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All things related to HDTV Home Antenna reception including antenna recommendations, channel listings, basic questions and more!
9 posts • Page 1 of 1
I'm needing a single multi-directional antenna or dual antenna solution for my attic.
Here's the TV Fool info for my location:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapp ... 05cdd57e1e
I currently have an RCA 3036 antenna installed in my attic and pointed more-or-less North and using a Channelmaster CM-7000 digital converter box I was receiving nearly 100% on all the channels except those off to the East between 78° and 102°. Those typically would be around 20% and not enough signal to get a lock. The RCA is a *huge* antenna and it was quite a trick to get it unfolded in my small attic. Nonetheless I was thrilled with the signal strength and performance...until....
I retired the CM-7000 when I upgraded to a dual-tuner Tivo Premiere. Unfortunately the tuners in the Tivo are apparently less sensitive than the CM-7000. The Tivo signal strength has most stations in the 50-70% range, with nothing useful at all coming from the East stations. I am now experiencing some occasional pixelizing and freezing with stations that used to be rock solid with the CM-7000. (Same coax cable -- about a 50' run.)
Since I'm within 30 miles of all towers, is there a Winegard multi-directional antenna solution I can put in my attic to receive all stations? I'm hoping to avoid placing it outside due to past issues with ice, wind, and tree limb damage.
I bought the RCA antenna because it's about the only one that the local Lowes store sells, so I figured it must be appropriate for our area. Now I'm thinking that maybe it isn't the best choice for my location as I'm learning more about this antenna-voodoo stuff!
If there's not a multi-directional antenna suitable, I'm hoping to learn how I could combine two antennas, one pointed to the East for the low-power channels and the current RCA antenna that's pointed North-ish. I'm also open to replacing the RCA with something that might be more appropriate?
Ultimately I need to split this to the dual tuner Tivo, the TV itself, and a dual-tuner computer DVR. Will I also need a preamplifier?
According to the tvfool.com web site for your location the issue you have is that in both directions you have TV signals anywhere from 5.5 to 30 miles in each direction. The best omni directional antenna Winegard would have to offer you would be the MS-1000 antenna mounted outside. You can loose up to over 50% of your signal strength when installing an antenna in a normal attic with ½” of plywood sheeting and one layer of asphalt shingles.
The problem with using 2 different UHF/VHF antennas pointed in different directions and then trying to combine them through a coupler is that we can cause multiple signals to a appear on channels and the digital tuners will not know which signal on that channel to use and now will not lock onto either one. This multiple signal problem is caused when the antennas pick up signal on the side from the opposite direction. The antenna pointing NW will receive the East signals on the side of it but the East signals are not good enough to watch and the same will happen on the East antenna receiving a weak MW signal on the side of it. Example KSAS 24.1 will come in strong on the antenna pointed NW and KSAS 24.1 will come in not as strong (good) on the side of the East antenna whether we want it to or not.
When we combine the 2 antennas together using an antenna coupler such as the Winegard CC-7870 we will have 2 KSAS signals the good one and the weak one. Depending on what the difference between the signal strength is the digital tuners may or may not be able to lock onto KSAS. The stronger (good) signal needs to be at least 2-3 times stronger than the weaker one in order for the digital tuner to know which signal it wants to lock onto.
The same type of example would happen with the antenna pointed to the East and receiving KFVT-LP well but the NW antenna will receive some KFVT-LP on its side so depending on the signal levels it is hard to predict the outcome. This scenario could apply to each antenna and every one of your channels. Plus when combining 2 separate antennas you will have a -3.5dB (30%) signal to each one of the antennas signal strength. This loss will have a greater affect on the more distant channels and possibly reduce them to a point where they become unstable. If you wish to try the separate antennas then I would suggest the Winegard HD7696P antennas pointed in the 2 separate directions and combined with the Winegard CC-7870 coupler.
I your case you should only need a Winegard SP-1004 or SP-2052 4 way line splitter to give you the 4 lines you need to feed your recorders/tuners. The Winegard HDA-100 amplifier will give you enough amplification to over come your splitters loss.
Thanks SO MUCH for the response!
Question: You're recommending the non-amplified MS-1000 over the amplified MS-2000? My biggest reception challenge is the VHF channel 8 for KPTS. It is the weakest of all the local stations -- their web site says it has to do with their antenna height and that there's not likely to be any change in the near future. Would the MS-2000 help with the weak reception for VHF channel 8? Or would the amplification cause trouble with other, closer stations?
I'll mount the MS-1000 or -2000 outdoors above my chimney. I currently have a directional antenna above the chimney pointed North. If I point East to get the low power stations, I completely lose Channel 8 from the North. When I point the antenna North to receive channel 8, then I lose the low power stations to the East. <sigh> Thus the omni-directional antenna seems like the best choice.
In addition to my chimney antenna, I also have two antennas in my attic now -- the aforementioned RCA antenna pointed North and an old smaller antenna that I pointed East. This combination gives me all the North AND East channels....except channel 8 from the North. I'm guessing the "lack of channel 8 signal" from the smaller east-facing antenna is overriding the signal from the northward RCA antenna for channel 8. Is there some kind of filter I can put on one leg of the splitter/joiner that would pass thru the Channel 8 signal from the North antenna but block the channel 8 "non-signal" from the East antenna? Reception on all the other channels is stable....just no channel 8.
So right now I have the antenna system in the attic feeding one DVR, and the chimney antenna feeding a different DVR and together I'm able to record from all channels -- but I'd just like to have ONE antenna that can receive everything. That's why the M1000 or M2000 looks promising and I'm wanting to give it a try.
Any more advice will be greatly appreciated! I'm mainly needing an education as to why I should choose the non-amplified antenna over the amplified one. Thanks!
The reason the MS-1000 is recommended is that with the built in amplifier of the MS-2000 at 18dB of gain which multiplies your incoming signals 8 times you can over power the digital tuners with too much signal from the close stations. If you feel you need amplification after trying the MS-1000 then add the HDP-269 preamplifier which has 12dB of gain and multiples your incoming signal only 4 times which hopefully should not over power your system.
OK, the MS-1000 arrived and I replaced the existing antenna on my roof with it.
There was about a 10-15% drop in signal on all channels compared to my previous antenna with NONE of the low-power East stations coming in at all. (Refer again to the tv fool link in my first post - the low-power signals for channels 43 and 49 are my goal, in addition to getting a strong enough signal for KPTS channel 8.)
So I'm open for more recommendations? I took the MS-1000 back down and restored my old antenna for now. I like the looks of the MS-1000, but performance-wise it is pretty much a total fail for my location.
QUESTION: My tvfool line from my first post shows the furthest distance for my local tv stations is 29.7 miles for KPTS-DT channel 8. BUT, surprise! The instruction sheet that came with the MS-1000 says this:
"NOTE MILEAGE REFERENCE: MS-2000 10-45 MILES, MS-1000 5-15 MILES" So I'm questioning again, how is it that the MS-1000 is a more appropriate choice than the amplified MS-2000?? I know the initial recommendation was with concern about overloading my system by the stronger/closer signals, but since all channels across the board were weaker, maybe the 2000 is a better choice? Should I return the MS-1000 and get an MS-2000? or add the HDP-269 preamplifier to the MS-1000 and see how that works?
Thanks again for any further guidance you can offer!
Good morning MacBrian -
Here is the response from technical services...
I would suggest trying the HDP-269 preamplifier on your MS-1000 instead of the MS-2000 since the HDP269 preamplifier has 12dB of gain and has a higher input level than the built in MS-2000 amplifier.
I have ordered a HDP-269 preamplifier and am anxious to see if it will make the M1000 a useful antenna. (If not, it may help the antenna I'm currently using!)
However -- until Kansas gets through these 100°+ days, I won't be anywhere near the roof for a while!
Thanks again for the continued assistance!
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