: BC - City of Vancouver, North Van, West Van - OTA
2007-03-13, 11:05 AM
Hi all, first post.I have spent a few evenings lurking here and reading. I live in Champlain Heights. Just west of Boundary between 49th and Marine (practically in Burnaby).
I'm new to this idea of OTA HD and wonder if there is anyone close by with any recommendations. I've been thinking about going across the border and picking up a tuner. Possibly a Samsung 260. Any thoughts on the tuner model or the best place to buy it? What about the antenna. I'm naturally lazy LOL so would rather not put an antenna on the roof of my townhouse. Also being in a strata I would like it to be as stealthy as possible. Any recommendations or suggestions would be appreciated.
2007-03-13, 12:58 PM
Hi cookie and welcome here - the choice of OTA gear is all dependent on what your expectations/requirements are. If you want the Mt. Seymour digital OTA stations you should go with an outdoor antenna aimed directly at it. Have you downloaded the antenna chart? It will answer your antenna questions.
A 4-bay UHF antenna like a Delhi 4BT-1483, Channel Master 4221, Winegard PR-4400, or equivalent would be perfect. If you want the VHF Analogue stations from there too, you'll need a VHF/UHF combo antenna. I've also listed Stealth Antennas in the chart.
If an outdoor antenna is not an option for those local stations, go with a Zenith Silver Sensor or Clone, or try a Winegard Sharp Shooter.
If you want the US stations there are no guarantees you'll get SeaTac stations satisfactorily but there's a fellow getting them down the hill from you on SE Marine, so there's a chance. For that you'd need something like a CM4228. No indoor antenna will help you with SeaTac stations.
The tuner you mentioned is the cream of today's crop.
2007-03-17, 11:00 PM
So I guess I'm basically impatient LOL. I went down to bellingham yesterday and bought a samsung 260 tuner. Brought it home and hooked it up last night with a phillips mant940 antenna. Got the shopping channel on 19.1 at about 20% and one brief unrepeatable glimpse of cbc.
Went out today and found an old radio shack MS2000. I know its a piece o garbage but it was cheap.
I assembled the thing on a tripod but the rain kept me in the house. I carried the thing around and still only got 19.1. About 5:30 or so I opened the back door and stuck the tripod on the back deck. Now my deck faces north but its surrounded by buildings, trees, fences etc., i figured I would have to be on the roof to have any hope of a signal from Seymour. I came inside and changed it to channel 2. The next thing you know I'm watching HD hockey!
I went back outside and put the tripod on top of the table and pushed the auto seek.
Now I know thats not great but I seem to be able to watch pretty well at 20%, maybe it's a good tuner?
I'm mostly wondering why I'm getting 13.1 with the antenna on the north side of my house. As near as I can figure that signal comes from 115miles in the other direction. Shouldn't i be getting KVOS before that.
I guess this just gives me hope that I might get some good results when I get a real antenna on the roof
2007-03-18, 02:50 AM
13.1 (actually on 18.1) from SeaTac has always been energetic up here for some locations, while KVOS-DT is still using a tiny transmitter. Lots of things affect propagation of broadcast signals so it doesn't surprise me that you are getting a sniff of Q13 Fox. Keep thinking about a roof solution for when this ridiculous rainfall ever stops! :D
2007-03-18, 11:47 AM
I'll definately be putting an antenna on the roof! I'll try what I have first and upgrade if it looks to be worthwhile.
As a complete newbie to this maybe someone could tell me or direct me to the answer - how does the weather we have here affect OTA signals?
2007-03-18, 12:37 PM
Typical rainfall doesn't cause much effect on local DTV stations, but very heavy rainfall can. Occasionally we get tropo conditions that allow strong signals from SeaTac and elsewhere, but that's pretty rare here on the coast.
2007-03-20, 12:16 PM
Hello out there,
I live in a cabin on Hollburn Mountain in West Vancouver. A ranger came by a few years ago and gave me these coordinates: N 5468982.487 m, E 486683.967 m. (GPS?) We are ~850 altitude. We have no services and thus generate our own power.
I want to get CBC, Knowledge Network, and KCTS in particular. I have Proscan TV, about 12 years old. I don't care about HD - I just want the three channels mentioned. A&E would be nice too...maybe Space/SciFi channel...
I have used various rabbit ears over the years and never really get KCTS or CBC very well (except during the Olympics!). The funny thing is, my neighour below me down the trail does get CBC...so we go there to watch hockey. She just uses some rabbit ears too. And she has lots of trees and whatnot so I don't know what the problem is up at my place. I don't know if she get KCTS.
I can see Tsawasswen and the Orcas Islands from my upstairs kitchen window through a fairly good sized gap in the trees. That is the only gap.
Is there someone I can hire as a consultant to figure out FOR ME what I need to get?
I appreciate your patience and any help you can give me.
Thanks, Nicky (MountainMama)
2007-03-20, 02:30 PM
Hi Nicky and welcome here!
My concern about your location is whether the mountain blocks signals from Mt. Seymour where the local Vancouver stations usually broadcast from. You have that southbound view from upstairs so in your case I would say that a roof-mounted VHF/UHF/FM antenna will get you a wide variety of TV and Radio stations from Salt Spring Island (CITY 10), Saturna Island (CHEK 6), Bellingham, and maybe Seattle/Tacoma stations too. Also from your altitude there might be a possibility that if you have a northwest view some of the Courtenay/Comox/Campbell River stations might come in if you had the antenna mounted on a rotor so that it could be turned in that direction. Maybe the mountain blocks out those stations. I'll check out your location on maps and see what I can find out.
In the meantime, here is a thread with links to people in our area who can give you expert assessment, sales, and service:
2007-03-20, 03:32 PM
Nicky welcome, Iam afriad that you are only able to receive A & E and Space/SciFi channel via cable or satellite.
Over the air normally broadcast local networks like Cbc and from the US if you are able to get Abc, Nbc etc..
2007-03-30, 07:42 AM
I am moving to North Vancouver, right down by the Sea bus terminal at Esplanade, high up on the 20th floor, facing South. Is there any chance to receive HD from the Seattle stations using a CM4228? With or without a pre-amp??
2007-03-30, 01:41 PM
Hmmm... that's a tricky set of conditions, EndUser, because normally at 20 floors up facing south with an un-preamped CM4228 I'd say yes you'd get some of the SeaTac Digital OTA stations, but in your case you have Downtown Vancouver high-rises affecting things, as well as the rise of the land in the 37th Ave (and southwards) parts of Vancouver.
I'd recommend that you check the BC Suppliers thread in the OTA Equipment forum to get a pro in to do a site survey.
2007-04-04, 07:58 PM
Hey guys. I'm new here and just got into OTA HDTV. I just thought I'd share what I have found so far and maybe see what you could suggest for improvements.
I'm running a signal from a Terk HDTV indoor antenna into a pchdtv 5500 hdtv card in my computer. I'm in Kerrisdale in a 1st floor partially submerged apartment facing south and west amongst a few large highrises. It's not the greatest situation I know, but I'll be moving in August.
I can get ~65% signal strength on CBCHD and can watch it just fine. I can't get anything on any other channels though. No CTV, nothing.
I guess I'll just wait until I move to see what else I can get.
While I only get the one channel, I'm glad it's CBC in time for playoffs.
2007-04-04, 08:06 PM
Hi silverpig, I think you would be very lucky to get CTV given your situation. Do you know where you're moving in August? Hopefully you can pick a good location.
Also here is a thread in our Linux/Unix Forum about the pcHD5500 card:
I hope you'll post there about your experiences with setup and configuration of that card. I run a pair of them in a MythDora 3.20 box.
2007-04-05, 02:40 AM
Thanks Stampeder. I've read a lot of your posts and found them to be really informative. I can move basically wherever I want in Vancouver, so I'll be looking mainly for something with a clear view of Seymour. I'm not all that worried about CTV, but I mainly would like to get my CBC signal strength up a bit.
Oh, how I wish I could just drop shaw for everything but internet and get the local stations and major us networks in HD. Of course tsn and discovery would be nice too, but I know that won't happen.
2007-04-08, 07:56 PM
Got my CM4228 today (thanks, 4DTV HD) and installed it with a radio shack rotator and amplifier. Got some results I'm pretty pleased with, hope its not an atmospheric fluke.
2-1 4/10 good
4-1 2/10 in and out
5-1 6/ 10 good
5-2 6/10 good (sd weather)
11-1 3/10 OK
13-1 7/10 good
16-1 3/10 in and out
16-2 3/10 sd
32-1 1/10 locks but not much more
Thats my initial results in the 2 hours or so since I finished the install. Interesting to see what I get in the next few days. I'm about as far SE in vancouver as you can get, near Boundary, between 49th and Marine.
My samsung 260 is also finding something on 39, 41 and 14 (whatever 14 is). Still lots of experimenting to do
2007-04-08, 08:07 PM
That's great, cookie - is it up on a tower?
Regarding those channels, 39 is KIRO (CBS), 41 is KCTS (PBS), and I think you're getting some sort of interference on 14 because I don't know of anything coming to us digitally on that one. KTBW is on 14 from SeaTac but I don't think it has the power to make it up here. Today's gray weather pretty well guarantees its not an atmospheric fluke happening. :)
2007-04-08, 09:09 PM
Well, I got home from grocery shopping and 4 and 16 were gone. Might come back with some fiddling I guess. No tower, its on a tripod on my flat roof, (higher than i promised the strata pres, we'll wait for a complaint) probably 30 feet above the ground which is about 245' elevation. I can see a long ways south but the north is pretty blocked by trees and buildings.
2007-04-08, 11:42 PM
I can lock onto KOMO 4, KONG 16 and KIRO 7 but don't have a consistent watchable signal. Anything I can do or do I wait for the bellingham transmitters?
No lock at all on CTV now.
2007-04-12, 10:25 AM
There are several things you can try but I understand you have Strata restrictions:
1. Move the antenna around, try different spots on the roof
2. I'm not sure you are using RG6 cable. Check that it is RG6 or better.
3. Get the antenna up higher. I'm not sure you can do that.
4. You could stack 2 CM4228s - no guarantees.
When you posted your results there was no skip happening at that time.
Here's the link I told you about for skip forecasting:
2007-04-13, 08:30 PM
Looked through the thread and thought I'd post my results.
Using a pair of Jensen TV611 passive VHF/UHF antenna (cheapest stuff I could find on ebay CDN$25 delivered right to my desk at work!...I'm lazy when it comes to shopping) connected to a Samsung SIR-T451 (again from ebay for CDN$225 delivered to my desk!) I can get CBC-HD 2.1 and CTV-HD 32.1) no problem. I haven't tried the analog stations through the set's tuner yet, but I will later tonight.
I'm in a house almost at the crest of the hill at 24th and Boundary, 2nd floor with a clear view of Mt Seymour out the back. TV is a Toshiba 44NHM84 on the front S.E. corner (Seymour is on the opposite side of the house, N.E), antenna is on top of the TV.
The SIR-T451 has bars for signal strength, and I'd say that both CBC and CTV come in at about 3/4 of full scale (8 or 9 bars). If I get the antenna just right, I can get both stations without having to move it (or me!). Only ocasional drop outs usually when someone gets up and walks into the other room, etc.
Watching Hockey and Law and Order in HD, all off a pair of $25 rabit ears...way better that paying $400+ for Shaw's box and then the $100/month or so for their compressed HD. It's sooooo hard to go back to Shaw's "digital" SD picture, let alone regular cable! Find myself watching HD shows that I would never consider watching...like looking through a window...even hard to watch DVDs now!
I have an old (circa 1990's) VHF/UHF/FM outdoor antenna--I'll post model and name if anyone's interested--that is for mobile homes, boats, etc., that I got from my dad a few year back for free (brand new still in the box!). It's encased in a plastic housing so it doesn't look like an antenna, more like a radar dome. Cool thing is it has a built in rotor and preamp! I hooked it up indoors, on the side of the house closet to MT S, with a slight improvement over the rabit ears, but more hassle.
When the weather gets nicer I'll put it up on the chimney and see if I can get more stations with it. If I do, then I'll mount it up there permanently.
Anyway, thanks for this thread and the inspiration it gave me to go search ebay and wait for the right price!
HD for $250...gotta love it!