Cut the cord in Alabama - Need Antenna Help

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DTVUSA Rookie
#1
Hi. We have just cancelled our CATV. I am looking at roku or chromecast or maybe both along with an antenna to provide some TV watching.

TV Fool Report

Based on the report can I get away with the Mohu Leaf or AmazonBasics Indoor power antenna or do I need something more powerful? I presume the benefit of a larger antenna is I could connect a couple TVs to the one antenna feed?

If I need a bigger antenna, I would prefer to mount in the antic. Our house is a two story with garage underneath so a good part of the house is a 2 - 3 story ladder climb but our attic has pulldown steps with 12 feet of headroom in most of it so I wouldn't need to find a tall enough ladder. Is this a good option?

What are some good antennas to consider?

Thanks in advance.
 
#2
:welcome: jpeg!

Hi. We have just cancelled our CATV.
Congratulations!

I am looking at roku or chromecast or maybe both along with an antenna to provide some TV watching.
Sounds like a good plan. I'd probably go for the Roku.

TV Fool Report

Based on the report can I get away with the Mohu Leaf or AmazonBasics Indoor power antenna or do I need something more powerful? I presume the benefit of a larger antenna is I could connect a couple TVs to the one antenna feed?
Indoor reception depends completely on the building materials in your house. You might get excellent reception, or you might get a blank screen. Whatever you do, don't get an indoor antenna with a built in amplifier, without explicit instructions from an expert on this site. 98% of the time, they're a ripoff.

At a quick glance, it looks like you can get a very nice lineup just with the stations to your north at 30 degrees magnetic. I recommend you get an inexpensive rabbit ear / loop combination antenna, just to scope out the indoor situation. It's possible (not probable) it will turn out to be all you need. You can get an RCA ANT111 or 112 for about $10 at Walmart. Try to place it as high as possible, close to a north facing window. You want it pointed north-north-east, so the dipoles will be sticking out WNW and ESE. Try several different positions around the house. If you can't get anything with that, don't give up! We can go on from there.

Others may have some different recommendations, so wait a couple days, and Merry Christmas!

Be sure to give us a full report.

Rick
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#3
At a quick glance, it looks like you can get a very nice lineup just with the stations to your north at 30 degrees magnetic. I recommend you get an inexpensive rabbit ear / loop combination antenna, just to scope out the indoor situation. It's possible (not probable) it will turn out to be all you need. You can get an RCA ANT111 or 112 for about $10 at Walmart. Try to place it as high as possible, close to a north facing window. You want it pointed north-north-east, so the dipoles will be sticking out WNW and ESE. Try several different positions around the house. If you can't get anything with that, don't give up! We can go on from there.
Be sure to give us a full report.
Couldn't have said it better myself.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#4
You have an interesting TVfool since you have stations on it in all three bands (low-VHF, High-VHF, and UHF). For an attic installation an Antennacraft C290 may be the ticket. VHF has issues going through walls but WUOA is quite strong. I would point it at 30 degrees magnetic.
 

jpeg

DTVUSA Rookie
#5
Ok. Went to wallyworld today. Picked up an RCA ant112 $10, GE Amplified Antenna $30. & GE attic mount antenna $40.

The RCA only found 3 stations on our living room TV. Which didn't really surprise me since it is low level of house, along interior wall, and signal aim is up a hill through the rest of the house. If I recall correctly only one of those was ABC, no nbc, cbs, or fox. It worked a little better on upstairs TV. But still not all 4 channels.

The GE amplified worked better. Found 19 channels but lots of pixelation on Fox and cbs on downstairs TV. Didn't try this one on upstairs TV.

I built the attic mount antenna and positioned it towards 30 degrees. All big four channels seemed pretty good. Moved antenna to attic. Mounted High in the attic (about 3 stories up). Connected the antenna to line that then split one to feed upstairs and another to a line that ran to old CATV box from the attic. Did straight through connector from cable to line to living room.

The only issue I have is fox isn't the strongest signal. TV shows low normal signal but sometimes drops and shows pixelate every now and then. Seems more prevalent on the downstairs tv then upstairs. I am guessing due to the length of the run (probably 50-75 feet). Tried adjusting antenna a little bit but degragated CBS signal. CBS is more important to us, so I adjusted back to get stronger CBS.

So my questions:
Would the Antennacraft C290 give better performance then the GE? Or another suggestion if necessary.

Would a inline signal booster help with fox? If so what is a recommended one?

I think we could probably live with what we have but just wonder if there is better/improved setup.

Thanks again.
 
#7
Ok. Went to wallyworld today. Picked up an RCA ant112 $10, GE Amplified Antenna $30. & GE attic mount antenna $40.

The RCA only found 3 stations on our living room TV. Which didn't really surprise me since it is low level of house, along interior wall, and signal aim is up a hill through the rest of the house. If I recall correctly only one of those was ABC, no nbc, cbs, or fox. It worked a little better on upstairs TV. But still not all 4 channels.
You don't have any north facing windows you can try? RF signals can't magically pass through walls, etc. without a lot of signal degradation. Can you put a TV on a cart and get the whole setup close to a north window? Even the window will put up some resistance, but at least this way we'll know what we're dealing with.

The GE amplified worked better. Found 19 channels but lots of pixelation on Fox and cbs on downstairs TV. Didn't try this one on upstairs TV.
The pixelation is no good. Station might have scanned in on a hope and a prayer, but that doesn't mean it will be viable.

I built the attic mount antenna and positioned it towards 30 degrees. All big four channels seemed pretty good. Moved antenna to attic. Mounted High in the attic (about 3 stories up). Connected the antenna to line that then split one to feed upstairs and another to a line that ran to old CATV box from the attic. Did straight through connector from cable to line to living room.
How can you know the line that ran to old CATV box is any good? Does it have shielded RG6 coax? Are there any cable splitters on the line which aren't compatible with OTA (very common problem)? If you want to try an attic installation, you really should test it first with a short, straight line to one receiver.

You have at least nine blazing hot signals coming to your location from 30 magnetic, but there may be materials in your roof, or walls, or attic, that completely block them. Also, are there trees or a large building to your north that might get in the way? The LOS in your TV Fool report stands for Line Of Sight. Line of sight is everything for RF signals. Right now, it doesn't sound like you have line of sight.

The only issue I have is fox isn't the strongest signal. TV shows low normal signal but sometimes drops and shows pixelate every now and then. Seems more prevalent on the downstairs tv then upstairs. I am guessing due to the length of the run (probably 50-75 feet). Tried adjusting antenna a little bit but degragated CBS signal. CBS is more important to us, so I adjusted back to get stronger CBS.
Fox, on channel 6 (RF 50) should be just fine. There is something getting in the way, or else something wrong with the coax or connectors.

Would the Antennacraft C290 give better performance then the GE? Or another suggestion if necessary.

Would a inline signal booster help with fox? If so what is a recommended one?
Please don't jump to another antenna or amplifier before we straighten out the line-of-sight and connection issues. If materials in your house are shielding the antenna from a decent signal, you will probably need to put up an outdoor antenna. But we can't know for sure until you do some simple testing.

Rome wasn't built in a day. :playball:

Rick
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#8
Are there any cable splitters on the line which aren't compatible with OTA (very common problem)?

Rick
Rick,

If it is cable TV cable, and not satellite, there shouldn't be any incompatible hardware. Cable TV uses similar frequencies to OTA TV. The quality of the cables may be an issue. Also the quality of the antenna. I don't have any experience with the GE antennas, but I don't trust them.

Dan
 
#9
If it is cable TV cable, and not satellite, there shouldn't be any incompatible hardware. Cable TV uses similar frequencies to OTA TV.
Oops. Difference between your real world experience and book larnin. I read this stuff, and just put sat and cable into the same box. :duh:

The quality of the cables may be an issue. Also the quality of the antenna.
There you go. Good leads for our OP.

R.
 
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