Chicago antenna help!

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by mib66, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. mib66

    mib66 New Member

    33
    0
    Jan 6, 2005

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    Hi all -

    OK - first, a shout out to the NFC Champion Chicago Bears.
    Ahem...with that out of the way, I have got a serious problem with my HR10. I live in Chicago (in the city), and get all of my HD locals via OTA. Well, all except for WBBM, my local CBS affiliate. I'm just using the antenna that DTV installed with my HR10. Its fine for the other networks, but WBBM is intermittent. I've tried rescanning, but now I get nothing, just the "searching for signals" message.

    So, now that Chicagoans all suddenly have a greater vested interest in watching the Superbowl in HD, I find I can't. They thought about the network feed waiver thing, but now they assure me they can't. They also can;t get me an HR20 in time, so thats out. I did tell them I was ready to jump to a proved who can get me the game in HD, and after the transferred call runaround with about 5 CSRs, they have promised to credit me (up to $200) for the cost of a new, more powerful, antenna. Any thoughts on the best kind for me to get better OTA reception, and how to get it installed (without me doing it, that is!)
    thanks for your help!
     
  2. purduelion

    purduelion New Member

    24
    0
    Jan 13, 2004
    River...
    I used the Terk Indoor when I lived in Lincoln Park and had the same problem. The Terk picks up both UHF, and VHF. I just joined the terk to that other antenna right before the tivo, played with the 2 masts, and I picked up 2-1 better then any other station. Even in bad weather.
     
  3. mib66

    mib66 New Member

    33
    0
    Jan 6, 2005
    sounds promising - can you explain how you joined the Terk to the DTV one before the Tivo? Does the Terk have a line in/out?
     
  4. purduelion

    purduelion New Member

    24
    0
    Jan 13, 2004
    River...
    nope, just use a combiner
     
  5. imadvaddict

    imadvaddict New Member

    21
    0
    Jan 18, 2007

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    Try this little gem from Radio Shack mount it as high as possible outdoors,

    We are using this free floating inside our home. Works fantastic when in the right position, but I do have to get off my duff and mount it on the exterior one of these days.


    HDTV UHF Outdoor Antenna
    Model: DA-5200 | Catalog #: 15-2186

    A lot of people have had great success with the model below indoors

    UHF Dual HDTV Indoor Antenna
    Model: 15-624 | Catalog #: 15-624


    (Crap wont work well below)
    UHF/VHF/FM Indoor Antenna With 12-Position Fine-Tuning
    Model: 15-1868 | Catalog #: 15-1868

    Audiovox® Terk® HDTVi UHF/VHF HDTV Indoor Antenna
    Model: HDTVI | Catalog #: 55015503

    DA' BEARS FAN
     
  6. Runch Machine

    Runch Machine Active Member

    1,049
    0
    Feb 7, 2002
    Minneapolis
    Get the Terk HDTVi. I was able to pickup WBBM at my sisters house in Deerfield. The problem with WBBM is that its digital station is on channel 3. Low VHF channels are hard to pickup and are subject to interference. The Terk has a great UHF section and arials that pull out for VHF. Pull out the arials and spread them apart to a very wide V. It should work well for you.
     
  7. imadvaddict

    imadvaddict New Member

    21
    0
    Jan 18, 2007
    We still have this antenna and are in Lincoln Park area, will try it out again. Before we return it. But nothing has worked as well as the DA-5200 so far. Its a very compact unit also. +++
     
  8. tem

    tem Well-Known Member

    8,205
    47
    Oct 6, 2003
    The Zenith/Phillips Silver Sensor is what you want. It says it's UHF only but I actually have it mounted on my roof and am able to receive all OTA stations. They have them at Circuit City.
     
  9. Runch Machine

    Runch Machine Active Member

    1,049
    0
    Feb 7, 2002
    Minneapolis
    That is very surprising because WBBM on channel 3 needs long elements to pick it up. I suspect you got lucky. I would not recommend a UHF only antenna for channels below 6.
     
  10. mib66

    mib66 New Member

    33
    0
    Jan 6, 2005
    thanks for the help everybody. i should specify that I already have an antenna mounted outside, next to the dish. it picks up everything, but only picks up WBBM about 10% of the time. I'll try the Terk indoor one to see how that works...
     
  11. Todd76

    Todd76 Member

    136
    1
    Jan 12, 2002
    Wilmette, IL
    Why can't you get channel 80? Did DirecTV stop offering that for O&O markets?
     
  12. Runch Machine

    Runch Machine Active Member

    1,049
    0
    Feb 7, 2002
    Minneapolis
    Yes. Unless you got it when it first came out it is nearly impossible to get them to turn it on now.
     
  13. hefe

    hefe Rebus Philbin

    38,241
    2,752
    Dec 5, 2000
    CO via Chi-town
    I'm glad I got it early then. :)

    It sucks, I wish they could have put it in UHF like everybody else. RF Channel 3 is pretty susceptible to electronic noise interference, too.
     
  14. Runch Machine

    Runch Machine Active Member

    1,049
    0
    Feb 7, 2002
    Minneapolis
    You are right about that. The interference makes it really tough to get a digital lock as well. WBBM has tried to change its digital channel but all other channels have been assigned. When the analog shut off occurs in Feb 2009 WBBM's digital channel will move to channel 11 (I think it's 11 I know it's going higher).
     
  15. finaldiet

    finaldiet New Member

    390
    0
    May 10, 2004
    Oak forest, Il.
    I tried a silver senser and didn't work. I live 25 SW of Chi-Town. Found an old antenna in attic, all dirty and laying on rafters. Connected wire to HR10 and picture is fantastic on every channel, even 2. It has a wing-span of about 8 ft, used wire adapter that was hanging on it, and left it laying on box. Your antenna doesn't have to say HD for an attenna to work. Just a gimmick to get more money out of a person. Try a large antenna in attic, if you have one. Should work great!
     
  16. cheer

    cheer Registered Offender

    1,406
    0
    Nov 13, 2005
    Gurnee, IL
    A Silver Sensor won't work unless you're cvery close, and neither will any other UHF antenna. Depending on where you live, what you need is a good VHF antenna. Big wingspan to get that VHF 3.

    If you're getting signal but it's weak, you can consider adding a pre-amp like the Channel Master 7777. Also, roof is best: putting the antenna in your house kills over 80% of the signal (assuming no aluminum siding; if you've got aluminum siding, just forget it).

    Go surf the Chicago OTA thread at avsforum; 90% of the chatter is about getting WBBM, and some serious engineers hang out there with excellent info.
     
  17. cheer

    cheer Registered Offender

    1,406
    0
    Nov 13, 2005
    Gurnee, IL
    They haven't really tried to change; in fact, they've missed several opportunities to do so.

    Yes, after shutdown they are moving to 11, but at even lower power due to co-channel interference. It's going to be awful. See avsforum for the ugly details.
     
  18. finaldiet

    finaldiet New Member

    390
    0
    May 10, 2004
    Oak forest, Il.
    Cheer
    I don't know how old my antenna is, but on 2-1, I can probably see a flea on someones hair. I believe any big antenna will pick up HD, but being a novice, I may be wrong.
     
  19. hefe

    hefe Rebus Philbin

    38,241
    2,752
    Dec 5, 2000
    CO via Chi-town
    You are correct in that there is no difference for an antenna in picking up a digital (HD) channel or an analog channel. And when you say any "big antenna," you are pretty much correct there too. A "big" antenna will be tuned to receive VHF channels efficiently. Antennas are frequency sensitive. You need a big antenna for optimal reception of long wavelengths like the low channel numbers, especially 2 through 6. (2-1 broadcasts on RF channel 3)

    And typically, a big antenna will also have smaller elements, which are tuned for the UHF frequencies which have shorter wavelengths. I think that every channel in Chicago except 2-1 is in or near the UHF part of the RF spectrum.

    You have a big antenna in the attic, as do I. I also have an amplifier in the attic that the antenna immediately feeds. I'm 41 miles from Sears Tower, and I get all the channels, although channel 2-1 is not always reliable. I fortunately have Channel 80, and record my CBS HD programs there.

    The Silver Sensor is a nice compact antenna for folks who don't have to pick up a VHF station, or are rather close to the transmitters, and don't want to do a permanent installation. For many, it's all they need. But certainly not me ;)
     
  20. A J Ricaud

    A J Ricaud Active Member

    1,183
    7
    Jun 25, 2002
    Hacienda...
    SpankyinChicago posted his success in this forum. Try a search--maybe his experience will help you.
     

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