GETTING STARTED WITH OVER-THE-AIR TV - The FAQ's
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GETTING STARTED WITH OVER-THE-AIR TV - The FAQ's


This is a discussion on GETTING STARTED WITH OVER-THE-AIR TV - The FAQ's within the DTV | HDTV Reception and Antenna Discussion forums, part of the Over-the-Air (Antenna TV) category.

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  1. #1
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    GETTING STARTED WITH OVER-THE-AIR TV - The FAQ's

    When you consider installing a personally owned Antenna System, to receive local Free HD/SD TV Channels, it is/will be important to you, an Installer, or anyone who might help you with the project, if you take the time to answer/know this information up front.

    The following questions are an example, of those which should be known, and quite likely to be ask by someone assisting you, when posting questions about your system. They then are available to be copied/pasted into your post.

    One may copy/paste the entire text of this Post into your Word Processor, where you may add links to any existing equipment you have, or any other information which you feel may be necessary, for a System Recommendation, to analyze a problem with reception, or installation.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    General Questionnaire for an OTA (Free TV) System Installation

    What is your primary objective (check the line applicable) :
    I don’t want to spend much, just want a few Local Stations:___.
    I want as many as I can reasonably get:___.
    I want the best system I can, to replace my Cable/Satellite Service:___.
    I want to get EVERYTHING I can, cost is NO object:___.

    Main Assembly:
    What kind of Terrestrial Antenna do you presently have:
    (Make/Model/None): ____. ____.

    Is the Antenna to be/or installed:
    On top of your TV (same Room), Attic, Rooftop or Pole: _____.

    If inside (same room) on which floor is the Viewing Area:
    First, Second, which: _______Floor.

    If in Attic, Roof or outside separate Mast/Pole:
    How high above ground is your Antenna installed/proposed:
    .____ft.

    Do you have an Antenna Rotator:
    (Make/Model/None): ____. ____.

    Are you presently using a Pre-Amplifier:
    (Make/Model/None): ____. ____.

    Interior:
    How many linear Cable feet is it between your Antenna and the most far TV:
    .___ft.

    How many TV sets will be/are presently being used, on this system:
    .___#.

    How many Splitters are in use in your system:
    Number & Qty of outlets for each?

    Are you using a Distribution Amplifier:
    (Make/Model/None): ____. ____.


    Additional Information:
    Are you/do you plan to integrate Cable or Satellite Services with this system:
    Yes/No ___.

    Is there anything else you would like to provide concerning construction, obstructions or geographical issues?

    Do you have a current Chart for the Free Local TV Channels in your Area?
    If not, follow the link below, to acquire that information.
    http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?opti...pper&Itemid=29
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Have a good Day !
    S.W. Houston

    Last edited by SWHouston; 12-12-2013 at 11:39 PM.

  2. #2
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    Good one SW. Should be a sticky.

  3. #3
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    Stickied....

    Hope you don't mind SW, I expanded the acronym of "OTA" in title of this thread to over-the-air.

  4. #4
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    After a $140 cable bill, I told my wife there's a better way with OTA TV. Now she is expecting me to deliver her HD quality channels and I am stuck at the 'which is the best outdoor/attic antenna to use' (Amazon seems to have quite a lot to choose from)--- was hoping someone could give me some advice. Here is the link to tvfool where I inputted my address for station locations and hope someone can use that to guide me in the right direction. Thanks!
    TV Fool

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dohewilao View Post
    After a $140 cable bill, I told my wife there's a better way with OTA TV. Now she is expecting me to deliver her HD quality channels and I am stuck at the 'which is the best outdoor/attic antenna to use' (Amazon seems to have quite a lot to choose from)--- was hoping someone could give me some advice. Here is the link to tvfool where I inputted my address for station locations and hope someone can use that to guide me in the right direction. Thanks!
    TV Fool
    I'd think that a Winegard HD7694P pointed dead south would get most of what you need and want. The one exception is your local Ion which is coming from the northwest. It's the strongest station, but, as with lots of Ion stations is at a different location than the main broadcast location. Given it's strength it may come in fine, on the other hand it maybe a problem. Outdoors above roof line would be best, but an attic mount is definitely not out of the question if that's what you want/need.
    Last edited by dkreichen1968; 10-03-2012 at 01:43 PM.
    Snappy Dan Reminds You:

    DO NOT install antennas anywhere where they could fall into overhead power lines!!! An antenna falling into power lines may result in electrical shock or death. All outdoor antennas must be grounded in accordance with the National Electrical Code (NEC). Be careful while working on roofs or towers. Always use appropriate safety precautions!!!

  6. #6
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    Great! Thank you for your advise- ordered antenna. Is there an amplifier that I should consider or wait until I install the antenna? Thanks again!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dohewilao View Post
    Great! Thank you for your advise- ordered antenna. Is there an amplifier that I should consider or wait until I install the antenna? Thanks again!
    I definitely wouldn't get an amp until I found that I needed one. You should have around 20 dB of signal to mess around with on WSB (good for a 4 way split and a lot of cable). To figure that out add the NM(dB) (Noise Margin) to the gain of the antenna on that channel (you can find the specs on line) then figure up your loss (4 dB for a two way split, 8 dB for a 4 way split, and 1 dB for every 20 ft of cable). Figure 4 dB of loss if the antenna is mounted in the attic.
    Snappy Dan Reminds You:

    DO NOT install antennas anywhere where they could fall into overhead power lines!!! An antenna falling into power lines may result in electrical shock or death. All outdoor antennas must be grounded in accordance with the National Electrical Code (NEC). Be careful while working on roofs or towers. Always use appropriate safety precautions!!!

  8. #8
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    Now she is expecting me to deliver her HD quality channels
    Your TVfool looks good. I expect you'll deliver on the HD promise. Not all OTA channels are HD, but there's enough. A lot of the SD channels show old TV shows that are not HD, anyway.

  9. #9
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    Hello all. I "cut the cord" a few days ago and have had mixed results. Too bad I didn't find this excellent resource before I took the plunge. Anyway, I purchased a CM 3020 (big sucker) but I was able to just fit it in the attic.. Its just lying on the floor and pointing apprx 220*. Based on my location, TV Fool
    is this the best set-up and direction? I really hate it mount it on the roof but can if it's absolutely necessary. Id also like to split the coax but fear weakening the signal. Any feed back would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by summerski View Post
    Hello all. I "cut the cord" a few days ago and have had mixed results. Too bad I didn't find this excellent resource before I took the plunge. Anyway, I purchased a CM 3020 (big sucker) but I was able to just fit it in the attic.. Its just lying on the floor and pointing apprx 220*. Based on my location, TV Fool
    is this the best set-up and direction? I really hate it mount it on the roof but can if it's absolutely necessary. Id also like to split the coax but fear weakening the signal. Any feed back would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!
    Did you try anything else (like a rabbitear loop combo antenna) before you bought the 3020? In theory you're in the green with lots of channels coming from 230 degrees magnetic. One thing to make sure of is that the small element end of the antenna is pointed toward the stations and not the long element end. What stations are you getting? What stations are you having problems with? That big antenna should give you lots of signal even in the attic.
    Snappy Dan Reminds You:

    DO NOT install antennas anywhere where they could fall into overhead power lines!!! An antenna falling into power lines may result in electrical shock or death. All outdoor antennas must be grounded in accordance with the National Electrical Code (NEC). Be careful while working on roofs or towers. Always use appropriate safety precautions!!!

  11. #11
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    That 3020 surely should make the trip, even when installed in the Attic. You're hitting most all of the major channels with that direction, save for MyN. You could install a second Antenna like the Antennas Direct 43XG pointed toward your 76 to catch it and possibly a couple other channels. The best way to determine what to do, or how it will effect your reception is, get your basic system up and working, THEN make/give us a goal to reach, and we can then say what will be needed to achieve it, if possible.
    Last edited by SWHouston; 01-10-2013 at 10:16 PM.

  12. #12
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    First off, thanks so much for the reply's. I'm doing my best to get my system dialed in and I can't thank y'all enough for the help. Ok, first off here is a pic of the CH 3020 and how I have it angled at approx 218 degrees. I'm not able to angle it at 232 due to my narrow attic.

    (make sure of is that the small element end of the antenna is pointed toward the stations and not the long element end)

    photo.JPG

    Is this correct?

    As soon as I get the angle correct, I'd love to explore the idea of using 2 antennas. Would I just use a splitter feeding both antennas into one line? Can 2 antennas in my attic cause any type of interference? Should they be far apart?

    As soon as I get this systems working good, my buddy wants to order a antenna and cut his cord as well. I'll post his tv fool info soon.

    Thanks again.

    William

  13. #13
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    Is this correct?
    Yes, that is correct. You may have done better with a smaller antenna that fit in your attic since the predicted strengths of your channels are quite good. What channels are you getting? What channels are you having a problem with?
    Snappy Dan Reminds You:

    DO NOT install antennas anywhere where they could fall into overhead power lines!!! An antenna falling into power lines may result in electrical shock or death. All outdoor antennas must be grounded in accordance with the National Electrical Code (NEC). Be careful while working on roofs or towers. Always use appropriate safety precautions!!!

  14. #14
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    Either that or two separate antennas diplexed
    nbound-au is a qualified Antenna, Satellite, and MATV installer.

    I live in DVB-T land.


  15. #15
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    William, I sure wish you had a better way to see if your Antenna was pointed directly at the Stations. Do any of your TV/box/whatever have a built in Signal Strength Meter ? If not, Meters only cost about $25 or so, and if your buddy is going to do a setup too, he may go half of the cost on one with you, then you both would have the best signals possible ! Some people use a Splitter in reverse to combine two Antennas, but, they make "Combiners" that are better suited (IMHO) for doing that. They're about $10 or so. Concerning the distances/placement in the Attic, given that you'll be pointing them in different directions, just make sure that they are on the same side of the Attic as the stations are. ie: your 3020 should be on the south to west side, and the one that you get for MyN should be on the north to east side. That way all the A/C or other metal stuff you got up there, will be behind the Antennas.
    Last edited by SWHouston; 01-12-2013 at 08:03 AM.

  16. #16
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    Update.

    I was able to make some adjustments to the antenna (minor bends) so its now pointing 230. I split the coax and now have 2 tvs hooked up, one of which shows signal strength. So now the major networks are reading 50-100%. I think NBC is the weakest but at 50% I'm getting absolutely zero digital noise. I guess the only channel I can't pull in is 26.1 or ION. I do get ION Life with a fairly strong signal. So I have to consider if a second atenna is worth ION.

    Both football games were flawless last night but it's a shame Peyton Manning wasn't flawless.

    I guess my question now is...is 50% signal strength satisfactory? Is ION worth a second antenna?

    As for my buddy down the street, Im thinking a CH Master 2020 will get him all the stations I get for less $ than the 3020 Any other recommendations would be appreciated.

    Thanks again.

    William

  17. #17
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    I guess my question now is...is 50% signal strength satisfactory? Is ION worth a second antenna?
    As long as your picture doesn't break up, you're good. Digital TV is "all-or-nothing" so if you have no problems you're good. (give it a few months - changing seasons DO affect reception!) If you can get Qubo (an ION subchannel) and have kids, ION may be worth it.
    As for my buddy down the street, Im thinking a CH Master 2020 will get him all the stations I get for less $ than the 3020 Any other recommendations would be appreciated.
    Will he be putting it on the roof or in the attic?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrPogi View Post

    Will he be putting it on the roof or in the attic?
    Attic.

    TV fool report....

    TV Fool


    My fingers are crossed till spring. Yes I do have kids so a second antenna is likely.

    Thanks

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by summerski View Post
    Update.
    I guess my question now is...is 50% signal strength satisfactory? Is ION worth a second antenna?

    I guess the only channel I can't pull in is 26.1 or ION. I do get ION Life with a fairly strong signal. So I have to consider if a second atenna is worth ION

    William
    , like Pogi said, if you're not getting any pixilation and the audio is clear, 50% is ok. But concerning the ION...The ION Life you're referring to must be your channel 31.1, and the only other ION listed is well down on the list at your channel 26.1. That station is right at 70 miles away, and I'm not sure that even with a very large UHF Antenna, that you'd be able to get it with any reliability. I think if a second Antenna is considered, you should go for the MyN (59.1). You could probably get the MyN with a 42XG at http://www.solidsignal.com/search/sr...art=0&x=48&y=4 It would take a 91XG at http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...u=853748001910 to "maybe" get the ION. Check the prices and SIZES out !
    Last edited by SWHouston; 01-13-2013 at 12:43 PM.

  20. #20
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    Thanks SWHouston. You think the 91XG will pull in all the channels as my CM 3020 for my buddy down the street? If not what do you recommend? The price is right on. Tks.

    Now a friend of his wants to cut the cord. The cableless disease is spreading.

    Thanks again.

    Willam.

 

 

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