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Novice needs help choosing an antenna

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Old 02-03-2009, 10:06 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Northern WV
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Default Novice needs help choosing an antenna

I'm a complete novice and I'm hoping some kind folks here can help me choose an antenna. We'd been doing just fine with our rabbit ears, but with the DTV converter boxes, we get practically nothing from the local channels (we also have Dish Network).

AntennaWeb says I need a medium directional with pre-amp to get most of our channels. I want one that can go into our attic, and that we don't have to adjust every time we change stations.

Any recommendations for an affordable choice? Should I just Google it and shop for price?

BTW - No worries about trees or other obstructions - we're in an open field on top of a hill, well off the beaten path.

Many thanks!
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Old 02-04-2009, 12:25 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. I just joined a few days ago myself and have found it very helpful with lots of extremely knowledgeable people who are more than willing to help...but you will need to provide them with more information.

If you go to tvfool.com and put in your information that it asks for and then save that to your computer you can attach it to your next post and the members can look at it and make recommendations. They use that chart to figure out what you need in the way of antennas
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:26 AM   #3
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Default TVFool results

Hi slong115! Thanks for the welcome and the tip.

So, I went to TVFool and did the TV Signal Analysis. Was that the right tool to use?

The results were generated as an image, which I've attached here. But I have no idea what any of it means!

Hopefully someone can help decipher this. My main local station says they're switching on 2/17, regardless of the new extension.

Thanks again!
Attached Images
File Type: png Radar-All2.png (117.4 KB, 19 views)
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:40 AM   #4
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Im using the Terk HD antenna. I live about 10 miles from signal sources with small hills lots of trees and houses inbetween. The analog signal is watchable but grainy and some snow. The digital is crystal clear and has 5 out of 5 bars on signal strength. It costs about $40 at newegg.com. Its small and made for indoors with signal booster (plug into the wall) its also omni directional so you can point it at weaker stations for better signal. Its not as good as an external but it gets what I want. Here is a link.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882145017
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:54 AM   #5
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If I'm reading the TVFool report correctly, though, it looks like I'm more than 10 miles from every channel on my list. Would something like that model be powerful enough? I couldn't find anything on the product specs about the range.
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Old 02-06-2009, 08:24 AM   #6
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Greetings NewHorizon1,
You got a reprieve, the Changeover has been reset to June 12 !

I hate to say this, but, your chart indicates that your viewing experience is not very good.

I see you've listed your Antenna height at 15ft, an Outside installation?
You might go back to TVF, and type in 20 or 25 feet, just to see what a little more height would do for you. (sorta play with it )

Given what i see on the Chart, you really need an Antenna that reaches out 45+ miles, and those stations are all over the place. Sorta indicates a Rotator too. Most Omni's just don't have the range to make the trip like you need.

Try playing with the Antenna Height a little, and get back, tell/show us what it did.

Have a good Day !
S.W.
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FTA: Traxis DBS1500, Spitfire LNB 0.5 Mod ASC321, Hotdish75. @ -95.3 W.
PTV: NTSC/QAM: Comcast, Sci. Atlanta 3250HD, JVC DR-MX1SU.
OTA: ATSC: Rad Shack VU-90XR (Attic Mt), Winegard HDA-100, DTVPal DVR, Sony RDR-VXD655, WinTV HVR-850-1200.
D/A: Samsung H260F, Winegard RC-DT09A, DTVPal Plus.
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:32 PM   #7
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The change over has not been reset to June 12. Both the Senate and the House have passes a bill making June 12 the absolute last day to broadcast in analog. Stations will retain the option to end analog early if they chose to and file to proper paperwork with the FCC. Approximately 60 percent of the stations have indicated that they will end analog on February 17th. The bill HAS NOT BEEN SIGNED by the president. The president is seeking public comment though Monday February 9th. The earliest he would sign the bill into law, if he chooses too is Monday afternoon.
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:25 PM   #8
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My local station is changing 2/17 regardless of POTUS signing the bill. We've been just fine with rabbit ears for the last two years (we just built the house) and I'm really hoping to put the antenna in the attic. I realize I'm probably looking at one of the big shiny ones with the ribs (how's that for some novice lingo!). But I've never seen them rated by the miles they reach. Where can I look?
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:13 PM   #9
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Undoubtedly, you are going to want the Pittsburgh stations, which lie about 45 miles from your location, and you are going to need a fringe-area VHF-high-band + UHF antenna to get a reliable digital signal at your house.

You need an antenna like a Winegard HD-7697P with a Winegard HDP-269 preamplifier mounted on your roof. If you want the WV stations, too, I suggest using a rotator like a Channel Master 9521a, which will allow you to aim the antenna at different cities for the best reception. If you go with anything less, you are going to be disappointed...

http://www.channelmaster.com
http://www.winegard.com
http://www.pctinternational.com/chan...stallation.pdf
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:15 PM   #10
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NewHorizon1.
I feel pretty comfortable, that there will be a reprieve, but anyway....

Ok, let's look at you Attic.
Do you know just how much headroom (floor to the Peak in feet) ?
Also, if you know the Roof Pitch in degrees, that would be helpful in determining just how much room you have up there.

I made a Drawing a while back, of Attic Mounts (Rotator and Stationary). Take a look at it, and you'll see that it takes a fair little stack of Equipment, to get everything installed up there.
Attic Mount for TV Antenna

Understand, when installing any Antenna in an Attic, you're going to get a signal loss. Hard to say just how much, some say it's nearly 50%, but from personal experience, I just don't think it's quite that bad.

So given that, you'll need an Antenna with a bit more Power, than if you were to do a Roof Mount. Given the distances to your outlying stations (45+ mi), I'm going to say that you need an Antenna, with about a 60 mile rating, to make the distance through the Shingles. That's getting pretty long, boom length on one of those may be from 60" to 80". Now given that length, you can see how much room you will need, to rotate it up in the Attic. (LOTS!)

Now on the Rotator...
There's basically two types. One, you have a separate control, you set where you want it for each station.
The other, is controlled by a Receiver, and memorizes the circle of Channels, and when you punch in a Channel number, it goes to it automatically.
This type additionally requires any Splitters you have directly in the path in the system, to be Power Passive.

About that Automatic control...
Not just every TV or Converter Box has it. When choosing a Converter Box, there are numerous features, and not all Box's have all features. There are probably several Lists of Box's available, but, this one is very clear, and, all of the Box's listed, are Coupon eligible.

To see a list of the Features for the Converter Box’s, click on the following link….
Converter Box Features
Then, in the box on the right, select “Converter Boxes – Product Features”,
then click on “Compare all Models”.
The Features are listed in Columns, with a Check Mark in the Box, that has that Feature. Rotator Compatible is to the right.

Additionally, there are other Features on the Box's which you should consider. Most popular are, Passthrough, Program Guide Length, VCR Timer and Audio Quality.

Channel Master and Winegard are quality Antennas, but, there are others too which may fill the bill. That's a lot of information to plow through, and if you'll get me some information on your Attic Space, I'll try to shorten the list for you.

Have a good Day !
S.W.

PS: Disregard all that other junk I wrote in Forum Feedback, just to get 5 Post, where I could put Links in this one.
__________________
Good Golf good HD and anything else that makes you happy !
FTA: Traxis DBS1500, Spitfire LNB 0.5 Mod ASC321, Hotdish75. @ -95.3 W.
PTV: NTSC/QAM: Comcast, Sci. Atlanta 3250HD, JVC DR-MX1SU.
OTA: ATSC: Rad Shack VU-90XR (Attic Mt), Winegard HDA-100, DTVPal DVR, Sony RDR-VXD655, WinTV HVR-850-1200.
D/A: Samsung H260F, Winegard RC-DT09A, DTVPal Plus.
AUD: JVC RX-8020VBK, RShack LQ-18, Philco Cab-12, KLH S-PR04.

If you’re not watching FREE TV, you should !
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