: ON - Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Halton - OTA
2009-05-28, 09:56 AM
banger - please do yourself a favour an do NOt buy a clone. Channel Maser has been the gold standard, and you will at least know your antenna is not to blame if something needs tweaking during setup.
I am in Oakville, but can tell you anecdotally, that I ended up replacing a 4221 aimed at Buffalo with a 4228 and saw an incredible improvement in signal strength and reliability. Obviously, every location is completely different, but I thought I'd pass on my thoughts!
2009-05-28, 10:00 AM
Points taken. I would like to also support Safe and Replay too for their excellent forum. Does anybody know if they do any install? I'm going to head down there this weekend and see. Thanx.
2009-05-28, 10:04 AM
Sorry, one more question. After 3 days of extensive reading, I read one poster that since he is installing an antenna, he might as well install something for wireless internet. Not sure what he meant by that. Can you add something to the antenna to get you more coverage for wireless internet?
2009-05-28, 04:50 PM
I am considering switching to OTA. What antenna choices are working best here for Digital and UHF?
2009-05-28, 04:53 PM
mike.oakville, you have lots of neighbours here in this thread so just read through it and you'll see how others have done. Use the Search This Thread tool to the upper right beside Thread Tools and put in your neighbourhood name or local street names as search terms, and you can compare. :)
2009-05-28, 05:01 PM
Hi Mike - I am near you and use two antennas - one for Toronto and one for Buffalo. I have been doing this for a few years now and it was easy to setup, is very reliable, and requires no maintiaing at all.
Alternatively, some guys use one antenna with a rotor, and spin it as needed.
The reason for this, is that we live in an area that if you aim for Buffalo, you are about 90 degrees off signal for the CN Tower.
However, we certainly live in probably the beast geographical area for sheer numbers of available stations - so it is worth the minimal work required!
So - welcome to the group! I am sure we can get you up and running with relative ease.
2009-05-28, 05:11 PM
Being in Bronte (Bridge Rd and Bronte Rd) I am at lower elevation than you. do you think this will have a major impact. Also I have 3 TV's. Does this mean I need a distribution amp/splitter?
2009-05-28, 05:35 PM
Well, it COULD have an impact, but not necessarily negative. You will likely still get all the channels but your stronger/weaker signals will vary from mine. This is not a big deal and quite normal.
More important that you get the antenna itself as high as is practical, and then not with any major obstructions directly in the way. If you have something in your line of sight, but it is a ways away, then don't worry about it. Just tilt the antenna up a bit toward the sky, so that it is aimed at the horizon.
In my case, my Buffalo antenna has a big tree about 75 - 100 metres away directly in my LOS. I simply tilted my antenna back so it was aiming where the top of the tree meets the sky (thus, my adjusted 'horizon') and all is well!
I feel quite comfortable saying you will have very little issue with signal under these circumstances. We live in a great area for this.
I have until recently, been running a good 4 way splitter to 4 TV's - so this may be all you need if you pre-amp the antennas at all. Or you may not pre-amp, but decide to use a channel master 4 or 8 way distribution amp. I have a 4 way now and replaced the splitter as I was noticing a bit lower signal lately on 2 of my channels.
If we can help more - just ask!
2009-05-28, 06:50 PM
Are you running a preamp, CenturyBreak? if not, that might keep WUTV-DT solid although WGRZ-DT drives everyone in Canada crazy all year round! :rolleyes:
No preamp... I always assumed these localized tropo effects were as bad as multipath, and that (like multipath) amplifying a futzed-up signal would have zero benefit!
Anyone here in Burlington-ville successfully using a preamp to avoid the dreaded nightly disappearance of WUTV-DT?
Mind you, I'd be happy if it stayed cloudy every day between April and November... and not just for better OTA reception. ;) :D
2009-05-29, 12:03 PM
d2e8b8, what convinced me and my family was the savings that we'll get on an annual basis. It is around 600 bucks annually. I once have Ultimate package cable that cost around $60 bucks a month.
We moved to Oakville and decided to have an antenna. While we are fixing the house before moving in, I temporary set up the 4228HD inside a room facing a window that is also facing south east on the third floor (we got 3 story townhouse).
Here are my results (I don't have the strength measurement), But as far as for my eyes, the reception is sharp. These results are as of last April 2009.
2-2 NBC STANDARD
4-2 WEATHER DOPPLER RADAR
17-3 THINK BRIGHT (I THINK IT IS PBS TOO)
I don't have OMNI 1, Globe TV, SUN, RTN, CSN SUN TV (Hamilton)
This results are based on:
1) Antenna facing the window south east (The antenna is parallel to Toronto signal, getting receptions at the side of the antenna)
2) Antenna is inside the room
3) Room is at the 3rd floor (Is it because the antenna is in the 3rd floor thats why it got great coverage? Also I don't see any obstraction to the Line of Sight)
4) 50 feet direct feed of RG6 cable to one TV (I am planning to have two tv to feed)
I was thinking of having 2 antenna one facing Toronto and one facing Buffalo.
Because of the temporary setup result, I am now contemplating to have two antennas but to have one antenna facing Buffalo and place it at the top of the roof and get Toronto signal at the side of the antenna (Hopefully on August 2011, all Toronto stations will be full blast have much better reception???).
I might play around with the antenner installer.
Any suggestions, comments and advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you all.
2009-05-29, 04:30 PM
Hi All, I'm getting somebody to install for me. Initially I asked if he can install a rotor and CM4221 for me and he said I don't need a rotor. He also said that if I tune it, I will lose all the channels. He said that I should have no problem in getting all the channels from Buffalo and Toronto. What worry me is if I don't have a rotor, channels might drop in and out depending on part of day and weather conditions.
Can anybody comment on this? Should I get a rotor to ensure that I get maximum quality and not have channels drop out? I was also thinking that if I have a rotor, should there be new stations, I can tune to it easier in the future. Is this a valid thought?
2009-05-29, 04:39 PM
banger, I think you should do exactly what markf said in his reply in Post #646. The beauty of these threads is that you can see what your neighbours are doing and hopefully get the same results with the same gear.
An installer can only install what you want them to install. If you insist on using other gear such as a rotor against their advice then they'll of course be happy to take your money.
2009-05-30, 10:15 PM
OK. Went to Safe & Replay and picked myself up a CM4221D. Plugged into TV and got a few HD channels. Amazing quality. I'm ready to install outside. Can somebody tell me which channel from Buffalo I should be using to finetune? Should I be the 29.1 WUTV?
2009-05-31, 02:16 AM
Well, I finally gave OTA a shot today with a small antenna I had lying around. I am still in awe at the results...
Antenna: The Source 1501880
I have it facing SE'ish on the ground floor near a large window. I pick up the following DTV stations:
2.1 - NBC
2.2 - NBC Weather+
4.1 - CBS
5.1 - CBC
7.1 - ABC
9.1 - CTV
11.1 - CHCH (E!)
17.1 - PBS
17.2 - PBS SD
17.3 - PBS Think
23.1 - CW23
25.1 - SRC
29.1 - FOX (Very weak, but it comes in at times)
29.2 - FOX SD (Ditto ^)
36.1 - CTS
41.1 - Global
44.1 - Omni 2
57.1 - City TV
64.1 - Omni 1
66.1 - Sun TV
And that's with a tiny indoor antenna :D
2009-05-31, 07:57 AM
Great results DavidT - gosh, are you missing anything in that list??
Now you know know how lucky we are in Oakville, a real hotspot for reception.
2009-05-31, 10:51 AM
Antenna: The Source 1501880That little antenna has been one of the most under-rated indoor antennas for many years. Its mesh dish is great for UHF. :) I used to have it on the Antenna Chart but too many people found the VHF rabbit ears to be frustratingly weak so it fell off the list.
2009-05-31, 11:02 AM
I'm right by 8th Line and Dundas :)
The only channel that I would like that I'm having trouble receiving is FOX, it seems super picky about the direction I face the antenna. I turn it 2 degrees and it comes in perfect, but I lose a few other channels; I turn it back and it's completely gone. Everything else is great.
The only problem now is convincing the family that this is the path to go. They don't seem keen on giving up cable and all the channels they never watch. Whatever, I guess I'll have the nice uncompressed HD all to myself :cool:
2009-05-31, 12:44 PM
Hi DavidT - I am at 8th Line and Upper Middle Road - so pretty much in line with you. You have discovered what most of us have realized in this area - you need an antenna with a rotor - or two antennas combined in order to receive all channels at their best. The CN Tower and a 'peaked' aim for Buffalo in the 90 degree range.
2009-05-31, 04:06 PM
"Sorry, one more question. After 3 days of extensive reading, I read one poster that since he is installing an antenna, he might as well install something for wireless internet. Not sure what he meant by that. Can you add something to the antenna to get you more coverage for wireless internet?"
Not sure how far back you were reading and if it was a post of mine, but I said at one time that I used my TOWER for wireless internet not the antenna.
I needed to be up high a few years back but that has changed since with the addition of several other wireless internet providers in my area.
2009-05-31, 05:11 PM
...You have discovered what most of us have realized in this area - you need an antenna with a rotor - or two antennas combined in order to receive all channels at their best. The CN Tower and a 'peaked' aim for Buffalo in the 90 degree range.
I'm not so sure about "most" of us. The 4 and 8-bay bow-tie antennas (Channel Master 4221/4228, etc) have a fairly wide pickup pattern. My 4228 gets all the usual suspects from Toronto and Buffalo without the hassle of a rotor. Local topography (trees, buildings, hills, etc) can make a big difference. As you get further west in Oakville, the angle between Buffalo and Toronto increases and therefore so does the need for a more complicated set-up.
For us on the east side of Oakville, I think a better approach is to start with a good outdoor antenna, mounted high. Spend a little time tweaking the aim. Try it for a while. If there are still channels that you want to receive that don't come it, THEN look at a rotor or combining antennas.