Question: Cutting Cable - Newbie in Need of Advice

DATAMPA

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
I want to cut the cable service with Bright House and have been researching as much as possible and ended up here on this site. Great information here and trying to learn as much as I can prior to my first post. Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated.

TV Fool Survey: TV Fool

I have 4 newer HD TV’s in my single story home. The cable is centralized in the attic and by way of a 4 way splitter branches out to each tv - TV distance from the splitter ranges from 30 feet to 50 feet away (I’m including the drop down the walls in these numbers).

Antenna mounting location – Preferably in the Attic. I entered 9 feet antenna height on my tvfools survey since my ceilings are 8 feet high. I thought this would be the correct height to enter. If not let me know.

What are my best options as far as the equipment I need to buy.

Budget: About $200

Thank You
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#2
:welcome: Datampa

You are in a favorable location for reception from the towers to your south but be aware that attic mounted antennas are always a compromise. They can be negatively affected by anything metallic in your attic such as HVAC piping/ductwork, a metal chimney pipe, et al. Building material can play a roll as well. Brick or stucco walls dampen RF signals, metal siding and roofs can be signal killers.

All available channels to your south are UHF band with the exception of your CBS affiliate which is on VHF channel-7 and receiving it may be difficult using a comparatively small UHF (only) antenna. There are two attic solutions: use a VHF (high-band) / UHF combinition Yagi-style antenna or you could combine a UHF antenna with a VHF (high-band) antenna using a UVSJ (UHF-VHF signal joiner). Outdoor antennas are best and you might get away with mounting a 4-bay or 8-Bay flat screen-style antenna on your outdoor south facing wall and being outdoors, it might capture VHF-7. Please advise on your building materials.

Jim
 

DATAMPA

DTVUSA Rookie
#3
The house is concrete block construction. The attic and roof are made of 2x4's with plywood sheething and shingled roof material. The a/c duct is made of fiberglass with foil covering. I was planning on putting the antenna in the attic above the garage facing toward the south direction. The front of the house faces south so I would prefer not have the antenna mounted in the front of the home.

If I go with a VHF/UHF Yagi style antenna which would be a good model to choose? If the attic doesn't work well I could mount it outside just not my first preference. Could you recommend one that I could use in either location.
 
#4
I count 4 high VHF channels in the TV Fool report. All of them carrying a Major network CBS on 10, NBC on 7, Fox on 12, and PBS on 13. I would have to recommend an antenna with high VHF/UHF capability. While it is true that strong VHF signals can often times be received with UHF antennas. I would not recommend it. The wide spread use of UHF PCB baluns on new antennas has created many UHF antennas with baluns that will not pass VHF frequencies, or might work at one end of the VHF band and not the other.
The predicted signal levels for your location are quite strong. There are several dual band antennas that should work at your location providing you don't have too much blockage in the south east direction. Nearby trees, or building can cause real problems. While some might think it's over kill. With a four way split you may need a bit more gain. My first choice would be the Winegard HD7694P.
Winegard VHF/UHF HDTV Antenna (HD7694P) from Solid Signal
On the low priced end the Stellar Labs 30-2440 has been getting very good reviews on both the sales sites, and the forums I read.
http://www.amazon.com/HDTV-Fringe-O...electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1436484130&sr=1-4&key
A step down in size and performance would be the RCA ANT751. A good little antenna for areas with strong signals. Can be a bit weak in UHF performance.
http://www.amazon.com/RCA-Compact-Outdoor-Yagi-Antenna/dp/B0024R4B5C
In a high priced compact antenna the ClearStream 2V is a good UHF antenna, but can be a bit weak on the VHF side. Four of the major networks in your area are VHF.
http://www.amazon.com/Antennas-Dire..._1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1436485642&sr=
I really wish I could use an attic antenna at my current location. I've a nice large attic but metal siding eliminates all signals in the attic.
Using a signal distribution system left over from an other service is often plagued with problems. Splitters and such left over from Brighthouse should be alright, but keep in mind they were probably working with enough signal they could get by with things that could cause problems with OTA signals. Start your system with one coax ran to one TV. Establish good reception before you start trying to slice dice, and run signal all over the place. Correct antenna aiming and placement could take some time. A simple barrel connector can be used in place of the splitter to form one coax run when you start chasing signals.
RCA VH66N Coaxial Cable Feed Connectors, 2pk - Walmart.com
As strong as signals are predicted to be at your location you should be able to test for signal in your attic with a $10 set of rabbit ears.
RCA UHF/VHF/Digital Indoor Antenna - Walmart.com
I really don't like Walmart, but the local store here often has some of the antenna supplies I need.
Steve
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#5
I'd go with Steve's first choice for an attic installation. As my University of Wyoming drafting instructor told me: "When in doubt, make it stout." ;)
 

DATAMPA

DTVUSA Rookie
#6
Thank you for the advice guys. I will consider the Winegard HD7694P as my first choice. I will come back in a few of weeks and report how things end up working out. David
 

DATAMPA

DTVUSA Rookie
#7
I finally cut the cord. I gave up HBO/Showtime and a few thousand other channels that I never watch. I decided to simply try a small antenna just to see how well the pictures would look. I went over to HD and picked up a Winegard Freevision FVHD30H. I mounted it on an old camera tripod I had and placed it in my attic over the garage and hooked it up to the existing cable line. I ran the channel scan on all 4 tv's and was able to pick up all channels in my area without any problems - Most signals strengths are in the high 90's to 100.

I was pleasantly surprised with the picture quality on all 4 tv's. I have a 65" plasma. 32" LCD, 40" LCD and a 38" LCD. The major networks ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox all look outstanding on all 4tv's. Football never looked better and I'm very happy I made the switch. The 1080i and 720p are better than cable and even the 480i channels are watchable and look better than cable.

I do know that there are a few splitters (probably two) that the cable company added in various locations but I didn't feel like crawling through the attic insulation looking for them (at least not at the moment). I had originally thought about re-wiring everything but since the picture looks so good I didn't want to mess with a good thing.

I am very surprised that with a small antenna I was able to pick up all these channels and it was very easy to install especially in such a tight space.

David
 
#8
It is good to hear back from you. I like to hear success reports. My suggestions were based on the when in doubt make it stout philosophy. All though I did mention trying rabbit ears in the attic. I Sometimes overlook antennas such as the FVHD30H which can be a good choice in areas with strong signals. Enjoy your good clean signals, and try to spread the word about how good OTA currently is.
Steve
 

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