Originally Posted by ncwild
Hello everyone. I was looking for some local OTA information, and it looks like I hit the jackpot here ! I really want to cut the cable, and in fact tried an attic antenna a few years ago that did not work well. I live just west of Guilford College and according to antennaweb, need a "medium directional" rooftop antenna (red/yellow coding), and perhaps an amplifier. My questions are: #1 There appeared to be some posts that you cannot receive WGHP nor CBS from the triad. Is this still true ? I do not live on a ridge, nor in a "bottom" area. I would have at least a 75' cable run. #2 If I purchased a rooftop antenna, who installs these ? My roof is fairly steep, and I would prefer a professional installer. #3 I have surround sound speakers in the walls. Would you run the antenna cable to the TV and then HDMI out from the TV to the stereo for the sound ? I am sure there are other considerations that I am not aware of, but I am new to this, so any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
ncwild welcome to the thread.
Sounds like you read some of the posts from the early 2000's when everyone in the market was operating at greatly reduced power levels. Since 2006, all the stations have been operating at their licensed power levels and reception is fairly easy now. From Guilford College, you will not have any problems with the local stations and depending on the kind of antenna and its location, to pick up the Roanoke stations and maybe the Raleigh stations is not out of the question either.
A practice that many people are doing is putting up two antennas. One aimed at Sauratown Mt north of Winston-Salem since that is where WXII and WUNL broadcast from and one antenna aimed due south from Greensboro to pick up the remainder of the stations that broadcast along US 220 south. Combining both antennas using a splitter into a single lead in that can be split to multiple TVs in the house has proven to be satisfactory for the local stations if set up correctly. Others are using a single antenna on a rotor and this is allowing them to pick up stations in neighboring markets. Depending on where in the Triad you live will depend on which markets you can receive. Only WGPX is to the northeast but it is possible to pick it up off the back of the southern antenna in Greensboro.
Since all the stations in the market broadcast on UHF channels, the antennas are small and easily hidden if needed. Some people have the antennas in their attics (not the best but seems to work OK for many, depending on the material the house is built from) and others have the antennas on the roof or chimney (recommended).
Here is a list of the actual channel numbers stations broadcast on even though they still continue to use their old analog channel numbers and your TV will still display the analog channel number, even though they are no longer broadcasting there.
WGPX (16) - 14
WCWG (20) - 19
WXLV (45)- 29
WXII (12) - 31
WUNL (26) - 32
WMYV (48) - 33
WGHP (8) - 35
WLXI (61/43)- 43
WFMY (2) - 51
Back a few pages is a person who has been known to install roof antennas.
Running the coax through the wall with speakers will not hurt anything. Just be sure to use good coax, RG-6 is recommended. Only use RG-59 for short jumps, 3 feet or less. Depending on how many splits you need to make will determine whether you need a preamp or not. I would recommend you do NOT use anything more than 15 db. In the city, anything much over that and it becomes susceptible to overload by cell services. Also, if you need to split to multiple sets, you do not want a big amp driving a splitter amp. It will overload it easily. Remember, unlike analog, when digital is overloaded, you get no reception as if there is no signal at all. It is a window of acceptable signal strength. It is a fairly large window, but you put in a 25 db amp on the roof and a 20 db amp at the splitter and you will be overloading like crazy. Just enough gain on the splitter amp to overcome splitter lose is all you need. You want to try and keep things unity gain once it hits the house. Level X in, level X out. Not level X, in level Y out. Rule of thumb, each 3db doubles or halves (depending on the direction you going) the signal. 2 way splitters are 3db or half's the signal. An eight way splitter drops the signal around 12 db (drops the signal down to 1/6 of what the input level is). So ganging the amps together to provide more control over the signal to the TVs is what you want but you don't want to overload them.
Hope that helps you getting an idea what you might need. I have been threatening to draw a diagram on what I am talking about. Now may be a good time to do that.