: ON - City of Toronto Metro Area <OUTDOOR Antennas Only> - OTA
2011-05-19, 10:57 AM
Hello - First off, this is a great site with lots of good info that is helping me decide to sever ties with cable!
Here is my TVFool report: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d574748d15b43cf
I have a three story house and I'm hoping to mount an antenna on the roof/chimney. I am in the old section of the Beach, so there are some large trees that will affect reception. I will likely hire an installer as the pitch of the roof is steep.
Currently, I have one TV in the basement of the house. It is a Pioneer Kuro that is attached to an AV receiver, separate speakers, AppleTV and a Rogers PVR. Since we like the PVR functionality, I'll look into the CM7000PAL DVR, but I'm open to other configurations (incl. using my AppleTV/Mac). I'd like the installer to add another three lines for future TVs in other rooms and to my Mac.
To be the most knowledgeable when speaking with an installer. I'd like to know what antenna (and amp if needed) I should request. I've looked at the Antenna Chart, but I'm still confused. Do I want a VHF/FM/UHF combo, a UHF only, or what? I don't want to use a rotor. While many people use the Channel Master 4221HD, I keep reading that the newer CM4221HD's are not good anymore. Also, it appears that this is only for channels 14-69. But aren't many of the stations on channels 2-13?
Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
El Gran Chico
2011-05-19, 12:32 PM
EndlessBreak, I have a DB-8 antenna which is rated poorly for VHF, but my experience with analog 9 and analog 11 give me high confidence that it is "good enough" for me. Remember that 2,4,7 in Buffalo and 5 in Toronto are actual transmitted on UHF frequencies and mapped to virtual channels that might appear to be VHF (a bit confusing for those new to this, I know)
Again with a CM4221HD, it might not be as good as it used to be, but I suspect it is still good enough.
Hope that helps.
2011-05-19, 07:24 PM
Gould you probably do have a VHF/UHF antenna if you are getting channel 57, but if you have a digital camera why don't you take a picture and post it so we can be sure of what you have.
If you are only getting a couple of channels, then something is defnitely wrong. First thing I would check is the wire. Make sure that it's in good shape plus look at the connectors and any splitters too. You may be losing some/most of the signal because of this.
If the wire is old it's probably RG59, you may as well replace it with new RG6 cable that provides less signal loss.
2011-05-26, 02:24 PM
I'm located on the border of Junction/High Park. My setup is a CM4221HD with a Winegard HDP-269. I have it split twice with significantly long cable runs, like around 60' to the splitter and then maybe another 60-80' to one TV and 100' to another.
I have it aimed at WNED's Grand Island transmitter.
I'm getting everything out of Toronto crystal clear, plus CHCH. WNED, WNLO WUTV are also very strong.
Oddly enough, local analogues come in poorly except TVO, though I expect this may be because of over-amplification.
WGRZ, WIBV, WKBW are not as strong, though right now it is overcast and mid-day.
I might also have some signal loss through a loose connection or kink up on the mast which I will look into based on how things go in the next few days but so far I'm pretty happy with my results.
2011-05-31, 07:16 AM
I am in North York. Have a four bay antenna mounted on the roof with no obstructions in it's site.
I usually get a full line up of channels, but lately a lot of Buffalo channels go in and out. These channels are most problematic: 2-1, and 7., as well as 57-1 (CityTV).
I bought a Phillips 18 db channel amplifier trying to fix the problem, but it killed my reception on a lot of channels.
Is there another easy solution?
Do I need to get an 8 bay antenna.
I saw one in Missisauga stores that had one half angled one way and the other part looking the other way. Is that the way to go?
Keep observing. There are many people reporting the same reception issues as you are. And there is a lot of discussion about what is going on. Speculation ranges from fog, a very wet past month-or-so, tropo, to problems with the transmitters, etc.
My vote is fog.
The amp you added has caused more problems than it has helped. Stick with your current set-up for now and see if things go back to normal once the Lake Ontario water gets a chance to warm up.
And double-no to that bending antenna. It's a clone and the bending feature goes contrary to antenna reception theory. It might work for some people but antennas with designs like that break the rules proper for antenna spacing, etc.
Wait and see for a few more days.
Keep reporting here!
El Gran Chico
2011-05-31, 01:11 PM
I'm with HWP. The past couple of weeks have been the worst time for the Buffalo stations in my 4.5 years on digital OTA.
2011-05-31, 02:44 PM
Fog is a symptom of the weather condition that is causing reception problems. When the lake is cold and the air is warm, temperature layers form that act like ducts for radio signals. Radio signals get trapped in the layer and follow it rather than going in a straight line. If the transmitting antenna and receiving antenna are in different layers, very little of the radio energy will get to the receiver. The phenomenon is well known and called 'ducting'. Freak reception in the Golden Horseshoe of stations at the eastern end of Lake Ontario is often caused by ducting not by reflection from the troposphere ('tropo').
Humidity plays a part in this layering phenomenom as well. When you see fog over the lake, the water is usually much cooler than the air mass as a whole. Warmer air can hold more water vapour than cold air. Fog forms when the warm moist air is cooled by the water and the vapour condenses to droplets of liquid water.
Whenever you have still days with little wind, cold water and warm, moist air the result will almost always be fog and erratic reception of broadcast stations from the other side of Lake Ontario.
Cable companies battled with cross lake reception issues for decades until they finally built reception sites on the south side of the Lake above the escarpment and hauled the signals back to Toronto on microwave paths that did not cross the water. There was no other way to get reliable reception of US channels during periods of heavy ducting.
2011-05-31, 04:11 PM
You might want a better pre-amp, but it's hard to know without your TV Fool coverage prediction. See the OTA FAQ & Knowledge Base (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=41102#10) for information on how to do that. :)
2011-05-31, 06:42 PM
Here are the results:
As for my signal amplifier by Philips, it is killing the signal on many channels.
Do i need to get a better one or am okay without it?
Why is the that?
2011-05-31, 07:09 PM
OMG those local signals are too strong for an amp. It’s probably overloading your tuner.
2011-05-31, 08:39 PM
What's the noise level on your philips amp?
Also, which channels do you lose with the philips amp?
With the CN Tower and Buffalo being so close together from your POV, overload is a real possibility. You might want to get a HLSJ to cut out the incredibly strong low-VHF and FM signals out of your system.
EDIT: Actually, an UVSJ might work better for now to totally get rid of all VHF signals.
2011-05-31, 10:18 PM
My Phillips amplifier is 18db.
I cannot remember which channels it cut out when connected as I took it down right away.
As for getting a UVSJ.
I understand the line up is going to change after August and some Canadian broadcasters will transmit in VHF.
Is there another solution to still keep VHF in this case, but cut out the Overpowering CN tower reception?
2011-05-31, 10:51 PM
That's an HLSJ - it cuts out VHF-lo and FM, but leaves VHF-hi. (The lowest frequency channel you will have to deal with in Toronto post-transition is ch.7, WNGS — incidentally more or less impossible to get in our area for the moment — which is in VHF-hi.) Unfortunately you will still have to deal with the current VHF-hi channels like CFTO; hopefully cutting out Ch.5 and FM will be enough for you to get better results.
FWIW, the forum sponsor sells HLSJs (I just ordered one), though they don't have them on their site yet.
2011-05-31, 11:15 PM
So HLSJ is the way to go in Toronto then?
What sponsor sells them?
Save and replay.com?
2011-05-31, 11:45 PM
In my opinion, yes. And yes, SaveAndReplay. Send them an email.
A UVSJ (UHF VHF Splitter Joiner) or an HLSJ (High - Low (VHF) Splitter Joiner) won't hurt...probably might even help a bit.
But you had your antenna before and were getting the full line up, as you say. So something has changed. It's not likely overload suddenly appearing.
It is very likely the ducting that was explained before by GeorgeMX. Many have been experiencing dropouts lately from usually strong stations.
The cheapest and easiest solution would be to wait. But if you want to experiment with the HLSJ I'm sure it won't hurt. Just don't fall off the roof.
2011-06-01, 06:22 AM
Where do you install it at?
Inside the house, before the cable goes intothe Tv?
or outside, on the roof, at the antenna location?
2011-06-01, 03:18 PM
Your best bet is probably at the antenna location. I don't know enough about RF to say this with any certainty, but it seems like that would give you the best possible results.
2011-06-04, 01:27 PM
retfeg, you are trying to provide protection from VHF signal overload so put the filter before the preamplifier. In your case, based on the questions, it seems the antenna is on the roof.
You might want to reconsider the benefits of filtering one channel and the FM band out of the preamplifier input. The UHF band is full of high power analog on channels 19, 25, 41, 47, 57 and 69 plus the lower power DTVs. After August 31, the high power analogs are gone but some of the digitals move to their channels at higher power than they transmit now. Even so, the number of TV channels from the CN Tower and First Canadian Place drops from 17 to 9. The total power from the stations drops significantly because some of the analogs are over 500 kilowatts while none of the digitals exceed 100 kilowatts. Is it really worth your time and effort now to eliminate 1 TV and FM when the situation will change dramatically in August?
If you do decide to install a filter, consider blocking the whole VHF band and FM. Ideally, you want a filter that only passes channels 14 to 51 to keep all other RF signals and noise out of the preamplifier. Later, you can combine VHF-hi into the antenna downlead after the pre-amplifier. You could point a VHF antenna toward CHCH to get channel 11 and receive channel 9 off the side.