SF Bay Area antenna question

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by OaklandRobb, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. OaklandRobb

    OaklandRobb New Member

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    Jul 1, 2001
    Oakland, CA USA

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    I got my HR10-250 back in December and all is working relatively well. I live in the Oakland Hills and have direct line of site with Sutro Tower and Mt. San Bruno. (I look out the window and I see them). Antenna web indicates I am 16 miles away and 252 degrees for Sutro and 235 degrees for Mt. San Bruno. All the stations I want are on Sutro except for NBC which is on Mt. San Bruno. The DirecTV guy installed a two bow tie UHF antenna on the roof (unknown brand and model) and attached it to an exhaust pipe. Most of the time the reception is great, but on occasion, I get drop outs from NBC. It was particulary bad on the night of the closing ceremonies for the Olympics. I'm wondering if I should replace the antenna or if I should try to reorient it a little further north, sort of between the two. I'm sure it is currently aimed directly at Sutro. If I replace the antenna, I would like to get one that can still attach to the exhaust pipe on the roof so I don't have to deal with extending the cable run. I would also like to minimize the number of times I climb on the roof. :)

    Thanks for the suggestions.


    Robb
     
  2. jsirota

    jsirota New Member

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    May 26, 2003
    The problem is probably not aim. NBC is a VHF station, and all of our others in the SF Bay Area are UHF. Your antenna is likely just a UHF antenna, and you are getting the NBC channel only because they have a really strong transmitter.

    You need a UHF/VHF antenna. You are also close enough that you don't really need a directional one.
     
  3. OaklandRobb

    OaklandRobb New Member

    74
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    Jul 1, 2001
    Oakland, CA USA
    I didn't know that. AntennaWeb lists it as UHF. I'm just talking about the HD stations, by the way. The regular ones I get with the dish.

    I just got home and thought it would be useful to post my signal strength. What is listed as 11-1 for me (NBC HD) has a peak at 71, and occasionally drops down to 63, and then pops back to 71. 2-1 (Fox HD) comes in at 95.

    If someone suggests replacing the antenna, let me know which one to get. Again, hopefully one I can attach to the exhaust pipe on the roof.


    Robb
     
  4. inaka

    inaka Well-Known Member

    23,380
    7,678
    Nov 26, 2001
    Can you still get NBC via 48.2 subchannel in Oakland?
    That's what I used to do. 48.1 is galavision, and 48.2 was NBC HD.

    (Sorry, I no longer have an HD Tivo, so I'm going by memory...)
     
  5. jsirota

    jsirota New Member

    65
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    May 26, 2003

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    Check antennaweb again. It's frequency assignment is 12. 2-13 is VHF.

    I'm in Cupertino. I have a UHF/VHF antenna (the ChannelMaster StealthTenna with the optional amplifier, got it from Fry's) and I get a VERY strong signal for NBC (95+), but the rest of the major channels are all in the 70s. I think I need a bigger antenna. Of course, I'm a lot further from the city than you are (33 miles, and I have trees to contend with), and I certainly can't SEE the towers!
     
  6. lieutenantglorp

    lieutenantglorp New Member

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    Apr 3, 2002
    San Mateo, CA
    I am roughly the same distance from the towers as you with line of site (San Mateo) , but I only have 10 degrees seperation between the two sites. I'm using a directional channel master 4221A so I pointed mine in between. I would try a re-aim first just for kicks. NBC is on the upper edge of VHF (practically UHF) so I don't think the antenna is the problem unless you need more of a multidirectional. I don't have any problems with NBC here.
     
  7. jsirota

    jsirota New Member

    65
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    May 26, 2003
    There is a huge spread in frequencies between the upper end of VHF and the bottom of UHF. Upper VHF (channels 7-13) is at between 174-216 MHz, and UHF (channels 13-83) is between 470-806 MHz.

    To get good reception on VHF, you need a VHF antenna. But the original poster is probably close enough to get channel 11 in digital with indoor rabbit ears. Just get yourself a VHF antenna. An indoor one will almost certainly work for you. KNTV has a heck of a transmitter. But you'll have to mix the two signals (from the two antennas) together, unless you get an all-in-one VHF/UHF antenna.
     
  8. Runch Machine

    Runch Machine New Member

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    Feb 7, 2002
    Minneapolis
    It is not true that to get good reception on upper VHF that you need a VHF antenna. I have a field strength meter meter which measures raw signal strength. I also have a Channel Master 4228 and an all channel Radio Shack antenna. The 4228 gets slighly more signal on channels 9 and 11 here in Minneapolis than the Radio Shack antenna. However the 4228 gets very little signal on low VHF, channels 2, 4 and 5.

    I often recommend the Channel Master 4228 for people who need to receive channels in the upper VHF and UHF band.

    See this thread which compares different antennas and the use of UHF antennas on the VHF band.

    http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/comparing.html

    I think that the original poster of this thread will resolve his problem by rotating his antenna slightly. If that doesn't do it, a 4228 will solve his problem.
     
  9. wrightman23

    wrightman23 New Member

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    Apr 11, 2006
    i live even furhter southwest (los gatos area). do i even have a chance at getting locals without a monstronsity on my roof? wife wont really go for the big antenna. i am like 43 miles away from sutro. anyone have any recomendations for me? any super powerful indoor antennas i could look at?
     
  10. jdk

    jdk New Member

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    Mar 15, 2001
    San Jose, CA
    I live in Campbell, and really needed the "monstrosity" of a CM4228 to get all the channels reliably. The famous radio-shack bowtie antenna worked "sort-of" indoors for me, but I got sick of the contsant tweaking and dropouts, so went for the big boy.

    With Los Gatos tucked into the hills a little more, blocking Sutro some more, I wouldn't hold out a lot of hope for an indoor antenna working for you. But go buy a Zenith Silver Sensor from a store that you can return it (sorry, no idea where) , and see what happens.
     
  11. wrightman23

    wrightman23 New Member

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    Apr 11, 2006
    thanks for the info jdk. i will give it a shot. i have an older sd tivo dvr., but also have a spaun multiswitch, and a samsung 50" DLP. do i cable the antenna to the spaun, or to the tivo (Phillips - dont know model #).
     
  12. bigpuma

    bigpuma Well-Known Member

    7,592
    35
    Aug 12, 2003
    Morgan Hill, CA
    Well I live in Campbell, 42 miles from Sutro and I pick up all of the stations except NBC with a Silver Sensor sitting on the shoulder of my chimney. you could always try that for $30 and see if it works.
     
  13. jdk

    jdk New Member

    499
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    Mar 15, 2001
    San Jose, CA
    Well, you're going to need an ATSC (Digital TV) tuner in order to see if you can tune in ATSC (Digital TV). An SD Tivo doesn't have an ATSC Tuner.

    Does you Samsung TV have one? If not, you'll need to get an HR10-250 (which has a built in ATSC tuner), or some other external ATSC tuner. You should wire the antenna directly to the tuner to get the best results.
     
  14. elbodude

    elbodude New Member

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    Feb 15, 2005
    Santa Clara, CA

    I am in Santa Clara and I get them all with an indoor Radio Shack antenna on the top of a book shelf.
     
  15. Fourgig

    Fourgig New Member

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    Feb 13, 2006
    I live in Newark and I'm using the no-name antenna that Directv installed. I get 85-90 signal strength on all channels except NBC (11.1), which only gets 45 on a good day. Sometimes, I don't even get a signal. Once it stops raining, I guess I'll climb on the roof and try turning the antenna a bit to see if I can get a stronger signal on 11.1.

    Does 48.2 broadcast NBC all day? A coworker also told me that 48.2 was NBC but I checked it once and it didn't look like NBC...I think it was like a PBS or Telemundo channel?
     
  16. bigpuma

    bigpuma Well-Known Member

    7,592
    35
    Aug 12, 2003
    Morgan Hill, CA
    I don't think 48.2 is still broadcasting NBC. I believe when KNTV had their tower in the south bay they re-broadcast it through 48.2 for those that could not get the 11.1 signal. Since they moved the tower they no longer broadcast on 48.2, at least that is my understanding.
     
  17. OaklandRobb

    OaklandRobb New Member

    74
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    Jul 1, 2001
    Oakland, CA USA
    Hey Fourgig,

    Did DirecTV give you the 2 bow tie antenna that they gave me or the round flat one?


    Robb
     
  18. nuke

    nuke Member

    289
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    Sep 8, 2003
    Campbell,...
    I'm in Campbell and with a 4228. I get gangbusters on all the UHF/HD channels. But ever since NBC moved their transmitter, I get nearly 0% signal strength. I must be in a null for the transmitter pattern or something. I've even tried a VHF only antenna, but only rarely get the NBC HD signal at all, usually when the weather is very bad, oddly enough.

    When the weather gets better, I'm going to try a cut-channel yagi.
     
  19. kkluba

    kkluba New Member

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    Oct 18, 2002
    Robb,

    I'm in the Oakland Hills with line of site to SB Mtn. and Sutro Towers as well. I use the CM4228 and have no problems (self install). I did find when installing that there was a sweet spot in pointing it to get all channels as strong as possible.

    Also I bought this from a guy on Craigslist a while back and he gave me an amplifier which was of no use to me. I'm too close with too much signal. In fact I use an attenuator to dial down the signal. Without the attenuator I simply have too much signal.

    When your NBC drops out have you checked too see signal strength?
     
  20. Fourgig

    Fourgig New Member

    8
    0
    Feb 13, 2006
    I got the 2 bowtie antenna as well.

    It's weird, but it seems like I can never get a signal on 11.1 when I try to watch the channel live, but it seems to get the signal fine it records a show. My Name is Earl recorded fine 2 weeks in a row so far. :p
     

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