Combining cable feed with OTA antenna feed? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 11-30-2007, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Question: Is there a simple way to combine an OTA antenna signal with an existing cable feed (two signals, one cable) without degrading either signal, or am I stuck with running two cables? I'm interested in the OTA digital content, not the analog stuff. Is there a better way to do this that I am missing?

I live in a 85 year old three story house which was wired with coax to almost every room in the house from a basement JB during a major remodel 2 years ago. It would be a major pain to run a second cable, if I can avoid it. If I can run a feed from the new antenna to the basement JB I can then connect to almost every room in the house.

I have a new Sony 1080i TV with a built-in HD digital tuner, so I bought an UHF antenna to take advantage of the available OTA broadcast HD signals . I also currently subscribe to cable, but no HD, including some digital content that is accessible only through the Insight supplied digital STB. Because it is such a pain to use, and so few of the higher-up digital channels are of any interest to me, I rarely use the STB, and instead installed a simple splitter before the gateway and run one coax leg to the Sony RF input and the other leg to the gateway, then use the Sony analog tuner and remote 95% of the time. As is, using the Sony digital tuner searching for digital content on the Insight feed I can pick up a couple of odd-ball channels plus all (10 or 12) of the Insight music channels, which I am already paying for via the digital gateway charge.

Because I live in a three story house on top of a hill less than 12 miles from the hill where all of the local OTA digital content is broadcast, I bought one of the small Winegard SS-2000 Square Shooter UHF antennas. I'm going to try the antenna in the attic first, then move from there if it doesn't work well.

Thanks for your help.
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post #2 of 19 Old 11-30-2007, 08:46 AM
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CATV and OTA use the same frequencies. They can't use the same cable unless one was frequency converted before combining and converted back after separation. If equipment to do that was available, it would be very expensive.

Pat

While I may link to and mention products as examples, I don't recommend specific products.
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post #3 of 19 Old 11-30-2007, 09:12 AM
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Well, what about a 2 Way DiSEqC Switch, DiSEqC stands for Digital Satellite Equipment Controller. It's basically remote devices that listen for codes (and often voltage is sent) through the same coax cable you receive your signals on which prevents the need for additional wires, cables, etc. to control said devices. The system you're talking about is frequently used with people having 2+ dishes which goes to a DiSEqC 2+ way switch (often in their basement), and from there a single cable goes to the satellite top box. The user chooses which input they want through the receiver, it sends the code down the same coax cable to the switch in the basement which makes it happen. That would let put basically a remote AB switch in the basement and require no additional wires to your floor.

If you're currently a satellite user, and have a satellite receiver you may be in luck as far as I understand they wouldn't know the difference between the inputs and you'd just buy the $6 or so DiSEqC 2 way switch and find out what menu choices on your receiver will change the inputs. Otherwise, I'm not aware of a DiSEqC A B switch that can be controlled through the coax cable without a satellite receiver.
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post #4 of 19 Old 11-30-2007, 09:13 AM
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See - http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=945534

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

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post #5 of 19 Old 11-30-2007, 09:52 AM
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I just thought of a way you can build yourself a remote controlled A-B switch that uses the same coax cable you get your signal on.

The Eagle Aspen Rotor (do a search for ROTR100) comes with a remote control, and is a remote motor that takes signals & power through the same Coax cable that runs to your TV. You wouldn't even have to worry about providing power or signals to it, it's all done through the Coax currently running to your TV. You can get it at http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...p?prod=ROTR100

Many A B switches have buttons like http://www.amazon.com/HIGH-ISOLATION.../dp/B0002ZPIZK

It would be pretty easy to build your own invention where you can tell that motor to spin to 0 degree mark and will spin and end up pressing Button A, or tell it to spin to 45 degree mark and spin and end up pressing button B. A remote controlled AB switch controlled & powered through the coax. Probably be cool, easy, and fun.
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post #6 of 19 Old 11-30-2007, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greywolf View Post

CATV and OTA use the same frequencies. They can't use the same cable unless one was frequency converted before combining and converted back after separation. If equipment to do that was available, it would be very expensive.

That was my conclusion too. I was hoping for a silver bullet solution.
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post #7 of 19 Old 11-30-2007, 11:38 AM
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Radio Shack has a remote controllable A/B switch... I haven't used it myself, but I think some folks here have. Might be worth a look.
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post #8 of 19 Old 11-30-2007, 12:12 PM
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As for an A/B switch with a remote, Radio Shack has a nice one. It's item 15-1968. I picked one up yesterday and the only thing I could find lacking is an on/off on the remote, so the switch is powered on all the time. Otherwise, it works good.

Looking at the product page:
[url="http://radioshack.com/sm-remote-cont...i-2049643.html"[/URL]
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post #9 of 19 Old 11-30-2007, 12:15 PM
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Rats! I don't know how to do a link!
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post #10 of 19 Old 11-30-2007, 12:19 PM
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Just paste it in. Or create a t.i.n.y.u.r.l link for it and paste that into your post. Don't make it so hard is all I'm trying to say.

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

Being A Beacon of Knowledge in the darkness of FUD
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post #11 of 19 Old 11-30-2007, 12:35 PM
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Thanks, Scooper. Let me try that again...

http://radioshack.com/sm-remote-cont...i-2049643.html
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post #12 of 19 Old 11-30-2007, 02:37 PM
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Boy, after all that work trying to get the link hate to be the one to say the IR A B switch won't work here. If he could put the AB switch in the basement, and control it with the remote up on the 3rd floor that would be great but IR doesn't work like that.
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post #13 of 19 Old 11-30-2007, 03:17 PM
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With no direct line-of-sight, he would need an IR extender too. I guess I took that part for granted because I already have an IR extension setup for my other HT equipment.
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post #14 of 19 Old 11-30-2007, 05:03 PM
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It is possible. I have a Terk 44 OTA HD antenna mounted on top of my existing DirecTV antenna. Attached to the antenna is a box where the OTA antenna plugs in along with RG6 cables from the dish's LNBs. From there, it uses the remaining/existing satellite RG6 cable run to bring in the signal. Then at each TV, there is an OTA/Sattelite splitter. I have no signal degredation whatsoever, on either OTA HD or my DirecTv signal.

- Barry
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post #15 of 19 Old 12-01-2007, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfocussvt View Post

It is possible. I have a Terk 44 OTA HD antenna mounted on top of my existing DirecTV antenna.

Satellite and cable use different frequencies. It won't work with cable. In fact, if you go to DirecTV HD, you'll have problems because the new HD channels overlap OTA frequencies.

Pat

While I may link to and mention products as examples, I don't recommend specific products.
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post #16 of 19 Old 12-05-2007, 07:25 PM
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Good info.

- Barry
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post #17 of 19 Old 12-06-2007, 02:07 PM
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I think this thread just answered my question. But a friendly confirmation would be nice

Is there a way to combine my HD OTA signal and the Verizon FiOS (without a set top box) to the one (i repeat one) lousy RF input on my Vizio?

If the answer is no it looks like my Vizio is going back because I need 2 RF inputs in order to receive my HD OTA and unencrypted QAM channles from VZ FiOS. Now I know why it was only $599 vs Samsung $749 for the same size
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post #18 of 19 Old 12-06-2007, 06:14 PM
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Your other alternative is to get a 2nd tuner such as the Samsung DTB-H260F, and connect that to your TV via HDMI or component / RCA analog audio (maybe digital audio depending on the capabilities of your TV). Use your TV's builtin tuner for one, and the other tuner for the other source.

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

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post #19 of 19 Old 12-07-2007, 07:11 AM
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Rondon,

The short answer is no. Even, if you can get the 2 frequency ranges on the same cable without overlapping, the problem is switching the TV tuner back and forth between "air" and "cable" settings. Most TVs require you to rescan all the channels when changing. I have a tv that doesn't require a rescan and its still a PITA.
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