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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!
Forgive the incessent questions, but I'm trying to be prepared for when my installer gets here on Thursday. I think this will be my last one...I hope.

As I indicated in a previous question, I am suspecting that I won't be able to pull down locals reliably, due to tree obstructions, so I'm considering getting an OTA antenna and having it here for when the installer gets here. I'm going to assume that I should get one that would be mounted on the roof, or wherever the dish will go, as opposed to one of those set-top antennas...is that right? I'm planning on asking him to mount the antenna when me mounts the dish, and yeah, I know I'll have to pay him directly for that.

Also, assuming that is the case, can anyone reccomend a particular kind of roof mount antenna for OTA? I see Radio Shack has one for Off Air HD/Regular and it's one of those big wired ones...like my Mom and Dad used to have on their house, or at least that's what it looks like to me, and it has decent ratings. I was just wondering what your experiences were.

Thanks again!
Bruce
(soon to be Dish convertee)
 

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bderouen said:
... so I'm considering getting an OTA antenna and having it here for when the installer gets here. I'm going to assume that I should get one that would be mounted on the roof, or wherever the dish will go, as opposed to one of those set-top antennas...is that right? ...
Bruce,

There is no way someone here can make an accurate assesment as to what antenna and where to mount it in your case. In general a largeer antenna on the roof will provide a stronger signal than a small "Rabbit Ears" antenna on top of your TV. That said, if you are "near" to the transmitting tower and no obstructions are causing problems, that small, cheap, Rabbit Ears may be just the ticket.

To determine the antenna setup you need, I'd GOTO http://www.checkhd.com/aw/welcome.aspx
and see what it suggests for your specific street address! I'd also suggest that you talk to your neighbors (or at least look at their roofs.)

Finally, when all is said and done with Antenna Web and looking at your neighbors' setup, you still may be put out of business by the neighbors huge Fir trees or the tall building across the street.
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
SaltiDawg said:
Bruce,

There is no way someone here can make an accurate assesment as to what antenna and where to mount it in your case. In general a largeer antenna on the roof will provide a stronger signal than a small "Rabbit Ears" antenna on top of your TV. That said, if you are "near" to the transmitting tower and no obstructions are causing problems, that small, cheap, Rabbit Ears may be just the ticket.

To determine the antenna setup you need, I'd GOTO http://www.checkhd.com/aw/welcome.aspx
and see what it suggests for your specific street address! I'd also suggest that you talk to your neighbors (or at least look at their roofs.)

Finally, when all is said and done with Antenna Web and looking at your neighbors' setup, you still may be put out of business by the neighbors huge Fir trees or the tall building across the street.
Thanks for the reply, Salti! Yeah, I know no one can tell me for SURE what would work best for me ,but I was hoping to get a general idea of what kind of OTA antenna works best And my biggest problem is I'm the first person in our townhome community to get satellite. There is a tree blocking where DTV said the locals woudl come down on. I could accept that if the guy wasn't 6 hours late and trying to do it at 9pm and then not willing to suggest anything like an OTA antenna. So I'm switching, but want to be as prepared as possible when the Dish installer gets here.

Antennaweb is very intersting! I saw that suggested off of the BestBuy website.

Thanks again!
 

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bderouen said:
Also, assuming that is the case, can anyone reccomend a particular kind of roof mount antenna for OTA? I see Radio Shack has one for Off Air HD/Regular and it's one of those big wired ones...like my Mom and Dad used to have on their house, or at least that's what it looks like to me, and it has decent ratings. I was just wondering what your experiences were.
The frequencies used for digital tv are in the same range as analog tv so the antennas are the same.
 

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Everybody's location has its own unique problems.

If you'll give us your zip code it will help us start to evaluate the frequencies of the DTV stations you may receive. Then we can make a more educated guess for an antenna.
 

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Jim5506 said:
Everybody's location has its own unique problems.

If you'll give us your zip code it will help us start to evaluate the frequencies of the DTV stations you may receive. Then we can make a more educated guess for an antenna.
Again, the OP can enter his zip code at antennaweb.com and get that info and also a suggestion as to what type of antenna may be required.
 

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a uhf 8-bow tie antenna is absolutely the best the digital ota reception. i don't have any problems getting the stations that are 60 miles east, and i live in central north carolina.
 

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I am in Northeast PA. I have to use seperate uhf and vhf antenna's and have some problems with towers some thirty miles away. It is a very hilly region.
 

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bderouen said:
Great, Jim! Yeah, my zip code is 70816.

Thanks so much!!
Getting HD OTA depends on distance to the broadcast towers and terrain (another factors are changing seasons, are broadcasting in full power, etc).

Using your zip code on antennaweb.org and maps.google.com, it appears that you are in a fairly flat area and distance from towers is around up to 25 miles, both are great.

If you need to see some of the analog channels, you will need a VHF + UHF antenna.

If you want just HD OTA, any UHF directional antenna pointed in the direction of the towers would do.

If want both HD and analog signals, you might be able to get away with an VHF+UHF omni-directional antenna, but everyone's situation is differenct and sometimes it's trying different antennas.

Check out antennadirect.com and starkelectronic.com. Good luck.
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I appreciate everyone's input!

I had seen Antenna Web before and that was really helpful. I had indicated that I've got a potential tree issue but fortunatly, no buildings...that was the reason for me considering an OTA in the first place. Between wehat I saw on antennaweb and the input here, I think Iam going to go to RadioShack and pick up the one I saw there and just have it here for when the installer comes on Thursday. Hopefully I won't need it, but I'd rather be prepared.

Thanks again!
 

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You are about 10-15 miles from the Baton Rouge towers. Only one VHF and it is on frequency channel 13.

Looks like NBC is probably running low power because it is violet inspite of being only 6 miles from you.

A channel master 4228 would do you nicely. If you can't get WVLA-DT from 6 miles with a 4228, it's not worth it.

Don't worry about a pre-amp. Mount it up above everything if you can. Tie the reflector screens together with wire twist ties or something so there is electrical continuity across the whole backplane, it will help on ch 13.
 

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OTA TV reception is and art, not a science. Every situation is different and there is not formula for getting good reception, it is ALL trial and error, hopefully by doing a little research and gaining some knowledge of other peoples problems you can minimise your errors and trials.

Louisanna is flat with trees, get your antenna up near the top of the trees and point the CM 4228 at the towers. BINGO.
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Jim5506 said:
OTA TV reception is and art, not a science. Every situation is different and there is not formula for getting good reception, it is ALL trial and error, hopefully by doing a little research and gaining some knowledge of other peoples problems you can minimise your errors and trials.

Louisanna is flat with trees, get your antenna up near the top of the trees and point the CM 4228 at the towers. BINGO.
Thanks again, Jim! I'll look into the Channel Master!! I know my reception will be problematic, as currently I've got trees I have to deal with. However I'm getting ready to get some quotes on trimming those things down or maybe pulling them down. I just have to work through a Home Owner's Association, as this is a townhouse community. I figured that if I could get the one(s) that work the very best, then theoretically, under iffy conditions, it should work kinda ok, which for locals, that would be fine for me for now!

Thanks again everyone!!!

Bruce
 

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Bruce,

My first suggestion is to hit the AVS Forum and look for the OTA thread for your local area. The Seattle thread is absolutely awesome. Engineers from a couple of the major stations post and we've got twin gurus on antenna knowledge that regularly help folks out with solutions.

Second, if your serious about getting good reception, your best bet is to have a professional installer look over your situation. Not going to be the cheapest solution, but particularly if you've got topography that can cause problems with multipath, it's likely to give you the best result. It's best to have all of your channels scoped as what's important isn't "perceived" signal strength, but rather signal to noise. My installer tried several different antennas and several different locations until we found the sweet spot. I have huge fir trees. I'm a happy camper.

Good luck. I hope you get a good result. I do most of my viewing OTA these days and there's some good programming out there.

John
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
JM Anthony said:
Bruce,

My first suggestion is to hit the AVS Forum and look for the OTA thread for your local area. The Seattle thread is absolutely awesome. Engineers from a couple of the major stations post and we've got twin gurus on antenna knowledge that regularly help folks out with solutions.

Second, if your serious about getting good reception, your best bet is to have a professional installer look over your situation. Not going to be the cheapest solution, but particularly if you've got topography that can cause problems with multipath, it's likely to give you the best result. It's best to have all of your channels scoped as what's important isn't "perceived" signal strength, but rather signal to noise. My installer tried several different antennas and several different locations until we found the sweet spot. I have huge fir trees. I'm a happy camper.

Good luck. I hope you get a good result. I do most of my viewing OTA these days and there's some good programming out there.

John
Thanks John!
( and let me add...I saw your signature and picture...I'm a child of the 60's too! hehe)

I'll for sure check out the forums. I'm assuming you mean forums here on dbs talk? I'm kinda new here, so havn't checked them all out yet.

You mention profesisonal installer: You mean a Dish installer? IF not, where would I find a professional installer for an OTA? You said if I'm "serious about reception"...well...I would like to get the best reception I can, however as I've said, I know my biggest issue is going to be these southern pine trees I have around our property, and until I can get them trimmed, or hopefully cut down, I'm going to have to just deal with them. I'm hoping my dish installer will be willing to help me with the OTA. I know I'll have to pay him directly, and that's fine. I just want to get it done!

Thanks for the input!!
 

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That said, if you are "near" to the transmitting tower and no obstructions are causing problems, that small, cheap, Rabbit Ears may be just the ticket.
Well I'm so "near" my towers that their lights illuminate my back yard (and reflect on my neighbor's windows :eek: ).

While I have various indoor antennas (rabit ears, loops, and the venerable Silver Sensor) I still have problems that were solved by putting an antenna on my roof. The reason indoor antennas don't work so well is aluminum siding and/or insulation in the walls of the house. My Silver Sensor only performs well when it's looking out a window. If a station is coming from a direction where no window looks, then I have major porblems getting a lock on a digital station or a clear picture form an analog signal.

I am suspecting that I won't be able to pull down locals reliably, due to tree obstructions
With a few exceptions, you will be missing more than just your locals if a tree is blocking one of the satellites. For example my locals are on 110, you would miss out on a lot of "core" programming if you are "treed out" of 110.
 
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