Switching form Cable Cards to Antenna for HD Channels and have a few questions - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-07-2007, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I have started to look for a HDTV antenna. I have a Series 3 TiVo and I have had bad luck with the cable cards. My HD channels come in great most of the time but there are times where all I get is macroblocking with picture pixilation and audio dropouts.

I am hoping that a HD antenna will fix this problem.

I looked up the channels that are in my area and they are all yellow except 1 green one. Does the color determine what size antenna to get?

I would like to get an antenna that could go in the attic and preferably not use 120v to run it or a rotor. Also I would like to have a VHF, UHF and FM antenna all in one.

Does anyone have some input on what antennas would work well for my situation?

Thanks,
Eric

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post #2 of 7 Old 03-07-2007, 11:00 PM
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Some considerations:
Antennas come in many varieties, so make sure you get one that does both UHF and VHF if your local stations broadcast on both. FM isn't necessary at all for TV, but would be if you're hooking up a radio of course.

Mounting an antenna in the attic is better than having it in the TV room (it's higher, you can get a bigger and uglier antenna) but not as good as having it on the roof. Keep this in mind when shopping.

Antennas tend to be very directional. Antennaweb should tell you the approximate angle and distance of your local towers. If they're all clumped together, a Directional antenna would let you focus in on their signal. If they're in multiple directions, you can either choose not to bother with some or get a multi-directional antenna.

If you post your zip code, or a copy/paste of antennaweb's report, we can offer a little more insight.

Depending on how far the attic is from the TiVo, you might need a pre-amp to overcome signal loss in the wire.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-08-2007, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
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My zip code is 55448.
My Tivo is on the top floor so the coax will be less than 50'.
I would like to get a better reception with my radio so that is why I wanted FM as well.

Thanks

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post #4 of 7 Old 03-08-2007, 09:02 AM
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OK Great
It looks like all of your stations are broadcasting from the same area, except for one (KPXM). So, if you don't mind possibly not having KPXM, you can get a Directional antenna that'll point right at them.

They're all UHF now, but it's possible one or more might switch to VHF come 2009. I don't remember where the list of those is - hopefully someone else can chime in.

Since you're goingi in the attic, you might want to get a better antenna than antennaweb recommends. For example, they say Yellow (Small Directional). I'd beef that up a little -- a Medium Directional. Maybe a large if you want to overkill a little.

Something like this might fit: http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...?PROD=ANCM5646
Of course, grab a tape measure and run up to the attic and see what you can fit.

If that doesn't quite cut it, adding a pre-amp might help. I think 50 feet of cable might benefit from the amp.
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-08-2007, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info.
I believe that the coax run would be less than 30' now that I think about it.
Do antennas come with mounting hardware?
How would I know where to point it? Do I need a compass?


Is there anyone else who has any input or personal experience with a similar situation to mine?

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post #6 of 7 Old 03-08-2007, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Replacement View Post

I looked up the channels that are in my area and they are all yellow except 1 green one. Does the color determine what size antenna to get?

Basically yes, along with whether the antenna is directional or non-directional. Click on the words "yellow-vhf" or whatever in the Antenna Type column, and you'll get some details.

Quote:


How would I know where to point it? Do I need a compass?

Yes, a compass will help. That column isn't labeled "Compass Orientation" for nothing. 0 degrees is north, 90 is east, 180 is south, 270 is west, and 360 brings you back to north again. Interpolate as necessary for northeast, etc.

You may find that the optimum orientation is somewhat different from the actual direction to the transmitter, because of multipath interference (signals reflecting off nearby objects). So use the antennaweb direction as a starting point, and experiment by changing the direction a bit at a time and observing the reception quality and the signal meter on your TV or receiver.
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-09-2007, 05:20 AM
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If you punch your exact address into antennaweb, when you get to the screen detailing the channels there's a button "View Street Level Map"

It'll center right on your house, and "point" to each of the towers. So, without a compass, it'll give you an idea which way to turn.
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