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rural somewhat heavy wooded area, need good antenna

jdcnosse
08-14-2009, 09:53 PM
Okay, so after having Charter cable and internet for awhile, we're kinda getting sick of having to pay the $50 a month for TV service. On top of that, we can't really just afford it.

I remember back before the DTV transition I could get ABC (WZZM) and PBS (WGVU) really really easily, and then FOX(WXMI), then NBC(WOOD), and CBS(WWMT) was the worst (it was the farthest away)

Now I can hardly get any of those except the PBS and FOX channels.

currently I am using a Philips SDV2740/27 UHF/VHF/FM amplified indoor antenna. http://www.amazon.com/Philips-SDV2740-27-Digital-Antenna/dp/B001JE5N3A

I am looking into better indoor and (cheap) outdoor antennas, but I'm not sure what I should look for.

I went to tvfool.com and got the report as to which channels are where and whatnot, here are those results:http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d23c55897301851

I don't care so much about the analog channels, as I have an HDTV, and another TV with a converter box.

I saw on Amazon these two outdoor antennas, and they looked like they had good reviews.
Antennas Direct DB2 Multi Directional HDTV Antenna (http://www.amazon.com/Antennas-Direct-DB2-Directional-Antenna/dp/B000EHUE7I/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top)
Antennas Direct DB4 Multi Directional HDTV Antenna (http://www.amazon.com/Antennas-Direct-DB4-Directional-Antenna/dp/B000EHYG9K/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1250301619&sr=8-2)

So are these good antennas? My house is out in a rural area, with our small (50 trailers) trailer park, then trees around it on two sides.

IDRick
08-14-2009, 10:10 PM
Welcome to the forums! You have high vhf (WOOD and WMMT) plus uhf channels in your area. The DB-2 and DB-4 antennas are UHF only. In your case, I would recommend a Winegard 7694 antenna (receives high VHF and UHF channels). Solid Signal.com has a great price on this antenna and has a very good reputation. The 7694 is the best antenna in its class, IMO. A less expensive alternative is the HBU 22. A good antenna but not as well built and somewhat lower in gain than the Winegard 7694.

HTH,

Rick

jdcnosse
08-15-2009, 01:39 AM
Yes it does thank you. I'm good with computers, and setting up things, but with antennas and things like decibel gain and how to position the antenna I'm a complete idiot lol

Tower Guy
08-15-2009, 02:03 AM
The DB-2 and DB-4 antennas are UHF only. In your case, I would recommend a Winegard 7694 antenna


Aim the antenna at 134 degrees.

You won't get WGVK, but watch PBS on WGVU instead.

You'll get ABC from WOYV. WZZM may or may not work due to multipath.

jdcnosse
08-15-2009, 02:07 AM
Aim the antenna at 134 degrees.

You won't get WGVK, but watch PBS on WGVU instead.

You'll get ABC from WOYV. WZZM may or may not work due to multipath.

I wouldn't want WGVK just because WGVU is a lot closer...like within 10 miles lol

I think you mean WOTV. Right now on our cable lineup we have both ABC channels. I have no problem although WOTV uses ABC programming, but has WOOD for their news, which is kinda wierd...

jdcnosse
08-15-2009, 02:15 AM
Saw this antenna: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103088 on craigslist...I guess someone over near Detroit had good experiences with it...

Tower Guy
08-15-2009, 07:28 AM
Saw this antenna: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103088 on craigslist...I guess someone over near Detroit had good experiences with it...

It's a UHF antenna. That's not the best option for Detroit. They guy selling it found out the hard way.

jdcnosse
08-15-2009, 11:35 AM
Yeah, I miss read is post. Also I live about 30 miles from Grand Rapids, so I'm not going to have trouble with all the interference as I would if I was right down town.

Then again, it seems most of the broadcast towers (except WZZM) are all southeast of me.

NonMcTubber
08-15-2009, 12:02 PM
To jdcnosse,

I have to basically agree with IDRick, the 7694 would be a fine pick and will get you a very good cross sections of networks. You are somewhat fortunate to live in a very good area, but have a somewhat typical TVFool report with the common curse of many, namely no one fixed aim is going to get you all channels. But an antenna rotator really kites costs, and so will the costs of a really tall tower it would be nice to have. Any sort of a pre amp may be poison because of those two strong stations 6 miles away and not far off aim. But if you can do it yourself, not much to know, aim 134 degrees, and its about all you need to know with fixed aim.

But you might want to consider sharing the costs and antenna connections with other near by neighbors. It probably would not take a long coax runs to hook up one antenna to 4 neighbors. And one downstream distribution amp would make up for line losses while the antenna and mast costs can be pooled. Your break even costs might be then achieved in less than a month.

JB Antennaman
08-15-2009, 12:03 PM
Your tv fool report shows transmitters all around you.

I would say that you definitely need a good antenna rotor and you need to get your antenna above the trees in your neighborhood.

The Winegard 7694 P would work for your area with a rotor and the proper amount of height and some good wire.

jim5506
08-15-2009, 03:14 PM
He can receive all the networks by pointing the antenna SE.

He only needs a rotator if he wants to spin the antenna around and see the same programming from another direction.

jdcnosse
08-20-2009, 05:46 PM
Yea, the only transmitter I believe that is in my area that is not SE of me is WZZM, and that's roughly NE of me.

Also, I took the Philips antenna I'm using now, stuck it right in a window (which is inconvienient but it works) and now I can get WOOD, WZZM, WGVU, WXMI & WOTV. The only one I don't get is WWMT, which is okay because that's our CBS affiliate and we don't watch that many CBS shows anyways...

NonMcTubber
08-20-2009, 07:10 PM
Yea, the only transmitter I believe that is in my area that is not SE of me is WZZM, and that's roughly NE of me.

Also, I took the Philips antenna I'm using now, stuck it right in a window (which is inconvienient but it works) and now I can get WOOD, WZZM, WGVU, WXMI & WOTV. The only one I don't get is WWMT, which is okay because that's our CBS affiliate and we don't watch that many CBS shows anyways...
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Just a few comments.

1. I and no one else have any right to tell you how to spend your money. If you are now happy, we should be happy.

2. I looked at your existing antenna, if you can snake it outdoor through an open window, you can limp along, but when it gets cold in three months or so, you may not be as happy.

3. The first lesson I learned in the digital transition is that rabbit ears may get it for analog but stumble badly in digital. there is just no substitute for a bigger antenna with more collection area.

4. I still think a fuller size antenna like the 7694 will run large rings around your basic rabbit ears, but something cheaper could also do.
And when you have the luxury of time, who knows what freebies you can find. You clearly do not need a tall mast, enjoy what you have for now, but always look to do better for little or no money.

JB Antennaman
08-20-2009, 08:24 PM
My only comment beyond what McTubber said was that you already spent $50 a month for cable and didn't think twice about it.

Now you want to go back to Over The Air reception, but you don't want to spend any money.

Two months cable will almost put up the antenna and two more months worth of the cable will ensure that everything will be of the highest quality and will last many years.

The problem with reception is that stations that were analog and could be received with little issues with one fair antenna stuck up in the air and pointed in the wrong direction, will not work in the same manner with the digital over the air television you receive today.

As you have said, you have some signal with nothing more than rabbit ears and you don't feel that you need to spend much more than that. But different stations offers different programming and just because they are both NBC or ABC or PBS doesn't mean that they are always going to have the same programming at the same time.

Sooner or later CBS is going to have to offer a movie channel, even though in my area, the CBS owns the CW network.

Sticking a good antenna up in the air as high as possible and using a antenna rotor will fetch you many stations that you do not receive now, but will when you upgrade to a better antenna and set up.

Plus the new digital and High Def televisions likes as much signal as they can possibly get. You wouldn't use 87 octane gasoline in a top fuel dragster or a Sprint Cup race car.

jdcnosse
08-21-2009, 01:40 PM
My only comment beyond what McTubber said was that you already spent $50 a month for cable and didn't think twice about it.

Now you want to go back to Over The Air reception, but you don't want to spend any money.

I'm willing to spend money to make my OTA experience better, but as of right now cash is a little tight, which is why we dropped cable in the first place. We were only paying maybe $40-$45 for it, and that included expanded basic cable (all the stuff under 100 lol), HBO, & all their HD channels. When we get the money, I'll most likely buy the antenna that you are talking about just so we can get some decent channels.


As you have said, you have some signal with nothing more than rabbit ears and you don't feel that you need to spend much more than that. But different stations offers different programming and just because they are both NBC or ABC or PBS doesn't mean that they are always going to have the same programming at the same time.

I also understand that. My two ABC affiliates don't always play the same exact shows at the same exact time, but for the major network shows (ie Lost for example) they do play the same thing at the same time.


Plus the new digital and High Def televisions likes as much signal as they can possibly get. You wouldn't use 87 octane gasoline in a top fuel dragster or a Sprint Cup race car.


I've also figured this out, which is why we're actually using the converter box from the second TV on our HD set. So it might not be HD, but I didn't have a coaxial cable long enough to reach from where I set the antenna to where the TV is.

NonMcTubber
08-21-2009, 04:47 PM
I just wish to point out the our OP, jdcnosse is thinking once, twice, and long and hard about losing those cable bills, and in this thread, this becomes the criteria and the holy grail responders should honor.

And my position is, those that do not have the big bucks to invest in that ideal OTA antenna system often help themselves best by being creative and scrounging. Or pooling costs with neighbors.

I fired DISH network many years ago, but its still not my right to say everyone should.

jdcnosse
08-24-2009, 09:46 AM
I agree with you in some aspects. We have our set up right now the way we like it, and soon (ie about a month) I'll get reimbursed loan money from school and then I can pursue getting a good OTA antenna set up.

The thing about cable or satelitte is really that my fiancée has been bugging me that a lot more of her favorite shows are on channels like Lifetime and SyFy and other non-OTA channels...

We could split the cost of putting up the antenna between our neighbors, but they all pretty much have either cable, satelitte, or their own OTA antenna. I would rather not piggyback on their antenna only because if something goes wrong, I can't really fix it, I have to wait for them to fix it...which really bugs me lol

TimandPatti
08-24-2009, 05:46 PM
Okay, so after having Charter cable and internet for awhile, we're kinda getting sick of having to pay the $50 a month for TV service. On top of that, we can't really just afford it.



I wish you luck. We had to cancel Dish (no cable out here where we live) because we could no longer afford it. I'm hearing that from a lot of people lately. With our antenna we can only get KXII and KTEN. At this point I'd be glad to even get one more channel.

I remember when I was growing up everyone had antenna's and we got 4 or 5 channels, we got no snow, great picture I guess because we lived in town.
KTEN is local and it comes in blocky at times. Seems to be a problem quite a few have with that one. TV has sure changed!

Waxmo
08-25-2009, 10:46 AM
Here is a simple way be able to afford a nice OTA antenna setup.

1. Cancel your cable or satellite.
2. Go to your kitchen,get a jar, magic marker "Antenna" on the side of it.
3.Each month deposit the $45 or whatever you spent for cable or satellite into that jar.
4. Purchase a very cheap indoor or outdoor antenna. $20 bucks or less.
5. "The painfull part" Watch whatever you can pickup on your cheap antenna.
6. Stick with it for as many months as you can.
7. If you can hold out for 12 months you will have $540 in that jar minus the $20 you spent on the cheap antenna = $520
8.Now the fun part.
Purchase a High quality outdoor antenna. I recommend the Channel master 4228 HD. $90. Purchase a CM 777 preamp. $70. Purchase RG6 cable and connectors approx: $50. Purchase a mount and pole: $30. Purchase a DTV Pal DVR from dishdepot: $250 so you can record all the shows you need. Your Total: $490

9. You are now set for life with free TV
10. Spend the last $30 on a cheap dinner. You deserve it!

jdcnosse
08-26-2009, 01:18 PM
But what if we don't have the $45 or whatever we were spending on cable anymore. (ie. the reason we canceled our service was because we literally didn't have any money to pay for it anymore, because my fiancée had her hours reduced at work)

jim5506
08-26-2009, 06:20 PM
TV is not a necessity - take a walk, think of something else to do.

jdcnosse
08-27-2009, 04:22 PM
lol we do. I just like having a couple TV channels because like if the weather gets bad, I like to check the weather to make sure nothing really bad is going to come our way. Granted, if I had internet at my house right now I'd use that too...