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San Francisco, CA - OTA - Page 2

post #31 of 10421
All my info is 8th-hand: The owner of Schand Electronics in SJ was the one who told me to hold off, and as he would have made more $$ selling me the 2nd antenna, I believed him.

That said, I can see why KRON would want to block, but why KTVU? Isn't that fox? Why would they care?
post #32 of 10421
Don't know what KTVU's beef is. All I know on this subject I learned in a paragraph near the bottom of this Comical article.

Edit: I did come across this article indicating that there is some interference between KTVU's digital signal and an existing digital transmission from Mt. San Bruno. That may have something to do with KTVU's objection.
post #33 of 10421
Whether or not KNTV goes online at Mt. Bruno in August, I got the yagi-cut channel + jointenna solution set up with my Channel Master 4228A.

After about 2 hours of work (as a novice) on the roof of my house, I've got great reception to all the major OTA signals in the bay area using my HD-Tivo.

Location: Los Altos, CA (94024). Single Storey house. Many trees here and there but no mountains nearby.

Vendor: SCHAD Electronics (I recommend them highly. Fry's in Sunnyvale has some of the channel master stuff for about 10% cheaper such as the 4228 but they don't have everything so SCHAD is a one-stop-shop. but be careful, no refund, no exchange! Also, I figure it's in all of our best interest to help SCHAD make some money so they stay in business...)

Resource: antennaweb.org

Main UHF antenna: Channel Master 4228. Aimed at Mt. Sutro.
VHF Cut Channel Yagi: Winegard YA-6713 (VHF 7-13, this is all they had). This is pointed almost 180" opposite of the channel master, to get KNTV-NBC VHF channel 12 (the HDTV signal)
Join-Tenna 75 OHM for CH. 12 (Channel Master)
a 10' mast
a lot of cable (150 feet of RG-6)
some decent female connectors for making cable ends.

These guys highly recommend the 4228 over the newly released WInegard Squareshooter.

The big story is that I didn't need a pre-amp. Antennaweb.org says I'm about 33 miles from Sutro, and around 22 miles from the KNTV tower. The jointenna, the 4228 and the yagi are all one one post. Each antenna has it's own balun (75:300 ohm transformer) and short coax cables from each antenna to the jointenna, and then a 150 feet cable from the jointenna to my HD receiver.

Total cost: $160.69 (not including my LABOR!)

Gotta admit, it's tough to get on the roof. Luckily today was balmy but without any breezes. The key is to have a good ladder, one you can trust going up, and down!
post #34 of 10421
Quote:


Originally posted by 85n280
Whether or not KNTV goes online at Mt. Bruno in August, I got the yagi-cut channel + jointenna solution set up with my Channel Master 4228A.


I've got the same situation in Palo Alto. Would it be possible for me to visit your antenna solution. It would help me is I could see yours -- from the ground!
post #35 of 10421
Quote:


Originally posted by htwaits
I've got the same situation in Palo Alto. Would it be possible for me to visit your antenna solution. It would help me is I could see yours -- from the ground!

Here some photos, let me know if this helps.

I bought the tripod (channelmaster) from Fry's @ Arques. They also had the 4228 for $49, and it was $64 at Schad, FYI. But Fry's doesn't have the joint-tenna box to isolate channel 12 and connect it downstream, and Fry's doesn't have the 7-12 yagi. The yagi I got was 6 element, about $34 dollars at SCHAD.

As per antennaweb.org, the 4228 (the big mesh antenna) is facing 308 degrees, and the yagi is pointed at 127 degrees which is KNTV. Obviously this is really based on my house location, but I can't imagine it can be that different a few miles north of my house, where you are. Also, I had to move the antenna to the middle of my roof because it was the only place where I had the most "runway" (no immediate trees) to 308 for Sutro. The 127 yagi is actually pointed right at a couple of oak trees.

I have a 10 foot mast (bought at Schad but Fry's has it too) and 150 feet of RG-6 and some weatherproof female connectors for the RG-6.

The yellow box at the base of my antenna post right under the 4228 is the join-tenna. Also, each antenna has a balun. The Yagi comes with a special weatherproof box which a 75 ohm coax output, and the 4228 comes with a balun that butterfly-screw's in to the antenna and of course 75 ohm coax comes out of that as well.

The biggest suprise of all of this is that when I first moved into the house, there was a monster antenna with a rotor on top of a 10 foot pole, which was horrible. I tried pre-amping it but no luck. I think getting a good antenna is worth it because certainly I've learned the lesson, size and rotors and preamps don't matter if you've got a good antenna!
LL
post #36 of 10421
Here are more pictures of the setup.

 

hd antenna setup.zip 260.478515625k . file
post #37 of 10421
Quote:


Originally posted by 85n280
Here some photos, let me know if this helps.

Thanks for the pictures. They are just what I needed. I don't know antenna terminology so I may have some questions later.
post #38 of 10421
Oh, one last thing for posterity's sake: many people say the 4228 can pick up a whole lot, and I never actually tried receiving Channel 12 (it's the digital channel for KNTV-11) with the 4228. It may work really well since from my house, Sutro and KNTV are almost perfectly 180 degrees from each
other. If that works, you would save about $40 for the yagi and the jointenna.


the yagi and jointenna was first posted by people closer to hwy 92 (e.g., redwood city, san mateo, and points north) because of their trouble picking up KNTV in San jose. Palo Alto may not be that bad.
post #39 of 10421
Quote:


Originally posted by 85n280
the yagi and jointenna was first posted by people closer to hwy 92 (e.g., redwood city, san mateo, and points north) because of their trouble picking up KNTV in San jose. Palo Alto may not be that bad.

That could be. According to antennaweb.org we are 27.5 miles and 305 degrees from Sutro and 28.2 miles and 130 degrees from KNTV's location.

I have an uninstalled Channel Master Model 4221 that I've had in the garage for a year and a half. I wonder how it would perform compared to the 4228. I can mount it either as an extension of the mast or attached to the mast like your installation.

If I don't have any old analog TV sets around I guess there is no point in keeping or replacing the VHS antenna.
post #40 of 10421
Quote:


Originally posted by htwaits
That could be. According to antennaweb.org we are 27.5 miles and 305 degrees from Suto and 28.2 miles and 130 degrees from KNTV's location.

I have an uninstalled Channel Master Model 4221 that I've had in the garage for a year and a half. I wonder how it would perform compared to the 4228. I can mount it either as an extension of the mast or attached to the mast like your installation.

If I don't have any old analog TV sets around I guess there is no point in keeping or replacing the VHS antenna.

The 4221 looks good, and I guess it's within the range for where you are. Sutro is listed as x>31 miles for me so I thought it would be fringe for me. The old VHF antenna with the rotor that was on my roof originally would pick up HD signals for my DirecTV HD-TIVO (OTA signals) but the picture would fade-in-and-out. If there is ever a momentary fade-out (picture freezing or blanking out) then Tivo stops recording which is a real big pain.

imho I would sell the 4221 on ebay and pick up the 4228 at Fry's....
post #41 of 10421
Quote:


Originally posted by 85n280
imho I would sell the 4221 on ebay and pick up the 4228 at Fry's....

I'll probably get the 4228 since I only want to do the roof adventure one time. Thanks for your help.
post #42 of 10421
I'm in San Mateo just south of 92 in a very flat area with very little tree cover. I'm a current DirecTV subscriber with a DTivo; I'm looking to get an HDTivo if they ever (a.) come into stock for more than 30 seconds and (b.) come below $750 or so. So it looks like I'll be reinstalling an OTA antenna sometime soon --- within a year.

Because houses are cheek-by-jowl in our neighborhood, I'd rather avoid mounting a massive visible CM 4228, much less a CM 4228 with a YAGI and a jointenna --- in my neighborhood it'd look like I'm running Radio Free Europe or something. However, Sutro and KNTV are almost 180° from each other, so maybe it can't be avoided. Besides, isn't KNTV a VHF station, meaning I'd need something other than the 4228 specially for it?

What to do? I have all the time in the world; I just want to be future proofed. I'm leaning toward installing a CM 4221 when we have some other work done on our house. Aren't chances pretty good that within, say, a year's time, KNTV will be broadcast from Sutro anyway and I can just point a 4221 in a northerly direction and pick it up, along with almost everything I'm gonna get?* Or will I still have a problem since the 4221 is UHF only? I'd love to just play a waiting game with KNTV, but if I plunk down thousands on HD hardware, "The West Wing" is one of the few justifications my wife will have for it --- I don't see her getting into "JAG" anytime soon.

*I'd love to wait until I have a digital tuner and just try out a Silver Sensor pointed at Sutro instead of reinstalling a mast, but I have stucco walls and am not confident it would be money wisely spent.
post #43 of 10421
Betimbe

I have a similar question. I just got a new OTA tuner hooked up to my existing 27 year old antenna. It's seems to be getting all the DTV channels from Sutro. I was surprised that it got the DTV channel 11 last night as well as it did. The signal coming through the back of this old antena was breaking up too much to enjoy it but it's clear that the 4228 will do just fine.

My problem is KQED. They are running five DTV channels with one HD and four rerun and alternative programming. They are not doing their regular SD programming from any of the DTV channels.

Is anyone aware of other VHS -- DTV gotchas that I haven't noticed? Or does anyone know if KQED is planning to put there regular SD programming out on one of their DTV channels.

I'm trying to avoid two antennas on my mast too.

Betimbe I have a new 4221 still in it's box if you are interested.
post #44 of 10421
Quote:


Originally posted by htwaits
My problem is KQED. They are running five DTV channels with one HD and four rerun and alternative programming. They are not doing their regular SD programming from any of the DTV channels.

As a longtime Tivo user, I have been wondering how DirecTV planned to continue to ask subscribers (who long ago took down their OTA antennas) to pay a premium to receive their locals over the satellite when they've introduced DTV receivers (including the HDTivo) that require people to reinstall OTA antennas to get their locals! I guess the sneaky way some local channels are going to leverage their DTV channels to broadcast different content from their analog is the answer.

My plan in the short term is to continue to get SD locals from DirecTV, because I like getting all the smaller PBS stations like KCSM, KTEH and KRCB without worrying about range or antenna placement.

PM me about the 4221 --- if the price is right, there's no downside for me, is there?
post #45 of 10421
Quote:


Originally posted by Betimbe
I'm in San Mateo just south of 92 in a very flat area with very little tree cover. I'm a current DirecTV subscriber with a DTivo; I'm looking to get an HDTivo if they ever (a.) come into stock for more than 30 seconds and (b.) come below $750 or so. So it looks like I'll be reinstalling an OTA antenna sometime soon --- within a year.

Because houses are cheek-by-jowl in our neighborhood, I'd rather avoid mounting a massive visible CM 4228, much less a CM 4228 with a YAGI and a jointenna --- in my neighborhood it'd look like I'm running Radio Free Europe or something. However, Sutro and KNTV are almost 180?from each other, so maybe it can't be avoided. Besides, isn't KNTV a VHF station, meaning I'd need something other than the 4228 specially for it?

What to do? I have all the time in the world; I just want to be future proofed. I'm leaning toward installing a CM 4221 when we have some other work done on our house. Aren't chances pretty good that within, say, a year's time, KNTV will be broadcast from Sutro anyway and I can just point a 4221 in a northerly direction and pick it up, along with almost everything I'm gonna get?* Or will I still have a problem since the 4221 is UHF only? I'd love to just play a waiting game with KNTV, but if I plunk down thousands on HD hardware, "The West Wing" is one of the few justifications my wife will have for it --- I don't see her getting into "JAG" anytime soon.

*I'd love to wait until I have a digital tuner and just try out a Silver Sensor pointed at Sutro instead of reinstalling a mast, but I have stucco walls and am not confident it would be money wisely spent.

- The Channelmaster 4228 is not that big. You'll be surprised. The box is large only to prevent it from getting damaged.
- The yagi antenna is not that big as well.
- The combined set is a *lot* smaller than most existing UHF/VHF antennas out there, and it really can't be noticed.
post #46 of 10421
I'm confussed about KQED DTV reception. I get 9.1 through 9.5 from Sutro with no problems so far. According to the KQED DTV web page they are broadcasting six DTV channels. The sixth on is listed in the KQED FAQ for DTV:

http://www.kqed.org/help/tv/dtv.jsp#DTV1

"How do I receive KQED's Digital Channels?
KQED is currently broadcasting six channels."

"KQED Channel 9 is available over the air to all viewers who are within broadcast range."

Then they list the 9.1 - 9.5 channels as additional DTV broadcasts.

When I go to their DTV programming page they only list the 9.1 - 9.5 channels.

http://www.kqed.org/tv/digitaltv/index.jsp

I've sent an email to their DTV manager to try to find out if the FAQ is incorrect or if my tuner setup is failing to pick up the sixth DTV channel.

I have the coax from our VHS/UHS antenna split with one side going to Ant. 1 on the TV and the other going to the LG LST-3510A OTA HD tuner. The tuner is connected to the TV through DVI.

My plan was to replace the old antenna with the 4228 and get 11.1 from San Jose through the back of the 4228.

The fly in the ointment is that I expected to get the normal KQED programming through UHF DTV signals instead of analog VHS.

My other goal is to go to the Olympics on my couch and HDTV.
post #47 of 10421
Quote:


Originally posted by 85n280
- The Channelmaster 4228 is not that big. You'll be surprised. The box is large only to prevent it from getting damaged.

After your post, I looked into this. Several retail websites offering the 4228 for sale merely listed its "length" as 5" (duh) and its width as 39.5", leaving out its height --- I guess the data entry monkeys figured that length and width were the only specs people really needed to know about antennae. As it turns out, both the 4221 and the 4228 are the same height, even though the 4228 just looks bigger in both dimensions (at least in the photos I've seen --- I guess it's the interior frame that makes it look more massive). It's twice as wide as its smaller sibling; the other measurements are basically the same.

4221: 20 x 36 x 4
4228: 39.5 x 36 x 5

So, in other words, in the dimensions that matter, the 4221 is a little less than 2 feet by 3 feet, while the 4228 is a little over 3 feet by 3 feet. So, I'll tape two yardsticks in a cross formation and have my wife stand on the roof until the neighbors complain.

Thanks for clearing up the misconception.
post #48 of 10421
Perhaps someone can benefit from my tale of OTA antennas... I live in the Oakland Hills (Montclair. Blocked from direct view of Sutro by Piedmont). I originally talked to an antenna installer (name to remain confidential) who told me I had no chance of receiving DTV and that I should return my HDTV. (Ha! I wasn't going down that easy!) Anyway, I had an old, rusty Channel Master on the roof that I found was good at getting Sutro channels. But NBC remained elusive. Since the Olympics are coming in HD on NBC, I desperately needed Plan B. After reviewing the war stories on this forum, I decided to go to Radio Shack and get the big-daddy antenna (VU-190XR). It cost about $100 and is much bigger than the 4228. (160-inches long. Size matters.) After installing it, I dutifully pointed the antenna in the general direction of Sutro and Mt. San Bruno hoping to get NBC on 48-2. I got zilch, nuttin', nada. In a moment of desperation, I point the antenna further south and by a miracle found that I'm now able to get NBC on 11-1 and still get all of the Sutro channels. (The VU-190XR is rated for 100 miles for UHF and VHF, so I guess this makes sense.) Anyway, I got lucky and will now be watching the Olympics in HD! The 160-inch antenna may be overkill, but I can't see it from the street because of the way my building is configured. Morale of the story.... forget what anyone says (including wives and significant others if you can get away with it), go for the biggest freakin' antenna you can and hope for the best.
post #49 of 10421
Quote:
Originally posted by rokstar66
Morale of the story.... forget what anyone says (including wives and significant others if you can get away with it), go for the biggest freakin' antenna you can and hope for the best.

If NBC out there (I think it's on RF channel 12 out there) ever starts to drop out on occasion, there's always this:
http://www.starkelectronic.com/del937.htm
Some good VHF-hi gain there. But then again, KNTV-DT should be moving to where all the other transmitters are soonish, right?
post #50 of 10421
Quote:
Originally posted by rokstar66
After reviewing the war stories on this forum, I decided to go to Radio Shack and get the big-daddy antenna (VU-190XR). It cost about $100 and is much bigger than the 4228. (160-inches long. Size matters.) After installing it, I dutifully pointed the antenna in the general direction of Sutro and Mt. San Bruno hoping to get NBC on 48-2.

160"? Screw Sutro. Just point that bad boy toward Greece and watch the games live, baby!
post #51 of 10421
I'm a novice to this subject so pardon my little knowledge.
I live in West San Jose, and just got VOOM installed. The OTA
antenna I got was a small winegard. To my biggest dissapointment
I'm only getting 2 OTA channels. KICU 36.1 & KSTSD 48.2.
48.2 is not listed in the antenna web site, but looks like an NBC statiion.
My questions:
1) What is 48.2 transmitting in (720p or 1080i) ?
Will Olympics be shown here ?

2) Why is the programming in this channel 4:3 ?
It's in the middle of my 16:9 plasma even though VOOM box is
setup to stretch 4:3 content. Looks like the side bars are part
of the picture ?

AE
post #52 of 10421
Quote:


Originally posted by termite
Looks like the side bars are part of the picture ?

That can be true if a HD channel is broadcasting 4x3 SD material.

From West San Jose you should be able to get Sutro tower with a good antenna and mast if they are pointed in the right direction.

Check this post from page two of this thread.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...50#post3932950
post #53 of 10421
Quote:


Originally posted by termite
I'm a novice to this subject so pardon my little knowledge.
I live in West San Jose, and just got VOOM installed. The OTA
antenna I got was a small winegard. To my biggest dissapointment
I'm only getting 2 OTA channels. KICU 36.1 & KSTSD 48.2.
48.2 is not listed in the antenna web site, but looks like an NBC statiion.
My questions:
1) What is 48.2 transmitting in (720p or 1080i) ?
Will Olympics be shown here ?

2) Why is the programming in this channel 4:3 ?
It's in the middle of my 16:9 plasma even though VOOM box is
setup to stretch 4:3 content. Looks like the side bars are part
of the picture ?

AE

That's odd, I live in Campbell near Campbell ave and San Tomas and I pick up all the major stations from sutro with the Zenith Silver Sensor, an indoor antenna. It is sitting on the shoulder of my chimney. I would check that it is aimed properly.
post #54 of 10421
bigpuma,
Thanks for the reply. You maybe right , this installer guy may not
have aimed it right. Do you know if the Sutro stations are always ON ?

Thanks
post #55 of 10421
I live in Benicia Ca, and wanted to install an HD antenna. Can anyone tell me how I can find out if I will recive the HD signal? Benica is 94510 and about 30 miles east of San Franciso and about 60 miles west of Sacramento. I assume it would come from Sutros tower.
post #56 of 10421
It depends on your specific location (hills, obstructions, buidlings, etc.) and the quality of the equipment you use. The 30 mile distance from Sutor, by itself, is no problem.

I can tell you that here, about 30 miles from SF, I can not get any Sutro signals-- but that is because I am behind a hill that blocks the signals.

On the other hand, I am quite a bit further from Sacramento than you are, but I can pick up most of the Sacramento digital signals with a very basic HD OTA setup.

So the specific geography surrounding your house (and the equipment you use and its installation) will make all the difference.
post #57 of 10421
From nbc11.com

New Tower Will Allow NBC11 To Reach, Serve More Viewers
Transmitter Set To Go Online In Early 2005

POSTED: 7:25 pm PDT August 12, 2004
UPDATED: 10:17 am PDT August 13, 2004

NBC11 is happy to announce the FCC has approved the station's request to build a new transmitter tower on Mt. San Bruno.

The transmitter is currently located on Loma Prieta in Santa Clara County.

The new tower, and new location, means better reception of Must-See-TV programs and NBC11 newscasts.

It also means NBC11 can reach and serve more viewers in San Francisco and other Bay Area counties.

Work on the new tower will begin immediately. It's set to go online sometime in early 2005.
post #58 of 10421
Quote:


Originally posted by bigpuma
I pick up all the major stations from sutro with the Zenith Silver Sensor

Where did you get your antenna?
post #59 of 10421
So I live in Sunnyvale. Up until a few months back, I was able to get everything with my RS Double Bowtie and a old pair of rabbit ears I ripped off an old tv. The ears where only for NBC, channel 12. It came in pretty well with the occasional break up. At some point, I lost 12 and 19(WB). Well, due to the Olympics, I wanted at least NBC back. So I got that amped RS attennae that everyone raves about. Sure enough, 12 is back. Although it's as splotchy as my old rabbit ears used to be. 19 is still gone. Is WB still broadcasting HD? Why would my reception suddenly get so bad for those two stations?

Also, I'm using an old WinTV-HD. I get 49 just fine, alot better than 12 even with the new attennae. Anyone know how to specify a subchannel with it so that I can get NBC on 2 instead of telemundo on 1.
post #60 of 10421
I just tuned in WB20's digital signal (20.1). I suspect it's a very low bandwidth signal, perhaps that is it. I often have to finesse tuning in WB20 (and KGO7) even when other local digitals are coming in just fine. It really has to be on the "sweet spot". On WB20, Smallville often becomes a pixelated mess. And I live on Nob Hill with a direct eye view of the Twin Peaks tower so I know it isn't me.
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