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Now I'm really confused

drjay9051
10-29-2010, 06:46 AM
I really need some help here. Since I lost my husband I am trying to cut expenses. Dish is not an option so it'sgotto go. In an earlier post I tried to explain my situation. I went to tvfool but cannot post my "profile" for some reason. My zip is 32668. Coordinates are 29.307937 -82.523631.

First off under predicted channel they show a bunch of analog channels, I thought analog was gone?

As I mentioned in earlier post I only get WOGX 51.1 which is digital and 12 miles east of me. This is with a Clearstream 2 indoors. I am going to try to hook it up outdoors to my satillite cable if I get help this afternoon.

Can anybody decipher this map and tell me what I need to get the majority of digital channels to my north? I cannot afford multiple antennas and it looks like those 40 foot towers cost about 400-500. Will one antenna do the job snce the digitals to the north are all within about 50 degrees ofeach other? Can I point different elements of one antenna in different directions? I am looking at antennacraft in Radioshack. They have the ones that look easier to put up (U800) is this an option or do I need something like the HBU which looks like it points in different directions? The salesperson is useless. IfI need a second antenna for WOGX I can get this using rabbit ears.

Although it does not affect my situation I'm wondering why my friend who is 5 miles south of me gets 5 stations with just rabbit ears? Her property is surrounded on all sides by taller and more dense trees than I have? The only thing I can think of is I have a metal roof and hers is wood and shingles.

Any thoughts on the Winegard round white antenna. Ithink it is called MS3000. I have been told (by the place trying to sell it to me) that it is "multidirection" and will pick up all stations. He also says its easier to put on a pole

Sorry for being long winded but as a single mom I am trying to learn all of this so my kids can get some TV and I can pay thebills.

Thanks

Maria

s2mikey
10-29-2010, 07:20 AM
I really need some help here. Since I lost my husband I am trying to cut expenses. Dish is not an option so it'sgotto go. In an earlier post I tried to explain my situation. I went to tvfool but cannot post my "profile" for some reason. My zip is 32668. Coordinates are 29.307937 -82.523631.

First off under predicted channel they show a bunch of analog channels, I thought analog was gone?

As I mentioned in earlier post I only get WOGX 51.1 which is digital and 12 miles east of me. This is with a Clearstream 2 indoors. I am going to try to hook it up outdoors to my satillite cable if I get help this afternoon.

Can anybody decipher this map and tell me what I need to get the majority of digital channels to my north? I cannot afford multiple antennas and it looks like those 40 foot towers cost about 400-500. Will one antenna do the job snce the digitals to the north are all within about 50 degrees ofeach other? Can I point different elements of one antenna in different directions? I am looking at antennacraft in Radioshack. They have the ones that look easier to put up (U800) is this an option or do I need something like the HBU which looks like it points in different directions? The salesperson is useless. IfI need a second antenna for WOGX I can get this using rabbit ears.

Although it does not affect my situation I'm wondering why my friend who is 5 miles south of me gets 5 stations with just rabbit ears? Her property is surrounded on all sides by taller and more dense trees than I have? The only thing I can think of is I have a metal roof and hers is wood and shingles.

Any thoughts on the Winegard round white antenna. Ithink it is called MS3000. I have been told (by the place trying to sell it to me) that it is "multidirection" and will pick up all stations. He also says its easier to put on a pole

Sorry for being long winded but as a single mom I am trying to learn all of this so my kids can get some TV and I can pay thebills.

Thanks

Maria

Hi Maria - I just took a look and honestly, if there was a way to get an antenna mounted on the roof, pointed North-NorthEast you'd get a decent number of channels that way. An antenna that had some directional "range" would probably help. Indoor antennas are always a dicey proposition. Some poeple get lucky with them but most dont. The higher up an a tenna can be, the better. Outdoors is always better than indoors.

The thing is, with a good quality antenna, you will probably pull in a few stations from the South as well (if pointed North)since a lot of antennas can receive from the rear too. My Antennas Direct DB4 doesnt do well from the sides at all but does get me stations from directly behind where its pointing. Weird, but thats how mine works. You could use two or more antennas but that would require more cabling and more electronics. Its doable, but more labor intensive and costly. I would think you could get by with one good multi-directional antenna pointed in the right spot.

I am by NO means an expert on this - kind of new myself so hopefully someone else chimes in here to help you more. Is there someone that could help you at least get an antenna on your roof if possible? That would be a great start. Not sure if the metal roof hurts or not....????

drjay9051
10-29-2010, 08:13 AM
S2Mikey

Thanks. Afraid to put into metal roof and not much help out here. I am looking at a Channel Master telescoping mast that is less than $100 dollars. Dont know if these are any good.

Any info on the round Winegard antenna?

Maria

Steve_Weggus
10-29-2010, 10:08 AM
Maria,

The analogs that you see are almost always low power stations. Often in life there are 'exceptions' to what should be and here is another exception.

I have read other people's concerns that metal roofs might cause problems. It is possible that TV signals bouncing off of the metal might create a second signal at the antenna. With our new digital broadcast system these secondary signal confuse the processing of the signal at the TV. What happens is that the second signal is coming in a short time after the first and the processor freaks out and shuts down. This is referred to as 'multipath'. I am not saying that multipath will happen but it should be a consideration in your planning.

As to round antenna, this is probably one of the most over sold items in the OTA business. Very few people get satisfactory results with this style of antenna. The physics of antennas work this way, the boom or stick based outdoor antennas that you see have a series of metal directors that push the signal down the boom to the receiving area. By utilizing a series of directors and a receiving area, these antennas can deliver five times, six times, up to maybe ten times the output strength that they otherwise might. The round antennas do not have the physical space to have a series of directors so they cannot deliver the output strength that a stick style antenna can.

As to your success with indoor reception, what kills TV signals is the materials that the signal is expected to pass thru. Each wall that a TV signal goes thru eats up 2/3 to 3/4 of the signal. So only 1/3 to 1/4 of the signal comes thru EACH wall. If you have brick vaneer then you lose still more signal. Also, a discussion of indoor reception without using the same or similar TV sets is rather pointless.

If I was you, for a test, I would get a long cable, take the Clearstream 2 outside, prop it agaist the house, point to the east and do an antenna rescan on the TV. If you get the NBC on 24 (and you might not), then turn the antenna to north until just before the picture begins to break up. Now do a rescan and see what channels you have.

Are you using a flat panel TV or something with a coupon equivalent converter box (CECB)?

drjay9051
10-29-2010, 10:17 AM
Maria,


Are you using a flat panel TV or something with a coupon equivalent converter box (CECB)?

Thanks. I have a Panasonic plasma which states there is a tuner inside. If notuner I assume I would not get channel 51.1 which is digital, right. On my oter thread a poster suggested that since my tv is "older" 2006 the tuner may be outdated?? think I should buy a converter box and see if it makes a difference?? Am I right that i would not get 51.1 which is digital if there is no tuner in tv??

rinardman
10-29-2010, 10:21 AM
Hi, Maria
First, your poor results with the Clearstream indoors may indeed be due to the metal roof on your house. Moving it outside may be the first step. You asked about using the old dish coax; is the mounting bracket for the dish antenna still in place? If it is, you may be able to attach your Clearstream antenna to it, at least temporarily, to see what you can get with the antenna outdoors. And, if the old coax is still in good shape, and runs directly to your TV, it should be enough to give an idea of how well the antenna will work outdoors. If you can, point the antenna to the northeast, although you may have to try different aims to see what works best.

You also asked about selecting digital channels on your TV. In general, you should be able to directly enter the virtual channel number (the 20.1, in this case). On some TVs you can enter the .1, .2, .3, etc. On others, you can only enter the whole number, and have to use the channel up/down button to select the sub-channels.

About the MS300. Yes, it is considered "omnidirectional", but is not generally regarded as great antenna. In other words, it receives equally poorly in all directions. If the people wanting to sell it to you will take it back if it doesn't work, you might try it. But, I wouldn't hold my breath. :)

IDRick
10-29-2010, 10:54 AM
Hi Maria,

Your tvfool report is here: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3da5435d3c22d793

Your Clearstream two has a very wide beam and should work reasonably well for your UHF channels to the North. NBC is available on WNBW (ch 9) and WESH (ch 24). WNBW is due north and WESH is east/southeast of your location. WNBW has a stronger signal but it is a vhf channel and probably not received by the C2 antenna. Can you pick up WNBW (ch 9) with your rabbit ears? If so, you could have it set up to simply switch between the outdoor antenna to the indoor antenna for NBC programming. Very easy and inexpensive process with an a/b switch (~$5 at Radio Shack). If you can't receive WNBW with rabbit ears, then you would need to add a high vhf antenna outside such as an antennacraft y5-7-13 (see: http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?mc=03&p=Y5-7-13&d=AntennaCraft-Y5713-HighbandBroadband-VHF-HD-Yagi-TV-Antenna-for-Channels-713-(Y5713)&c=TV%20Antennas&sku=716079000987). Join the two outdoor antennas with a uvsj joiner (see http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?mc=03&p=UVSJ&d=Pico-Macom-UVSJ-UHF-VHF-Band-SeparatorCombiner-for-Antenna-(UVSJ)&c=Signal%20Combiners&sku=).

Good resource on installing antennas: http://manuals.solidsignal.com/AntInstallGuide.pdf

Good luck!

IDRick
10-29-2010, 11:01 AM
Thanks. I have a Panasonic plasma which states there is a tuner inside. If notuner I assume I would not get channel 51.1 which is digital, right. On my oter thread a poster suggested that since my tv is "older" 2006 the tuner may be outdated?? think I should buy a converter box and see if it makes a difference?? Am I right that i would not get 51.1 which is digital if there is no tuner in tv??

Maria,

Yes, you are correct. Your tv would not be able to tune 51.1 if it did not have a digital tuner.

Converter boxes are getting rather hard to find. The better models typically are no longer available but some of the poorer performing ones are around. If you can, buy a Zenith DT901 which has an excellent tuner and functionality. But, for the time being, I would test the C-2 outside first. Outside install should make a huge improvement in the amount of signal received by your tv and you will likely pick up more stations.

Good luck!

Steve_Weggus
10-29-2010, 11:42 AM
(I agree with comments above that you have gotten on digital/ATSC signals. You can also look at the TV's remote. Any manufacturers remote that will let you enter a subchannel (*.1 or *.2 etc) leads me to think that there is already a tuner in there.

As to the 2006 Plasma with the built-in tuner. At our house we have two flat panel TVs #1) an Oct 2007 set from a top manufacturer and #2) an Oct 2009 set from elcheapo ($300 for a 37 inch set). Set #1 drove me crazy trying to get things settled. Amlifiers, second tuner box etc. Set #2 gets all of the stations that we could ever reasonably hope to get without assistance. When the dust settled #1 (originally $800) went to the basement and No 2 (originally $300) is in the living room.

For the 2009 digital transition, the conveter boxes (CECBs) had to have a certain performance level or they were ineligible for the coupons. So this established a engineering reference point that had not existed before. Basically a power level (dBm on TV Fool) of about -90 and higher is now the usual threshold.

Hope that this helps

JB Antennaman
10-29-2010, 01:11 PM
The good, the bad and the ugly.

In my opinion, since you are already going to spend $100 for a telescoping boom, and you are probably going to have to spend $150 on an antenna and another $100 on a antenna rotor.

Why not go all the way on the first try and do it right as opposed to trying the suggestions made to you already - which probably isn't going to work anyways.

I'm sorry for you loss and I feel really bad that you lost your husband and with the loss of his income can no longer afford Cable television.

However, the one thing that I will stress is that with the digital reception we now have, most everything that we knew about television reception is all in the past. Digital reception is a cruel joke and it does not take into account a persons financial situation - or the fact that many apartment dwellers cannot or is not allowed to put up a outdoors antenna.

If you want decent reception - there is a few simple rules that everyone must follow.

First is to get the antenna up as high as possible.
Second is to use the right antenna.
Third is to point the antenna directly at the source of the signal.
Forth is to use a amplifier to compensate for long runs of wire and multiple splits.
Fifth is to properly ground the antenna structure and the wire coming from the antenna - before it comes into the house.
Sixth is to put the antenna in the best place for reception and not the most convenient.

Things like trees in your yard, trees in the neighbors yard, buildings more then 3 stories high, anything that can disturb your signals like radio towers, cell towers, television transmitters - that are too close - that does not allow you to use a preamplifier to receive the more distant stations - hence causes over load.

The way I see your situation is - if you put up a omni directional antenna - you probably will not have very good reception - since the reception for the omni directional antenna is usually limited to anything in the green in your report.

The second problem with a Omni directional antenna is multipath.
Multipath and co channel interference is going to be a problem, especially when you mount your antenna next to a metal roof.

The metal roof was a cheap option when it came time to repair your old roof, but is not a very good option when trying to maximize your reception opportunities.

A simple grocery list of must have options would be to have a installer come and put your antenna up for you. Someone that has experience stripping and crimping coax wires and the tools necessary to do the job.

1 - 100' roll of good RG-6 wire
I don't think that you need Quad Shield.
1 - Winegard 7696P antenna.
1 - Channel Master CM9521A - antenna rotor
1 - Channel Master telescoping boom
1 - length if #8 copper wire, a ground clamp for the boom and a ground clamp for your ground stake for your electric service - outside of your house.
1 - 10' section of 1.500 - .095 wall tubing - DOM is sufficient.

http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?mc=03&p=HD7696P&d=Winegard-HD7696P-High-Definition-VHFUHF-HD7696-Series-TV-Antenna-%28HD7696P%29&c=TV%20Antennas&sku=
http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?mc=03&p=CM9521A-250&d=Channel%20Master%20CM9521A%20Complete%20Antenna% 20Rotator%20Kit%20with%20InfraRed%20Remo&c=Antenna%20Rotators&sku=CM9521A-250&utm_campaign=daily_run&utm_medium=organic&utm_source=google_base_03_Antenna_Rotators

The way I figure it, you will have around $450 into everything.

Before the Oh My Gawds starts, you need to remember that this situation is not going to change and the willingness of friends and relatives to climb up on your roof to fix your antenna situation is not going to get any better with time and that it is better to do something once, do it right and then move on to the next situation.

With that set up, you should be able to get most everything the whole way down into the pink on your report.

You could delete the antenna rotor and try it with just the antenna, since your main channels are 30 miles or less away, but my only fears is that you might be able to get someone to work on your antenna situation once - but you might have a hard time to get them to come back a second time if things do not work out.

At times a person can get by with one antenna and one general aim.
But other times - the situation gets real iffy, because you have to take into account the weather and atmospheric conditions and there will come a day when you want to watch a certain program and it will not want to come in - because you deleted the option of the antenna rotor and now you can't turn the antenna.

The area of coverage you will have with the 7696P - should be sufficient to serve two televisions in your home and up to 100' of coax wire in your system.

Thats my story and I am sticking to it.

ps, - I have new converter boxes in stock for sale if you need one.

freetvfreak
10-31-2010, 02:00 PM
Dear JB, I like your do it right from the start mentality. I too am wanting to ditch my U-Verse and go to OTA but I don't want to mess around with but do it right the first time.

Would this antenna setup work for me? My zip code is 36695 and my coordinates are (Lat 30deg 38'26.7" N) by (Long 88deg 11'33.3"W)

I don't want to use the telescoping boom but about 25' of the general mast poles and secure it to the side of my house if this makes a difference.

Thank you for your recommendations and anyone else too.

John

I forgot to add that I have a lot of tall trees all around my house and my neighborhood is rather hilly.

One more thing, I get absolutely no OTA reception inside my house at all. I've tried several different antenna's and nothing has worked.

freetvfreak
10-31-2010, 02:31 PM
Please forgive my fumbling here, I have more info to give. I'd like to be able to run 3 or 4 tv's and use a htpc to time shift programs. The computer and the main tv should be about 10 to 15 feet from the antenna and the other two tv's would be approximately 35' and the last one about 50'. The last tv is not a deal breaker though.

Thanks very much,

John

freetvfreak
11-02-2010, 03:10 PM
The guys over at TV Fool suggested a AntennaCraft HBU44 antenna and a Winegard HDP 269 preamp. Hope this setup works.

Steve_Weggus
11-03-2010, 10:52 AM
That looks like a good pairing. One of the Winegard preamp's good points is its tolerance for high input signal strength. After looking at TV Fool and that antenna, high input signal strength is a valid consideration. After looking at an FM Fool for zip 36695, I would go ahead and engage the FM trap unless you are planning on sending the signal to an FM receiver. If you have any problems immediately after installation, then you might still be overloading the preamp.

I assume that you are going to install facing due east.

freetvfreak
11-03-2010, 11:09 AM
Dear Steve, I was advised to point it at 85*.

ETA you know what, that is due east - lol

Toronto+KazQC
11-03-2010, 12:04 PM
Maria,

Keep things simple for yourself.

Exhaust all of your free options before spending any money. All of us are offering all kinds of perfectly good advice that may be unhelpful for you if you don't have the budget for it.

Of course, OTA antennas are a one-off expense and it is best to do it right the first time with the right antenna in the right location using the best quality equipment and quality coax connectors installed properly. But if your budget is zero, we can also help you by giving you the best zero dollar compromise solution possible. The result will be either the same as a $1000 solution or the same as what you're getting now. But I'm sure you can do better than you're doing now - and you don't have to spend a pennhy.

What is the budget for this project (getting OTA TV at your house)?

You went to a store and thought about buying something so maybe you have a budget for this.

Looking at your TV Fool report, if I was an installer in your area, I'd be willing to get you up-and-running with an antenna mounted to your home with plenty of channels for about $250 - possibly even quite a bit less if the equipment you already have can get the results you should get for your location.

$250 is probably not far off from what that useless (I agree) salesman was trying to sell (lousy overpriced omnidirectional antenna). If you can afford $250, contact an installer, explain your situation and ask if he can get you up-and-running with a roof-installed antenna for that price.

The concerns about your metal roof and multipath that others have raised are all legitimate concerns, but in an effort to keep things as simple and cheap as possible, I would try it out to see if it works notwithstanding the multipath issues. A professional installer can make sure your roof won't spring a leak. My first choice would be to re-use the existing satellite mount if it could work.

If you want to keep your budget around $0, you already have a very good antenna the Antennas Direct C2. An installer might even be willing to trade you the C2 for a Channel Master 4221hd. It might work even better for you.

In Canada everyone's satellite mount points south. I have no idea which direction your satellite mount might be oriented towards in Florida. But if your old satellite mount can be re-used to direct your antenna either north or east, you're probably going to get some decent results with either the C2 or a 4221hd antenna.

If the cable run becomes super-long to get the coax from the satellite mount to the TV, then you might need a pre-amp. You can get a Channel Master 7778 pre-amp from E-bay at around the $50 to $60 dollar range - or ask a local store to price-match as best they can.

My first try would be to point toward the eastern stations and see if you get the stronger northern stations anyway. If not, tweak your antenna by turning it north until you hopefully get the channels from both directions.

If budget is not important you can get greedy and go with a rotor or muliple antennas and try to get the stations in every direction. From what I saw on your TV Fool report, if you can get the north and east stations, you'll have pretty much all the good networks (remember those channels come with subchannels as well including My11 and multiple PBS channels).

Step 1 - Take that C2. Run it out the door or a window and direct it east or north. Have one of your kids hold it.
Step 2 - Perform a CHANNEL SCAN on your TV. With some TVs, simply punching in the channel will not work. You must scan first.
Step 3 - Figure out if you can get channels from both east and west at the same time with the antenna pointed in one direction.
Step 4 - Assume that with more height and/or a pre-amp, your TV will get even better reception.
Step 5 - Settle for what you are getting once the budget has been exhausted.

Come to us for more help and to share your experience once you have implemented some of the advice that some of us have tried to help you with.

Good luck!

freetvfreak
11-04-2010, 06:49 PM
Will I need to attach a ground wire to my antenna if I'm inserting the base of the mast into the ground?

John