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Old 2-Jan-2012, 3:33 AM   #41
slowhike
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I am still seeing some pixilations & dropouts on some stations. I may make notes about which stations I see those on, but have not done so yet.

About the signal meters, do they show a reading for all signals combined that are seen at a given antenna direction or do they show the signal strength of the station you have the TV tuned to?
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Old 2-Jan-2012, 5:50 AM   #42
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They show the signal strength for the channel that you are currently tuned into. But once you are in the signal meter menu....you can typically scan through the channels and it will then provide new signal information, for each individual channel, as you scan through. It works this way on many TVs, but not all of them.

My personal experience is with my 2010 Panasonic LED as well as the TiVo (Premiere), which I am currently using as a tuner.

Note: I own a 2009 Samsung LED. But the built-in signal meter on that TV is not of the type I previously described and not really very helpful. As previously mentioned, some of these built-in tuners are different and not always the most useful depending on the type of television.

Yes, I would make notes on which channels are pixilating or occasionally dropping. Hopefully, it's not many! As previously mentioned, you *could* consider a preamp to boost some of the signals if you determine that it is warranted. But if you do this, you want to plan it out carefully so you are making a wise decision about the type of preamp, etc.

Note: WHKY is probably the weakest full power station in the Charlotte market (along with WTVI). WHKY actually is broadcasted out of Hickory, NC. It is weak in their market as WGPX is weak in the Triad market. You may find (with several of these stations) that they are not going to be totally reliable. However, you should expect reliable viewing 24/7 on the vast majority of the stations listed. At least I do up here; and you are a bit closer than I am to most of these stations.
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Old 2-Jan-2012, 6:39 PM   #43
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Today I have run into problems.
I was seeing occasional dropouts on a station I was watching (I forget which one), then it stayed a blue screen saying "Unusable signal".
As I started trying other stations, they all were saying "Unusable signal".

I did a new channel search & it found no stations.
I checked connections at both ends of the coax cable (including the two wing nuts on the antenna).

Then just for fun I tried the "channel search" two more times, each one after moving the antenna.
The TV still says it's not finding any channels.

I wonder if the "matching transformer" that came with the antenna may have gone bad?
Thanks for any help you can give me. ...Tim
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Old 2-Jan-2012, 7:04 PM   #44
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I may have skimmed past it, but what make and model TV and/or set-top DTV converter are you using?

A matching transformer could go bad... and they're cheap and easy to replace... but has there been a lot of wind or rain today?
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Old 2-Jan-2012, 7:27 PM   #45
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RCA
model L32HD31YX12
The coax cable was plugged (screwed) right into the TV.
Same way I have been using the Time Warner cable. No DVD player.

Also, after running into this antenna problem, I replaced the antenna cable with the Time Warner to see if that still worked normally. The new channel search for Time Warner stations took more than 10 minutes, & found 69 anilog stations & 0 digital.
When I checked the stations the sound is normal but they are are so dark I cannot see them
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Old 2-Jan-2012, 7:59 PM   #46
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If you set the TV to scan for over-the-air, antenna reception (as opposed to cable mode) the tuner will not be expecting cable system channel/frequency assignments which would explain the dark mistuned video and the long scan time.

Any bad weather today?
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Old 2-Jan-2012, 8:10 PM   #47
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After reconnecting the TW cable I did switch it back to scan "cable" rather than antenna.
I did it a second time with same results... it found analog stations & no digital. Picture is so dark you can barely make out the deep red & purple people.
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Old 2-Jan-2012, 8:11 PM   #48
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We have had some wind but not much. Bright & sunny.
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Old 2-Jan-2012, 8:30 PM   #49
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This is sounding like a failure in the TV.

Can you borrow a known good set to test, or take your set to another cable/antenna source to test?
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Old 2-Jan-2012, 8:32 PM   #50
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I was afraid you might say something like that
I'll see what I can come up with & report back. Thanks.
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Old 2-Jan-2012, 8:36 PM   #51
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Would the wind be able to move the matching transformer enough to break wire inside the insulation?
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Old 2-Jan-2012, 9:28 PM   #52
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Strange, strange, strange
I took the newest & primary TV (HD) in another room were a much older TV had been used for TW cable running through the DVD player.
I started by leaving the DVD player in place & hooking it to the new HD TV. It worked fine on TW cable, even though it had not in the living room.
So I ran cable strait to the HD TV in the other room & it still worked fine. No channel scan necessary.
So I took the HD TV back into the living room were it was when it began giving trouble today.
I hooked it back to the TW cable & it worked fine.

Next I replaced the TW cable with the antenna coax cable & did a channel scan. It's working fine again
I wonder if something is loose inside the TV? Oh well, it's working for now

Wind gusts have been 20 mph or maybe a little more today according to local weather station.
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Old 3-Jan-2012, 1:46 AM   #53
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The experience you've had with that RCA does sound strange! And GroundUrMast can provide you with more insight that I could regarding trouble shooting issues on a malfunctioning TV. But I am glad to hear it is working again
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Old 27-Mar-2012, 2:45 AM   #54
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Splitting siginal to 2 or 3 TVs

I'll ask in this thread that gives all my info were the fine folks here have already helped me choose a good antenna & I continue to get between 35 & 40 some channels.

I need to split the signal to a TV in the next room & maybe to another TV later.

The antenna is mounted on the chimney on the south end of the roof peak.
The main TV is in the living room directly below the antenna, so the cable goes down the side & into the LR window (aprox 15').
The new TV will be in the next room on the far side of the living room (another 15' maybe) & the possible 3rd location would be in the next room.

So I'm hoping for advice on a good quality splitter & some understanding on the best way to split the cables off from the splitter.
For instance, would I run the original cable from antenna to inside the attic were it would connect to the splitter, then run the three new cables through the ceiling into each TV room?
Thanks. ...Tim
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Old 27-Mar-2012, 4:03 AM   #55
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Tv antennas and Tv reception

This is a long winded post. So what is the antenna/s and what is the antenna amplifier if one is installed??
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Old 27-Mar-2012, 4:14 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electron View Post
This is a long winded post. So what is the antenna/s and what is the antenna amplifier if one is installed??
The antenna is the Winegard HD-8800 antenna. No amplifier.
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Old 27-Mar-2012, 5:08 AM   #57
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Tv antennas and Tv reception

Install a Channel Master CM3412 or CM3414 distribution amplifier. A coax cable will go out to each from the distribution amplifier. If a CM3412 distribution is installed , the CM3412 has 2 outputs , one output will go to one Tv and the other output will go to the other Tv and the same logic applies to the CM3414. If three Tv's are connected to the CM3414 , then screw on a 75 ohm terminator on the unused output of the CM3414. http://www.channelmasterstore.com
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Old 28-Mar-2012, 7:22 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
I'll ask in this thread that gives all my info were the fine folks here have already helped me choose a good antenna & I continue to get between 35 & 40 some channels.

I need to split the signal to a TV in the next room & maybe to another TV later.

The antenna is mounted on the chimney on the south end of the roof peak.
The main TV is in the living room directly below the antenna, so the cable goes down the side & into the LR window (aprox 15').
The new TV will be in the next room on the far side of the living room (another 15' maybe) & the possible 3rd location would be in the next room.

So I'm hoping for advice on a good quality splitter & some understanding on the best way to split the cables off from the splitter.
For instance, would I run the original cable from antenna to inside the attic were it would connect to the splitter, then run the three new cables through the ceiling into each TV room?
Thanks. ...Tim
Generally, you'll want to use a single splitter if at all possible. You indicate that you anticipate the need for three feeds, therefor a three way splitter would be ideal. A splitter with unused ports needs terminating resistor caps installed on each unused port (a small additional expense) and there will be less signal available at each output port.

The big box home improvement centers carry a variety, I favor those splitters that are clearly labeled indicating bandwidth and loss specifications. For example, at Home Depot, the Ideal brand 85-133 has 1000 MHz bandwidth (more than needed for OTA signals) and the loss per port is labeled, one port has 4 dB the remaining two have 8 dB. (Tip: use the 4 dB port to feed the longest piece of coax.) (If you find satellite grade splitters with 2400 to 3000 MHz bandwidth at a better price, they'll work fine but won't improve reception.)

When choosing a mounting location for a splitter, I generally opt for a location that is centrally located, accessible for future service or additions. Perhaps a closet, utility room, garage or attic. In my home, a basement closet is the location were all phone, TV and data cables terminate. From there I found a fairly convenient route to pull cables to the various areas in the home.

I would try using a passive splitter in your case. If you don't need an amplifier, why spend the money? If you install the splitter, then find you have lost reliable reception of any signals, I would recommend using a preamp installed close to the antenna. That's the ideal location for amplification because every dB of coax loss ahead of the amplifier costs you the same in net signal to noise ratio (one measure of signal quality). In the case of 15' of RG-6 that won't be a great deal but still, if you need to amplify, why not do so in a way that leaves you with the best quality signal. Two amplifiers worth considering in your case are the Antennas Direct CPA-19 and the Winegard HDP-269. Both have the ability to handle strong signal levels, the CPA-19 has better noise specifications.

On a separate note, if you have not grounded your coax yet, most splitters have a ground lug that makes it easy to connect a #10 copper wire. If the splitter is located near the electrical service ground, it will be easy to complete that task also.
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If the well is dry and you don't see rain on the horizon, you'll need to dig the hole deeper. (If the antenna can't get the job done, an amp won't fix it.)

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Old 28-Mar-2012, 12:02 PM   #59
slowhike
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I thank you for taking the time to give excellent information. I'll be re-reading this & putting it to good use.
Thanks. ...Tim
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Old 1-Apr-2012, 4:45 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
I thank you for taking the time to give excellent information. I'll be re-reading this & putting it to good use.
Thanks. ...Tim
Tim,
If you want to use a splitter, I think GroundUrMast has given you some excellent tips. As for myself, I am not a big fan of splitters. It's like the analogy of flowing water through a faucet.... and now you've split that water flow into two paths in different directions. It's a given that there's going to be signal loss before the coax ever hits any of your TVs when you have splitters involved. Now, would it be enough loss to cause you to lose stations? That is debatable.

But if you are going to purchase a splitter, a 3 way splitter (based on your requirements) sounds like the best plan. I would deffinitely think about getting a preamp to boost your signal if you plan on splitting the the signal 3 ways. Even without splitters, preamps are not bad to have in the mix if you have such things as long coax cable runs between the antenna and the television. I've got a Winegard HDP 269 hooked up to my outdoor Winegard 9095P. This preamp and downlead cable only service one TV, but it's working well for me.

In my particular case, I never gave much serious consideration to getting the signal split off my main downstairs living room TV. I've got a load baring wall between the Living Room and the bedroom upstairs where I've got the other TV. There was going to be no easy way to have a splitter and tie these two TVs together. Well, that is, unless I wanted to punch another hole in the outside of my house and feed more coax back inside (this time into the upper level of the house versus the pilot hole that was drilled to get the coax from outside to my downstairs living room on the lower level.

I found it MUCH easier to dedicate a second dedicated antenna just for my bedroom TV. I've got it ran behind the wall (upstairs) that feeds directly into attic space. I bought a Clearstream 4 from AntennasDirect (mast not included) and installed this in the attic space just above my upstairs bedroom. The antenna is actually in the sweet spot (on the south side of the house) where it can get at the signals from the SW (Charlotte) and SW (the Triad stations. Because this antenna is installed in the sweet spot of my attic, it is able to get signals almost as well as my outdoor Winegard 9095P! And who would have ever thought that?

The result? I never had to worry about signal loss with a splitter as each TV has its own dedicated antenna. And to my amazement, my Clearstream 4 is working almost as well as my outdoor Winegard 9095P with a HDP269 preamp as I was saying before. So this is just something for you to ponder as far as getting separate antennas for the other TVs and putting them inside the attic. Of course, it's really ideal if you can find the sweet spot in your attic for placement and run as much coax as needed to get to any attic antenna installs.

Aside from splitters, and aside from running your own separate dedicated antennas for additional TVs, I believe there is an electronic device that will actually allow you to get the OTA signal from the main TV (that is hooked up to OTA) to the unconnected TV and feed that TV wirelessly. Sound too good to be true? Well, I don't know much about it but someone at Best Buy was insisting that it worked. But I never tried it because I went with a second, dedicated antenna for my bedroom. So it made all of this other stuff a moot point in my case. But GroundUrMast might have some good feedback on this wireless device for getting OTA signals from one TV (that is fed with OTA) to another in the house that is not hooked up at all.
Scott

PS I am just curious. Did you decide (from last winter) to permanently go with a rotator on the outdoor chimney mount Winegard. Of have you just left it pointed in one direction?
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