: ON - City of Toronto Metro Area <OUTDOOR Antennas Only> - OTA
2009-07-05, 12:33 AM
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.
I'm at Dufferin+Steeles, 6th floor south-facing condo, with an indoor antenna. I moved here August of 2007. It's been my experience that WNED seems to have problems during the summer. A few hours ago, WGRZ was bombing in at 90%, and WNED was only 45 or 50%. There are times when WNED simply disappears altogether during the summer. I think that your line of site is similar to mine, with Buffalo being right behind the CN tower. In my case, a pre-amp causes me to lose most Buffalo channels. I assume this is due to amplified signals from the CN tower swamping weaker Buffalo signals. My guesses are...
You might be better off by-passing the distribution amp rather than adding a pre-amp
Even if you do nothing, WNED should be back, strong as ever, this fall.
2009-07-07, 11:40 AM
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.I noticed the same as you, El Gran Chico. Channel 49 reception is much spottier for me now. Interestingly, sometimes it shows up as 35-40% on my Hitachi TV but Zero on the Samsung. Fortunately I have seen most of the "Masked Magician's Secrets", and if WWE Smackdown doesn't come in there is always "The Score" with their irritating scroll bar and squished picture.
I have yet to receive ION but then I don't have time to do constant searching. The other Buffalo stations seem to come in better, though, especially WGRZ. Sometimes I don't even have to re-aim the 4228 to get it.
2009-07-13, 11:43 AM
Some discussion above about strong CN Tower stations in the line of sight of weak Buffalo (Grand Island) stations. Specifically, going to most kinds of antenna pre-amp paradoxically makes matter worse.
There are low-amplification high-overload-tolerant units. See a few posts from #1114 at
2009-07-18, 08:42 AM
Hey Bruce I think it's your house I see every day on my way down Woodbine. Are you just east of Woodbine/Cosburn intersection? It looks like you have a pretty good view south. I too first ahd a cm4221 and then went to a cm4228. My overall reception for buffalo improved about 10-12 points. I'm just sw of woodbine/danforth near East Lynn Park. One a really good day/evening i may get Rochester's PBS so if you did stack two 4228's you might be able to get the other makor nets out of there.
2009-07-23, 07:04 PM
iv had a db8 now for a few months,its mounted indoors right infront of the window,3rd floor,with no amp.its got a 12 ft rg6 cable going to an insignia box.then the tv.yesterday i recieved wsyr,9.1 and 9.2 for a few minutes from pompey.i looked it up and it,s a 105kw station 180miles away as the crow flys.what are some of your experience,s.just goes to show you what the right weather will do.
2009-07-29, 12:43 AM
I've got a friend who is in a condo at Queen E and Woodbine. He'd heard about my OTA setup and asked me a bunch of questions and it seems he's ready to go OTA himself. (after balking at his latest Rogers bill, ~$90/month) When he told me where he was located I started thinking it could be an interesting situation.
This condo is L-shaped, with one wing running north-south, the other east-west, and the two wings meet at the northwest corner. He is near the south east corner of the east-west wing, so he may not have line of sight to the CN tower. I believe he is near the top floor.
As the crow flies it is only about 5 miles to the CN tower. Being so close to the lake, his TV Fool report shows he will have line of sight to some of the Buffalo stations. This is why I thought it was an interesting situation. He should be able to get good reception from Buffalo and Rochester, but maybe not from the CN tower for the Canadian stations.
TV is (without knowing the specifics), a current model Samsung LCD with built-in ATSC tuner.
Being so close to the CN tower, would the building obstruction actually be beneficial, since being so close might cause overload?
Thanks for any help!
Hi Everyone - I have a Sony HS20 Projector and enjoy watching HD (who doesn't?). I live on the 10th floor in an apartment near the Don Valley Parkway and Lawrence Avenue East area. My window faces east (maybe slightly north too). I have a balcony that is a decent size (19' long, 5.5' wide, and 7.5' tall). I'm wondering what antenna (or what type of antenna) to buy. The problem with my location, based on my reading, is that I don't have a direct line of sight south (towards the CN tower and Buffalo). The south view of my balcony is blocked by a brick wall that sticks out about 20 feet and is another 3 floors higher than my floor.
I have read that outside is better than inside for an antenna. I don't think there is any problem with me putting an antenna on my balcony (according to the rules). If I put an antenna on the north side of my balcony, I could point it south (directly into the brick wall) or south-east (which would be more east than south b/c of the brick wall).
I'm assuming, based on my situation, that I would not want a directional antenna but would rather want a multi-directional antenna. Would you agree? Also, considering the brick wall, is outside on my balcony more likely better than an inside antenna?
2009-08-03, 09:43 AM
My situation is that I live on the 7th story, north side of a 12 story apartment building in East York. I recently canceled my Rogers cable because it was a waste of money for the amount I was using it. My question is do I have any chance of picking up the local HD stations, Global, CBC and such that brodcast from downtown Toronto. Is it hopeless or with the right equipment would I be able to get these stations. I don't want to go out and spend alot of money if it's not going to work. Do signals penetrate through walls? Could I pick up the scatter off of the buildings behind me or is my only option to sweet talk my landlord into letting me put an antenna or the roof and running a cable down the side of the building?
I decided to give it a try and see how I'd fair with a simple setup. As the major places in my area that sell good antennas and tuners do not allow returns if it doesn't work well for me (let me know if you know of one that does in the GTA), i went to staples and bought the Hauppauge 950q (as suggested in another post here) and figured i would try that out with the included antenna to see what i get.
I know that the included antenna isn't nearly as good as what you can get with a better antenna such as a 4221 channel master, but i figured it doesn't hurt to try. I put it on my balcony (had to attach it to a connector/splitter with a longer cable first so it could reach outside), and i would get between 0 and 4 channels, all analogue (no digital) and all pretty snowy.
I'm wondering for those of you out there that have tried or use the 950q and have gone to another antenna after trying the included antenna, does this bode poorly for my chances of getting a decent number of stations in with a better antenna (specifically HD channels)? Or is it just basically a worthless antenna and therefore does not allow me to predict what I would get with a better outside antenna?
If I do go with another antenna (unfortunately I can't return it if it doesn't work for me) I was thinking something like the Antennas Direct DB4 Multi Directional HDTV Antenna as I would think I need a multi-directional antenna based on being blocked by the brick wall (hopefully it would fit on my balcony!).
2009-08-06, 04:31 PM
Hi Guys, here's my TVFool:
Eager to get the US channels from over the lake. I'm 19 floors up at King/John, south facing with a view of the dome and tower. Might not get the stations from FCP because my view is blocked.
I'm thinking of mounting the antenna in the window (don't have a balcony), so I'm looking for something that is not gigantic. Which of the DB2/4, CS2/4, 4221HD would be my best choice?
(moderator: posting here because the Toronto 'Indoor' thread won't access from my location)
2009-08-07, 09:26 PM
I'm thinking of mounting the antenna in the window (don't have a balcony), so I'm looking for something that is not gigantic. Which of the DB2/4, CS2/4, 4221HD would be my best choice
A couple of things to note...
Ouch. You're close enough to the CN Tower that even a "rusty coat hanger" threatens to overload your tuner. And Buffalo is straight down John street, so it's in the same direction. That was just my gut feeling, but your TVFool map agrees with it, so it's more than just gut feeling. Don't even think about an amp.
I'm in a 6th floor south-facing condo at Dufferin+Steeles. I started out with a CM4221. Not only was it ugly, but a small Philips/Zenith Siver Sensor definitely gives better reception. There are also a few clones that work well. I would start with a basic rabbit ears. At UHF frequencies, antennas are smaller. The rabbit ears shoul be pushed in so that it's anywhere from 7.5 to 12.5 inches end-to-end (SUN TV and FOX respectively). Or just set it to 10.5 inches, and it shouldn't matter much either way.
2009-08-08, 10:46 AM
Thanks for the input, Walter.
I've always wondered about the spec'd range of antennas... My coordinates to the Buffalo towers are over 70 miles but many posters here say they get them no problem. What happens when a tuner 'overloads'?
Are the SS available locally? Does it have an attached coaxial cord?
I had an indoor antenna purchased from our national hardware store and it only picked up 7 or 8 channels, two of which were HD. I likely didn't have it set correctly - it was by the tv since the attached coax was only 3ft. I have a sneaky feeling if I was able to get it to the window it could have done better.
How is your reception in the winter? In poor weather?
2009-08-08, 11:27 AM
How do you interpret this plot of the CNT's output? Red is strong and ultra-violet is weak?
2009-08-08, 05:16 PM
I'm going berserk!!! Picked up a Silver Sensor clone (PHDTV1) for a 'queen bill' and get the following:
WGRZ 2.1, 2.2, 2.3
CBLT 5/5.1 CBC
FOX 14.3, 14.4
CTS 36, 36.1
GLOBAL 41, 41.1
14!!!!!! HD channels.
It's pointing just west of CNT.
2009-08-09, 10:04 PM
anyone in Toronto--Bayview/Sheppard area can help a newbie install an OTA antenna?
2009-08-09, 11:29 PM
What kind of help would you need, scribler? Did you buy any OTA gear yet? Are you in a house, an apartment, condo?
2009-08-10, 05:56 PM
Well I'm happy to report that my friend has a working OTA setup (see my original post at #946). It's more or less as predicted. He has a clear view over Lake Ontario toward Buffalo (TVFool indicates LOS to some of them) but slight obstruction from his building. The building's south face is actually facing south-southeast, so he hung the antenna by the curtain rod (condo, so can't put it on the balcony) and he got all the US stations. He's also getting the Canadian stations, even though the antenna pretty much at right angles to the CN tower. He did report the occasional pixellation on them.
Pretty much all he watches is CBC for news, and not much else, so he cancelled his Rogers cable subscription and returned his rental box.
2009-08-13, 12:58 AM
Today, I went out a purchased a CM 4221HD antenna. Thinking that because I just purchased my TV 2 years ago it came with a ATSC tuner...NOT! Now I know why it was on sale.
Well, I live on the sixth floor of an apartment building which allows satellite dishes. I removed my satellite dish and replaced it with the antenna.
I do get analog channels, 5 (CBC), 9 (CTV), 11(CH) 72 (TVO), 76 (CBC-F), 87 (CTS), 92 (GLOBAL), 103 (OMNI) etc...
Now since I have this big antenna up now I figured that these analog channels would be crystal clear even without an ATSC tuner. Am I wrong for thinking this?
The reason why I asked is I don't want to buy a ATSC tuner and have the digital channels be distorted as well.
As I mentioned before I am on the 6th floor of an apartment building facing south. I have clear view of the CN tower and nothing in front of west/south west of me.
So again, will an ATSC tuner solve my problems or will I need to purchase other devices/attachments.
Thanks in advance.
2009-08-13, 05:46 AM
Zeeden, you are a lucky person to have the location you do. With a set top box or tuner, you'll be receiving all the American HD stations just fine in all conditions. I assume you can find a set top box that outputs 720p in a form your TV will input. The garden-variety set top box made for Americans-with-coupons only outputs 480i and will do you no good.
The CM4221 is a UHF and HD antenna. You're getting the VHF stations (5-13) because they are nearby, strong, and/or line of sight.
Only TVO-19 is still SDTV. Most set top boxes have to be switched off to get in (because in that case, the antenna signal is re-routed straight into your TV). A bit less fuss if you can buy a set top box with dual tuners although that is kind of icing on the cake.
I've been exceedingly happy with an oldish Zenith DirectTV satellite receiver with dual tuners and 1080i output. Bought on eBay for $32. Does your satellite tuner convert HD?
2009-08-13, 11:54 AM
bentoronto, thanks. I think I shall buy the lottery. Unfortunately I have a captiveworks 800s and it doesn't have a tuner :(
There have been good reviews on this board about the centronics and the winegard tuners.
I will look into the Zenith DirectTV receiver, for $32?!? Can't go wrong with that.
I bought my TV for $599 2 years ago. I don't know if I can justify buying a ATSC tuner with 1080i output for $200.00 (centronics/winegard). I might as well just sell this TV and buy another with a built-in tuner.