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Old 24-Jan-2010, 6:31 AM   #1
bigbangbaby
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 3
Question Winegard SS-3000 Good Enough in Toronto?

Hi:

Hoping anyone can help ~

I live about 12km west of the CN Tower in Toronto, ON. There's no way that I can put an HDTV antenna on my roof so I was considering getting a WINEGARD SS-3000 Indoor UHF/VHF Antenna.

Here are my signal analysis results:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...c7233d546c4cf2

Can anyone give their opinion on this antenna and do you think I can get the majority of the channels by using it? Do you think I can @ least get some of the American channels? Or, is it a waste of money as I'll only get 3 or 4 local channels?

(I live facing a bunch of townhouses.)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

BBB
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Old 25-Jan-2010, 3:44 AM   #2
mtownsend
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Hello and welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbangbaby View Post
There's no way that I can put an HDTV antenna on my roof so I was considering getting a WINEGARD SS-3000 Indoor UHF/VHF Antenna.

Can anyone give their opinion on this antenna and do you think I can get the majority of the channels by using it?
I haven't used this antenna myself, but your local stations are pretty strong, so there's a good chance you'll be able to pick up most of the stations in the "green" zone in your list.

Other indoor antennas that work pretty well are the Philips PHDTV3 and the Terk HDTVi.



Quote:
Do you think I can @ least get some of the American channels?
The American stations are too weak to get with an indoor antenna. You might get lucky on one or two of them, but most of them will require an attic or rooftop antenna.



Quote:
Or, is it a waste of money as I'll only get 3 or 4 local channels?
It looks like there's 7-8 local Toronto stations that you're likely to get. Some of the digital stations may also carry multiple sub-channels. If you are able to purchase the antenna from a place with a good return policy, then you can try it out and return the antenna if it is not to your liking.
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Old 26-Jan-2010, 5:06 AM   #3
bigbangbaby
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Location: Toronto, ON
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Hi mtownsend:

Thanks for replying!

Well, since my posting, I've been pretty busy and a friend of mine has since helped me set up a Qterra 22-421HD Outdoor HDTV Antenna in my attic which is about 30-35 feet from the ground. Here are the specs of the Qterra antenna:

- HDTV & SDTV reception
- wideband reception
- Frequency: 45-860MHz
- Gain: 25-30dB
- Output Impedance: 75
- Standing Wave Ratio: <=1.5
- Power: AC 110v

Here's what the antenna looks like:



The coax cable is connected to the antenna and we tried 2 scenarios:

(1) we split a coax cable, connected it to the other cable that is built in to the AC adapter, and then connected it to my TV;
(2) connected the coax cable directly from the antenna to the TV.

In both scenarios, we were only able to get the 9 following channels:

05 CBC
09 CTV
19 TVO
25 SRC
41 Global
47 OMNI 1
52 CKXT
57 CITY
69 OMNI 2

From what you've said, I should be getting all the channels (including the American ones) using an antenna. I have a feeling that either: (a) this antenna is crap; or (b) we set it up wrong, it should be plugged in, and it's pointing in the wrong direction?

Should I just trash this antenna and get a better one? Is there an antenna you can recommend that has great reception from inside an attic? It was a real hassle to set up this antenna and only get 9 channels. If I just get an indoor antenna and get the same results (9 channels), then I can @ least get rid of this indoor antenna and clean up the cable that's hanging down the side of our townhouse.

Thanks again for your help!

BBB
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Old 26-Jan-2010, 8:20 AM   #4
mtownsend
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbangbaby View Post
a friend of mine has since helped me set up a Qterra 22-421HD Outdoor HDTV Antenna in my attic which is about 30-35 feet from the ground. Here are the specs of the Qterra antenna:

- HDTV & SDTV reception
- wideband reception
- Frequency: 45-860MHz
- Gain: 25-30dB
- Output Impedance: 75
- Standing Wave Ratio: <=1.5
- Power: AC 110v

Here's what the antenna looks like:

From the looks of the antenna, it is a clone of a 4 bay bowtie antenna. It is definitely NOT good at VHF (ch 2-13, frequencies 54-216 MHz). Bowtie antennas like this are good for UHF frequencies (470-806 MHz), so I don't see where they get off claiming frequencies down to 45 MHz.

The antenna gain itself is probably in the range of about 12 dB in UHF frequencies and about -15 dB (yes, I mean negative gain) at VHF frequencies. The 25-30 dB of gain they are claiming is probably the gain of their built-in amp.

An amp is actually a really bad idea in your situation because you have some very strong local analog stations. Signals this strong will overwhelm just about every amp on the market. You really need an unamplified antenna.



Quote:
The coax cable is connected to the antenna and we tried 2 scenarios:

(1) we split a coax cable, connected it to the other cable that is built in to the AC adapter, and then connected it to my TV;
(2) connected the coax cable directly from the antenna to the TV.
The amp needs to be powered in order to pass any signal at all. Most amps act like a dead circuit (attenuating signals rather than passing them through) when no power is applied.

The antenna and power adapter should have come with a clearly marked DC-passing coupler. One port is designed to take power in and pass it through to another port up to the antenna. A third port (with no DC power allowed through) passes just the TV signals to your TV.

If you just used an ordinary splitter in your first scenario, it might not have passed any power up to the antenna (or maybe the wrong voltage if power was passed to both the antenna and your TV simultaneously).



Quote:
In both scenarios, we were only able to get the 9 following channels:

05 CBC
09 CTV
19 TVO
25 SRC
41 Global
47 OMNI 1
52 CKXT
57 CITY
69 OMNI 2
It sounds like either the amp was unpowered and attenuating most of your signal, or the amp was powered but being overloaded by the strong local stations.



Quote:
I have a feeling that either: (a) this antenna is crap; or (b) we set it up wrong, it should be plugged in, and it's pointing in the wrong direction?
Given the deceptive marketing of the antenna specs, I'd lean toward it being a lousy antenna, combined with the fact that the amp was probably not working.



Quote:
Should I just trash this antenna and get a better one? Is there an antenna you can recommend that has great reception from inside an attic?
Yes, I'd go with a different antenna. You definitely need to avoid using anything with an amp, being so close to some very strong signals.

I would try an antenna like the Winegard HD7696P and aim it directly at Buffalo (compass heading 156 degrees). This is a directional antenna, so hopefully, the strong local stations will be attenuated a bit since they would be coming in through the "side" of the antenna (where it is less sensitive). An even larger antenna (HD7697P) would be even more selective and might work even better if you can get it to fit in your attic.

Just in case the local signals are still too strong for your TV's tuner to handle, you might want to install a variable attenuator (like this) near your TV so that you can adjust the power levels down when necessary.



I'm not sure you'll be able to adjust this setup to receive all of the signals simultaneously since there are really three main clusters of channels (at 85, 217, and 156 degree compass headings). You might get lucky and find a sweet spot that happens to get all three clusters simultaneously (mostly pointed at Buffalo and getting the closer stations through the "sides" of the antenna). If that doesn't work, then some of the stations will be sensitive to your antenna aim. If it's important for you to be able to get all the channels from all directions, then you may want to consider adding an antenna rotator.
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Old 27-Jan-2010, 5:51 AM   #5
bigbangbaby
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 3
Awesome! Thanks for the speedy response!

I had a feeling that there was a problem with my antenna since, after reading a lot of the posts here, people that set up "attic" antennas seem to get a lot more channels than I do. I'm going to take your advice and replace the antenna that I currently have but I seem to be having problems locating the antenna you suggested (Winegard HD7696P) in the Toronto area.

From what I've read, a lot of people in Toronto are having a lot of success with the Channel Master 4221/4228HD set up in their attics. Do you have any opinion on this antenna? I know it's not the same as the one you suggested but @ least I can pick it up @ a nearby store here.



Here are the specs:

The Channel Master 4 Bay Antenna is a high quality UHF HDTV OTA Antenna optimized for DTV (Digital TV). Its not as big as its big Brother the 8 bay channel master 4228 and 4228HD with its 8 bays.

Channel Master's model 4221HD antenna can receive digital and analog over-the-air TV signals in the UHF band only (over 90% of digital TV signals are in the UHF band). The 4221HD is optimized for "near-fringe" reception of HDTV. Its space-efficient design is suitable for roof and attic installations. Channel Master 4221HD is said to have a higher gain then the original 4221.

The Channel Master 4221HD is classified as a Medium-sized Directional antenna. For Over the Air channels see our OTA page for channel listing by postal code within Canada or the USA.

Details:

- receives digital & analog UHF TV signals
- range is 45 miles
- reception "beam width" is 45 degrees
- 4-bay bowtie dipole design
- 20"W x 5-1/4"D x 36-1/4"H
- 10" turning radius (if used with an antenna rotor)
- includes 300-ohm-to-75-ohm adapter
- mast not included
- RG-6 cable is recommended
- 10 inch Turning Radius
- Far Suburban Rated
- This is a Large Directional antenna and yields a beam width of about 45 degrees
- Box size: L 37.5" H 21.5" W 5.5"

Thanks again for all your help! You've been amazing!

BBB
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Old 27-Jan-2010, 5:06 PM   #6
mtownsend
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbangbaby View Post
I seem to be having problems locating the antenna you suggested (Winegard HD7696P) in the Toronto area.
You may need to try some online resources like solidsignal.com, summitsource.com, warrenelectronics.com, etc. Local retailers usually cannot offer too many makes/models of antennas.



Quote:
From what I've read, a lot of people in Toronto are having a lot of success with the Channel Master 4221/4228HD set up in their attics. Do you have any opinion on this antenna?
That is a good antenna, but it is only for UHF stations. It will work great for most of your stations, but it won't work for channels like WNGS. It may also have a hard time with some of your local analog VHF stations, although they are so much closer that you might pick them up anyway. If you don't mind dropping WNGS, then the 4221 will work well.

I'm also not sure what the Canadian broadcasters are planning to do when they switch completely to digital broadcasts (Aug 31, 2011). If some of them are planning to retain their VHF broadcast channels, then you may need to consider the VHF performance of your antenna or plan on changing antennas later.
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Old 4-Feb-2010, 9:44 PM   #7
Tom.F.1
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Posts: 2
From the list of stations you recieve everything analog from Toronto.
You need a a DTV tuner. ATSC signals are only reciveable on a DTV tuner. The american stations no longer broadcast analog, so its no wonder you don't get them.
With an Attic installation, you should get at least the strongest stations from buffalo.
all Toronto stations are currently on UHF in DTV (except TVO 19) and only CFTO will be going to VHF high after the analog shutdown. It will be powerful enough, so your 4221 would get it fine.

Last edited by Tom.F.1; 4-Feb-2010 at 9:47 PM.
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Old 5-Feb-2010, 2:48 PM   #8
:-)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom.F.1 View Post
From the list of stations you recieve everything analog from Toronto.
You need a a DTV tuner. ATSC signals are only reciveable on a DTV tuner. The american stations no longer broadcast analog, so its no wonder you don't get them.
With an Attic installation, you should get at least the strongest stations from buffalo.
all Toronto stations are currently on UHF in DTV (except TVO 19) and only CFTO will be going to VHF high after the analog shutdown. It will be powerful enough, so your 4221 would get it fine.
he's probably right, I live really close to the CN tower and i get most buffalo stations but not CityTV in DTV. so if you can get citytv you should be able to get at least CW from Buffalo (one of my strongest channels). the only explanation is you dont have a dtv tuner, and your talking about analog channels. so either get a dtv tuner or a brand new tv with one built in. good luck.
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Old 16-Apr-2011, 6:56 PM   #9
TickingMind
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbangbaby View Post
Hi mtownsend:

Thanks for replying!

Well, since my posting, I've been pretty busy and a friend of mine has since helped me set up a Qterra 22-421HD Outdoor HDTV Antenna in my attic which is about 30-35 feet from the ground. Here are the specs of the Qterra antenna:

- HDTV & SDTV reception
- wideband reception
- Frequency: 45-860MHz
- Gain: 25-30dB
- Output Impedance: 75
- Standing Wave Ratio: <=1.5
- Power: AC 110v

Here's what the antenna looks like:




BBB


I've tried the Qterra antenna line, being sucked by the cheap price at the local electronics store (Dixie & Matheson electronics mall). I think I paid $13.99 for it. I got what I paid for. Within a week the screws holding the elements to the reflector via the insulated supports were rusting.

Junk.
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Old 18-Apr-2011, 2:06 AM   #10
John Candle
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,697
Tv Antennas and Reception

Here are places to buy Channelmaster antennas and Winegard antennas in Canada , http://www.saveandreplay.com , http://www.trentondistributors.com , Digital home is a help group in canada , http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum . . Use the Channelmaster CM2020 in place of the Hd7696P . . Here is how to aim Tv antennas , http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing/html

Last edited by John Candle; 18-Apr-2011 at 2:12 AM.
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