: ON - City of Toronto Metro Area <OUTDOOR Antennas Only> - OTA
2006-05-15, 08:14 PM
im pretty sure i have the right direction because i tried turning it around to get the best signal for NBC yesterday and the best spot i found is where i was getting those readings this morning.... i just did another search and now NBC and ABC are both gone... it must be the weather... but ya ill look into a preamp and see if i can get one
2006-05-15, 08:24 PM
eliminator when you said the antenna does not clear the trees, how much taller and larger are the trees to where the antenna is pointed?
By the way how long is your cable run from the antenna to the tv tuner ?
My guess why that you have low signal strength from the Buffalo stations is not enough height or the trees in front of the antenna is blocking and reducing the signal.
I forgot how did you mount the antenna to your roof or tripod and are you able to go taller another 3 to 4 feet in height?
2006-05-15, 09:45 PM
the trees are about 1 meter higher than the antenna.... the cable is RG59 and its about 8-10 meters in length... ya its most likely the trees... the antenna is on a pole which is attached to the side of the my house... a tripod wont really help and i cant go any higher with the pole as its going to get unstable if strong winds come by.... i also think it might be the weather... rain and clouds everywhere today.... nbc keeps coming on and off... sometimes it will stay at 10%.. other times like right now its around 50% and stable... i have a 20db preamp which i can use and see if it does anythin... hopefully ill have some time soon to play around with it... also i did another scan and looks like ABC is gone now...
2006-05-15, 11:04 PM
eliminator with your length I dont think a preamp will do anything as your cable run is very short.
With the trees being only 1 meter higher thats not bad but if its completely blocking the left and right side, then that is most likely the problem.
At my parents the trees are much taller than the antenna and the signal is still strong that there is no drop outs on Nbc or any Buffalo stations.
2006-05-15, 11:13 PM
well i can always try... nbc and abc are alive and working now... abc is almost there... i just dont get it... it cant possibly be the trees causing dropouts for hours... i think its the weather
2006-05-16, 03:30 AM
get rid of the Rg59, use a good grade Rg6 Satellite Cable.
try and repoint the antenna again... you may be off.
try a pre amp.
trade in the CM4221 for a CM4228. That will double the gain you now have. Having a CM4228 is what you really needed to get Buffalo.
2006-05-16, 09:03 PM
Eliminator, are you using a rotor?
I live in Etobicoke and have no problems, but I really needed the rotor with the 4221 to achieve consistent results. No dropouts on any or the typical Toronto/Buf stations.
However, NBC has been gone for me since last fall. Can't figure out why, but around November or so it just dropped below the level where I could pick it up.
2006-05-16, 10:00 PM
I called in to an antenna installation firm and they recommended me to get a CM4242 over the CM4228. (I can get VHF along with UHF...) In addition, they suggested that I get a 40-foot tower installed as well.
Does this really make a big difference in channel reception? I was quoted a price of around $900 for everything....it would probably be a lot cheaper to mount it on the roof somehow.
Any advice would be helpful
2006-05-16, 10:25 PM
The Channel Master 4242 is a great combo antenna and I would use one, but I always recommend the Wade 936 with the UHF-enhancer kit or even the huge 937 (see the Downloadable Antenna Chart) as the best VHF/FM/UHF combo antenna you can buy.
Altitude is great for reception, but I cannot give an opinion on the need for a 40' tower in your area... it does seem excessive.
jyeung - where in Toronto are you? Are you in a Valley? The nice thing about this area is that there really are no hills between us and Buffalo. I am a bit skeptical of the whole setup that was recommended.
I receive Buffalo with either a CM 4221 or CM 4228 or even SS-2000 amplified only up about 15 feet.
Who is the company? Do we know them?
Or are they trying to maximize revenue?
As I learned from the team here - do you really need VHF?
All HDTV is on UHF here
2006-05-17, 12:38 AM
Eliminator, are you using a rotor?no rotor... i found the best spot for nbc was also the best spot for the other buffalo stations.... tomorow im going to try a preamp and see how it works... this weather is really screwing my reception... im getting dropouts on all buffalo stations.. even sun tv (was rock solid at 85% just 2 days ago)
2006-05-17, 08:57 PM
I was quoted a price of around $900 for everything...$900 seems like a lot but I went and looked up the cost of everything and this is what it came too not including labor.
Top section $90
3 straight sections @ $80 each = $240
House bracket $30
Base plate $20
TOTAL COST OF TOWER $380
Channel Master CM 4242 $150
Coax, connectors, wire $40
GRAND TOTAL $690
So the guys making about $200 on the installation... sounds about right to me.
2006-05-18, 01:13 AM
jyeung - where in Toronto are you? Are you in a Valley?I'm at Bayview and 401. VHF would be handy to have, but if not having it can cut costs down, I don't care. The price quote was from V&E Antenna. They were recommended to me previously and did a satellite installation for me in the past.
2006-05-30, 03:02 PM
I made my own antenna mount and put it 15 ft above the peak of my roof, all by myself. (my wife helped, she watched the signal level while i turned the antenna).
a 4228 - 140.00
15' 1-1/2 galvanized pipe - 80.00
U-bolts & hardware from canadian tire - 48.00
10 ft grnd rod, clamp, #6 wire, Home Depot - 148.00
I used leftover stuff from work, didn't cost me:
RG-11 & Digicon F connectors - 100.00
2 - 10ft lengths of unistut, supports - 100.00
stainless U-Bolts for the supports 50.00
after a couple weeks i added a 4221 for toronto stations - 75.00
Add on about 24 hours of labor (I'm good, but i'm slow) @ 50.00/hr
So, i could do the same thing for you for about 2000.00
I'd say he's working cheap at 900.00
2006-07-22, 05:57 PM
Hi there. Thanks for the great thread. I recently bought my Panny 42PX60U and am thinking about getting OTA. The TV has the built in HDTV tuner. I tried the Zenith Silver Clone (Terk HDTVi) and couldn't get more than 3 stations from my first floor family room. I'm not sure if I can put an antenna on the roof or wall of the condo. Any way to know how many channels (Canada and US) I can expect to get from this location and how to get as many as possible? The building has only 2 floors. Thanks!
2006-07-22, 07:15 PM
Any way to know how many channels (Canada and US) I can expect to get from this location and how to get as many as possible? Welcome here, and start at the very beginning of this thread to get the answers you need. Briefly, since this is the GTA Outdoor thread, you will get Buffalo stations with a proper outdoor antenna, so just read through the results from GTA and bordering areas to get a better idea of what people have done. Go to the GTA Indoor thread if it looks like you won't be putting up an outdoor antenna. Indoor antennas will probably only get you local stations from where you are.
If you have access to the attic you could conceivably put an outdoor antenna in there and probably get better reception than an indoor one, much as I warn people against attic mounts.
2006-09-11, 11:41 AM
Phew, after a few of weekends I have finally setup my CM4228 to connect to my Polaroid FLM-2632 LCD. My location is at Martingrove Road and Rexdale Boulevard.
I discovered many things to share for everyone considering HD OTA.
First off, the MOST important suggestion is to find a second pair of eyes. Unless you want to lug your HDTV to the top of the roof, I suggest you find a partner to fine tune the antenna. Though I got lots of exercise from going up and down on the ladder, it is a scary experience each time I climb. I am lucky that my house is only a bungalow.
Make sure you have good RG-6 cable and connectors. This is especially true if you consider to run more than 50 feet. The best connectors are the one used by the cable company. They do not squish your cable and are more weather resistant. These connectors cost a bit more than other type. It is about the same price as the screw-on type that I was using but far superior. The tools to install them cost more, $90 or so at Home Depot. That is where the investment comes in but then you can do many cables afterward. :)
Make sure your cable runs straight and untwisted. If you twist those wires, you will run into problems with signal interference. I found this out the hard way after trying to adjust the antenna many times.
Run the shortest and straightest cable directly to your tuner when scanning. This will eliminate any possibility of signal degradation and ensuring scanning of all possible channels.
When fine tuning, I suggest you put it on the channel (on your list that you have scan so far) with the weakest signal. Look below for reference if you are in the same area as myself.
Using a grounding block is ok. The signal does not drop enough to notice. Just make sure you check for rusting over the years.
I point the CM4228 about 185 degrees (best guest with a boy scout compass). Here is the shopping list for my setup:
-CM4228 naturally $95
-RCA brand antenna mounting kit (includes brackets, wire standoff, and hardware basically more than you would need) $17
-Home Depot 10 foot galvanized steel pipe $11
-RG-6 cable (75 feet) (a box with about 100m cost $60 at Home Depot) you will have spare for other projects :)
-RG-6 F connectors $2 each I guess depending on the quality you buy, 4 minimum to use with grounding blocks
-RG-6 F connectors crimper $90 (I bought this because it is the only connector type anyone should use)
So overall, you will spend about $140-160 plus taxes. I spent a bit more but I am able to reuse my tools for other jobs.
And now the result. The Polaroid tuner brings in the following channels:
2-1 NBC-HD Good
2-2 NBC-SD (Weather) Good
4-1 CBS-HD Great
4-2 CBS-SD (Weather Radar) Great
4-3 CBS-SD Great
5-1 CBC-HD Excellent
7-1 ABC-HD Good
7-2 ABC-SD Good
9-1 CTV-HD Excellent
23-1 CBS-HD Great
23-2 CBS-SD (Weather Radar) Great
23-3 CBS-SD Great
25-1 CBCF-HD Excellent
29-1 FOX-HD Good
29-2 FOX-SD Good
34-1 ???-HD Poor (does anyone know this station's name?)
43-1 WNED-HD Good
43-2 WNED-SD Good
43-3 WNED-TH Good
57-1 CityTV-HD Great
66-1 SUNTV-HD Excellent
The tuner does not have any signal strength reading. The quality is based on my observation during bad weather condition (raining with lightning). The scale goes Poor, Average, Good, Great and Excellent. Poor - pixellation all the time, Average - pixellation on a consistent level, Good - pixellation everyone now and then, Great - good enough for consistent signal, and Excellent - rock solid.
BTW, is there any other possible channels that I may pick up? Is there a WB on HD?
My next project will be to split this signal to go to my LG STB box (currently trying to find) which feeds to my inFocus projector. Is there anyone can help me? Do I need to have a special splitter, pre-amp or some form of powered splitter???
Thanks for viewing.
2006-09-11, 01:13 PM
hieppo, good results from downtown Toronto. although its too bad your tuner doesn't show %. I see a lot of goods, I hope these aren't pixelating too much, pixelating is something you shouldn't have to deal with on most channels with an antenna like the 4228, as the signals are all very stong in the GTA.
the first thing i noticed was that you only needed 75feet of RG6 and paid 60$ for 100 meters? that sounds like a lot of extra cable, i'm also wondering if that is the best price for RG6 cable. I know i paid 32$ for 300feet, i don't know what that is if you convert it into meters.
34 is WNYO (old WB, now MYTV). However, recently they have been testing a new signal that is much stronger. How long ago are those test results from. If you tested more than a week ago, try again, as there is a new test signal on 34 that is usually up and running during the day.
concerning you splitting your signal. when i look at your list, and see that you are using 75feet of cable, I have a feeling that you may see many of the 'goods' go to 'average' if you split the signal in two. This is where you can either buy a powered splitter, which will keep your quality the same as it on both displays, or you can purchase a preamp, which will probably actually boost your reception, even after you split to two displays.
2006-09-11, 01:36 PM
Thanks Hieppo for your comprehensive post - it will be very helpful for others in your area. :)
2006-09-11, 02:02 PM
good info for all who are new or inprocess of going OTA.
Using a grounding block is ok. The signal does not drop enough to notice. Just make sure you check for rusting over the years.
Just a thought however, you didn't mention about grounding the antenna mast itself.
This is different than grounding the coax which is generally to protect your tuner and other equipment from static discharge. You might want to consider additionally grounding the mast itself with heavy guage (#4 ~ #8 AWG), to a ground rod driven into the soil outside of your house. From what I understand you don't want to tie this ground wire to your water pipe inside of your house. This protects your house from lightening damage. I would guess that if your mast is struck by lightning your equipment would be toast anyway, but it may prevent serious damage to your home.
for more info on this subject see the forum:http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=29559
good luck with splitting your signal and thanks for posting your methods - really useful to others!