Pittsburgh Antenna Recommedation - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-05-2014, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Question Pittsburgh Antenna Recommedation

I just got rid of cable a month ago since I mainly only watch the local networks, the main stations I want to pick up are the four major networks: NBC (WPXI), ABC (WTAE), CBS (KDKA), and FOX (WPGH). WPCW and PBS would also be nice but not necessary, any other channels would be a bonus. Will only be using it for two connections, one to the main living room TV and the other to my computers HD tuner card.

So far I have tried the small Winegard Freevision Outdoor HDTV Antenna and it did not pick up anything. Tried the RCA 751 and testing it indoors it would sometimes pick up signals from the 4 major networks and a couple of other minor channels but roof mounted it only picked up the CW. Need to come up with something before the NFL season starts.

This is my tvfool information: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e1c6c24a059554

Have been looking at either the AntennaCraft HBU33, Channel Master CM 4228 8-bay or the Terrestrial Digital DB8 Multi-Directional 'Bowtie' UHF DTV Antenna.

This is what I get from antennaweb.org:

No Stations were predicted for this address

Due to factors such as terrain and distance to broadcasting towers, signal strength calculations have predicted no television stations may be reliably received at this location.


The dtv reception map from http://transition.fcc.gov/mb/engineering/dtvmaps/ shows this for my location:


Can anyone recommend an antenna or am I out of luck and wasting my time with an outdoor antenna at my location?
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-05-2014, 12:10 PM
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Is there a chance you could rerun your chart for the height that you mounted your last antenna on the roof? You have that set at ground level. I know the terrain is an issue for that area, & complicating matters, is that you have some translators in your area in different directions, & might not be any stronger than the main signal. WPCW (CW) & WQED (PBS) are your only VHF stations, while the top 4 are on UHF. The antennacraft HBU33 is a good start at looking for a bigger antenna, as you're going to need more gain for the terrain weakening the signals in your area. You might want to also look at a rotator, due to the stations coming from different directions, or get multiple antennas, & have A/B switches to switch from one antenna to another. Before I give any further recommendations, rerun your TV Fool chart with an actual height off the ground. The home I live in, the antenna can go no higher than 20 feet off the ground, though I have 3: separate VHF & UHF antennas hooked to a pre-amp for Chicago (Antennacraft CS600, which I bought for a Class A RF 4 station & Antennas Direct DB8, pointed in one direction, while a single 2 bay UHF only antenna is pointed for a PBS station south of me). Before I go any further, if you get any of Antennas Direct (Digital Terrestrial) 2, 4, or 8 bay antennas, just as a heads up, they make no claim that they work for VHF-Hi, & most models have the 75ohm transformer made to reject VHF signals.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-05-2014, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Dave, it is a single story house so it was mounted at a height of about 20 feet. http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e1c6c641303653

Also the Winegard FL6550A FlatWave Air Outdoor HDTV Antenna has a lot of positive reviews and on the Winegard site it shows that it is best for weak signal areas, any good or is that antenna just a gimmick?
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-05-2014, 07:47 PM
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I have a TV Fool report that looks similar to yours and I receive lots of stations. In this situation you need the highest gain antennas possible, they need to be fairly high and they cannot look directly into any vegetation or buildings as those are a signal killers. If you can meet those requirements then you have a reasonable chance to receive the stations you want. My antennas are pictured in the link below.
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-05-2014, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post
I have a TV Fool report that looks similar to yours and I receive lots of stations. In this situation you need the highest gain antennas possible, they need to be fairly high and they cannot look directly into any vegetation or buildings as those are a signal killers. If you can meet those requirements then you have a reasonable chance to receive the stations you want. My antennas are pictured in the link below.
You have an impressive setup. I wish I had a setup similar to yours. That similar setup would be UHF only, because the next nearest market to me is South Bend Indiana, & they're a UHF only market. With my 2 Winegard HD9032 antennas I bought back in 2011, & I once tried it with them mounted with one at the highest point, then the other 3 - 4 feet down, then wired together, and all I got for Chicago stations were the full power stations, & LPTV station WWME-LD (this antenna is way too directional to pick up the other LPTV stations0. When I tried the same antennas pointed toward South Bend, I got nothing during the day, but at night, I got WSBT-TV on virtual & RF 22. I sometimes got WNIT on RF 35 (VC 34.1). That was all I got. For now, I have replaced the UHF Winegards or a single Antennas Direct DB8 (original DB8 ), & I get more with that. If I can buy the house that's across from my Grandma's house, I plan to have a tower installed on the property, & I'll get the Antennas Direct 91XG antennas (might use 4 of them, as South Bend stations are a bit weak in some spots of the neighborhood). I'll have to wait & see on that one.


Back to the original topic; the new TV Fool didn't improve that much. Based on what Calaveras mentioned, there's a good chance you can get nearly all your stations, but you might have to go with a bigger antenna than what you asked about. You might have to go with the Antennacraft HBU44 or 55, or the Winegard HD7697 in order to pull in all those stations on a combo antenna. As for your recommendation on the Winegard FL6550A FlatWave Air Outdoor HDTV Antenna, it might work for most to all UHF stations, but I would not expect it to get your 2 VHF-Hi stations. If you go with this antenna, then you'll need to add the Antennacraft Y10-7-13 antenna to the combination for VHF. Since you have no VHF-LO stations nearby, don't even ask about any all channel antennas from Antennacraft, or Winegard (the only 2 they still make are the HD7084 & HD8200U). That's just a waste of antenna for a part of the band that you won't get.
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-06-2014, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, I decided to order the Winegard FL6550A to see how it works. I will be extremely happy if all I can pick up with it is the 4 major networks.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-06-2014, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vader29 View Post
Thanks guys, I decided to order the Winegard FL6550A to see how it works. I will be extremely happy if all I can pick up with it is the 4 major networks.
Please report back. I will be amazed if that antenna receives all your stations in your situation. Anything short of a large and high antennas is unlikely to get the stations you want. There's no such thing as a magic antenna and the FL6550A would have to be such an antenna.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-03-2014, 05:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Update:

I have tried several antennas over the past few weeks and every one of the antennas that were small enough to fit in the house picked up signals much better in the house than they did when installed on the roof, the Winegard FL6550A was the best of the ones I tried as it picked up the 4 major network channels at different times but still had freezes and sometimes would go out completely installed inside, installed on the roof and it only picked up one channel, the CW. Tried a large yagi type antenna on the roof and could only pick up a couple of stations that kept freezing up. Last antenna I tried was the Antennas Direct ClearStream 2V Long-Range Antenna and it only picked up a couple of channels with lots of freezing up.

I finally got frustrated with fooling with the antennas and reordered cable tv and signed a one year deal at 57 bucks a month for basic with HD and a PVR, so my experiment to cut the cable unfortunately didn't work.
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