: ON - City of Toronto Metro Area <OUTDOOR Antennas Only> - OTA
2007-01-30, 04:28 PM
Refer to post 304 for a recent list of whats available in the toronto area.
He's missing 49 mytv, which some of us get.He's also missing several other sub-channels such as 2-2, 43-2, 43-3 and some which are gone but may come back such as 4-2 and 7-2.
2007-01-30, 06:01 PM
He's missing those because he is receiving analogue OTA, thinking of going digital.
2007-02-05, 11:13 AM
I have read through this thread and have gathered a great deal of info. I am located close to the NW corner of High Park (just west of the park, just north of Bloor) in a valley. I do not have line of sight to anything although the walls of the valley are not very steep (which should help a bit). I have a crappy amplified set of bunny ears on the first floor of the house and I only get a few analog channels clear and only one HD channel (the Buffalo CW channel - 22-1 I think) which is surprisingly very reliable. My house is a two storey and there are a few pretty large trees around.
After a couple of hours of researching the info on this site I am leaning toward a 4228 and am strongly considering a rotor and a preamp. It could be chimney mounted or tripod mounted to the roof - any benefits either way? As well, is there any benefit in getting a VHF/UHF preamp with this antenna? Can I connect both inputs to this antenna? Even if I leave the VHF input empty at least it leaves the possibility of being expanded in the future (adding a VHF antenna only to the mix).
2007-02-05, 01:22 PM
Hi and welcome here - the fact that you are getting CW from Buffalo so steadily in a valley in Toronto could mean a couple of things. Maybe the Buffalo reception is strong there; maybe there is an odd signal reflection happening...
With the info you've gathered so far I'd say you are well informed about how to proceed if you decide to go ahead with this, but in your particular situation I'd highly recommend that you get a professional site survey done, in which a reputable installer will bring over reception gear to test for signals in the first place before any work is started. This can save you a lot of future heartbreak if it turns out you're just getting weird signal bounces in that valley.
Regarding the future of VHF signals, this is ongoing in Canada and you'll find threads in the main OTA Forum about CRTC proceedings regarding television in Canada. We won't discuss that in this thread, but in this specific case the CM4228 will get most or all of your local VHF stations due to a quirk of its design.
2007-02-05, 09:30 PM
Bmac you are definitely receiving a reflection so be prepared to have problems with receiving the other Buffalo signals.23-1 is by far the strongest digital signal from Buffalo in the GTA.If your antenna was on the top of the valley then reception is excellent in that area.A rotor would be great but a preamp would overload as your less than 10km from the CN tower.
Welcome! You'll find DHC is a wealth of friendly knowledge.
I am familiar with your area, I believe (I live at Ave & Eg, but have the fortune of being on an inclining hill street...)
I'd bet the CM 4228 would do you wonders.
As for a reputable installer, well all I can say is make sure you ask them specifically what you need (ie site survey). Most that I met wouldn't have or care to have the equipment that is needed (see my threads previously).
You may find that Yaamon ( a fellow DHCer who has a satellite/antenna business) is your best bet, so try him first.
2007-02-19, 01:42 PM
After reading this forum I decided to go OTA with a CM4221 and a roll of 100' of RG6 connected to a Viewsonic 3252. I have a deck on the third floor and decided to install the mast and antenna there, so that you can not see the antenna from the front. If I move the antenna to the chimney which is in the front of the house, I would have to deal with both the aesthetics and-Wife-factors; but I would be able to reduce the cable run by about 30ft. although my grounding cable length would increase by the same length. I am in Little Italy, downtown Toronto, with a clear view to the South and to the CN tower about 6km south-East from here.
The antenna is facing almost a perfect South East at about 14m above the ground.
Right now this is what I get perfectly without touching the antenna since November when all this started. ( I know, I know, i am quite lucky)
2-1) WGRZ - NBC
4-1) WIVB -CBS
5-1) CBLT - CBC
7-1) WKBW -ABC
9-1) CFTO -CTV
23-1) WNLO -
25-1) CBLFT - CBCF
43-1) WNED -HD
66-1) CKXT - SUNTV
and I am not listing the repeated sub-channels in SD and a Christian channel that I have blocked.
I am extremely lucky because due to my location, the CN tower and Grand island are on the same straight line (SE).
The questions after all this is:
1.-are there any other channels out there coming from Grand island that I could get?
2.-Would I get anything else if I move the antenna and reduce the cable length/add an amplifier?
3.-Should I just relax and enjoy all these channels for just over $120
Lastly I have to add that the whole OTA project took me almost one month of research. I did almost 100% of my research in this Forums, over 5 trips to the hardware store and finally I want to add that the pride and personal satisfaction of finishing a project that works.........priceless!
Thank you all for being part of this Forum.
2007-02-19, 01:47 PM
Hi LCDIAN, I'll let others discuss the reception of stations there but regarding the cabling question your answer is a definite yes: the issue is line loss. For every foot of length there is a relative signal loss, so a preamp is one part of the solution because it boosts the signal in a very clean way right up at the antenna feeding downwards. Cutting the RG6 down to its shortest length (leaving a bit of flex for safety/wear and tear) is just as important when the run is as long as yours.I am extremely lucky because due to my location, the CN tower and Grand island are on the same straight line (SE).Excellent! :) Because of that you will need to make sure that the preamp is not too powerful or it will overload on the CN Tower stations. A boost rating of between 10 to 15dB should be fine, and you should put in a 3 to 6 dB attenuator down at the TV end of the RG6 during your first experiments with a preamp to prevent any possible overload damage.
2007-02-21, 08:17 PM
I have a tv with an ATSC tuner. I've purchased a Silver Sensor. Now do I plug into the coax port that says "air" or the one that says "cable" (there is not UHF or VHF).
Also, I'm having trouble following the numbering system for the HDTV channels that is used in the forums. What, for example, is channel 29-1 and how do I find it?
2007-02-22, 03:07 AM
Gedge, first of all I've moved your post to its proper thread here in the Reception Results Forum.
The ATSC channel numbering system is explained in the Knowledge Base & FAQ so I've put the link at the bottom of this post. Basically a digital TV channel can be sub-divided into subchannels. For instance channel 37-1 would be shown on some ATSC tuners as 37.1, but they both mean the first subchannel of channel 37. If there is a second subchannel, it would be 37.2 and so on. Not all channels use subchannels, so if you were to get only 37.1 it is because they're only broadcasting on the one.
Plug your Silver Sensor into the AIR coax connector and then run a channel scan. Let us know how it goes.
Again, please read through the OTA Forum Knowledge Base and FAQ so that we can help you better. :)
2007-02-23, 02:47 PM
2-1) WGRZ - NBC (intermittent)
4-1) WIVB -CBS
5-1) CBLT - CBC
7-1) WKBW -ABC
9-1) CFTO -CTV
23-1) WNLO -
25-1) CBLFT - CBCF
43-1) WNED -HD
57-1) CITY (only when aimed dead-on)
66-1) CKXT - SUNTV
I received OMNI initially but they have gone off the air for some reason.
The above is what I receive with a huge 20-year-old combo antenna and 30-ft tower. I bought a Hitachi 42" plasma with ATSC in November, and pulled in most of the Buffalo stations despite having the rotor "stuck" in the general direction of Grand Island.
I hired an antenna guy to replace the rotor, but wish I had discovered this forum beforehand. The new rotor (a Delhi 604-RC with digital indoor rotator box) does not work properly :( . I suspect the old antenna is too heavy for it, since it does not consistently turn a full 360 degrees, and sometimes doesn't move at all, so I keep it pointed due south towards Grand Island.
I am unable to pick up CITY-HD with their puny transmitter unless I aim the antenna directly at the CN tower. I suspect if I had a 4 or 8-bay bowtie I might not need the rotor. Or - perhaps I could mount another UHF corner-reflector on the mast and aim it specifically for CITY, but then I would probably need attenuaters/combiners etc since there would be signal duplication from the main antenna.
Years ago I tried a 10dB cable amplifier but this made reception worse. I think the strong channels 5 and 9 overloaded the signal. The reason for the boost is the antenna lead passes through two sets of passive splitters to feed several sets in different rooms in the house. I get most of the channels as is, but get all the ones I listed above if I bypass one splitter (sorry - no TV in the bedroom ;) )
The antenna guy is coming in the springtime to take a look at the rotor, since it is under warranty, but if possible I would like to do without it. From my location the CN tower is about 100-110 degrees and Grand Island is 170-180, according to the rotator box display, that is when it seems to be working. Therefore, I am looking for advice regarding the best way to go here. I suppose the cheapest is to fix the rotor.
I also have ExpressVu satellite for my "SD" channels. This was purchased in the late 90's so we could get cable-only channels like Discovery, MuchMusic etc. However I am not willing to shell out big $ to upgrade to an HD package, since I read the quality is not that great with Vu.
There is a huge wealth of knowledge here about OTA. I have been lurking here for a couple of weeks, and wish I had discovered you fine folks earlier. Keep up the good work!
2007-02-23, 03:57 PM
I am just north of you at approx Islington and Eglinton. CM4221 does it for me!
I have no where near the height your 30ft tower is doing for you!
Mine is on the chimeny just the top of the chimeny so not that high!
You can check my earlier post for reception!
Good luck to you!
2007-02-25, 06:15 PM
Thanks teenie. I also found another post by someone near Bloor & Renforth (posts #46 & #52) and the CM-4221 seems to work aimed midway. I might purchase one and run a separate RG6 just for the plasma TV and leave the old TVs with the splitters and rotor on the Yagi.
My basement ceiling is becoming clogged with coax, though ;-)
GM PARTS GUY
2007-03-07, 04:16 PM
I live at kipling and the westway about 100 yards west of Kipling coligiate. I am buying an anteena for my JVC lcd tv which has a built in atsc tuner. I have used a RCA ANT411 and get CBC french and CBC english CFTO CITY TY, and thats it with the indoor. I havnt picked up the DB4 yet.
I'm wondering if I will be able to pick up fox abc and nbc with this antenna Without a pre amplifier, I'm afraid to get a pre amp because I have read I can damage my tv. I dont want to do that because Im still paying for it. If I need a pre amp for a DB4 is a winegaard ok?
Also Is reception reliable with a pre amp or is it still up and down. Just an aside In the summer I was able to get fox nbc and abc with my indoor antenna facing South west but it would go from 60% to 0% many times an hour.
I want to get rid of my Rogers 3250 Im so fed up with them, I like how they call the HD channels I do get with them free but I still rent there box pay a digital fee and then it still looks worse then true OTA.
2007-03-07, 04:54 PM
Hi and welcome here - I've moved the DB4 portion of your post to the following thread:
Have you checked for another poster in this thread who might be close enough to you for a good comparison of what's available?
2007-03-09, 07:29 AM
most people in that area get buffalo stations with a good outdoor antenna.
read the tips & tricks section. A preamp didn't make my reception better. it amplified the noise and interference just as much as the signals. all it did was raise the noise floor. A preamp is made to make up for long cable runs. If your cable is only 50-60 ft, you won't need a preamp. If you need to split for more Tuners, use a distribution amp.
NBC & FOX can still be iffy with weather. MyTv is is not so good some days.
2007-03-11, 11:00 PM
Can anyone offer an explanation and/or advice for my reception problem? I'll try to give you a brief version of the story to date:
I'm in central Etobicoke (Toronto), south of Bloor and just west of the Humber Ravine.
I built a 4-bay antenna using the plans that have been posted in a few places:
...and I installed it in the rafters of my garage, since the garage is the same height as the attic of my bungalow, it's the furthest southerly point of the building, and it was easier to access than the attic when I needed to tweak the positioning of the antenna.
I consistenly got all the Toronto stations except CITY, and I also got all the Grand Island stations (PBS, FOX, CW).
I installed a CM 7777 pre-amp, and I pulled in MyTV, ABC and CBS from southern Buffalo - but they were rather inconsistent: one day the signal was really strong, the next day I couldn't lock them in at all. And I still couldn't get NBC or CITY-TV at all.
A few people told me that I was cutting my potential signal in half by mounting the antenna in the garage, so I purchased a "real" Channel Master 4221 antenna, and mounted it on a 10' mast attached to my chimney. I disconnected the garage antenna, and moved the CM 7777 pre-amp to the 4221. So now I'm getting WAY more height, and the signal isn't being blocked by the solid stone walls of my garage.
Result: I get FEWER channels than with the garage antenna. I no longer get FOX or SUN-TV. MY-TV and ABC are flaky, and CBS is fine. Of course, still no NBC or CITY-TV.
No doubt I will be able to improve things a bit by tweaking the direction of the antenna (it got dark while I was finishing the install today). But I really expected to have much better results right away.
One thing I should mention. I used a compass to aim the antenna (based on compass headings I got on a site where you enter your lat/long and it gives you the degree heading to all the stations in your area). But when I tried to use the compass in my garage, it acted up and I couldn't get a true reading.
I wonder if there's something about my garage construction and/or my home-made antenna that was acting like a "trap" or natural amplifier for the signals. Has anyone ever heard of anything like this???
Can I hook up BOTH the garage and roof antennas in parallel, run them to a coax combiner, and feed them to the TV? I only have one CM 7777 pre-amp, so I could put the combiner AFTER the 7777's amplifer. So one antenna would run to the pre-amp, then to the amp (near the TV), then to the combiner. The other antenna would run straight to the combiner. Then the output of the combiner would go to the TV.
2007-03-11, 11:13 PM
CM4228 mounted to the chimney of my bungalow, RG-6 and a ground wire through a vent hole into the attic, where the ground wire is clamped to a copper plumbing vent pipe. Coax through an interior wall to a wall plate (30 feet). Tuner is part of Samsung LN-S2641D tv. Signal values are out of 6:
57-1: 1, with some pixellation and sound dropouts
A common 10 dB amp at the tv end raises CITY's strength from 1 to 2, and eliminates the pixellation and sound problems. The antenna is aimed somewhat East of the line towards Grand Island, Buffalo, in an effort to aim the right-hand side lobe towards the CN tower. The 4228's lobe is about 35 degrees off centre, while CN tower is about 25 degrees off Buffalo (thanks, Stampeder for the antenna pattern link on the first page of the forum). The amp also brings 49-1 from 0 to 1, but I don't get any sound.
I've never gotten 66-1 SunTV, even with the antenna aimed straight towards the CN tower, but I can't see the tower directly anyway due to trees and houses. I tried the antenna on a pole above the chimney cap, but saw no difference for the Buffalo stations, so I lowered it below the cap to partially hide it from the street. Is height the only answer for SunTV? Are the 8 bowties on this antena tuned for specific channel ranges so that I could try bending one slightly?
Thanks for any tips.
2007-03-12, 12:20 AM
Bert490, try moving your amp into your attic as cable losses are greatest at the higher frequencies but watch out for overload.Sun -tv is also lower down the CN tower.
2007-03-12, 11:17 AM
sillybillybob, When determining the heading, did you compensate for magnetic declination? In Toronto, I think magnetic north is about 10 degrees off of true north. My advice is to use a compass to get your first approximation and then fine tune the direction to get the best results. You are close enough to the CN tower that you should be able to point your antenna towards Buffalo and still receive most if not all the Toronto stations.
Could you tell us more about your setup? Things like what type of cable are you using, how long is it, did you terminate it yourself (and if so how?), are you splitting the signal to multiple TVs and which tuner are you using (if it is built into your TV how old is it)? All of this information will help us figure out what the problem is.