multiple antennas?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by mythrefuge, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. Sep 7, 2007 #1 of 14
    mythrefuge

    mythrefuge New Member

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    Sep 7, 2007
    I'm considering a switch from a HTPC based HD PVR to a TivoHD.

    I currently use 2 antennas because our local PBS affiliate put their antenna at a different location than all the other local broadcasters. Where I live, PBS is about 170 degrees from the commercial farm (eg, almost but not quite the opposite direction). Right now, I have one dedicated PBS tuner with an antenna pointed at PBS, and 2 other tuners sharing an antenna pointed at the commercial tower farm.

    So.. my question: From the photos of the back of the TivoHD, it looks like there are 2 coax inputs. Does one have to be for cable, and the other for OTA? Would I be able to dedicate one tuner to my PBS antenna, and one to my commercial antenna?

    Thanks,

    D.
     
  2. Sep 7, 2007 #2 of 14
    classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    Ontario Canada.
    Yes, one is cable, the other antenna. You will need to find some way to combine the two antenna feeds.
     
  3. Sep 7, 2007 #3 of 14
    mythrefuge

    mythrefuge New Member

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    Sep 7, 2007
    The local reception page on AVS forums is full of horror stories about people who have tried that, so the conclusion I've drawn is that it never works well. Plus I'd need to get a second "real" antenna (now PBS works great with a silver sensor pointed in the right direction). Drat, drat, drat. That, combined with the inability to use QAM without a cable card seems to be ruling out the Tivo for me.. And I was so looking forward to having something that could properly display to my 1080i based TV..

    Thanks for saving me some time,

    D.
     
  4. Sep 7, 2007 #4 of 14
    JamieP

    JamieP Member

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    Aug 2, 2004
    I haven't looked at the AVS thread, but multiple antennas can work well if combined via a "join-tenna" tuned to separate the two antennas by frequency. Here's one success story: [link]
     
  5. Sep 7, 2007 #5 of 14
    Revolutionary

    Revolutionary Too sleepy for TV...

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    Virginia
    I have a similar problem with the PBS feed here in NoVa. All my other OTAs come in on a single heading, but I can't get PBS on that heading. I've learned to live with it by loading the OTA channel into the grid guide, but then also loading the QAM version. It doesn't work for season passes, but it's workable for everyday channel flipping, wishlists, and manual recording.
     
  6. Sep 7, 2007 #6 of 14
    Bierboy

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

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    Jun 12, 2004
    Fishers, IN
    Depending on how far away the sticks are, the backside of your antenna may pick up what you need. You said it's about 170 degrees from the other sticks. Right now, I'm picking up four UHF DTs on the front side of a Channel Master 4221 (four-bay bowtie) mounted outside. On the backside, I'm getting a VHF DT clear as a bell. But I'm only 17 miles from the UHFs and about 7 miles from the VHF.
     
  7. Sep 7, 2007 #7 of 14
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    I've had two antennas combined for 3.5 years now and it works great for me.
     
  8. Sep 7, 2007 #8 of 14
    mythrefuge

    mythrefuge New Member

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    Sep 7, 2007
    Actually, I'm smack dab in the middle of the area, and that's the problem. If I were out in the styx, I'd be better off because then I could point an antenna in just one direction :)

    FWIW, I have a 4228 in the attic pointed at the commercial tower farm, and an silver sensor next to the HTPC pointed at PBS. The PBS antenna is actually closer to me than the tower farm.

    I tried getting PBS of the back of the 4228. Comparing notes with a local TivoS3 user, his success rate for his Tivo is about the same as mine was for my 5th gen LG based tuner cards: 15% totally unwatchable, 75% watchable but glitchy, and about 10% perfect.

    Drew
     
  9. Sep 7, 2007 #9 of 14
    Bierboy

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

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    Jun 12, 2004
    Fishers, IN
    Well, I'm sure you've heard this before, but you should know that you lose up to half your signal with the antenna inside and not outside. If at all possible, mount it outside, and I would bet the farm your problem would be resolved.
     
  10. mythrefuge

    mythrefuge New Member

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    Sep 7, 2007
    I think the problem was that the UHF freq. for PBS is quite close to the UHF freq. for other stations in the market, and the jointenna would block out those other stations.. I need to go re-read the thread.

    D.
     
  11. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    22,980
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    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    I have a jointenna or some version of it that just combines both antennas. One antenna is pointing 30 degrees away from the other one. So far it works for me for the 15 HD boxes I've used over the years.
     
  12. Redux

    Redux No intent to annoy

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    Oct 19, 2004
    That's why theory can be more important than user experience, unless the user's situation _exactly_ matches your own.

    In many, many cases I've seen, simply joining two antennas with a simple combiner works fine. It's a horrible way to do it and usually won't work, but if the combination of antennas/signal strengths and band/reflections/phasing/etc. are just right it can be a solution. Certainly cheap and easy enough to try.
     
  13. holligl

    holligl Member

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    4
    Dec 28, 2004
    How much PBS do you really watch? I would get the TiVo and hook it up to the main antenna.
    For the being use a switch when you want to watch PBS. Once they get TCB released you should be able to record the PBS on your PC, (convert?) and pass back to the TiVo.
     
  14. vman41

    vman41 Omega Consumer

    10,882
    564
    Jun 18, 2002
    My PBS station is -140 degrees from everthing else. I use a vertical 4-bay in the attic with no reflector so the 2-lobed pattern just covers the range I need.

    I would try a jointenna, but the frequencies are channel is uses, 38, is too close to one of the other stations that uses 36.
     

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