New member with TV FOOL results. Candidate for an antenna?
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New member with TV FOOL results. Candidate for an antenna?


This is a discussion on New member with TV FOOL results. Candidate for an antenna? within the DTV | HDTV Reception and Antenna Discussion forums, part of the Over-the-Air (Antenna TV) category.

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  1. #1
    DTVUSA Jr. Member
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    New member with TV FOOL results. Candidate for an antenna?

    Hello there,

    I'm thinking of dropping my cable TV. It will halve my bill for TV/PHONE/INTERNET. I'm not happy with the complexity of the installation, remote, complexity of the remote and the GUI, and especially with the "on demand" movie selection. I dropped netflix and picked up Charter's cable mostly to use the on demand movies feature. After getting it all installed I find that there are, in total, less than 55 titles to choose from.... and I have never even heard of 75 percent of them.

    Anyway, I'll probably rejoin Netflix for their 7.99/mo package, which was 800 percent better than the crap Charter offers for on demand offerings that are included in the base package price.

    My television viewing tastes are VERY simple. I only like a few programs that are offered on the major networks and non of the premium content, like HBO, Smithsonian channel, etc, were included in the Basic Charter package anyway. So I'd be very happy to get the basic networks and PBS via Antenna and save 65 dollars a month by dropping my cable television connection.

    So am I a good candidate for this? I live in West Michigan. Grand Haven. 14 mi from the lake. Pretty level landscape. Don't mind putting an antenna in the attic or a small one on the roof.

    http://s802.photobucket.com/albums/y...0390625000.png

    (the file was too large to upload. Uploading from my desktop resulted in resolution that was too poor to read clearly. Please let me know if you are unable to open the file)

    I really can't interpret that data well. This is a relatively well populated area. The stations to the north east are probably coming from in town, about a mile away. Those stations to the southeast are probably coming out of Grand Rapids or Allendale about 10 to 20 miles away.

    Thanks for any advice here. If I'm a decent candidate for OTA, how much luck do you think I might have with a DIY antenna? I'm not reluctant to get the wire, foil, solder, etc out.

    Thanks again,
    Brad.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by frascati; 03-01-2012 at 02:18 PM.

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  3. #2
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    It's actually easier to copy the link in BOLD at the top of the TVfool results page and paste it here.

    Anyway... it looks like you have 2 sets of transmitters about 90 degrees apart, and there's a few VHF channels there. Your biggest challenge will be to get one of the 2 CBS stations.

    A couple ideas:
    1> A single UHF/VHF-high combo, pointed to the SE. Add a rotor. It will add another $100 to your installation, and also require you to turn the antenna to get all channels. But you <should> get all networks.

    2> An antennas Direct DB8 Amazon.com: Antennas Direct Db8 Multidirectional Hd Intended For People Great Distances: Electronics is really two UHF antennas that can be pointed in slightly different directions. Point one towards NE, other towards SE. Now, while not designed for VHF, it may pick up one of the PBS stations. If either CBS station comes in, you would have all your channels without having to turn any antennas. If not, you will have to add a VHF-hi antenna pointed straight at your CBS station.

    Either of these requires a pretty large antenna, because you're fairly far from any CBS station, and they're VHF.

    I'll defer to the rest of the DTVusa crew now, and let them give their input.
    Last edited by MrPogi; 03-01-2012 at 04:06 PM.

  4. #3
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    I agree with MrPogi's option 1, but I doubt you need the rotor. Other than WZZM, which is your strongest signal anyway and ABC is duplicated on WOTV, there is nothing to your northeast that you can't get from your southeast.

    W17DF-D repeats WXMI (FOX)
    WOOD-46 repeats WOOD-7 (NBC)
    WOMS repeats WXSP (My Network TV, which is also on WOOD 8-2)
    W42CB-D repeats WXMI (FOX)
    I doubt you will receive WCMU or WWTV

    And WMKG is an analog My Family TV affiliate, so I doubt that is of any concern.

    At the end of the day, with a single high-VHF and UHF combo antenna aimed southeast, I would expect you to receive:

    WWMT-8
    3-1 CBS
    3-2 CW

    WOOD-7
    8-1 NBC
    8-2 My

    WZZM-13 (Probably)
    13-1 ABC
    13-2 Weather

    WXSP-15 (Probably)
    15-1 My Network TV
    15-2 Weather

    WXMI-19
    17-1 Fox
    17-2 Antenna TV
    17-3 This TV

    WGVU-11
    35-1 PBS
    35-2 Create
    35-3 MHz Worldview
    35-4 Events Channel (audio of WGVU-AM)

    WOTV-20
    41-1 ABC
    41-2 The Cool TV

    WTLJ-24
    54-1 TCT-SD
    54-2 TCT-HD
    54-3 TCT Family
    54-4 La Fuente (Spanish)

    WLLA-45 (Probably)
    64-1 Religious
    64-2 RTV
    64-3 FamilyNet

    I am sure others have opinions on this as well. Don't hesitate to chime in!

    - Trip
    N4MJC

    Comments are my own and not that of my employer or anyone else.

    RabbitEars

    "Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand..." - Rush "Witch Hunt"

  5. #4
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    Frascati,

    Regarding Mr Pogi's second idea above, here is a link to a page that helps explain the concept. Scroll down to example 1 on the web page (link) below:

    Stacking multiple antennas

    There was prior discussion of this 'two-directional concept' on the DTVUSA Forum, here:

    DigiWave Hinged 8 Bay Bowtie

    Jim

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trip View Post
    I agree with MrPogi's option 1, but I doubt you need the rotor. Other than WZZM, which is your strongest signal anyway and ABC is duplicated on WOTV, there is nothing to your northeast that you can't get from your southeast.

    W17DF-D repeats WXMI (FOX)
    WOOD-46 repeats WOOD-7 (NBC)
    WOMS repeats WXSP (My Network TV, which is also on WOOD 8-2)
    W42CB-D repeats WXMI (FOX)
    I doubt you will receive WCMU or WWTV

    And WMKG is an analog My Family TV affiliate, so I doubt that is of any concern.

    At the end of the day, with a single high-VHF and UHF combo antenna aimed southeast, I would expect you to receive:

    WWMT-8
    3-1 CBS
    3-2 CW

    WOOD-7
    8-1 NBC
    8-2 My

    WZZM-13 (Probably)
    13-1 ABC
    13-2 Weather

    WXSP-15 (Probably)
    15-1 My Network TV
    15-2 Weather

    WXMI-19
    17-1 Fox
    17-2 Antenna TV
    17-3 This TV

    WGVU-11
    35-1 PBS
    35-2 Create
    35-3 MHz Worldview
    35-4 Events Channel (audio of WGVU-AM)

    WOTV-20
    41-1 ABC
    41-2 The Cool TV

    WTLJ-24
    54-1 TCT-SD
    54-2 TCT-HD
    54-3 TCT Family
    54-4 La Fuente (Spanish)

    WLLA-45 (Probably)
    64-1 Religious
    64-2 RTV
    64-3 FamilyNet

    I am sure others have opinions on this as well. Don't hesitate to chime in!

    - Trip
    Thanks for the input, Trip. I actually came back to suggest he go to RabbitEars.Info and do a search. I went there and did a search based on Zip code alone, out to 60 miles. I was originally going to add a no rotor suggestion, too - but for some reason left it out.

  7. #6
    DTVUSA Jr. Member
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    Wow, what an excellent forum! Thank you very much for the assistance and suggestions.

    I'll soak it in, follow up on the links, and get back in a few days. I'm kind of excited about the
    possibility of this. I'm such a cheap bastard that picking up OTA channels is going to be a smile for
    me generally.

    Incidentally, what can I expect in the way of HD broadcast in the channels that you've mentioned? I realize that may be a newbie question I'll get the answer to pretty quickly on into the learning curve, but it may be a significant aspect to my initial decision overall to seek OTA out. I sprung for a nice new 50in plasma last winter and would like to take advantage of HD programming.

    .... the RabbitEars 60mi results.

    http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/y...8630156250.png

    Thanks again
    Last edited by frascati; 03-01-2012 at 08:59 PM.

  8. #7
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    Incidentally, what can I expect in the way of HD broadcast in the channels that you've mentioned?
    You will get HD on the primary channels for the major networks. ABC and Fox are 720p, CBS and NBC 1080i. Most PBS stations are 720p.

    Other networks that broadcast in HD are LWN, CW, and IonTV. There's some other minor networks and independents that do HD too. Most of your subchannels (AntennaTV, The Cool TV, etc, ) are SD 480i.

    You'll find the quality of the HD, and even SD, with an antenna is generally superior than what you get from cable or satellite, because the signal is not so compressed.

    This is NOT your father's antenna TV!

  9. #8
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    In your area, you will get HD from CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, PBS, and My Network TV (15-1 only, SD on 8-2). 54-2 is technically transmitted in HD but most of the actual programming is just stretched SD.

    - Trip
    N4MJC

    Comments are my own and not that of my employer or anyone else.

    RabbitEars

    "Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand..." - Rush "Witch Hunt"

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrPogi View Post
    ... You'll find the quality of the HD, and even SD, with an antenna is generally superior than what you get from cable or satellite, because the signal is not so compressed. This is NOT your father's antenna TV!
    <-- What Mr Pogi said times ten. If you are like me and have friends that visit your home, be ready for them to say "WOW! My TV doesn't look that good"

    Then, YOU will become the instant neighborhood authority on how to help them receive TV as clear as you! Hey, it happens!

    Jim

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trip View Post
    I agree with MrPogi's option 1, but I doubt you need the rotor. Other than WZZM, which is your strongest signal anyway and ABC is duplicated on WOTV, there is nothing to your northeast that you can't get from your southeast.

    W17DF-D repeats WXMI (FOX)
    WOOD-46 repeats WOOD-7 (NBC)
    WOMS repeats WXSP (My Network TV, which is also on WOOD 8-2)
    W42CB-D repeats WXMI (FOX)
    I doubt you will receive WCMU or WWTV

    And WMKG is an analog My Family TV affiliate, so I doubt that is of any concern.

    At the end of the day, with a single high-VHF and UHF combo antenna aimed southeast, I would expect you to receive:

    WWMT-8
    3-1 CBS
    3-2 CW

    WOOD-7
    8-1 NBC
    8-2 My

    WZZM-13 (Probably)
    13-1 ABC
    13-2 Weather

    WXSP-15 (Probably)
    15-1 My Network TV
    15-2 Weather

    WXMI-19
    17-1 Fox
    17-2 Antenna TV
    17-3 This TV

    WGVU-11
    35-1 PBS
    35-2 Create
    35-3 MHz Worldview
    35-4 Events Channel (audio of WGVU-AM)

    WOTV-20
    41-1 ABC
    41-2 The Cool TV

    WTLJ-24
    54-1 TCT-SD
    54-2 TCT-HD
    54-3 TCT Family
    54-4 La Fuente (Spanish)

    WLLA-45 (Probably)
    64-1 Religious
    64-2 RTV
    64-3 FamilyNet

    I am sure others have opinions on this as well. Don't hesitate to chime in!

    - Trip
    WOTV does not duplicate their programming outside of ABC programming. They're a separate ABC station serving the southern part of the market, while WZZM serves the northern part of the market. They're one of a few markets where there are 2 stations with the same affiliate, but have different owners, & thus, different programming outside of network programming.

    In case the OP isn't aware, that WGVU & WGVK are simulcasts, & getting an antenna to try & get WGVK on RF 5 isn't necessary. WGVU has a strong signal on RF 11, that RF 5 isn't necessary for that area. Looking at where you're located, WWMT will be an issue, since WMVS Milwaukee also broadcasts on RF 8, & can interfere with WWMT on RF 8. WXMI might also be an issue, since WGN-TV Chicago is also on RF 19, & could interfere with WXMI. WOOD-TV has a translator on RF 46, which I assume for now, is because of WLS-TV also broadcasts on RF 7 (full market translator), along with RF 44. However, I don't believe WOOD-TV even thought about possible interference from WDJT Milwaukee when they got a translator for RF 46.

    The way the channels are located, either a rotator, or 2 antennas are needed. If a rotator is used, just a VHF-Hi/UHF antenna is needed. If the OP wants to use 2 antennas, a large directional VHF-Hi/UHF antenna pointed SE with just a VHF-Hi only antenna, or a VHF antenna cut to RF 13 to the NE.

  12. #11
    DTVUSA Jr. Member
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    The way the channels are located, either a rotator, or 2 antennas are needed. If a rotator is used, just a VHF-Hi/UHF antenna is needed. If the OP wants to use 2 antennas, a large directional VHF-Hi/UHF antenna pointed SE with just a VHF-Hi only antenna, or a VHF antenna cut to RF 13 to the NE.
    Two antennas are without question the set up I'd prefer. I'm a (excuse the caps) HUGE fan of keeping it simple. If I had a rotator I'd be driving everyone else in the house insane with my fussing throughout any program.

    From the reading I did last night the only thing I'm unclear on regarding this is consensus on the pros/cons of switched/selectable dual feeds or simply (like I said, the preferred method) combined feeds.

    I'd MUCH rather set-it-and-forget-it and forego the the last nth degree of perfection, than get myself set up to be constantly chasing it all night long... because I know me... and I know I'd be doing that

    I wish I could rent a high grade antenna for a weekend to see if this is going to work out for me. Hate to spend 100+ dollars on a decent one to find that it's a no-go. Based on the numbers provided by the two website results I posted, can anyone offer me strong encouragement to make the leap?
    Last edited by frascati; 03-02-2012 at 01:14 PM.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by frascati View Post
    Two antennas are without question the set up I'd prefer. I'm a (excuse the caps) HUGE fan of keeping it simple. If I had a rotator I'd be driving everyone else in the house insane with my fussing throughout any program.

    From the reading I did last night the only thing I'm unclear on regarding this is consensus on the pros/cons of switched/selectable dual feeds or simply (like I said, the preferred method) combined feeds.

    I'd MUCH rather set-it-and-forget-it and forego the the last nth degree of perfection, than get myself set up to be constantly chasing it all night long... because I know me... and I know I'd be doing that

    I wish I could rent a high grade antenna for a weekend to see if this is going to work out for me. Hate to spend 100+ dollars on a decent one to find that it's a no-go. Based on the numbers provided by the two website results I posted, can anyone offer me strong encouragement to make the leap?
    Well I would suggest getting it from Amazon as they have a really liberal return policy.

    BTW a year ago my fiance and I cut the cord, saving us $90 a month. Spent $100 on 2 antennas I installed in our attic (we're in SE New Hampshire have UHF one pointed towards Boston, the VHF one pointed NW towards Manchester, NH to get the local ABC station mainly for news and weather) running to 2 TVs and 2 computers with tuner cards in them. We get about 25 channels, the HD quality is fantastic. Both TVs have HTPCs connected to them for streaming internet and for streaming media from our home network storage (NAS) drive. We also have a USB TV tuner I hook to my laptop for when the power goes out.

    Sam

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    Quote Originally Posted by frascati View Post
    I wish I could rent a high grade antenna for a weekend to see if this is going to work out for me. Hate to spend 100+ dollars on a decent one to find that it's a no-go. Based on the numbers provided by the two website results I posted, can anyone offer me strong encouragement to make the leap?
    My general experience is that signals listed on TVfool down to 10.0 NM(dB) are relatively easy to pick up on an outdoor antenna. I've actually picked up signals predicted to be a lot less than that (well into negative territory) on an attic antenna. Of course what TVfool predicts, and what's actual can be different.

    Combining two antennas that aren't pointed in the same direction is discouraged because you lose at least 1/2 of your signal (3.5 dB)doing that (the signal is retransmitted off the other antenna), and you set yourself up to have increased multi-path problems. One way to get around this would be to have a Home Theater Personal Computer (HTPC) with multiple tuners connected to the different antennas. You could use "extenders" (such as Xbox 360) to extend your HTPC to other TVs. That would have a high initial cost, but you could end up with a multi-room DVR with streaming capablity.

  15. #14
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    Amazon.com: Antennas Direct DB8 Multidirectional HDTV Antenna: Coolies: Electronics

    67 dollars.... free ship.... amazon return policy (thanks for the link MrPogi) I save 687.00 dollars on it!!!!
    ***where do they get these numbers?***

    Look like I'm headed in a good direction here? Should I try it in the attic first? Or just break down and air it out for the neighbors? Does it hurt to paint these camo colors or blue/gray depending on the background?

  16. #15
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    Frascati,

    Attic antenna installations suffer from attenuated signals as well as lower overall height. Metallic objects including HVAC ducting, foil-backed insulation, plumbing vent pipes, etc., can reflect signals which can confuse your tuner. After taking a second look at your TVFOOL report I suggest a rooftop installation. By the way, you should test your antenna at various heights: raising or lowering your antenna as little as 6" can make a difference in your reception.

    Jim

  17. #16
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    Here are a few results from one more antenna selector site.

    An Ultimate TV Antenna Selector for US/Canadian States and Cities

    http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/y...8337187500.png
    http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/y...8754218750.png
    http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/y...8754218750.png
    http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/y...9038593750.png

    Some other antenna suggestions there. More expensive than the DB8. Appear to be more directional?
    Do I need to do a few more days of antenna reviews and study here? Or should I just move on with the
    DB8?

  18. #17
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    Frascati,

    The DB-8 is a 'fringe' UHF antenna that achieves long distance reception by its unidirectional design and it may receive all of the channels you wish to receive from one general direction, but it will not receive stations located 90 degrees to its side, unless it is rotated toward the second group of antenna towers.

    An option would to be to use two DB-8 antennas with one aimed at each antenna 'farm' but when combined on a single coaxial cable there will be significant signal loss (a minimum of 3.5 dB) and potential co-channel interference (competition) as seen in the middle of your TVFOOL report (not to say you will receive any of those channels for certain). The link I posted above shows the theory.

    An option that does not have nearly as much signal loss is to install seperate coaxial cables and an A-B antenna switch running to each TV set in your home. If this sounds complicated, I'm here to say I have three seperate antenna systems and each room that has a TV is wired for three antennas and have 4-way switches (the 4th line is not yet used, but will eventually distribute home theater to each room). Your TVFOOL report is a dream compared to mine, which is a nightmare.

    The DB-8 may or may not receive your high-band VHF channels 11, 7 and 8 so a Yagi-style combination high-band-VHF/UHF antenna on a rotor, is probably the easiest answer ... but that antenna would (also) receive only one group of stations at a time. Two combo antennas could be used on two coaxial systems with switches as above. Your antenna choice really depends on how important the VHF channels are to you. I hope this helps.

    Jim
    Last edited by Fringe Reception; 03-02-2012 at 08:12 PM.

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by frascati View Post
    Here are a few results from one more antenna selector site.

    An Ultimate TV Antenna Selector for US/Canadian States and Cities
    Frascati,

    I haven't visited that website in a couple years and I am astonished how inaccurate it is per my home address. One station shown has been dark since December 31, two channels had call sign changes about two years ago, it indicates one channel as 'not receiveable' yet is one of my strongest and the box showing antenna recommendations is a very bad joke.

    Jim

  20. #19
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    Please note that you can connect a UHF antenna (DB8) and a VHF antenna with minimal "injection loss" using a UVSJ UHF VHF Band Separator/Combiner for Antenna (UVSJ).

  21. #20
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    I don't understand why people in this conversation are so focused on using two sets of antennas or are so worried about being aimed in two directions. Except for WZZM, every station that matters and is receivable comes from to the southeast, in a single direction, and WZZM being the strongest signal may be obtainable without aiming an antenna in its direction.

    The simplest antenna setup is a single antenna aimed in a southeasterly direction, and may be all that is necessary. Then, if problems occur, it can be adjusted or added to in order to fix things.

    I agree that the DB-8 is not a good option for this situation, because it is a UHF antenna and you have four stations on VHF. I agree also that an outdoor installation would be superior to an attic installation in this case, particularly with those VHF signals, which tend to be very picky.

    - Trip
    N4MJC

    Comments are my own and not that of my employer or anyone else.

    RabbitEars

    "Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand..." - Rush "Witch Hunt"

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