: ON - Mississauga, Brampton, Bramalea, Port Credit - OTA
2010-09-08, 11:55 PM
I love your story! It reminds me of my situation. We got rid of cable and we were planning on just renting DVDs or downloading from the Internet with our AppleTV to watch tv. I took some cable attached to the tv and held it up in the air. My wife asked me what I was doing and I said I think we can get our local TV station with this wire. I attached another wire and we had a make shift pair of rabbit ears. We got our local station! As we scanned for more channels and held these wires in the air we got CBC HD from Toronto!
Anyways long story short, since then I've tweaked and built my own antennas and now I get every HD digital channel from the CN Tower, Hamilton and a couple of stations from Buffalo. And at first I just got CBC with two wires that my wife and I were holding in the air.
My advice is get an antenna, try it out. Return it if it doesn't work, but I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with reception you'll get.
2010-09-09, 09:16 AM
last week I went to a place called Save And Replay to get an antenna and was advised not to even bother as I was facing the wrong direction and too low to pick up any reflections and that I wouldn't even get any TO channels.
Not so sure about that. If you're that close to the lake, the CN Tower and First Canadian Place (two locations from which all TO stations transmit) are a little north and east from you. Putting a simple antenna on your balcony and pointing it ENE might just get you the Toronto stations.
2010-09-09, 10:34 PM
Well it's true Port Credit is south west of the CN Tower, the way mississauga is laid out though I don't have a direct line to those places in TO. Still, if the cable works an antenna hopefully does too.. I wish I had the time to build my own because I love doing stuff like that but I don't so I'll go back to Save and Replay and pick up a ready made. I'm thinking of trying a 4220MHD antenna, size is small and so is price, I don't see it on the chart here but I don't have high demands either
2010-09-09, 10:55 PM
The 4220HD is a good compact antenna. Because of it's compactness it makes a good indoor antenna. It is directional and has a gain of least 8db in the lower UHF frequencies and goes up in the higher frequencies. Getting VHF channels it's not as good, but right now there are no digital channels in the VHF frequencies in Toronto anyways until Aug 2011 when CTV & CHCH will move to VHF after the digital switch over.
Be sure to try this antenna both on your balcony and indoors. You may find a sweet spot where reception is best.
2010-09-10, 09:44 PM
So this time next year I might not be able to pick up CTV? That sucks it's one of the better channels I get right now. I don't think canadian walmart carries the RCA ANT-751 that's on the recommended chart either.
2010-09-11, 09:01 AM
Hard to say either way.
Right now CTV broadcasts analog on channel 9 (VHF) and digital on channel 40 (UHF). After Aug 2011 when they shut down the analog broadcast the digital broadcast will move to the channel 9 frequency.
VHF frequencies tend to go through buildings, trees, etc. better than UHF frequencies. So if you have an antenna that is better at UHF like the 4220, the question is - will the stronger tv signal overcome the less gain that the antenna has - thus letting you still receive it after the switch over.
Generally if you receive the analog channel on 9, you should receive the digital one after the switch over. The engineers at the station and industry canada aim to have the same coverage area with digital as they did with analog. Of course, it's all theory so until the switch over actually happens no one really knows 100%.
I can receive channel 9 analog here in Kitchener from my location with my antenna that is a UHF antenna. I'm just going to wait and see what happens before changing anything. There is a small adapter available called a UVSJ that will connect a VHF & UHF antenna together if it is necessary to add a VHF antenna to capture CHCH & CTV.
2010-09-13, 08:20 PM
I have a CM4221HD and for my balcony but plan on getting a VHF-hi antenna for CHCH channel 11, CTV 9 , Maybe barrie 10 and maybe daystar Buffalo 7. But also a lot of Rochester channels have gone VHF-hi for trop, so now it was a must that I grab a VHF-hi antenna with a UHF/VHF combiner. I saw a those crap Digi 2075 antenna and it said UHF and VHF antenna, and the elements are perfectly looking for VHF-hi and I can see it does have small UHF elements at the front. The guy at the store said 10 bucks, So no big deal, and when I opened it the antenna elements where all out of place. They scattered everything wrong so it can fit in the box easier and the instruction manual sucks. So with an hour of work and a hammer I put this antennas elements together, now it looks like a UHF and VHF-hi antenna (like a giant silver sensor). now I decided to test it with no amp, indoors and 40 foot cable, to my amazement this antenna got all Buffalo's, hamilton and Toronto, even though I am pointing at buffalo indoors and Toronto has walls blocking the signal. I couldn't believe it but this antenna might even be as good as the CM4221HD even though I intend to use it for VHF-hi. I tested analog chch 11 perfectly clear at 35 miles away and the CM has it snowy, also I got channel 13 from Kitchener which is 80 miles from me in decent watchable analog picture, and Barrie's VHF lo channel 3 wasn't watchable, had some color but couldn't make it out. For 10 bucks I think this antenna (when you hook up the elements properly) can be a very good one. I'm hoping next year to hook it up with my combiner and pointing south I will get Buffalo 7, Toronto 9, Barrie 10 (not likely) , CHCH Hamilton 11 is awesome, also WHEC and WHAM for Tropo from Rochester. I think I should be set now with this, was gonna spend over a 100 on the C5 but for 10 bucks, I think this antenna will do good.
2010-09-13, 09:46 PM
Keep in mind today's weather.
Came home from work this PM and all the Erie, PA stations were booming in
here in Buffalo, like they usually do on a good hot sunny tropo summer day.
Occassional, but not normal. Stability over time, and now we're talkin...
but I hear ya, 10 bux is nuthin. heck even if it didn't work at all, ya could probably
build sumthin else out of it.
2010-09-22, 02:24 AM
I went ahead and bought a CM4220, facing NW and on the 3rd floor in port credit I figured I'm lucky to be getting some TO channels since the antenna store people told me I wouldn't even get that. As it turns out with this antenna I can get ALL the TO stations and by some miracle I also get NBC, CBS, ABC and PBS if I point it right (for the US stations I'm not sure what I'm pointing at but I'm going Northish at the trees or the buildings further down and I get stable signals).
Ok that's the good news, bad news is I can't be going out to the balcony to move the antenna every time I want to watch a different station.. today (maybe it's just for today) I found kind of a sweet spot where I'll get all the channels working except for 36.1 CTS HD which I could live without, some are pretty weak signals that cut out a bit sometimes.. and to top it off this only works when I hang some cookware (I don't know what this thing is but it's like a wire mesh basket or something, guess you put wet stuff in there to dry) on the back of it, I got the idea when I realised the signal is strong when I'm standing behind touching the antenna with my finger but weakens as I let it go.
So did I buy the wrong antenna? What do I do now? I'm thinking if I had another 4220 I could point it the other way but is there a way I can hook all that up to 1 TV?
EDIT: Nevermind about the last question, I found the FAQ part about ganging antennas.
2010-09-23, 02:27 PM
I have a CM4221 aimed 150 degree's to Buffalo. Get all Channels
good except 2.1. 11.1 is great. 5.1 is good, but 9.1, 41.1 and 57.1
poor, they break up. Would another CM4221 pionted 76 degree's to
Toronto be O.K.
Now up 25ft, 35 ft leadin. Do both antenas have to have the same
length of cable conected to the splitter.
William.....Mississauga Rd. and Burnhamthorpe
2010-09-23, 06:18 PM
WillyH, Post #16 in the OTA FAQ tells you all that you need to know on the topic of using more than one antenna. :)
2010-10-03, 03:02 PM
just moved to my new place on friday - antenna was up yesterday.
25th floor unit faces south, with LOS views of the lake and the CN Tower
4221HD in the bedroom window pointed at the lake
channel signal strength (x/10)
was interesting to see CHCH completely drop, and the poor signal strength from CITY (rogers...).
as well as phenomenal signals on every channel i used to get (sometimes only periodically), coolTV has been a welcome addition.
2010-11-03, 12:12 AM
I am about to take the plunge with a CM4228HD or DB8 antenna. I have been reading that DB8's only do UHF frequencies and are not able to do both UHF/VHF like the CM4228HD. I am looking to purchase an antenna in the next 4 weeks. Can I consider the DB8 and still get CTV in the future (understand they are switching frequencies) or is my only choice a CM4228HD?
2010-11-03, 12:14 AM
Understand that the CM4228 (HD or non HD model) get VHF-Hi stations due to a design 'flaw' that the DB8 doesn't have.
You could always get the DB8 and then a VHF only antenna later down the road.
2010-11-08, 02:59 PM
well I guess the DB8 has the same design flaw because I have the DB8 and can confirm it does receive both VHF low and VHF high quite well. I got the DB8 when it was listed as being better than the 4228HD... now the 4228HD with the hacks/mods is listed as better (stronger gain) than the DB8
The 4228HD and the DB8 can both receive VHF low and high channels...
It really depends on how strong the VHF signal is...
I have a very strong VHF low signal (real channel 7) that I was surprised to see coming in even though its through the back side of the antenna..... (which the reflector screen on the antenna is suppose to block out) antenna is fixed mounted aimed almost due south towards Toronto (from Toronto I can get CTV channel 9) and channel 7 (global's repeat transmitter in Midland) is coming in through the back door and channel 3 (transmitter in Barrie) is coming in very strong from the west side... note channel 7 and channel 3 are listed as line of sight on tvfool report so they are very close transmitting towers and signal strength is strong. Note I also have the channel master 7777 preamp up on the tower with the DB8... If I had to do it again I would now try the 4228HD or a double Grayhoverman home built. I'd like to try the stealth hawk but I think I would need a very good preamp to use the stealth hawk.
I can receive several VHF channels ... 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12 with the DB8 aimed at Toronto (mind you some are rock solid and some have lesser picture quality but if I had a rotor I'm sure I'd be able to tune in the weaker signals better.
2010-11-08, 04:43 PM
It's not a design flaw, it is a function of the width of the reflectors. :)
2010-11-12, 03:04 PM
stampeder... I guess I should have used a stronger tone so the sarcasm would be more evident.
2010-11-19, 10:55 PM
The last few days my buffalo stations have really been a mess. WIVB ch 4.1 among the worst, and tonight it has disappeared, signal strength right down to background noise level. I've noticed a lot of noise on the weather office radar the last couple of weeks. Last week the radar showed a lot of color along the southern shores of lakes Ontario and Erie, which looked like noise. Is this caused by solar flare activity?
Ok now 4.1 is back at 53%,(older PCHDTV3000 card) just did a rescan while posting this.
And my grey HDHomerun tuner read
ch=auto:39 lock=none ss=58(-26dBmV) snq=0(-128dB) seq=0 bps=0 pps=0
10 minutes ago
ch=auto:39 lock=8vsb ss=66(-21dBmV) snq=58(18dB) seq=100 bps=13498400 pps=1184
and fell below lock level again
tun: ch=auto:39 lock=none ss=54(-28dBmV) snq=0(-128dB) seq=0 dbg=11175-6430-1639
as i type this
What a mess, maybe time to gang my DB8.
2010-11-19, 10:59 PM
Balun, WIVB is on a lower-ERP backup antenna right now (check the station status thread for Buffalo). And we've had some screwed up conditions this past week. I wouldn't make changes to your equipment, as the conditions and WIVB's situation have been dictating reception lately...
2010-11-19, 11:22 PM
Thank you Jase88.
I was about to check if my rig aim drifted from the wind tomorrow. Good to know its on 4.1's end, I'll check out that station status thread.