Question: need antenna advice

athaya

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
We are looking at ditching our directv and are looking at going OTA combined with amazonprime. I have no idea what kind of antenna to get though. I'm pretty sure based on the tvfool report (see bottom) that a uni-directional one is fine (we don't really need to pick up the Denver stations) and that we need one that does both uhf and vhf (because the pbs station is on channel 8 and it is important to us to have that one). I'm hoping to be able to install it where the existing satellite dish is (it won't face the same direction but it's a good location). My info is as follows:

General Questionnaire for an OTA (Free TV) System Installation

What is your primary objective (check the line applicable) :

I want as many as I can reasonably get:_x__.

Main Assembly:
Do not have an antenna or rotator or pre-amplifier.
Planning on installing on the roof of the garage where the existing satellite dish is. Height is approx. 10ft.

Interior:
Based on my measurements there are approx. 45 ft of linear cable line between the planned antenna location and the tv set. We only have 1 tv we are concerned about. There is another one in the basement that is rarely used, I figure I will worry about that one later.
Have no idea about splitters and am not using a distribution amplifier (also don't know what that is)
How many Splitters are in use in your system: None/not sure?

Additional Information:
Not planning to integrate satellite/cable with it. I'm pretty sure the local stations are all broadcast via the antennas on top of Cheyenne Mountain and we have a clear unobstructed view of it.

Do you have a current Chart for the Free Local TV Channels in your Area?

TV Fool

Thank you for any help!
 
#2
You have a very good location, and realistic expectations. There are a variety of available antennas that should work good for you. The first three that come to mind are.
Winegard VHF/UHF HDTV Antenna(HD7694P) from Solid Signal
AntennaCraft High-Band VHF UHF Outdoor HDTV Antenna (HBU22) from Solid Signal
Stellar Labs VHF/UHF HDTV 60 Mile Fringe Yagi Antenna | 30-2440 (302440) | Stellar Labs
The smaller Antennacraft HBU11, or RCA ANT751 would probably work, but I like an antenna with a bit more gain on the UHF side. The Antennas Direct C2-V would probably work, but is lacking in gain on the VHF side, and is high on the price tag. Your signal levels are predicted to be high enough that with a good antenna the signal should survive one split without any problems.
Steve
 

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#3
I'm guessing PBS channel 8 will come in with a UHF only antenna. Yes, it'll be a crap shoot but the signal is pretty darn strong so my guess is you won't need a VHF antenna to do it but don't quote me. :)
 
#4
While I have often used UHF antennas in my area which has a mix of strong VHF signals and moderate UHF signals coming from more than one direction. I would seldom recommend the use of a commercially built UHF antenna to receive VHF signals. On many of them what VHF gain they have is not in the same direction as the UHF gain. Often times the VHF gain is actually off the back side which could be useful in a few locations. The SWR of most UHF antennas is excessive at VHF frequencies which causes higher feed line loss, and can create channel specific peaks and nulls of signal along the feed line. Some commercial UHF antennas use PCB baluns that greatly attenuate VHF signals (Antennas Direct). Yes at the OP's location a UHF antenna might be all that is needed, but when I offer advice there are far too many variables involved to suggest using less then what I feel is optimum based on the information provided. I will have to say PBS is a priority for me.
Steve
 

athaya

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#5
Thank you all for your advice! I will let you know what we end up doing. I'm thinking about the HD7694P. I'm also pricing out having an antenna professionally installed too as I'm not confident in my abilities on my own. That being said if it's too much, I will do it on my own =)
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#6
Thank you all for your advice! I will let you know what we end up doing. I'm thinking about the HD7694P. I'm also pricing out having an antenna professionally installed too as I'm not confident in my abilities on my own. That being said if it's too much, I will do it on my own =)
Your grandfather or father probably installed a TV antenna back in the 50's, 60's or 70's. The process hasn't changed much since then, except now the antennas are usually MUCH smaller. The only thing I don't like is having to climb a ladder to do it - but I hate paying the cable bill even more. If your grandpa could do it, you can too!

I agree with Steve about the VHF - and I know for a fact that the Stellar Labs UHF- only antennas have a balun that totally blocks VHF, but the Stellar Labs 30-2440 UHF/VHF antenna will work just fine, as will the other two mentioned. Just point to about 200 degrees and done! Also, your signal should be strong enough to split to a 2nd TV without an amplifier if you want to do it.

I know it can be difficult to find an installer, and expensive to have an antenna installed. Often, the "pro" doesn't have any more knowledge or experience than the person paying them. As long as you have DTVusaForum experts to ask when you run into a problem, you are an expert!
 
Last edited:

athaya

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#7
Thanks Mr Pogi! =)

Is there any thoughts on the benefits of putting it in the attic vs outside? my main concern would be that it sometimes gets a bit windy here.. although I'm sure my wind is nothing on Steve's wind if he's in Wyoming =)
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#8
Both the Stellar Labs and Winegard antennas are quite sturdy, the Antennacraft antennas are not as sturdy but still good. If mounted outside, mount them on a short but sturdy mast if wind is a concern.

Outdoors mounting is always best for reception, the downside is that you have to climb on the roof, corrosion can happen, and you need to ground it.

In the attic reception is not as good, but it's easy to install and access and you don't "need" to ground it - although I still do.
 
#10
Attic installation will always result in some signal loss. With radiant barrier sheeting, metal, masonry siding, or roofing there can be complete signal loss, or signals torn up with multi path. Out side is almost always better. Wind is always a concern. Fifteen years ago I would have recommended Winegard, or Channel Master antennas. The long low VHF elements required in most locations back then tended to not hold up well on Antennacraft antennas. Things have changed very few locations require low band VHF antennas with the long elements that tended to get weather damaged.
I was born in this part of Wyoming it is one of the less windy areas of the state. It does seem that the wind has gotten more frequent here in the last ten years. It is called the Wind River basin. The wind is the part of the weather forecast that they most often get right. The worst quickly occurring antenna damage I've ever had was from freezing fog below 0 building up heavy frost inches thick followed by light wind. Strange weather for this part of the world.
Steve
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#12
Freezing fog was a common occurrence when I lived in Logan, UT. It never caused any damage to my rather large antennas. Sure made for some pretty pictures, though!
 

athaya

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#14
Yay! DirecTV is cancelled, antenna is in.. just have to wait until tomorrow when the kids are in preschool to install it. I was so excited I already put it together, just need to hook it up to the house. wish me luck!
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#15
Man, if I'd seen this thread earlier, I would have recommended going to OEM parts on Hancock north of Fillmore and getting one of the Winegard overstock antennas they have for $20. There is plenty of signal in your area. My friend who lives close to you pulls everything in with multiple splits with a Radio Shack U-75R. Channel 8 is actually strong enough here in Monument that it comes in with no antenna attached to the TV. ;)
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#16
Man, if I'd seen this thread earlier, I would have recommended going to OEM parts on Hancock north of Fillmore and getting one of the Winegard overstock antennas they have for $20. There is plenty of signal in your area. My friend who lives close to you pulls everything in with multiple splits with a Radio Shack U-75R. Channel 8 is actually strong enough here in Monument that it comes in with no antenna attached to the TV. ;)
I just gave up my U-75r when I moved to LV. One of the best antennas I have used for UHF for the price. It even picked up my local LP VHF on 8. It's a shame they don't make them anymore.

Dan, what overstocked Winegards do the have there?
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#17
I think they may be Winegard HD 7210P antennas, or something similar. They are OTA antennas left over from the old wireless "cable" service that was around in the 90s (they were combined with microwave antennas for the cable channels). When I asked the employee at OEM about them he said they had trailers "full" of them. All brand new, never been used.
 

athaya

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#18
So I was going to install the antenna today... 3/4 of the way up the ladder my fear of heights stopped me. Guess I'll wait til my husband is home this weekend and have him do it!! :)
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#19
I have a fear of heights, too. But I hate the cable company more. So I overcome it long enough to install an antenna. (I used to install professionally, too!)
 

athaya

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#20
well it turns out I went ahead and hooked the antenna up near the cable box and just put it on the ground for now.. and I get all the channels but NBC so.. pretty cool.. I'll still have him move it to the roof when he gets home though =)
 

Similar threads

Top