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Discussion Starter #1
While its been 10 years since I joined this is my first post as I've always found my answers here and never needed to post a question.

I am looking to redesign/upgrade my OTA setup.

I am in the west end of Toronto, and on the roof I have a 4 bow tie pointed at the CN tower and an 8 bow tie pointed towards Buffalo/Niagara/Hamilton, the signals are combined on the antenna mast.

There is about 60 feet of coax into the house where it connects to a Channel Master distribution amplifier. One signal goes to an HD Home Run Extend for TV/PVR and a couple of the others go to receivers for FM radio. The only local station I like is htz fm, and it helps pull the signal.

Lately the signal for the Buffalo area stations has been up and down, specifically NBC and CBS, my distribution amp is almost 12 years old so its probably time to replace it.

The coax comes into the house and runs about another 15 feet before it attaches to the distribution amp in the "IT Closet".

I'm thinking of splitting the signal in the house, with one cable going to a TV amplifier that filters FM etc... And the other cable going to my receivers for FM.

I have looked at the Channel Master 7777hd which filters and boosts but came here for some advice instead of just clicking buy. ;)

What's the best way to accomplish this without going back on to the roof?
What equipment should I use inside? Is there a better brand/type of splitter to use? What about the TV amp?
If I split the signal, where should I do so? Where it comes into the house or in the "IT Closet"?

If this has already been covered could someone post the link? Searching with a 4yo hanging off me is tricky, I probably should have waited till after bed time to do this research.

Thanks in advance!!!
 

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First summertime can create the most variable signal conditions.Reception will stabilize with cooler weather.I doubt anything you do inside will make much difference.Combining 2 antennas in different directions automatically lose 3db or half the strength.The preamp should be installed at the antenna.If you install 7777 inside in place of distribution amp I would not expect much change.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I forgot about summer conditions having an effect as the signal has been dodgy since the winter, and the big antenna may need to be adjusted anyway.

I don't want to lose the FM signal so I am hesitant to put a preamp on the antenna before I split it in the house. Most preamps I have looked at claim to filter the signal.

If I decide to go on the roof, should a preamp go on the big antenna pointing south before it is combined with small one? That way the small one can still work for the FM signal.

(I suppose the best solution is to add an antenna for the radio and run a seperate cable, and then preamp the TV antennas, but I'm lazy.)
 

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The 7777 has switchable FM trap..HTZ FM 97.7 is from south not Toronto.Have you tried the 8 bay on its own and just turn it slightly east only if you have problems with Toronto.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I used to have just the 8 bay pointed southish and everything was good.

A couple of neighbours, including the one right next to us built taller homes and the antenna had to be moved.

City TV became unwatchable when the antenna was relocated so I had to switch to a 2 rig setup. However now that they show the same Saturday games as CBC, and the Sunday game is long gone from City, perhaps I could try a 1 rig setup again.

That first year after Rogers overpaid for hockey was good, 3-5 different games to choose from on the weekend a the Saturday feed on city was different from CBC.
 

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City TV now on RF 18 with 50KW before were on RF 44 with 20KW.
 

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However now that they show the same Saturday games as CBC,
Just be aware they rarely actually show the same game on CBC and CityTv. Montreal/Ottawa vs Toronto were about the only ones or during the off weeks or when only 1 of the 3 were playing at 7. Interestingly if you have time shifting with cable/sat they play a late game on cityTv as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Could have fooled me the past two years, seems like they are always showing the same Toronto game whenever I looked. Even if they do show the same game rarely that's still too much overlap.

At any rate, I added a Channel Master LTE filter to the distribution amplifier and after three days of use it still seems to have cleaned up the signals for NBC and CBS. The stations I tried last night during the rain were still good, but I've lost all FM signals on the receivers. Eventually I will have to fix everything properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I got the CM 7777hd and I was planning on going up on to the roof, but did a little testing yesterday, because... why not! all of this between 2 and 3 yesterday afternoon.

I replaced the filter and the distribution amp in the closet with the CM 7777hd and went from 32 to 35 channels, NBC and CBS still a bit choppy.

I then switched the CM 7777hd from 17db boost to 30db and got the expected results, only 20 channels, I didn't watch anything as a quick test with higher db was already stupid enough to try.

I decided to move the CM 7777hd to where the coax comes into the house, so about 15 feet closer to the antenna.

First I tried the filter/distribution amp, same 35 channels, but NBC and CBS weren't much better.

I then put the CM 7777hd in and went to 40 channels, NBC stopped being choppy, but CBS had the occasional stutter every few minutes. I've no idea what the extra channels are, but I do know that the 67s aren't among them.

I'll put a splitter just before the CM 7777hd to carry one side to my receivers for FM and if both the TV signal and FM are ok, I don't think I'm going to bother with going on to the roof.

The only thing left to try is the CM 7777hd on the mast at both 17db and 30db, but it will be a while before I can get a friend to spot me while I go up the ladder. As it is right now I am happy with the results from just moving it 15 feet closer to the antenna.
 

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Next hockey night in Canada only has 1 early game and 1 late game (for obvious reasons). CityTv is not duplicating the game from CBC and is instead scheduled to show the Toronto Raptors game.
 

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" ... the signals are combined ... "

That could be the cause of the choppiness. If the signals are coming through both antennas and are not in phase, it can do more harm than good. As another who runs 2 antennas, I've been surprised how the real world experience and the theory can seemingly diverge. Such as signal coming in at 75° off axis from about 100 km away and also attenuated still has the ability to lock in on its own and disrupt the signal coming in on the other antenna pointed directly at it unattenuated. Remember wave theory from high school physics.

Here's an interesting experiment:

Uncombine the antennas and feed "antenna A" only to your tv. Then record all the stations signal levels, SNRs.
Then flip over to "antenna B" only. Repeat recording all the stations signal levels, SNRs.

If you have stations that are strong on one and either very weak or non-existant on the other, that's good - no interference.
If you have stations that are strong on both and not good when combined, that is a strong indicator of a phase issue.

In my case, I have a Toronto/Buffalo antenna and a Hamilton-aimed antenna. I found I still had some Toronto/Buffalo signal on the Hamilton even though it was aimed 75° away from Buffalo and 135° away from the CN Tower (that is, the CN Tower signals were hitting it about 45° on the back side). The antenna specs show very little gain at these points and even with some attenuation, it still caused a mess with some of the Toronto/Buffalo signals I expected to be exclusively receiving on the Toronto/Buffalo antenna.

My solution was to add even more attenuation to the Hamilton feed so that only the Hamilton stations and nothing from Toronto or Buffalo came through (unfortunate side affect is that adding this much attenuation totally wiped out CHCJ 35.1 - it was actually weaker that some of the Toronto/Buffalo stations even though the antenna was aimned directly at it). All Toronto/Buffalo signals are solid now as are CHCH and CITS.

Hope this might be helpful for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I haven't been able to get on the roof yet... But I have come to the conclusion that the Yamaha rxa740 is just junk for FM radio. I have two in the house, they came with a garbage control4 system that was preinstalled, they are both different different distances from the point where I split the signal and they both only get the same few stations from Toronto.

I have an older onkyo htrc430 which get many more stations, including htz fm, and when I move it to where the Yamaha receivers are, the onkyo still get more stations than the Yamaha's.
 

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You may want to consider switching to internet radio. Sound quality is amazing and the selection is infinite (thousands of stations worldwide). I got myself a Cambridge Audio CXN V2 streamer (also a DAC) and am happy as a clam. There are also cheaper alternatives such as connecting your computer to your amp.
 

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I agree. There are a few internet radios available and many new AV receivers include radio streaming but not all services. I usually use a smartphone radio app and bluetooth to connect to soundbars or AV systems. Bluetooth doesn't always have the best sound but versions 4.2 and up should be good. Sound quality also depends on the streaming rate from the station. 192kbs MP3 and up should be comparable to or better than FM. A few provide uncompressed audio, which is typically much better than FM, but they are usually premium music services.
 
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