Best long range antenna out there? Antenna experts chime in please.

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by DawnW, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. Jan 3, 2015 #1 of 62
    DawnW

    DawnW Well-Known Member

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    We have been OTA only for over 3 years.

    After yet another frustration with TWC, I am considering not even hooking up cable TV at all.

    However, our current rooftop antenna does not work as well as we would like.

    We have gone to AntennaWeb and TVFool, but they have only limited info as we live on the other side of a hill, so there is a hill obstruction. We also have 90+ trees surrounding our property.

    We live roughly 25 miles from the broadcasting stations, but with obstructions, we are having problems getting all the signals in well.

    This is the antenna we have:

    http://www.amazon.com/Channel-Maste...297462&sr=8-5&keywords=channel+master+antenna

    We also have an amplifier hooked up to it.

    This is the one I am considering getting:

    https://www.antennasdirect.com/store/DB8e-Ultra-Long-Range-Outdoor-DTV-Antenna.html

    Any thoughts? Any better ones out there I should look at?

    Thank you,

    Dawn
     
  2. Jan 3, 2015 #2 of 62
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    If you have obstructions between your location and the broadcast towers then the best antenna available isn't going to cure the problem. If the signal is being blocked then there's nothing for the antenna to receive. At the very least you'll probably have all sorts of multipath interference since whatever signal is out there is likely being bounced all over the place. Your best bet would be to mount your antenna on the highest mast allowable to raise it above the obstructions. An amplifier could actually make the situation worse if the signal is weak as it will also amplify the noise. Otherwise, you could subscribe to basic cable with just locals or see what DirecTV or Dish can offer you.

    Check the AVS Forums in the HDTV section. There's a sub forum titled "Local HDTV Info and Reception." See if there's a thread that discusses reception for your location. Perhaps there's someone in a similar situation that has come up with a workable solution.
     
  3. Jan 3, 2015 #3 of 62
    tootal2

    tootal2 Active Member

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    get a db4e or db8e what TiVo are you using?
     
  4. Jan 3, 2015 #4 of 62
    DawnW

    DawnW Well-Known Member

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    Thank you.

    The antenna we have is already mounted as high as it can go. We have tried to put it in the path of the least amount of trees.

    We DO get several channels perfectly, but some are still very glitchy and I do wonder if part of it is that it is aimed in one direction only and we should have a more multi-directional antenna.



     
  5. Jan 3, 2015 #5 of 62
    StevesWeb

    StevesWeb Grumpy Old Geek

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    The antenna you have chosen, a four bay bowtie, is the style I used to recommend to customers when I repaired TVs for a living 40 years ago.

    It is a directional antenna and you most likely want that because it will reduce pickup of reflected signals (multipath).

    If your coax run is over 75 feet you might consider a mast mounted preamp.
     
  6. Jan 3, 2015 #6 of 62
    tootal2

    tootal2 Active Member

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    the Channel Master CM2016. its a line of sight antenna.
     
  7. Jan 3, 2015 #7 of 62
    replaytv

    replaytv gun talk ignore list

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    Denver ish...
    Are the trees evergreens, and if not, do you get better reception in the winter time when there are less leaves in the way?

    If I remember my electronics correctly, I don't think that TV broadcast frequencies will reflect off the atmosphere,like AM waves will. But will reflect off of buildings. So maybe the antennas need to pointed in a different direction than where the antennas are. The antenna could be pointed using the TiVo signal strength meter built into newer TiVos.
     
  8. Jan 3, 2015 #8 of 62
    unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Something to try when setting up/experimenting with OTA antenna, pointing it somewhere other than where the transmitters are, in case blocked signal is bouncing in from being reflected off of something big, like building, "out there somewhere".
     
  9. Jan 3, 2015 #9 of 62
    phone man

    phone man Member

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    Would you copy and paste your tvfool report here please or let me know what you user name is over there so I can find it.

    Thanks
     
  10. dcline414

    dcline414 New Member

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    You could also try just moving it around some... Lower, left, right... Once you aren't line of sight, different frequencies will wrap around obstructions differently. We actually picked up more channels with the antenna about 2' lower and rotated a few degrees away from the direction of the closest towers.

    There is a lot of science, but there is still a fair amount of trial and error and getting lucky.

    One thing that really helped us was to get separate VHF and UHF antennas with a preamp that combined and amplified the inputs separately. Having the preamp as close as possible to the antenna (on the mast) and using RG6 quad shield cable between the balun(s) and amplifier(s) also makes a big difference. Anything that reduces noise (quality baluns, wire, connectors, preamp) significantly improves the reliability of your reception on weak signals.

    Also, many will advise against this, but our signal is weak enough that it runs through a distribution amp 10' from the preamp with no overloading issues.
     
  11. DawnW

    DawnW Well-Known Member

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  12. DawnW

    DawnW Well-Known Member

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    Somewhat better reception, but the channels we had issues with int eh summer, we also have trouble with in the winter, although probably not AS bad.

     
  13. DawnW

    DawnW Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.

    We have an amplifier on our current antenna and I would guess it would be helpful on any antenna. Our coax is def. over 75 feet.

     
  14. DawnW

    DawnW Well-Known Member

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    We actually went through all of that when we put it up on the roof. I think this is the best we can get.

     
  15. DawnW

    DawnW Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. I had forgotten about that forum but I do have a membership and went there when we were first looking at dropping TV service.

     
  16. phone man

    phone man Member

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    Thanks Dawn that helps a lot. When you say the broadcast towers are 20 miles away I assume you're aiming the antenna NNE? What results do you get if it's aimed to the NW or are you receiving signals from both directions now?

    If you're getting decent reception on strong stations with the small antenna you have now, an antenna with more gain should perform even better. The general rule is larger antennas like an eight bay (bowtie) antenna, like the one you're considering, will have more gain but the forward beam will be narrower. A four bay antenna will have slightly less gain but the beam is wider and able to take in signals from various directions though I think the 50 degree spread is asking a bit much when you add a hill and tall foliage.

    An eight bay antenna will give you about 4 more db to work with assuming the narrow beam isn't a problem with aiming. Looking NNE all those stations are within a few degrees of each other so it should work. I don't like the moveable side panel design of the Antennas Direct model you mentioned. If you get that one keep the panels even with each other. Turning them different directions introduces new problems. I would suggest the Channel Master 4228HD. I've installed two of these for neighbors who got interested in free TV after we cut the cord three years ago. The 4228 HD is very good with high VHF like your PBS affiliate on real ch11. This is the antenna I'm using. We're 40 miles from the broadcast towers and have very reliable reception. Our antenna is 30' off the ground and we have a clear view for 350' then there's a tall line of trees.

    A couple questions... What amplifier are you using? How close are the tall trees you mentioned? How close is the hill? One of the neighbors I worked with had a large maple tree 150' away and we had to aim right at it even with the antenna 35' off the ground. Moving the antenna up and down on the mast a few inches at a time we found a sweet spot that allowed reception of a problem channel. Just something to consider when you're aiming an antenna.
     
  17. DawnW

    DawnW Well-Known Member

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    Using two S3s at the moment, but I have just ordered a Roamio that will arrive Wed.

    Dawn

     
  18. DawnW

    DawnW Well-Known Member

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    Thank you.

    I will go look at the amplifier later today. It is behind things in the garage so I will need to move stuff around to get to it, not a huge issue, but it is raining at the moment, so I will wait to get in there until I can move things out without them getting rained on.

    The trees are probably only 50-70 feet away from the antenna. The hill is directly across the street. It isn't huge and it may not even be high enough to worry about, it may only be the trees that are the issue.

    Someone recommended a Clearstream 4v. This is similar to what you are recommending isn't it? Opinions?

    Dawn

     
  19. tootal2

    tootal2 Active Member

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    db4e is better then the Clear stream 4
    Clear stream 4v •Range: up to 65 miles •Gain of 12.2 dBi
    db4e •Range: Up to 65+ miles •Peak gain: 14.5 dBi

    Im getting a db4e Monday to replace my Clear stream 2 on my TiVo hd.




     
  20. DawnW

    DawnW Well-Known Member

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    Thank you.

     

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