Apartment dweller needs help with VHF OTA antenna

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by kevin80302, Feb 9, 2007.

  1. kevin80302

    kevin80302 New Member

    42
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    Feb 11, 2006

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    I'm about to give up on my HR10-250 unless I can figure this OTA antenna problem!!!

    I live in first floor of a two story apt building. I am also on the backside of the building. I also have a decent size hill between me and the stations. Even with all these hurdles the only station I am having problems receiving is Kansas City Channel 9 (ABC). They happen only to be my only VHF station.

    I have tried 3 or 4 different antennas but never can seem to get a good VHF signal for channel 9. Is there something I am missing? Shouldn't I be easily able to get a VHF signal 16 miles away? Depending on where I point the UHF elements I can usually get signal strengths in the 80's. I tried my latest antenna with my TV and I verified the VHF signal is weak.

    I have tried a couple of the Terk HDTV antennas and my latest attempt was a $40 Phillips HDTV antenna.

    I don't have access to an attic so I think I am stuck with a set top antenna.

    Anyone have any ideas?

    Here is the antenna web report for my address.

    Kevin



    Type CallSign Channel Network Deg Miles Freq
    yellow - vhf KMBC-DT 9.1 ABC 35 16.3 7
    yellow - uhf KCPT-DT 19.1 PBS 40 17.5 18
    yellow - uhf KCTV-DT 5.1 CBS 25 13.5 24
    yellow - uhf KCWE-DT 29.1 UPN 35 16.3 31
    violet - uhf WDAF-DT 4.1 FOX 22 13.3 34
    yellow - uhf KMCI-DT 38.1 IND 55 10.7 36
    yellow - uhf KSHB-DT 41.1 NBC 55 10.7 42
    green - uhf KSMO-DT 62.1 WB 39 18.2 47
    yellow - uhf KPXE-DT 50.1 IND 47 13.3 51
     
  2. TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

    3,604
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    Sep 6, 2004
    You need an antenna that is capable of both UHF and high VHF, simply enough. A UHF only antenna will attenuate channel 7 (9.1) quite a bit. But, it will receive the channel and pass it at a lower level. If you can't get a set-top antenna that will handle VHF, here is a trick to try that will compensate for the attenuation of channel 7:

    Buy two UHF/VHF splitters and a line amp. Connect the antenna to the input of the first splitter, and connect the UHF output leg directly to the UHF OUTPUT leg of the second splitter (turn it around to make it technically a combiner) directly with a short piece of RF cable. Connect the combined output of the second splitter (combiner) from the normal INPUT leg, directly to the Tivo. Connect the VHF output leg of the first splitter to the line amp (10-15 dB should be good), and connect the output of the amp to the VHF OUTPUT leg of the combiner. This has the effect of selectively equalizing the channel 7 signal to make it equivalent in strength to the UHF channels, hopefully without smearing or attenuating the UHF signal enough to hurt UHF reception.
     
  3. kevin80302

    kevin80302 New Member

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    Feb 11, 2006
    Is there any chance I could get a waiver from one station?

    Anyone have any history of getting waivers in the Kansas City area?

    Thanks,

    kevin
     
  4. Runch Machine

    Runch Machine New Member

    1,048
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    Feb 7, 2002
    Minneapolis
    There is one well made Terk antenna that actually works. It is the HDTVi. It has arials for the VHF channels and another part for the UHF channels. I used one in Miami for my parents HDTV. Miami has 2 digital channels in the VHF band. The Terk HDTVi worked great for all of them. I also tried it in Chicago and got WBBM's digital channel 3.

    Give this one Terk antenna a try, but avoid all other Terk antennas.
     
  5. kevin80302

    kevin80302 New Member

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    Feb 11, 2006

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    The TERK I have is the HDTVa, also the Philips is a MANT510. The Phillips is a variable gain antenna with VHF gain rated at 50dB.

    Could this just be totally overdriving the input causing multi-path. With the gain turned up on the Phillips I do get wild fluctuations in signal strength but it is just very weak with the gain turned down.


    Could the COAX-SPLITTER fix mentioned in other threads help this? I have access to some pretty advanced soldering equipment (at work) so I could remove the HR10-250's internal splitter.

    Thanks,


    Kevin
     
  6. kevin80302

    kevin80302 New Member

    42
    0
    Feb 11, 2006
    I work with a guy who used to install dtv and he gave me a winegard sensar II.

    I was finally able to get channel 9 (freq 7) in HD!!! I guess I really needed a truly directional amplified VHF antenna. Looks like the rabbit ear type antenna just didn't work for me.


    Thanks everyone for the tips.
     

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