Marshfield, MA - need help with antenna and wiring - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-04-2012, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
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OK I've started the process of cutting the cable and am halfway there. Got rid of the landline in favor of VOIP and cancelled the TV service. The last things to do are hook up an antenna for OTA HDTV and then build an HTPC to use as a DVR. I need help with antenna selection and wiring.

1. For the antenna, I'm planning an attic install using one of these (Antennas Direct ClearStream4 HDTV Antenna). Is this suitable given the attached signal map?

2. I'm planning on tying the signal into the existing house coax wiring - 6 runs in total of quad shield RG6, all terminating in the basement. I assume I will need an amplifier of some sort? Any suggestions as I know nothing about what is needed here.

3. I think the easiest wiring solution would be to run a single short line from the attic, to the one of the existing upstairs coax runs. Then I'd split the signal with a new connection to the existing wall plate and use that coax run to carry the signal to the basement where it could be split again to the other 5 lines. Would this work? Where would the amplifier go in this setup?

Any advice or suggestions of things I haven't thought of would be very welcome. Thanks in advance!!
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-05-2012, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Almost 200 views and no replies? Anyway, I've come up with a shopping list for this project:

1. Antenna (ClearStream4): $100
2. J-Mount: $20
3. Pre-amp (Winegard ANWI8700): $40
4. Coax (Monoprice 25', 12' and 3'): $8.60 + shipping
5. Splitter (Monoprice): $2.50 + shipping
6. Coax F-F coupler: $3.50

Total with shipping is $181.60. I don't think I'll hook up all 6 rooms now and instead just run 1 off the splitter and 1 additional from the basement. The pre-amp should compensate for the long runs but may not be necessary.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-05-2012, 07:58 AM
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You have 3 locals broadcasting in the high VHF band (Real channels 7 thru 13); WWDP, WNAC, WPRI. The antenna you're considering is designed for UHF-only. It might work, but I would choose a highband VHF+UHF antenna, especially since your signal will already be degraded by not installing outdoors. I would probably go with this antenna: http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=HBU22

With the right antenna, you may or may not even need amplification, especially if only initially running a 2-way split. But if you did, the high input HDP269 might be a better choice, as it is somewhat less subject to overload than the 8700. Another option would be a distribution amp.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-05-2012, 07:59 AM
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If you go with the C4, you can install one of our C2 VHF upgrade kits in place of one of the reflector panels. While not optimally located when done this way, the dipole works pretty well on the C4 in uncomplicated VHF situations.

Tech support for Antennas Direct
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-05-2012, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
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The VHF channels are dupes from Rhode Island and shopping so I'm not too concerned with them. I think the upgrade kit would be good post install if I changed my mind though.

Arxaw - For the amplifier, can you elaborate what you mean by high input and amp overload? I'm new to this tech...

Also, if I went with a UHF only antenna and later added a second VHF antenna with a combiner, does this cause any trouble with the pre-amp? I'm assuming the setup would be 2 antennas -> combiner -> pre-amp -> etc
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-05-2012, 02:41 PM
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When some of your signals are strong, certain amps that are better for weak signal fringe areas do not work well because the strong broadcast signals can overload the preamp, causing distortion to the signal. IOW, too much signal strength and distortion can kill reception.
The HDP269 might work better than the 8700, because it can take a higher signal input. Or, a distribution amp (added when needed) would be a good choice.

If you add a separate VHF antenna later, as opposed to a combo antenna, you may have a slight signal loss from the VHF/UHF combiner.
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-05-2012, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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OK thanks. I think I got a better idea of the setup now. I'll post again once everything is installed.
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