: ON - City of Toronto Metro Area <OUTDOOR Antennas Only> - OTA
2011-08-31, 04:26 PM
I'm mid-town (401/Sheppard) and I haven't gotten even a whisper of CKVR (RF10) - now I do have the wrong equipment for VHF-Hi (CM4228) but I still get CFTO (RF9) rock solid and CHCH (RF11) with passable reception, so I figure I should have a decent chance at CKVR if the coverage extended down this far.
Sadly I think CKVR is going to be one of those stations I receive every once in a while. I'm glad I get stable reception of all the US channels whose content they'd be duplicating!
2011-08-31, 04:51 PM
When i bought the ANT-PAU18 THERE was a choice between the CM 7777/8 and the Antra,and the sales person at the time said that they were all good amps,and he couldnt tell the difference in results,but if i wanted a name brand then i should go with CM.Also the price for the Antra was 80% less than the CM.If i had more knowledge at the time then i would have have made a better choice.Since that time and now the store that i bought my equipments in Scarborough no longer exists.He also had a lot of ANTRA supplies, antennas,amps ect and suggested that they were selling very well because of the value.I will disconnect the Antra amp and report back.Thanks
2011-08-31, 07:29 PM
Just wondering if there's any consensus yet on whether or not the commonly recommended antennas (for example, the 4 or 8 bay channel masters) will pick up the new VHF-based GTA HD channels, along with the regular UHF ones, and also buffalo (possibly). I'm in Scarborough by the way.
In case it's not obvious, I want to make my first OTA purchase for an antenna, and get started with this new setup!
In case it matters, my TV FOOL report is:
2011-08-31, 10:37 PM
Considering we aren't done transitioning for another hour or so, plus the fact that some channels (see Rogers thread) are having some issues, I'd say wait a few days before people really figure out what combo is best for what area...
2011-09-01, 09:11 AM
Ah, I mistakenly assumed that the channels would have been somewhat prepared, and might have actually gotten their stuff together a few hours in advance of the cutoff..... Guess I'll have to give it a couple more days. Not sure about the rogers thread. I'll take a peek for it.
2011-09-01, 09:37 AM
I'm one of the lurkers who has some OTA questions - but will wait a few days for the transitional dust to settle before I post them - in case my problems disappear or change.
In the meantime I've been reading old posts - and an currently of page 87 on this thread. I'm struck by the patient and vast amount of helpful advice from experienced veterans. This is sincerely appreciated by newbies like me who are new to OTA.
In addition I'm struck by the awesome scale of the 'Digital Home' website and how well it is organized. (I'm still discovering new threads.) It all illustrates the magic of the internet and how it can inform and so empower the consumer.
I'm the frugal type and so never subscribed to cable and decades ago was frustrated by Bell's paternalism and monopoly. I can remember the days when Bell forbid you to add an extension phone without paying them an additional toll. How times have changed! :)
POST TRANSITION OTA RECEPTION REPORT:
Winegard hd7697p + Channel Master 7778 pre-amp antenna pointed at WBBZ
2.1, 2, 3 WGRZ
11.1 CHCH (comes and goes - with a rotor and proper aim this station would be an easy "get")
17.1, 2, 3 WNED
26.1, 2, 3, 4 WNYB
29.1, 2 WUTV
36.1 CITS (comes and goes - same problem as CHCH)
49.1, 2 WNYO
51.1, 2, 3 WPXJ
67.1, 2, 3, 4 WBBZ (Very reliable this week. Generally my weakest channel. Comes and goes, but it is here every day. It's not just tropo, I think. It comes in much better than CHCH for me currently, but that's because I'm aiming at it.)
3.1 CKVR CTV2 Barrie. It might be here but I don't have a rotor yet. If it's here, I'll need to aim the antenna. Will report later.
15 Star Ray
56 from Buffalo, for months they have had a blue screen saying "technical difficulties"
The above are my everyday channels. I get bonus channels that come in during the summer on warm nights and they also come in regularly but I don't count them as everyday channels. They come from Rochester and Erie usually and sometimes other places.
ALTERNATIVE BASIC SETUP --- CHANNEL MASTER 4221HD, no amplifier
When I use my unamplified 4221hd aimed at WGRZ outside on the peak of my roof I get all of the above channels except for WPXJ, WNYB, WBBZ, CHCH, and CITS. Note that these are channels that many people don't care about or don't know about so if you're interested in getting started with OTA TV, then a brand-name four-bay antenna such as a Channel Master 4221hd mounted outside will give you an excellent chance of producing an adequate result for you with all the major networks...assuming you live in my area of Toronto. Give it a try and if OTA becomes something you're commited to, then you could consider a more complex setup that might fetch you another good handful of stations.
The first step to solidifying reception on marginal channels would be a pre-amplifier such as the Channel Master 7778 or the Winegard 269. I have not had any problems with overload on my systems when aiming at Buffalo. My reception has always worked much better with the pre-amp than without.
Good luck everyone!
Welcome to the forum. I was like you. I discovered this forum and learned everything I know about OTA thanks to the information freely provided by the experts here and from the advice they provided when I asked questions.
I participate here and try to give good advice as a way of paying it forward and as a way to spread awareness and increase usage of free over-the-air hdtv.
I feel there are a good many people in the GTA that subscribe to $60 - $100 per month cable packages that really can't afford it. They should be made aware of the fact that OTA is a viable option for TV watching.
When I give OTA advice here, the only paypack I want is for OTAers to spread the good news! ...and advocate for OTA when needed.
2011-09-01, 11:15 AM
Thank you HPW. I think we may be kindred spirits - as I too believe that 'serving the public good' is 'twice blest' (recollecting my high school Shakespeare days from "As You Like It") - in that it rewards him who receives as well as him that gives.
A naive question that probably has been answered many times and if you can point to an earlier post for it, it would help -
You say: "When I use my unamplified 4221hd aimed at WGRZ outside on the peak of my roof I get all of the above channels"
At some point soon I will want to revisit my unamplified 4221 (not HD) on the roof and improve its "aim" to Buffalo and WNED in particular. How can I best measure the WNED signal strength as I sit on the rooftop rotating the antenna? Shouting to somebody in the house viewing 17.1 does not seem very accurate. Besides, my new Dynex HDTV only gives colour bars for signal strength and not numbers - and has a slow response time.
No magic answer here, but instead of shouting, you could use a cell phone.
Also, if you have line-of-sight from your rooftop, you could do your research on the internet first to determine your aim.
Go to Google Earth. Plot your rooftop and the WNED transmitter and use the ruler feature to draw a straight line between the two. Then focus on your rooftop and start zooming in. Identify a landmark that you will be able to see from your rooftop. For example, "if I aim my antenna right at the house across the street's evestrough downspout, I'll be aimed perfectly at WNED."
Or you could buy a 7778 pre-amp and you'll probably solidify WNED and a bunch of others.
By the way, you can find the location of the transmitters on TV Fool or Wikipedia.
2011-09-01, 12:01 PM
"No magic answer" :( - I was hoping there was some simple device (like a voltmeter for measuring voltages) that could tell me the incoming strength of various frquencies.
You suggest using a cell phone. This may amuse you but I don't have a cell phone (my adult kids seem to have many) - and in fact my telephone connection is still the old rotary (I do have new panasonic portable wireless hansets) - as a protest against Bell charging more for a tone when there was no need to. ;)
Added later: - will do more homework via TV Fool and Google but for now visual aiming is not viable now since the 100+ year old leafy trees on our street block any view on our rooftop.
I was proposing the free way of perfecting aim.
You can buy a Digiair meter from Save and Replay but it will cost more than your entire antenna setup so far.
If you want to buy a 7" handheld ATSC LCD TV you could buy one of them and take it up to the roof with you to use instead of a meter.
Alternatively, borrow a cell phone and call the land line inside.
I used the Google Earth method of aiming for my WBBZ antenna and it worked on the first try.
2011-09-01, 12:43 PM
How can I best measure the WNED signal strength as I sit on the rooftop rotating the antenna? Shouting to somebody in the house viewing 17.1 does not seem very accurate. Besides, my new Dynex HDTV only gives colour bars for signal strength and not numbers - and has a slow response time.Or you could buy a USB ATSC tuner and take a laptop up to the roof with you. Plug a short cable from your antenna to the USB tuner and you should be good.
2011-09-01, 02:27 PM
Toronto-gjl, we have the following existing resources to answer your metering and PC questions:
Home Theatre Personal Computer (HTPC) and Media Extenders (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=31) (many, many threads on using PCs for DTV viewing/recording)
Signal Analyzers, Meters, Aiming Devices for OTA (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=96705&highlight=signal+analyzer) (lots of options described in there)
Also any of the threads in the main OTA Forum that are about the various ATSC tuner types out there will give additional signal metering answers and ideas. The topics you've asked about are not discussed in this present thread. :)
2011-09-01, 02:41 PM
Thank you Stampeder for guiding me. In particular since I realize that if I spent more time searching out the topics and threads before I piped up I would not have to impose on your time. (With over 22,000 posts I admire that you are not jaded or burnt out by of all that output! :D )
2011-09-01, 11:17 PM
channel 9 is good here. im about 9 km from the cn tower and useing a CM 4221HD with no booster!
i did end up with doubles of 9 , 47 and 57 . i think im going to have to unplug my coaxial and run a scan to clear the tv then redo it.
First I used a GPS to get the accurate azimuth, then the intercom feature of my cordless phone with my son who was looking at diagnostics on my Bravia LCD while tuned to PBS in Buffalo. Next we tried a couple of degree increments on either side to get the best signal strength, and tried a few different Buffalo channels after that.
As we are down by the lake and have a flat roof, I eventually moved the antenna to the other side to get the best heading through a gap in the oaks down here.
Works great for Buffalo, but now it looks like I'm going to have to go back out and do it again for downtown TO!
2011-09-02, 07:08 PM
Has anyone in the GTA seen any hint of CTV2 from Barrie? Seems completely absent to me.
2011-09-02, 07:46 PM
I've done some outside tests with my new YA-1713 and when I aim in the right direction it comes in very strong here in Stouffville. If you have the right type of antenna it's certainly doable.
2011-09-02, 09:53 PM
Anyone having reception issues for WGRZ 2.1 over the past few days?
I was receiving it fine before, now I get No Broadcast Available.
Weather related perhaps? I get WIVB 4.1 and WKBW 7.1 fine.
I'm located at Wynford Drive and DVP. 6 floors up and face the CN Tower.
I'm also tempted to pickup a pre-amp. Required or not really?
2011-09-02, 10:57 PM
Only get a pre amp if you have more than 50' of rg6 cable and/or several splitters.