Fixing to cut the chord, questions

tack

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
Direct tv is getting out of hand and I'm looking to cut the chord. When I moved here 4 years ago, I purchased a used dish network dtv dvr, which was great, and a fancy set of rabbit ears (19.99 at Meijer). It worked but had it's flaws. For the most part, I could get our local nbc and fox stations, but had a lot of trouble getting our local abc station ( I would have to move the antenna around when I switched the channel and that didn't work all the time. So I got Direct tv on a promotional rate for the kids to have Nick jr and Disney.

So now what I'm looking to do is remove the actual dish and place an antenna on the existing mount. The only issue is, the dish is mounted on the lower end of the southwest side of my roof, which would make the peak of my roof impede the signal to the north.

Any advice on how to go about this and recommendations on an antenna would be appreciated. I was looking at this guy Antennas Direct ClearStream 2V LongRange HDTV Antenna C2-V-CJM - Best Buy

Thank you
 

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#4
You have a mix of good signals both high VHF and UHF to both the north and south. I've seen quite a few TV fool reports like that. The problem is no one builds an antenna with that in mind. The ClearStream 2V would probably work good for you. As would the smaller antennas in the Antennacraft HBU line (HBU22 or 11) , or the Stellar Labs 30-2440.
Stellar Labs VHF/UHF HDTV 60 Mile Fringe Yagi Antenna | 30-2440 (302440) | Stellar Labs
The larger higher gain Antennacraft antennas would probably be too directional for your location.
The roof in the way to the north could be a problem as can other nearby trees or buildings. Just getting an antenna outside might be all it takes in your location. You are not really going to know until you try something outside.
There are bidirectional solutions, but they involve building the antenna yourself or modifying a manufactured antenna.
Steve
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#6
I would aim the Stellar labs 30-2440 North, you should get all the major networks out of Detroit/Ann Arbor.

You may want to consider adding a rotor at some point in the future, however. You have Canadian stations to the NNE that may interest you, and Toledo stations to the South. This could be important if you are a sports fan and your nearby teams are subject to local broadcast blackouts.
 

tack

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#7
Some had previously mentioned a rotor to me. How does that work? Is it something that automatically turns the antenna when you change the channel, or is there a switch where you have to turn it yourself?
 
#8
Rotors are not automatic you have to turn the knob, or push the button and wait for the antenna to turn, and then hope it ends up in the right direction. When I used a low cost Radio Shack rotor a few years back I actually got along with it pretty good, but it was not very accurate. While I did not have any real problems with it. The currently available low cost rotors are not known for reliability or aiming accuracy.
Start out with just getting a good small antenna up experiment with aiming and see how things work out. Your signals are predicted to be strong enough that you may not need a rotor.
Steve
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#9
Rotors complicate your TV viewing, but provide more channels. If your TV has a "add scan" feature or a way to manually enter channels, it is not hard to set up. Most modern rotors use plastic gears that give out after a few years when turning a large antenna, but with a small-ish antenna it's not a big problem. Some of the better ones are more accurate and have features like digital readout and presets.

You will find that most of the time, you will be pointing in one direction in your location (North, as I suggested). As Steve suggested, I wouldn't install a rotor right now. Just get the Stellar Labs 30-2440 up for now. When the snow melts it may be a good time to play with a rotor. Come back if you decide to do so and we'll give you some rotor options.

I do feel the HBU-11 is a little weak for your location, but the HBU-22 would be just as good as the Stellar Labs.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#11
Tack,

We rarely recommend omnidirectional antennas because they can encourage reception difficulties whereas directional antennas can be selected to defy the same issues. As an example, if you had a channel transmitting directly to your antenna from the north and you use a directional antenna to receive it, by design that antenna blocks other signals coming in from different directions.

In the same example, lets say you have a skyscraper or a mountain to your west: it may reflect the same signal back to an omnidirectional receiving antenna - BUT - the distance from the transmitter directly to you versus the signal that took 'the scenic route' arrive to your antenna and different times. That's what caused 'ghosts' in analog TV reception but it can completely confuse digital TV tuners - as in no reception at all. I hope this helps.

Jim
 
#12
I don't think anyone here would recommend an omni. In fact on the forum we have read of failures from those who first tried an omni. Most of the so called omnidirectional antennas are not truly omnidirectional. A commonly made statement is omni's receive equally poorly from all directions. As strong as your signals should be I think you will probably be able to receive the strong signals off the back side of a small directional antenna.
Steve
 

tack

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#13
Follow up: I went with the clearstream 2v for a couple of reasons. Best Buy had it in Stock and nobody else really had anything. Radio Shack had 1 big gawdy looking thing for 160.00 that I'm sure my association would have something to say about. The clearstream is very sleek and really doesn't use anymore room than the dish. Also, if this didn't work out, I could just take it back to the store and return it as opposed to shipping it back had I ordered it over the internet.

I removed my dish, pointed the antenna toward the northern signals, using an antenna pointer app on my phone. I couldn't be happier:) I get all of the networks out of Detroit with a signal strength of 80 or better. I also get 2 stations from the south that are immaculate, as well as a Canadian network. I'm running it through my dish dtvpal dvr (that I acquired a few years back). It's all working great, thanks for the tips:)
 
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