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Antenna Recommendation

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by kturcotte, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. kturcotte

    kturcotte New Member

    1,159
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    Dec 8, 2002
    Portland, ME
    I have the Roamio Basic, and use it for OTA. I just moved to a new location, and I'm getting dropouts on some channels. I went to Tvfool.com and attached what they told me. I'm hoping somebody can recommend an antenna. This will be inside, but an outdoor antenna is not out of the question (I have an extra room for storage), I'll just need a way to keep it propped up. I contacted Solid Signal, and they told me reception isn't going to happen without a rotator, which obviously really doesn't work with a DVR especially one tuning 4 channels at the same time time. The channels I'm interested in are NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, MyNetwork, and CW.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. A J Ricaud

    A J Ricaud New Member

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    Jun 25, 2002
    Hacienda...
  3. telemark

    telemark New Member

    1,544
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    Nov 12, 2013
    The zip code looks like an urban area, so you'll want do your testing from the top floor of your property, usually on the correct side (NW?), unless there are nearby obstructions (taller buildings) in that direction.

    If still unstable, move up to the attic, then move up to the roof, then move up to a pole. If you can stop before getting outside you can avoid weatherizing.

    There are omnidirectional antennas.
    http://www.antennaweb.org/
    suggested http://www.channelmasterstore.com/CM_3000HDAW_p/cm-3000hdaw.htm

    There are 2 outliers on your desired lineup. ABC is on VHF and is kinda far. Fox is even further, but stayed in UHF. Weak signals, due to distance are solved by a quality amp, or an antenna with larger elements.

    Mohu Leaf antennas are omnidirectional too, and some models have a small amp. If you can get one locally, it could be worth a try.

    Fox is coming in from the NE, which means it's coming in over the water? That can be a good sign. Studying your local geography/topography can save you time.

    What stations were giving you problems already, and what / where was that antenna?
     
  4. kturcotte

    kturcotte New Member

    1,159
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    Dec 8, 2002
    Portland, ME
    It is urban, but an apartment building. Having an antenna higher up or even outside isn't an option, unfortunately. The problems seem to be NBC and Fox. Currently using Solid Signal Xtreme Signal HDB2X. As far as ABC, the local station is currently simulcasting in real channel 26, so VHF is required.
     
  5. tomhorsley

    tomhorsley Active Member

    1,167
    4
    Jul 22, 2010
    I got much better reception with an antenna I built myself than with worthless store bought "HD antenna". My saga is described here:

    http://home.comcast.net/~tomhorsley/hardware/antenna/antenna.html

    The bottom of that rather long page describes the 3rd and final version (which I am now using on my old Premier for OTA).
     
  6. telemark

    telemark New Member

    1,544
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    Nov 12, 2013
    Which ways do your windows face? How high up? The mohu leaf is good for apartments because it is light enough to be hanged inside/outside a window.

    Usually in urban environments, it's the neighboring buildings (taller than you) which will block the signal if they're in the way.

    Channel 23 Fox and Channel 44 NBC are 80 degrees apart, and your antenna is rated to 60 degrees, but it's not an exact thing. You may need an amp more than anything.

    I would ignore the Channel 26 direction because it's so close, most things will work ok for that one.
     
  7. MikeAndrews

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

    14,222
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    Jan 17, 2002
    Northern...
    Oooooo...Danger Will Robinson! Those are on closeout for a reason. You need to get one that will block the specific channel that's in the other direction (to avoid multipath) and those are in channels from 3-13 and 26-63, in other words the old VHF and UHF analog channels. Bad thing!

    You could do the same by reverse wiring a splitter and using an attenuator on the unwanted direction but make sure it matches the digital frequencies.
     
  8. replaytv

    replaytv gun talk ignore list

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    Feb 20, 2011
    Denver ish...
    I use different TiVos in different rooms for particular channels. It means that I can't watch some programs in some rooms ( I don't have them networked ) but that is OK with me. I have tried tens of different indoor and outdoor antennas, and the Clearstream Micron seems to work best.
     
  9. kturcotte

    kturcotte New Member

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    Dec 8, 2002
    Portland, ME
    I take it an amplifier wouldn't help? The antenna is connected to the Tivo by about 15 feet of quad shielded solid copper RG-6 coaxial cable, no splitters or anything (Direct connection).
     
  10. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,075
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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    Not networked? You're getting program data via phone line?
     
  11. telemark

    telemark New Member

    1,544
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    Nov 12, 2013
    A quality amplifier should improve things, but depending where the antenna is right now, you might get more benefit by relocating it.

    In my experience, the larger improvements come from
    antenna placement,
    then adding an amplifier,
    then which antenna.

    Another way of saying that is the best amplifier and the best antenna do not overcome a bad placement. Whether indoor placement is bad or the same as going outdoors, depends on what your building is made of, and the relative heights of your neighboring buildings/mountains/water.

    Just a guess, but an amp should helpful. The reasoning is the problem stations are far away which implies the problem is the signal is weak. The amp will give whatever the antenna picks up a boost. If then antenna is picking up nothing though, you'll still have nothing. And if the antenna is picking up some interference, it'll boost the interference as well.

    Given one station is over the ocean, it should have very little noise, compared to a large metropolitan area. The other direction is over land, which often means it's at the peak of some hill/mountain.

    Some digital TV tuners will break out separate signal strength and noise levels. I don't know what the Roamio shows / does not show.
     
  12. kturcotte

    kturcotte New Member

    1,159
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    Dec 8, 2002
    Portland, ME
    I've moved, and I'm still having problems getting good reception. I have the Xtreme HDB2X http://www.solidsignal.com/m/product.aspx?p=HDB2X&ss=233070 connected to the Roamio via about 15 feet of quad shielded solid copper RG-6. Fox (23) is completely unwatchable. The other stations I occasionally lose reception. I'm thinking about either the Xtreme HDB4X http://www.solidsignal.com/m/product.aspx?p=HDB4X&ss=233074 or the Xtreme HDB91X http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.as...tenna-(HDB91X)&c=TV Antennas&sku=700112818387 Thoughts on these? Should they work (I realize reception can't be guaranteed)? Other recommendations? I'm now on the first floor though, and the antenna is about 3 feet off the floor (NOTHING I can do about that, unfortunately). I'd prefer a smaller antenna, since it has to be inside, but can go with the larger one if I have to. I've attached tvfool.com assessment of the new place. I'm trying to pull in NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, MyNetwork, and CW. Luckily, ABC simulcasts on real channel 26, so VHF isn't required (Unlike with their VHF channel).
     

    Attached Files:

  13. trip1eX

    trip1eX Active Member

    2,767
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    Apr 2, 2005
    Work a few extra hours per month to pay for cable is my suggestion. :D

    IF you just moved you can probably get a sweet deal for the 1st year.
     
  14. trip1eX

    trip1eX Active Member

    2,767
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    Apr 2, 2005
    That's a great idea. What would be the steps the user has to take in order to watch shows on different Roamios on a network?
     
  15. kturcotte

    kturcotte New Member

    1,159
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    Dec 8, 2002
    Portland, ME
    I've talked to Time Warner (Yeah, it's them, Dish Network, or Directv, and I can't have a dish here). They want around $70 a month for tv. I could afford it if I wanted to, but I get 95% of what watch OTA (If I can get a signal). I see little point in shelling out that money for the 3 shows I'd watch on actual cable channels.
     
  16. trip1eX

    trip1eX Active Member

    2,767
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    Apr 2, 2005
    I built an antenna just like the one in the top pic in your link. IT worked great. I mean as good as the Walmart-bought antennas work.
     
  17. kturcotte

    kturcotte New Member

    1,159
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    Dec 8, 2002
    Portland, ME
    I've liked at that, but I don't have the tools for that. I have a phillips head screwdriver and a 7/16 wrench. That's it lol
     
  18. trip1eX

    trip1eX Active Member

    2,767
    3
    Apr 2, 2005
    Really $70 is best they can do? That's higher than the regular priced packages I've encountered in a few major cities.

    IF you only want local channels then inquire about their lowest tier package. You would probably get another $5 off your internet too if you subscribe to cable..... sort of a general rule. YMMV.

    In my experience, you need multiple antennas to get the big 4 or big 5 OTA channels. And if you live in an apt you have limited sight lines. You can't wave a magic wand.
     
  19. kturcotte

    kturcotte New Member

    1,159
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    Dec 8, 2002
    Portland, ME
    They have 2 packages. Their regular package with everything except premium channels, but that's $60 a month plus taxes, fees, cable card fee. They also do have a local channels package for $30 plus of course taxes, fees, cable card few, still have to deal with SDV adapter. I'd just rather pay a one time fee for an antenna and be done with it. Plus I don't have to worry about cable going down, cable card/SDV communication issues.
     
  20. trip1eX

    trip1eX Active Member

    2,767
    3
    Apr 2, 2005
    On their front page I see $35/month for internet and tv.

    Click on it and you can pay $20/month for 20 channels including local for first 12 months. And $15/month for 2mbps internet for 12 months.

    I also see a regular cable package and 20mbps internet for $65/month for 12 months on their front page.


    anyway not trying to turn the discussion into something else. But i played with OTA in a few different cities in different parts of the country and couldn't make it work by just buying an indoor antenna or building my own. And if you live in an apt I would think your ability to do more than that to make it work is limited.
     

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