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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With all the talk about using jointennas, multiple antennas, archaic rotors (that ONLY work if you only ever watch one TV at a time...I remember childhood fights because I was pointing the antenna at Youngstown and my sister was trying to watch a Cleveland station in the other room) why hasn't someone made either a TV itself, or better yet, a D* or E* STB with TWO OTA antenna inputs? Here's how I envision this working:

You have two antennas, and two downleads. Each one goes into the STB. When you scan for channels, the system checks each channel, with each antenna input, and if there's no signal either way, it goes on, but if there is, it chooses the "best" one and locks on it. That way, you could have the benefit of two antennas in different directions but the ease and conveinence of seamless channel surfing without worrying about rotors, A/B switches, or any of that.

Perhaps it would be something of a niche product but now that the E* 622 already has two satellite tuners that seem to work well, I think they could add a second OTA tuner too so that such a functionality coudl exist without much problem. Even make it so that you can either choose two seperate antennas as inputs, using the method I described above, or simply use one of the inputs for the second TV so that the digital OTA could go to the second television.
 

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Mentor
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46 Posts
The Winegard CC-7870 Antenna Coupler can connect any two 75 ohm antennas to a single 75 ohm input. One of the antennas can have a preamp. The other can't. Depending on signal levels, this under $20 box may accomplish about the same thing.
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
TreeFarm said:
The Winegard CC-7870 Antenna Coupler can connect any two 75 ohm antennas to a single 75 ohm input. One of the antennas can have a preamp. The other can't. Depending on signal levels, this under $20 box may accomplish about the same thing.
Don't you run into multipath issues w/digital though?
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
LI-SVT said:
Some newer digital TVs are coming with two antenna connections. My Samsung has two, my Moms Insignia has two.
Well that helps some, but if you have a STB w/DVR such as the ViP622 (E*) or HR-20 (D*), it does you no good. It's the "seamlessness" I'm going for.
 

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Godfather
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I am using three antennas in my attic right now, all "combined" with a simply cable splitter used backwards.

One is a Terk amplified white bar, one is a Radio Shack pole-mount UHF/VHF monster, and the last is a small v-shaped window-mount clamp-on antenna intended for use in cars. I have the last one mounted to a little stand I made.

The Terk and the big antenna are mounted on the same pole, and both point the same direction east toward a major channel cluster about 40 miles away. I use them both because neither on it's own would pull in enough signal on all the possible channels.

I recently added the small antenna because antennaweb showed there was another tower nearby (less than 4 miles) , but 90 degrees from the others. It would not come on at all with the two large antennas pointed east. I set the small antenna on the floor of the attic and pointed it south.

Now I get all the major channels, both ATSC and NTSC, and also get the one lonely NTSC channel from the south. The very directional nature of these antennas and difference in range gives me clear reception with no shadows.

I had tried moving the Terk a little to the south. It pulled in the southern station better, but created shadows on one of the stronger eastern stations.

There is another station west that I get on certain cloudy nights. I'm considering adding another antenna specifically aimed west to pick it up on a more permanent basis. I'll use a 1 to 4 splitter in reverse.

My combined feed then goes though an amplifier, then a distribution panel with 5 of the 8 outputs used to feed TVs in different rooms.
 

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akron05 said:
Well, I thought it sounded good...
It IS a good idea! As a matter of fact, there is an industry standard that was supposed to allow STBs and DTV tuners to send commands to a remote A/B switch and/or a rotor, so you could have a switch at the antennas (for single TVs) or something like a multiswitch (for multiple TVs) somewhere inside. So far, I don't know of anyone implimenting it, though.

I'd personally like to see about 3 inputs on a STB.....have them each be capable of being programmed for the various channels and modulation schemes. That would allow for 3 different antennas, or 2 antennas and Digital Cable, or whatever.
Throw in the ability to power individual preamps via the outputs, and then loop the 3 to other distribution points, and I'd be thrilled :D !
 

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Mentor
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It's a great idea. I would love it if my 622 had two OTA inputs. I'm using a jointenna now because I only really need one channel from the second antenna, but I would enjoy being able to get the other channels that antenna can pull in. I've tried using a splitter backwards as was suggested, but it drops the signal levels down too much. An A/B switch is a pain if you have a DVR.
 

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I have received prototype "subsidized D-to-A boxes", of the type to be supplied to augment older TV sets after the transition. One thing I really was impressed with....they both have SmartAntenna interfaces (EIA/CEA-909).

The SmartAntenna I received only works with one box at a time, but the unit shows several molded-in spots for additional F-connectors. I wonder if they were planning to make 2 output or 4 output antennas available?

A SmartAntenna has a pair of crossed dipole antennas, bandpass filtering, preamps, and electronic switching and phasing, all controlled by signals riding on the coax. The STB tries a couple of positions on each RF channel, to see if there's a DTV signal there, then (if one is found) tries 16 different directions and preamp on/off, until it gets the best signal. It then memorizes this setting for that particular station. Of course, the SmartAntenna only works with boxes that are designed to use that standard. But, it could work for a home with several TVs, or a combination of TVs and DVRs. Like a satellite multiswitch, you'd just need to home-run a cable from each set, to the SmartAntenna.
 

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Cool Member
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akron05 said:
With all the talk about using jointennas, multiple antennas, archaic rotors (that ONLY work if you only ever watch one TV at a time...I remember childhood fights because I was pointing the antenna at Youngstown and my sister was trying to watch a Cleveland station in the other room) why hasn't someone made either a TV itself, or better yet, a D* or E* STB with TWO OTA antenna inputs? Here's how I envision this working:

You have two antennas, and two downleads. Each one goes into the STB. When you scan for channels, the system checks each channel, with each antenna input, and if there's no signal either way, it goes on, but if there is, it chooses the "best" one and locks on it. That way, you could have the benefit of two antennas in different directions but the ease and conveinence of seamless channel surfing without worrying about rotors, A/B switches, or any of that.

Perhaps it would be something of a niche product but now that the E* 622 already has two satellite tuners that seem to work well, I think they could add a second OTA tuner too so that such a functionality coudl exist without much problem. Even make it so that you can either choose two seperate antennas as inputs, using the method I described above, or simply use one of the inputs for the second TV so that the digital OTA could go to the second television.
Akron,
Actually,one of the first OTA tuners,the RCA DTC100 had this feature.Two antenna inputs and scanned them in sequence.Had an antenna toggle on the remote to switch back and forth.Also had an RF-out which was very handy...none of the new boxes have this feature.However,it wouldn't feed different tv's the seperate antenna feeds at the same time,I don't think.If you have the desire,you could pick one of these up on ebay for really cheap nowadays.
 
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