Trying to get major networks in spotty area

DirtyRat

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
TV Fool Rebort

I live in the mountainous region of VA (along the western boarder) and cut the cord from costly cable about a year ago. I was hopeful to get ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX. Well using an Antenna Direct Clearstream2, I was able to grab the local ABC and NBC feeds (3.1 and 29.1). Fox is bundled as 3.2, however an standard definition feed.

I had the antenna merely standing near the TV, I moved it into the attic near the eastern facing side of the house (furthest from the living room) as that's where the bulk of the good channels seem to reside. Well I was able to get the channels more constantly (had digital 'snow' when mounted indoors, would require you to sit still to get a clear channel!)

As for the attic install, I used RG6 quad-shield solid core wire (as I understood this to be best for long runs with little loss). The wire run is probably 75 feet or better. I have it going unsplit from antenna to TV. I did add an amplifier from Amazon (I can get exact model if needed) I wasn't a CM, but some PCT brand name (if I remember correctly)

Anyhow, I did finally notice that if I run the coax directly to my TV, I can get CBS fairly clearly with the antenna pointing SE. I believe signals are currently coming in better as it is winter and the trees have no leaves. I don't recall this success earlier in the later summer. However, my biggest problem is when the cable goes to my TV tuner in my computer (setup as a DVR) I get a very 'snowy' CBS. Until recently I got a blank screen, now the audio/video comes through sometimes.

I first blamed this on a cheap tuner card, but now believe it is because it is a dual tuner. Another words although it has one coax input, I believe it immediately splits the signal to two internal tuners. Good for recording two channels, but for signal strength.


Finally, my question, do I have any hope of getting a steady CBS feed (19.1) to my DVR, or more extremely, a FOX network signal (it's down in the gray beyond CBS I believe, also to the SW, I think.

I've somewhat conisdered an antenna directly on the middle of the peak of the roof as it has a good clear LOS to the major channel feeds. Thoughts and ideas are welcome.
 

Trip

Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
Staff member
#2
Do you get anything out of WHTJ on 41-1? Also, do you get 29-1 and 30-1, duplicate 29-1 streams, etc?

(To clarify for those who didn't live in the area for four years, WVIR and W41DT-D both map to 29-1, while W30CT-D maps to 30-1.)

- Trip
 
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dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#3
If you can get 19.1 on your antenna in the attic, there is a very good chance you will get a much better signal on the roof since the roof blocks about 1/2 of the signal. Based on your TVfool you shouldn't get it at all, but being in a mountainous region it may not be accurate (mine isn't here on the front range of the Rockies).
 

DirtyRat

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#4
Do you get anything out of WHTJ on 41-1? Also, do you get 29-1 and 30-1, duplicate 29-1 streams, etc?
I do get 41.1, it seems to come or go, haven't paid very much attention to it being a PBS station, but I believe it came in better with antenna pointing E vs. SE that it is now, a weak signal now. I also get 29.1 and 30.1. When I first mounted the antenna in the attic 29.1 wouldn't come through, a friend mentioned 30.1, and I had to force my DVR to tune to it (wouldn't pick it up in a scan) and while 29.1 was blank, 30.1 came through great. Since I pick up 29.1 just fine, not sure why it was spotty at first.

Also I get 16.1, another ABC feed, and sometimes I get an 8.1 channel. But that was rare. 51.1 (PBS) comes in great at all times.

So anyhow, is the Clearstream2 I'm using a decent antenna? Or should I look for a focused long range antenna and use a rotater to point it at the different channels? I got the Clearstream on a whim just wondering if the OTA DTV was worth pursuing, and the picture is great, and after the initial cost, can't complain about the price!
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#5
DirtyRat,

The ClearStream-2 is a decent antenna but I think you could receive more channels if you used an 8-Bay antenna like a Channel Master 4228. As said above, attic installations reduce signal levels by a percentage but more importantly, your antenna is subjected to signal reflections from HVAC ducting, plumbing vent pipes and foil-backed insulation.

I (also) suggest you try your CS-2 outside to see what you can receive before you spend money on different antennas.

Jim
 

Aerial

DTVUSA Member
#7
The tvfool radar report shows that the tv stations/channels to the , north east , east , and south west , are all exact duplicates , NBC , CW , ABC , with the advantage of the south west group also having PBS. Aim a Winegard HD7696P antenna at the south west group at 239 degree magnetic compass. As for WCAV-DT 19 CBS with a NM(dB)-17.3 and WFXR-DT 17 FOX with a NM(dB)-22.3 . Please make 2 more tvfool radar reports at 45 feet and 60 feet and we can see if more antenna height will get the NM(dB) numbers up into the single digit negative numbers or better yet into the positive single digit NM(dB) numbers. Single digit negative NM(dB) numbers would most likley make CBS and FOX reliable reception.
 
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Aerial

DTVUSA Member
#8
If those NM(dB) numbers come up with higher antenna height then install a Winegard HD9095 antenna with a Winegard AP8700 preamp aimed at 149 degree magnetic compass. Switching from one antenna to the other can use a Radio Shack #15-1968 remote control A/B antenna switch. The HD7696P antenna and coax go to the location of the tv. The HD9095P and AP8700 make up a separate antenna system from the HD7696P antenna and coax , the two antenna systems are not connected together on to one coax. The two separate antenna systems are connected to the A/B switch at the location of the Tv and the output of the A/B switch is connected to the Tv.
 
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