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Old 09-19-2007, 10:21 AM   #31
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Thank you, that makes sense to me. I have a post in another forum that hasn't received any attention yet, but it basically asks if it's worth getting the DirecTV HD channels with their purported 'HD-Lite', which I don't even know if it's still an issue. I understand that OTA is the best quality I can have, but I would only get certain local channels. I can have both with a separate antenna and cable, but the main question is: is DirecTV a quality broadcast? Also, I still don't have a good idea of what kind of antenna to use, I see so many different kinds with different materials and elements and constructions that I'm too confused to make a critical decision.
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Old 09-19-2007, 05:30 PM   #32
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Give us your zipcode, and living situation ( own house, condo, renter, etc...)and we can make some intelligent suggestions.
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Old 09-20-2007, 12:46 PM   #33
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Rent two floor house, tall trees in the surrounding area but not really rural. Zip code is 12866.
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Old 09-20-2007, 04:25 PM   #34
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You are in a moderate signal area in Saratoga Springs, about 35 miles from the Albany transmitters, but don't have a line-of-site shot to them. You also have 2 VHF digital transmitters in your market (NBC and FOX). If you can get permission from your landlord for an outdoor antenna, I would suggest a Channel Master 4228 and a Winegard YA-1713 high-band Yagi aimed southwest at the Heidelberg Mountains transmitters. I would also suggest using a Channel Master Titan 7777 preamplifier, which has separate UHF and VHF inputs, making connection of the two antennas a breeze. You should get good, solid reception on all of the Albany digitals with that installation. Once you see OTA reception, DirecTV HD Lite is going to look pretty lame!
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:39 PM   #35
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Sweet! Thanks for this valuable direction. Question: (risking sounding like Dwight Schrute from The Office) I thought DTV didn't exactly mean that the signal was broadcast in HD, but it could. How do I ultimately know? It'd also be lame to get this setup and risk falling from the ceiling just for a digital SD broadcast... :-)

I found the Channel Master, it's quite expensive. Would a 4-bay version be adequate, or must I spring for the nicer one? And what's a Yagi??

Insofar as the landlord's permission, I thought there was a clause in the Telecom. Act of 1996 that said that I had the right to install an antenna less than a meter wide without getting permission. (http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html)

I might still have to keep HD-Lite so I can get the extra content, it'd be hard to watch Days of Our Lives and General Hospital all day. You ever watched HD-Lite? How does it fare?

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Old 09-20-2007, 06:53 PM   #36
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The issue about renters putting up antennas is a bit less clear, but it never hurts to ask. Most network prime-time programming, and most sports programming is in HD, and all of the stations in the Albany market are HD capable. Expect that you will be able to see everything that is broadcast in HD from the local channels. Not ALL programming is HD, and many of the reality shows on primetime are NOT HD, but almost all filmed programs are.
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Old 09-20-2007, 10:16 PM   #37
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What about my question about the equipment you recommended and the quality of HD Lite? If it sucks I'd like to cancel now before the tech shows up to install the new dish and receiver.
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Old 09-22-2007, 06:07 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerbangs View Post
I would suggest a Channel Master 4228 and a Winegard YA-1713 high-band Yagi aimed southwest at the Heidelberg Mountains transmitters.
That suggestion, while an excellent configuration for 2007, won't get CBS on channel 6 in 2009.
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Old 09-22-2007, 08:55 AM   #39
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So what do you suggest for the long run?
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Old 09-22-2007, 02:24 PM   #40
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So what do you suggest for the long run?
Where do you live in Saratoga?

www.antennaweb.org or www.tvfool.com are the resources to determine the right antenna.
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Old 09-22-2007, 11:51 PM   #41
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George street, about two blocks from the practice track. Two floor house, rental, no attic, just a "vaulted" ceiling. Most windows don't have a metal screen so I don't have to worry about the Faraday cage effect.
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:58 AM   #42
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George street, about two blocks from the practice track. Two floor house, rental, no attic, just a "vaulted" ceiling. Most windows don't have a metal screen so I don't have to worry about the Faraday cage effect.
The Saratoga practice track is line of sight to the digital towers. The Winegard HD7080P antenna would work if mounted outdoors. For outdoor use, Winegard antennas are more rugged than most.

Indoors is harder to predict. To do a neat all channel indoor installation without an attic isn't easy. Most all-channel antennas such as the Channel Master 3017 will will occupy a large section of the room. A preamp for either of these would be the Winegard HDP-269.

Let's try something with less volume: How about this for VHF? http://www.warrenelectronics.com/antennas/cs600.htm
Hang it from the ceiling.
This for UHF:
http://www.warrenelectronics.com/antennas/4221.htm
Stick it in the window, or hang it from the window sill outdoors on the side of the house. (Use Ivy from a window box to disguise it.)
http://www.hooksandlattice.com/windowbox30.html
A Winegard AP-2870 preamp will add the two antennas together.
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:27 AM   #43
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All good advice from TowerGuy! I was not sure if WRGB-DT was going back to channel 6 after the transition. Woe to anyone who tries low-band VHF digital!
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Old 09-25-2007, 05:57 PM   #44
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All good advice from TowerGuy! I was not sure if WRGB-DT was going back to channel 6 after the transition. Woe to anyone who tries low-band VHF digital!
Low Band VHF does have a bad reputation. Much of that stems from problems at WWMT in Western Michigan and WBBM in Chicago. Those two 2/3 pairs significantly interfere with each other.

Channel 6 and channels 2/3 are very different. The noise on channel 2 is about 4-5 db higher than channel 6. Channel 2 signals tend to propagate further, causing even more interference. Finally, the ground tends to elevate the man beam of the receive antenna on low band. That effect is several db worse on channel 2 than channel 6. In sum, channel 2 has an approximate 10 db dis-advantage.

Finally, the lore of 4228's working for VHF, the idea that all DTV is UHF, and the allure of the Silver Sensor are myths that cause more problems than they solve.
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:51 PM   #45
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I have my eye set on two UHF/VHF combo antennas, the CM3016 and the CM3020. Are these good performers? Is it a good idea to have a combo antenna instead of mixing the signals in the preamp? In case you guys forgot the plots for my digital feeds, here's the .PNG again. Two story house, good amount of trees around. Some tall houses, some built out of concrete, my house has aluminum siding.

Maybe someone out there has a suggestion for a combo antenna that's not real heavy and will perform well for my area (don't want to die installing it, and the weather around here can be severe).

Oh, the most important channels for me are the NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, FOX feeds coming from the same area in the south-south-west.
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