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Old 13-Mar-2010, 7:24 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Plymouth Meeting, PA
Posts: 3
Please suggest rooftop or attic antenna

I'm new to the OTA scene and have been thinking about installing a roof antenna or attic antenna to replace my cable subscription with OTA HD. I'm looking for suggestions of model numbers for an attic or rooftop antenna.

Here are my TV Signal Analysis Results:

About My House:
I live on relatively high ground in a stucco-townhome with asphalt shingles that has 4 levels: basement, 1st floor, 2nd floor, and attic. I don't have an existing antenna on the house and I will need to run wiring to 4 rooms. It's approximately 40' from the attic to the basement and the house came equipped with a pole in the attic that runs wiring from the attic to the basement. Soon, I hope to rid myself of cable subscription, but currently there is cable running to each television. The area around my home is somewhat hilly and there are a few buildings that are as tall as my three-story townhome. There are other houses that may be in the line of site between the house and the direction from which most of the signals are coming.

Location of Televisions:
I would like to run three or four lines to different rooms.
- Basement: LCD projector attached to HDTV cable box attached to Denon receiver; wiring is hidden in removable hung ceiling.
- 1st Floor/Kitchen: LCD television connected to basic cable wire; wiring in wall
- 2nd Floor/Bedroom 1: LCD television connected to digital cable box; wiring is hidden in wall.
- 2nd Floor/Bedroom 2: LCD television connected to basic cable wire; wiring in wall.
I’m just beginning to understand amplifiers but I realize I’ll probably need a suggestion on these, too.

I noticed from the TV signal analysis that most channels are UHF, while WPVI (ABC, Channel 6) is VHF. If possible, I would like to be able to pick up Channel 6 and some channels found in the red section of the TV Signal Analysis. Up the street, my friend is currently using a very inexpensive UHF/VHF antenna with converter box and getting 33 channels, including WPVI. I’m trying to avoid the rabbit ears approach and hope that an attic or roof antenna will increase reception without the use of rabbit ears. I suppose I’m looking for an antenna system -- Antenna, amplifier, converter box?? Just not sure what all I need.

Antenna Constraints:
Many people in my townhome community have satellite dishes on their houses, so I don't think the homeowner's association will object to my mounting a roof antenna. However, I’m partial to taking advantage that I have a large walk-up attic with enough space (8’ X 6’ X 10’ (LWH)) to put in a sizable attic antenna. I’d like to get the most channels possible, but money is a factor. I also have a fan in my roof – I’m not sure if that will aid or inhibit mounting a roof antenna.

My apologies for the length of this post. I hope that I’ve provided enough information. If I’ve forgotten anything I will respond promptly as I am looking to purchase within the next several weeks. Thank you so much for any suggestions that you can offer.


Last edited by LAF2K10; 13-Mar-2010 at 9:11 PM.
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Old 13-Mar-2010, 8:29 PM   #2
Posts: n/a
Antenna location

As all Tv and antenna forums say all across the internet , attic antenna installation can reduce signal level by 50% or more. The best way is to actually try the attic installation, if the reception is Ok with you , then it is Ok. The one advantage is the antenna will last a long time. The disadvantage is may be missing some channels if this is the only Tv antenna.
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Old 14-Mar-2010, 3:47 PM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Plymouth Meeting, PA
Posts: 3
rooftop vs. antenna

Hi Teleview,
Thanks so much for your reply. I've done some experimenting and feel confident that both types of antenna will work - even with reduction in reception using the attic antenna. Can you suggest any model numbers for a rooftop antenna or an attic antenna based on my signal analysis results? I'd like to get a strong enough antenna that will pick up some channels that are up to 36 miles away. Again, thanks for your reply.

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Old 15-Mar-2010, 11:58 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 632
Some of the channels in the red zone in your list are coming from different directions than the other Philadelphia stations. If you are trying to get those, you will need an antenna rotator since the antenna would need to be re-pointed to get these other clusters. I don't think it's worth it to go this route, so I'd stick with just the channels in one direction.

You should not use an amp in your situation because the strongest channels are too strong for most amps to handle. An overloaded amp will distort signals, so you're better off without one.

For reception down to channel 6, you'll need a full band antenna. I'd recommend something like the Winegard HD7080P. It's about 7.5 feet long and 9 feet wide, so you'll have to check if you can fit it in your attic and have it pointed south-east toward Philadelphia.

When you split the signal to multiple rooms, be sure not to leave any open unused ports. This can cause signal to be reflected back into the coax and has the effect of adding interference to the other endpoints in the network. If you end up with extra ports on your splitter, cap them off with 75-ohm terminators (like this).
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Old 16-Mar-2010, 1:54 PM   #5
Tower Guy
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Delmar, NY
Posts: 1,236
Originally Posted by mtownsend View Post
I'd recommend something like the Winegard HD7080P.
That will work fine. You may also consider the HD7010 or HD7015. They are a bit cheaper and have similar specs.

If it does fit in your attic consider two smaller antennas, the Antennacraft CS600 for VHF and any of the bow tie style arrays for UHF. I like the Channel Master 4221. Use a UVSJ to add them together.
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Old 17-Mar-2010, 9:30 PM   #6
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Plymouth Meeting, PA
Posts: 3
Thanks for the antenna Advice!

MTownsend and TowerGuy,

Thanks so much for your recommendations. I will take a look at those. The other night I experimented using 50 feet of RG6 coax from my attic to my basement with an RCA ANT110 (no amplifier used) >> RCA STB7766C converter box >> Samsung LCD TV (LT-P2045U). I live 12 miles west of Philadelphia. Here are my channels with corresponding signal strengths (SS in %):

Chan SS (%)
3 56
6 63
10 63
12 50
17 57
23 23
29 63
35 63
45 16
48 32
51 56
57 37
61 69
65 69

Not bad for an inexpensive antenna and converter box. Thank you again for your awesome wisdom and I'll let you know what I wind up going with.

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antenna, attic, philadelphia, roof

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