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Discussion Starter #1
I live in Abbotsford, Britsh Columbia and I am wondering what kind of equipment I need to buy in order to recieve HD broadcasts. From what Ive gathered from other threads, I definitely need a UHF antenna and an HDTV reciever.

But what about the type of antenna, and what about amplifiers?

People have mentioned that the Channel Master 4228 is a good choice but I dont know whether or not it is overkill for my use. I basically want to recieve some decent HD stations like CTV in good PQ. American stations are ideal but I would settle for some local programming. I like the idea of getting a better quality signal than you would get with BELL.

I am in a fairly populated area and would possibly be able to mount an antenna to the roof of my house, but I need to know what my options are while keeping the cost to a minimum.

Is it even worth the effort or should I just settle for satellite?

edit: I also live next to some pretty serious looking power lines, would that casue interference?

Thanks.
 

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Abbotsford

azmodien said:
I live in Abbotsford, Britsh Columbia
...
People have mentioned that the Channel Master 4228 is a good choice but I dont know whether or not it is overkill for my uses.
...
I basically want to recieve some decent HD stations like CTV in good PQ. American stations are ideal but I would settle for some local programming.
Hi, I can give you some good info on your situation thanks to the good info you've provided us first. Abbotsford is about 40-50km by air from the Mount Seymour antennas so a CM4228 mounted on your roof without a preamp will pull in the channels from there, but there's a big caveat: I'm disappointed in the very low Effective Radiated Power of the CTV transmitter and with the projected ERP I'm seeing for the CBC and Global transmitters coming up in the year ahead. Its true that DTV requires much less power than analog but I'm concerned that the broadcasters might only be looking at covering the area west of the Port Mann bridge. That's not based on any official announcements, just on my own hunch so I could be wrong. Regarding the U.S. stations, you've read through the OTA thread so I think you know what a toss up that is so far since some of us are still just testing. You will at the very least need to put a good preamp on your CM4228 (either a CM7777 or a Winegard AP8275) and mount it on a rotator to get Vancouver, Victoria, and SeaTac. Lastly, when you see the locals in OTA digital and look at them on your BEV system you'll not want to watch them on BEV ever again. Regarding the power lines, do you have a portable TV that you can plug in outside and carry around? If at all possible it would be good to go up on the roof where you would put your antenna and check all the VHF and UHF channels you can find to see what effect they may or may not be having.
 

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Aldergrove

Aldergrove near U.S. Border – 400’ above sea level

ATI HDTV Wonder and DigitalStream HD1150

2 Channel Master 4228 8-bay UHF vertically stacked. Winegard 4800 UHF PreAmp

Stations:

18 KCPQ-DT Tacoma <10% Severe Multipath problem – Only get this occasionally.

19 KBCB-DT Bellingham 100%

25-KTWB-DT Seattle 100%

27 KBTC-DT Tacoma <10% Weak signal. Only get this during skip conditions

31 KONG-DT Everett <10% Weak signal. Only get this during skip conditions

33 CIVT-DT Vancouver 100%

35 KVOS-DT Bellingham 100%

36 KSTW-DT Tacoma 80% occasional dropouts

38 KOMO-DT Seattle 80% occasional dropouts

39 KIRO-DT Seattle 100%

41 KCTS-DT Seattle 100%

48 KING-DT Seattle 100%

51 KWOG Seattle <10% Weak signal. Only get this during skip conditions
 

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stampeder said:
Are you using a rotator? Also are the CM4228s ganged on the mast prior to their baluns and preamp or are they configured differently?
Yes I'm using a rotor.
The CM4228's are stacked vertically. A balun is connected
to each one, then a combiner, then to the preamp.


I understand Madbob has been having some luck since I
provided him with a CM4228 and preamp. :]
 

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Aldergrove

Just some comments on the stations...
4DTV HD said:
18 KCPQ-DT Tacoma <10% Severe Multipath problem – Only get this occasionally.
Yet its the only SeaTac station I get a lock on (rarely) from the side of the house! Maybe the problem is local somewhere near your end?
4DTV HD said:
25-KTWB-DT Seattle 100%
Not even a blip on the signal-to-noise meter here.
4DTV HD said:
27 KBTC-DT Tacoma <10% Weak signal. Only get this during skip conditions
This is the Bates Technical College PBS feed, and I wonder if its a different PBS feed than KCTS-DT? I think they just don't have the ERP to make it up here.
4DTV HD said:
35 KVOS-DT Bellingham 100%
I'm disappointed that I only get occasional blips while the antenna is not up yet.
4DTV HD said:
51 KWOG Seattle <10% Weak signal. Only get this during skip conditions
This is a shop at home channel, so no big loss there...;)
 

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stampeder said:
I'd be curious to find out the farthest skip you've picked up. Unfortunately I'm still using my BEV 6100 until my LG tuner arrives, and the 6100 user interface is useless for DXing DTV.
Strong skip is rare in Southern B.C.
UHF - Tacoma
VHF - Oregon - early 1960s
FM - Northern California last Year and Omaha, Nebraska
about 25 years ago.
 

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stampeder said:
I'd be curious to find out the farthest skip you've picked up. Unfortunately I'm still using my BEV 6100 until my LG tuner arrives, and the 6100 user interface is useless for DXing DTV.
Strong skip is rare in Southern B.C.
UHF - Tacoma
VHF - Oregon - early 1960s
FM - Northern California last Year and Omaha, Nebraska
about 25 years ago.
 

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Mission, British Columbia

I live in Mission, BC near the hospital off of Hurd St. Although I have not yet setup an antenna and receiver yet I plan to very soon.

I'm going to use a AverMedia OTA HDTV PCI reciever inside my HP media centre. Then I have a HDTV LCD TV connected via DV-I.

Can I just use the coax cable provided my shaw as an antenna? (Forgive me if that sounds stupid)

Any thoughts on the reception quality in Mission BC? The hospital is on top of a south facing mountain and although there are trees in my direct line of sign I imagine I could get over them with a tall mast.

DR
 

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Hi DigitalReach, I don't know if your part of Mission will be in a signal shadow area from Mt. Seymour, so I can't say whether you will get the Vancouver DTV stations or not.

Regarding the coax cable, it is designed not to pick up ambient signals (it's shielded) so you would have to try an antenna. As long as you are hooked up to Shaw you will get their signals on that cable.
 

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DigitalReach said:
I live in Mission, BC near the hospital off of Hurd St. Although I have not yet setup an antenna and receiver yet I plan to very soon.
I don't know about the locals from Mt Seymour but I've tested up there and can get a number of Seattle stations with the Channelmaster 4228 at the top of the hill
 

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DigitalReach, before buying an antenna from The Source contact 4DTV HD for info on getting antennas in your area.
 

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central Maple Ridge

I'm in central Maple Ridge. Last night I picked up an amplified Philips indoor antenna. After a few minutes of positioning and channel searching my Sharp TV reported receiving CBC, channel 58 with an average 85 signal strength. The CTV test signal is only coming in at about a 30 signal, so it's not watchable.

And so my adventures with HD begin... :) Bring on the hockey season!
 

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That's great about CBC-HD, Kruncher, but I'm fairly certain you'll get CTV-HD too with an outdoor antenna like a CM4221 or 4228 if you can do that.
 

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Abbotsford

Hi guys:

I'm looking to do an OTA setup in Abbotsford with my new HDTV arriving shortly. Read all of the posts here, and I have a few questions:

1 - Risks of damaging the TV's built in ATSC Tuner with antenna: Is there a risk of this with a powerful input signal? What about lightening strikes zapping out the television tuner? Is there any way(s) to prevent against this?

2 - HDTV Content. Will start with something cheap (Indoor Antenna)@UHF. Will this be enough to pick up any content? Anyone from Abbotsford who can comment? Also, VHF vs. UHF: Do all major stations broadcast in UHF only? Is there any need for VHF? Down the road, should I get a combo unit or is UHF only ok?

Thanks guys, and thanks to Stampeder for an excellent read over the last few hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I forgot to mention another detail:

"Abbotsford is about 40-50km by air from the Mount Seymour antennas so a CM4228 mounted on your roof without a preamp will pull in the channels from there........"

Problem is that Abbotsford is about 80km from Mt Seymour (at least from my address), which is around 50+ miles. What's your take on coverage to the area west of Port Mann? Has anyone else had any results with this area??? Thnx!
 

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Unfortunately I can't comment on current reception conditions in Abbotsford. I grew up in Abbotsford and when I was a kid, my parents had 3 antennas pointed in different directions to get all the channels they wanted but they now have cable.

With an indoor antenna there is no risk of damaging your tuner, but I doubt if you will be able to receive anything.

A properly grounded outdoor antenna has a very, very low risk of damaging your tuner, especially in Abbotsford. A direct lightning strike could do some damage, but that would be the least of your worries. Besides, the west coast has mainly sheet lightning so the chance of a direct strike is very low. The problem of too strong a signal (from over amplifying) is also unlikely for you since you are quite far from the nearest tower.

As mentioned elsewhere, most DTV stations are currently on UHF, but after the analog shutdown (in 2009 in the US), some will be moving their channel back to VHF. However, the 4228 does a good job of receiving VHF-HI stations (7-13) and there is talk of getting rid of VHF-LO, so if you go that route, it should be adequate in the years to come.
 

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Yep, an indoor antenna in Abbotsford would get you all of channel 66: OMNI BC. :) As Roger said, getting what you want would mean a rotor for the Mt. Seymour, Bellingham, and SeaTac stations. Also there are analogue repeaters near Chilliwack/Hope that might give better signals than the Vancouver ones. I know of people in Mission who used to get the VHFs from SeaTac with very powerful gear, and there are people in the Langley area who get them just fine.

Roger - air force brat too? ;)
 

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jagzjagz I would seriously look south to pick up the Sea-Tac ota stations. Your chances are probably just as good as looking to Mt. Seymour; CTV and CBC are running pathetically low power. Unless you're in a hole or obstructed where you live you should be able to pick up Seattle no problem with Cm4228 antenna and preamp. There is good forum info for ota here.
 

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I agree. You will definitely want to be able to point it south. Back when I was a kid we got PBS, ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX (though very fuzzy) plus KVOS from Bellingham (do they still have funnorama?). For Canadian stations we got BCTV and CHEK (both were CTV affiliates at the time), CBC, SRC and the Knowledge Network from Vancouver (Victoria for CHEK). I think that was all there was at the time. I don't think we got anything from Chilliwack/Hope (though I remember one of my friends lived just west of Chilliwack and he got CBC North).

No I am not an air force brat, I am just a long way from home (one of the crazy ones who chose to leave BC).
 
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