: BC - Victoria, The Island, Sunshine Coast, BC Interior, BC North - OTA
2010-07-18, 01:33 AM
Now getting very strong signals from all 3 Bellingham stations (KVOS, KBCB, KBTC). Waiting for more Mt Constitution channels to fire up. At least we are now getting PBS.
Still no Canadian content to be found. Guess I have to wait until CHEK and CKVI go digital...
Winegard UHF antenna, Channel Master preamp, antenna rotor, Sony XBR TV
2010-07-18, 02:43 PM
Last time I was in Mills Bay I stopped on a hill above the marina and thought about how it would be a perfect place for a tower and deepest fringe gear for SeaTac and Vancouver stations. I'm always dreaming up such heroic efforts! :D
I wonder if it is the case that the lower parts of Mills Bay are in a signal shadow from Vancouver stations because they're behind Saltspring and Pender Islands?
2010-08-08, 06:00 PM
Checked OTA earlier this morning and am now receiving
CHNM, CBC, CITY and CTV.
CHAN-Global, unable to get a lock on it.
2010-08-10, 02:33 AM
I'll begin by following directions and provide the TVFOOL report:
First heard about OTA from a friend about 6 months ago (he's since gone with a Bell satellite system). Thought it would be a waste of money, etc... ("Victoria's in a signal shadow..." et al). After a couple months researching here and there (but mostly here) I ordered a CM 4228HD, CM 7777 pre-amp, and a CM 9521A rotor.
Just the antenna arrived today and I just couldn't wait to climb up on the roof to play with it.
First attempt 'dead reckoning' towards Mt Seymour yielded:
8.1 Global BC HD with a signal strength of 48
12.1 KVOS HD with a signal strength of 47
24.1 SHOP NBC (infomercials) with a signal strength of 38
32.1 CTV HD with a signal strength of 44
42.1 OMNI HD with a signal strength of 54
I'm dissappointed that I didn't get CBC or CBC French. I did manage to get CBC French (channel 26) in analog. A weak signal (little fuzzy) but it will still help with French immersion practice none-the-less. Hoping to read up more on the balun building posts to enhance my 4228 to bring in both CBC's in HD (perhaps the pre-amp might help when it arrives?).
Climbed up again and spun it round towards Seattle:
33.1 with a signal strength of 35
33.2 QUBO (?) with a signal strength of 35
33.3 ION Life (?) with a signal strength of 33
42.1 DaySTAR with a signal strength of 44
44.1 Another Home Shopping channel with a signal strength of 45
44.2 Spanish with a signal strength of 46
44.3 Chinese AAT TV with a signal strength of 44
46.1-4 Failed to lock
57.1 Spanish channel with a signal strength of 47
Early in the evening I bought a ground plate and some 7 strand copper wire. Guess it would be prudent to start digging a hole tomorrow and attach it to the top of the mast? I know - I should have done that first, but curiousity and excitement got the better of me. It stopped raining and started clearing so I figured there was a slim chance of lightening tonight.
Now my first question. We cut cable a couple months ago, but because they are also my internet provider a few channels still come through. Can I 'safely' add a splitter just before the TV and rescan the channels each time we want to watch a 'cable' channel? Or is there a better way to do this?
2010-08-10, 12:59 PM
Hi Pro gunner, its nice to see that your area gets a great selection of stations. :)
Regarding cable and OTA, do not ever mix their signals (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=65268). You would need an A-B switch so that one never contacts the other.
2010-08-10, 01:14 PM
That's what I thought. I used to sell them (20+ years ago) at Radio Shack. Can't say I've seen them in years, but figure they've got to be out there.
2010-08-10, 04:13 PM
but, 26 (CBCF) in fuzzy analog is all there is for the moment, unless I've missed an update. Good luck with your 4228 setup, sounds like its a match to mine.
2010-08-10, 05:13 PM
My Tivo HD has one coax input for OTA and another for cable. Makes perfect sense to me. Bought my daughter a 32" flat panel and was disappointed to see that it only had one coax input. Guess I'll have to pick up one of those A/B switches.
2010-08-11, 01:29 PM
Okay, so I've got pretty much everything set up not including the rotator. I expected the CM 7777 would have given me better signal strength.
It has improved some 'shadowing' on the VHF signals, but nothing on UHF.
I'm hoping what wasn't clear in the installation documentation might be answered here. Do I need to place the pre-amp as close to the antenna as possible to get the best improvement? Right now - I have it close to the TV (right beside the amp's power box). Will it make a difference?
2010-08-11, 01:35 PM
Any recommendations on what kind of TIVO box to buy?
2010-08-11, 02:10 PM
Pro gunner, you can get remote-controlled A-B switches from Radio Shack in the U.S. so have a look in here for info on that: Splitters, Attenuators, Filters, Diplexers, Other Signal Gear (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=42428)
The preamp itself goes right up close to the antenna, and its power injector can be beside the TV if you like but it must have a clear DC Power Pass route to it over the coax cable through any splitters or other gear. See the illustration in Post #7 of the OTA FAQ:
2010-08-11, 05:34 PM
Thanks for the help Stampeder.
Climbed back up and installed the pre-amp onto the antenna this time. Now I get 2 and 2.1 (CBC/CBUT) and a few others coming in from Seattle. This makes me very happy.
In a couple weeks, I'll get back up there and install the rotator and see where the optimal position is.
2011-01-13, 04:04 AM
I got offered a year of free shaw HD a few months ago so I had mostly been watching that but today I decided to rescan on the OTA antenna. I was shocked to see 12 digital, 8 analog come in
24.1 kbcb 01 - shopping channel
24.2 kbcb 02 -just a test pattern
24.3 kbcb 03 - just a logo for kbcb bellingham
24.4 kbcb 04 - tv says just audio
24.5 kbcb 05 - tv says just audio
24.6 kbcb 06 - tv says just audio
Anyways maybe it's the snow helping but I've never received 24.2-24.6 before. Is there ever anything interesting on them? Any word on when A and check will go digital? Shaw can have their HD box back in October. Direct comparison of CBC OTA vs CBC on shaw via the HDMI cable is OTA is better looking on my TV. Even my wife mentioned the picture on shaw wasn't as good.
2011-02-04, 01:39 PM
Here's my tvfool data
I built a gray-hoverman and it's outside but only 7 feet off the ground and sitting between mine and my neighbours house.
I easily get the first 8 channels on the list. with a power of -58 DBM that's to be expected. The next group of channels however are -110 to -130 which I figured was out of the question however I have received PBS which shows as -114. It came in when I had the antenna in my upstairs front window so 12 feet up and with a straight shot south.
I'm wondering if I take the time to get a chimney mount and move the antenna up to 25 feet would it make a difference or is it going to be hit and miss at the best? This is a relatively easy thing to do so I may go for it anyways.
My Real question is would a preamp or anything else be enough to get these channels? I seem to remember reading that if it was better then -100 I stood a chance at getting it. I'm not sure if that meant -99+ a preamp would make things possible or -115 with a preamp to get it down to -99 would do it.
I'm mostly just curious. The US superbowl commercials would be nice to see.
2011-02-04, 01:49 PM
Yep, the very first thing I would do is put it up on that chimney mount because it should make a huge difference. I would do that and see how it goes before making any other changes or purchases. :)
2011-02-04, 03:26 PM
A couple of things you can do to see why the TVFool predictions worked out the way they did:
1. Click on any station in the table and the path profile between transmitter and you pops up. The transmitter is on the far left and you are at essentially ground level on the far right.
2. Enter TVFool this way (http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=90). Be sure the receive site icon is directly over your location, then experiment with receive antenna height. Each time you change that number, the predictions update.
Checking out the paths of some of the weak stations you are looking at, you don't stand much chance of improving reception to 24/7 reliability. You are left with maximizing the chance of receiving tropospheric enhancements.
2011-02-04, 03:36 PM
cranking my antenna to 500 feet up it still predicts I get the same as I currently do. Good to know before I spend any money I suppose.
2011-02-04, 10:00 PM
Unfortunately TVFool isn't so accurate along the Georgia Straight and Puget Sound due to all the islands, inlets, and crazy geography, so go ahead and put it up on the chimney and then see what happens. That will give you your reception benchmark, and if you don't get more than the Vancouver and Bellingham DTV stations then that's all she wrote.
2011-02-22, 06:13 PM
I was wondering how well an Indoor HD antenna would work at picking up a few channels?
I'm mainly interested in making sure I can keep up with the Canucks!
2011-02-23, 11:17 AM
NickDblU, the distance to Vancouver is too great for an indoor antenna to be able to reliably pick up the stations from there so you would need an outdoor antenna, but as the Victoria stations transition to DTV on the UHF band you would be fine for those with an indoor model.