GETTING STARTED WITH OVER-THE-AIR TV - The FAQ's

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#22
William, Pogi has a good point about MyN. But no on the 91/3020 comparison, let me explain. There are four functions which antennas are capable of performing in reception. VHF-lo channels 2-6 ... FM frequencies which are between channels 6 & 7 ...VHF-hi channels 7-13 & UHF channels 14-69 . Sorry, my "enter" key is not allowing me to put those on separate lines or I would have, so I'm having to write everything in a single paragraph. Hope that's not too confusing. Now, not all Antennas will receive all those frequencies, and some are dedicated to just one, two or three of them. But if any Antenna will receive more than one frequency, the frequencies are next to each other in the order I listed above. The CM3020 is a "Full Range" Antenna, and will receive all four frequencies. The 91XG will receive UHF (14-69) only. The MyN channel is a UHF channel, that's why I selected the XG type, and it is not a very strong channel, which is why I selected the 91. Now, you need to decide if the benefit of dedicating the expense of adding a second Antenna is worth it, for what you will gain. Check it out: http://www.locatetv.com/listings/wctx-the-x-mynetworktv
 
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nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#23
The 91XG is UHF only, so you wont get any channel with a real channel number of 13 or less. It was a hypothetical suggestion for getting the MyN transmitter much further down than WPXN (ION).

To get WXPN, you may find (if possible), that raising or lower the antenna may help, (it may also cause the loss of other stations). If your cuurent antenna was on the roof, its very likely you would receive WPXN (ION) just fine, and probably a few other stations aswell. VHF penetrates into roof spaces (or indoors) much better than UHF.

Ideally both you and your buddy should have CM3020's (or similar) on your roofs. 40miles is a long way out, even on a highpowered transmitter, to attempt and in-roof install.

Sorry, my "enter" key is not allowing me to put those on separate lines or I would have, so I'm having to write everything in a single paragraph. Hope that's not too confusing.
Windows 8 and vBulletin based forums dont get along (my wife has a Win8 PC aswell), its a known bug, and hopefully should be fixed soon.
 
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summerski

DTVUSA Member
#25
Thanks so much for the "idiots guide to antenna TV". I get it now. I may just mount the CM on the roof and hope for the best. If ION comes in I'll be psyched. I will discuss the 91XG with the wife. The MyN looks like a decent network.

I'm gonna recommend the CM 5020 to my buddy and will report back how it works out. He lives in a condo and has a very big storage closet on his top floor which will easily fit a big outdoor antenna no problem at any angle.

Thanks again for the help.

William

A little info on my TV setup:

As my antenna tuner on my Toshiba TV is broken and is just out of warranty, I purchased a Boxee Box to use as a tuner, which is just satisfactory. What I do like is the Western Digital Live Box as it's connect to my PC (win8) and plays my MTS files (video) on my TV without a hitch. Home movies have never looked better. Also a nice way to view photos, Netflix and Hulu if desired.

Cheers,

Update:

CBS is showing a weak signal after a "strong" weekend so out of the attic and up to the roof I go....
 
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summerski

DTVUSA Member
#26
The struggle continues. CBS has a 75-100% signal strength on our upstairs TV which only has apprx 30' of coax running to the antenna. Out main tv has a 150' of coax and has a amp but is still giving me a weak signal downstairs.

The amplifier does seem to help some.

Is there an amp or pre-amp that might help my cause?

Thanks again.

William

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SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#27
William, I think you mistyped the Antenna number, you meant a 3020 right ? On the Amplification: It could be better on the Upstairs TV, but, that's a LONG way to the Main TV. Do you have that Antronix Amp inline now, and if so, just where is it inserted ? I've never used one of those, we almost always rely on Winegard or Channel Master products. I did a lookup on it, but couldn't find that model, so, I don't know if it's a Pre-Amp or Distribution Amp. In either case: you probably could use a Distribution Amp just on the cable to your Main TV. They have those things (one cable in/one cable out) from a 15 to 25 db boost. Additionally: As long as you're in the mood to spend your money :becky:, you might get a "known" good quality Splitter. If you don't know about the one you have, it's not a very large expense ($4), and, that first length of Coax (Antenna to Splitter) might be a consideration too. If you replace the Coax, use RG6 Quad Shield for it. I suggest the coax, because the % you quoted at the Upstairs TV seems a little low, and, with those two you've eliminated any problems ahead of that long run. Also, if you have any additional Splitters in the system anywhere, you should get a "Coupler" and just join the in and out Cable through it. Reference to Antronix: Antronix - PS: IF you move that Antenna up on the Roof, you're going to see a considerable increase in your signal strength !
 
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SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#29
Will, concerning your buddies Antenna: If he wasn't looking to get every channel out there, and would settle on the strong major channels on his 231 Magnetic direction, that's about 13-19 channels (+subs), he could get by with a lot cheaper antenna. (A VHF-hi/UHF) like the CM2020. That only eliminates about 3 channels from what you can receive, and from what I see on his chart, they aren't much for watching anyway. CM2020 at: http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.as...-cm2020-digital-advantage-tv-antenna-(cm-2020) (that's about $50 less than the 5020)
 
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SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#31
Will, given that he'll probably be hanging it from the ceiling in that spare room, he can just set/balance it on a Ladder, get a Coax which is long enough to get to his TV, which hopefully has Signal Strength, and get a very accurate aim BEFORE he mounts/hangs it from the ceiling. Often times, TVFool is not all that accurate giving the Azimuth, and having that ability to make those micro-adjustments (left/right) is very beneficial to reception. NOW, tell him to save all the packing, and be careful with it...why... One never knows what materials/metal/whatever, there may be in the walls with an installation like this, and though I'm pretty sure the 2020 will work, conditions may change that. So, if he ordered it from Solid Signal, he can return/exchange it, no questions ask, and we can make another decision, based on the reception results. Once getting things right, he can use 3 plastic Anchors and some nylon cord, to suspend the Antenna from the ceiling. Then they have little sticky wire clamps, where he can run the Coax along the ceiling and down the wall, or possibly up into the crawl space and to the TV. One other thing (both of you) do a good check on the type of (existing) Coax that was originally installed. It's possible that it's the old type, and the newer 75 ohm RG-6 is much better. The old stuff will work, but, the RG-6 will give you a much better signal, and can be pulled in easily if necessary. I suggested a Quad Shield for your primary run, but he probably will be able to get by with the standard shielded Coax. It's less expensive.
 

summerski

DTVUSA Member
#32
Ordered the CM 2020 last night. Will take your advice on mounting. Regarding the coax, my long run is RG-6 75 ohm but most likely single shield. (home depot) A quick search on eBay shows quad shield (100') is very reasonable. What about RG-8? Is that overkill? A 100' is $40.

Another thought is to install a second antenna on the north end of the house in the attic above the family room with a very short run (25') to our main tv. This will be approx 10' above the ground.

Or buy the eve mount from solid signal, attach 3020 to roof, buy grounding rod, upgrade coax, try not to kill myself on the ice covered shingles lol...

Im hell bent on doing it right. Plus I like a challenge.

The bedroom tv is solid.

Thanks again for your feedback.

Will
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#33
Will, no on the RG-8, that's 50 ohm Cable, and not suited for TV use. On your existing Cable: Single Shield will probably do very well, I was just trying to make sure it would be well protected, in case it was laying across/near any electrical wire/components. If that is the case, you need to move/hang it away from that stuff. The "Overkill" size for 75 ohm Cable is RG11 which is rarely needed for residential use. On Joining the Second Antenna: I would suggest using the Winegard CC 7870 Combiner at Winegard CC-7870 2-Way TV Antenna Joiner Coupler (CC7870) from Solid Signal On the Roof Mount: YES !, if you can get both the 3020 and the UHF up there would be much better ! Also: you could just get all this set up in the Attic or just laying around to test the system, and WAIT till better weather, where you weren't having to deal with the Ice and being rushed outside because it's cold. Be safe and "try" to be patient ! :D
 
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nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#34
If there is snow/ice on the roof, DO NOT climb on.

And for a cold weather install, expect your finger to hurt and/or go numb, even with tradesmens gloves.

Dont say I didnt warn you! :D
 

summerski

DTVUSA Member
#35
Don't worry, I'm not getting on the roof anytime soon. I'm trying to be patient but it's not easy. :)

I did replace a 6" piece of old coax with a new piece of RG 6 and "bam" I'm getting a much better signal on the family room tv. But I'm still getting the occasional "weak signal" message about once every 30 minutes. I won't sleep til it's solid. Lol

I also received a CM Titan 2 Pre-amp which I promptly installed but lost channels. I didn't turn on the FM signal but that's only a few channels? It actually seemed to weaken the signal. Could have been that bad piece of coax?

Am i now getting a stronger signal by replacing a bad piece of coax or the low clouds and the impending storm heading East..........

Tomorrows a new day.

Thanks again SWH.
 
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nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#36
In the US there are no channels in the FM band, it should be safe to attenuate if you dont want FM distributed through the system.

(Off topic: Here analog channels 3, 4, and 5 are in the FM band, we dont use anything below our CH6 (your CH7) for digital)
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#37
Will, given that you mentioned the FM switch, you must be speaking of the CM 7777 at: Channel Master CM7777 Titan2 VHF/UHF TV Antenna Preamplifier with Power Supply (CM-7777) from Solid Signal. It is one of the more powerful Pre-Amps pushing the signal with a 30 db boost (that's a lot). It's possible that the loss of channels, was because you were overdriving the signal. I had thought that you may need a Distribution Amp, which would be placed after the splitter, just on your line to the Main TV. But before choosing a Distribution Amp, I think you should get your system completely set up. ie: both Antennas pointed, and connected to the Combiner, then to a good quality Splitter, then we'll make an evaluation on just how much boost you'll need, for the Main TV. As you have found with that short Coax piece, some of the most innocuous parts, which are not of good quality, can mess things up, and it's very common place, for stores like Wal-Mart or other non-dedicated establishments, to handle these low quality products. A good choice for a Splitter would be at: Skywalker 2-way Splitter for Off-air and Satellite signals (SKY23302D) from Solid Signal. This item has a Ground terminal, which we can discuss at some point.
 

summerski

DTVUSA Member
#38
Hello. Quick story. My buddy got his cable shut off yesterday (owes over $500) and we're still waiting on his CM 2020 so for kicks I took an old antenna that was in my attic when I purchased my house 16 years ago and lackadaisically hung it in his attic. I was shocked with the results. Fox came in with vivid clarity. Can't believe an old analog antenna was picking up UHF channels (albeit only a few) with HD quality.

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oldantenna.JPG

Anyways, for me, CBS which is apparently the same distance away as FOX, comes in solid one day and weak the next so I ordered the Eve Mount and recommended splitter (Thanks SWHouston) in preparation for the outdoor install of the 3020. ASAP.

Hopefully my buddies 2020 will arrive today so we'll be busy on the attic install tonight. Report will follow.

Cheers,

Will
 
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Bryce

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#40
I appreciate the posts, because I'm getting ready to cut my cable. My $208 bill is too much. That includes high speed internet and telephone, but even so. I'm just sorry I can't change my high speed internet service, too. I don't want to go with satellite, and the only other option is very slow DSL or my current cable.

I just wish the process of selecting an antenna was easier!

Bryce
 
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