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Old 05-23-2017, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnus33 View Post
...The new york ones come in at 60%-70% which at times can be a issues depending on the weather.

Can i put a preamp on the new york antenna to boost the signal strength or is that going to be a issue?

Or is getting a better antenna for new york a better option?
Ignoring cost, a better antenna is always the first choice. By definition, a better antenna will give you more signal and less noise. A preamp boosts both the signal and noise; hopefully giving your tuner enough to work with. But you haven't said what 8-bay you have.

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Old 05-23-2017, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pvr4Craig View Post
Ignoring cost, a better antenna is always the first choice. By definition, a better antenna will give you more signal and less noise. A preamp boosts both the signal and noise; hopefully giving your tuner enough to work with. But you haven't said what 8-bay you have.

Craig
Electronic Master ANT-7293 8 Bay Outdoor Antenna



  • 360 degree adjustable directional antenna
  • Strong performance across (channels 2-69) best for UHF spectrum (21-69);
  • Versatile high gain multi - bay antenna
  • Efficient design allows tremendous gain in a compact size
  • Designed to resist extreme wind loading
  • Works great in attics
  • Fits easily & high gain can help overcome loss from roofing materials.
  • All weather Balun included
  • Great within 70 miles or more from transmitters
  • Intended for people at great distances from the transmitters
  • Excellent reception for digital terrestrial
  • Suitable for HDTV of various television standards, such as American ATSC, European DVB, etc.
  • Super strong design suitable for all kind the weather
What was quite nearby when i needed to get another one


Not great but functional
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Old 05-23-2017, 12:49 PM
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That model is also sold as Stellar Labs thru MCM;
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/produc...-2430-/30-2430

There is nothing "stellar" about it. It's another version of what that Antennas Direct sells and the performance is poor due to using a separate 'match box' for each of the two 4 bay antennas vs using a wiring harness that Channle master uses and used on their 8-bay models (present and past).
I had the opportunity to use it, the performance was better or at least the same with a single 4 bay that what it was with this duo design. As far as being able to aim each portion separately, it mostly a marketing ploy. Thou it may be a benefit in some situations, I would avoid it. The ones I had I sent back (I bought two).

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Old 05-23-2017, 04:26 PM
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Hey @videobruce I'm looking at the Antennas Direct DB8e. Would you say a channel master antenna would be a better choice overall? In my location (outlined above) I have 2 pretty distinct groups of towers about 80 - 90 degrees apart, so I thought the bi-directional model would give me the best results.

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Old 05-24-2017, 04:16 AM
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AFAIC all of their antennas are overpriced & overrated. Especially their newest with those 'discs'. More marketing than anything else.
I would go with the misnumbered 4228HD, the Chinese clone of the original 4228. How is the signal between the two gropus of towers? If one is noticeable stronger, get a separate 4 bay version for the 2nd antenna.

A scaled down example are in the attachments.
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Old 05-24-2017, 07:23 AM
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Thanks @videobruce ...

In your images, is that a 4221 on top of a smaller antenna (pointed in a different direction)? In my setup the CN Tower location should be very strong (about 15 miles away). The towers located in Buffalo would be basically directly across the lake, and range from about 50 to 80 miles away. The spread between the tower clusters is about 80 degrees.

The DB8e seemed like the perfect all-in-one solution for my situation, and I had hoped it would work out well without a lot of tinkering and fiddling. I've read that co-locating and combining antennas both create additional complications that need to be addressed, and I don't have the technical skills or tools to optimize performance for something like that. In your opinion, would a 4228 pointed at the Buffalo towers mixed with a smaller antenna pointed at the CN Tower provide significantly better signal than 1/2 of a DB8e pointed at each site? Would there be more issues with signal interference and backwaves... figuring out channel-specific spacing between antennas... etc. with my own "dual direction" setup? Would I lose too much signal combining the two?
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Old 05-24-2017, 07:40 AM
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Another general question... i see things like "Good for High VHF 7 -13 as well as UHF Band 14 - 69" mentioned (this was in the description for the 4228), does that mean the sub-14 channel numbers I'm receiving now are VHF?

5-1 CBLT-DT
9-1 CFTO
11-1 CHCH-DT

And in that case will I need a dedicated VHF antenna to receive them with something like the DB8e that claims "High gain across entire UHF band (UHF channels 14-51)" or will any decent antenna still be able to pick up strong local VHF signals? @ADTech previously mentioned a VHF unit would be a good idea for the Toronto tower, which does add another complication to my setup... but at the end of the day if it will get me the best possible reception, I think it would be worth a little pain and suffering.

Edit: And what about the antennas like the Winegard HD 7698P pictured below? Are they any better than something like the CM/AD models I've been considering? I don't care what kind of antenna I put up, I'm not concerned with the look or size, really, just the performance.



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Old 05-24-2017, 09:45 AM
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Have you tried just one antenna (anything) pointed SE towards the Boston Hills (Gilligan's Island should never be a problem)??
Judging by your post, you are around 15 miles east of Toronto?

That DB8 and that other version from MCM Electronics (among others) pointing the two half in different direction is essentially the same as two separate antennas. You are still receive signals from different directions and you will have to deal with reflections etc. As far as how bad, there really isn't any real way to know until you try. (I'm not a fan of computer models).

Those three stations you mentioned. CBLT is RF ch 20, CFTO is RF ch 9 (that should be a problem) and CHCH is RF ch 15 BUT, there is a low powered station on Gilligan's Island on the same frequency, but it should really bother you.

BTW, the 34 bay I show in that photo is aimed towards Toronto and the 2 bay aimed towards the Boston Hills which unbelievable picks up WPXJ SE of Batavia & WBBZ outside of Springville.

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Recording free OTA TV for 'time shifting' has been here since 1977. Will there be DVR's to do the same when ATSC3 obsoletes existing DVR's??

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Old 05-24-2017, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OJ Bartley View Post
Another general question... i see things like "Good for High VHF 7 -13 as well as UHF Band 14 - 69" mentioned (this was in the description for the 4228), does that mean the sub-14 channel numbers I'm receiving now are VHF?

5-1 CBLT-DT
9-1 CFTO
11-1 CHCH-DT
CFTO is the only one on VHF (they use RF9). All the other Toronto stations are UHF
http://rabbitears.info/market.php?re...&callsign=cfto

Almost all the Buffalo stations are UHF (WBBZ uses RF7 but they are south of Buffalo)

Most of the UHF only units will get SOME VHF signals but you need to be pretty close to the towers (within say 15-20 miles tops)

Quote:
And in that case will I need a dedicated VHF antenna to receive them with something like the DB8e that claims "High gain across entire UHF band (UHF channels 14-51)" or will any decent antenna still be able to pick up strong local VHF signals? @ADTech previously mentioned a VHF unit would be a good idea for the Toronto tower, which does add another complication to my setup... but at the end of the day if it will get me the best possible reception, I think it would be worth a little pain and suffering.
If you went with separte VHF/UHF antennas all you need is a combiner to do it. Here is a basic VHF antenna and they also have the combiner (I have purchased from them before)
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/produc...-2475-/30-2475


Quote:
[I]Edit: And what about the antennas like the Winegard HD 7698P pictured below? Are they any better than something like the CM/AD models I've been considering? I don't care what kind of antenna I put up, I'm not concerned with the look or size, really, just the performance.
You could go with a single antenna but then you wouldnt have the flexibility of aiming it at 2 separate spots.
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Old 05-24-2017, 10:04 AM
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You may also consider a rotor for one of the antennas to 'fine tune' it down the road if you are having problems with certain stations for whatever reason.
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Old 05-24-2017, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclehonkey View Post
CFTO is the only one on VHF (they use RF9). All the other Toronto stations are UHF...
Almost all the Buffalo stations are UHF...
Most of the UHF only units will get SOME VHF signals but you need to be pretty close to the towers (within say 15-20 miles tops)
Great, thanks for that, unclehonkey. I think I'll be OK without a dedicated VHF antenna based on that information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
Have you tried just one antenna (anything) pointed SE towards the Boston Hills (Gilligan's Island should never be a problem)??
Judging by your post, you are around 15 miles east of Toronto?
That's right, we're on the east edge of Toronto, about 15 miles from the tower. I have a little tabletop model now, looks like a "no name" version of the Channel Master 4040 below:

This little guy is what I'm using at the moment, and I was impressed with what it was able to pull in. However, there are some stations (most notably WNED 17-1, 17-2, and 17-3) that prefer a direct angle almost all of the time. I've tried pointing it somewhere in the middle, but those three, and a few other channels seem quite picky. That's why I thought I could do better with a permanently split dual direction setup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce
That DB8 and that other version from MCM Electronics (among others) pointing the two half in different direction is essentially the same as two separate antennas. You are still receive signals from different directions and you will have to deal with reflections etc. As far as how bad, there really isn't any real way to know until you try. (I'm not a fan of computer models).

Those three stations you mentioned. CBLT is RF ch 20, CFTO is RF ch 9 (that should be a problem) and CHCH is RF ch 15 BUT, there is a low powered station on Gilligan's Island on the same frequency, but it should really bother you.
So if the setup issues are present regardless, I guess my primary options are:

1) Antennas Direct DB8e mounted split between my main tower locations. Everything integrated in one package. $180.00 (antenna with integrated combiner only). The DB8e claims a range of 70+ miles, but I assume that is with both bays pointed in the same direction.

2) Channel Master 4228HD ($130.00) pointed at the Buffalo towers to maximize my efforts (and cost) on the farther towers, with something like a Channel Master 4220HD ($40.00) pointed at the CN Tower. The 4228 claims 60 miles "optimized for "fringe" and "Deep Fringe" reception", and the 4220 claims 30 miles.

Cost of the antennas is about a wash, but I assume the installation would be more expensive with option 2, and I would still need a good combiner. I'm not sure if option 2 would work on the same pole, like in the pic you posted above, but I would assume it's possible. What's a good model to look at? Cost?
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Old 05-24-2017, 11:48 AM
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Don't pay attention to mileage claims.
That 2 bay antenna in the 1st pic I would bet would work more than fine. Here it's around $15. Shipping kinda kills the 4228 due to bring oversized. That other one I believe is shipped dissembled.
A "combiner" basically nothing more than a 'splitter' wired backwards.

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Old Yesterday, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
Don't pay attention to mileage claims.
That 2 bay antenna in the 1st pic I would bet would work more than fine. Here it's around $15. Shipping kinda kills the 4228 due to bring oversized. That other one I believe is shipped dissembled.
A "combiner" basically nothing more than a 'splitter' wired backwards.
Thanks for all the extra info. I think when we're ready to get this set up I'll discuss something like my Option 2 above with the installer and see what they say. If its just as easy/same cost/etc, it seems like the better way to go.
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Old Today, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by OJ Bartley View Post
Thanks for all the extra info. I think when we're ready to get this set up I'll discuss something like my Option 2 above with the installer and see what they say. If its just as easy/same cost/etc, it seems like the better way to go.
Re one vrs two antennas, I'm on the border between Oakville and Mississauga so I have about a 90 degree angle between the Buffalo and Toronto clusters. I use an old original CM 4228. The thing is, antennas aren't as exclusionary as you might think. The reception pattern for mine is:



My antenna is pointed in between the two groups and I had to tweak the aiming a couple of times. I get very good reception but not perfect. For example, during heavy rain last night, MyTV (49.x) would drop out from time to time. Heavy snow or dense fog can have the same effect. It has not been enough of a problem for me to bother buying and installing another antenna.

Craig
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Old Today, 09:23 AM
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That's a great point @Pvr4Craig and one I hadn't thought about. It's quite possible that the antenna's "side reception" area could pick up Toronto well if it was aimed at Buffalo. It might be worth trying that out first... But then again I might be better off just putting everything in when the installer is there instead of having to monkey with it later. Decisions, decisions!

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Old Today, 09:24 AM
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That chart is the original 4228, not this current Chinese knock off.

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