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post #15391 of 15401 Unread 06-22-2017, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeekiM01 View Post
Thanks Chuck... Link posted above...

My must haves are the typical network channels:
  • KTVU (Fox)
  • KPIX (CBS)
  • KGO (ABC)
  • KNTV (NBC)
  • KBCW (CW)

Nice to Haves would include:
  • KRON
  • KOFY
  • KQED
  • KICU
These are all either on Mt. San Bruno or Sutro Tower except for KICU. I wouldn't go with anything less than the Winegard HD7698P. It has both VHF and UHF. You should not have any trouble with KGO and KNTV on VHF. You should not have to concern yourself with the translators in Fremont. You want to mount the antenna so it's in the clear as much as possible. Starring into a tree is a bad idea. You may receive KICU without having to rotate the antenna but multipath is very bad in the Bay Area because of the hills.

I say this to everyone who brings up the Wife Acceptance Factor. The antenna you need is determined by your location, not what anyone thinks looks acceptable. If the WAF is the top consideration then free TV isn't really a priority. You should stick with cable.

Chuck
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post #15392 of 15401 Unread 06-22-2017, 11:10 PM
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+1. Fortunately for me the WAF was not a consideration so a big-ass, 78 element Winegard, roof mounted 30'AGL works perfectly for us, with very little issues. We get all of the above, and many more without having to use the rotor (which I've never really used other than to fine tune the antenna direction once).
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post #15393 of 15401 Unread 06-22-2017, 11:12 PM
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@MikeekiM01 , all your stations are line-of-sight. While it is true multi-path can be problematic in the bay area, you may have better results than some locations. I agree the HD7698P is a good antenna. VHF may be more useful a couple years from now after the channel repack takes effect (although there is a VHF dipole add-on for the bowtie antenna, it won't have as much gain as the VHF portion of the HD7698P). You've got a better chance of receiving KICU (and other Fremont transmitters) without rotating the antenna with the broad beam DB4e, however.

It could be either one would work fine, you're in a good spot for reception.

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post #15394 of 15401 Unread Yesterday, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeekiM01 View Post
Hi fellow Bay Area OTAers!

I am new to this thread...and new to the whole Bay Area OTA experience. Just cut the cord about two weeks ago... I live in Sunnyvale in a one-story house near the new Apple 2 Headquarters.

My previous experience with an outdoor antenna was not great. It was at least 1-2 decades ago, and I was never able to get great reception on a chimney mounted antenna. I thought for certain that I would need to hoist an antenna up high (due to my one story home) in order to get any usable range of channels.

Surprisingly, I am currently on a simple indoor Mohu Leaf 50 taped behind my AV cabinet about 4 feet off the ground, and am picking up almost everything I need. Weird...If I raise the antenna any higher, I start to lose channels... I would not have expected that... I have tried higher mounting points in different locations and cannot seem to get any better than my 4 foot height placement.

Here is what I am getting:
  • FOX: 2-x (on frequency 48... 44 is weaker and not usable)
  • CBS: 5-x
  • ABC: 7-x
  • PBS: 9-x
  • NBC: 11-3 (11-1 is a weak signal, and not usable)
  • 14-x - Strong signal, but Spanish programming that I am not interested in
  • 26-x - Strong signal, but Chinese and other asian programming that I am not interested in
  • 36-x - Mostly strong
  • 54-x - Strong, but mostly duplicate PBS programming that I can get from channel 9
  • 65-x - Mostly strong...but the signal does get weak from time to time
  • 66-x - Mostly strong...but the signal does get weak from time to time


Fringe
  • 4-x - Poor signal... Would love to get this channel for news, but not critical
  • 20-x - Mostly a fringe unreliable signal. Sometimes I get a clear signal, but it's not consistent or reliable

Not Getting (but really want to get)
  • 44 - CW (I can get this station if I raise my antenna higher, and relocate the angle/placement. But I end up losing key channels above).

I have my antenna hooked up to a TiVo Roamio OTA. I am a long time TiVo user, and the ability to extend my TiVo experience into OTA is awesome.

Interesting... My signal strength for KTVU 2 on frequency 48 has been pretty reliable... But last night it was very spotty, and completely gone for large amounts of time... I understand when a fringe channel comes in and out...but was a little surprised that a channel that has been pretty strong for me goes completely out.

Still learning how to live in an OTA world... Great to see this thread of fellow Bay Area OTA users!
I live in Sunnyvale too, in a one story home roughly near the intersection of Fair Oaks Ave and 101. So, we are probably neighbors. Is Apple 2 that huge multi-circular building going up next to Lowes, or is it the more famous UFO/donut one near Wolfe/280? At any rate, I have an outdoor antenna mounted on my roof on a, probably 8' tall pole (mounted to a plumbing vent pipe using my own homemade mount, no guy wires) and I get all the stations easily that are on your wish list (including 44). I am, just by luck, in a very sweet spot though. No big trees or buildings directly in my path. My antenna is just a small VHF/UHF one I picked up at Radio Shack back around 2008 or 2009 for about $50, and its aimed directly toward Sutro Tower. At my location, Mt. San Bruno is just a few degrees off from Sutro, so I get its stations easily too. Even get the South Bay stations and translators. I found the extra height from the mast was critical to receiving KRON 4 reliably. With about a 4' mast it was very spotty, with 8' its rock solid.

I wouldn't be too dismissive of some the foreign language stations. Some of them carry one or two pretty good English stations on their sub-channels. For example 14 has Escape (mostly crime/FBI shows) in addition to the Spanish language soap operas. Which by the way has some gorgeous women (but they're always in the middle of some major temper tantrum every time I channel surf by, so not THAT great). You can always delete the stations you don't watch from your TV's channel list.

By the way, when you scan your TV, how many stations do you pick up? I typically get about 105 or so.

Good luck. The guys on this board are smart and informative, so pay attention.

Last edited by jvstevens; Yesterday at 06:06 AM.
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post #15395 of 15401 Unread Yesterday, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by jvstevens View Post
I live in Sunnyvale too, in a one story home roughly near the intersection of Fair Oaks Ave and 101. So, we are probably neighbors. Is Apple 2 that huge multi-circular building going up next to Lowes, or is it the more famous UFO/donut one near Wolfe/280? At any rate, I have an outdoor antenna mounted on my roof on a, probably 8' tall pole (mounted to a plumbing vent pipe using my own homemade mount, no guy wires) and I get all the stations easily that are on your wish list (including 44). I am, just by luck, in a very sweet spot though. No big trees or buildings directly in my path. My antenna is just a small VHF/UHF one I picked up at Radio Shack back around 2008 or 2009 for about $50, and its aimed directly toward Sutro Tower. At my location, Mt. San Bruno is just a few degrees off from Sutro, so I get its stations easily too. Even get the South Bay stations and translators. I found the extra height from the mast was critical to receiving KRON 4 reliably. With about a 4' mast it was very spotty, with 8' its rock solid.

I wouldn't be too dismissive of some the foreign language stations. Some of them carry one or two pretty good English stations on their sub-channels. For example 14 has Escape (mostly crime/FBI shows) in addition to the Spanish language soap operas. Which by the way has some gorgeous women (but they're always in the middle of some major temper tantrum every time I channel surf by, so not THAT great). You can always delete the stations you don't watch from your TV's channel list.

By the way, when you scan your TV, how many stations do you pick up? I typically get about 105 or so.

Good luck. The guys on this board are smart and informative, so pay attention.
Howdy neighbor! Apple 2 HQ is the one off of Wolfe and Homestead near 280... It's going to be huge (think Trump "huge")... LOL... I think the people capacity is around 15,000...and apparently there are only 9,000 parking spaces... Do the math, and I bet we get some parking spill over into the neighborhood...at least that's the latest concern in the neighborhood...

Anyway... Thanks for your feedback! So you have an 8' pole mounted on your roof. I didn't get a mental visual on where your mounting base is located. Are you near the peak of your roof, or near the bottom of the roof (near the gutters)? My chimney is near the bottom of my roof, so even with an 8 foot pole on a chimney mount, I don't think I will clear the peak...

If I recall, using my little indoor Mohu Leaf 50, I scan around 78 channels... Not bad for a little indoor antenna that is mounted four feet off my hardwood floors, eh? I am seem to be getting most of the channels I need reliably...but during this heatwave, my KTVU is coming in and out all the time... I don't know if it's weather related, but my problems with KTVU seem to have been introduced just this week (granted my cord has only been cut for under 3 weeks, so I don't have a LOT of history here).

I am pretty sure my problems 2 decades ago was with an old analog tuner... I don't think I was "digital" back then... (to address @Calaveras previous post that he is in Sunnyvale and hasn't experienced any issues). Not sure... My memory is not full of details on the problems I was experiencing way back then...but I just remember that my analog OTA experience was frustrating back then).

Great to be in a thread that is full of local knowledge!
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post #15396 of 15401 Unread Yesterday, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeekiM01 View Post
If I recall, using my little indoor Mohu Leaf 50, I scan around 78 channels... Not bad for a little indoor antenna that is mounted four feet off my hardwood floors, eh? ...but during this heatwave, my KTVU is coming in and out all the time... I don't know if it's weather related, but my problems with KTVU seem to have been introduced just this week

I am pretty sure my problems 2 decades ago was with an old analog tuner... I don't think I was "digital" back then...
For the most part, ... you can't compare reception problems 2 decades ago, ... with today.
A lot of stations have moved transmitter locations since then. Think channels 8, 11, 14, 60, 50, etc. ..... And some homes still have "Stacked" antennas used for that problem. Decades ago.
Plus todays digital stations are using lower wattages .... You can't compare.
Like comparing a 1980s car .... to a 2017 with touch screen and voice demands, etc.

As far as the little indoor Muho Leaf 50, that works indoors.
It should work .>>...that is until you start walking around the room creating multipath & signal break ups.

Heatwave ? KTVU coming in & out ?
Something as simple as a box fan can create indoor multipath & problems.

When you have something so small, that barely works. There is no wiggle room for problems. And that will soon drive you crazy. (Think tin foil on rabbit ears )
If you oversize the antenna, ... expect cable company reliability.

Unless you have a battery portable tv for camp outs, sporting tailgates, etc, .... that you can use the Muhu Leaf antenna for..... I'd junk it.
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post #15397 of 15401 Unread Today, 08:13 AM
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For the most part, ... you can't compare reception problems 2 decades ago, ... with today.
Plus todays digital stations are using lower wattages .... You can't compare.

Lower power? Not really. Analog power was peak video power and digital power is average power. There's a bit of apples and oranges here. The FCC set digital power to provide equal service to analog. But what does that actually mean?

I found that if by my definition the analog signal produced an 80% quieting picture, when switched to digital, you'd have an SNR in the low to mid 20's dB. An 80% quieting picture had fine grain noise but was a very watchable picture. The smallest text was still readable. Signals that were weaker than this (more snow) were likely too weak to decode when switched to digital.

A lot of people lost service when TV switched to digital because they were watching very weak and ghosty signals. That was the tradeoff with digital, total loss of poor signals in exchange for a perfect picture up to the digital cliff. This bit of consumer education was overlooked leading up to the digital transition. No one told the consumer what level of analog picture they needed to still have service after the transition.

When I say I had no reception problems when I lived in Sunnyvale (1976-1983) I mean the local stations all had good enough pictures to have worked now as digital signals. Of course there was low VHF noise but those stations are all on UHF today.

Chuck
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post #15398 of 15401 Unread Today, 09:01 AM
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Lower power? Not really. Analog power was peak video power and digital power is average power. There's a bit of apples and oranges here. The FCC set digital power to provide equal service to analog. But what does that actually mean?

A lot of people lost service when TV switched to digital because they were watching very weak and ghosty signals. That was the tradeoff with digital, total loss of poor signals in exchange for a perfect picture up to the digital cliff. This bit of consumer education was overlooked leading up to the digital transition. No one told the consumer what level of analog picture they needed to still have service after the transition.

Chuck
That is what was supposed to happen. In reality it didn't happen. For most people, (Including me).... digital provided a loss of channels.
I lost KCRA & KOVR due to digital conversion. And picked up KVIE after the digital conversion. A net loss of service.

Using UHF band for transmission,.... the signal does not reach me anymore due to Mt. Diablo
Not sure what type of power level it would take to restore my reception of KCRA. But its gone now with UHF.
Doesn't even show up on my spectrum analyzer.
Loss of service here. + Band changes + Lower power + not good.
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post #15399 of 15401 Unread Today, 09:26 AM
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Lower power? Not really. Analog power was peak video power and digital power is average power. There's a bit of apples and oranges here. The FCC set digital power to provide equal service to analog. But what does that actually mean?

Chuck
So what type of power level would it take to get a UHF signal... "Over" ... Mt. Diablo ? And restore KCRA & KOVR service here ?
Double current levels ? Triple current levels ?

Any math whizzes out there?
Before I had a quiet picture on VHF 13, ... now with UHF, not traceable...totally gone.

The power levels should be set by blockages & mileage with UHF from previous VHF.
In real world conditions, its a lower power.
Not perfect lab conditions baloney .... to avoid tv stations paying a higher power bill.
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post #15400 of 15401 Unread Today, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by 888CALLFCC View Post
That is what was supposed to happen. In reality it didn't happen. For most people, (Including me).... digital provided a loss of channels.
I lost KCRA & KOVR due to digital conversion. And picked up KVIE after the digital conversion. A net loss of service.

Using UHF band for transmission,.... the signal does not reach me anymore due to Mt. Diablo
Not sure what type of power level it would take to restore my reception of KCRA. But its gone now with UHF.
Doesn't even show up on my spectrum analyzer.
Loss of service here. + Band changes + Lower power + not good.

I guess the question is "What sort of picture did KCRA and KOVR have in analog?" If they didn't meet my 80% quieting criteria then there was no expectation to have them in digital. In Sunnyvale I could receive KCRA, KXTV and KOVR on VHF. KMAX was very weak on UHF. I doubt that any of them could have been received as digital. They were too weak or too much manmade noise. But that was part of the tradeoff.

I don't buy that "most people lost stations" when you consider the digital design criteria. There's no doubt that some people lost stations that went from low VHF to UHF but I'll bet those stations were all weak and would not have worked as digital even if they had stayed on low VHF.

In my case here I went from essentially no OTA to every station perfect. As analog stations they all had multipath issues. The signals were strong enough but I didn't like the ghosts so I had satellite TV. Digital was able to handle my level of multipath well enough to drop satellite.

If your criteria for loss is that even the weakest analog stations should have become perfect picture digital stations then you had losses. The DTV system was not designed to meet that and I don't think that makes for a fair comparison.

Chuck
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post #15401 of 15401 Unread Today, 10:16 AM
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So what type of power level would it take to get a UHF signal... "Over" ... Mt. Diablo ? And restore KCRA & KOVR service here ?
Double current levels ? Triple current levels ?

Any math whizzes out there?
Before I had a quiet picture on VHF 13, ... now with UHF, not traceable...totally gone.
Actually it's pretty straightforward. First off, I suspect I'd be able to see KOVR on my spectrum analyzer. I can see lots of stations on the analyzer that I can never receive. Measure the existing signal and then calculate how many dB increase you need to meet the minimum signal strength of -84 dBm. If it is 10 dB then KOVR would need 10MW, if 20 dB then KOVR would need 100MW. Neither of those are practical.


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Originally Posted by 888CALLFCC View Post
The power levels should be set by blockages & mileage with UHF from previous VHF.
In real world conditions, its a lower power.
Not perfect lab conditions baloney .... to avoid tv stations paying a higher power bill.
I think you're in a bad location; an unlucky combination of mountains and frequencies. I receive UHF from Sutro Tower almost all the time and those signals pass right over the peak of Mt. Diablo. In the analog days nothing from Sutro was watchable.

Chuck
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