: ON - Ottawa, Vanier, Gloucester, Orleans - OTA
2011-11-10, 03:58 PM
What type of building are you in? What floor? What direction does the room you have the antenna in face? Are you pointing the antenna at one of the local transmitters? Did you configure your TV for use with an antenna and do a channel scan? Does the TV have an ATSC tuner?
2011-11-10, 04:05 PM
Sly79, like roger1818 mentioned, there is a setting in your TV to go between Cable and Antenna for the RF cable input. Make sure that is set right.
2011-11-10, 05:03 PM
OK so far, I was able to get CTV, means the tv is configured properly. I believe i am pointing to the Camp Fortune tower, NNW from my home. Im on the main floor, its a brick building built in the 60s-70s. After reading on the subject, a lot of people were saying that receiving signals in this area of town is definitively not guarantied... although, I do have an amplified antenna.
2011-11-10, 05:06 PM
OK so far, I was able to get CTV , means the tv is configured properly.
Possibly, but not necessarily, since CTV is on VHF 13. (Unless you're talking about CHRO CTV2 on channel 43 from Herberts Corners)
Your easiest channel to get should be CBOT CBC 4.1 on channel 25.
If you're not getting that, your settings are possibly wrong.
2011-11-10, 05:17 PM
Sly79, definitely check your TV Settings... check for a setting of Cable(or CATV) vs Antenna (or ATSC). channel 13 might just be coincidentally be matching on both frequency ranges, as it happens on some channels only.
2011-11-10, 06:05 PM
With the Sony Bravia, there is not much settings you can play with. There is only one input for Cable/Antenna and the menu only give the option to search of analog or digital channels. So im searching for digital. CTV was on channel 13. I would really like to get at least CBC...
2011-11-10, 06:26 PM
I think you can manually tune to a channel with Bravia TVs using the "Signal Diagnostics" menu under "Product Support".
2011-11-10, 11:16 PM
On my Bravia:
Home button, left menu, Channel, Set "Cable" to "Off"
2011-11-11, 12:28 PM
on my 26 inch bravia I have several inputs .
This web site has recommended antennas and I hope your Terk is one of them. Is it UHF only or does it also receive VHF
Lets assume you Live at the Royal Oak at 800 Hunt club.
If you go to TV fool (canada) and input the address under ON LINE TV MAPS.
check the show lines pointing... box on the results screen
This will give you lines on the map if you are using Int Explorer to the transmition towers. So from Hunt club and Uplands drive you find that Herberts corners tower is south on Uplands but a bit east.
Camp fortune tower is north on Uplands and a bit west.
going to a satelite view and zooming in and out I see no real obstacles.
If you had your tv optioned and signals scanned and a good antenna you should be getting lots of signals.
In your case a UHF only antenna like a channel master 4221 HD when pointed south on uplands to HC would get CF tower in the back since they
are opposite each other for you.
My cm 4221 does pick up VHF channel 13.1 but not the weak VHF 6.1
If you can move the setup higher and outside to scan for channels, like on the roof of that fine pub your tv will memorize what is really available.
Good luck you should get at least 8 channels I think.
2011-11-11, 01:03 PM
Im on the main floor, its a brick building built in the 60s-70s.
Brick is bad for blocking signals. Try to point the antenna through a window. Better yet, get an outdoor antenna.
After reading on the subject, a lot of people were saying that receiving signals in this area of town is definitively not guarantied...
Getting American channels could be very difficult, but you should be able to receive the local ones. Post a link to your TVFool (http://www.tvfool.com) results and we can give you better advice though.
although, I do have an amplified antenna.
Bit of a misconception there. The amps used in most indoor antennas are of poor quality and tend to make things worse. From my experience the un-amplified indoor antennas work much better than the amplified ones. YMMV.
2011-11-11, 03:51 PM
First posting, after reading the rules and various threads for some insight. I've had mixed results with my OTA reception and hope someone can answer a few newbie questions.
First, about my setup. I'm in Alta Vista near Bank and Heron. I have a CM-4221HD and CM-7777 preamp on a 10' mast attached to the chimney on my bungalow. RG6 and shielded ground wire run down alongside the chimney and enter the foundation to a panel almost directly opposite in the basement. There I have the power unit for the preamp and a 3-way splitter, only two outlets of which I am using. One length of cable goes about 12' to an upstairs LG LCD TV with a built-in ATSC tuner; the other goes roughly 45' to an older Toshiba projection TV in a basement rec room. The Toshiba does not have ATSC built in and so I purchased an iView converter (I'm disappointed by it but the options during the digital switchover earlier this year were limited).
I have pretty good LOS from my roof and have the antenna pointed at about 169 degrees (magnetic) using a compass, based on what TVFool told me in its report for my address.
My results are different for the two TVs. Both get CBC English and French, CTV and CTV2, CHCH, CTV, two Omni channels, and TVO. Reception is excellent and the picture is very sharp (yay digital OTA). The basement TV with the long cable run also gets Global on 6.1 and, recently, on 6.2 in SD, but the newer TV upstairs does not,
I was getting City 65.1 on both TVs but that's changed suddenly. The signal is very pixillated and unwatchable on the unit downstairs and has suddenly switched to 17.2 on the newer TV upstairs with reception swinging wildly from Poor to Excellent.
At one point, I wondered if moving my cable modem, wireless router, and VoIP unit to the same panel where my antenna cable enters and is distributed might be the cause of some interference. I switched everything off and the reception was the same, including on City, and so I ruled that out.
That leaves a couple of questions:
How much leeway do I really have with my antenna or is it essential to have it pointed directly at a transmitter? (In other words, as sure as I am that I am aiming at 169 degrees, do a few degrees really matter and should I go back up on my roof with a helper inside on the other end of a walkie-talkie to tell me if reception improves when I make small changes in the antenna alignment?)
Does electrical wiring cause interference that could be corrupting my reception? What about household appliances or other devices?
Any help will be appreciated. Any help that gets me City again in time to watch Fringe tonight will be roundly cheered!
2011-11-11, 04:39 PM
A link to your actual TVFool results would be very helpful, but I did a plot for the intersection of Bank and Heron to get a rough idea of your situation.
The CM-4221HD has a very wide beamwidth so it is very forgiving with regards to aiming. Since (other than Global) you are having problems with signals from HC (which you are aiming at) I suspect your problem is overloading. The CM-7777 is a high gain amp and your signals are all very strong. Try bypassing the CM-7777 and plug your down-lead directly into the CM-4221HD (you can't just unplug the power injector as the mast mounted amp will block the signal if it doesn't have power).
Alternately, do you have any tall trees or buildings nearby, blocking the signal?
Regarding Global, you will need a VHF antenna (such as the Delhi VIP-302SR). It can be combined with your CM-4221HD using a UVSJ (or your CM-7777 if overloading isn't your problem). Since all the VHF broadcasts (CIII, CBOFT and CJOH) are from CF, you can aim it directly at that tower.
2011-11-11, 05:14 PM
Thanks for the prompt reply. Here's my TVFool page (http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3dec127e30375d06).
If the weather's decent this weekend, I will go up and try disconnecting the preamp. Also, as someone else kindly suggested, I'll check my RG6 connections and try bypassing the splitter and plugging directly into a TV.
I'll try a few different things, in fact.
2011-11-12, 12:43 PM
The 4221HD is pretty good for picking up both the Camp Fortune & Herberts Corners towers depending on your location. One thing to try is to point the antenna towards your weakest station and then see how all the other stations are coming in based on that antenna position. You might find that you will have to turn the antenna slightly to the left or right to get a compromise between the two towers to get reception on the stations. Your difficulty lies in the channels with a 2edge reception. You should be able to pick up stations form the back of the antenna so don't worry too much about which way the antenna is pointing. You may find that reception will improve if you lower the antenna on the mast but keep it where it is for now and try adjusting the direction first.
Have you done any of the hardware hacks for the 4221HD? There is a thread here dedicated for it.
Though it's a little cold outside to be doing much today. If it's convenient, take the antenna down & bring it inside to do the mods. My results have been pretty good and my antenna is inside on the 2nd floor. I get all the stations + VHF hi & Global without a preamp. The mods are reversible except for the reflector mod. Best to leave that until you see what the others do.
2011-11-12, 01:13 PM
Interesting, thanks. What I find curious is that I'm only having trouble with City and sometimes one Omni channel, both of which come out of HC, which is where I am pointed (roughly).
Also, is the CM7777 preamp I got of any use to me? I got it in a faint-hope effort to get PBS, which I don't think is going to happen given my location and current antenna. The only value so far is, I think, that having the FM-trap closed and combo setting on is what (I'm told) is getting Global for me (although it doesn't have much on it to watch).
2011-11-12, 04:26 PM
The preamp will help for Global and eliminate any signal loss up until the splitter. Try rescanning channels again. I've had to do this a number of times for Global especially since they now transmit an SD signal. Don't know why I have to do this but I do it. The 4221HD also has a really poor design where the balun makes contact with the feed lines. Every little bit helps in OTA especially with good quality coax and compression connectors. Pre-packaged store bought coax is just asking for trouble.
I have a little trouble with City & CHRO/CTV 2 but I think that they might be on opposite sides of the tower. I occasionally have to manually adjust my 4221. No problems with a 4228HD on the roof, though. The only thing that might adjust it is the wind!
PBS will be very doubtful on any antenna with the exception of tropo conditions in the summer. On TVFool, look at the column with NM (dB). You add the real gain of your antenna to this figure. Channel reception usually happens when you can get this NM number above zero. Most antennas only have a real life 9 to 13dB gain for UHF and that depends on which channel this peak is at too. Never believe what a manufacturer reports as a gain figure. The only way you can "change" this NM figure is to adjust your antenna height on TVFool. Try it at 20 feet and 30 feet just to see how much the numbers change. It may only be by one or two dB though.
One other option is to try moving the antenna to a different place on the roof. Ten feet in any horizontal direction may make the world of difference. Try that on TVFool as well and see if the NM numbers change.
Note - if you only do one mod to the 4221HD, remove the plastic covers where the whiskers attach. If you're careful, they won't break. I noticed an improvement in SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio) right away.
The reason you are not getting 6.1 on your LG TV may be caused by the way you're using the three-way splitter. Many three-way splitters are set-up internally as a two-way splitter followed on one of the splits by another two-way splitter. This gives three outputs with respectively -3.5 dB, -7.0 dB and -7.0 dB loss. If your splitter is one of these, and you have the projection TV connected to the -3.5 dB connector and the LG connected to the -7.0 dB connector, then you will be feeding the LG with a weaker signal (and 6.1 is already rather weak).
If the splitter connectors are labelled, then connect the LG to the -3.5 dB connector (or simply swap it with the projection TV connector) and see if it receives 6.1. If it does, then go and buy a good two-way splitter which has a loss of -3.5 dB on both outputs!
2011-11-14, 09:00 AM
I don't think streetwriter's 3-way splitter is causing him problems since he is using a pre-amp (the CM-7777 will more than compensate for the 7 or 8 dB loss (depending on the make/model) of an unbalanced 3-way splitter plus any cable loss). Even if he removes his pre-amp, his signals should be very strong (TVFool says his weakest has a NM of 37.4dB), so I would think he could easily handle at least 20dB of cable and splitter loss without a pre-amp.
BTW, given that WNPI has a NM of -17.8dB for you, I don't think there is any hope of receiving it with any antenna, especially since it is only about 10 degrees from adjacent CHCH (on 22) which is about 70dB stronger.
Maybe, but what is the strength of 6.1 going to be when it's a notoriously weak station for many in Ottawa being received on the back side of an antenna that makes no claims at all about its VHF-Low sensitivity? Very weak, I would think, and with a 7777 boosting relatively strong signals (RF 13, RF24 & RF25), aren't they going to drown it out either with IMD noise or low tuner AGC gain, so even a slight attenuation may take it below the cliff? It's very easy to wreck your reception by being over-enthusiastic with your pre-amp gain!
2011-11-14, 09:43 AM
Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate all the interest and support.
Here's what I've done so far based on what people have suggested. I tried bypassing my splitter and connecting directly to a TV. No difference. I also tried adjusting the antenna direction. That produced only marginal changes that did not last. At least I think I now have it pointed better towards HC. I also disconnected the preamp both on the mast and inside at my basement panel. Again, no difference, and so I am still at a loss to explain my poor reception.
I am using what I assume is good quality RG6 (purchased off a spool at Lowe's) and compression F connectors (I've done a lot of those!) with weather boots. My antenna and preamp are new.
I did notice while on the roof that there is a large tree about a hundred meters away and roughly in my otherwise-clear LOS, but it's pretty much bare of leaves now.
What's odd to me is that I was getting City quite clearly before. (I can't recall if that was before or after I added the mast and preamp. I really should keep notes.) The only thing I've changed recently is tidying up some cable runs in my basement and moving my modem and wireless router to the same panel as my cable connections. As mentioned earlier, I wondered about that but tested it with everything turned off and I got the same non-result.
Any other suggestions?