2007-11-11, 05:20 AM
If you're in a home and can mount an outdoor antenna then do so... and the 4228 is a good choice.
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2007-11-11, 05:20 AM
If you're in a home and can mount an outdoor antenna then do so... and the 4228 is a good choice.
2007-11-11, 12:54 PM
Thanks for your replies.
I have read all the posts re GTA indoor antenna reception, and also all the other threads re OTA in general. My eyes are bleery from the reading, but I am impressed and interested for the future as to what is possible.
At this time, I'm looking for a relatively simple and inexpensive way to get WNED. I have a locked in deal with Star Choice for a while and I'm happy with that for the programming I have. Unfortunately, the programming does not include PBS Buffalo.
I don't want to go to a full outdoor installation involving masts or towers, as I can't do the installation myself and all the costs to get one additional station is not feasible, while I have the deal with SC. Perhaps, in the future, I'll take the leap to full OTA to get off the "grid".
Tom.F.1, my HD television is a Sony Model KDL-40S2010. Specs as follows: http://www.lcdtvbuyingguide.com/sony-lcd-tv/sony-kdl40s2010.htm. I have both a 207 receiver and the 535 PVR from Star Choice. Is the OTA compliant tuner in the TV or the receiver/recorder?
I suppose I'd have to use a splitter arrangement to switch between the OTA (for now indoor) antenna for WNED reception and the feed from SC.
2007-11-11, 01:04 PM
That wouild be the 530, there is no 535 SC receiver. The receiver could be made OTA capable wth a an add-on module and appropriate software support. Until that happens, you use the TV tuner, or an external digital OTA tuner.
2007-11-11, 01:09 PM
I don't understand what you are trying to accomplish. WNED-DT is available at 43-1 but it is the same as the *C feed from Detroit at 288. If you want WNED channel 17, Star Choice carries that if you choose Buffalo as your Eastern feed on 388. WNED standard definition (aka 17) carries the local programming like Goldie and her pledge breaks, whereas WNED-DT in high def carries only the PBS feed which is the same country wide.
2007-11-11, 01:40 PM
(aka 17) carries the local programming like Goldie and her pledge breaks,.
Is that Goldie still begging for money?
2007-11-11, 03:58 PM
I just tried out 388 and I got WNED. I'm disappointed Goldie was not on at this time :p.
The problem was that the programming guide I was given by the salesman who sold me the special Ontario *C package did not list 388 (WNED} as a channel I would receive. It only listed 288 (PBSHD) and for an extra $4.99 PBS Spokane or Seattle. I've only had the service since Thursday, so have not run through all of the channel numbers, although I have checked out a few which were "EXTRAS" and not on my package list that I hoped would register as a bonus for me. 388 does not show on that list as well.
I had no inkling that channel 388 was a viable one, because it did not show on either list. I thought that for some reason, 388 did not exist in *C.
Anyways, I'm happy for now. Thanks for giving me this heads up.
I'll continue to keep up with learning about OTA possibilities, as well as other *C and digital topics.
2007-11-13, 12:15 AM
I've been reading the OTA forums for something like 2 months now and I finally picked up a ChannelMaster 4228 and chimney-strap mount kit about a month ago (thanks Yaamon!)
I'm in a bungalow just a touch northwest of the corner of Jane/Shepperd.
I have the antenna mounted on the chimney on a 10 foot 1.25" diameter galvanized pole. Sadly there's no clear view of the CN Tower (blocked by a building) and there's also a building between me and the WGRZ tower. Luckily, I have a clear line of sight to Colden and Grand Island, and that's roughly where the antenna is pointed.
The antenna is connected by a 75 foot run of RG-6 to a Hauppauge HVR-1600 (PC Tuner card). No pre-amp or distribution amp at the moment. The Hauppage card has a nice little software-based Signal Monitor. It only shows me the Signal to Noise Ratio for each channel I get, so I can get a rough idea of how good the signal is. An SNR ratio of about 15 gets me audio and video with frequent dropouts. 16 or above is good enough to restrict dropouts to every 15 minutes or so.
Here are my results (collected during the recent rainy spell):
2-1 13.1 - no reception without good DX conditions
4-1 14.1 - marginal during rain
7-1 14.8 - marginal during rain
26-1 13.2 - no reception without good DX conditions
57-1 15.2 - marginal during rain
66-1 13.2 - no reception
During good weather, the levels for the following are much better:
66-1 14.9 - marginal
I have a few of questions.
1) Would a pre-amp help keep my reception going during bad weather? I figure it can't hurt too much with a 75 foot run of cable. Any recommendations on which? I plan to add one or two more TV's to the mix in the future.
2) Altitude = options. What's the best way to get a few more feet of altitude? Is there an easy way to add height without getting a whole new 15 foot pole or a tower?
3) I currently have 3 satellite dishes (don't ask!) sharing the chimney with the antenna. Two dishes are on the west side of the chimney and one on the east. The dish on the eastern side is mounted lower than the dishes on the west. The antenna is currently mounted on the west side of my chimney. Would it help to move it to the east side of the chimney, where there's only 1 dish?
Wow... that turned into a long first post!
2007-11-13, 09:12 AM
scruffy416, you can try a preamp like the 7778.
I did a install and the view to the south was blocked by condos. Cable length was about the same as yours 75-80'.
Most of the Buffalo stations were very weak including City and Sun.
With a preamp it was enough to bring most of the the Buffalo channels except Fox was on the edge.
If your raw gain from Buffalo is on the border line to get a stable signal with 75' of cable that will surely reduce signal strength I estimate 4 to 4.5db enough to affect the weaker stations.
Adding a preamp will ensure what gain the antenna receives you will not encounter the signal strength loss from the extended cable run.
My suggesting is to try a preamp, I think it will improve in your setup.
By the way with the chimney install kit I would not recommend that you use a taller pole. Normally a 10' pole works but it depends on where and how you installed the clamps. Normally I mount one bracket at the highest point of the chimney if possible and the other 3' below and extend the pole so that 6-7' sticks above the first bracket.
2007-11-14, 01:06 PM
thanks for the advice. I have the chimney-strap kit installed just like you recommended, so I'll leave it as it is.
I guess the ChannelMaster 7777 pre-amp would be too much amplification in my case, right? (Hosick TV, close by me, does not stock the 7778, but they do have the 7777)
Fingers crossed... with a pre-amp, maybe I will get WNYO finally!
2007-11-16, 09:22 AM
From my limited experience, the HVR1600 is poor in receiving OTA, you're doing pretty good getting a bunch of channels. When I had mine, I only got CBC, CTV, CBC french and CW...
The same antenna setup etc gets me everything except WNYO (never sees it) NBC (comes in on occasion) in a built-in ATSC tuner.
I now also use an ATI650 to do PVR and I may not get the same number of up channels as the TV at the same time, but better than the HVR1600 :~)
2007-11-19, 01:47 PM
So I went up on the roof this weekend and installed the CM7778. Sadly it doesn't seem to have made too big of a difference.
2-1 13.1 - still no reception (no DX days recently either)
4-1 16.5 - dropped from about 18.5, unstable reception
5-1 26.9 - I can get this at 20 with the pre-amp power unplugged!
7-1 20.0 - Improved!!
9-1 23.9 - slight drop, but very reliable signal
23-1 26.6 - still good
25-1 25.5 - still good
26-1 13.2 - still no reception
29-1 24.6 - Improved!!
43-1 24.0 - Improved!!
57-1 16.5 - worse, unstable recption
66-1 18.9 - Improved!!
(Numbers are still all SNR, not dB)
I've checked all my cabling with a multimeter to be sure it's all good, and it tests out OK.
One thing I did notice was that I had to aim my antenna more to the south than I had before to get the Buffalo stations. Before the pre-amp, I had it pointed about 10 degrees more to the east towards the CN Tower and Buffalo. I'm not sure, but I have a feeling that it could be due to overload - pointing closer to the Tower makes CBC come in so strongly, the tuner adjusts all channel strengths down to the point where I lose the US stations. Does that make sense?
I did the original peaking with a 2-tap splitter attached. Would peaking with an attenuator (or a bigger splitter) connected help?
PPL4GOLF - thanks for the tip re: the HVR-1600. I'm still saving up my pennies for a proper big-screen with a nice 5th-gen ATSC tuner. I had thought that the tuner in the HVR-1600 was one of those. I'm glad it's not as it should mean a much easier time with a proper TV! As to ATI, I've had way too many bad experiences with their hardware/software so I've sworn off them altogether. But thanks for the tip. I know not to try too hard with this Hauppauge card now :)
What's the forum to check for the relative merits of the ATSC tuners in PC cards and newer LCD TVs?
2007-11-19, 03:36 PM
I had the same problem when i installed an amplifier. You are amplifying the VHF (very high power :) from cntower which will overload the tuner input. The tuner input stage in most modern tv's will reduce gain to protect itself.
so you loose the digital stations you wanted.
You could try a VHF/UHF splitter. terminate the VHF, use the uhf.
2007-11-19, 04:39 PM
The ChannelMaster 7778 I'm using has two inputs, one for VHF and one for combined VHF/UHF. There's a switch inside the unit to toggle separate UHF and VHF inputs. Right now I have it set to the 'combined' settting (I figured that it might be useful to amplify the VHF-Hi output of the 4228 antenna at some point in the future) - would toggling to 'separate' do a similar job to getting myself a UHF/VHF splitter?
If not, I found an old old VHF/UHF combiner - can I use this in reverse to split the UHF an VHF?
The only Canadian channels I'm getting on the VHF front are analog (CBLT on 5, CFTO on 9) and they're duplicates of digital channels anyway, so I have no real interest in keeping them around.
2007-11-19, 11:37 PM
scruffy get it off combined and only use the one marked vhf/uhf input. Then run the cable down to the power supply from the pre amp output as 14 is the only lowest UHF digital no VHF digitals around here yet and trap your FM signals if it has that switch. Also don't hook and unhook you rg6 cables with out first unplugging the power supply for the amp or you can fry the power supply.
2007-11-20, 07:21 PM
I got impatient last night and went up to the roof to toggle that 'combined/separate' switch to 'separate'. The FM trap switch is already set so I didn't have to worry about that. I have lost the Low-VHF analog channels I was getting before, so it seems to have worked. I'm thinking I might still look for a UHF/VHF splitter to see if Tom.F.1's suggestion makes any difference (old one I found is dead.) I'm still getting some analog over VHF-High, but I think that's just due to the CM4228 and hopefully it's not being amplified by the CM7778.
Toggling the switch seems to have helped last night during the (admittedly light) rain. My Buffalo channels have been nice and constant today, but the weather has been nice so I'm not sure how representative the results are.
Thanks for the tip about the pre-amp power supply hsplrguy. Luckily I read a similar tip elsewhere in the forums, so I've been careful about unplugging it before making changes.
I'm still puzzled by my current antenna aiming. Looking at the direction from me to the transmitters, (both the CN Tower and Buffalo) I have the feeling I'm receiving the channels off a side-lobe of the CM4228 rather than the main front lobe. I wouldn't be so worried about that, but I feel like I'm maybe I'm missing out on some of the weaker Buffalo channels (WGRZ, WNYO which I still can't receive along with local CITY) by aiming this way. I hope to try out some attenuators this coming week/weekend to see if they'll let me aim toward Buffalo without overloading the tuner input.
Thanks for all the input guys!
2007-11-21, 02:28 PM
Scruffy, I use the vhf/uhf splitter because i'll never need vhf on my atsc tuner and the vhf goes to my FM reciever.
As for Aiming, usually i aim for the hardest to get buffalo staion, nbc or fox and the rest come in fine. Depends on where you are.
From where i am in ajax, i had to compromise buffalo to get toronto, the side lobe thing didn't work well.
Thats when i went for a second antenna and combined them. the pre-amp didn't work for me
2007-11-25, 08:23 PM
Ok guys.. here goes.. I currently have satellite television ( bell) but i hate how the simsub the Primetime shows, so once in a while i watch shows on my LCD/6100 Receiver using a cheap RCA indoor antenna. I get ( after vigorously positioning the antenna) CBS, ABC, CBC, CW and if i point in the oposite direction i get FOX and PBS, Suntv all in HD. So my question is if i invest in a good OTA OUTDOOR antenna will i be able to better get these channels? Problem right now is i can get these channels to show but theres periodic siginal Outages for things just like me getting up and walking across the room. So will an outdoor antenna be more relyable? I was looking at some antennas and a local dealer has a sort of mini outdoor yagi antenna, and one that looks like the CM4228. It might even be the CM4228, i havent had time to check it out fully yet. Also.. Would using a motor be better? Im looking to pull in as many HD ota channels as possible.. though i would rather have quality over quantity. Meaning i'd rather get 4 High siginal channels locked in rather then 10 but their all weak.
Thanks in advanced.. BTW im in the toronto area.. just off danforth.
2007-11-25, 09:28 PM
Generally an outdoor antenna will be a more reliable stronger signal since you can align it to pick the best signal and it doesn't move, whereas the indoor antenna needs to be moved around to get the signal. Unfortunately with an antenna like the CM4228 (which I have with the CM7777 preamp) it tends to be very directional. That means you need to align it with the transmitter, (either Toronto or Buffalo would be the most likely at your location). You then have a few options: (1) Align it with the stations you want and see if you can get any other signals (a bit of trial and error), (2) use a rotor so that you can align it as needed, (3) use 2 separate antennas. Another alternative is using a non-directional antenna with lowers your signal gain a bit but can pick up different signal directions.
In my experience, an outdoor antenna is the way to go, just get it as high as you can, above the roof line if possible.
2007-11-25, 10:02 PM
Thanks for the quick response. I just got a few more questions for ya if you dont mind. Would the Directional CM 4228 be better then say a smaller unit that looks sort of like a a unit with just a bunch of striaght metal rod's ( i know bad description)? Also, my house is just over 40 feet tall ( when dish installer came he used a 40 foot ladder and it reached just under the gutter). I have a very clear line of sight from my roof to the CN tower. Nothing in the way except the ocasional tree many Km's away.Do you think i should roof mount the unit or setup a pole mount thats higher then the roof ( mabie 10 feet?) also.. would it be ok to mount near my satellite dish, or should i mount it further? BTW.. the cable run will be about 50 feet.
Thanks in advanced!
2007-11-25, 10:33 PM
Generally speaking the larger the antenna, the stronger the signal, and visa versa. The CM4228 is popular because the gain is good for the size of the antenna (UHF only). I can't really comment on the smaller antenna you've described since I have no experience with it.
By the sound of your setup, I think you would be fine with a tripod or similar mount on the roof. Just make sure the antenna has a good site line to the transmitter. I've never had a satellite so I'm not sure of any possible interference, do you intend to operate both? Many people with good antenna reception find they want to save the money and cancel the cable or satellite.
With any setup, I highly recommend having someone on the roof try a few locations and directions with someone else watching the TV. If your TV or tuner has a signal strength indicator that really helps, too.