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

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#41
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
Its not hard, post your TV Fool.

Its more about how much do u want to spend and what stations do u need vs. what stations would just be a bonus.
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#42
Bryce, just keep focused on how much you'll be saving per year, and that probably will increase your patience considerably. Most times the choice of the Antenna is a no brainer, just give us your TVFool report link, and it's fair sailing from there.
 

drmcnutt

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#43
Hi I've been researching my antenna options for some time. I have read through the threads here and registered because it seems like a very helpful forum. We gave up satellite several months ago. The only thing that makes it tough are live events on local tv (like Superbowl/New Years Eve). Pretty much anything else we can see through streaming options out there. Anyway I would appreciate any advice. Here is my TV Fool

We have a DirectTV satellite still on the roof. I just don't want to go through the hassle of buying everything without some assuredness that it should work. Alternately could we use the actual cables from the DirectTV satellite left on our roof?
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#44
drmcnutt, welcome to the Forum. First of all, I'm suspicious that your TVFool report may be off some. You need to determine where you'd like to place your Antenna (Roof maybe ?), THEN redo your report, and be sure to scroll down on the first page, and enter the installed height that the antenna will be placed at. That's in feet above the ground. Secondly, yes on the Cabling to be used for your Antenna, but, there may be some components in the lines (specific to satellite use) which probably need to be replaced with those for terrestrial TV, like if you want more than one TV on your Antenna system. These usually are very simple and inexpensive replacements. As it is, your report looks rather week, and, we'll be looking forward to seeing the updated version before we can comment on the best Antenna for you.
 
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drmcnutt

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#48
drmcnutt, welcome to the Forum. First of all, I'm suspicious that your TVFool report may be off some. You need to determine where you'd like to place your Antenna (Roof maybe ?), THEN redo your report, and be sure to scroll down on the first page, and enter the installed height that the antenna will be placed at. That's in feet above the ground. Secondly, yes on the Cabling to be used for your Antenna, but, there may be some components in the lines (specific to satellite use) which probably need to be replaced with those for terrestrial TV, like if you want more than one TV on your Antenna system. These usually are very simple and inexpensive replacements. As it is, your report looks rather week, and, we'll be looking forward to seeing the updated version before we can comment on the best Antenna for you.

Thanks for the replies and the welcome. I redid the report adding a height of 25 feet? I didn't see an option for "roof" or other location on it. I certainly could be doing something wrong. The results look pretty similar. By the response I suppose I may be doomed on my efforts of at least getting the major broadcasters. We live in PA and there are some mountains around us. It says we are about 20 miles from several of the station with sounds about right.

New TV Fool.
 

summerski

DTVUSA Member
#49
Well a quick update. I read that wind has no effect on the signal. I beg to differ. At least from 40+ miles out. My buddy completely lost CBS (After having a very strong signal on Firday) and mine was so pixelated I had to listen to the Ravens game on the radio. If it's not the wind then it's a conspiracy therory. Free the OTA signals. BTW. This morning, all signals are solid and the winds are calm.
 

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#50
Well a quick update. I read that wind has no effect on the signal. I beg to differ. At least from 40+ miles out. My buddy completely lost CBS (After having a very strong signal on Firday) and mine was so pixelated I had to listen to the Ravens game on the radio. If it's not the wind then it's a conspiracy therory. Free the OTA signals. BTW. This morning, all signals are solid and the winds are calm.
Wind will only affect the signal if it either starts moving the aerial around, or it starts moving heavy foliage around (or lighter foliage in front of a weak signal), wind itself has no effect on OTA
 

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#51
Thanks for the replies and the welcome. I redid the report adding a height of 25 feet? I didn't see an option for "roof" or other location on it. I certainly could be doing something wrong. The results look pretty similar. By the response I suppose I may be doomed on my efforts of at least getting the major broadcasters. We live in PA and there are some mountains around us. It says we are about 20 miles from several of the station with sounds about right.

New TV Fool.

Bang for buck system:
Fringe Combination VHF/UHF Antenna (big winegard?), or separate Large VHF and UHF antenna diplexed and pointed at 240 degrees. [Note: If remove VHF antenna, remove NBC/CBS]
Likely: WBRE(NBC), WYOU(CBS)
Less Likely: WVIA(PBS + 2x PBS suchannels), WNEP(ABC/Antenna TV(SD)), WOLF(FOX/CW(SD)/MyNetwork(SD))

Add ION, CW (HD):
Ultrafringe UHF Antenna (91xg or 8bay bowtie), pointed at 302 degrees. Preamped and combined into above system.
Less likely: WQPX(ION + 2x Ion subchannels), WSWB(CW[HD] - already carried as an SD simulcast on WOLF above, MeTV(SD))

Potshots into the blue (Not worth chasing)
Less likely: W18BN(Unknown, analog, Ch18 @ 15)
Unlikely: WBMG(CBS/CW[SD], Ch7 @ 336), WBPH(Religious x2, Ch9 @ 175)
Insanity: The rest of the list. :)

Key:
Likely - Surprised if you dont get
Less Likely - Should get, but less likely
Unlikely - Might get, worth a shot if youve got the coin
Insanity - Go home, you're drunk
 
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SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#53
I certainly could be doing something wrong.
No, you did it just right. However, that amendment only helped a little, not enough to make a major difference in signal strength. I agree with nbound-au in principal, save that being I'd suggest the Antennacraft C4 and 43XG combination (that's a +13-14 db each), then with amplification. I don't believe that the two extra db from the 91XG would make that much difference, and the smaller 43 would make for a more secure mounting. So drmcnutt, basically what we're saying is, you'll need two Antennas, mounted on the Roof. The C4 will provide you with the first five channels on your Chart, and the 43 the next two, but, ION and CW are rather good channels. Your choice to add the second antenna, will depend on your expectations on the expenditures. However, once bought, that's it, it's a one time charge. Now, as with all situations where the reception is marginal as is in this case, there probably will be times where some channels drop out, or have problems. That's just the way it is, when signal strengths are weak like yours. Also, my suggestion of the two antennas is open for discussion, and I'd like to hear from the Group, any other recommendations they may have.
 

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#54
Tks. Sadly I live in the woods and even with a roof mounted antenna, there s nothing I can do on a windy day. No wind. No wind. No wind.
Unless youve got a fringe antenna already, then upgrading it may help, theres a chance the signal may only be just dropping below the digital cliff, so the extra gain could just be enough (or at least lessen the effect).
 

drmcnutt

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#55
No, you did it just right. However, that amendment only helped a little, not enough to make a major difference in signal strength. I agree with nbound-au in principal, save that being I'd suggest the Antennacraft C4 and 43XG combination (that's a +13-14 db each), then with amplification. I don't believe that the two extra db from the 91XG would make that much difference, and the smaller 43 would make for a more secure mounting. So drmcnutt, basically what we're saying is, you'll need two Antennas, mounted on the Roof. The C4 will provide you with the first five channels on your Chart, and the 43 the next two, but, ION and CW are rather good channels. Your choice to add the second antenna, will depend on your expectations on the expenditures. However, once bought, that's it, it's a one time charge. Now, as with all situations where the reception is marginal as is in this case, there probably will be times where some channels drop out, or have problems. That's just the way it is, when signal strengths are weak like yours. Also, my suggestion of the two antennas is open for discussion, and I'd like to hear from the Group, any other recommendations they may have.
Thanks again for the informative replies nbound-au and SWHouston. I looked for a few antennas online and I'm posting a couple links if I can ask your opinion again on these based on your advice. I am not looking to a cheap alternative here, because at $120 a month for DirectTV a few hundred outlay on an antenna complement is surely the cost effective solution.

Winegard HD8200U

I assume this is the only antenna per nbound-au. One piece solution.

AntennaCraft HD1850

43XG

These two antennas together per SWHouston.

I just want to confirm I have the proper details. Some of the technical aspects elude me, I really do appreciate your expertise and even subjective opinions on this. I have no perspective on this being a cable baby for most of my life. :)
 
#56
Wind will only affect the signal if it either starts moving the aerial around, or it starts moving heavy foliage around
Man, if the antenna is moving a quarter wave length two or three times a second, it's got to drive that tuner cwazy! Reason #27 an indoor installation is superior to an outdoor installation. (I'm sure you agree.) :daffy:

R.
 

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#58
Man, if the antenna is moving a quarter wave length two or three times a second, it's got to drive that tuner cwazy! Reason #27 an indoor installation is superior to an outdoor installation. (I'm sure you agree.) :daffy:

R.
HA! :yell:

Thanks again for the informative replies nbound-au and SWHouston. I looked for a few antennas online and I'm posting a couple links if I can ask your opinion again on these based on your advice. I am not looking to a cheap alternative here, because at $120 a month for DirectTV a few hundred outlay on an antenna complement is surely the cost effective solution.
Definately!

Winegard HD8200U

I assume this is the only antenna per nbound-au. One piece solution.
Thats correct for the 5 stations in the "bang for buck" section, that and a pre-amp, will likely grab those channels.
Alternatively you can use a separate VHF and UHF with higher gain instead of the winegard antenna, if the Winegard doesnt have the herbs.

The other two station (one which you would already basically have [just in SD]) can then be mixed in by various means (possibly easier to mix into the separate UHF/VHF system). If you decide to chase them.
 
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SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#59
drmcnutt, Are you really going to be happy, having only 5 to 7 channels to watch ? That's a vast difference from the Sat Package you're used to viewing.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#60
drmcnutt,

Dependable reception is questionable and I agree with using combined UHF and VHF antennas. I have tried a Winegard HD-9095 in a similar situation and it was pretty good. It has a built-in input to add a VHF antenna. Good luck.

Jim
 
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