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Old 27-Mar-2020, 2:19 AM   #1
FoxPopuli
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Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 3
Greetings from close-to-Chattanooga TN

Hey folks, you can call me Fox.

A few months ago my grandfather expressed disgust at his cable provider as they bumped up the price of his subscription for a second time in a year (Charter Spectrum) and he asked me why we couldn't just hook up his old antenna from the late 1980s again.
The rig seemed to be an old Winegard Low VHF that had taken quite a beating over the last few decades. At that point I knew next to nothing about OTA TV, only remembering the Crappy Days of "Hey go move the rabbit ears. That looks great, now just keep holding the antenna!" from my youth.

I was unsure whether OTA was a viable possibility for modern television service, considering he had just bought a 65" 4K Samsung a few months before. I was seriously concerned that upscaling of the OTA image would be necessary and would look worse that watching his worn out VHS tapes of Hee Haw.

But dutifully I started doing some research, and with a lot of help from Tyler the Antenna Man on YouTube I figured out not only what antenna we should buy, but also which ones we should avoid.

We've recently deployed his antenna, and cannibalized a lot of the wiring and equipment left on his house from two decades of switching back and forth from company to company trying to find the best deal on TV service.
He now gets 40+ channels, some of which look as good as those offered by cable/satellite, on multiple televisions in his house.

I dare say that this is becoming something of a hobby, as we employed trial and error in getting his reception to this point, and now I'm joining TVfool to try and glean knowledge from people with far more experience.

It's a pleasure to be here, and thank you for the chance to join you.
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Old 28-Mar-2020, 9:50 AM   #2
OTAFAN
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 244
Welcome to the Forum Fox!

I see you've already learned that research and persistence pays off in successfully installing an OTA TV antenna system. Congratulations on your project for your grandfather. I'm sure he's enjoying his new 65" 4K Samsung TV.

There are many threads on this forum which will provide hours of reading you might find of interest. There are Techs here who have spent a lifetime in the TV industry and related who can help you with just about any question you might have. I'm not one of those Techs, but like you, through research, persistence and asking numerous questions of the Forum have successfully installed an OTA TV antenna system at my location. Along the way I've learned much and hopefully I've been able to pass some of that knowledge on to relevant queries.

Anyway, I hope you find this Forum helpful when you have issues that you need help with.

All the best.....
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Old 28-Dec-2022, 6:14 AM   #3
FoxPopuli
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Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 3
An update, 2.5 years later

Within two weeks of setting up the OTA antenna,.... my grandfather called a Dish supplier and had them stick yet another wart onto his house.
And within another month he was complaining about the price of his service again
*sigh*
Two steps forward, one step back, I suppose.

Let me give you a full rundown of our situation;
We live on our family farm together. There are four houses on this farm.
And when I cut the cable for my father (at the same time as when I made this introduction post 2.5 years ago) I got him a similar TV antenna. That gave him ~40 channels, and I also gave him an external hard drive so we could load his favorite movies/TV shows onto a drive under his control.
This quickly became his favorite feature
So now that I'm making a push to get us all off of cable/dish *YET AGAIN*
I've planned to make this a standard option for everyone.
I now have a Dell Optiplex 8th Gen Intel running a Plex server that three of the four houses here can see. It currently houses 1.5 TB of movies, recorded TV shows, and audio files
I also have a SiliconDust HDHomeRun Flex 4K in our network.
I'm currently using that to send the Live TV signal to the other two houses.
Each receiving TV (there are two at this time) has a Roku Ultra LT 4K connected to it.
This solution works very well , in my opinion. Yes it takes ~10-11 seconds to switch between the channels (because of the distance we're spanning, and the fact that we're limited to 1 gigabit networking due to the current hardware) but once the channels are displaying, they're absolutely solid.
This is something I cannot say about my father's TV reception, because he didn't like using the Roku Ultra LT, and wanted to be able to flip through channels at will.
*shrug* Alright. I guess I'll use a splitter to send part of the signal to the HDHomeRun Flex 4K (and thus to the rest of the farm), and some of the signal directly to his TV so he can flip channels the way he likes.
And it works

Now I have two Winegard antennas I've payed for, (only one of which is currently being used),
and a network that allows my grandfather and aunt to see live TV, recorded movies, and recorded TV all on a single application

In the past month I've gotten a Televes Signal Combiner/Amplifier
My plan is to:
move the second antenna down to my dad's house
*PROPERLY GROUND THEM BOTH AND ADD LIGHTNING ARRESTORS*
point Antenna 02 in a direction opposite the way the main antenna is facing,
combine and amplify the signals with a piece of equipment that is far superior to the cheap pre-amp and LTE trap I'm currently using,
distribute All of our collected channels across the network,
.....split dad's signal off of the network so he can channel surf the way he prefers......

If I had realized how much of a headache it would be to cater to everyone's desires and needs, I might not have even taken up this job.
But it's for the family. I can't rightly complain.

Before you ask how well my clients like the HD HomeRun......they're not using it. At all.
They still have their parallel Dish subscription. But I continue to show them that most of the content they want, and the options they desire are available to us without the cost of a subscription.
But human beings are creatures of habit.
It's going to take a while before they feel confident enough to wean off that teat.

Last edited by FoxPopuli; 28-Dec-2022 at 6:30 AM.
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