Question: A Decent Rooftop Antenna

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#41
Mike,

I like my Channel Master CM-7000 converter boxes. They are made in Bulgaria rather than Red China and they have steel rather than plastic cases so they can be grounded. They are equal or better than the tuner in my Sony Bravia. To be fair, the Sony works somewhat harder to receive HD but the CM is a great SD box.

Jim
The only problem with the CM-7000 is that they are, for the most part, no longer available. The Zeniths (which aren't in production either) people are trying to sell for $180 a pop. That is the main reason I recommend the Digital Stream. Good quality picture, signal strength meter, and EPG, and readily available through Radio Shack.
 
#42
The only problem with the CM-7000 is that they are, for the most part, no longer available. The Zeniths (which aren't in production either) people are trying to sell for $180 a pop. That is the main reason I recommend the Digital Stream. Good quality picture, signal strength meter, and EPG, and readily available through Radio Shack.
I think the Zenith you like is the Zenith DTT901. They're going new on eBay for about $100. It's exactly the same as the Insignia NS-DXA1-APT. (Make sure you get the late "APT" model if you want Analog Pass Through.) There are dozens of the Insignias on eBay at around $40 new, and if you bid patiently and wisely you can knock another $5 to $10 off that. Great, great classic converter. I'm very happy with it.

I know some people are nervous about eBay, but you can save TONS of money. :cheers:

Rick
 
#43
I recommend the Digital Stream. Good quality picture, signal strength meter, and EPG, and readily available through Radio Shack.
You got me studying up on the Digital Stream converter. You can see the manual here:
http://www.dsconverter.com/img/DTX9950_Manual_V1.4.pdf

I don't see a way, in the manual, to add individual channels, in addition to the regular scan and add scan functions. Maybe it's there anyway? There are several features in the Zenith/Insignia box that aren't in the manual.

You want the 9950 model, rather than the original 9900, to get the analog pass through, and also to avoid a problem with a capacitor going out after a year or so. Price on the 9950 is about $40 on eBay, after you wade through the junk with no remote, or no whatever. So price is about the same as the Insignia NS-DXA1-APT.

The EPG is better on the 9950, since it goes out a few more hours. But you still need to tune in a channel to get it into the program guide, so titantv is pretty much required for happy surfing, IMHO.

The Insignia is sturdy, made of metal, gets strong reviews on Amazon. It has a feature I just discovered a few days ago. When you press RECALL to go to the last channel, it not only goes to last channel. It also brings up a list of ALL the channels you've viewed since turning on the box, in order from last viewed to first viewed. This makes it very easy for us lazy folk to surf between three or more channels. Anything to avoid a commercial!

Also, reports are that the Zenith/Insignia has an excellent tuner for latching onto channels. I have nothing to compare to it.

That is all.

Rick
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#44
The only problem with the CM-7000 is that they are, for the most part, no longer available. The Zeniths (which aren't in production either) people are trying to sell for $180 a pop. That is the main reason I recommend the Digital Stream. Good quality picture, signal strength meter, and EPG, and readily available through Radio Shack.
Dan, WOW!

I know where I could grab three new CM-7000 units right now, comparatively cheap. I already have three for myself, but your numbers look better than buying Gold or Silver! I guess I'm not the only one who is impressed with that model.

Jim
 
#45
I know where I could grab three new CM-7000 units right now, comparatively cheap.
Get 'em right now. Sell on eBay.

CM-7000:
$99.95 incl. S&H:
Channel Master CM 7000 ATSC Digital Converter Box
BACK ORDERED! May never materialize.

Amason: $130 + $5.95 S&H used

eBay: one for parts or repair for $25, another one new, at $39.53 with 4+ days bidding to go.

I'll guess the last one will go for a little over $100. Unless Fringe joins in the bidding.

I prefer my $14 Insignia, but hey, I'm just a civilian.

R.
 
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#46
I'm seeing the Zenith DTT 901's going anywhere from $22 to $70.00 on E-Bay. I prefer the Zeniths over the CM unit's, especially for DX'ing. The favorites feature is much better on the Zenith/Insignia units as well. The CM unit is best if you can take advantage of the S-Video ouput, but justOK otherwise IMO.

Also may want to check Craigslist. I'm seeing various converter boxes here in the Metro DC area starting @ $15.00
 
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#47
I'm seeing the Zenith DTT 901's going anywhere from $22 to $70.00 on E-Bay.
Weeeeeelllll, you're not going to see a DTT901 going for $22. Not new, with all accessories, including shipping and handling. I don't look at the bids, for this kind of comparison; I look at the Buy It Nows. The Insignias are always going to sell for less than the Zeniths, even though they're the exact same machine, made by LG.

You always have to include shipping and handling, because sellers diddle around with that. Many items go for $0.01 + some ridiculous figure for S&H. Many other items have "free" S&H.

Best I see right now for a Zenith DTT901 is $38.10, incl. S&H. Buy It Now, "as new" with box opened only for testing by a 100% rated seller. This is better than new, IMO, but some would disagree. I've seen the Insignias at $29 with exact same specs.

I love eBay. :drinks:

Rick
 
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ENIGMACODE

DTVUSA Member
#48
Hi Guys

Are you guys saying that the Zenith DTT901 is the same animal as the Insignia NS-DXA1-APT?

Yes it's true, the Insiginia's/LG's are selling for less on Ebay

Thanx
Mike
 
#49
Are you guys saying that the Zenith DTT901 is the same animal as the Insignia NS-DXA1-APT?
Yes, absolutely. Same exact converter. Same features. Same manual. Same remote. Manufactured by the same company -- LG. Don't get the Zenith unless you like to spend more money. Get the APT version of the Insignia if you want the Analog Pass Through or if you care about a very minor increase in the "hiss" in the older non-APT version when people say an "s."

Zenith DTT900 = Insignia NS-DXA1
Zenith DTT901 = Insignia NS-DXA1-APT

Rick
 
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ENIGMACODE

DTVUSA Member
#50
Thank you Rick

Hey Guys:
Update on my roof situation; someone here suggested I point the antenna toward Magnetic North, (NW). Correct? I was just up on my roof, and unfortunately, the North West direction is LOADED with trees. The clearest path is 'South' toward downtown Philadelphia. http://www.locationstudio.net/Report.jpg < My TV Fool report.

What should I do? Which direction?

And where's the best place to get Chimney straps, antenna mounting hardware?

Thanx again for everything ....

Mike
 
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nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#51
The stations to the NW are only 3.4 miles away. Id still give it a go especially with the high noise margins they have. In the event the signal doesnt survive the trees, you could try the south stations if the LOS is much better, or also for the NW try a higher gain combo antenna or use separate UHF/VHF aerial and diplex together.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#53
What should I do? Which direction?
The vast majority of your stations are to the northwest. Most of which are very strong. The biggest issue that the trees may cause is dynamic multipath off the leaves during the warm months. Otherwise they will tend to attenuate the signal, which may actually be a good thing in your situation since you're so close to the towers.
 

ENIGMACODE

DTVUSA Member
#54
Hi There! Thank you

Sooooo then: Should I still point the antenna to the NW. And I suppose I'll stick to the idea of the, AntennaCraft 5884 Color King VHF UHF < Yes?

Thank you
Mike
 
#55
Yes to both. A good directional antenna is your best bet against tree induced multipath interference. You can always try rotating 180° to the SE and experiment to see if you can grab reliable signals from both directions. You won't know till you try.
 

ENIGMACODE

DTVUSA Member
#56
NO STATIC AT ALL - U DA MAN!

BTW - I visit NARA often in College Park - Been working on a WWII Documentary for several years. I also visit the cemetary in Arlington from time to time to shoot video of some of the graves of the men who've died since interviewing them.

Thanx again
Mike

http://www.NorthAfrica1942-43.com
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#57
...And where's the best place to get Chimney straps, antenna mounting hardware?Mike

Mike,

Radio Shack has good quality chimney straps, light-duty wall brackets and 'U' bolts, but I do not recommend their coax.

Jim

PS It was 92 here Saturday and 96 indoors, so Julie and I watched a series of movies until sunrise including a History Channel Documentary on the capture of U-505: of course, I have the book as well ...
 
#60
BTW

Although there's some antenna hardware on the radio shack web site, their assortment is limited, and most of it is ONLY returnable thru the mail, (when it's Web Only). Scanning thru the other sites provided here, looks like Solid Signal has the best prices, and the most variety. I have a double chimney, (rowhome sharing my neighbors stack). I see a few other installations up here with custom straps, (the proper length). I'll have to continue looking at this approach - it might be easier to drill into the brick, and secure with appropriate sized lags, using stand off brackets.

Mike
 
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