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post #6001 of 6142 Old 02-04-2012, 03:07 PM
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Useless post #1 so I can attach URLs
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post #6002 of 6142 Old 02-04-2012, 03:07 PM
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post #6003 of 6142 Old 02-04-2012, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by DLux247 View Post

I live in Pearland and want to put an antenna in my attic. From my TVFool report I can see that I need both VHF/UHF. My initial thought was to go with the ClearStream2 Complete, but is that more than what is necessary from what my report indicates? Is there another one that you would recommend?? My kiddo likes a lot of the programming on KLHT (channel 8) and I've heard some folks in Houston having issues with KHOU being weak so I want to ensure that the antenna can pick up weaker VHF signals. Thanks for the help!


With no obstructions by you, you may be able to use rabbit ears with a loop. I am just south of Downtown with rabbit ears and a loop in my attic, and I pick up every channel that I want - and others I don't want (with plenty of obstructions/taller buildings). KUHF and KHOU come in the low 80s (signal level) on my tuners. We're looking to move out to Pearland (possibly), and I am going to try my current set up when we do move. If not, I may put an antenna on the outside of the house to try and pick up out of market TV stations.
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post #6004 of 6142 Old 02-04-2012, 10:28 PM
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Dlux - yes that antenna is probably overkill. Newsman is right, rabbit ears and loop could do the trick.

I'm in Pearland, I have a big outdoor VHF/UHF antenna in my attic that I got from Lowe's years ago, I get all the stations fine.

I don't know if Lowe's still carries antennas, one of these from Fry's would probably work.

http://www.frys.com/product/6345311
http://www.frys.com/product/5939574

I think PBS is the only station left on VHF - you might be able to get away with something like this.

http://www.amazon.com/Winegard-FreeV...dp/B003L76BJS/

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post #6005 of 6142 Old 02-04-2012, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bigrig View Post

I think PBS is the only station left on VHF - you might be able to get away with something like this.

There are three major stations using UHF in Houston:

KUHT/8 (PBS)
KHOU/11 (CBS)
KTRK/13 (ABC)

All of these stations have the same virtual and physical channel.
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post #6006 of 6142 Old 02-05-2012, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by re_nelson View Post

There are three major stations using UHF in Houston:

KUHT/8 (PBS)
KHOU/11 (CBS)
KTRK/13 (ABC)

All of these stations have the same virtual and physical channel.

VHF, not UHF. I think you had a brain-fart.
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post #6007 of 6142 Old 03-02-2012, 07:31 AM
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I am new to Houston, and my husband and I bought a new HDTV two weeks ago. We want to get OTA programming since cable is really expensive for what we watch (at our old apartment, cable was included, and in a typical week, about the only cable we watched was an hour on the weekends; we mostly just watch a few sitcoms most weekday nights and Netflix, no sports). The only channels we care about are the main network channels plus PBS (so, ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and PBS).

The problem is, it's looking impossible to get OTA. I began with an inexpensive rabbit ears-style antenna (RCA Basic Indoor Antenna). Initially, that got NBC, PBS (sometimes), and FOX, but not CBS or ABC. We watched one night of TV on NBC, but during the first minute of the last show, it began cutting out badly (it had been basically perfect previously), so we turned it off. Since then, we can barely get ANYTHING (usually channel 38 and sometimes 20 and others above channel 38), despite trying multiple positions (although we are limited now by a short-ish cord--maybe 3-4 feet?). So, I bought a fancy $75 antenna at an electronics store: it was a flat, multidirectional, amplified indoor antenna, and it was no better, so I returned it. The cord wasn't long enough for either of the antennas to be actually on the windowsill, but the positions pointing directly out the window didn't seem to be any better (about a foot away from the window, although also pretty low, since the only space was on top of the coffee table).

There are lots of things going against our set-up, I know: the only window in our living room (where the TV is) faces north, and so does our balcony. We are living in a second (top) floor apartment in zip code 77027 (about 13 miles northeast of the antenna farm), and Greenway Plaza is just a few blocks to the south of us, so that's probably in the way, too (the signals are pretty much all southwest of us).

So, my question is, is there anything better I can try without an outdoor antenna? Although some people have satellite dishes in my complex, they are pretty much all attached to balconies, not the roof, and I don't think an antenna would help in that case (since my balcony faces north and it would actually be attached at a lower point than the indoor antenna is located). I am in an end unit, so from one end of my balcony, I have about 5 feet to the corner; if I had an antenna that could stretch that far (or reach the corner), then it might get some signal to the south (but still, Greenway Plaza is in the way). I've seen a lot of people recommend the following antennas, but I'm not sure if any of these are likely to help in my situation:

Terk Technology HDTVi VHF/UHF HDTV Indoor Antenna
Terk HDTVa Indoor Amplified High-Definition Antenna
RCA ANT751R Outdoor Antenna
Winegard HD7696P Off-Air HDTV Antenna (rec. by hdtvantennalabs.com)

Any advice? Thanks!
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post #6008 of 6142 Old 03-02-2012, 08:34 AM
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There are lots of things going against our set-up, I know: the only window in our living room (where the TV is) faces north, and so does our balcony. We are living in a second (top) floor apartment in zip code 77027 (about 13 miles northeast of the antenna farm), and Greenway Plaza is just a few blocks to the south of us, so that's probably in the way, too (the signals are pretty much all southwest of us).

Is your front door an interior door or does it open into the fresh air? I ask because I have an attic antenna which fires through my roof and from almost 50 miles away, in the middle of very tall trees, with downtown Houston in the way, I get more channels than I care to watch.

If you have an exterior wall which faces the towers, go to tvfool.com and enter your info and then use the listed direction to point your indoor antenna towards the towers. That site will also recommend the type of antenna to use. Good Luck!

PS - you also might get more help if you post your question here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...2#post21723932
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post #6009 of 6142 Old 03-02-2012, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by bcg123 View Post

...Since then, we can barely get ANYTHING (usually channel 38 and sometimes 20 and others above channel 38)...

There are lots of things going against our set-up, I know: the only window in our living room (where the TV is) faces north, and so does our balcony. We are living in a second (top) floor apartment in zip code 77027 (about 13 miles northeast of the antenna farm), and Greenway Plaza is just a few blocks to the south of us, so that's probably in the way, too (the signals are pretty much all southwest of us).

38 will be OK for you since they are transmitting from downtown, the only station in town to do so (all the others are at the Missouri City tower farm).

You definitely need a VHF/UHF antenna since PBS, CBS and ABC are on VHF (which explains the problem you had getting them earlier).
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post #6010 of 6142 Old 03-02-2012, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Jack Morris View Post

Is your front door an interior door or does it open into the fresh air? I ask because I have an attic antenna which fires through my roof and from almost 50 miles away, in the middle of very tall trees, with downtown Houston in the way, I get more channels than I care to watch.

If you have an exterior wall which faces the towers, go to tvfool.com and enter your info and then use the listed direction to point your indoor antenna towards the towers. That site will also recommend the type of antenna to use. Good Luck!

My front door is an exterior door that faces north (it's right next to my balcony). I don't have an attic, though. But an attic antenna would be more powerful than a typical indoor antenna--are you suggesting I buy one of those and just install it somewhere near the TV? Would a more powerful (and larger, I assume) antenna just solve my problems? (I've tried pointing my antenna both through close, north-facing window and also back toward the south end of my apartment, but I'm assuming my indoor antenna isn't powerful enough to go through all of the walls, etc to get a good signal that way, either).

I do have an exterior wall with a window that faces the towers (which are southwest from me), but it's in my bedroom, which is all the way across the apartment from my living room (where the TV is).

If an attic antenna is what you're suggesting, do I need to have that mounted on a wall, or could I just place it on top of my bookcase or something? Any specific models to recommend? Thanks so much for your help!
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post #6011 of 6142 Old 03-02-2012, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Gridlock Joe View Post

You definitely need a VHF/UHF antenna since PBS, CBS and ABC are on VHF (which explains the problem you had getting them earlier).

Yeah, I realized after I bought it that the fancier antenna didnt advertise itself as being UHF/VHF, but I thought the basic one I have is both (it has the rabbit ears plus a wire loop).
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post #6012 of 6142 Old 03-02-2012, 04:39 PM
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I do have an exterior wall with a window that faces the towers (which are southwest from me), but it's in my bedroom, which is all the way across the apartment from my living room (where the TV is).

That's where I'd put my antenna. Is the cable run from your bedroom window to the living room TV less than 50 feet? Make sure you use RG6 cable and give your current indoor antenna a try at the SW facing window before you look at getting a different antenna.
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post #6013 of 6142 Old 03-03-2012, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Jack Morris View Post

That's where I'd put my antenna. Is the cable run from your bedroom window to the living room TV less than 50 feet? Make sure you use RG6 cable and give your current indoor antenna a try at the SW facing window before you look at getting a different antenna.

I am planning to buy a long RG6 cable and try this, but this morning, I decided to do a test by moving the TV into the bedroom, plugging in the current antenna, and setting the current antenna on my bedroom windowsill. That window is south-facing, and I tried to tilt the antenna a little southwest, too (since the antenna farm is southwest of me). It worked better and I got 50-odd channels (mostly in the 20s and above), but, of the four I care about (2.1-NBC, 11.1-CBS, 13.1-ABC, 26-FOX), the only one I got was FOX. So, no NBC, CBS, or ABC. I'm a little surprised, but I have a few theories about why it's still so bad:

1) My antenna's bad, and I need a better one (I have the RCA Indoor Antenna, which is a basic rabbit ears plus loop antenna). Solution: get a better antenna. Any suggestions? Any thoughts on whether just a different model, same design is fine, or whether a different design might be helpful?

2) Tall office buildings are blocking the signal (I'm a few blocks north of a bunch of them). Solution: I'm not really sure. Possibly putting the antenna on my balcony? But that faces the wrong way, so I'm not sure that would help at all. Any ideas?

I'm going to get the coax cable anyway, but given my earlier experiment, I'm not hopeful, at least not without doing something else different (maybe a better antenna?).
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post #6014 of 6142 Old 03-05-2012, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by bcg123 View Post

I am planning to buy a long RG6 cable and try this, but this morning, I decided to do a test by moving the TV into the bedroom, plugging in the current antenna, and setting the current antenna on my bedroom windowsill. That window is south-facing, and I tried to tilt the antenna a little southwest, too (since the antenna farm is southwest of me). It worked better and I got 50-odd channels (mostly in the 20s and above), but, of the four I care about (2.1-NBC, 11.1-CBS, 13.1-ABC, 26-FOX), the only one I got was FOX. So, no NBC, CBS, or ABC. I'm a little surprised, but I have a few theories about why it's still so bad:

1) My antenna's bad, and I need a better one

2) Tall office buildings are blocking the signal

We live much closer to the antenna farm, but the indoor, TERK is placed so that it has to receive thru several layers of cinder blocks, etc in a townhouse/condo project...with reasonable results. It is my backup antenna for those rare occasions when Comcast crashes. It has a UHF yagi, along with a pair of traditional rabbit ears for VHF (8, 11, 13). I'm not sure that it will sit comfortably on a window sill, due to the length of the yagi, pointed S/SW.

Best Buy carried them a couple of years ago, but as I look now, they do not show this model, but they have an assortment of other indoor antennas. I wouldn't even mess with the basic "rabbit ears", but would try one of the compact, amplified UHF/VHF models.

Trial and error....every situation is different.

Good Luck!
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post #6015 of 6142 Old 03-05-2012, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcg123 View Post

I am planning to buy a long RG6 cable and try this, but this morning, I decided to do a test by moving the TV into the bedroom, plugging in the current antenna, and setting the current antenna on my bedroom windowsill. That window is south-facing, and I tried to tilt the antenna a little southwest, too (since the antenna farm is southwest of me). It worked better and I got 50-odd channels (mostly in the 20s and above), but, of the four I care about (2.1-NBC, 11.1-CBS, 13.1-ABC, 26-FOX), the only one I got was FOX. So, no NBC, CBS, or ABC. I'm a little surprised, but I have a few theories about why it's still so bad:

1) My antenna's bad, and I need a better one (I have the RCA Indoor Antenna, which is a basic rabbit ears plus loop antenna). Solution: get a better antenna. Any suggestions? Any thoughts on whether just a different model, same design is fine, or whether a different design might be helpful?

2) Tall office buildings are blocking the signal (I'm a few blocks north of a bunch of them). Solution: I'm not really sure. Possibly putting the antenna on my balcony? But that faces the wrong way, so I'm not sure that would help at all. Any ideas?

I'm going to get the coax cable anyway, but given my earlier experiment, I'm not hopeful, at least not without doing something else different (maybe a better antenna?).

We live only around 13 mi. due east of the farm and use an attic antenna. However, a year or so ago I bought a Winegard SS-3000 for my daughter who was renting and wanted to recieve OTA. I tried it before I gave it to her on a ground floor set in an inbouard room. It was looking through most of my house and 8 more houses down the street with fantastic results. I received everything (all networks +) that the attic antenna received. She's moved again and is now around 20-miles from the farm and still claims to receive everything.

Larry
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post #6016 of 6142 Old 03-05-2012, 09:07 PM
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Thanks for all the advice and help. I am happy to report that I now have all five channels I wanted (plus 58 more, or at least so says my TV...I only went up to channel 26). Turns out the long coax cable (allowing me to move my basic, $8 antenna to the window facing the antenna farm) was the key. Thanks!
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post #6017 of 6142 Old 03-07-2012, 06:17 PM
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Hey everyone. I need some help on antenna and amplifier selection. I've already done the basic research of putting my address into antennaweb and tvfool to find uhf/vhf channel info, distance and direction to towers, etc.

I recently ditched cable and installed my first large antenna, a 91xg, in the attic of my home and it has worked great for my 2 TVs (no amplifier). My brother likes the idea of OTA over cable and wants me to set it up for his small business (6-8 TVs).

I'm thinking of going with the Winegard HD7698P since it's directional, is UHF/VHF, and has a high number of elements on it. It's like my 91xg except better. There's enough room to mount it in the attic, but I'll probably put it on the roof for the best signal possible. My brother and I live 30 miles north of the antenna towers. I think the HD8200U is overkill because there's no VHF 2-6 channels in Houston, correct? Is the 7698P overkill as well since I live only 30 miles away? I assume not because I think it provides a slightly stronger signal than medium-range antennas, but I'm not positive. Any Channel Master antennas I should consider over the 7698P?

What amp and splitter should I get? I'm aware of the Winegard ANWI8700 and the popular Motorola Signal Booster. With each I'd have to get a separate 8 way splitter. I read some nice reviews on amazon about an 8-Port Amplifier Splitter, which has amplifier and splitter together. Sorry can't post the URLs since I'm a new member. Which is the best solution?

Thanks for any help.
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post #6018 of 6142 Old 03-08-2012, 04:48 AM
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Don't discount the VHF -Lo part of the antenna too much... It's great for FM and digital FM if you so desire.

You never know where the LIMIT is until you EXCEED it... Dianne B. "Let's try that again... without the oops." (Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum in "Independence Day")
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post #6019 of 6142 Old 03-08-2012, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Ferxli View Post

Hey everyone. I need some help on antenna and amplifier selection. I've already done the basic research of putting my address into antennaweb and tvfool to find uhf/vhf channel info, distance and direction to towers, etc.

I recently ditched cable and installed my first large antenna, a 91xg, in the attic of my home and it has worked great for my 2 TVs (no amplifier). My brother likes the idea of OTA over cable and wants me to set it up for his small business (6-8 TVs).

I'm thinking of going with the Winegard HD7698P since it's directional, is UHF/VHF, and has a high number of elements on it. It's like my 91xg except better. There's enough room to mount it in the attic, but I'll probably put it on the roof for the best signal possible. My brother and I live 30 miles north of the antenna towers. I think the HD8200U is overkill because there's no VHF 2-6 channels in Houston, correct? Is the 7698P overkill as well since I live only 30 miles away? I assume not because I think it provides a slightly stronger signal than medium-range antennas, but I'm not positive. Any Channel Master antennas I should consider over the 7698P?

What amp and splitter should I get? I'm aware of the Winegard ANWI8700 and the popular Motorola Signal Booster. With each I'd have to get a separate 8 way splitter. I read some nice reviews on amazon about an 8-Port Amplifier Splitter, which has amplifier and splitter together. Sorry can't post the URLs since I'm a new member. Which is the best solution?

Thanks for any help.

I would go with the best gear you can get that is most cost effective. What I mean is that if you can get an 8200 for not much more than a lesser antenna, then get it. Same with all electronics.
We are 44 miles directly north of the towers and use the Winegard 8200 in our attic connected to a Channel plus DA550 distribution amp and it works perfectly. IIRC, I think I bought the antenna locally since shipping on this antenna is about half again the antenna price. And, as OTAhead mentioned, I also use this antenna connected to my Magnum Dynalab FM Tuner for perfect FM station reception.
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post #6020 of 6142 Old 03-08-2012, 06:17 AM
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Found out that channel 26 news has a target of July to get all their video in HD. Right now only the in studio cameras are HD. Eventually they are going to have their field cameras in HD. As of now, the only stations w/ full HD are channels 2 and 39. Channel 11 have some field cameras in HD.
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post #6021 of 6142 Old 03-08-2012, 09:32 AM
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I would go with the best gear you can get that is most cost effective. What I mean is that if you can get an 8200 for not much more than a lesser antenna, then get it. Same with all electronics.
We are 44 miles directly north of the towers and use the Winegard 8200 in our attic connected to a Channel plus DA550 distribution amp and it works perfectly. IIRC, I think I bought the antenna locally since shipping on this antenna is about half again the antenna price. And, as OTAhead mentioned, I also use this antenna connected to my Magnum Dynalab FM Tuner for perfect FM station reception.

thanks for the replies. What store did you get your antenna from? I searched the thread and found Ralph's electronics (online shows price as $160). I'll try to call the Home Theater Store at Willowbrook to see if they carry it. Do any of the local stores beat the amazon price?

I don't think radio is necessary for my setup. Not familiar with FM antennas... I assume the FM part of the 8200U picks up the normal stations as well as a bunch of fringe stations too. Is that about right? And no AM either. And I would have to get a Winegard Separator CA8800 for $20 and an FM tuner if I want to use FM. Cost is a bit high. Can a normal lcd TV use the FM signal?
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post #6022 of 6142 Old 03-08-2012, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Ferxli View Post

thanks for the replies. What store did you get your antenna from? I searched the thread and found Ralph's electronics (online shows price as $160). I'll try to call the Home Theater Store at Willowbrook to see if they carry it. Do any of the local stores beat the amazon price?

I don't think radio is necessary for my setup. Not familiar with FM antennas... I assume the FM part of the 8200U picks up the normal stations as well as a bunch of fringe stations too. Is that about right? And no AM either. And I would have to get a Winegard Separator CA8800 for $20 and an FM tuner if I want to use FM. Cost is a bit high. Can a normal lcd TV use the FM signal?

I may be wrong, but I think I got mine at somewhere like Radioshack or Fry's or maybe even one of the local home improvement stores. It has been many, many years ago... so my memory isn't the greatest.
I looked earlier today and saw it for around $103 but that online site wanted $50 to ship the antenna.
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post #6023 of 6142 Old 03-09-2012, 04:22 AM
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I may be wrong, but I think I got mine at somewhere like Radioshack or Fry's or maybe even one of the local home improvement stores. It has been many, many years ago... so my memory isn't the greatest.
I looked earlier today and saw it for around $103 but that online site wanted $50 to ship the antenna.

Check amazon.com. I just bought a Winegard 7015 from amazon. I looked at solidsignal.com and they had the antenna for $39 and change. Amazon:$40 and change. Shipping from solid signal was almost $39. Shipping from Amazon was not quite $9. Big difference.

You never know where the LIMIT is until you EXCEED it... Dianne B. "Let's try that again... without the oops." (Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum in "Independence Day")
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post #6024 of 6142 Old 03-13-2012, 10:57 AM
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Hi all,

In downtown Houston and 30 floors up. Trying to get OTA channels on the TV. Used a few different antennas, RCA, Terk, but get only the same thing: Channels 3.1 and 3.2 from Bryan/College Station. Scan picks up NOTHING from Houston.

Any suggestions? Am I just too far up? Office building too enclosed?
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post #6025 of 6142 Old 03-13-2012, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Kjiwani View Post

Hi all,

In downtown Houston and 30 floors up. Trying to get OTA channels on the TV. Used a few different antennas, RCA, Terk, but get only the same thing: Channels 3.1 and 3.2 from Bryan/College Station. Scan picks up NOTHING from Houston.

Any suggestions? Am I just too far up? Office building too enclosed?

What side of the building do you face? And about how much window area is glass? Heavily tinted glass? (...might have metalic film between layers?)
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post #6026 of 6142 Old 03-13-2012, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by hdguru View Post

What side of the building do you face? And about how much window area is glass? Heavily tinted glass? (...might have metalic film between layers?)

Face the westish side, maybe more NWish. Whole side of office is glass. It may be heavily tinted, not really sure. Doesn't look it from the inside.

Just find it curious we get 3.1, 3.2 but nothing from Houston.
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post #6027 of 6142 Old 03-13-2012, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kjiwani View Post

Face the westish side, maybe more NWish. Whole side of office is glass. It may be heavily tinted, not really sure. Doesn't look it from the inside.

Just find it curious we get 3.1, 3.2 but nothing from Houston.

Well, Bryan/Coll Station is NW of downtown so if that is how your window faces, that's what you should get with most antenna's.

Do you have any access to windows which face South, towards Missouri City, which is where all of Houston's broadcast towers are located?

Here is what TVFool recommended about your situation - used 77001 as your zip and 300 feet as height of antenna from ground.
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...0b868992e5a9fa
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post #6028 of 6142 Old 03-13-2012, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kjiwani View Post

Face the westish side, maybe more NWish. Whole side of office is glass. It may be heavily tinted, not really sure. Doesn't look it from the inside.

Just find it curious we get 3.1, 3.2 but nothing from Houston.

As for 3.1/.2 from Austin: The luck of the signal bounce.

You're no doubt aware that our "antenna farm" is S/SW of your location, which makes getting signals in your office problematical.

I neglected to ask if you have taller buildings S/SW of your building?

Just as a test: Have you taken a simple rabbit ears/loop and put it up against your window and tried to get a local signal? My suspicion is that unless that test yields at least 1 or 2 locals, you're simply out of luck for OTA.

Now...of course...I don't know how many floors are in the building, but if you're lucky enough to be on the top floor, and had access to the roof, and no taller building blocking you...a nice outdoor would do the job.

When I was much younger, my Dad was the TV buyer for Foley's (now Macy's), which found itself blocked in by taller buildings. At one point, they actually had a master antenna on what was then the Capital Bank building, just south of them.

How'd you like a Sat dish as an office accessory? Might get a sight line to one of Dish or Direct's birds.

Maybe use a Roku???

PM me with any add'l info.
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post #6029 of 6142 Old 03-13-2012, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by hdguru View Post

As for 3.1/.2 from Austin: The luck of the signal bounce.

KBTX's signal actually does a great job covering northwestern Harris county I can sometimes get a lock but no signal from my ground-floor antenna with no view to the NW. From 300 feet, I'm not surprised the OP is getting a signal from them.
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post #6030 of 6142 Old 04-01-2012, 12:52 PM
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I am trying to help someone with OTA in Montgomery. but just found out they are 61 Miles from the antenna farm. the only station per antenna web is Bryan/College Station. Is there a way for them to pick up Houston? If so, any recommendations for type/model antenna and amplifier?

thank you so much!
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