OTA Antenna recommendations?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by lschwarcz, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. lschwarcz

    lschwarcz Mentor

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    Sep 1, 2006
    Hi Everyone,

    I looked around this forum but didn't see this question here.

    I called DirecTV about them dropping CBS and they offered to send me an OTA antenna for free! How could I refuse?

    I just got it today and it's a Winegard FlatWave Amped (FL5500A). It seems OK but I still can't get CBS. I'm able to get many other local stations but not the single one I needed.

    I think one big issue is the orientation of my home. I live in Campbell, CA (next to San Jose) and the local CBS affiliate (KPIX) is about 40 miles north of me in San Francisco. Since the Genie is in my front room I can't place the antenna in an optimal location to receive the signal.

    So, on to my questions (and yes, I do have some :rolleyes:);
    • Do I need to get an antenna with any specific features to work with my HR44 Genie?
    • Does anyone have any recommendations for a better one that I could mount in my attic?
    • I'm assuming if I get some other antenna that I would just connect the COAX connector to the input of the Local Channel Connector (LCC) and plug the LCC into the Genie USB port and power (see picture below)
    UVEP-100083172-DTV-Local-Connector-Guide-2.jpg

    Thanks in advance!
    Larry.
     
  2. reubenray

    reubenray Godfather

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    Check into the Channel Master 4228 antenna. I have this one in my attic. If you have any low number VHF channels it may not work.
     
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  3. lschwarcz

    lschwarcz Mentor

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    Thanks but I do need a lower number channel. My local CBS station is 5 so I'd want 5-1.

    Thanks!
    Larry.
     
  4. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    I have the same problem with PBS your either going to need a larger antenna that supports low VHF or antennas direct sells a low VHF adaptor
     
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  5. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    I have that too. I'm 45 miles away from LA and pick up everything and its in my attic.
     
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  6. ejbvt

    ejbvt AllStar

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    KPIX actually broadcasts on RF ch 29 so you don't need to worry about it for that channel. No major stations currently broadcast on a low VHF frequency in the San Francisco market, but after the repack PBS 22-1 KRCB will be on RF 5. There are some high VHF channels, but it sounds like that antenna gets those.

    There are a couple low power low-VHF stations in the market. They do not carry any major programming. They are not carried on Directv.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
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  7. cypherx

    cypherx Hall Of Fame

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    I was thinking of
    The CM-4228HD or the RCA ANT751E. The antenna provided with the LCC does get my local CBS (RF Ch 26) but only around 40% signal strength, and it’s a little glitchy. I did put one screw through the antenna to fasten it to a stud above a vinyl attic gable vent but I didn’t go through the traces in the material. I also had to cut an electrical line to a dead attic fan (never worked) and install an outlet for the LCC’s channel amplifier. I got nothing without the amp, and since the amp is inline without any F connectors, your stuck powering it in the attic if that’s where you put it.

    We have two VHF channels, none of which come in, though friends tell me they are difficult to get... VHF channels 6 (abc) and 12 (pbs). Its too bad with the repack they don’t try to move VHF stations into UHF. It seems UHF is much easier to receive. I can’t get a 12 foot antenna in my attic, or assemble one for an hour in 120+ F temperatures. 20 minutes to install an electrical outlet today was enough. I was soaking wet when done and downed two bottles of water.
     
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  8. Athlon646464

    Athlon646464 Yada Yada Yada DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Go here:

    AntennaWeb.org - Antenna Signal Prediction

    Put in your exact address, not just your zip code and get the 'color' level antenna you need.

    Pick up the Channel Master or Antop recommended for your situation.

    If you are on the 'edge' of a signal after you install the antenna, try adding a pre-amp if the antenna doesn't some with one. (Try without it first, though.) By 'edge', I mean you get pixelation every few minutes. A pre-amp WILL NOT pull in stations the antenna is not already getting. The pre-amp will only help to prevent signal loss from your antenna to your LCC.

    Someone else telling you their antenna works for them means very little to your location.
     
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  9. lschwarcz

    lschwarcz Mentor

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    Funny you should mention AntennaWeb.org. A good friend also suggested them. The two front runners for me from their recommendations are:
    Any opinions on either of these?

    Thanks!
    Larry.
     
  10. Athlon646464

    Athlon646464 Yada Yada Yada DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I'd go with the Antop - great reviews all over the web. If that site says it will work for you, it should. Be sure to get from a place that you can return it to in case you wind up needing a bigger one because your neighbor has an oak tree in the way :eek:.
     
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  11. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    I have this installed outside on the edge of the soffit facing.HDTV VHF High Band & UHF Digital Outdoor TV Antenna-Channel Master CM2016 (CM2016)
    My TV stations are all 32 plus miles away. I get 100% signal strength and quality on all channels in my area. It is flat here so that does make a difference.
    Check these people out before you buy.
     
  12. JerryMeeker

    JerryMeeker Legend

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    I have the opposite issue in my setup. Several years ago, I installed a Channel Master UHF antenna (can't find the model number) on the top of my chimney pointed directly at the local broadcast antenna farm here in Austin, Texas. I have an unobstructed line-of-sight to the location of the broadcast antennas, which are only about five miles away. I use an AM21 connected to an HR24. The signal strengths for all of my locals peg the meters at 100%. When I watch a local channel using the AM21, there are frequent signal break-ups (pixelation). Either the signal is overloading the AM21, or I am getting severe multi-path distortion. I have tried using a signal attenuator, but that did not solve the problem. When I watch the OTA signal live on my TV, the video quality is pristine, with no breakups, so the problem is definitely with the AM21. I even asked DTV for a replacement AM21, but that did not resolve the issue either.

    Given the Nexstar dispute with AT&T, I have been forced to use the AM21 to record NBC programming and endure the picture quality issues, or watch the programming live and endure the commercials. Thankfully, during the summer months, I don't watch a lot of NBC programming.
     
  13. Athlon646464

    Athlon646464 Yada Yada Yada DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Being so close like that - have you tried using the free mouse pad antenna that comes with the LCC? If you didn't get an LCC yet - get one and try it.
     
  14. JerryMeeker

    JerryMeeker Legend

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    I have not tried that. I only recently was aware that the LCC was an option, and am reading up on it right now.
     
  15. Athlon646464

    Athlon646464 Yada Yada Yada DBSTalk Gold Club

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    It's free. I would like to hear back when you try it - I'm curious.
     
  16. JerryMeeker

    JerryMeeker Legend

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    I just ordered one, and it will be arriving tomorrow. I will certainly report back with my experiences. Looking at the instructions, I see that there is a coax cable connecting the small rectangular antenna to the LCC. Just wondering, can I use the LCC with my existing OTA antenna, which also has a coax cable, or will the LCC only work with the supplied antenna?

    Second question, regarding placement of the supplied antenna, will OTA signals penetrate a wall, or does the antenna require a placement close to a window that faces the general direction of the broadcast antennas? I have never really had much experience with antennas inside my house.
     
  17. Athlon646464

    Athlon646464 Yada Yada Yada DBSTalk Gold Club

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    You can use any antenna with the LCC.

    Being only 5 miles from the tower you are having an issue with, you may be able to put that flat antenna anywhere. Some have reported having good success laying it down flat somewhere.

    Your existing antenna will work better, of course, for stations that are further away. The reason I suggested you try the LCC was more for the smaller, cheaper antenna so you could find out if the tuner in your AM21 was being over driven by a too strong signal.
     
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  18. JerryMeeker

    JerryMeeker Legend

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    Exactly. I intend to try both antennas, checking for both signal quality and strength. If the LCC provides a stable signal with the outside antenna, then maybe my AM21 is defective. And if the LCC provides adequate signal strength using the provided antenna, that would be good as well. Tomorrow we will know.
     
  19. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    If your towers are only 5 miles away, using a high gain outdoor antenna almost certainly gives a stronger signal than the AM21 can handle. The same will likely be true for the LCC. You need to use a worse antenna, or install a signal attenuator in line with the antenna.
     
  20. JerryMeeker

    JerryMeeker Legend

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    I tried a signal attenuators, and that did not work very well. What I don’t understand is why the OTA signal displays on both of my Sony TV’s without any PQ issues, but the signal on an AM21 has frequent break-ups. I think the AM21 is a POS, at least in my setup.
     

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