: ON - City of Toronto Metro Area <OUTDOOR Antennas Only> - OTA
2010-08-21, 02:46 PM
Thanks for the tips!
I had a satellite installer come set-up my antenna. He had a signal meter which made aiming easier (I'd have struggled for hours!). He also had quality equipment - RG6 cable and good ends to put on.
Audio drop-outs and line noise, problem mostly solved! The CM7000 was outputting Dolby 5.1. However, my LG television speakers are not quite as sophisticated! Switching to PCM audio has eliminated line noise on the programme guide. WKBW audio dropouts are still present, but the duration is significantly reduced.
I've swapped HDMI ports & HDMI cables. My antenna passes through 2 coax couplers. 1 is mandatory (outside grounding block), but the other I will bypass to see if this is impacting the signal at all. Boy is it ever annoying!
Regarding ION, I'm aimed pretty directly at WGRZ. Here are some notable measures:
WGRZ 93% !!!
WKBW 91% !!
WIVB 91% !!
Could I stand to turn the antenna a degree (or two) to the left?
2010-08-21, 03:01 PM
StephenT, what is the brand and model number of your antenna? That is essential info.
2010-08-21, 03:26 PM
ION just came in at 71% - also, it just started to rain outside. Science is cool.
I imagine it'll drop off when the rain stops?
2010-08-23, 10:50 AM
In fact ION has dropped off altogether now. Too bad, I liked their programming.
Since I get other Buffalo channels so clearly, perhaps a small antenna turn to the left will help me pick/up ION?
Strange how I was picking it up with great strength, but now it's back to zero.
Welcome to the world of OTA. Part science, part art.
I'm sure you've analyzed your TV Fool report and can see how far away you are from Batavia NY where the ION (rf23) transmitter is.
From my neighbourhood, I have been getting the channel very reliably. Sometimes it comes in at 100%. Other times it doesn't come in at all. I don't know if anyone in Toronto gets it 100% of the time. I just checked my reception and ION is coming in and out. Weak signal.
If you move your antenna, you might regret it. Perhaps you should take a Sharpie up there with you so you can mark the location that the antenna installer pointed your antenna. I like that station, too. It's always good to get three extra channels in one. The kids like qubo. Lots of decent re-runs on ION.
2010-08-28, 12:27 AM
My reception improved markedly when those analog channels were shut off.
Before I was getting glitchy reception on 5 and 11 (0-60% with constant dropouts). Now 11 is stable between 60-70% with virtually no dropouts and 5 is steady at 70-80%. Also 49 suddenly works too. Before it was 0-30% and virtually never worked, now a steady 60-70%.
I'm in Etobicoke with the old CM4228 pointed directly at the NBC tower
and now get 15 "good" channels (2,4,5,7,9,11,17,23,29,41,44,49,57,64,66)
I use an HDhomerun with Sagetv to 3 pc's and a laptop.
2010-09-07, 09:09 PM
Thanks for the advice. This hobby is taking hold with me quickly... I'm getting a second antenna and looking for a suggestion on pointing.
I'll have an Antennas Direct 8 bay and a CM4221. They'll be mounted vertically, maximum elevation will be 42'. If you were me, which would you put on top and where would you point them to receive the greatest number of channels?
I was thinking Batavia and Grand Island. Will have an installer (with a signal meter) come help me.
I'm glad you're enjoying OTA. I can't explain it, but knowing that I'm watching free HDTV coming from the air adds a whole new dimension of enjoyment to watching TV and scanning for new channels.
Regarding adding new antennae to your mix,
You need to start doing more research on this thread:
The stacking, ganging, combining antenna thread.
If your installer is mostly a satellite installer, he might not be expert on the potential pitfalls of combining antennas. So you'll want to at least have read-up on the ways things can go wrong when combining antennas. That way you can ask intelligent questions to your installer.
My installer was Digital Home member "Yaamon." He was very good and understood how to combine my two antennas in a way that maximized my potential given my antenna choices.
Yaamon wanted to just go with the 4221 for me. I wanted to make the college try for RF7 in Buffalo so I insisted on adding a small 2016 antenna. Of course, channel 7 so far has not reached my place in east of downtown. I also wanted to be ready to try to capture CKVR Barrie when it moves to high VHF. It might also come in handy for CHCH when they move to channel 11 and of course CFTO going to 9.
My antennas are combined with a UVSJ from Save & Replay. Since you're combining and utilizing the UHF on both antennae, you might need to use a different combiner. Hopefully someone else here can advise you.
I'm not sure if you ever posted your up-to-date OTA results. Did you ever manage to lock-on to a reliable ION (rf23 virtual 51.1, 2, 3)? Perhaps that's what prompting you to stack your antennas. I wish I could give you an opinion on your question about how to stack your DB8 and your 4221, but you're going to need a response from a member with more knowledge and experience than I have.
I've decided to leave things as they are for now and wait for the analogue shut off date before I make any tweaks to my system on the roof. That being said, I'm pretty satisfied with my results as they are at present. That date will arrive in Toronto before we know it.
Keep us posted!
2010-09-10, 11:02 AM
No, never did get a reliable lock on ION. In fact, this is the main reason for the additional antenna. I feel compelled to pull in every OTA HD channel possible.
My installer seems knowledgeable, so I'm not concerned.
RF7, I read a bit about them on the net - what's special about the channel? What makes it difficult to receive?
2010-09-10, 11:29 AM
RF7, I read a bit about them on the net - what's special about the channel? What makes it difficult to receive?For that info please read through the following thread and ask your question in there afterwards if you're still wondering:
OTA Station Status: Buffalo, Rochester NY (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=108371)
Chasing ION, eh? You're hooked on the OTA! First the air gave you a little ION for free. Now you're coming back for more and this time you have to pay for it!
Currently, a 4221 on its own does the trick for many people in Toronto. If channel 7 in Buffalo springs to full-power with good content and when "A" Channel CKVR in Barrie moves to high VHF and goes digital, then a lot of heretofore happy 4221 OTAers might start climbing back on the roof to get those extra channels with another antenna. digital CFTO 9 and digital CHCH 11 will move back to high vhf also, but for most , a 4221 will probably still work on 9 & 11 anyway.
You should ask your antenna guy before he starts combining those two antennas to just temporarily remove your DB8 and replace it with a 4221 in the exact placement location as your current DB8. Wouldn't it be interesting if suddenly you were getting everything including ION (rf23) given the 4221's wider beam width?
In your previous message you asked which antenna we would put on top and where we would point them to receive the greatest number of channels. I guess the best answer is, trust your knowledgeable installer, but assuming that stacking a DB8 and a 4221 will work for what you're trying to do, my guess is that you should point the DB8 right at Batavia ION rf23 because of its narrower beam width yet deeper reach and you should point the 4221 at WGRZ Grand Island, Buffalo for the rest of your channels because of its wider beam width (you probably don't need as deep of a reach with those stations). I don't know which one should go on top.
2010-09-11, 11:59 AM
This is my 1st time playing with OTA
recently I picked up a crappy (banned name) antenna as a test to see what kind of reception I could get because i am facing east 20' off the ground with no line of site to the CN Tower or anything
Location is Keele and GrandRavine
here are my results so far (no tweaking as of yet)
my TV does not have a % meter just bars 0-5
4-1 4 out of 5 bars
5-1 5 out of 5
7-1 4 out of 5
9-1 5 out of 5
11-1 5 out of 5 (got this channel with just a 12" piece of coax)
17-1 4 out of 5
17-2 jumps between 4-5 out of 5
17-3 4 out of 5
23-1 4 out of 5
25-1 5 out of 5
36-1 4 out of 5
41-1 4 out of 5
44-1 jumps from 4 to 5
57-1 4 out of 5
64-1 jumps from 1 to 4
66-1 4 out of 5
so i think I will now invest in a better antenna :D
2010-09-11, 09:53 PM
Hey guys, first time poster here!
Been lurking quite a bit in these forums trying to read up on this hobbie/obsession :p
I went out and picked up the CM4221HD and modded it slightly according to the "Hardware Hacks" thread, (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=104837) I did not resize the reflector though.
Anyways I did several scans while adjusting the antenna today (got it set up outside), and this is the best I came up with so far.
Located at College & Euclid, here's my TVfool report...
Digital Channels I'm getting...
Truth be told I'm kind of disappointed in that I thought I'd get more channels, especially given my location. Is there any way to get the buffalo channels AND CHCH from hamilton using this single antenna?
One problem I'm facing is the very old trees that canopy my street. There is no clear view as these trees are massive!
Also want to note, that the antenna is currently not connected to my TV as I'm waiting to borrow a masonry drill bit so I can feed the RG6 cable through the exterior wall. When doing my testing I just ran it through an open window.
Thanks for any advice guys!
2010-09-12, 08:51 AM
I'm between College and Dundas, on Crawford. Below I've updated the channel list to include the ones I'm getting, so you know what you're missing (at a minimum).
2-1 - NBC
2-1 - Universal Sports
2-3 - Retro TV
25-1 - CBC French (I'll delete it)
XX-1 - A Christian channel (I forget the number)
49-1 - MyTV Buffalo
My un-modified Antennas Direct 8 bay antenna is pointed directly at South Wales, NY (WGRZ). I have a 42' elevation and no obstructions between me and the CN Tower.
2010-09-12, 11:30 AM
hmmm...starting to think I bought the wrong antenna!
2010-09-12, 11:46 AM
An 8-bay might help, but those massive trees are probably causing the difficulties with your missing Buffalo stations (WGRZ and WNYO are typically weaker for most parts of the GTA (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=120780)).
2010-09-12, 12:00 PM
Thing that gets me is, the buffalo stations I do pull in come in very strong.
My tv has a built in LNA (allows you to amplify specific channels signals). When tinkering with these buffalo channels, I noticed that upon turning LNA off for them, the signal boosted dramatically to full bars from 2 or 3.
I'm going to try reeling in the channel 2's by preemptively turning the LNA off on those channels before I scan. Could possibly help. Might even get to this today.
2010-09-13, 02:46 PM
Question, I did a rescan and lost a lot of the channels. Not a big deal, but I'd really like to get 11-1 (CHCH). I understand it's coming from hamilton, but is there any way to get the channels I'm getting now along with CHCH, without adding another antenna.
Hope this makes sense, I'm sleep deprived! lol
My neighbour saw my OTA TV when visiting my house and wanted my help to set his family up as well.
Last night we installed the antenna on his roof.
Apparatus: ChannelMaster 4221HD, 100ft cable, Grounded, Split to Two TVs, No Amplfication. Antenna is on top of two story home, oustside, facing Buffalo.
2.2 Universal Sports Network
2.3 Retro TV
17.1 PBS HD
17.2 PBS SD
17.3 PBS Think Bright
26.2 TCT HD
44.1 Omni 2
49.1 My TV Buffalo
51.3 ION Life
64.1 Omni 1
The one channel that did not come in was CHCH 11.1 (rf18) from Hamilton. It would have worked but we wanted to lock on to ION's three channels so we focused on ION. ION came in on the first try.
These results are the same as I get at my house. I have a Kitztech 100 amp indoors at ground level that gives me a good lock on CHCH. I get ION about 90-95% of the time (so far. I've been OTA since June 2010 so we'll see what the change of season brings).
The neighbour knows that the digital transition may bring an eventual need to add/change antennas for VHF but for now, he's all set and very happy.
2010-09-17, 07:34 AM
You're rubbing my nose in it!!
Still trying to get ION, hopefully I can get together with Yaamon and resolve this glaring discrepancy!