Distribution Amp Recommendations

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by ncted, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

    1,004
    105
    May 13, 2007
    Durham, NC
    I have a Mohu Leaf Antenna which works great for UHF and VHF when connected to the Tivo HD on the top floor of my townhome. It does not work as well on the bottom floors though. I want to move it to the attic and connect it to the splitter in my laundry room immediately below to feed the rest of the house.

    I was testing signal strength last night, and it seemed to suffer significantly when connected to a splitter. The stations I get in the 70s and 80s dropped to the low to high 60s respectively. However, the station that comes in consistently 98-100 stayed there. I am guessing I need a distribution amp to improve the lower powered stations reception. However, I don't want to over amplify the already strong station. I do not have any trees nearby, but there is a row of townhomes directly across the street the same height as mine.

    Does anyone have any recommendations on what to try? I was looking at the distribution amps over a Solid Signal, but I don't have a good sense of how much amplification I need, whether I need an FM trap. etc.

    Thanks,
    Ted
     
  2. sathead

    sathead Member

    187
    8
    Jan 12, 2008
    The Channel Master CM7777 is pretty much the standard amp to start with, if you need more amplification- there are higher gain amps out there, but the CM7777 is a good place to start.
    The common practice is to get the best antenna you can, then let the amp make up for cable loss to the TV's. If you have a undersized antenna an amp will not be helpful in most cases.
    http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.as...ase&utm_medium=organic&utm_source=google_base

    Oh yeah... FM trap is "on" by default, no need to turn it off unless you're using the antenna for FM radio too.
     
  3. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

    1,004
    105
    May 13, 2007
    Durham, NC
    That seems like a lot of gain for my application. Also, I have a VHF/UHF antenna, so I only need 1 input. I was looking at the Wineguard HDA100 or HDA200. Anyone have any experience with those?

    Thanks,
    Ted
     
  4. sathead

    sathead Member

    187
    8
    Jan 12, 2008
    The CM7777 won't overdrive your sets because you'll be sending it's output to a multi tap splitter.
    In my case- FOX comes in at 95-99 on my TiVo-HD without the CM7777, with the CM7777 on it's still in the upper 90's now with a splitter, but the other channels that were ok without a splitter and became unreliable with a splitter became usable once again with the CM7777 placed before the (4-way) splitter.

    Looks like the 15db Winegard HDA-100 you're asking about (http://www.summitsource.com/product_info.php?products_id=5434) has been replaced by the HDA-200 which has 24db gain (one db higher than the 23db CM7777 but the HDA-200 has a slightly higher noise figure than the CM7777). In the real world- 15db gain for a rooftop antenna setup isn't really much, 23-24db gain is more realistic.
     
  5. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

    1,004
    105
    May 13, 2007
    Durham, NC
    OK. I see it has a combined input. I'll give this a try. Thanks!
     
  6. sathead

    sathead Member

    187
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    Jan 12, 2008
    Good luck with the CM7777!
    FWIW- I find that anything above a signal strength of 65 or higher on my TiVo-HD gives me good results without freezing, etc. I've oriented my antenna for best signal from the primary channel (CBS 2.1 HD NY 1080i broadcast from the Empire State Building) my favorite football team uses and I usually pull it in with a signal strength in the mid to high 70's on the TiVo-HD which gives me a flawless feed for the game. I sometimes switch back to the cable co's feed (ch 702) of CBS-HD to show friends how much better the OTA feed is versus the compressed crap the cable co sends us, generally they are astonished at how much better the OTA feed is.
     
  7. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

    1,004
    105
    May 13, 2007
    Durham, NC
    When I had the antenna connected directly to the Tivo, the signals were fine, but the splitter definitely cut the signal of several stations to below 65. This was on a clear day. I am concerned a rainy day will drop them low enough to be unwatchable.
     
  8. sathead

    sathead Member

    187
    8
    Jan 12, 2008
    Rain is worse on satellite's microwave frequencies, but not too bad on Hi-VHF/UHF OTA terrestrial signals. Foliage from trees, etc is a bigger enemy to OTA signals. I was still able to watch OTA from NYC (50 air miles from my house) during the strongest part of hurricane Irene last summer when the cable went out (for a few days).
     

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