OTA Advice (Brownsburg, IN) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-01-2013, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I've just spent the past 2 hours combing through this forum and I think I've learned something (which is new for me). Anyway, I'm late to the cord-cutters party but we're getting ready to ditch Uverse in favor of the Netflix/Hulu+/OTA combo. I'd really like to have an OTA antenna that feeds the whole house.

Here's my TV Fool report.
And this map should give you an idea of my home's orientation to true North.

From what I've gathered reading through the forums, this is easily achievable by running a single coax from the roof or attic mounted antenna to a splitter. Then, run coax from the splitter to each television. Seems easy enough.

Here are my questions:
  1. What sort of antenna should I be looking at? I have no problem with either a roof or attic mounted unit (it would be nice to be able to reuse the existing DISH base that's still on the roof if possible.)
  2. From what I can tell on my report, it would appear that an antenna for me is best mounted on the East/Northeast side of my home. If you look at the map above, you'll notice that we have a few large trees over there. Is this a big problem?
  3. Based on my report, will I need any sort of amplification? If so, what would I need?
  4. I have one television of the 3 I'm hooking up that is pretty old (10 years or so). Do I need a converter to allow it to "see" the channels coming from the OTA antenna? Where would I purchase such a converter?

Finally, if I wanted to include a whole house OTA PVR/DVR system, how would this be accomplished? Would I connect the PVR to the splitter as if it were another TV set? I'll admit my ignorance on this issue as I've not yet scoured the forums regarding OTA PVR/DVR solutions.

Thank you in advance for any advice you can send my way. I want to make sure I've researched thoroughly and am prepared before cutting the Uverse cord completely or the wife might kill me.

- Chappy
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-01-2013, 04:38 PM
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I am not getting any connection to your TV Fool report. As for information on a converter for the older TV, there is a entire section here on the forum titled CSEB. Some are still available new and many now show up on Craigslist, etc.
The tuner for a PVR would indeed be connected just as an extra TV. I have struggled to record OTA HD from the beginning and tried several products. Again there is a section of our forum devoted to this subject. I finally have settled on the original Tivo "HD" model. It requires a monthly fee or large upfront "lifetime" activation fee but as you will read, the lesser know recorders all seem to have many bugs and shortcomings. Beware of the fact that the Tivo Premiere model is known to have a less robust tuner for OTA than the older "HD" model (I have a Premiere in the closet as proof) and the Tivo 4 is only for cable TV. I do not know much about PC solutions for recording OTA in HD, but have read several expressions that one must be willing to make it somewhat of a hobby. The subject in that section quickly gets over my head, but I am certainly no computer expert.
Recheck your TV Fool link and I am sure you will get some antenna recommendations.
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-01-2013, 07:24 PM
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TVFool appears to have gone offline sometime earlier today. We'll have to wait for it to return to see the signal plot.
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-02-2013, 03:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChappyEight View Post

  1. What sort of antenna should I be looking at? I have no problem with either a roof or attic mounted unit (it would be nice to be able to reuse the existing DISH base that's still on the roof if possible.)
  2. From what I can tell on my report, it would appear that an antenna for me is best mounted on the East/Northeast side of my home. If you look at the map above, you'll notice that we have a few large trees over there. Is this a big problem?
  3. Based on my report, will I need any sort of amplification? If so, what would I need?
  4. I have one television of the 3 I'm hooking up that is pretty old (10 years or so). Do I need a converter to allow it to "see" the channels coming from the OTA antenna? Where would I purchase such a converter?

Based on your tvfool report, you should not need anything big. Also you should not need an amp. If you want to use the existing DISH base, look at the RCA ANT751. The trees should not be an issue, just make sure it points to the ENE.
You will need a digital to analog ATSC converter box for your 10 year old tv. They are a dime a dozen, you can find them anywhere. Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Amazon, Ebay, etc

Can't help you with the DVR as I never had one.
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-02-2013, 06:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank all of you so much for the help. So, mikepier, is the RCA preferred over something like this http://www.amazon.com/Antennas-Direct-C2-V-CJM-ClearStream-Outdoor/dp/B007RH5GZI/ref=pd_cp_e_2 ? Makes no difference to me, just noticed it also had very good reviews on Amazon.

Since I don't need a preamp, can I safely assume that I can bring the coax into my basement and connect it to a standard splitter to then go to each television set?

A splitter like this: http://www.amazon.com/RCA-4-Way-Signal-Splitter-VH49/dp/B00005T3EW/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1359815954&sr=1-4&keywords=tv+splitter+4+way

As opposed to this: http://www.amazon.com/Antennas-Direct-CDA4-Distribution-Amplifier/dp/B0082ZJNW6/ref=sr_1_15?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1359815954&sr=1-15&keywords=tv+splitter+4+way

Again, thanks so much!
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-02-2013, 07:22 AM
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I would be a bit concerned about reception of those outer angle stations at 52 and 158 degrees. Does anyone have information on which of the two antennas that have been suggested so far provide the greatest beamwidth?
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-02-2013, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChappyEight View Post

Thank all of you so much for the help. So, mikepier, is the RCA preferred over something like this http://www.amazon.com/Antennas-Direct-C2-V-CJM-ClearStream-Outdoor/dp/B007RH5GZI/ref=pd_cp_e_2 ? Makes no difference to me, just noticed it also had very good reviews on Amazon.

Since I don't need a preamp, can I safely assume that I can bring the coax into my basement and connect it to a standard splitter to then go to each television set?

A splitter like this: http://www.amazon.com/RCA-4-Way-Signal-Splitter-VH49/dp/B00005T3EW/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1359815954&sr=1-4&keywords=tv+splitter+4+way

As opposed to this: http://www.amazon.com/Antennas-Direct-CDA4-Distribution-Amplifier/dp/B0082ZJNW6/ref=sr_1_15?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1359815954&sr=1-15&keywords=tv+splitter+4+way

Again, thanks so much!

Either antenna got good reviews. The ANT751 is a bit cheaper.

The regular 4 way splitter for $4 is what you need, not the amplified splitter.
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-02-2013, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister B View Post

I would be a bit concerned about reception of those outer angle stations at 52 and 158 degrees. Does anyone have information on which of the two antennas that have been suggested so far provide the greatest beamwidth?

Good point. Fortunately the stations at those locations are MyN and Ion, 2 stations that don't have much on anyway.. But since the main stations are only 10 miles away, I bet if the OP splits the difference between MyN and ION, he should get everything. otherwise worst case, unless he gets a rotor, he is going to have to decide which station is not important to have, and aim the antenna more towards the desired station.
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-04-2013, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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My sincerest thanks to the 3 of you for the quick responses. I'll pick up the RCA, save a few bucks, and give it a shot this weekend.

Thanks again for the info!
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-04-2013, 01:25 PM
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Antennas with the broadest beamwidth available (e.g. 2-Bay, 4-Bay, C2, C4) are going to have NULLS directed towards BOTH directions when pointed midway between stations located close to right angles to each other (80-100 degrees). A-D DB8E has a pair of individually rotatable 4-Bays, which can be splayed to widen the beamwidth:
http://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_files/attachmentlibrary/Technical%20Data%20PDF%27s/DB8E-TDS.pdf
Or build your own with a pair of (whatever) antennas interconnected by an RF Combiner (which loses about 4 dB NOT shown in A-D's Gain curves).
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