DFW: F-Connections, size recommendations, etc - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-07-2009, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello folks,

I've been digging through this forum for a couple hours now, and there's a ton of great info. Thanks to the mods and steady users for the knowledge i've already gleaned!

I've just moved to the dfw area from east tennessee, and i'm taking my first plunge into the world of real television. I'd like to explain what I'm trying to accomplish, the gear i'm looking at, and the questions I have.

First, I don't want or need cable tv. My kids watch pbs occasionally, and we watch a little abc, fox, and nbc. We watch dvd movies and some favorites on hulu. I want the image to look good, but i'm a musician so the sound is more important to me. I've got a decent pioneer 5.1 theater system, and i'd like to utilize it as much as possible.

In addition to my pioneer system, i've got an old apple quicksilver g4 acting as my home media server and ent center machine. This is where my hulu and dvd signals come from, using hd15 and optical (via m-audio fw-410 interface) connections.

I put our one and only tv (26" crt piece of junk) in the playroom with a dvd player, and that's totally sufficient. I'm needing to pick a hdtv for the theater room (looking at samsung pr42b540 42" plasma or panasonic tc-L32c12 32" lcd), and an antenna (looking at channel master 3016) to hopefully put in the attic. Here are my problems:

1. None of the hdtv's i've looked at list a standard F connector as an input option. Is that implied? Or do we do things different now? I'm assuming that that's how the cable will come down from the antenna...isn't it? Do I have to get a box to make it an hdmi signal? Very confused.

2. I know even less about antennas than about tv's (nothing). All my dfw stations are right around 20 miles away at 150° (cedar hill). Is the channel master even in the ballpark of what I should look at? I read where someone said to always get a little more antenna than you think you need, but I have't the foggiest idea how much antenna I need or how much antenna the channel master is!

3. I'm in an older house that has no cable wiring into my theater room. I've got decent attic access over the room, but the wall my tv will go on is inaccessible (at the roof line). How should I wire it? Take it outside and drill through masonry, or drop it down another wall and run cable around the baseboards?

4. The carpet is new and is attached about halfway up the baseboards. I can't jam speaker cable under the bb like i've done in the past. Any ideas on how to hide wiring to my surrounds and (possibly) a big antenna cable?

5. The way i'm reading other posts, the optical out on the tv will only give me 5.1 from the tuner, correct? That's fine in my situation, because that's what i'm using...I think. I've only got one optical in on my receiver, so i'm hoping I can run the tv into the digital in on my interface, and it'll loop back through the out, in addition to the actual computer out. I know that"s how the analog connections work, but i've never used the digital ones. Anyone see a flaw in my thought process here?

That's all the big ones off the top of my head. Please forgive me if i'm in the wrong board, I know i'm kind of all over the map here. Please go easy on me; use small words and type slowly. Thanks in advance for any advice, and thanks for being a great place to come for help!
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-08-2009, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianoman723 View Post

1. None of the hdtv's i've looked at list a standard F connector as an input option. Is that implied?

Most LCDs and plasmas should have that kind of input, as well as tuners for analog TV (NTSC), digital OTA TV (ATSC) and digital cable TV (QAM), so you can simply connect your antenna cable and go. Front projection displays do not have tuners or antenna/cable inputs, so for these you need to buy an external tuner.

If you can link to one or two specific TVs you're looking at, we can see for ourselves just what they list in the specs.
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-08-2009, 05:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply! That's reassuring. I have to get up to three posts before it will let me submit URLs, so bear with me.

I would also love to have some really good reasons to tell my wife why the 42" screen is really the better option for our room. She's not really buying the whole 9' viewing distance thing...
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-08-2009, 05:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Don't know if it makes a difference, but here are my stations, according to AntennaWeb:


* yellow uhf KMPX-DT 30.1 DAY DECATUR, TX 76° 10.7 30
* yellow uhf KDTN-DT 2.1 DAY DENTON, TX 153° 22.5 43
* yellow uhf KPXD-DT 68.1 ION ARLINGTON, TX 153° 22.5 42
* yellow uhf KLDT-DT 54.1 IND LAKE DALLAS, TX 152° 19.6 39
* yellow uhf KERA-DT 13.1 PBS DALLAS, TX 150° 20.4 14
* yellow uhf KDFI-DT 27.1 MNT DALLAS, TX 153° 22.5 36
* yellow uhf KDFW-DT 4.1 FOX DALLAS, TX 153° 19.4 35
* yellow vhf KFWD-DT 52.1 IND FORT WORTH, TX 151° 19.4 9
* yellow uhf KDAF-DT 33.1 CW DALLAS, TX 153° 22.5 32
* yellow vhf KTVT-DT 11.1 CBS FORT WORTH, TX 150° 20.4 11
* yellow uhf KTXA-DT 21.1 IND FORT WORTH, TX 150° 20.4 19
* yellow uhf KXTX-DT 40.1 TEL DALLAS, TX 152° 19.6 40
* yellow vhf WFAA-DT 8.1 ABC DALLAS, TX 153° 19.4 8
* yellow uhf KXAS-DT 5.1 NBC FORT WORTH, TX 152° 19.6 41
* yellow uhf KUVN-DT 23.1 UNI GARLAND, TX 152° 19.3 23
* yellow uhf KSTR-DT 49.1 UNI IRVING, TX 153° 22.5 48
* yellow uhf KTAQ-DT 46.1 IND GREENVILLE, TX 152° 19.3 46
* green uhf KDTX-DT 58.1 TBN DALLAS, TX 152° 19.3 45
green uhf KSEX-LP 57 IND DALLAS, TX 152° 19.4 57
lt green uhf KATA-CA 50 FMN MESQUITE, TX 152° 19.3 50
lt green uhf KHPK-LP 28 UAT DE SOTO, TX 151° 19.4 28
* red vhf KHPK-LD 3.1 UAT DE SOTO, TX 152° 19.3 3
blue uhf KLEG-LP 19 SPA DALLAS, TX 85° 19.2 19
blue uhf KUVN-CA 31 UNI FORT WORTH, TX 239° 14.9 31
blue vhf KZFW-LP 6 FMN DALLAS, TX 151° 19.4 6
blue uhf KJJM-LP 46 FMN DALLAS, TX 97° 27.8 46\\
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-08-2009, 08:15 AM
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I'd go with a 50 inch at minimum at 9 feet...

I could introduce her to my mom, she was set on having a 32 inch LCD, kept telling her go with something bigger because I know how far she sits from it. First thing out of her mouth when I set it up, "I should have gotten a bigger one"

Matt
Please don't PM me with technical questions that should be posted in the forum.
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-08-2009, 08:48 AM
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goto

http://www.tvfool.com/

enter your address

it will indicate your stations and antenna quality needed. the real channel numbers listed will indicate if you need an antenna with VHF Low.

attic antennas depend on building materials and if you are aiming through the roof material or out the gable end. you will potentially loose 1/2 to 2/3 of the signal with the antenna inside, so look for an antenna that is good for 2 to 3 times your actual distance.
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-08-2009, 09:03 AM
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At 9', the smallest that I would go would be 46", which I have due to the room configuration and waf. A 42" set would be a major disappointment in my book in my main viewing room. If price is an issue, look at some of the 720p plasmas out there, you can usually find a 50" set for under or around a grand + if you shop around.

Mike

On edit: Here is a Panasonic 50" Plasma for under $900 http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-VIER...9743933&sr=1-1

And here is a 50" Samsung Plasma for under $1000, http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-PN50B4...9743933&sr=1-2
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-08-2009, 11:19 AM
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Please keep topic titles specific. Though it's kind of hard to do with this one, I gave it a shot and edited the title.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-10-2009, 07:20 PM
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The only lowband VHFs listed in your antennaweb were two down near the bottom of the list on 3 & 6. If you're only interested in the major channels shown in yellow & green, this VHF-Highband + UHF antenna pointed ~152° should work fine. Connect it to the TV with standard RG6 coaxial cable with F connectors. Outdoor antennas will usually work much better than an attic install, especially if your DFW home has radiant heat barrier roof insulation (foil) on the underside of the roof decking or a metal roof.
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-10-2009, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arxaw View Post

The only lowband VHFs listed in your antennaweb were two down near the bottom of the list on 3 & 6. If you're only interested in the major channels shown in yellow & green.

I second the suggestion of the HD7694P.
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post #11 of 13 Old 08-12-2009, 07:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info and recommendations! Very helpful.

@DrDon: Sorry about the title, I should have known better! Thanks for fixing for me.

@localnet: Great recommendations! Unfortunately, price is even more of an issue than that. Budget is more like $5-700, which is really gonna limit me to 42". Trying to find the absolute best deal I can, but like I said, great sound is way more important than great viewing. Here's what I'm currently looking at; I'd love to know your thoughts:

Panasonic TC-P42X1

Samsung PN42B450

(I hope those links work: they came from my Amazon cart...)

@arxaw and @TowerGuy: Just showing my ignorance here, but could you explain to me what the Winegard you recommended will do for me that the Channel Master 3016 or even the 3010 will not? I obviously don't know what to look for, but it looks like they'll easily do 20 miles on both bands. What else should I be looking for? Also, I was thinking I'd try the attic thing before I got out on the roof and spent more money to mount something up there. Is it even worth trying the attic thing? It would also make the wiring easier.

Anyone have any thoughts about my wiring issues (#3 & 4 above)? Still trying to figure out how to do my coax and speaker cable wiring.

Thanks again everyone, you're very kind and helpful!
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post #12 of 13 Old 08-12-2009, 07:51 AM
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All of your "yellow" & "green" channels at the top of your list are either UHF or highband VHF. The CM 3016 has huge elements for lowband VHF, which you don't need. There's no reason to buy an antenna with such long elements, when they won't do anything for the channels you're trying to receive. The longer elements might also increase the likelihood of FM harmonic interference on your high VHF channels.

I have no experience with the CM 3010, but I would still choose the HD7694P over it. The 3010 is multi-directional, which you do not need, since all your stations are in basically one direction. When that's the case, you should choose a more directional antenna, to reduce the chances of multipath and electrical interference.

There are exceptions, but antennas that don't look like conventional antennas (lots of plastic parts) are often poor performers.
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post #13 of 13 Old 08-12-2009, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianoman723 View Post

3. I'm in an older house that has no cable wiring into my theater room. I've got decent attic access over the room, but the wall my tv will go on is inaccessible (at the roof line). How should I wire it? Take it outside and drill through masonry, or drop it down another wall and run cable around the baseboards?

go through another wall and run cable around the baseboards

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianoman723 View Post

4. The carpet is new and is attached about halfway up the baseboards. I can't jam speaker cable under the bb like i've done in the past. Any ideas on how to hide wiring to my surrounds and (possibly) a big antenna cable?

depends on what you want to look at.

you could find some wood trim for finishing rooms that is hollowed out in back (or route it out) an install that above the carpet.

you can buy cable routing channels in plastic, metal or wood and run that above the carpet.

you could peel back the carpet and use the space between the curve of the carpet and the right angle of the wall and floor.
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