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Austin: Antenna Advice Needed

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Old 11-22-2019, 08:10 PM   #1  
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Default Austin: Antenna Advice Needed

I've decided to cut the cord and turn to OTA reception, but I am stuck in analysis paralysis when choosing an antenna. I would appreciate suggestions on the best antenna for me.

I already use Windows Media Center, and I've recently purchased a SiliconDust Quatro.

I understand that I'll need VHF. My house has radiant barrier on the underside of the roof, so I think a roof mount antenna will be needed.

Here is the tvfool report: (I can't post URLs yet)
www dot tvfool dot com/?option=com_wr...9038c461d4888e

Most of the stations are closely grouped in Austin to the south. I'll need VHF even for those stations. Should I just be happy if I get those, or with the right antenna can I also get some of the stations north around 25 degrees that are about 60 miles away. Can the same antenna receive both north and south? Several are to the north are VHF, and I thought that VHF is general limited to 35 miles.

I didn't think a Yagi style antenna was needed, so I've been considering the following:
- Antenna Direct DB8E with the VHF-1 add-on. Does it help to point one bowtie pair north? The stations in the north looked to be mostly VHF. I didn't think "pointing" a VHF antenna would really help much here. I've heard that because this antenna is so big, it has quite a wind load.
- ClearStream 4V with VHF-1 add-on
- Winegard Elite 7550V - good reviews on reception, but it is mostly plastic and broke in assembly for one reviewer
- Antop "big boy" - I'm not sure of the difference between the AT-401BV and AT-800SBSJ

Does anyone have opinions? I am leaning towards the ClearStream 4V. Are there others more suitable?

Thanks
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Old 11-25-2019, 06:34 PM   #2  
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbq_bob View Post
I've decided to cut the cord and turn to OTA reception, but I am stuck in analysis paralysis when choosing an antenna.
Welcome to the forum, bbq-bob. Thank you for the short link to your report which I think is this:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...9038c461d4888e



I am familiar with analysis paralysis at a decision point; it's affecting me right now.

Your signals are quite strong, so I suggest a more modest antenna like the ClearStream 2V. It is being replaced by the CS 2MAX which doesn't have a reflector for UHF. If you get the 2MAX, I suggest adding the accessory reflector. The "V" indicates a VHF dipole, which is the same as the one that comes with the 4V for KTBC Fox on real channel 7.

For comparison, here is a signal report from rabbitears.info, which should have a more accurate list of channels:
https://www.rabbitears.info/searchma...study_id=30635



Quote:
I already use Windows Media Center, and I've recently purchased a SiliconDust Quatro.
I usually use a TV for reception, but I bought an HDHR4-2US Connect Duo (gray) to learn more about network tuners. I like the GUI app that is included in the software to check the signal strength and quality. I have WMC but prefer to use VLC.





Quote:
Most of the stations are closely grouped in Austin to the south. I'll need VHF even for those stations. Should I just be happy if I get those, or with the right antenna can I also get some of the stations north around 25 degrees that are about 60 miles away.
Just be happy with Austin.

Quote:
I didn't think a Yagi style antenna was needed, so I've been considering the following:
- Antenna Direct DB8E with the VHF-1 add-on. Does it help to point one bowtie pair north? The stations in the north looked to be mostly VHF. I didn't think "pointing" a VHF antenna would really help much here. I've heard that because this antenna is so big, it has quite a wind load.
That's an excellent antenna, but much more than you need. It is possible to overload an HDHR tuner.
Quote:
- ClearStream 4V with VHF-1 add-on
It would work, but still a little more than you need unless there are obstructions in the signal path like trees or buildings.

I leave the final decision up to you.
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File Type: jpg bbq_bobHDFreport.JPG (187.8 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg bbq_bobHDFreportRE2.jpg (108.5 KB, 20 views)

Last edited by rabbit73; 11-25-2019 at 07:11 PM..
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Old 11-27-2019, 05:29 PM   #3  
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Thanks for the advice rabbit73.

I didn't realize the 2MAX and 4MAX replaced the ClearStream 2 and 4 antennas. Do the newer ones offer better reception? They look like downgrades since they have more plastic. And after adding the optional reflector which is standard on the prior products, they are a good deal more expensive too. Is there any reason that I should not look for old stock on the ClearStream 2V?
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Old 11-27-2019, 05:55 PM   #4  
It's the Antenna!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbq_bob View Post
Thanks for the advice rabbit73.

I didn't realize the 2MAX and 4MAX replaced the ClearStream 2 and 4 antennas. Do the newer ones offer better reception? They look like downgrades since they have more plastic. And after adding the optional reflector which is standard on the prior products, they are a good deal more expensive too. Is there any reason that I should not look for old stock on the ClearStream 2V?
I think the performance of the 2MAX with reflector is about the same as the 2V. It is my understanding that the redesign was to make assembly easier. I see no reason to avoid the 2V. It's discounted and Antennas Direct has a good warranty. If a part is bad, they will replace it.
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