Question: New to OTA Need advice

U

Unregistered

Guest
#1
Good morning..

I'm completely new to this, I have questions/seeking advice.. I'm planning on setting up an OTA antenna, I've been skimming the forums and am becoming confused.. For clarity, I'm planning on installing in a new/different house than I'm in ATM so I wont be doing anything immediately, just thinking ahead here. I read a sticky with some questions, I'll try to start with that.. I'd like as many channels as possible, I have a fairly broad budget, I want to run 3 or 4 TVs' the furthest away from the antenna will be approx. 40'. I have no equipment at all just now. I'm a contractor so being on the roof, general principles, securing everything etc. is not an issue. As a final note, I'm currently without cable, my billing cycle with my provider meant that by disconnecting service now/early I can save money, so I did just that.. Probably saved enough to buy most of my new setup.. I'm in Canada if that changes anything..

Here's my Tv Fool Link TV Fool

Hopefully I've not overlooked anything, thanks for your help and time..

Glenn
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#2
Your (Strong) Canadian stations are at 233 degrees, and the weaker American channels are from about 150 to 180 degrees. You have a mix of UHF (14 and up) and VHF-hi (7-13) channels, so you will need an antenna that gets both. I would try for the Canadian channels @ 233 degrees first with a larger antenna and one TV. You could then play with the aiming and attempt to get both US and Can channels by pointing south. When you are satisfied with your reception, you can add an amplifier and split the signals to the other TV sets.

Just my first thoughts, as others join in we can discuss some specific antennas.
 
G

Guest

Guest
#3
Hello MrPogi, thank you so much for your response. I went on a little hunt yesterday. I found Digiwave antennas cheap and very close to home here at an end of the line type of retailer. They have the 7288, 7287, 7286 and 7285 I think I might buy one just to try it out/get going here.. I'll stop in again on my way home from work.. Thanks again..
 
#4
The Digiwave 7286 appears to be the same antenna as the Solid Signal HDB8X, and The Stellar Labs 30-2430. From what reading I have done the antenna seems to be a good performer, and does have some VHF signal response. As I recall better on the lower high VHF channels. You only have one high VHF signal in your easily receivable channels CFTO on real channel 9, and it is a strong signal. The one thing I want you to know right from the start is when you aim the two panels separate directions it will result in a large amount of signal loss in both directions. If your signals are indeed as strong as the predicted levels in the posted TV Fool report. I would probably aim both panels at about 170 degees magnetic and see what you get. From there you will probably need to make adjustments in aiming. It is possible that it might work with one panel aimed at 170 degrees, and the other at 243 degrees, but it would not surprise me to have that arrangement fail to provide the desired results. Keep us informed of your progress.
Steve
 

onlydad

DTVUSA Rookie
#5
Hey RF Steve, Thanks for your response. I registered, figured what the heck.. I dropped in again at the retailer, looked at the boxes, did nothing.. lol Figured I'd hold off buying till I give it some more thought.. As mentioned my need isn't immediate, necessarily as I'm not in the new house for a month or so. I will loose cable here tomorrow though so my need factor will increase, having something to play with/set up temporarily will become important. I have been reading here and on tv fool, lots of interesting stuff.. Seems the CM4228HD might be an option as well. It performs well across V and UHF (apparently) so it might be in the running. It's also inexpensive, but the retailer in my area is quite a drive (hour) away...
I've read these 8 bays or multi directional antennas don't do so well when in the multidirectional configuration, I've also read about combining antennas ie: the CM3414 and the Clearstream5 for both V and U.. it becomes very complicated very quickly.. I assume one has to dive in and sink or swim.. I'm doing my best to be patient and learn what IO can so I don't go off half cocked and throw away hundreds of dollars needlessly in my learning.. anyways.. Thanks for your help.. I'll hold off as long as I can and check in often before laying down my cc
Glenn
 
#6
I would consider test driving a low cost 4 bay antenna at your location get a bit of a feel for OTA work, and an idea of what you might expect. The CM4228HD is a very directional UHF antenna that happens to have some VHF response. As I said you only have one VHF signal, and it appears to be strong enough to sneak in on most UHF antennas. You really won't know what is going to work until you try. I always encourage the use of antennas designed for the frequencies to be received. The term muti-directional gets thrown around a lot by marketing people even when the antenna they are selling is in fact quite directional. There are some very directional antennas that have very useful rear side lobes if the signals to the rear are strong. In my area until recently I had always used a small VHF/UHF combo antenna aimed toward some low power but needed UHF signals which meant two of the strong VHF signals needed were off the back side of the antenna it always worked quite well. I don't think the marketing departments had started using the term muti-directional when those old antennas were designed.
The idea of using UHF antennas to receive VHF signals is something I really can't recommend, but it is what I'm currently using in an area where the VHF signals are strong, and the UHF signals are from low power translators.
Speaking of marketing departments out of control I just noticed a well known antenna company has added the claim 4K ULTRA HD READY to their claims. To the best of my knowledge the broadcasters are a long ways from 4K ULTRA HD READY.
Steve
 

onlydad

DTVUSA Rookie
#8
Hey Fringe, welcome to our little discussion. Thankyou very much for your interest and tip, $18 is hard to beat, I drive a truck so for me gas is a consideration. Oddly enough I just bought the exact same antenna, a Digiwave-2084 at a little local discount retailer less than a KM from my house. I paid a bit more, it was $26.99 with 10% off (almost the tax), the kicker!! I can return it for exchange within 30 days provided I keep the box, no problem, no questions.. They're very nice/accommodating.. just trying to get rid of their stuff.. lol

Sooo I got home, set it up on a little stand in my front window facing south (of note, I'm still in my old house, so the TV fool as posted does not apply, yet) bango.. 5 channels.. awesome, I don't watch TV often, so seldom I don't really care what's on, it's more about a voice or to have some company.. I'm thrilled.. Assuming it can only get better, there's no downside for me.. The cable company left the old cable hooked up (not HD) the picture quality on the antenna is amazing, I wont even bother with the old cable feed.. I'll spend a little time tomorrow and try to set up a simple mast outside, get it up a bit and pointed south.. Thanks to everyone for your help and advice, I'll keep you posted as to my progress tomorrow..
Glenn
 

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