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post #15781 of 17836 Old 04-19-2012, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by LenL View Post

...I guess the best thing I can tell you is go to TVFOOL and plug in your exact address and your Antenna info and they will tell you the signals you are supposed to be getting and strength. You should see what you are supposed to be getting for 5.1 and 9.1 etc...

Thanks Len. I've been there and done that many times but not recently. So I just went again and checked it out as a result of your advise. Very interesting result, too.

Despite the fact that WNYW 5.1 is broadcasting at considerably higher power than WWOR 9.1 (MY9), it's considerably further down on the list. It comes in at -9.2 for me whereas MY9 is 8 places above it at -4.1

For comparison's sake, WNET 13.1 is 8 places above MY9 at +3.2. WLVT 39.1 is actually 2 places below WNET at +2.5, and that's a very strong station for me, even when I'm pointed toward Philly and not really toward Bethlehem. WNET is not a strong station for me at all. I'm on the edge of good reception for them and really can't get them without rather serious issues. It's watchable, but just barely.

Now, I know that WNYW's higher power might not mean much because they are broadcasting at a higher RF than MY9, and ya have to take both the RF and power into consideration (however that works), but TV Fool does reflect that I should be getting MY9 somewhat better -- maybe even considerably better -- than WNYW 5.1

Which is indeed the case.

So TV Fool does seem to confirm what I'm seeing at my place. I'm on the edge for MY9 but thankfully get it well enough, and I'm also on the bad side of the edge for WNYW 5.1, and thus can't quite pull it in.

For whatever reason.

AND

As I'm writing this, I now see George Molnar's post which seems to have a pretty good explanation as to why I'm seeing what I'm seeing.
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post #15782 of 17836 Old 04-19-2012, 09:40 AM
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My TV Fool Readings show that 11.1, 13.1, 9.1, 7.1, 4.1, 2.1 are all stronger than 5.1.

However my actual results are that 5.1 is my strongest station followed by 7.1 then 4.1 then 2.1 on my CM4228. I just barely get 11.1 and 13.1.

Like I said TVFOOL is not very reliable for me. It doesn't factor in everything and therefore can be quite wrong.
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post #15783 of 17836 Old 04-19-2012, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by George Molnar View Post

The difference in power amounts to 1.6 dB and if you get one and not the other you're pretty close to the "cliff." Your issue is more likely "multipath." ....

I nearly completed the following this morning but life intervened, so I'm posting it now.

Interesting that you've used the "cliff" analogy. I've previously posted on my problem; specifically, that I'm partially blocked from NYC stations by a ridge. Also, I posted (I think sometime last year) about the reception map I saw which indicated that I just happen to be in a particularly "dead spot" for NYC station reception. I was talking about my MY9 reception at that time. Can't recall what map I was looking at, but the post is there if I wanna find it.

I think it might have actually been MY9's map off the FCC site.

In any event, I have serious issues with NYC reception because of my particular geographic location. I'm considerably closer to NYC than to Philly, but because of my clear LOS to Philly (and Allentown/Bethlehem), I pretty much watch TV out of those locations and really only go to NCY for the NY Yankee games on MY9 or the occasional NY Giants football game on Fox, which I have to watch on MY9's substation, 5.2 (which is SD, not HD, unfortunately)

Other than wanting to watch the occasional NY Giants game on 5.1 (thus in HD) or the even rarer NY Yankee game there, I have no need for 5.1.

The only need for 5.1 on a Yankee game would be where Fox is carrying it as their Saturday game (obviously) and the Phillies are also being carried by Fox and thus also playing at the same time. Thus "Philly Fox" (WTXF ch 29.1) carries the Phillies and I thus can't watch the Yankees there as per usual.

I think that's maybe happened one time.

BTW, I only started this subject line recently because it appeared that my MY9 reception had improved since last Fall when they were still doing the work at the ESB. I assume that's been completed now and it looked to me like I might now have pretty solid MY9 reception at 84% with bumps up to 85, which is just fine by me. But time will tell as to whether or not my recent good reception was just good luck or weather related or whatever. I'm hoping that it's here to stay, but we shall see, I guess.
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post #15784 of 17836 Old 04-20-2012, 03:37 PM
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Folks, I knew this day would come but I did not expect it this soon. Cablevision just called to say that in less than a month they will force me to use a set top for basic cable. This is not what I want, I have too many drops and too many DVR's to make a cable box work. We wath very few cable progams, most of what we watch is network TV. I have done most of the prep for going OTA but I am in a bit of a panic. I have upgraded all the cable runs in my house with Belden top of line video cable, have installed a drop amp and have tested from my location (Pleasnatville, NY, about 35 to 40 miles from NYC) with a Radio Shack Amplified HDTV Indoor/Outdoor Directional Antenna. I get all the major network channels in HDTV. My problem is my house does not have an attic so I do not want to use an amplified antenna outdoors. I would prefer a non amplified antenna (the signal will be amplified at the drop amp). Can anyone here recommend an antenna or a supplier that I should use to get the right antenna. All I want to do is put up the antenna and connect the lead that is now connected to the Cablevision cable to the antenna.

Tony Plachy
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post #15785 of 17836 Old 04-20-2012, 04:12 PM
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I use an old Winegard (old because we've been using it for almost 27 years) with a rotor that is VHF-UHF. The drop amp is in the garage which sounds like what you want to do. The antenna is part of the Chromstar 2000 series, model CA-8100 with 79 active elements, RG-6 cable. It might be too big for your uses but ChannelMaster makes quite a few VHF-UHF antennas that might meet your needs depending on your TVFool location.
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post #15786 of 17836 Old 04-20-2012, 09:15 PM
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Tony,

We are in Ossining, not far from Pleasantville. Having said that everyone's situation is different, the main factors being elevation and obstructions. We are lucky in that our path to the ESB is mainly over water (the Hudson River) and the only obstructions we have are some close by mature trees. Our antenna is a 4-bay bow-tie model similar to the CM4221 (a UHF antenna) but does reasonably well with the VHF stations. It is mounted outdoors about 10 feet above roof level. It is not amplified, but we do have a distribution amp in the basement.

We get a solid signal for all the major stations. We have one TV that has trouble with 7 and 31, but another tuner pulls them in quite well - go figure! We wish we could get WLIW-21, but alas it is very weak here.

I'd consider the CM4221, or the Winegard equivalent. Depending on your situation, you could consider an 8-bay bow-tie, or a VHF/UHF yagi such as the Winegard HD-769 series.

I bought mine from Stark Electronics in Worcester, MA (they do ship).

Hope that helps!

Paul
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post #15787 of 17836 Old 04-20-2012, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.H View Post

Tony,

We are in Ossining, not far from Pleasantville. Having said that everyone's situation is different, the main factors being elevation and obstructions. We are lucky in that our path to the ESB is mainly over water (the Hudson River) and the only obstructions we have are some close by mature trees. Our antenna is a 4-bay bow-tie model similar to the CM4221 (a UHF antenna) but does reasonably well with the VHF stations. It is mounted outdoors about 10 feet above roof level. It is not amplified, but we do have a distribution amp in the basement.

We get a solid signal for all the major stations. We have one TV that has trouble with 7 and 31, but another tuner pulls them in quite well - go figure! We wish we could get WLIW-21, but alas it is very weak here.

I'd consider the CM4221, or the Winegard equivalent. Depending on your situation, you could consider an 8-bay bow-tie, or a VHF/UHF yagi such as the Winegard HD-769 series.

I bought mine from Stark Electronics in Worcester, MA (they do ship).

Hope that helps!

Paul

Paul, Thank you so much, lot of good information here. Stark looks like a very good source. Right now looking at CM 2020, but will review all options. Good news is we are on a hill very near the top.

Tony Plachy
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post #15788 of 17836 Old 04-21-2012, 05:28 AM
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Alp

I read your note 5 times and I still don't understand it and I think the people responding so far don't either:

1. You can't install in an attic
2. You don't want to install outdoors
3. You don't want to amplify the signal outside
4. you are 35-40 miles from the ESB

I really don't think you can use an indoor antenna from 35-40 miles out. If you do it would have to be too big to have near your TV. If you are successful let us know but I can only see and outdoor antenna working for you.
I'm 30 miles out an I could only get a signal that was worthwhile with an outdoor antenna and a preamp. But I am probably in a different situation.
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post #15789 of 17836 Old 04-21-2012, 05:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LenL View Post

Alp

I read your note 5 times and I still don't understand it and I think the people responding so far don't either:

1. You can't install in an attic
2. You don't want to install outdoors
3. You don't want to amplify the signal outside
4. you are 35-40 miles from the ESB

I really don't think you can use an indoor antenna from 35-40 miles out. If you do it would have to be too big to have near your TV. If you are successful let us know but I can only see and outdoor antenna working for you.
I'm 30 miles out an I could only get a signal that was worthwhile with an outdoor antenna and a preamp. But I am probably in a different situation.

Len, Sorry for the confusion, please see below:

1. I can't install in an attic (I do not have an attic)
2. I DO want to install outdoors
3. I will amplify the signal outside at my drop amp (distribution amp, cable run from antenna to drop amp will be 20 to 25 feet)
4. I am 35-40 miles from the ESB

Hope this clears things up. - Tony

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post #15790 of 17836 Old 04-21-2012, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALP View Post

Len, Sorry for the confusion, please see below:

1. I can't install in an attic (I do not have an attic)
2. I DO want to install outdoors
3. I will amplify the signal outside at my drop amp (distribution amp, cable run from antenna to drop amp will be 20 to 25 feet)
4. I am 35-40 miles from the ESB

Hope this clears things up. - Tony

If you want a compact outdoor antenna in that range, take a look at the RCA ANT751R. I think this is also known as the EZ-HD antenna sold by Denny's Antenna. I used to have the Winegard HD-1080, but it was awful on VHF (some VHF channels have negative db gain that is worse than a dipole). I should also mention that I am about 35 miles north of you in Poughkeepsie. However, my antenna is aimed at Albany, NY TV stations since terrain is more favorable aimed north (1 Edge for Albany compared to 2 Edge for NYC). I haven't tried aiming this antenna at ESB, so I can't vouch for its performance on NYC stations. But I can pick up one VHF and three UHF channels from Albany (not including sub channels) at 65 miles away, which is amazing considering how low to the ground my antenna is currently mounted outside.

I have this antenna temporarily mounted on a mast in the ground with coax running through the window with a low noise line amp on the other side of the window with a splitter to two TVs (one to my PC USB TV tuner and another to a DTV converter box). Eventually I will use the J-Pole mount that came with the antenna to mount it on the side of the house (I don't climb on roofs anymore). Check out the picture attached to see what it looks like. It small and not an eyesore.

I believe there is a difference between the ANT751 and ANT751R with the elements cut differently (ANT751R is optimized for channels 7 to 52 instead of 7 to 69). I may be wrong but I think the ANT751R squeezes a little bit of extra db gain because it is tuned for a narrower band of channels (nobody broadcasts on channels 53-69 anymore). The ANT751R is newer and uses the ridiculus claim that it is "optimized for digital reception". It may be optimized for better reception, but that has nothing to do with digital signals. Bottom line - go with the newer model ANT751R, not the ANT751. You can usually find the ANT751R online at a lower price than Denny's EZ-HD antenna.

You might also want to replace that drop amp with a CM7777 preamp outside (at 35+ miles you really should be using a preamp close to the antenna - preamp located just a foot or two away instead of your existing 20-25 ft for the drop amp). Is your drop amp meant for VHF/UHF reception or is this some cable TV amp? You won't get good results using a 5-2000MHz cable drop amp connected to an over the air TV antenna.

Some more examples on mixing and matching antennas and amps in this article.

http://www.hdtvexpert.com/?p=36

LenL is right, you may be pushing your luck with an indoor antenna at that range, but I'll throw in this link in case anyone wants to check out this review of different indoor antennas.

http://www.hdtvexpert.com/?p=2053

Hope that helps. Glad to help out anyone who is interested in cutting their cable cord. ;-)
LL
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post #15791 of 17836 Old 04-21-2012, 11:50 PM
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NC, Thanks for the input, can you please help me understand why you say the following:

"You won't get good results using a 5-2000MHz cable drop amp connected to an over the air TV antenna."

The cable signal and the TV antenna signal have the same frequency range so why won't the drop amp work. I use an 8 port drop amp because I divide the incoming cable signal into 5 branches (I cap off the 3 unused ports on the drop amp). If I were to use a 6 way splitter then I would have about a 12 dB drop on each branch. I would have to find a antenna preamp that would boast the signal enough to compensate for this drop, that is what the drop amp does. Also in the past with an analog TV system I used an antenna with an amp at the antenna. The power for the amp was fed to it over the coax cable that carried the TV signal (typical for antenna amps). This caused a noticeable interference in the TV signal (low level but noticeable). Not sure if this would happen with HDTV, but the drop amp causes no interference problems in the HDTV signal from the cable.

I am not trying to be critical of your input, I just need to understand it better. Going to a antenna amp and splitter will require a lot of modification on my part (due to the fact that my house does not have an attic and right now y drop amp is outside in a typical cable box installation) and I just want to better understand why the drop amp will not work with an antenna signal before I make major modifications. I will also try to send an email to Pete (the HD Expert).

Tony Plachy
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post #15792 of 17836 Old 04-22-2012, 06:08 AM
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The "classic" 7777 has been discontinued and replaced by a new single input version. I haven't seen a single report of the new version.

The usual significance in choosing to amplify at the masthead sometimes boils down to the extra signal insertion loss of the downlead from the antenna to the amplifier. For each 16-18' of RG6, there will be about 1 dB of insertion loss. This additional insertion loss has the same net effect of either lowering the antenna gain by the same amount or by increasing the noise figure of the amplifier by the same amount. If you have significant signal level margins, it doesn't matter. However, if you're close to the edge on your signal levels, the extra downlead to a distribution amp vs. a pre-amp can spell the difference between success and failure.

Most amps sold as distribution amps are nothing more than cable TV amps (sometimes with different labels, sometimes not). Most of them have a 15 dB amp plus whatever splitter package is needed for the number of outputs (1, 2, 4, or 8) incorporated into the same shell. Some of them have the return path, either active or passive, for cable systems, but that won't affect the antenna signals.

Current UHF broadcast band is 14-51, not 52.
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post #15793 of 17836 Old 04-22-2012, 06:38 AM
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ProjectSHO89 is right. Amplifying at the masthead is your best bet to minimize and preamps allow you do that in two pieces (the preamp is located on the mast just underneath the antenna and the power supply is located further down the line near a power outlet probably in the same place where your existing distribution amp is located). After the power supply you use passive splitters instead of a distribution amp because you already have amplification on your signal.

Based on personal experience in the past I've had better luck with a mast mounted preamp (I used to have a older CM Spartan 0264 that is now discontinued) than my 15db one-in one-out line amp for Cable TV. The only line amp I've actually had good luck with is the one I use now, just inside the house. It's a Kitz KT-200 low noise amp placed 15 ft away from the antenna. Trip did a review of the Kitz KT-200 amp a while ago.

http://www.rabbitears.info/blog/inde...Kitztech-KT200

You might also want to consider the Winegard AP-8275 preamp since the classic CM7777 is going away. I'm sure there are some reviews of that one.

Looking at TVFool.com map for Pleasantville, NY (using zip code 10570), you only have two low power stations close to you at 8 and 14 miles away and that shouldn't be too much of a problem with overloading the amp. The majority of the stations are coming from ESB, about 30 miles away. You can do your own TVFool analysis with your exact location down to street level.

One more thing, many of these preamps have a switchable FM Trap. You should take advantage of the FM trap if you have FM stations nearby. The harmonics can introduce noise and degrade your performance (in the pre-DTV days you could see the herringbone pattern overlapped on the analog TV picture). I don't think you'll find an FM trap on a cable TV amp.

I say experiment. Try the antenna without your cable amp and send the signal to only one TV in the house as a benchmark. Once you get a benchmark of the channels you can pick up, then try it with your existing cable amp, and rescan on multiple TVs. If it's worse (and it could be), don't use the amp. If you end up buying a preamp, you will mount it to the mast underneath your antenna and you can test that configuration. The only problem with that is you'll have to revisit your antenna installation to install the premap if you already mounted the antenna (another trip to the roof), so you could do what I did - temporarily put the mast low to the ground outside so you can change the configuration on the mast easily.
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post #15794 of 17836 Old 04-22-2012, 07:08 AM
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A preamp mounted at the mast with the power supply in the house may be very good for ALP.

I have a mast mounted PREAMP CM7777 and because of long runs to 2 TVs I also use a distribution amp which has worked well for me.

So if ALP would have long cable runs from the a preamp power supply in the house like I have then I would also advise that a distribution amp may also help.
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post #15795 of 17836 Old 04-22-2012, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LenL View Post

A preamp mounted at the mast with the power supply in the house may be very good for ALP.

I have a mast mounted PREAMP CM7777 and because of long runs to 2 TVs I also use a distribution amp which has worked well for me.

So if ALP would have long cable runs from the a preamp power supply in the house like I have then I would also advise that a distribution amp may also help.

That's a good point since ALP says he has a 8 way distribution amp, and those kind of amps usually have around 3 db gain for each port.
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post #15796 of 17836 Old 04-22-2012, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post

Current UHF broadcast band is 14-51, not 52.

Thanks .. I stand corrected. I used to have an old B&W TV I bought at a garage sale 25 years ago where the UHF channel knob went to 83. Ah the good old days of wide open RF spectrum!
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post #15797 of 17836 Old 04-22-2012, 08:43 AM
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Tony - I think the only disadvantage of the RCA ANT751R is not enough UHF elements, but it still holds its own against small UHF-only antennas like the Antennas Direct DB2 (I used to have one of those aimed at Albany and I got the same number of UHF stations as the ANT751R).

Other antennas to look at are Channel Master CM2018 or the Winegard HD7695P. I noticed in a past posting you are looking at a CM2020 - that might be a good one to try out with your existing distribution amp. It sounds like you're going the bigger is better route, which is a good strategy.

Here's an additional resource, but as the disclaimer says, you will find many contradictory antenna reviews here: http://www.hdtvantennalabs.com/hdtv-antenna-reviews.php

Happy hunting!
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post #15798 of 17836 Old 04-22-2012, 09:34 AM
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Guys, I cannot thank you enough for all the great input you are giving me, I really appreciate all the help. I plan to call Stark tomorrow and see what they think for an antenna, I was thinking of the CM2020 (my wife will hate it since it is so huge, so if it is true overkill I will go with something smaller). Right now I am looking at about 20 ft from antenna to the drop amp. I re-cabled the entire house with Belden 1694A so I am hoping the insertion loss for that run is not too much more than 1 dB. The drop amp is an Electroline EDA-FT08000 and it does have a forward gain of 3 dB (reverse loss of 10 dB) and works for 54-1000 MHz. There are FM stations near by and the drop amp does not have an FM trap. I was aware of the problem with old TV but I thought DTV would be immune to FM problems, guess not.

If I have to use a antenna preamp I will have to install the power unit in the same outdoor box as the drop amp (all me cabling is outdoors due to no attic, each branch from the drop amp is routed outdoors until it gets to the point near the actual TV and then goes through the wall to the indoors). This will mean having to find a code correct way of getting 120V AC to the cable junction box (probable metal conduit ).

Tony Plachy
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post #15799 of 17836 Old 04-22-2012, 10:03 AM
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Quote:


This will mean having to find a code correct way of getting 120V AC to the cable junction box

Not if you use a splitter with a DC Pass port... Here's an example of a 4-output system: http://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_f...itter_Opt2.pdf

If you can't find an 8-output splitter with a single DC pass port, there are several options including a 2 output (with a power port) plus a 4 output splitter or you could use an 8 output satellite splitter with DC blocks on non-power providing port (unless the splitter is equipped with steering diodes).
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post #15800 of 17836 Old 04-22-2012, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALP View Post

The drop amp is an Electroline EDA-FT08000 and it does have a forward gain of 3 dB (reverse loss of 10 dB) and works for 54-1000 MHz.

The Electroline EDA-FT08000 is probably the best 8 way cable drop amp out there. Good choice.

You could also put in a A/B switch in that box outside (before the Electroline amp) if you have a need to switch between the antenna and the cable input feed. If you plan to exclusively use the TV antenna and cancel your cable subscription, then you have no need for a switch.
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post #15801 of 17836 Old 04-22-2012, 10:09 AM
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I suggest the Winegard 7694 if size is a concern. It's a robust performer antenna for it's size & better constructed than the Channel Master 2020.

I suggest trying the current distribution amp before buying a preamp. I've used Channel Master distribution amps at different locations in the past when multiple splits were needed. More than once the amp improved reception over what was achieved with just one set connected directly to the antenna.
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post #15802 of 17836 Old 04-22-2012, 10:19 AM
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Antennas like the Winegard 769x series also have a narrower beam width than the Channel Master CM20xx series (in other words Winegard's is more directional).
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post #15803 of 17836 Old 04-22-2012, 01:11 PM
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Not if you use a splitter with a DC Pass port... Here's an example of a 4-output system: http://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_f...itter_Opt2.pdf

If you can't find an 8-output splitter with a single DC pass port, there are several options including a 2 output (with a power port) plus a 4 output splitter or you could use an 8 output satellite splitter with DC blocks on non-power providing port (unless the splitter is equipped with steering diodes).

This is a slick way to go. If I have to change out the drop amp I will look for one of these.

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post #15804 of 17836 Old 04-26-2012, 10:29 AM
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WPIX is dropping Estrella in May
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post #15805 of 17836 Old 04-27-2012, 01:00 AM
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Wonder if the bandwidth will go back to the main channel.
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post #15806 of 17836 Old 04-27-2012, 05:33 AM
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In today's Star Ledger there was an article on the addition of broadcast facilities at the new 1 World Tradecenter and the luring of select broadcasters there because it will be cheaper for them and they can reach more viewers if the FCC allows them to use more power.

Not sure what it will mean for us in terms of needing to change antenna direction etc. This is probably serveral years away from happening.
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post #15807 of 17836 Old 04-27-2012, 06:26 AM
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Much of the Star-Ledger's article is old news. Most comes from a Joint Press Release -
#33 issued by the Durst Organization and The Port Authority of NY and NJ.

That Press Release was issued on March 6th!

True, with the additional height of !WTC vs. the ESB, broadcasters would be able to consume fewer watts to achieve the same coverage area or possible more. Electricity is hideously expensive. Yes, the Durst Organization is offering an interesting package to broadcasters which includes backup facilities on its 4TS building.

But, what broadcasters will have to consider are: What will the government do in reallocating spectrum/channels? What will be the rental costs for transmitter space and space on the masts? What will be the cost to equip new facilities?

The March 6th Press Release is the first salvo in what we will experience as a P.R. war between 1WTC and the ESB. I well remember the back and forth hyperbole that took place years ago between the ESB and the Port Authority concerning the use of the WTC's North Tower.
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post #15808 of 17836 Old 04-27-2012, 06:33 AM
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My focus right now is much more immediate. I have just started to to put up the mast and hope to put the antenna up this weekend ( I have the antenna, however, the forecast of 40 mph winds today has me thinking this is probably not the best day to try to put up the antenna ). So as long as all of the transmitters stay on the ESB for the next few days I will not worry about them moving to the WTC until it starts to happen.

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post #15809 of 17836 Old 04-27-2012, 06:44 AM
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Electricity is hideously expensive.

I think the costs for electricity has been coming down as the cost of natural gas has been dropping. Rate reductions for gas and electricity have been happening. As more natural gas is produced this may or may not continue. So not sure what would motivate the move of broadcasting from the ESB to the Trade Center other than PR. Since we keep hearing that Broadcasters don't really care about us not sure why they would make the move.
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post #15810 of 17836 Old 04-27-2012, 07:02 AM
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Broadcasters' interest in OTA will be motivated by the adoption of M/H -
transmission of signals to mobile devices.

That's truly the future of OTA broadcasting!
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