antenna recommendation for my mom

#1
My Mom is 90 and likes to watch the basketball games in the winter. Her tv wasn't picking them up so she signed up for directtv for $30 a month. They immediately racked up the price to $86 a month which has been causing her great aggravation for 2 years. She has called them each time but they say she is locked in because she signed a two year contract. I have talked with her before and after that to just get an antenna and she'd get the games on tv but she thought direct/tv would be easier. She is interested in the antenna now, and the direct/tv runs out in a couple of months.

HYBRID ANTENNA
She was asking me about this $20 antenna from heartland, that has an amp and a rotor.
Here is a comparative indoor antenna on Ebay.

INSIDE ANTENNA
She doesn't have the resources to hook up an outside antenna, and her house is difficult to get on the roof. However, she lives in a hill, the antennas are only 20 miles away, and the land to the antennas is mostly flat.

TV FOOL
I'm wondering if a good indoor antenna pointed at 239 degrees would pick up well from 188 to 293 degrees.

TV
Would this work well with a converter box, or should she get a newer tv? I will try to find out what kind of tv she has.

SPLITTER
Can the indoor antenna and directtv be plugged into her tv at the same time with a splitter? How would she change from one to the other?
 
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EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#2
Converter Box in no particular order

Zenith DTT900 or DTT901 or Insignia Clone NS DXA1
Channel Master 7000

Pointing at 239ish is a good strategy.

Im recommending the Radio Shack 15-1880 or 15-1862 antenna.

What kind and number of connection options does the TV have?
 
#4
I'm going to send her a Zenith DTT901.

The Radio Shack 15-1880 and 15-1862 antennas appear to be discontinued.

She has a heavy Panasonic 37" that sounds like a CRT big box older type of tv.
The satellite plugs in with 3 connections in the front, that she unplugs to use something else.
She doesn't know if it has a coax cable connection, but will have someone look and write the model of tv.

She likes watching 5 and 12, also 4, 9, 35 and 29, any regular local stations, also fox sw, espn, animal channel.
Those latter ones are from direct/tv obviously, but she only has that to get the local stations.

My Dad used to have a C band antenna in the yard. I don't know if she gets anything from that anymore.
 
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Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#5
I'm wondering about a new tv because the new ones pick up a lot better even without an antenna.
John,

Our Channel Master CM-7000 Converter box has a more sensitive tuner than our Sony Bravia, which is less than two years old. On the rare occassion a signal breaks-up on the Sony, we watch the old set with Converter box. It probably is because the box is SD and the new TV is HD.

Jim
 

Trip

Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
Staff member
#7
She likes watching 5 and 12, also 4, 9, 35 and 29, any regular local stations, also fox sw, espn, animal channel.
Those latter ones are from direct/tv obviously, but she only has that to get the local stations.
Unless she speaks Spanish, I don't see much at 293 that she'd want, since only KNIC (TeleFutura) is actually on the air from that location. KMYS-35 is at 272 degrees or so, though I imagine a midpoint aim between 188 and 272 might still be sensible, unless there's enough signal from KMYS that you can get away with a more direct aim at the main tower site.

- Trip
 
#8
Unless she speaks Spanish, I don't see much at 293 that she'd want, since only KNIC (TeleFutura) is actually on the air from that location. KMYS-35 is at 272 degrees or so, though I imagine a midpoint aim between 188 and 272 might still be sensible, unless there's enough signal from KMYS that you can get away with a more direct aim at the main tower site.
That sounds good.

So at 230 degrees, she wouldn't need a rotor or an amp?
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#9
Our Channel Master CM-7000 Converter box has a more sensitive tuner than our Sony Bravia, which is less than two years old. On the rare occassion a signal breaks-up on the Sony, we watch the old set with Converter box. It probably is because the box is SD and the new TV is HD.
Jim
I've noticed the same thing, my HD channels are more prone to breaking up. I have one station thats simulcasting its HD on a subchannel, and it breaks up less on the SD. Also, SOME of my converter boxes do better than other boxes and / or my TV.

Your mom is 90? WOW. It's a shame you aren't able to be there to help her out. Is there any time of the year you visit her when you could put up an antenna for her? Or does she have a handy neighbor that could help out? I think an indoor antenna would work, but it's going to be frustrating for her. Most of the channels you want are to the south, so I think converting the dish over to support an antenna should be really easy: all the cable is run already, and attaching an antenna to the J pipe after removing the dish should be a piece of cake assuming that direcTV installed her dish facing south at least 10 ft above the ground. (I have seen them install almost at ground level so they didn't have to get out the ladder!)

She's got a lot of 1-edge signals - from the stations she wants most. It may take some experimenting to find a "sweet spot" no matter what antenna she uses, indoors or out. You also have some VHF hi, and a VHF lo channel (5) but it's CW, she may be able to live without that. But she will want the PBS at channel VHF hi 10, I am sure (it's the closest thing to Animal Planet she's going to get). I see that most of her sub channels are Spanish too, what a shame.

The Cband dish could get a lot of things FREE FTA, but it would require a professional to tell you if her setup is still usable. I can't see her doing it herself. Most everything has gone digital on satellites so maybe a new receiver would be needed. With a Cband she could get a package for about $20 a month that includes Animal Planet, ESPN classic, see the VALUE PACK on this list. This, along with an antenna, would get her everything DirecTV gave her that she watches.


Other alternatives: Dish Network offers a FAMILY package for $25 that will get her locals and it's NOT an intro price. But it's limited and there's NO ESPN. Their next most expensive package is $40 / month, includes locals and ESPN. They have a 12 month discount to $25/mo with a 2 year contract. DirecTV wants almost $60 for their cheapest package. I don't know if she has cable TV available, but you might want to find out what they offer. I would avoid her getting into another contract, though.
 
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#10
It would be nice if I could get there to set things up for her, though that is not possible at the moment. Fortunately my brother lives close to her.

Would a CM 4221 pick up VHF 5?

With a Cband she could get a package for about $20 a month that includes Animal Planet, ESPN classic, see the VALUE PACK on this list. This, along with an antenna, would get her everything DirecTV gave her that she watches.
Are there packages on Ku band?

If so, perhaps a Ku system could be set up for her with a package.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#11
It would cost about $200+ for KU reciever and dish, I don't know if you can buy programming for it, though. This page doesn't state C or KU band.

Would a CM 4221 pick up VHF 5?
No, 5 is VHF lo and needs an antenna designed for VHF.

Your brother could put up an outdoor antenna in an afternoon. The wire is already there, and He would have to remove any DirecTV installed power injector or splitters and replace them with standard splitters or couplers. Worst case he may have to move the Jpipe.

I'd try something like this:

Channel Master 2016 DIGITAL ADVANTAGE
It is for channels 7 thru 51, and its shown on the same type of J pipe that her Dish is mounted on. You can get this at Wal-mart with site to store delivery, or Amazon with free delivery. It's easier to return if you get it from WalMart. You "MAY" get channel 5 with it, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.
 
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Trip

Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
Staff member
#12
All KCWX has on it is My Network TV and This TV. While This TV would be nice to have, I'm not sure it's worth the extra effort, especially given how ineffective that signal seems to be over any type of distance.

You may be able to get away without a rotor, but I figure that one is probably a good idea just so that if something changes and you need to move it, there's no manual adjustment required. All my stations are in one direction, but I still have a rotor for fine-tuning without breaking out the extension ladder and climbing on the roof.

- Trip
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#13
I'd like a rotor too, to play around and see if *maybe* other channels sneak in from Salt Lake. But, I have a ladder - it's paid for, lol, and I can't justify money for a rotor, unless I find one at the thrift store.

For your mom, johnlvs2run, it may be worth the money to get a rotor. I can't imagine her climbing a ladder to move the antenna!
 
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