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ajk816

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
Disgusted with the monthly cost of DirecTV, I'm trying to make a change. I'm looking to phase out satellite completely and go to an OTA/Tivo/Internet solution. I did a simple test this weekend with an antenna that's been sitting in my basement and I was able to get a lot of the channels from my list. But it seems my antenna is UHF only as I can't get ABC or PBS. I can't say for sure, but my antenna looks like it could be an Antennas Direct DB8, or a knockoff of it. So my first question is how do I supplement this antenna with something to pick up the VHF channels I'm missing? I'm just trying to receive the channels in green and yellow from the TVFool report.

Also during my test, the signal quality was in the 40s for most of my channels. I assume this will increase when I move the antenna to the attic, but should I get a preamp?

Anything else I should know/do/need? Thanks in advance for the assistance and please forgive me if I forgot to include any information.

Here is my report from TVFool
TV Fool
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#2
I'd just put it up on the roof first. Then see if you need another antenna. If you post a picture of the antenna, these guys can probably ID it.

If you're running a lot of tvs you *may* need an amp. But try it without first, its easy to add it later.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#3
:welcome: ajk816,

Your ABC affiliate is VHF channel 6 and if you are correct about your antenna model, it is not designed to receive VHF channels. However, you can add a VHF antenna to the same coaxial cable using a UVSJ. Here's a link to an article on the Forum covering combining antennas: http://www.dtvusaforum.com/articles/3438-combining-uhf-vhf-antenna-w-w-o-amps.html

So far, where have you been testing your antenna and at what height above ground? Regarding attic antenna installations, there can be some complications. RF signals do not penetrate adobe tile roofs or 'metal' roofs very well, aluminum foil-backed fiberglass insulation can be a signal barrior or a reflector, furnace ducting, clothes dryer ducting, steel chimney pipes, etc. can really play havoc. If possible, an outdoor installation is almost always superior in performance.

Your TVFOOL chart shows there are stations potentially available to you all around the 'clock' so if you put your UHF antenna on an antenna rotor (rotator) you might be surprised which stations you can receive. The (new) VHF antenna could be mounted in a fixed position to receive Channel 6.

Be sure to use RG-6 coax because it provides lower signal loss than RG-59 coax and black is superior to white because it holds up far better to Ultraviolet radiation (sunlight).

Regarding amplifiers or preamplifiers, I prefer to avoid using them because they can introduce 'noise' into the signals. I would first try your attic or outdoor setup without using any. I hope this helps!

Jim
 
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n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#4
:welcome: ajk816!

WPVI 6 is pretty strong, only problem is that they are low band VHF.

As others have said you can try the antenna on the roof first, but if that fails you may have to get another antenna that does VHF/UHF.

Getting the antenna outside is more important though.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#5
I agree, anything is an antenna, just some are better (or much better) than others. If the Channel 6 is strong enough where you live, even a UHF antenna will pick it up. I too can't emphasize strongly enough to try it outside if no where else works. Also try more than one location and height.
 

dave73

DTVUSA Member
#6
:welcome: ajk816!

WPVI 6 is pretty strong, only problem is that they are low band VHF.

As others have said you can try the antenna on the roof first, but if that fails you may have to get another antenna that does VHF/UHF.

Getting the antenna outside is more important though.
It will be even more important to have a VHF antenna outdoors (especially Lo-VHF). I could never get Lo-VHF stations in the Chicago market with rabbit ears. In my home, only Verizon Wireless works in my home. TV & FM need outdoor antennas in order to pick them up. I was lucky before June 12th to get WBBM-TV on RF 3 with my current VHF/UHF antenna for channels 2-69. The Lo-VHF portion of that antenna isn't being now since WBBM-TV moved to 12 & can't get WOCK-CD on RF 4 with their whimpy 405 watts.

For the OP, don't get just any antenna that says it'll work with VHF. Make sure you get VHF antenna that has long elements on it so you can get channel 6 (WPVI) & 12 (WHYY). Since it looks like both 6 & 12 are in the same direction, then if you decide to use separate VHF & UHF antennas, get one that covers 2-13 (otherwise, get a LO/Hi-VHF/UHF antenna that's optimized for 2-51). If the OP can get most of the stations based on the TV Fool chart, only 1 direction will need an antenna with LO/Hi-VHF while most directions need just UHF & one direction only needing a Hi-VHF/UHF antenna.
 

ajk816

DTVUSA Rookie
#7
I was just testing in a bedroom on the second floor, antenna on the floor leaning on against the wall, just pointed in the general direction of the signals. I imagine reception on the third floor will be better, if not the attic or roof. If this works, I'll need to run to 6 tvs, two on each floor. I'm going to try the VHF reception with the UHF. If that doesn't work, any suggestions on a VHF antenna?
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#8
3 floors!?

I am running 6 tvs on 1 floor only, the antenna is in the attic (moving to the roof soon)
I run a distribution amp for this, I would prefer a pre amp, but thats what I have on hand now. I tried to live without the amp, but its just too much signal loss, and all my transmitters are low power, too.

If you have a rooftop on top of 3 floors (I am assuming one of them isn't the basement!) new RG-6 and good strong signals, you may get by without that amp. And do try your current antenna on the roof first. you may be surprised at what you'll get with it. I am pulling in RF channel 8 off the side of my VHF only antenna, since its a relativly close tower it works.
 
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