Directv Installed OTA not doing too well....seeking advice.

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by mamorgan1, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. mamorgan1

    mamorgan1 New Member

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    Nov 4, 2002

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    I just had my HD Tivo installed today. The whole thing was a bit of an ordeal. I went with the Directv supplied OTA antenna because I am only 12 miles from the towers that output NBC, FOX, ABC, CBS, and WB here in Baltimore.

    The strongest signal I receive is for FOX at 71%. The rest of the channels are not coming in enough to even use.

    I have a question about how he has this setup. There are two lines coming into my basement. One line goes directly into Sat 2 of the tivo. The other one goes into a diplexer(?) and one of the two outputs of the diplexer goes to the OTA connection and the other goes to Sat 2.

    All my satellite channels work just fine. Does it sound like this guy got everything setup properly? I guess I was expecting 3 lines coming into my basement. 1 to Sat 1, 1 to Sat 2, and 1 to OTA.

    Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. Runch Machine

    Runch Machine Active Member

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    Feb 7, 2002
    Minneapolis
    The way he connected it is very common and usually works. I suspect the antenna is not aimed properly or it is a very poor antenna. At your distance you should be able to get excellent over the air reception. The nice think about OTA is the it doesn't go away when it rains hard.

    One thing you could try is to connect the cable going to the diplexor directly into the HD Tivo's antenna in jack and then check your signal strength. Occasionally diplexors can cause a problem. Diplexers merge the satellite signal and TV antenna signal on to one coax and then separates them out again on the other end.
     
  3. rlj5242

    rlj5242 Active Member

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    Dec 20, 2000
    Southaven, MS
    Just because you are close to the broadcast towers doesn't mean you will get a picture. You may have multi-path interference. You may be overloading your tuner. You may have a bad antenna. Have you checked the Local HDTV section at AVS to see what others in your area are using? It's the best resource on the net.

    -Robert
     
  4. mamorgan1

    mamorgan1 New Member

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    Nov 4, 2002
    I removed the diplexor the goes into the tv. It did help a little, of course there is still the issue of the diplexor that is merging the two signals on the roof.

    Do any of you happen to know if the antenna DTV sells is a directional or multi-directional antenna? It looked like a multi-directional antenna, but I can't be sure.

    I have read that the Zenith ZHDTV1 is very good. I was thinking of giving it a try. Any idea if any chain stores carry it? (Best Buy, Circuit City, etc...)

    Do you think the signal would be better if the guy ran a direct cable specifically for the ota?

    I'll check out AVS...thanks
     
  5. Dssturbo1

    Dssturbo1 New Member

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    Feb 22, 2005

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    a direct coax for the ota may help a little more, maybe even enough to get a signal. but if the antenna is poor or misaligned that is more important factor as the diplexer install is fairly common.
     
  6. Aug 1, 2006 #6 of 18
    captain_video

    captain_video Member

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    Feb 28, 2002
    I'm in Ellicott City and I use a Channel Master 4228 and get great reception from the Baltimore stations. The 4228 would probably be overkill for you but they have a smaller model with 4 bays (the 4228 is an 8-bay directional UHF antenna) that would probably fit the bill.
     
  7. Aug 1, 2006 #7 of 18
    Runch Machine

    Runch Machine Active Member

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    Feb 7, 2002
    Minneapolis
    You are speaking of the Channel Master 4221. I use one and it works great.
     
  8. Aug 1, 2006 #8 of 18
    reh523

    reh523 New Member

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    Feb 27, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    First issue is where to point the antenna got to antenna web and put your address in. That will give you the distance and direction.

    12 miles may be a stretch for a silver sensor. But if you can find one try it, if it doesn't work return it.

    Next got to avs forums and search for local reception Baltimore link


    Good luck and one more vote for the 4221 (I am 17 miles from the towers in Phoenix).
     
  9. Aug 1, 2006 #9 of 18
    Runch Machine

    Runch Machine Active Member

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    Feb 7, 2002
    Minneapolis
    12 miles for a Silver Sensor is not a stretch at all. I am 16 miles away and tried one and it worked great. I prefer my attic mounted 4221, but I was amazed at how well the Silver Sensor worked. A similar model is available from Terk, the HDTVi. They are carried by Circuit City and are more easily available than the Silver Sensor.
     
  10. mamorgan1

    mamorgan1 New Member

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    Nov 4, 2002
    Last night I went over to Best Buy and picked up two different antennas to give them a try. I figure if I can find a solution without getting back up on my roof, then cool.

    I picked up these two:

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage...t&productCategoryId=cat08084&id=1122653825126

    This one is working better then the roof mounted antenna DTV provided me. It still doesn't pick up ABC at all or WB.

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage...t&productCategoryId=cat08084&id=1118844608800

    This one was just useless. I couldn't receive one channel with this thing. It is going back today.

    As far as the 4221 goes, where can I get this locally? Is installation tough?
     
  11. Runch Machine

    Runch Machine Active Member

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    Feb 7, 2002
    Minneapolis
    Before you take back the Terk HDTVa, check that you put it together properly. The UHF section must be pushed all the way in or you will get nothing. The same thing happened to me. Once I pushed it in all the way it worked great.

    I've used that antenna and it is the best in door antenna there is. Many formum members have had excellent results with it. That you would get nothing is an indicator that something is wrong with it.
     
  12. stiffi

    stiffi New Member

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    Jun 13, 2006
    Charm City
    You can't get the 4221 locally. I live in Lutherville, and travelled around the Baltimore Washington area looking. I would order it online, as it's cheaper anyway.

    As for your original problem, you should be able to get almost all the channels, unless you have something blocking your line of sight. Even then, you should be okay at that distance. I live 7 miles north of TV Hill. In my backyard is a 50 foot I-695 Sound barrier. Even with that, I could pick up everything but Fox 45 with the Silver Sensor. When I added the 4221, in my attic, I picked up every local network, except MPT. That's my current setup and I'm pretty happy.

    It does take quite a bit of trial and error, however. The best thing I did was go to Antenna web and find the exact compass location for the TV Hill Towers. After that, it was easy to point the 4221 in the right direction. Of course, you will need a compass, then.
     
  13. Jungle1

    Jungle1 New Member

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    Mar 3, 2006
    I picked up my 4221 (and then my 4228 when that didn't work) from Warren Electronics web site. Took a while to get to me, as it was backordered, but I couldn't find one locally.

    Mounting was a breeze. It is mounted in my attic. I placed a 2x6 across two rafters and screwed them in. To that 2x6 I mounted a 1" galvanized floor flange and screwed in a 4' long, 1" galvanized pipe as a mast. Once I had my mast, I used the attached hardware to mount it to the mast.

    I tried the silver sensor, then the 4221, and ended up with the 4228. I only saw a little improvement going up to the 4221 from the silver sensor, but a big improvement moving to the 4228 (of course, the thing barely fit through my attic access).
     
  14. lynesjc

    lynesjc New Member

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    Feb 10, 2005
    Simpsonville...
    Ditto. A fine rig.
     
  15. stiffi

    stiffi New Member

    1,312
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    Jun 13, 2006
    Charm City

    Just a comment about "mounting". The setup above might sound a little overwhelming to someone who is a newbie. It took me a little while to even find out what a mast was!

    Anyway...I just leaned my 4221 up against a rafter and left it there. No screwing in, or mounting, or drilling. It's been sitting there for months, and works great.
     
  16. JimSpence

    JimSpence Just hangin'

    30,935
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    Sep 19, 2001
    Binghamton, NY
    One caveat that seems to be overlooked very often. Make sure all of your stations are on UHF or possibly high end VHF before using the bowtie type antennas. They are basically UHF only and do a poor job, if any, for VHF.
     
  17. mamorgan1

    mamorgan1 New Member

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    Nov 4, 2002

    Wow, Runch Machine you were right. I totally didn't put the thing together properly. I had an open box special so there were no directions. I didn't push the antenna in far enough. I now receive all 4 major networks. I can live without WB and UPN. Awesome...I'm now have a totally useless roof antenna from direct tv...I guess I should take that down. Before I do anything I'll monitor the performance of the Terk.

    This forum absolutely rocks. Now if I can just get my fiance to realize that watching tv downstairs is much better than watching tv upstairs. :)
     
  18. HomieG

    HomieG Nowhere Man...

    4,506
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    Feb 17, 2003
    Somewhere...
    The Channel Master 4228 performs very well on the high-band VHF channels (7-13). It was ideal for my Atlanta area install too since the NBC affiliate DTV signal is on Channel 10, while all the others were UHF.
     

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