is most important to you and how much the ION station really means to you. Like I said, you might want to try out a antenna (temporarily) without actually having it permanently installed--just to see if your location will grab WGPX (ION). If you can't get it, you could always return the antenna if you buy it locally.

Of course, the other option would be to just keep your broadcast cable, and buy the new TV. At least you would get our Triad locals in HD. Hope my long winded reply helps

PS as to your question about non-HD channels looking bad. Yes, that is true. The new TVs are designed for the new HD signals. So when you tune into a non-HD channel on TWC, it doesn't look too great. But you can always store all the HD channels (which 'map' to your new TV) in your Favorites, using your remote control feature, and forget about the other ones that Time Warner Cable retransmits in standard defintiion (non-HD).

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Old 15-Jul-2011, 11:28 PM   #31
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Thanks for the link. Looks like I'm not the only one feeling the pain . I called and was directed to where I could leave a message, which I did. Haven't heard anything back yet though, although I just called a couple hours ago.
Yep, I think the small staff at WGPX in Greensboro is aware that their over the air signal (near Reidsville) is inferior to the rest of the Triad locals, especially as it relates to the signal of WGPX not doing a good job of reaching lots of people in Winston. However, they need to get with their home office (whereever that happens to be) and do something about it. I suppose it comes down to dollars and cents.

From what I have gathered, WGPX received approval some time back (from the FCC) to build out their tower in Reidsville at a higher power level. However, they have not taken advantage of this permit. Again, I suppose they either don't have the money to spend, or don't want to during these tough economic times.

I am glad you called WGPX though. It is important that they hear from viewers in Winston. They market themselves as a Piedmont Triad Station. That means Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem. So (as far as I am concerned), they should have a better tower which is capable of carrying their over the air signal further.

PS Of course, everyone in Greensboro would have no problem getting WGPX over the air b/c they are much closer to their tower out in the Reidsville area.

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Old 16-Jul-2011, 1:09 AM   #32
dcp12345678
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Here's one suggestion, buy an antenna locally (with a guaranteed return policy). Try to get one of the better ones! Take it home and hook it up to your TV (even if you just try it indoors, or perhaps (very) temporary with a RG-6 coax cable strung outside your window. See if you see any sign of WGPX at all. If you don't, then you will know not to go to the extra time and expense of getting something permanently installed outside or in your attic.
Thanks, I may just try that. Do you know anywhere around town I can get one? Outdoor antennas are such rare animals anymore that I don't know anyone that sells them, except buying online of course.

Also, with the Charlotte stations you get, do you get other stations besides major networks? I was just wondering if it allowed you to see other shows, etc. that you can't get with the channels we have here. I realize you can get their local news, etc. but I was just curious about the other programming you were able to receive in that market.

Thanks for the great feedback, it's really helpful.
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Old 16-Jul-2011, 1:34 AM   #33
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Do you know anywhere around town I can get one?
In another thread, I mentioned a Raleigh company that recently started selling a new antenna. I'm thinking of giving them a try, based on two things - they have a money-back guarantee, and the reviews on Amazon are really good. Now I don't know much about the technology, but when people say things like "I tried X different antennas and could get only a few stations but I got the Mohu Leaf and now get a gazillion," it makes me think that it's at least worth considering. YMMV http://www.gomohu.com/
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Old 16-Jul-2011, 6:16 AM   #34
scott784
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Thanks, I may just try that. Do you know anywhere around town I can get one? Outdoor antennas are such rare animals anymore that I don't know anyone that sells them, except buying online of course.

Also, with the Charlotte stations you get, do you get other stations besides major networks? I was just wondering if it allowed you to see other shows, etc. that you can't get with the channels we have here. I realize you can get their local news, etc. but I was just curious about the other programming you were able to receive in that market.

Thanks for the great feedback, it's really helpful.
Norfolk Wire & Electronics, located on Brookstown Ave in Winston sells antennas. They may not have what you want in stock; however, I believe they can order just about anything for you. However, I would suggest that you verify what their return policy is. Some of the old timers down there are very helpful. They are open M-F. I believe they are closed on the weekends.

Another option, if you just want to buy something quick at a retailer is to go to some place like Best Buy. Now, you won't get the best price shopping there; and I don't think their customer service is very good either at BB. However, this would enable you to quickly buy something off the shelf, and return it later. The selections are also limited at Best Buy--but again, it allows you to buy right off the shelf and return it later.

I believe Best Buy carries the Clearstream 4 antenna, which is what I have in my attic. However, it 'does' require some assembly (not that difficult), but the one issue I had was discovering that it didn't come with a mast--inside the box. (Don't ask me why the mast is not included in the box). If you happened to be interested in the Clearstream 4 (made by Antennas Direct), you would need to go to Lowes or Home Depot and go to the plumbing department to get a piece of metal pipe (about 1 and a quarter inches in diameter and 4 feet tall--would be perfect size) to make your own mast (for this particular antenna). You might want to buy a little base to screw onto the bottom of the pipe too. That's what I did. Otherwise, you can order the mast (separate) through Antennas Direct. They are the manufacturer of this particular antenna. This antenna is a long range antenna for picking up fringe stations, like the Charlotte networks.

Now, if either of the above options sounds like more effort that you want to get involved with, you can buy a small (indoor) antenna (again--at a place like Best Buy or similar). However, keep in mind, the smaller antennas normally have a short range, such as 30-35 miles. However, the beauty of these products is that they are usually assembled, they're cheaper, and you can still get some idea of your reception ability without expending a lot of time or energy. And again, you can always return the product if you're not happy, at a local retailer like Best Buy or similar. Note: a good example of an indoor/small antenna--which I believe Best Buy carries is the ClearStream Micron. However, these antennas obviously have a shorter range.

As for the Charlotte stations, they have sub-channels in the same way our local affiliates do. For example, WCCB Fox Charlotte has subchannel 18-2, which broadcasts MeTV. This is vintage television (lots of the older programming from the 70's and 80's. (This is 'somewha't like what is called Antenna TV, which broadcasts on 8-2 WGHP High Point). But, it is separate programming.

As for the 'main' programming on Charlotte stations, yes, the major affiliates are essentially duplication during the primetime evening line-up. So for example, what you see on WGHP (FOX) would mainly be the same programming as what you see on WCCB FOX Charlotte during the evening prime time). However, outside of the evening primetime hours, it is 'not' total duplication on the main networks. And if you're into sports (for example) sometimes you might get extra and/or different games on the Charlotte networks versus the Triad stations on the weekends.

If you have any interest in the Charlotte stations, do keep in mind that Winston is in a fringe area. That means we are approaching the outside limit of those signals from Charlotte, and you need to look closely at your tvfool report to see what options you might be able to get at your specific location. Also, with these stations, you would have to go with a long range antenna, such as the Clearstream 4 or one of many other long range antennas that you can order online or through a place like Norfolk Wire & Electronics. The one I've got in my attic is working great for me; and I get consistent, clear HD pictures all the time on each channel that I receive. Of course, I can't say that would be the same for everyone.

Does all of this sound complicated? If so, just keep in mind that once you settle on something and get it done.....then you're done and you can just sit back and watch free TV! Do keep in mind, you cannot simply hook up an antenna to your old TV b/c you would not get a signal without a converter box, since it's an old analog set. You might want to buy your new TV first and then make your decision about the antenna.

While antennas are not nearly so widespread like they were decades ago, I can tell you that a number of people are rediscovering over the air television since the digital conversion in 2009. When you have the ability to receive a station over the air (on a new TV), I can promise you that there's no better picture quality than the HD you get over the air.

PS One thing about HDTV, it's all or nothing. That means you either get the signal or you don't. It's not like analog where you could watch a 'half way' decent picture over the air. With HDTV, there's either enough signal in the air for your TV to correct any shortcomings and still give you the same clear HD picture. *Or* on the other hand, if the signal reaches the threshold of being too weak, you just won't see the channel at all.

Last edited by scott784; 16-Jul-2011 at 6:50 AM.
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Old 16-Jul-2011, 6:25 AM   #35
scott784
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In another thread, I mentioned a Raleigh company that recently started selling a new antenna. I'm thinking of giving them a try, based on two things - they have a money-back guarantee, and the reviews on Amazon are really good. Now I don't know much about the technology, but when people say things like "I tried X different antennas and could get only a few stations but I got the Mohu Leaf and now get a gazillion," it makes me think that it's at least worth considering. YMMV http://www.gomohu.com/
Yep, I've read about the Mohu Leaf antenna. The company is located in the Raleigh area; but the antenna is also available online. From the reviews I've read, this antenna has received positive feedback. Of course, this is an indoor only antenna; and I think the reception distance would be limited to probably 30 miles or so. However (for you), since you only want an antenna as a backup for your satellite, it might be something worth trying out.

I 'do' like the fact that this company is locally operated out of North Carolina; and I believe the antennas are actually made in the USA.
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Old 16-Jul-2011, 8:34 PM   #36
SVTarHeel
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Yep, I've read about the Mohu Leaf antenna. The company is located in the Raleigh area; but the antenna is also available online. From the reviews I've read, this antenna has received positive feedback...I 'do' like the fact that this company is locally operated out of North Carolina; and I believe the antennas are actually made in the USA.
Agreed. When I first heard of them, I e-mailed a question and got a prompt response. Then, there was some confusion as to what I was trying to do with one TV and the guy there suggested I call. I called him and talked for 20 minutes or so.

If I go with an indoor option, they're #1 on my list. A couple of the reviews I've seen did mention that the antenna didn't help them and they got a prompt refund. To me, someone who's in the mode of trying options to see what will work might do well to give them what appears to be a risk free try. (Especially at ~$50.)
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Old 16-Jul-2011, 9:51 PM   #37
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Tv Antennas and Reception

The boohoo leaf. Sounds like mohu leaf. There is no such thing as a magic Tv antenna that does every thing that other Tv antennas can't. I will never recommend the leaf to any one.

Last edited by John Candle; 20-Jul-2011 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 16-Jul-2011, 10:25 PM   #38
SVTarHeel
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There is no such thing as a magic Tv antenna that does every thing that other Tv antennas can't.
Understood John. As I mentioned both times, many people have posted positive reviews. To me, the only options are: 1) they're lying to shill for the product, or 2) it's a product worth considering. In my experience with a wide range of products, the sheer volume of reviews that Amazon generates results in increased likelihood that the conclusions are accurate. That's all I'm trying to say - "many people seem to have had success, you might want to consider it as an option."
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Old 16-Jul-2011, 11:14 PM   #39
John Candle
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Tv Antennas and Reception

My evaluation of the leaf and other antennas is based on real and actual facts. I do real and actual research of Tv antennas and have for 40 plus years. What Betty said to Bob and Joe told Wanda are opinions. I am not part of the , Betty , Bob , Joe , Wanda , misinformation train. I am here to help people get the best tv reception with , real information , real facts , real truth.

Last edited by John Candle; 20-Jul-2011 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 16-Jul-2011, 11:25 PM   #40
SVTarHeel
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My evaluation of the leaf and other antennas is based on real and actual facts. I do real and actual research of Tv antennas and have for 40 plus years. What Betty said to Bob and Joe told Wanda are opinions. I am here to help people get the best tv reception.
My apologies John. I am sorry if I offended you. I'll keep my opinions to myself.
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