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distribute antenna signal through in-wall cable TV?

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Old 05-11-2011, 10:40 AM   #1
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Question distribute antenna signal through in-wall cable TV?

I recently dropped cable TV for the over-the-air signal. I'm about 15 miles from the source (Minneapolis), so my signal is very good (high 90s), even with the Radio Shack $12 rabbit ears and loop. What's strange is that one TV in our top level doesn't get a channel 11 (NBC). They're using the same antenna and pointed in the same direction, but even with manually adding the channel, there's nothing there. Curious about this.

My main question is about having a BIG antenna in my attic that's wired into my existing cable TV RG6 infrastructure. This way, at least in theory, I can simply plug all my TVs into the cable TV wall outlet and not require anything else. I'm sure this has been asked already, but I wasn't sure what to search on. Will this work? Any thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks for your time!
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Old 05-11-2011, 02:48 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum SkydiverMN!

A couple things could be at play in regards to ch 11. The tv that does not receive ch 11 may be an older tv with an older generation tuner and not very sensitive. Alternatively, signal strength for ch 11 could be quite low at this location but higher elsewhere. You can do some testing to troubleshoot and determine which is the issue...

Test 1. Move a tv that receives ch 11 to the location where ch 11 is not received. If the moved tv picks up ch 11 then the original tv probably has a poor tuner. If the moved tv does not pick up ch 11, then it likely is a signal strength issue.

Test 2. Move the tv that doesn't receive ch 11 to another location where ch 11 is received. If it receives ch 11 at this new location, then low signal strength is the problem at the original location. A tuner with poor sensitivity is indicated if the tv does not receive ch 11 at the new location.

***You may want to ensure that the antennas are indeed identical by comparing performance at two or more locations at your home.

Yes, in theory, a big antenna in the attic could potentially provide all the signal you need for multiple tvs after repurposing the cable company's rg-6 for OTA reception. You'll need a tv that can receive high vhf (ch 7 to 13) and uhf (ch 14 to 51). The appropriate size depends on your location. Can you post your exact address results from www.tvfool.com to the forum? Make sure you enter the planned height of the antenna above ground level. What type of roof do you have? Asphalt shingles and plywood decking are best for OTA reception. will you be aiming through the roof or out the gables? If aiming through the gables, what is the construction of your walls? Brick or stucco can significantly attenuate OTA signal. Are there nearby evergreen trees between the antenna mount location and the broadcast towers? Evergreen trees greatly reduce tv signal.
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:40 AM   #3
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I will throw in my two cents and then I will get out of here.

My opinion stands that the best place to put a receive antenna is on the outside of the house and not in the attic.

The quality of the coax makes or breaks it when a person connects a good antenna to a whole house antenna system.

Let me explain

The cable company knows this and so they generally use a good quality cable in all of their system - because they do not want to have issues in the future when they do a install.

The problem is - they do not always wire the whole house for you.

Sometimes to make a house more attractive to the buyer or to fulfill the building code requirements - a builder is forced to wire the house for tv cable.
Unfortunately - they are not forced to use a high quality cable or good connectors.

Add to this equasion the fact that sometimes the cable gets pierced by the homeowner or the builder when nails, screws etc is put in the walls and the cable was routed in places where it should not have been.

Once you drive a nail through the center conductor and short out the wire - you are not going to have good reception and it can also drag down the entire system.

Add to that fact that not all splitters are unilateral hence a person can have the best antenna system and good wire and still throw away half of the signal inside of the splitter on a 3+ terminal splitter.
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:03 AM   #4
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Talking Fixed!

I was able to successfully use the in-wall cable TV network to distribute my rabbit ear antenna signal. I did need to add a 10dB gain amplifier (RCA 2-Way Video Signal Amplifier, around $10), and all channels are coming in fine.

I did realize that my upstairs antenna was directly behind a huge 30" tree, so I'm not surprised that there was difficulty getting a signal. From the unobstructed rabbit ear antenna on my main floor I can get a very strong signal for all channels (90ish outta 100). Who would have thought that a $12 Radio Shack antenna would work so well!

Thanks for the suggestions. Take care!
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skydiverMN View Post
I was able to successfully use the in-wall cable TV network to distribute my rabbit ear antenna signal. I did need to add a 10dB gain amplifier (RCA 2-Way Video Signal Amplifier, around $10), and all channels are coming in fine.

I did realize that my upstairs antenna was directly behind a huge 30" tree, so I'm not surprised that there was difficulty getting a signal. From the unobstructed rabbit ear antenna on my main floor I can get a very strong signal for all channels (90ish outta 100). Who would have thought that a $12 Radio Shack antenna would work so well!

Thanks for the suggestions. Take care!
Congrats!

But let this be a lesson to you: You could have been enjoying channel 11 on that TV a couple weeks earlier if you had originally posted your street-level address, topographic maps, at least 4 1024x768 or greater pictures of your house (including one from the roof area pointing in the direction of the broadcast towers, with said towers annotated graphically), your television models and serial numbers, an illustration of all your cabling/connections/splitters/etc with all lengths and age of each piece, as well as schematics highlighting your house's infrastructure in front of and behind your antennas (we'll be applying advanced metallurgic and wood science algorithms to understand the signal dispersion your house imposes on the antennas).

But instead you just tried something and it worked. Consider yourself lucky!
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