I have been experimenting to see what kind of OTA reception we can reliably get at my home. Here
is the TVFool report.
Whether or not we would switch full time to OTA would depend on certain criteria we would like to meet:
1. Would like to get atleast channels upto KIMT
2. Would be nice to get KYIN or even WHLA since KSMQ only broadcasts in 480i instead of 720p/1080i. I am guessing the difference in resolution might be more noticeable/annoying when we switch from our current 32" HDTV to a bigger (46" or 50") HDTV in the living room at some point in the near future.
3. Prefer buying antennas locally so they can be returned easily if it doesnt work out.
In case it helps with recommendations, our house is on top of a hill (elevation - roughly 1100ft) with no major obstructions (trees, buildings, etc) except for the next door neighbor to the south. The neighbors' house is single story and ours is two story. The house is oriented such that while watching TV, we are facing north with a drape covered 4' x 6' 2-pane low-e coated glass window to the right/east (confirmed this with a compass recently). From this sitting position, the garage, and attic above it, would be behind and to the left, in the southwest corner of the house. The building material is vinyl siding with asphalt shingles.
What I have tried so far:
I own a Silver Sensor and placing it on top of the entertainment center (roughly 78" above ground) in the living room, I am able to reliably get pretty much all the UHF channels (except KIMT) anywhere on top of the entertainment center. KIMT does come in reliably if the Silver Sensor is moved to certain spots on the ent center. Perhaps not surprisingly though, the Silver Sensor does not pick up any VHF channels. So, per EV's reviews earlier in this thread, I stopped by Radioshack and picked up this VHF dipole
as well as this UHF bowtie
and combined the signals using this combiner
. The VHF dipole is not even completely extended (only one "section" extended) and the UHF bowtie does need to be "propped up" a bit but I am able to get all channels upto KIMT.
Based on this information, I am hoping the experts here can offer some suggestions/best educated guesses for the following - We would like to feed the signal to the distribution box/splitter in the northwest corner of the basement and then to ALL rooms of the house:
1. One option I was thinking could be to move the antenna to the basement. I understand the basement is generally not the best location for antennas but wonder if our basement, with a walkout and east facing windows, might get adequate signals? Would the Silver Sensor coupled with the VHF dipole have better gain/reception than the UHF bowtie plus VHF dipole combo. I also have an older Channel Master 3402 amplifier
if it might help the signal before feeding it to the existing "distribution box/splitter". If the general feedback ends up being that there's little or no chance of getting atleast the channels upto KIMT, then I might just look at alternative locations without trying to setup antenna in the basement.
2. One alternative to basement would be to install (or get help to install) the antenna in the attic above the garage. We already have 4 RG6 runs from this location to the basement utility room/distribution box area when we built the house (for any future satellite TV installations). For this attic location, I wonder if any combination of the existing antennas (Silver Sensor or the two RS antennas) coupled with a CM7777 might be sufficient to get KYIN stations or even just the channels up to KIMT? Would an antenna like RCA ANT751, recommended by EV several times here as well as dtvusaforum, installed in the garage attic and coupled with CM 7777 (or equivalent pre-amp) be able to receive KYIN reliably?
Any additional recommendations for specific indoor/attic mounted antennas (CM 2016, CM 4221, etc) and/or pre-amps to get channels through atleast KIMT and upto KYIN would be appreciated as well.
Thanks for reading and any input,