: ON - City of Toronto Metro Area <OUTDOOR Antennas Only> - OTA
2011-10-23, 08:09 PM
I guess everything I ever thought about tv antennas must be un-true.
After little luck with a small combo vhf uhf antenna as well as several
no name 4 & 8 bay's, a cm4221 & cm4228 "the original & new ones"
I just put up an Antennacraft U8000 on my tower with a rotator I've lost
51.1 51.2 51.3 from Batavia NY and 49.1 49.2 are dropping out.
I guess more elements are not always better.
I will try one more time next weekend with an original cm4221 & after that
I will give up. I've been experimenting for over 20 years with so many antennas & I'm so tired of climbing my tower & spending the money on this
quest for the best tv reception. :(
Did you hack the antenna?
Which pre-amp are you using?
Is it new wiring? What type of connector ends are you using?
We're nearby each other. ION and WBBZ have been coming in today with my 7778 and hd7697p. ION is coming in strong, but I do need exact aim to make the WBBZ signals strong. I can't WBBZ without a pre-amp. WPXJ, WNYO, WGRZ and even the weak Toronto stations are aided by use of a pre-amp.
The pre-amp is absolutely necessary for those hard-to-get channels. The signal for ION may be hitting your atenna and getting into your TV tuner but not above the threshold needed for a lock. If there is any signal there, and there should be, the pre-amp may be able to give ION the boost it needs to get above the digital cliff.
If you haven't tried a pre-amp yet, please try one.
It's not just my house, but I have done quite a few basic installs in our neighbourhood of 4221hd + 7778, and all of them ended up getting ION.
Maybe it's something particular about your home's exact location. But definitely go with the pre-amp. I have no overload problems unless I point right at Toronto.
I'd try a Winegard 269 if I were you.
Don't give up yet.
2011-10-23, 11:12 PM
I just discovered that the antenna i borrowed is a qterra 22-421hd antenna. Has anyone used this before? Id like to give the cm4221 a good try as well at somepoint (as long as i can find a store with a good return policy).
2011-10-24, 01:41 AM
I'm so frustrated with all the antennas I've tried.
I'm using brand new Belden 1694A rg-6 with gold plated connectors on the ends.
Because my tv is on the second floor of my house there is only 30' of coax between the antenna and my tv so I did not think I would need a pre-amp.
I use to get these stations with a no name 4 bay antenna so using the U8000 8 bay
on a rotator I do understand why I lost stations.
Next weekend I will go back to an original CM4221 with a preamp.
try adding the pre-amp to your new antenna before taking it down.
2011-10-24, 02:46 PM
Hey everyone I searched and read through a lot of posts here for recommendations but there are so many it seems. I live in the beaches in Toronto near Main/Gerrard, my house is 3 stories and the top floor has a balcony with full view of the CN tower.
About 2 years ago I bought a Zenith or RCA indoor HD antenna and could get about 10 channels or so, and putting it outside would give me 100% signal on them all plus others like CW from the states. I think I had a total of 12 or so give or take. I'm looking to ditch Bell FibeTV and wanted a good outdoor antenna for my balcony. I don't think I need anything crazy since my $30 indoor antenna was picking up so much but looking to buy an actual outdoor antenna. I remember when looking before that Channelmaster seemed to be really good but just wanted to check. Looking to spend hopefully no more than $100 if possible since doesn't seem like a crazy antenna is necessary. Thanks!
2011-10-24, 03:00 PM
hokuto, we always recommend that you post your TVFOOL (http://www.tvfool.com) report. Make sure you put in your correct address, proposed antenna height, and copy the link in the report that allows you to share your results and post it here.
Since you're so close to the CN Tower, I would be more concerned with the signal path to Buffalo. You should be able to point an antenna at Buffalo, and still receive all Toronto stations without any issues.
If you're looking for a quality basic setup, then you're probably right that a Channel Master 4221hd is your best bet.
If you have easy access to your antenna set-up you can add a pre-amp (channel master 7778) later if you feel you need to solidify Buffalo reception. If your setup is going to be impossible to access, then you should probably get a pre-amp from the start.
Point your antenna straight at Buffalo (South, South East). Use good RG6 cable and quality connectors. Report back your results.
You can expect to get a everything from Toronto and the main Buffalo channels. We need a TV Fool report to confirm this, though.
2011-10-24, 06:43 PM
Great thanks everyone. Here's the TVFOOL response I got, no idea how to read it!
2011-10-24, 08:32 PM
No offense to you in particular, but there is a really good tutorial that's linked to at the bottom of your report (for additional details...). Please take a moment to read that if for no other purpose but to help communicate easily.
2011-10-25, 01:18 PM
Here's the TVFOOL response I got, no idea how to read it!
you have a really good location according to your tvfool report.
You may need a roof mount to get clear line of site to buffalo and make sure there are no buildings in the way.
With severe side angles like that, toronto 85 degrees off of buffalo, i've had better luck in the beaches with the C2 than the 4221.
2011-10-27, 02:01 PM
HWP , could You tell me how many local channels are you able to get when aiming HD 7697p at buffalo,Just trying to decide in which antenna should I invest next , thanks.
Scenario 1 - Fixed Aim at WBBZ
With hd7697P + 7778 pre-amp
2.2 Universal Sports
17.1 PBS hd
17.2 PBS sd
17.3 PBS Think Bright
26.3 TCT Kids
26.4 La Fuente
29.2 The Country Network
47.1 Omni 1
49.1 MyTV Buffalo
49.2 Cool TV
51.1 ION (will drop-out from time-to-time -- especially in cold weather)
51.3 ION Life
67.1 WBBZ (excellent summer reception with direct aim. only starting to drop-out in late-october. not expecting winter reception)
69.1 Omni 2
Scenario 2 - With Rotator ability to Aim
same as above, only add...
11.1 CHCH (still not perfect)
51.1 ION (with direct aim, perfect reliable reception, very optimistic about winter reception)
51.3 ION Life
Not Coming In:
3.1 CKVR CTV2 from Barrie (requires a rotator no matter what, and still doesn't work for me)
If I could re-do my system now, I would try the Winegard 269 pre-amp because I don't like aiming my 7778 directly at the CN Tower (need to do so to aim straight at Hamilton). I would also get an Antennacraft HBU55 or Winegard hd7698p. Both are larger than my current antenna. This is just my obsession, though. The 7697 is doing a great job and I can't complain. I think my 7697 antenna is a small-enough size for chimney installations.
Start with a fixed antenna and then later consider adding a rotator to get rid of annoying drop-outs on ION, and reduce drop-outs on WBBZ.
For those looking for a cheap and simple installation:
Channel Master 4221hd antenna
Channel Master 7778 pre-amp
Aimed at WGRZ
You'll get reliable reception all year on all Toronto channels plus all main US channels.
Expect from Canada: CBC, CTV, TVO, Global, CityTV, Omni 1, Omni 2, Rad-Can
Expect from USA: PBS, NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, CW, MyTV, and you'll get ION often in summer, and TCT often.
Don't expect WBBZ, CHCH, or CTS, CKVR from Barrie (or Hamilton, if it ever fires-up a trasmitter there),... ION in winter, TCT can be spotty in winter. Adding a rotator would give you hope for CTS, ION in winter, and CKVR Hamilton (if approved).
If you live in this area or in many locations in Toronto and you are curious about attic installations, you can expect very similar results as predicted in my "Scenario 3." Expect ION and TCT to be even more spotty. Basically, if you decide you really want ION you'll end up moving your antenna outside. But an attic installation is a good way to start OTA. Regular families could be very satisfied with reliable reception of all major networks using an attic installation.
Good luck everybody!
PS - I eliminated Sun News Network on 66.1 from the reception report in anticipation of the shut-down of the transmitter in a few days so that this post can remain current for longer.
2011-10-30, 04:49 PM
HWP, do you think that any additional height would help with WBBZ in your setup? I saw your note in the Buffalo status thread that it is still coming in but not very strong...
2011-10-30, 07:40 PM
hi all. I recently upgraded my TV and now have a digital tuner. I would like advice as to what antenna to get. Would the CM4221HD be a good choice?
My tv fool report is at: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d4bba5db7606012
PS - I have an old radio shack antenna sitting in a window by the TV and am pulling in 12+ channels, and am totally pleased (even Fox sometimes!), but would like a little more stability, and a few more channels would be a bonus.
Many thanks in advance!
I just ran three TV Fool reports for myself.
70ft WBBZ +13 dB
45ft WBBZ +14 dB
25ft WBBZ +15 dB
The higher I go the lower the TV Fool score for WBBZ for me. My antenna is currently at 45ft and WBBZ is working very satisfactorily.
WBBZ is working better for me now than before when my tower was fixed (no rotator) at 35ft. It's working better now because I can fine-tune the aim using my rotator now.
Anyway, the bottom line is that my current antenna seems to offer enough gain on rf7 to keep WBBZ above the digital cliff by the time the signal hits the pre-amp.
I just read in another thread that WBBZ is on approx half power (10KW instead of the usual 26KW) for the next couple of months for repairs. And WBBZ is still working for me even here at the end of October. I had though that WBBZ's reduced reception for me in October was weather-related but today I read here that WBBZ reduced its power around October 1. That's good news for me. Maybe once the transmitter is back up to full power WBBZ will come back --- even if the weather is cold.
2011-10-30, 09:20 PM
I am looking for advice on what the best antenna is to get for a Tivo HD or Premiere (not sure which one I will get yet although I hear the reception is a bit better on the older HD). I am in a house in Rosedale and have the roof already pre-wired with cable and will be attaching the antenna to the chimney. Thanks
2011-10-30, 09:21 PM
HWP, I think your symposis sounds very good.
You basically describe my attic reception, but being further north (i.e., less angle separating the targets) I do get CITS and CHCH. As you know, I have a VHF yaggi pointed at Hamilton for CHCH.
ION was quite good for me until October. Now that it has cooled down, it's history. Haven't seen it in over a week.
Welcome to the forum. If you can safely mount a 4221hd outside and up high, you'll be more than pleased with your results. Mount the 4221hd facing almost straight south (toward WGRZ) and Toronto will come in off the side. Don't worry if City and the Omnis are temperamental -- they're temporarily on reduced power.
Good luck and keep us posted on your progress! Enjoy all your new channels!
Welcome to the OTA forum.
If you could post a link to your TV Fool report it would be helpful. Rosedale has a variety of elevations so knowing exactly what your potential is might influence our antenna recommendation for you.
You were wise to have the OTA cable installed...or lucky to have it.
If you have good elevation and full potential then I suggest you maximize your potential and install the same antenna that I have - a Winegard hd7697p with a pre-amp and rotator. Your brick chimney could probably handle it.
If you're at a lower elevation and your potential to get the harder channels is limited, then a more simple installation of a Channel Master 4221hd with a pre-amp aimed at WGRZ would probably give you excellent OTA reception.
Read post 1913. It might be applicable to your situation.
Please post the TV Fool report using your exact address or co-ordinates (the report does not show your address). A postal code-based TV Fool will not be exact enough for your location.