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HDTV Technical

urge26's Avatar urge26
08:31 AM Liked: 10
post #1 of 4
05-04-2011 | Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2005
Hey guys, I'm looking for some help and I don't really know where to turn with this or if there is anything I can do.

Here is my situation. I've got DirecTV and I'm looking to run both satellite and OTA on the same cable runs in the house.

So I ordered some diplexers from Solid Signal (Perfect Vision PVDP3 High Grade Diplexer (PVDP3)) and built a coat hanger antenna (such as

We've got a tri-level home, so over the weekend I headed up to the attic to install everything.

Ok, I'm going to sound like a complete newb without details, but I can get them if needed. We've got 3 televisions in the home that are hooked up to DirecTV, all in HD. When I went up to the attic, I noticed that there are two cables going from the satellite dish into the internal cabling of the home. Unhooked one of the cables and the television upstairs went out, unhooked the other cable and the television in the lowest level went out. The third cable going from the Satellite dish to the kitchen is a separate run not going through the attic, so that explains the other television. So I'm good with identifying all of the cable runs, I just don't know the length of all of them.

So here is the first test I ran.

Upstairs television

- Hooked up coat hanger antenna to the antenna port of the diplexer, satellite cable to the satellite port. Hook up another diplexer on the television side.
- First I checked satellite and that was working great, no problems.
- Second I did a scan on the antenna side. Scan worked perfect picked up all stations in Dayton, all stations in Cincinnati, and the stations in Oxford. In fact it picked up more than what said that I was capable of, so I really really pleased so far.
- Signal strength was solid, no drop-outs on the stations I observed (which was most of them).
- So on the upstairs TV, I'm really happy that everything has worked out as I wanted.

Lowest level television

- Unhook the setup from the upstairs television.
- Hooked up coat hanger antenna to the antenna port of the diplexer, satellite cable to the satellite port. Hook up another diplexer on the television side.
- Did a check on the satellite downstairs and that was working, no problems.
- Did a scan on the antenna side and it only picks up a couple of the Cincinnati channels.
- So I find this signal amplifier in the attic that the previous owners left: RCA VH140X 10db 4-Way Video Signal Amplifier/Splitter and I hook that up. Coat hanger antenna cable going into the input on that device, and coax from one of the outputs into the antenna port on the diplexer.
- Did another scan on the antenna side and it picks up about 30 of the 42 channels that my television upstairs picks up. Signal strength on the Dayton channels isn't solid (which makes sense since I'm in northern Cincinnati).
- Run another cable from a second output on the RCA amplifier into the Antenna side of the diplexer for the upstairs television, run the scan and the results from above are about the same. Upstairs television gets solid reception, and almost every single digital channel that I'm capable of receiving.

So at this point, I'm pretty sure that my build your own antenna is awesome at pulling in everything that I want and that the problem lies with the cable run going to the television in my lowest level. I don't have a very big house, so I can't imagine that the run is longer than 75 feet, I would guess anywhere from 40-100, not sure.

So, I jump on Amazon and order this: Winegard AP-8700 Preamplifier High Gain Low Noise 19 dB UHF 17 dB VHF for HDTV Antennas

You have to understand that I'm a bit of an idiot on this, so I probably was looking at the wrong thing since my antenna seems to be pulling in everything that I want without any problems. I go ahead and hook it up:

- Antenna plugged into the antenna input from the preamp, cable going from the "to power supply" to the splitter included, power running into that splitter and the output going into the antenna side of the diplexer downstairs (just the run going to the television in the lower level)
- Run the same scan as above and it picks up a couple of more stations (approximately 32 of the 42 upstairs), signal strength is a little more stable. This doesn't seem to be any better than the RCA amplifier and probably doesn't justify to me the 35 bucks I spent for that.

So, my main goal is this. I just want my lower level television to pick up all of the same channels my television upstairs can with the shorter cable run, at the same strength. I'm thinking about returning the Winegard AP-8700 Preamplifier, and picking up this: which is a distribution amplifier? Am I just wasting my time with this?
BCF68's Avatar BCF68
12:16 PM Liked: 19
post #2 of 4
05-04-2011 | Posts: 2,463
Joined: Apr 2009
First go here. Use your address and post the results. Address is hidden. Then we can help.
tylerSC's Avatar tylerSC
12:31 PM Liked: 100
post #3 of 4
05-04-2011 | Posts: 4,288
Joined: Jun 2010
That PCT/Channel Master amp is supposedly pretty good. But I can also recommend CE Labs 6001 low noise dist amp. The low noise makes a big difference on weak or distant channels. But it is only one port output so you would have to add a good splitter for multiple TVs.
urge26's Avatar urge26
12:42 PM Liked: 10
post #4 of 4
05-04-2011 | Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2005

Out of that group, all of the channels I'm trying to pick up are in the attic mounted except for 22 (roof) which I have no problems with that channel.

Thanks for the help gents!
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