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Antenna recommendations for basement TV

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Old 01-14-2009, 04:33 PM   #1
A couch and an HDTV to go please.
 

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Default Antenna recommendations for basement TV

Great site! Lots of great info here. I hope I can get some advice.

I recently purchased an LCD HDTV for my basement. I live in the 45040 zip code and use a cheap set of rabbit ears connected to a converter box on the ground floor and pick up all the locals (in the green zone of the attachment) without problem. When I connected said rabbit ears to the TV downstairs I actually got decent results but had to have the antenna near the ceiling with the dipoles extended. I've tried a number of amplified antennas with mixed results, and again placement without looking dumb is a factor - I plan on wall mounting the TV. Currently I have a flat RCA amplified antenna connected but am only getting about 2/3 of the channels.

I realize the best bet would probably be to hook up an outside antenna. There are actually 2 wall outlets in the basement with coaxial cable inside of them, as well as an old satellite dish outside (on the south side of the house) from the previous owners. I tried hooking up an indoor antenna to the coax from the dish outside and connecting the TV to these coax boxes but I got nothing. I also see some coax running in an unfinished part of the basement to an outlet behind the TV on the ground floor. I tried hooking an antenna up that way and nothing. Since the TV in the basement will be on a wall away from any windows, this rules out the option of running it out that way.

Any suggestions? I'm no great handyman and it seems there has got to be some way to use the existing cabling in the house for an outdoor antenna. Or is there a good indoor option? Thanks for any help you can give!

Brandon
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:02 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcousticFan View Post
Great site! Lots of great info here. I hope I can get some advice.

I recently purchased an LCD HDTV for my basement. I live in the 45040 zip code and use a cheap set of rabbit ears connected to a converter box on the ground floor and pick up all the locals (in the green zone of the attachment) without problem. When I connected said rabbit ears to the TV downstairs I actually got decent results but had to have the antenna near the ceiling with the dipoles extended. I've tried a number of amplified antennas with mixed results, and again placement without looking dumb is a factor - I plan on wall mounting the TV. Currently I have a flat RCA amplified antenna connected but am only getting about 2/3 of the channels.

I realize the best bet would probably be to hook up an outside antenna. There are actually 2 wall outlets in the basement with coaxial cable inside of them, as well as an old satellite dish outside (on the south side of the house) from the previous owners. I tried hooking up an indoor antenna to the coax from the dish outside and connecting the TV to these coax boxes but I got nothing. I also see some coax running in an unfinished part of the basement to an outlet behind the TV on the ground floor. I tried hooking an antenna up that way and nothing. Since the TV in the basement will be on a wall away from any windows, this rules out the option of running it out that way.

Any suggestions? I'm no great handyman and it seems there has got to be some way to use the existing cabling in the house for an outdoor antenna. Or is there a good indoor option? Thanks for any help you can give!

Brandon
Which side of the house is the dish mount? You could prolly take the dish down put a DB2 or DB4 on its' old mounting hardware and reuse the cable that is running into the house... Is this a Dish network or Direct TV dish? if so, the wiring is prolly going to be fine for OTA tv, if it is an older dish, fresh wire, may be needed....
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Old 01-15-2009, 08:46 PM   #3
A couch and an HDTV to go please.
 

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It's on the south side of the house on a ground mount and it's Dish network dish. I can't for the life of me figure out why attaching the antenna to that end and the TV to the coax inside didn't work. Maybe it has to be an outdoor antenna? I'd love to be able to just use that wiring. Do you think if I could get something to work there that I'd get the stations to the north as well? Or would I have to move it? It's near a corner. Thanks for the recommendation on the DB2/4!
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:00 AM   #4
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Brandon,

You need to by-pass the Dish Network components. I don't have dish so can't directly advise on how to do this. Do you have a digital camera? Can you post pictures of where the Dish cable enters the house? What you need to by-pass will either be there under your eaves or just inside the house. When I say by-pass, all I'm talking about is using a cable splicer or short cable to take the satellite equipment out of the cable run.

You may get assistance by posting in the Dish forum on this site. There is another good resource for information on satellite systems. Forum will not allow me to post their name (remove *'s, d*b*s*t*a*l*k*.*c*o*m) If you go to the Directv forum on installation, you can converse with installers who do both Dish and Directv. Very helpful folks. Ask them how to by-pass the Dish gear if it's not obvious by looking closely at it. I have a "goto guy" over there who I know would help you out. Great guy, very knowledgeable, very helpful, and a great teacher! Send me a PM and I'll give you his name.

HTH,

Rick

Last edited by IDRick; 01-16-2009 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IDRick View Post
Brandon,

You need to by-pass the Dish Network components. I don't have dish so can't directly advise on how to do this. Do you have a digital camera? Can you post pictures of where the Dish cable enters the house? What you need to by-pass will either be there under your eaves or just inside the house. When I say by-pass, all I'm talking about is using a cable splicer or short cable to take the satellite equipment out of the cable run.

You may get assistance by posting in the Dish forum on this site. There is another good resource for information on satellite systems. Forum will not allow me to post their name (remove *'s, d*b*s*t*a*l*k*.*c*o*m) If you go to the Directv forum on installation, you can converse with installers who do both Dish and Directv. Very helpful folks. Ask them how to by-pass the Dish gear if it's not obvious by looking closely at it. I have a "goto guy" over there who I know would help you out. Great guy, very knowledgeable, very helpful, and a great teacher! Send me a PM and I'll give you his name.

HTH,

Rick
Rick

I agree pictures would be great...

He should be able to take the dish down (clearly, so long as he is not using it) and hang an antenna there, then make sure their are NO diplexers or multi-LNB switches in his cable run, replace those with type F unions... hook the drop of cable to the DTV/TV and should be golden....
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:57 AM   #6
A couch and an HDTV to go please.
 

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Thanks for all the info, Rick! I'll try to get some pics up today. PM sent on your dish guy.

Brandon
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:48 AM   #7
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I've attached pictures of the outside equipment. The first one is just the dish with the coax going up under the siding. I assumed that this is where it went into the house, but d'oh! I was wrong. The second picture shows it coming up out of the siding and into a connector on the house, connecting to a double coax running inside behind the telephone box. There is another double coax going into the house, and one of those is cut and just hanging and the other is connected to a coax running into the ground (see third pic). The last one just shows the four cables entering the house.

I don't see any other equipment, and I would doubt there is any between the siding and the concrete unless it's some really small connection. I didn't get down on my back and look up there (it's cold today!) but if it's a possibility I can do it. The wall where the cables enter the house is the finished side of the basement (and where I want to connect the TV), so if there is any indoor equipment, I don't see how I could get to it.

Would it be those connectors on the siding that are causing the problem? Thanks again!

Brandon
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File Type: jpg dish.jpg (198.7 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg oustide connection1.jpg (200.8 KB, 45 views)
File Type: jpg ground connection.jpg (216.0 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg house entry.jpg (140.2 KB, 43 views)
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:24 AM   #8
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Thanks for posting pictures Brandon! Can you describe what the dish system looks like just after it enters your home? Is it just cable runs to your tv locations or is there dish equipment first then cable runs?


Thanks,

Rick
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Old 01-17-2009, 02:36 PM   #9
A couch and an HDTV to go please.
 

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I can only see the cables in 2 outlet boxes in the finished part of the basement. Then in the unfinished part there are cables running in the ceiling (the unfinished part is on the opposite side of the finished, so that the finished part is between the satellite and where I can see the cable run) and it runs through to the crawlspace under the family room and up to an outlet there. From what I can see, there is no other equipment in the house. If there is, it's an a wall somewhere.

Brandon
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:12 AM   #10
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Success! Since I discovered there were 5 different cables running into the house, I just started trying them, and it was one that was just dangling free, connected to nothing. I have cheap rabbit ears connected to them and I'm picking up 37 channels, more than my family room TV! After I get an outdoor antenna I'll split it to cables that run in behind the family room TV so I can ditch the indoor rabbit ears.

Now I just need to find a good, inexpensive outdoor antenna to connect, but I'll put that in a separate thread. Thanks for the help, Rick!

Brandon
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:32 AM   #11
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Hey Brandon,

Great news! Wahoo, enjoy the HD!

Best,

Rick
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcousticFan View Post
... I recently purchased an LCD HDTV for my basement. ... connected to a converter box ...
Just curious, but why use the converter box if your TV already has a ATSC tuner in it?
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:06 AM   #13
A couch and an HDTV to go please.
 

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The converter box is on an older analog set on the ground floor, not the new one in the basement.
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Old 08-16-2009, 03:21 PM   #14
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hi, what kind of channels u managed to get?. i live in zip code 55901
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Old 08-16-2009, 04:16 PM   #15
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I'm sitting here shaking my head.

Nothing on this post makes much sense.

It doesn't matter which room of the house the television is located in, it is still a television and the laws of physic's doesn't change, no matter what room it is in or what kind of television it is.

The first indication of good reception is due to the fact that there are a bunch of stations within 20 miles or so of his location. Good!

Now we get into the wiring of the house. Someone here missed the point - when this person said - he tried to hook his television up directly to the dish. The Dish has a LNBF that is designed to receive microwave signals - not UHF television signals. There is no way you could hook up a television to a sat dish and expect it to receive any OTA signals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_dish

To figure out which wire does what, all you had to do is dead short the wire on one end and then check the other end with a OHM meter.
Which ever wire had a dead short on the other end would be the wire you dead shorted. If there was more than one wire dead shorted, then either they are connected to some kind of splitter or the wire is junk.

The next point is - you cannot connect rabbit ears antennas to a F terminal and expect it to produce a good television signal. There is a lot of afroamerican engineering going on here.

You have a couple of low VHF signals and the rest are are UHF.

The signals are also in two different directions.

Your best bet is to install a outdoors antenna. Not a Wingman or other mobile home antenna - and not on the dish J pole.

The Winegard 7694P would work well in your area.

A antenna rotor would probably help you to receive a couple of extra signals outside of your 20 mile local radius.

I would suggest that you get rid of the Dish cable - because unless you can pull enough out of the walls to reach the antenna above the roof, it will be too short and the butt connector would have 3 db of loss and you would be giving up half the signal before it ever reached the house.

Proper antennas and proper wires and proper aim is the correct way to receive OTA television signals.

Scabbing something together and hoping that it will work for a while will produce nothing but heartache in the end.
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