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post #1 of 85 Old 11-21-2016, 08:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Mankato, MN: Antenna suggestions

Good Morning,

Right now, I have Consolidated Communications living in Mankato, MN, 56001. The other game in town is Charter. I am very unimpressed with the quality of HD channels (and WiFi). They are unwatchable on my projector/120" screen. It is serviceable on my 55" HDTV.

Really, I am ready to cut the cord. I was looking at getting an antenna for locals, but would need an external and even then, it might only pick up a few channels.

TVFOOL

Any coaching on how to get the locals with great picture on the cheap otherwise? We could live off of that, Netflix, and Hulu. I would like to cancel Consolidated and get just internet through Charter. We have a PS3, but I am about to get an Xbox One S. I know there are options there, but not sure how that works.

Thanks!

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post #2 of 85 Old 11-21-2016, 08:04 AM
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post #3 of 85 Old 11-21-2016, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
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post #4 of 85 Old 11-21-2016, 08:45 AM
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Interesting TV Fool report, a big list of low power stations that appear to all be translators for other stations. I'm going to assume that in that big list are all your network stations. All you really need is a good UHF antenna pointed at 268 degrees mounted outside. It would help if the antenna wasn't looking through a forest.

My first choice would be a DB8 type antenna with a DB4 as a second choice. A 91XG would also be good if you like that antenna style better. I'd add a Clearstream Juice preamp. Overload should not be a problem.

A DB8/4 would have a good chance of receiving channel 12 since it's so strong even though the antenna is not designed for high VHF.
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post #5 of 85 Old 11-21-2016, 08:58 AM
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K30FN-D is ABC via KSTP
k26cs is PBS
k34jx appears to be FOX
k41iz is CBS

Rabbit Ears translator list: http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...callsign=13838
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post #6 of 85 Old 11-21-2016, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
K30FN-D is ABC via KSTP
k26cs is PBS
k34jx appears to be FOX
k41iz is CBS

Rabbit Ears translator list: http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...callsign=13838
As a newb to this, does that mean that the yellow encompasses HD network channels? I could try an attic antenna? The Mrs. is very anti outside antenna to the point where she'd make me "go without", lol.

The neighborhood I specifically live in comes up the same as just the zip code. It is a newer development with few mature trees right along a major highway. I have a rambler and am even unsure how I would get a cable from the antenna to the tv, etc.

Originally, I thought it'd be easier than this as I live in a decent size town, lol.
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post #7 of 85 Old 11-21-2016, 10:14 AM
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If you mean the yellow in my post, that is just a hyperlink. The colors in the TVFool link are explained at the bottom of the page.

Yeah, you can try an attic antenna. Just remember that attics are multipath nightmares and the composition of your roof and shingles can affect things. Finding the sweet spot in an attic can take some time.. and a lot of trips up and down the ladder.

The reason a more specific TVFool is helpful is that your exact location might be higher or lower than the average for the zip code and that will affect things.

Rambler?

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post #8 of 85 Old 11-21-2016, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
If you mean the yellow in my post, that is just a hyperlink. The colors in the TVFool link are explained at the bottom of the page.

Yeah, you can try an attic antenna. Just remember that attics are multipath nightmares and the composition of your roof and shingles can affect things. Finding the sweet spot in an attic can take some time.. and a lot of trips up and down the ladder.

The reason a more specific TVFool is helpful is that your exact location might be higher or lower than the average for the zip code and that will affect things.

Rambler?
Rambler = 1 floor and a full basement. My house doesn't sit high.

I meant the yellow at TVFOOL. My neighbor is wanting to try the same thing, and very ok with drill holes throughout his floors. Me, not so much, lol.
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post #9 of 85 Old 11-21-2016, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarpNinja View Post
As a newb to this, does that mean that the yellow encompasses HD network channels? I could try an attic antenna? The Mrs. is very anti outside antenna to the point where she'd make me "go without", lol.

Your location dictates what you need for an antenna, not what the wife wants. You can try any antenna you'd like located anywhere you'd like. Maybe you'll be lucky. My antenna recommendation above should be a slam dunk. Signals will be weaker with an attic antenna and multipath can become an issue.

Colors in the TV Fool report indicate what sort of antenna they think you'll need. They say "yellow" needs at least an attic antenna. My recommendation is a little more conservative.
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post #10 of 85 Old 11-21-2016, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

Rambler?
I think it might be called a Ranch in other areas??
Anyway I also second a roof antenna, especially for the Mankato area. As was said I guess you could try a attic mount but that would be best if it were pointed towards the gable end(not thought the shingles and roofing) and preferably as close to the gable as possible(not in the middle of your attic) but again for your area I really feel a roof antenna is going to be your only choice.
In our area I also dislike mounting my antenna outside and have suffered with a attic installation, I live relatively close to the stations and tend to get occasional breakups and low signal from a couple channels. Note due to the layout of my house I have to go though the shingles as my gable ends point totally in the wrong direction I use a 8 bay bowtie which is quite a bit better than my previous UHF/VHF antenna but still not perfect, almost entirely because of my attic mount situation.

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post #11 of 85 Old 11-21-2016, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
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My friend said he pulls off this tower: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...dfafedb41df981

He is technically in 56003, but it might be worth a shot.
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post #12 of 85 Old 11-22-2016, 07:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I have Charter coming for just internet tonight. I am hoping the tech will be helpful enough to show me if I have a way to connect outside that would send signal to all the TV jacks, if I got an antenna. My concern is that that is how they will route the internet too - maybe you can't do that and receive channels from an antenna?

Meanwhile, I confirmed that I get no locals with Sling or Playstation Vue. That stinks because I only really need one local - just enough for weather warnings, etc. The only thing we are missing regular viewing wise will be footbal.

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post #13 of 85 Old 11-22-2016, 07:42 AM
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Neither report is very accurate because they use a zip code which covers a large area. The reason why tvfool can't resolve your address is because it is in a new construction area not yet listed in the Google map data base that tvfool uses.

For a more accurate report you need to use the tvfool interactive map browser and move the cursor, by drag and drop, to your antenna location. Enter the antenna height. As you move the cursor, you will see the coordinates change to follow the cursor. You can use the coordinates in a regular tvfool report or click on Make Radar Plot >> at the upper right corner of the map to generate a report.
http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?opti...pper&Itemid=90

A report using 56001 is centered on 44.163578,-93.9994, the Historic Blue Earth County Courthouse, E Hickory St and S 5th St.

As you zoom in, you can choose map or satellite view. You can turn on the green signal lines. In satellite view you can choose vertical view or bird's eye view. You can turn off the street names (Labels) to protect your identity.
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
I'm confused. You posted:



So, are you getting cable or not?
I am getting internet through Charter - 60mbps - and will hardwire smart TVs/devices. The rest of the house will be on WiFi.

I will be canceling my WIFI only and cable plan from Consolidated Communications.

So, as of tomorrow, I have just internet through Charter and nothing else.
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Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
Neither report is very accurate because they use a zip code which covers a large area. The reason why tvfool can't resolve your address is because it is in a new construction area not yet listed in the Google map data base that tvfool uses.

For a more accurate report you need to use the tvfool interactive map browser and move the cursor, by drag and drop, to your antenna location. Enter the antenna height. As you move the cursor, you will see the coordinates change to follow the cursor. You can use the coordinates in a regular tvfool report or click on Make Radar Plot >> at the upper right corner of the map to generate a report.
http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?opti...pper&Itemid=90

A report using 56001 is centered on 44.163578,-93.9994, the Historic Blue Earth County Courthouse, E Hickory St and S 5th St.

As you zoom in, you can choose map or satellite view. You can turn on the green signal lines. In satellite view you can choose vertical view or bird's eye view. You can turn off the street names (Labels) to protect your identity.

We are new, but my next door neighbor is not...http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...dfaf4384786107
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post #16 of 85 Old 11-22-2016, 08:17 AM
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Ok, I edited your post for clarification.

Still, you can't mix internet and OTA on the same cable.

Depending on how your house is wired, you can probably repurpose all of the cable runs for OTA except for the one Charter uses for your cable modem. If yours is a newer home, then you most likely have a "home run" box outside of your house where each room's cable run originates. Could be inside the home, too, which makes it a little more difficult. Hopefully, the runs are labeled. If not, Google "cable tracer" for a number of cheap devices that'll help you figure out which run goes where. Daunting, but not impossible.
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Ok, I edited your post for clarification.

Still, you can't mix internet and OTA on the same cable.

Depending on how your house is wired, you can probably repurpose all of the cable runs for OTA except for the one Charter uses for your cable modem. If yours is a newer home, then you most likely have a "home run" box outside of your house where each room's cable run originates. Could be inside the home, too, which makes it a little more difficult. Hopefully, the runs are labeled. If not, Google "cable tracer" for a number of cheap devices that'll help you figure out which run goes where. Daunting, but not impossible.
Thanks for the help. If I am reading it correctly, this would mean that I would have WiFi, but the cable for the TV would be only OTA?

If that's true, I'll experiment with the WiFi quality. An issue we have with Consolidated is everything has to be WiFi and it stinks in both range and speed. I think it is like 5mbps. They also insisted the router go in a store room, which makes the upstairs range hideous. My hope is by switching to Charter I have better internet to handle increased streaming. We would never have more than two devices going at a time in all reality, though.

Pricing out the most basic cable plans from each, they ran about over $60 a month for HD on three tvs. This seems absurd to me and would have me with the same bill I currently own.
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post #18 of 85 Old 11-22-2016, 09:10 AM
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Sounds like you would be better off BUYING your own Wi-Fi Router....high speed AND longer range due to use of MULTIPLE Antennas that form higher Gain Beams to/fm attached WiFi Devices....look for three or FOUR Whip Antennas....and AVOID Routers with INTERNAL Antennas.

ALSO, there are Wi-Fi REPEATERS that can be used to extend coverage....
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Sounds like you would be better off BUYING your own Wi-Fi Router....high speed AND longer range due to use of MULTIPLE Antennas that form higher Gain Beams to/fm attached WiFi Devices....look for three or FOUR Whip Antennas....and AVOID Routers with INTERNAL Antennas.

ALSO, there are Wi-Fi REPEATERS that can be used to extend coverage....
We tried a different router and a WiFi extender. We could get it working throughout the house, but had issues with streaming still. Partly due to speed and partly due to devices not playing well with the routers.

Being that we wanted to ditch cable anyways, I figured it was worth a couple bucks more for the better internet.

Where I screwed up was figuring it would be easy for me to get OTA, lol.
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post #20 of 85 Old 11-22-2016, 10:08 AM
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Thanks for the accurate signal report and the internet clarification. A small change in location can make a big difference in the signals. We want to give you good advice.
Quote:
Where I screwed up was figuring it would be easy for me to get OTA, lol.
I think your WiFi is going to be more trouble than your OTA, and you need OTA for the best HD with a 120 inch screen. The alternative is separate cables for internet and OTA.
Quote:
As a newb to this, does that mean that the yellow encompasses HD network channels?
Not all the channels you can receive will be HD. What networks are most important to you?
Quote:
I could try an attic antenna? The Mrs. is very anti outside antenna to the point where she'd make me "go without", lol.
The signal loss in the attic is difficult to predict. I think you should try a temporary setup there before drilling any holes. First try the antenna without a preamp, then add a preamp if necessary. The results of the test will determine what to try next. If you can't make the attic work, you will need to go outside which is more trouble because the antenna should be grounded.

If the antenna is outside, the coax shield should be grounded with a grounding block that is connected to the house electrical system ground with 10 gauge copper wire for electrical safety and to reject interference. For further compliance with the electrical code (NEC), the mast should also be grounded in a similar manner to drain any buildup of static charge which will tend to discourage a strike, but the system will not survive a direct strike.


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What networks are most important to you?

It would be great to get NBC, CBS, and FOX. Those have football. Even just our local FOX/CBS would work. That way, I'd at least get the Vikings for now...and local news/weather.

Otherwise, Netflix and Hulu (plus whatever else web based) will cover almost all of our viewing needs. My kids almost only watch Netflix, and my wife can find all she watches on Hulu.

I am pretty sure all my standards are easily found online too, but I'll miss Destination Truth. I tend to watch those two as well.

It would appear I might get KEYC, which is our local FOX/CBS with even an indoor antenna.

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post #22 of 85 Old 11-22-2016, 10:54 AM
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KEYC: CBS 1080i, Fox 480i
K43JE: 3ABN 480i
K30FN, ABC 720p, Hereos & Icons 480i
K21DG: NBC 1080i
K26CS: PBS 1080i
K34JX: IND 720/480
K14KE: Fox 720p
K41IZ: CBS 1080i, Fox 480i
K44AD: IND 720/480
K32GX: CW 1080i
K29IE: PBS 1080i
K16GC: Local 480i
K49HE: ION 720p
K24JV: Rev'n
K20LP: Vibrant TV
K31KV: Retro TV
K48KJ: 3ABN
K35KI: Blue Highways TV
K40BU: YouToo America
K23MF: CTV2
K45LJ: TBN


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destination_Truth

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Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
 
KEYC: CBS 1080i, Fox 480i
K43JE: 3ABN 480i
K30FN, ABC 720p, Hereos & Icons 480i
K21DG: NBC 1080i
K26CS: PBS 1080i
K34JX: IND 720/480
K14KE: Fox 720p
K41IZ: CBS 1080i, Fox 480i
K44AD: IND 720/480
K32GX: CW 1080i
K29IE: PBS 1080i
K16GC: Local 480i
K49HE: ION 720p
K24JV: Rev'n
K20LP: Vibrant TV
K31KV: Retro TV
K48KJ: 3ABN
K35KI: Blue Highways TV
K40BU: YouToo America
K23MF: CTV2
K45LJ: TBN
This is literally all the locals and then some. I am going to try and see what happens with an indoor antenna. I am assuming we might get KEYC since it is "green" and that to do any more, I'd need to get a large antenna and begin navigating that.

Should the indoor work upstairs, I'd be sans cable in the basement with the projector, but if we do something like Playstation VUE, I could get some football down there.
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Can you run coax to the basement?

Do you have a tuner for the projector? What inputs does the projector have, HDMI or component?

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Can you run coax to the basement?

Do you have a tuner for the projector? What inputs does the projector have, HDMI or component?
Coax is ran to the basement, yes. I am just not sure what I have hooked up outside to plug an antenna into. I don't think I have a tuner (Epson 3500). It has HDMI and component.
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post #26 of 85 Old 11-22-2016, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Ugh...we have coax ran, but not extra Ethernet. Still, across the house on wifi I am 65mbps!

Still not sure about tackling locals...will try to get an indoor antenna to demo in the hopes of getting just one. Because I am using coax for my internet, I confirmed I can't run an antenna hard wired to the house and split.
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post #27 of 85 Old 11-23-2016, 03:15 PM
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I forgot to add the virtual channel numbers which will probably show on the screen.

KEYC (12.1): CBS 1080i, Fox 480i
K43JE (43.1): 3ABN 480i
K30FN (5.1): ABC 720p, Hereos & Icons 480i
K21DG (11.1): NBC 1080i
K26CS (2.1): PBS 1080i
K34JX (9.1): Fox, Myn 720p
K14KE (14,1): Fox 720p
K41IZ (12.1): CBS 1080i, Fox 480i
K44AD (5.1): IND 720/480
K32GX (23.1): CW 1080i
K29IE (2.1): PBS 1080i
K16GC (16.1): Local 480i
K49HE (41.1): ION 720p
K24JV (24.1): Rev'n
K20LP (20.1): Vibrant TV
K31KV (31.1): Retro TV
K48KJ (48.1): 3ABN
K35KI (35.1): Blue Highways TV
40BU (40.1): YouToo America
K23MF (23.1): CTV2
K45LJ (45.1): TBN

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post #28 of 85 Old 11-23-2016, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Still not sure about tackling locals...will try to get an indoor antenna to demo in the hopes of getting just one.
You can try a DB4e inside, aimed at 250 to 260 degrees. If it doesn't work inside even if you add a preamplifier like the Channel Master 7778 or the Antennas Direct Juice, it would be suitable for outside.

You have some strong local FM transmitters that might interfere with the reception of KEYC on real channel 12. If it is a problem, you can add an FM filter.

http://www.fmfool.com/modeling/tmp/e...e/Radar-FM.png

Please let us know the results of your tests on this same thread.

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post #29 of 85 Old 11-28-2016, 05:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Update:

On Thanksgiving, I swung by Best Buy. I picked up a Roku 3 for half off, and as a result, could get 40% an antenna. I picked up a Terk (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/terk-ind...?skuId=5489501) to test.

I followed the directions and so happen to have my TV near a large west-facing window. I tried several different ways to pick up any channels with no luck.

I returned the antenna and the guy at customer services said that he sees half of the antennas bought returned for not picking up a signal. This pretty much confirms that an indoor antenna will not even get the closest KEYC channel.

My neighbor had drilled a hole to feed a coaxial from outside to this utility room to his TV's. He did this, but isn't currently using an antenna. I am going to check it out as I will have to plan on on something in my garage (my house faces east) or outside. Not sure I will get to that soon as it is getting cold here.

I did sign up for trials of Hulu Plus and Sling TV. I am not super impressed with Sling. I don't get any locals due to location so only get Monday night and Thursday night football. I thought the NFL Red Zone picture was pretty poor for the football parts. Streaming other content like tv and movies that were on demand looked good, though. That being said, it buffered a lot and I was getting 60+ mbps.

At this point, I think we will continue to use Netflix and pay for Hulu Plus. I really only "need" the KEYC station to come in. I have Verizon, so can watch football on my phone (boring) if worst comes to worst for now.

The techs who put in the Charter internet did confirm that the coaxial won't work for both internet and OTA, so I will have to work around that.
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post #30 of 85 Old 11-28-2016, 12:27 PM
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Thanks for the update. You should be able to receive KEYC at your location, but that Terk antenna isn't the right one to do it. It is primarily a UHF antenna but KEYC is on VHF-High real channel 12. It does have an amplifier, but the antenna element itself isn't very good for VHF; the amplifier doesn't compensate for that deficiency .....GIGO.

It is possible that the Terk amp was overloaded by your very strong local FM transmitter for KYSM, making reception of KEYC impossible.

However, the rest of your local channels are UHF, and you should be able to receive them with the right antenna in the right location.

The tvfool website has been down, so your reports are not available but I saved the images below.
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