running digtal chanels through house

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#2
:welcome: lanilx,

You can share the signals from your antenna all over your home, but it may require a distributing amplfier. Tell us more about your existing coax system and what setup you currently have, especially where the cables from each room all come together.

It would also help if we knew what kind of antenna you are using, its height above ground, indoors or outdoors and the stations you currently receive OTA. Also, please share a link to your TVFOOL report (include the antenna's height) with us: this will help us know roughly 'how much signal' you currently have to work with. Also, if you haven't yet purchased an antenna, the report is a tool we use to determine which antennas should work for you and those that are unlikely to be good choices.

You can get your report here ---> TV Fool and it will automatically conceal your address from public view.

Jim
 
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n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#3
Also consider this:

What are the wires in the basement connected to?
How old are the wires?

When I hear "wires in the basement" usually it means the home was prewired when it was built or a cable or satellite company wired it later on. Just make sure it's not connected to anything before putting the antenna on it. You don't want to tap in to wires that are connected to cable or a sat dish without disconnecting first.

Also, sometimes the wiring might be old and have problems, otherwise it might be just fine.

The distribution amp may be needed if it's more than a couple of TVs but if you have a strong enough signal you should be able to get away without one.
 

Jim1348

DTVUSA Member
#4
I do that with my system. It was fairly easy for me because when I bought my hobby farm 16 years ago they already had a VHF-UHF log periodic in the attic. Now while I don't recommend an indoor antenna, I do have a wife! A couple of years back I swapped the old antenna for a Channel Master CM4228. I did have to get an amplifier because I Do have several fairly long runs of coaxial cable around the house. I would strongly encourage you to use RG6 coaxial feedline in all sections of the system. Avoid RG59 even for the short patch cables. Two of my local broadcasters went UHF for a couple of years, but then went back to VHF 9 & 11. The Channel Master handles them just fine.
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#6
lanilx,

You can probably pick up a ton of stuff from both 50ish miles @ 170 degress (basically due South) and 35ish miles @ 360 degrees (due North).

Some suggestions.

Going by your TV Fool you posted...

Channel Master 4228HD, point at 360 degrees (you may need to experiment because the TVFool data may not be accurate as its showing the stuff at 50 miles stronger than the stuff at 35 miles, but that could be because of hills or terrain. You are going to try to pick up the stronger direction off the backside. You also have a few VHF High stations, which you are likely to pick up with this antenna (though its not as good as on UHF), however if you dont or they have a propensity to drop out, they seem to be redundant in you situation, so PBS Ch. 8 for example, you have another PBS you can get. Only about 4 of the stations are in VHF High, out of a couple of dozen, you are likely to get (plus their subchannels).

Get yourself an amplifier with an integrated FM Trap. I checked your FM Fool with a generic zip code from your TVFool. It looks like you have 3 possibly offensive stations that could overload your amplifier. WIIL 95.1 50kW at 5.1 miles from the generic zip @ -21.8 dB, WWDV 96.9 50kW at 8.3 miles @ -27.3 dB, and low power WGTD 91.1 0.5kW at 2 miles @ -28.6 dB.

A good alternative to the Channel Master 4228HD for you would be the AntennaCraft G1483 Hoverman "4 Bay" or the stacked "8 bay." This has good UHF, some VHF performance but not as good as the CM 4228HD, but it also is much better off the backside on UHF than the CM 4228HD, with its much lower F/B ratio over much of the low to mid UHF band.

One more option would be the Kosmic SuperQuad that I make. You could try it with the screen on, like these other antennas pointed at the weaker cluster of stations, or you can remove the screen and pick up about 8 dBi gain on UHF in both directions, and about 1 dBi on VHF High in both directions. Again with the amplifier with integrated FM Trap.

As to the amplifier, I recommend the

Channel Master Titan 7777

Its hard to say which would be your best option. I would lean toward the KSQ, because the screen is easily removed, so you can try it that way as well, which might be the best option (screenless). But any of the three are likely to make you happy.
 
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Don_M

DTVUSA Member
#7
The good news is that, since they're carrying data, the coaxial cables now in your house are almost certainly the RG6 that Jim recommended a couple of days ago. The bad news? You can't mix data and over-the-air (OTA) signals from an antenna on the same cables. There are two workarounds:

• You may not need to erect an antenna at all. Many Internet-only cable customers actually have access to what's essentially "limited basic" cable service -- local broadcasts plus a few additional cable channels. It's worth checking out if you have digital TVs with clear-QAM tuners. It's likely that any set needing a converter box would need a cable box, though, and this may not work if your local cable system's configuration isn't QAM-compatible. It's definitely worth spending a few minutes to check this out.

• If access to the signals via TW's system isn't available or feasible, and you have only one cable modem in the house, separate wiring is the way to go. The most practical and economical solution would be to run a new RG6 cable from TW's drop at the splitter in your basement directly to the cable modem (or have a TW tech do it). Detaching TW's cable from the splitter and splicing it to the new modem cable with a bullet connector will free up the rest of the wiring in the house for distributing OTA signals. All you'd need to do is replace the TW cable at the splitter's input with the new one leading from the antenna.

Your TVFool report shows that, with a high-quality antenna designed for channels 7-69 mounted above the roof or chimney, an antenna pre-amplifier should not be needed for one TV. An amp may be needed for two TVs if the cable runs inside the walls are long. If you have three or more TVs, a good quality amp will be necessary. Pre-amps come in two parts -- the amp module, which goes up near the antenna, and a power injector installed indoors, typically just ahead of the splitter.

Edit: I can't top EV's antenna recommendations...
 
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Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#9
lanilx,

If you choose to install an outdoor antenna on your roof or an (outdoor) antenna in your attic, Escape Velocity's Kosmic Super Quad would be a good choice because of its design: it is a 'one-direction antenna' when it has its reflector screen installed, or a 'two-direction antenna' when the reflector screen is not used, plus the screen is easily removed. Since the majority of potential channels available to you are either north or south of you, I would install it without its reflector screen pointed at one of the two clusters of transmitters. There is a small photo of his antenna above, next to his reply to your questions.

I agree with Don_M that it would be best to install new RG-6 coax, as a separate system: be sure to use coax with black insulation because it withstands UV radiation (sunlight damage) better than white colored coax.

Q: Do your TV sets have their own digital tuners or will you be using Digital to Analog Converter Boxes? Not all Converter Boxes are created equally, so may be another issue we need to address.

Jim
 
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TomBrooklyn

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#10
The good news is that, since they're carrying data, the coaxial cables now in your house are almost certainly the RG6 that Jim recommended a couple of days ago. The bad news? You can't mix data and over-the-air (OTA) signals from an antenna on the same cables. There are two workarounds:

• Many Internet-only cable customers actually have access to what's essentially "limited basic" cable service -- local broadcasts plus a few additional cable channels. It's likely that any set needing a converter box would need a cable box, though, and this may not work if your local cable system's configuration isn't QAM-compatible.
Hi,
Why would an analog television that needs a converter need a cable box? Is not a clear QAM converter all it takes? From a little internet research, I had gotten the impression virtually all cable companies were were using QAM signals for their unencrypted basic channels. This is not so?
 
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