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Do you absolutely HAVE to have line of sight for OTA HDTV reception????????

Discussion in 'DISH™ High Definition Discussion' started by Ressurrector, Jan 26, 2008.

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  1. Ressurrector

    Ressurrector Legend

    Jan 1, 2008
    I mean can't you just use a good outdoor antenna and IF you had too could't you just throw some booster boxes in the line??

    Here is my tvfool.com stats below



    Now I can tell you that the first station listed- WBXX (CW) can be gotten with just rabbit ears into a 722 for a modest but still shoddy level (65-75 percent?)

    I think I understand now how antenna's are color coded as to indicate their individual strength and the regions in distance of possible stations from your antenna ........ BUT what I don't understand is IF you have to have line of sight for OTA DTV to work then is it that the one station is ALL I could receive for any price save maybe building a small radio tower??? The other site "antennaweb.org" ONLY shows that one channel as DTV when fool has others..... But I don't really get the 1 edge 2 edge thingy. Can someone explain that to me?

    I am interested because I just seen Smackdown in HD last night and was pretty impressed....especially considering E* has no new HD in the forseable future.
  2. garys

    garys Hall Of Fame

    Nov 4, 2005
    Digital is more directional than analog, the area's surrounding will cause the signal to move around a bit. You do not need a direct line of sight such as what Dish Network needs to have, but the closer you point your ota antenna the higher your signal should be.
  3. JM Anthony

    JM Anthony Child of the 60's DBSTalk Gold Club

    Nov 16, 2003
    Boosters won't help, but as garys notes, OTA is about as much art as it is science. Moving an antenna a few feet can mean the difference between good and poor reception. I tinkered around with 3 different mounting/antenna combinations in our house until I found one that worked. Our sister site, AVSForum as OTA threads for many cities. I found the one for Seattle to be particularly helpful.

    Good luck.

  4. tampa8

    tampa8 Godfather/Supporter

    Mar 30, 2002
    I disagree about the use of boosters. (Totally agree about OTA pointing being an art) I can only get all my HD channels with one OTA antenna using a booster. Otherwise I would need a rotor as getting my local CBS is in just enough of a different direction, as my ABC which is not only in a little different direction but also much farther away.
  5. davejacobson

    davejacobson Legend

    Mar 14, 2005
    With that report I would guess you will need a fringe area antenna like a Channel master 4228. Put it up as high as you can.I usually use a 5ft tripod and a 10ft pole.Boosters compensate for line loss in the cable and splitters so a 2 piece booster is the best. A booster cannot create any more signal than the antenna recieves it so a good antenna is the most important thing. If you only use 25ft of cable and no splitters you may not need a booster otherwise a booster will help. F
  6. garys

    garys Hall Of Fame

    Nov 4, 2005
    Boosters are only good if you are distant from broadcast towers but have a low mostly usable signal in order to get a few points higher to have less signal drop outs. As far as positions, I boosted by signal almost 10 points on the lower and mid range station reading by raising the antenna several feet on the lower side of my house (I am located along a hill) whereas I couldn't get any acceptable signal on the upper side. You also should make sure the entire mast is braced and have guy wires to prevent the antenna from moving in high winds. It really is an art form to find a good usable signal the farther you are away from the towers.
  7. jgurley

    jgurley Legend

    Feb 1, 2005
    You and I have one very important thing in common that the other posters don't have. We both live in the mountains! And for us OTA often not possible or hit and miss at best, often depending on whether or not your live in a valley or on/near the top of a mountain.

    My TV Fool chart looks similar to yours, showing +/- 800 feet for LOS, and 1 or 2 edge for all stations. The "edge" thingy for us means we have 1 or 2 mountains between our house and the towers which are blocking LOS. The elevation of these mountains is the "edge".

    For me I have a cluster of station antennas at about 3700 ft. only 7 miles to the west. My house is at 1100 ft. but I have another mountain in between at 2200 ft. only about 2 miles from me. This one blocks my LOS, and TV Fool shows 1edge which is correct.

    So technically I shouldn't be able to receive anything unless I raise my antenna more than 800 ft. But here's where the art vs. science comes to play.

    I get steady signals, not strong but steady, from all stations except FOX and that antenna is only a 100 feet or so from the rest. The reason seems to be FOX's directional signal. I've tried every reasonable thing I (and my friends on AVS forum) can think of and still can't get FOX. By everything I mean antennas and lots of different locations. Believe it or not, my best antenna location is one particular spot in my attic. Go figure.

    Two other things with prove the art over technology theory. My daughter lives 25 miles on the other side of the antenna cluster, in a valley by the river (not far from Va Tech) and gets FOX HD OTA with rabbit ears. Also for me, ABC and CW are 25 miles to the east, 2 edge, hitting my directional antenna in the rear, and they are my strongest signals.

    Art wins again, but there has to be some technical explanation...its just no one here can figure out what it is.

    So on the next nice day, find a friend who'll read the signals for you, get a long length of RG6, several antenna types, some beer (optional and not recommended if your on the roof) and have fun. You might get lucky, especially if the friend happens to be your wife :)

    P.S. For what it's worth, my antenna is a CM Stealtenna 3010 with 15db amp. I tried a big yagi from RS, and a Winegard 8 bay both with and without a CM 7700 amp.
  8. Ressurrector

    Ressurrector Legend

    Jan 1, 2008
    Thx Jgurley for the advice and explaining the "edge" format. So mountains eh?? Well remembering back to my D* installer days I guess that makes me out of luck. Your right, I am in a valley so to speak. Well I am betting the whole "art" concept of setting a antenna IS actually a science, and that science is the way waves bounce off things. I don't think people have ANY comprehension to the complexities of that concept so I do agree with you I think there is "method" to the madness after all.

    Also thx to everyone else with advice who replied to this thread.
  9. cclement

    cclement Legend/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

    Mar 22, 2004
    As do I. My parents are 55 miles from the Minneapolis towers and only got one channel on the 722, but using their 15 year old booster they've used to get their old analog channels, they picked up every single digital channel with 85-90% strength. There's no way I thought that thing would help that much, I was amazed.
  10. scooper

    scooper Hall Of Fame

    Apr 22, 2002
    Youngsville NC
    The correct term is "preamp", not "booster". If you go on avsforum.com using that booster term everybody will ask WTH are you talking about.
  11. 34Ford

    34Ford AllStar

    Jul 3, 2004
    I am going to say no to the line of sight.
    Cause I can get a PBS and a ABC channel with a little vhf antenna in my attic and they look great.
    The translator is about 45 miles away and Im in the smokey mountains of NC.
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