: ON - City of Toronto Metro Area <OUTDOOR Antennas Only> - OTA
2009-06-15, 08:12 AM
Hello neighbour -
The CN Tower and some favourite Buffalo stations (which use Grand Island towers) are within 2 degrees for me (we are just a few blocks east of you at St. Clair and Kenwood, but your geometry might be a few degrees better).
In older tymes, we needed a channel-5-CBC filter when trying to watch channel 4 VHF SDTV. I would love to see more information about the consequences of overload for HDTV reception (and for us in Canada, the overload can be from strong SDTV stations like CBC for two more years).Funny, the CBC-HD signal seems a lot weaker relative to other HD signals out there.
Sometimes the fix is to use a directional antenna to discriminate against a strong signal by pointing it away; but that's not feasible when the two alignments are so close. Dunno if that's your problem. So that can lead to the counter-intuitive conclusion that you (or I) need a lower-power antenna instead like the CM4221.
2009-06-18, 12:37 PM
Installed CM4221HD few days ago, here's my results:
2-1, 2-2, 2-3 NBC
5-1 CBC HD
17-1, 17-2, 17-3 PBS
25-1 CBC French HD
29-1, 29-2 FOX HD
43-4, 43-5 PBS HD (no broadcast)
41-1, 44-1, 49-1, 49-2
57-1 CITY HD
66-1 TORONTO 1
Analog stations: 19,41,47,52.
8 more stations without broadcast: 26-1, 26-2, 43-4, 43-5, 51-1, 51-2, 51-3, 51-4.
Located on a 8th floor balcony with direct view of St. Catharines/Niagara.
2009-06-18, 01:00 PM
Add this to the long list headed, "Boy, am I stupid....."
I've been pondering many subtle theories for why summer long-distance reception over Lake Ontario to Buffalo seems poorer than winter and variable.
Just yesterday, I noticed there's one giant 60 foot Maple tree a few houses over covering my reception line-of-sight and around.
Guess I didn't notice it in the winter.
Working notes: picked up a CM4221 and hung it at around 10 feet. Works a bit worse than my 15 year old large chimney yagi at 30 feet. BUT, you can do a tvfool website analysis and find for my house, Buffalo is about 30 dB weaker at 10 feet compared to 30. My guess is the 4221 will be substantially better than the old yagi once up on the chimney. When the rain stops and the installer gets up there, will post again.
I'm still thinking of trimming pieces off the old yagi and using it for FM (with a separate cable). Anybody wanna suggest how far below the 4221 I need to keep the yagi?
2009-06-18, 03:00 PM
Anybody wanna suggest how far below the 4221 I need to keep the yagi?25" would be ideal, but even just half of that if you're in a pinch.
I have a 4221 installed and I am 5km from the CN tower. I receive bufallo stations, and Toronto ones very well. The only one that is sporadic is City TV (57). Reception is bad sometimes and poor when raining. Does City broadcast from CN tower?
2009-06-20, 02:08 PM
Yes it does, but many people have problems receiving CITY.
Is it because of their Tx power?
2009-06-20, 09:07 PM
We have a CM4221 4-bay 32 foot height antenna. PBS Buffalo has a Grand Island transmitting antenna, at 52 miles and 162 degrees; but I get a big blast from the CN Tower 3.2 miles and 159 degrees (SD and HD stations). So we aimed away from the CN Tower settling on about 170 degrees. One splitter is in the system and there are about 80-90 feet of cable.
PBS and CBS (4.1), Fox etc come in strong enough to be reliable at about half-way up the meter. NBC (2) seems to be too weak to receive, for no reason I can think of. About the same reception with my 7 yr old Zenith satellite receiver (with two tuners and HMDI and S-video outputs) and a new Artec T3AP-LL.
True grounds were wired to the antenna mast and to the indoor splitter.
Although the 4221 looks basic, the reception for Buffalo with a long cable, one splitter, and no amplification, is all I could ask for. I am not sure these antennas, like other products, are designed to materially outlive their warranty period - which is just 3 yrs.
My previous installer was ignorant of the value of tape and silicone sealer. But the system functioned nicely enough for 15 yrs. Now-a-days there are really trick waterproof connectors - but they require proprietary tools to apply.
I cut off the UHF section and the three longest elements off from my 15 yr old fringe yagi in order to create a medium-sized FM antenna. This is nuts from any theoretical point of view. I installed it 20 inches below the 4221 with a separate cable. Also have an FM bandpass filter on the lead. FMfool predicts I can get PBS-FM (94.5, 80 miles) with line-of-sight quality if I have an antenna 440 feet high. Reception is only so-so with my weird-yagi at 28 feet and 60 feet of cable, but stereo reception is just fine when I also attach a twin-lead Tee taped to an indoor wall at 10 feet. Go figure. Next time, I'll just buy a new FM antenna... or whatever is the medium for radio at the time.
2009-06-21, 12:00 AM
Cut the UHF section and the three longest elements off from my 15 yr old fringe yagi in order to make an FM antenna... ...stereo reception is just fine when I also attach a twin-lead Tee taped to an indoor wall at 10 feet. Go figure.I think that's because when you chopped off all that stuff off the original antenna you radically changed its impedance - the added antenna portion somewhat restores it. Just my guess, but if it works, it works. :)
2009-06-21, 09:30 AM
For one thing trees are not friends and kind to a antenna. They reduce signal strength
I did a install last week around your area St Clair and Ave Mt Pleasant.
The customer did not know trees affect reception. I usually ask a customer to email me pictures of the view where it need to be. The tree across the street was at least 20' taller than the antenna and I mounted it on the roof against the chimney
He was still able to get all the Toronto stations with most Buffalo. No Cbs and Abc. Weird that Nbc was strong and Fox decent.
On my meter he has signal but at his tv(Sony) no signal. Hopefully he will post he was also trying the atsc on his pc working. Customer was using windows media.
El Gran Chico
2009-06-22, 04:12 PM
Well, now that WNYO has reverted to 49 for about 10 days, and ION has been up for about 10 days, my observations are starting to form a definite pattern.
- WNYO is much worse for me than before. I used to get it every day and night unless there was a bad fog or high winds when it was on 34. Now it is a 50-50 station. Disappointing too since the old analog 49 came in fairly well. I'm wondering if the path from their transmitter to my antenna is not as good as the previous one since many people have seen improved reception since the reversion.
Is anyone else in Etobicoke having this problem too?
- WPXJ/ION. I'm starting to think this is going to more like a Rochester station than a Buffalo station - only available to me under ideal conditions. Since the transmitter is about the same distance from me as the South Buffalo channels, the directionality of its signal is the culprit.
I expect this is true for many in our area.
The good news is the other Buffalo stations remain strong and those are the ones I watch the most.
2009-06-25, 05:11 PM
Im wondering what antenna to get. i have seen 4 bays and 8 bays which are double in price. Do i need the bigger one and will it help me catch more channels.
2009-06-29, 11:01 PM
I live in East York area of Toronto. I've got a UFO style omni directional antenna up on my roof. It worked fine until the leaves filled in and then some channels some of the time started getting choppy. Not a huge deal but I figured, hey, I'm getting free TV I might as well spend a bit more and get it better, and add a few more US channels. I got a pole and hoisted the UFO up another 8 feet or so. My reception of US channels increased but I lost CityTV. I've heard omni directional antennas aren't as good as directional so I went out and bought a cheap one ($70 no name jobby) from Tech Direct.
Piece of junk didn't work nearly as well as my omni directional even when it was hoisted 8 feet higher than it. I took it back and got a credit note. They had some other cheaper antennas but I don't want to keep trying crappy antennas.
One idea I had instead was to buy another directional antenna and combine it with the signal I'm getting from my UFO. But I'm not sure this will work since my UFO uses an amplifier. I'm not sure what type of amplifier it is. Basically The UFO goes on the roof, I use coax down to a little box which plugs into my AC and then that box plugs into my TV. Is it possible to combine that signal? I would want to do it as close to the antennas as I could.
Any help would be very much appreciated.
Also is there much difference in brands when it comes to antennas? I don't normally buy stuff where I can't get a refund but I figured non amplified antennas where such low tech that I couldn't go wrong.
2009-06-30, 02:01 AM
ringo.t, it seems like you did all that stuff before you found this site. ;) Start by reading the OTA FAQ and then download the Antenna Chart.
Also which major street corner are you nearest?
Use the Search This Thread tool to the upper right beside Thread Tools and put in your neighbourhood name or local street names as search terms, and if there are results already posted from where you live you can compare.
2009-06-30, 12:25 PM
My girlfriend used to live in downtown Toronto and was able to get a few channels with her cheap-o indoor antenna. Not too shabby for a 7th floor condo unit with no direct line of sight but far from fantastic results.
Well she recently moved to the St. Clair and Bathurst area and now has no line of sight tot he CN tower because of another building blocking her view and she is now facing due west. Needless to say she was disappointed that she could only get sound on channel 9 and a blurry image and absolutely no digital channels.
I found a set of online video instructions on how to make an antenna with coat hangers, wood screws and a 2 X 4 and we set to making one. we put the antenna in a flower pot on her balcony on the 17th floor and I tried a few of the Toronto stations. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Needless to say she was again disappointed.
Then I turned the antenna facing west and did an automated channel search on her TV. We now get:
Global on channel 6 (analogue)
Sun TV on 11.1
NBC on 12.1 (from Erie I think)
CTV on channel 13 (analogue but very clear)
36.1 from Hamilton I believe (they're all the religous channels), TVO on 28 (analogue)
City TV on 31 (analogue)
and a bad quality signal for Omni on 69 IIRC.
2009-06-30, 12:38 PM
damnbiker, welcome here and glad it worked out to some extent for you, but here are my suggestions:
build a proper GH or M4 DIY antenna (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=186) rather than one of those pieces of junk ;)
read through this thread to see how others have done
Use the Search This Thread tool to the upper right beside Thread Tools and put in your local street names as search terms so that you can compare results already posted from near where you live. :)
keep up the good boyfriend work! :D
2009-07-04, 08:41 AM
Love this forum, lots of great info! I have been having some issues with reception of PBS (17.1, 17.3), so I decided that perhaps a pre-amp would help solve my problem...
Before I get into a more detailed description of the problem, here is my situation: I am using a CM4221HD, with a Samsung 530 series LCD TV (ATSC tuner built-in). As I need the signal split, I am already using a CM3412 distribution amp. The antenna is about 20-22 ft above ground, located at Yonge/Steeles.
Reception with this setup is quite good, with the exception of PBS. It has a signal strength ranging from 0 (quite often with inclement weather) to 50%.
So, I thought perhaps a bit more amplification was in order. I disconnected the distribution amp, hooked up the CM7777 to a single TV, and received basically the same result as using the distribution amp. I made sure all my cable was cut properly, and that the signal flow was correct (antenna to pre-amp, pre-amp to power, power to TV). I am puzzled, and am unsure what to do next! (Thankfully, the pre-amp can be returned without issue)
Any suggestions as to how I can receive PBS more reliably? BTW, I have no problems with any other Buffalo stations.
2009-07-04, 12:44 PM
Fortesque, could you please post your TV Fool (http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29) results?
A good pre-amp certainly will maximize your chances of receiving weak stations, and the CM-7777 is one of the better ones, but the best one for you is dependent on your local conditions.
2009-07-04, 04:49 PM
As requested, here is a link to my TV Fool results:
2009-07-04, 11:33 PM
I'm using a cm4221 right now & have good reception on all
Toronto & Buffalo HDTV stations. I have a 35' tower & rotor
using rg-6 coax and a CM7775 preamp.
The odd time a few of the Buffalo stations will break up though.
I bought the new cm4228hd and before I mount it I wanted to
ask is it worth stacking two cm4228hd's and also using the preamp
so I can attemp to bring in more distant hd stations or should I just
use a singe cm4228hd ?.