What is best new antenna setup - Worcester County MA

#1
TV Fool

I live in southern Worcester County Massachusetts in the Blackstone Valley. My house is at 318 feet in elevation on a hill with a peak to the west at 385 feet, to the northwest a peak of 577 feet, the vally floor is 248 feet and the other side of the valley to the east has a peak of 480 feet. This all within one mile or less. I havent used any kind of tv antenna in years. I grew up in the same neighborhood and the old rabbit ears would easily get a majority of the TV stations despite the hilly terrain.

I am looking to put an arial antenna on my roof or chimney 2 story house. This will most likely feed 4 TV's. I do not have any antenna at all.

My questions are multiple in that I know almost nothing about TV antennas. I am able to learn and mechanically inclined. I will be installing this myself.
I am looking for the best multidirectional antenna, I have Providence to the south, Worcester to the north, Boston to the east, New Hampshire to the north (may or may not receive) and both springfield and hartford to the west. Should without a doubt receive boston, providence and worcester in 3 seperate directions. - I do not want to rotate or move the antenna all the time.
Would I need amps? what is difference between pre-amp, inline amp and distrubution amp?

anything else I should know?

Further information

I took the following questions from the sticky
I want to get EVERYTHING I can for reception. if the antenna is under $250 I'm happy.

Main Assembly:
What kind of Terrestrial Antenna do you presently have: - none

Is the Antenna to be/or installed:
either Attic or Rooftop.

if in Attic, Roof or outside separate Mast/Pole:
How high above ground is your Antenna installed/proposed:
approximately 30ft.

Do you have an Antenna Rotator:
no

Are you presently using a Pre-Amplifier:
no

Interior:
How many linear Cable feet is it between your Antenna and the most far TV:
gueesing 75ft.



How many TV sets will be/are presently being used, on this system:
currently 3.

How many Splitters are in use in your system:

Are you using a Distribution Amplifier:
Do not even know what this is.

Additional Information:
Are you/do you plan to integrate Cable or Satellite Services with this system:
What is feasibility or should I use an AB switch?

Thanks for bearing with me.
I'm considering cutting the cord I want to see what the OTA is like these days.
Thank you
Randy.
 
#2
With your predicted to be receivable signals being more then 70 degrees apart in direction it is unlikely that a simple one antenna solution will provide reliable signal of all Providence, and Boston stations. Two single antenna solutions come to mind that might do the job. The first would be the ClearStream C2V with it's wide beam width, compact size, and high price.
Antennas Direct C2-V-CJM ClearStream2 Digital HD TV Antenna With Dipole And CJ Mount (C2V-CJM) 2V-J3 from Solid Signal
The second would be the Stellar labs 2430 with it's lower price, and aiming flexibility.
Stellar Labs HDTV 80 Mile Deep Fringe Bowtie Television Antenna | 30-2430 (302430) | Stellar Labs
That aiming flexibility could become aiming complexity.
Both of those Ideas could require compromises to be made in not receiving all signals from both markets. You are not really going to know how easy, or difficult your reception possibilities are until you try.
A switched antenna system would work, but is not muti-TV friendly. Combining antennas aimed at separate markets seldom works well. Always start with a single run of coax to a single tv. Once good reception is established you can start working out splitting and distribution of signal. Amplifiers add to system complexity, can decrease reliability one more part to fail, but can be useful with weak signal, and long or split coax runs.
I think I would aim for Boston, and hope a few Providence stations come in off the side.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#3
I'm thinking that it will require 2 antennas - a UHF antenna pointed to 58 degrees and a UHF/ VHF-hi combo pointed @ 134 degrees.
Choices?
I'd use either the C2-V-CJM or HBU-22 from Antennacraft to point SE, and a 4 bay UHF pointed NE.
OR
Stellar Labs VHF/UHF HDTV 60 Mile Fringe Yagi Antenna | 30-2440 (302440) | Stellar Labs pointed SE and a Stellar Labs HDTV 60 Mile Fringe Yagi Television Antenna | 30-2155 (302155) | Stellar Labs pointed NE
You will need a pre-amp if you're driving 4 TV sets.


 
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#4
I do like the two antenna solution. In order for that to work correctly it would require the use of an antenna A/B switch. That doesn't seem to be a very popular option, but it's simple, and it works.
Steve
 

DW-77

DTVUSA Member
#5
The "best multi-directional" I have tried so far is the Antennas Direct - Clear-Stream-2V (the same MrPogi suggested before). With one of those pointed at 97 degrees (East), you should get pretty good reception, for all the channels in the green and yellow area, on a single TV located upstairs (shortest cable run from the antenna). That would be a good starting point. (BJs may have the the CS-2 or the CS-2-V on the shelf.) If that's not good enough, a larger antenna would be your next step.

A larger (and still "multi-directional") antenna, could be the (Antennas Direct) DB8e. It gives you the option to turn the two panels independently, and you could aim one of them at each cluster of channels (N-E and S-W). This antenna is about 3ft high though; please keep that in mind, especially if you are planning to install it in the attic. If you buy it from the manufacturer, also ask them for a VHF dipole and a VHF/UHF combiner; you'll need those for channels 10 ... 13.

For any of the above, an A/B switch (or rotator) would not be needed. If you decide to use different types of antennas, made by different manufacturers; then, as Steve suggested, an A/B switch would definitely be the way to go.

Attic installations are a lot less predictable, and may involve extra "trial and error"; with roofing and/or siding / insulation materials playing a big role. If you don't have a mast already installed on the roof, you could start with CS-2 in the attic, see how it works and go from there. If not happy with the result, you can either take the CS-2 to the roof, or go for the DB8e (again, in the attic, or on the roof).

To answer your amplifier questions: Pre-Amps are usually designed for weak input signals and are installed as close as practically possible to the antenna (on the mast, which may mean "outside"). Distribution amps work with stronger input signals, have multiple outputs, and are used indoors only, to boost the signal so that it can feed multiple TV(s). Which type is best for you will depend on:
- Your antenna of choice;
- The TVs' locations and length of the cable runs.

Even if you decide to use an amp, it is important to choose the right antenna first (with a single TV as load). Do not settle for a so-so antenna, hoping that the amp will make it better.

Good luck.
 
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