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Old 31-Mar-2011, 4:17 AM   #1
josh77
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Is it worth it?

I have been thinking about ditching my current cable provider and getting an antenna. I don't mind doing some experimenting and dropping a couple hundred $$ if that's what it some down to, to make this work. That said, it seems that I don't exactly have the easiest location to work with:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...8d179143ed7c20

I would appreciate any advice on what kind of antenna to get/which direction to shoot for/etc. I don't mind putting an antenna on a pole on my roof if extra elevation will help. I have 3 greens on my list, but unfortunately I really couldn't care less about these channels- I'm mainly interested in the major broadcast networks but I'm stuck between Hartford and Providence. Any recommendations?
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Old 31-Mar-2011, 4:47 AM   #2
John Candle
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Tv Antennas and Reception

The network channels of NBC , CBS , ABC , FOX , are weak however it's not that bad. To know if a preamp is needed or not , how many Tv's will be connected?? The Tv channels can be received with 1 Winegard HD7698P antenna pointed at about 76 degree magnetic compass. How many Tv's will be connected ??

Last edited by John Candle; 31-Mar-2011 at 5:29 AM.
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Old 31-Mar-2011, 6:20 AM   #3
GroundUrMast
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If you are able get above the tops of nearby trees, you will gain signal and reliability.

I would recommend a two antenna system. An Antennas Direct XG91 for the UHF channels. A Winegard YA-1713 for the H-VHF channels. An Antennacraft 10G221 preamplifier would have separate inputs for each antenna. It also has an FM trap which may be needed.

A fixed aim toward 74 for the YA-1713 and 75 to 85 for the XG91 (85 gives you a shot at seeing the CW affiliate, WLWC) offers the major networks. You could choose to include a rotator, though if you have multiple sets, you may find a rotator a source of frustration to the person who doesn't have the remote.

Some may suggest a single combination UHF/H-VHF antenna, I think you need every bit of UHF gain available because of the low signal levels and potential interference from distant stations on the same channel. The XG91 is one of the highest gain UHF antennas in the consumer market.
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 1-Apr-2011 at 2:52 AM. Reason: added reasons for recomendation
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Old 31-Mar-2011, 8:00 AM   #4
John Candle
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Tv Antennas and Reception

Read and understand this about , Real Digital Tv Channels , Virtual Digital Tv Channels , Analog Tv Channels , http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=695 , Here are some free online Tv guides ,http://www.titantv.com , http://tv.yahoo.com , http://tv.entertainment.excite.com , http://www.zap2it.com

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Old 31-Mar-2011, 12:11 PM   #5
josh77
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Wow, thanks for the answers!

I would be hooking up two TV's. There are large trees in pretty much all directions around my house. I really don't know that I would be able to get the antenna to shoot over the tops of them, even if I put a large mast on my roof.

I'm going to look into these suggestions. Sounds like this could work, with the right setup. Got some reading to do. . .
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Old 1-Apr-2011, 12:30 AM   #6
John Candle
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Indoor/inside tv antennas

If you choose to go with the Winegard HD7698P antenna then use a Winegard AP8700 preamp with 2 Tv's. If you can position the antenna or antennas on the roof so that there is a gap in the trees in the direction of 74 to 88 degree magnetic compass then that will help. I am not saying that the trees will prevent a signal from being received , it's better if the trees are not there. I suggest these roof top Tv antenna mounts , tripod roof top mount , chimney mount , peak of the roof eave mount. Do not mount the antenna in such a way that you are doing monkey swinging manuvers and you fall off the roof. Do not try and mount the antenna higher and higher and higher and higher until finally the whole thing is unsafe and it will fall down. When GUM says get it above the trees , this motivates people to do some real crazy action. When you have the antenna or antennas up , you can point the Tv antennae in the directions of 275 and 302 and see how the reception is of those directions. Here are places to buy Tv Antenna and etc. , http://www.3starinc.com , http://www.solidsignal.com , http://www.starkelectronic.com , http://www.amazon.com
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Old 1-Apr-2011, 1:18 AM   #7
GroundUrMast
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When GUM says get it above the trees , this motivates people to do some real crazy action.
Certainly not my intent.

Many folks have no trees to contend with. A few folks can afford a tower. Some folks would like to mount higher but can't for what ever reason.

If you are able to mount high and in the clear - safely - there is potential reward. That reward is not worth risking the safety of you, family, guests or neighbors.
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Old 1-Apr-2011, 4:20 AM   #8
Andy
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It is definitely worth it. You say you are in a difficult reception area but I only get PBS.

I don't miss the satellite or cable at all. I like having so few commercials and no commercial interruptions and I like the HD picture in comparison to sat or cable even on shows that are only 480i. And when the show is 720p and a nature documentary or Masterpice Theatre it can't be beat.

And after spending less than $100 at Walmart for the antenna & amplifier I am saving $50 a month (and I know most people 'have' to pay $70 to $100 a month to be innudated with offensive commercials with sound jacked up through the roof every few minutes and the same shows over and over and over).

Of course PBS and local stations repeat themselves all the time too but it's free. Buy $5 DVDs at Walmart or another discounter or rent from the $1 Redbox when you want to have something new to watch.

My question for everybody is there FTA sat signals in the US like when I lived in Europe? That was nice, if it's free good but otherwise forget it. More of a project than an interest in getting feeds of US commercial stations though international feeds would be curious.
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Old 1-Apr-2011, 4:31 AM   #9
Andy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josh77 View Post
Wow, thanks for the answers!

I would be hooking up two TV's. There are large trees in pretty much all directions around my house. I really don't know that I would be able to get the antenna to shoot over the tops of them, even if I put a large mast on my roof.

I'm going to look into these suggestions. Sounds like this could work, with the right setup. Got some reading to do. . .
Well I'm no expert but looking at your charts it looks like a quick and easy way to get more channels than you have interest in really is to buy an HD Stacker. Money Back Guaranty and free shipping too. Unless this really is just an excuse to create a fun project for yourself.

I have asked for help too in another thread but I may need something more specialised and along the lines of what is talked about in this thread for my location although I would prefer to use an HD Stacker.

My 'play project' is I want to try a 'mini-satellite' dish here is the US to see if there is FTA available. Haven't started even checking that stuff yet though...

I do know off-hand there is Sky-Angel and maybe ION.
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Old 1-Apr-2011, 7:15 PM   #10
John Candle
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Tv Antennas and Reception

http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=1515 , I said there will be trouble with Andy and the Polling Issue and the HD Stacker thing. I do not ever in any way shape or forum recommend the HD Stacker, and this Hd Stacker issue and the facts about the Hd Stacker has been covered several times in the past right here on tvfool. He says he is not up to any tricks.

Last edited by John Candle; 1-Apr-2011 at 7:17 PM.
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Old 1-Apr-2011, 7:25 PM   #11
Andy
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I've a bit odd you but you are laughable. I already said even the designer of the HD Stacker recommended I didn't buy it for my situation. And I'm not going to buy the thing. You are here telling this guy it's junk.

Last edited by mtownsend; 1-Apr-2011 at 10:58 PM. Reason: Edited to remove non-constructive comments
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Old 1-Apr-2011, 9:51 PM   #12
Dave Loudin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
Well I'm no expert but looking at your charts it looks like a quick and easy way to get more channels than you have interest in really is to buy an HD Stacker.
No offense, but if you don't know what the charts are trying to say, how can you know that a certain antenna will work? Your suggestion is not the best answer in this case, as the optimum aim for UHF is different (granted, not by much) than VHF. With the HD Stacker, both parts have to point in the same direction.
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Old 1-Apr-2011, 10:14 PM   #13
Andy
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The same way you guys do. I'm looking at strength of signal on his chart. And then I recommend my favourite which is what you guys do. And if it don't work, oh well, it's a special condition caused by an unlucky set of reflections in the area.

I definitely wouldn't buy anything that wouldn't allow for a full refund.

I would recommend the guy buy what was convenient and use the signal meter on his HD-TV to figure out the rest. Sony and these companies put a lot more money and engineering brain power behind their tuners and the signal meters then has been put into TV antenna design for decades now.

Last edited by Andy; 1-Apr-2011 at 10:20 PM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 1-Apr-2011, 10:48 PM   #14
Dave Loudin
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You misunderstand completely what we try to do here.

The TVFool charts provide three key pieces of information: what gain is required, where in azimuth it is required, and at what frequency (channel) it is required for each station that can be received. Once all the gain requirements are put together, the complete specification for the antenna system is known. We then try to find the most reliable and economic antenna system recommendation that will fulfill the requirements. It is certainly NOT just stick antenna x in the air and best of luck to you.
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Old 1-Apr-2011, 11:12 PM   #15
Andy
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LOL, works for me. Seriously though I would take what you guys do and use the general compass heading to get in the neighborhood of aiming but definately do not ignore the signal meters on your televison sets; otherwise I would have no signal at all. To ignore the engineering effort in those TV sets signal meters is a bit daft given that can tell you directly about what works best for your local conditions than an internet site can never to.

That said I love the colourful signal maps on your web site.

Sorry I got a bit P.O.ed earlier because another forum user all but said I was trying to trick people and then went around to other posts repeating that I'm out to trick people.
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Old 2-Apr-2011, 2:02 AM   #16
Dave Loudin
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No one has ever said not to use the TV as the last arbiter of pointing. I think one of the points you're missing because you've never had to deal with it is how wide a range of directions a particular antenna sees at one time. People living closer to major markets run into this problem. See the OTA in Hamilton thread for an example.

One more thing and then I'm done. The combination of antennas recommended by GUM turns out to be cheaper with shipping than the HDStacker. In addition, you'll note that the vendor did not compare the separate performance of similar sized UHF-only and VHF-only antennas to the HDStacker. I dare say that the two antennas recommended in this thread will at least match, if not outperform, the HDStacker. We can't tell for sure, because the vendor will not publish antenna gain data.

Last edited by Dave Loudin; 2-Apr-2011 at 2:06 AM.
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