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Old 06-14-2014, 01:57 PM   #1
kturcotte
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Antenna Recommendation

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.
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Old 06-14-2014, 02:29 PM   #2
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You may be able to use one of these with multiple antennas aimed in different directions:
http://www.channelmasterstore.com/JO..._p/cm-0578.htm

Also, take a look at these sites for more info:
https://www.google.com/search?source...-8&q=jointenna
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Old 06-14-2014, 02:59 PM   #3
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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...m-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?
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Old 06-14-2014, 04:09 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 06-14-2014, 07:47 PM   #5
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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/...a/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).
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Old 06-14-2014, 07:51 PM   #6
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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.
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.
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:01 PM   #7
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You may be able to use one of these with multiple antennas aimed in different directions:
http://www.channelmasterstore.com/JO..._p/cm-0578.htm
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.
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:18 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:42 AM   #9
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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).
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:03 AM   #10
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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.
Not networked? You're getting program data via phone line?
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Old 06-15-2014, 07:02 PM   #11
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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).
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.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:36 AM   #12
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I've moved, and I'm still having problems getting good reception. I have the Xtreme HDB2X http://www.solidsignal.com/m/product...DB2X&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...DB4X&ss=233074 or the Xtreme HDB91X http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...u=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).
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:06 AM   #13
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Work a few extra hours per month to pay for cable is my suggestion.

IF you just moved you can probably get a sweet deal for the 1st year.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:09 AM   #14
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I use different TiVos in different rooms for particular channels.
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?
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:10 AM   #15
kturcotte
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Work a few extra hours per month to pay for cable is my suggestion.

IF you just moved you can probably get a sweet deal for the 1st year.
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.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:12 AM   #16
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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/...a/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).
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.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:14 AM   #17
kturcotte
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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.
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
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:15 AM   #18
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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.
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.

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Old 07-24-2014, 11:19 AM   #19
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Really $70 is best they can do? Do you have internet? I bet they can better.

Plus if you only want local channels then they probably have lesser packages.
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.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:41 AM   #20
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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.
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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Old 07-24-2014, 11:44 AM   #21
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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.
I'd still rather not pay them for something I can get for free (If I can get them). Plus with antenna, I get better picture quality, and don't have to deal with cable card and SDV headaches (Yes, they use them even for the local channels).
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:55 AM   #22
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I'd still rather not pay them for something I can get for free (If I can get them). Plus with antenna, I get better picture quality, and don't have to deal with cable card and SDV headaches (Yes, they use them even for the local channels).
I hear ya, but it doesn't sound like you have a choice based on your post.


All you can do is get antenna, and then find out what antenna locations get what channels. TAkes some notes. Feel free to try different antennas.

Then report back with the results and go from there.

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Old 07-24-2014, 12:06 PM   #23
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I hear ya, but it doesn't sound like you have a choice based on your post.
I'm wondering if/hoping a different antenna would work better.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:19 PM   #24
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I'm wondering if/hoping a different antenna would work better.
You won't know until you go. Try another antenna and see what happens. Worst case you are out the cost of a new antenna.

IT's up to you to try and tune in the channels.
Just note what channels you can get at what antenna locations in your apt.

with that information written down it will give a clear picture of your OTA option.

Just remember there isn't a magic wand here. If there was then everyone would know about it.
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