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Old 03-31-2011, 01:54 PM   #1
jmorrison0722
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Tivo with Antenna only

I'm considering the purchase of the Tivo Premiere for use with an over-the-air HD antenna. Problem is, I know very little about these antennas. In shopping around, it appears that some of them require adjustment to get the best picture. Do they require adjustment every time you change the channel? Or do they self adjust?

What are your experiences with this and can anyone suggest a decent antenna for in-city use?

Thanks!
Jeff
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:20 PM   #2
TonyTheTiger
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It depends on which city, where you are located in it and how strong each signal is. A good omni-directional antenna will bring in all the channels if you are in the right location. If the transmission towers are distant and in different directions, you may need to go for an antenna with decent gain along with a rotator to bring them in.

Put your address in http://www.antennaweb.org and it'll tell you better than anyone here can (unless they live next door to you!).
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:50 PM   #3
kturcotte
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Even better is www.tvfool.com
If you're in a location like me, with channels all over the place, with some at low signal strengths, you're gonna have a problem. Everybody will recommend you just get a rotator for the antenna, but they don't seem to understand that these don't work well for DVRs, ESPECIALLY dual tuner DVRs. What happens at say 8PM when you want to record 2 different channels, and they're in completely opposite directions? And even just with a single tuner, you'd have to actually remember to move the antenna to the place you need it to record the channel you want. Would be a MAJOR help if Tivo could do this automatically.
Also, you may have some channels that broadcast in VHF, so you need to check for that.
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:57 PM   #4
steve614
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevieleej View Post
My antenna looks a lot like this one...



Works great - cost me around $6.00

I followed these instructions - http://uhfhdtvantenna.blogspot.com/
I'm curious...what's the foil covered board for?
I built a similar antenna but without the foil covered board and it seems to work just fine.
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:10 AM   #5
L David Matheny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kturcotte View Post
Everybody will recommend you just get a rotator for the antenna, but they don't seem to understand that these don't work well for DVRs, ESPECIALLY dual tuner DVRs. What happens at say 8PM when you want to record 2 different channels, and they're in completely opposite directions? And even just with a single tuner, you'd have to actually remember to move the antenna to the place you need it to record the channel you want. Would be a MAJOR help if Tivo could do this automatically.
An elegant solution to the multi-direction problem would be for TiVo to allow OTA antenna signals to be fed to both coaxial inputs, so that antennas pointing in two different directions could be connected. This would just require using OTA frequency maps for both inputs instead of dedicating one input to cable frequencies. You would select the channels you want to receive from each antenna, and TiVo would switch between them automatically as needed. This change should be fairly simple for TiVo's programming staff.

Meanwhile, the brute-force solution is to use antennas pointing in different directions and attach a separate TiVo to each one. It's extra expense, of course, but it works just fine.
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:28 AM   #6
Davelnlr_
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Actually, the technology exists to take several separate inputs from different antennas, determine the s/n ratio and bit rate errors, and select the input with the strongest S/N and lowest bit rate for the frequency (channel) you are tuned to. Its used every day in metropolitan public safety radio systems, which use several receive sites connected to a central server which decides which receive site is providing the best signal, and chooses it.

In mass production, it should be as affordable as a good quality rotor. Unfortunately, the best method now, if you happen to want a DVR with dual tuners to tune several stations in several directions, is to use several antennas, join-tennas tuned to the channel you want, and join them all. Since most locations have more of their stations in a general compass direction, you can usually get most of the stations with a single correctly chosen and pointed antenna. A join-tenna addition can then be used for one or two channels you want that wont come in on the master antenna.

If you are within 20 miles of the transmitters, or all the transmitters are within 30 degrees of a single direction, you should probably be ok. We have stations in two primary directions here, with one station completely off in its own direction. All are within 25 miles of me. I can pick up every one of them with a single antenna, with no dropouts. It took 3 different antennas to find one that would do it ok, without multipath interference, but I was finally successful.

OTA is a crap shoot sometimes. Play the game long enough, and you will eventually get lucky
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:05 AM   #7
L David Matheny
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Originally Posted by Davelnlr_ View Post
Actually, the technology exists to take several separate inputs from different antennas, determine the s/n ratio and bit rate errors, and select the input with the strongest S/N and lowest bit rate for the frequency (channel) you are tuned to. Its used every day in metropolitan public safety radio systems, which use several receive sites connected to a central server which decides which receive site is providing the best signal, and chooses it.
I agree. But that would be a whole new piece of technology for TiVo to incorporate into their units. I would be satisfied if they could just allow OTA frequency maps to be used for both inputs, which should be very easy to do. We could then sort out where each channel is received best ourselves, manually, since that's probably fairly consistent from day to day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davelnlr_ View Post
In mass production, it should be as affordable as a good quality rotor. Unfortunately, the best method now, if you happen to want a DVR with dual tuners to tune several stations in several directions, is to use several antennas, join-tennas tuned to the channel you want, and join them all. Since most locations have more of their stations in a general compass direction, you can usually get most of the stations with a single correctly chosen and pointed antenna. A join-tenna addition can then be used for one or two channels you want that wont come in on the master antenna.

If you are within 20 miles of the transmitters, or all the transmitters are within 30 degrees of a single direction, you should probably be ok. We have stations in two primary directions here, with one station completely off in its own direction. All are within 25 miles of me. I can pick up every one of them with a single antenna, with no dropouts. It took 3 different antennas to find one that would do it ok, without multipath interference, but I was finally successful.
I used to use a Join-tenna for one channel that's 20 miles in a different direction, but now I just receive it on my main antenna aimed toward the distant stations (about 70 miles). It may even be coming in via a reflection off a nearby hill. An even closer station (about seven miles) comes in either that way or maybe from the back of the antenna. I don't need to know or care anymore, since modern tuner/demodulator units can sort out even severe multipath. I love it.

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OTA is a crap shoot sometimes. Play the game long enough, and you will eventually get lucky
We live in hope!
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmorrison0722 View Post
I'm considering the purchase of the Tivo Premiere for use with an over-the-air HD antenna. Problem is, I know very little about these antennas. In shopping around, it appears that some of them require adjustment to get the best picture. Do they require adjustment every time you change the channel? Or do they self adjust?

What are your experiences with this and can anyone suggest a decent antenna for in-city use?

Thanks!
Jeff
It really does depend on where you are located as compared to where the TV towers are. Do your research! When I made the transition I had an outdoor antenna picked out and an indoor antenna also ready. I used the 30 day return period to figure out which solution I was going with. If I couldn't get a workable reliable solution then I would have returned it. I didn't have to the outdoor directional antenna produces a great signal even after splitting to multiple outlets. Good Luck and I think you will find making the switch very satisfying.
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