How to convert home from satellite to OTA - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 2012-02-02, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
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How to convert home from satellite to OTA

I searched and searched for a thread like this, which I'm sure is a common question, but couldn't find! So here I am.

I cancelled my Bell satellite a while back and want to know how I can use the same wiring to get the same OTA signal to all my TVs.

I currently have a powered satellite switch (I believe an SW44, but can't remember for sure) going out to 3 TVs. I'm assuming that its not as simple as disconnecting the satellite and connecting the antenna there?

The antenna I got (TERK HDTV-o) also has an amplifier. Where would I insert this? Before the switch? Can I even use the switch or do I need to get another splitter? If I can use the switch, do I keep its power plugged in? Does it also act as an OTA amplifier??

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 2012-02-02, 10:29 PM
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Location: Waterford, Ont
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I am running 3 TV's

Antenna/masthead amplifier/ two way splitter/ one TV the other line to an amplified splitter then to the other 2 tv's

I don't have problems.

Antenna is on a 60' tower

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 2012-02-02, 11:16 PM
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Location: Wayne, MI (between Ann Arbor and Detroit)
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My house had cable wires coming from the box outside to three TVs inside. I had the cables disconnected from the box and connected to a splitter. With a dedicated line from the antenna to my main TV and another to the 4 way splitter, I now connections to four sets, with room for a fifth. Not sure where I want that final line to run.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 2012-02-03, 01:42 AM
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Location: San Diego, CA
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Forum posts say HDTVo has a separate Power injector (Preamp is inside HDTVo):
Signal is routed as follows:

HDTVo --- POWER INJECTOR(ALT1) --- SAT or CABLE RF SPLITTER --- Multiple Output ports to TV's


HDTVo --- SAT RF SPLITTER --- Multiple Output ports to TV's --- POWER INJECTOR(ALT2) on ONE port

If you don't have a handy AC outlet where you can plug in the Power Injector,
it could also be moved to a location at the end of one of the Coax lines (to any TV),
however, in order to for the DC Voltage to go through the RF SPLITTER up to the
HDTVo, you'll need to use one that is marked for SATELLITE use, with at least one
output marked as "DC PASS".
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 2012-02-03, 06:33 AM
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Remove the multiswitch and replace it with a standard splitter as needed.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 2012-02-03, 07:26 AM
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that's right, it HAS been discussed here before. The only thing ya can reuse for OTA, from a satellite system is the coax cable. Throw away the dish, throw away the switches, throw away the STB. Keep the coax and the TV.

However, I don't know if or how often Bell runs promotional free previews of select channels/packages, but I know Dishnetwork in the US does every month. In that case it can be useful to leave the Satellite system in tact so ya access the free previews if / when they become available.

Welcome to the forum Basir, New members interested in getting in to OTA are encouraged to visit the OTA welcome thread where you can read about many tips/tricks, and how to find the information you seek.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 2012-02-03, 12:03 PM
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To say you can only use the coax cable of a satellite system for OTA is not always true.

Some multiswitches can combine the OTA signal with the satellite signal for distribution.

personally if you have a satellite system I'd keep it... with OTA for local stuff and you will be amazed at the amount of FREE satellite channels available.. Mind you, most of the FREE (ie non encripted) is on the C band frequencies.. but with a 6 foot or 8 foot solid satellite dish you can get all of the networks (US networks). And I'd use a universal dual C/Ku band LNB to maximize the stuff you can get on satellite.

look here for an indication of what you can get

By all means keep the OTA for the local stuff... because if you are in Canada not much local stuff is available on C or Ku band for free... yes you can get CBC (on Anik F1r at 107.3 west even with time shift ie east and west channels) so you can still watch your hockey.... and all the other stuff in Canada is mostly from American networks anyways.. you can even get SpeedChannel on C band at 133 west (Galaxy 12)
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 2012-02-03, 12:22 PM
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Let's not discuss the merits of FTA television here, as we have a complete sub-forum on this site dedicated to the topic.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 2012-02-04, 06:30 AM
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Location: Hamilton: Garth and Rymal
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The problem is that the OP isn't optimized for a FTA setup to begin with, he has a Bell system. Their LNB is wrong for FTA, and their dish size is usually too small. Not to mention, his dish, being Bell, is mounted to point in one direction. If he truly wanted to take advantage of FTA, then he would have to get multiple dishes (or multi-point LNB) or buy a motor to rotate the existing dish setup. The fact that the OP is here, asking the questions he is asking, most likely isn't even interested in FTA at the moment.

The big problem with those multiswitches, if they have the additional input for Antenna/cable, when it comes to OTA, is the Antenna/cable input usually suffers from a large insertion loss. I have a multiswitch, which I considered using, but at 15dB insertion loss, gains from pre-amps to compensate for line loss, are essentially lost going through the multiswitch.

The OP doesn't indicate if his TV's even have ATSC tuners built in or not. That is something he also has to consider. He may need OTA STB's for his TV's, or the purchase of new TV's. Something he may not have thought of.

He also doesn't indicate the approximate distance from antenna to TV's.

Depending on where the existing dish is mounted in relation to the antenna, he may be able to swap the cabling over from the dish to the antenna and use that to go into the house. Depending on the length of cable, the antenna's 13dB amplifier gain can hopefully compensate the line length (~1dB loss for 18' of cable if I recall). Depending on how much loss has incurred along the down run, the OP can then decide to swap out the existing switch for a simple splitter, or distribution amp to feed the three TV's. Just remember to cap off any unused ports with a 75ohm terminator.

Hope that helps, and have fun.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 2012-02-04, 11:31 AM
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I also dumped Bell. Best plan is to abandon their equipment, (pretty sure you need active account for free monthly channels MajorT) keep cables. Leave one cable outside for antenna pull the rest in the house and set up a distribution point inside.

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