AVS Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Hi all,
I'm looking into cutting Comcast as their prices keep rising. I live in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, about 45 miles from the Pittsburgh OTA signals. I live in an apartment but in an old house. I just have to verify with my landlord first on mounting it (should be ok).
Anyways, what would the best antenna be for this situation? I'm basically looking at all UHF, except for 11 (19) and 13 (13). (the only other VHF is 8 from Johnstown).
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Jim

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id=f1f09e77bd4e7f
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,559 Posts
Try re-running your TV Fool report for an antenna at 50' to see if signals improve any. Most of your stations are very weak and may not be possible to receive. To have any real chance you'll need an antenna high and in the clear with a preamp. Indoors at 10' isn't going to do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Some added info:
I plan to put the antenna at the corner of my building.
Only obstruction would be trees and some hilly terrain in the distance.
It would be located at least 5-10 feet from power lines.

TV model is LC260SS8, LCD Sylvania.

Aim to use 50 feet of RG6.

TVFool at 50 feet: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id=f1f0a771ae316 4
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Try re-running your TV Fool report for an antenna at 50' to see if signals improve any. Most of your stations are very weak and may not be possible to receive. To have any real chance you'll need an antenna high and in the clear with a preamp. Indoors at 10' isn't going to do it.
10 feet was my minimum. It would probably end up being 20 feet roughly, and outdoors, not indoors. I'm just trying to figure out if it's even possible, or how large of an antenna I'd need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·

The reason I feel like this is possible, because roughly 2 years ago I had a
Zenith converter box (model # was
DTT900) and CM 4221 (original model) that I was selling, so I tested the signal in different spots just for the fun of it.
Pointing out my bedroom window at roughly 190-195 degrees I got 5 Pittsburgh channels at about 75-90%.
(KDKA 2 (25), WTAE 4 (51), WPXI 11 (48), WPMY 22 (42) and WPGH 53 (43)). The Pittsburgh OTA's are at around 265 degrees. Considering I was getting 5 of them mostly solid with out any picture drops, pointing at the wrong direction from a first floor window, leads me to believe a larger antenna outside higher will work...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,186 Posts
Hi all,
I'm looking into cutting Comcast as their prices keep rising. I live in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, about 45 miles from the Pittsburgh OTA signals. I live in an apartment but in an old house. I just have to verify with my landlord first on mounting it (should be ok).
Anyways, what would the best antenna be for this situation? I'm basically looking at all UHF, except for 11 (19) and 13 (13). (the only other VHF is 8 from Johnstown).
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Jim

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id=f1f09e77bd4e7f
Ouchh!! That TV fool report is really bad. But I suppose there is still hope for you. Don't be discouraged. Your signals aren't very far. From the looks of it, there must be some terrain that is negatively impacting you. From what I've seen, TV Fool tends to be overly pessimistic with the affects that terrain has. Look at your noise margins... technically it takes a noise margin above zero to get a watchable picture, so you'd need an antenna with a high gain to overcome those negative values. And you'd also have to minimize your losses from coaxial cable length from the TV to antenna. Don't use any splitters, that will degrade the signal too much.

The XG91 is a UHF-only antenna which has a lot of gain... somewhere in the range of 12-17 dB. You can combine it with another antenna for your high-VHF channels like Fox 8. That's what I do. I live in Akron Ohio, and I am able to receive WYTV from Youngstown 24/7, and TV Fool tells me I shouldn't even be able to receive that with a noise margin of -17.8.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ouchh!! That TV fool report is really bad. But I suppose there is still hope for you. Don't be discouraged. Your signals aren't very far. From the looks of it, there must be some terrain that is negatively impacting you. From what I've seen, TV Fool tends to be overly pessimistic with the affects that terrain has. Look at your noise margins... technically it takes a noise margin above zero to get a watchable picture, so you'd need an antenna with a high gain to overcome those negative values. And you'd also have to minimize your losses from coaxial cable length from the TV to antenna. Don't use any splitters, that will degrade the signal too much.

The XG91 is a UHF-only antenna which has a lot of gain... somewhere in the range of 12-17 dB. You can combine it with another antenna for your high-VHF channels like Fox 8. That's what I do. I live in Akron Ohio, and I am able to receive WYTV from Youngstown 24/7, and TV Fool tells me I shouldn't even be able to receive that with a noise margin of -17.8.
I'm thinking that if my cable run was over 50 feet, then use a preamp. But even 5 feet over the top of that side of the building would clear anything (except the trees, obviously). I live in an old house that was turned into apartments, my side is 1 story and has a 1 story roof line, so this corner above the roof line would be high enough that the rest of the building would not be in the way of signal. I wouldn't use a splitter unless I decided I wanted to add a converter box in my bedroom, but if I did that I'd get a preamp with a splitter on the one end.
I've read about the XG91. What about the DB8? How does the gain compare? I know their both good antennas, same price on Amazon.
Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,186 Posts
You are correct... If you use a preamp, then you don't have to worry about the cable length or even the splitter losses, as long as the amp gain is more, and in nearly all cases it is. Personally, I haven't used one because I have a few nearby TV towers that would potentially overload it and make my situation worse. Both the antennas you mentioned are good. They both have good gain. You can probably find the exact gain numbers if you Google it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You are correct... If you use a preamp, then you don't have to worry about the cable length or even the splitter losses, as long as the amp gain is more, and in nearly all cases it is. Personally, I haven't used one because I have a few nearby TV towers that would potentially overload it and make my situation worse. Both the antennas you mentioned are good. They both have good gain. You can probably find the exact gain numbers if you Google it.
I would probably need 50-75 feet of RG6. The closest tower is a repeater for 11 out of Pittsburgh, (15 mi - 21) but I could care less about that repeater. I assume at 75 feet I should use a preamp?
And VHF wise, getting 8 would be nice, but not necessary. Getting 19 (RF 11) would also be nice, but their also on RF 27 a little closer. RF 13 is the only VHF that I really want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,559 Posts
But even 5 feet over the top of that side of the building would clear anything (except the trees, obviously). I live in an old house that was turned into apartments, my side is 1 story and has a 1 story roof line, so this corner above the roof line would be high enough that the rest of the building would not be in the way of signal. I wouldn't use a splitter unless I decided I wanted to add a converter box in my bedroom, but if I did that I'd get a preamp with a splitter on the one end.

I've read about the XG91. What about the DB8? How does the gain compare? I know their both good antennas, same price on Amazon.

Unfortunately trees are a problem especially for UHF and in my experience when dealing with weak 2 edge signals they're even more of a problem. The 91XG and the DB8 are close enough in gain that one isn't going to receive all the stations and the other won't. I'd like to tell you that there is some magic solution for a low antenna looking through trees but there isn't. I'd try one of those antennas and see if you can receive anything. You can return it to Amazon if it doesn't work. There are some locations where OTA is impossible. Try it and see what happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,199 Posts
The DB-8 on Amazon that is same price as 91XG is the "New DB-8", which Ken Nist modeled and found had severe Net Gain Loss (esp. excessive SWR) on the lower UHF Channels [Net Gain subtracts SWR Mismatch Loss from the usual Raw Gain numbers...unfortunately, Ken Nist didn't post his "New" DB8 models, so I can't recalculate Raw Gain]:
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/DB8.html

91XG is ALSO designed for the Old UHF Band, so it also suffers from Loss on the Lower Channels, compared to the NEW, NEW DB-8e, which is about $50 more:
https://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_files/attachmentlibrary/Technical%20Data%20PDF%27s/DB8E-TDS.pdf
I believe the Multi-Bay type Bowties have an advantage compared to 91XG when Multipath forms "bands" of alternating strong and weak signal strength patterns....when some Bays are in a Null, it is likely that OTHER Bays are NOT in a Null. Same argument applies to receiving signals thru Trees:
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/antennas/siting.html

Although still designed for the OLD UHF Band and hence not quite as high a performer as the DB-8e, the CM4228HD is a good, lower cost alternate, esp. if you do the HHH (Holl_ands Horizontal Harness) modification, which FIXES the Loss on Lower Channel problem:
http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/multibay/8bayrefl [See items 4 compared to item 3.]

HOWEVER, for your location, you need an Antenna with the HIGHEST GAIN you can get....which means the DB-8e (or a DIY Project)....BUT you'll probably find you need a PAIR of Horizontally Stacked Antennas....which could be two lower cost 91XG's, if the cost of a PAIR of DB-8e's scares you off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,186 Posts
I would probably need 50-75 feet of RG6. The closest tower is a repeater for 11 out of Pittsburgh, (15 mi - 21) but I could care less about that repeater. I assume at 75 feet I should use a preamp?
And VHF wise, getting 8 would be nice, but not necessary. Getting 19 (RF 11) would also be nice, but their also on RF 27 a little closer. RF 13 is the only VHF that I really want.
Here is a website which has tested the gain of the DB-8 antenna. Specifications are also shown... http://www.hdtvprimer.com/antennas/db8.html

Alternatively, here are the specifications for the XG91...
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/antennas/XG91.html
The gain is shown here...
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/antennas/comparing.html

Comparing net gain, the XG91 has 10.8 to 15.8 dBi of gain from channels 14-51. The gain increases gradually as the channel number increases. The DB-8 has 7.0 to 14.4 dBi of gain, with a sharp drop on channels lower than 20. So from those numbers, the XG91 is a better performer on UHF channels, and I would personally attest to the fact that it's a good antenna. I have it...



A couple days ago, I was able to receive WTAE at 110 miles away with the XG91...

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Unfortunately trees are a problem especially for UHF and in my experience when dealing with weak 2 edge signals they're even more of a problem. The 91XG and the DB8 are close enough in gain that one isn't going to receive all the stations and the other won't. I'd like to tell you that there is some magic solution for a low antenna looking through trees but there isn't. I'd try one of those antennas and see if you can receive anything. You can return it to Amazon if it doesn't work. There are some locations where OTA is impossible. Try it and see what happens.
I might do more research and wait a bit. Or maybe the DB8e would be better for my situation vs the old DB8 or 91XG. Especially since I have UHF coming from 2-3 different directions. And might aim to only do a UHF Antenna since RF 13's NM is very low at -20 ish (redid my report at 20 feet). Seems like a stretch to try to get 13.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The DB-8 on Amazon that is same price as 91XG is the "New DB-8", which Ken Nist modeled and found had severe Net Gain Loss (esp. excessive SWR) on the lower UHF Channels [Net Gain subtracts SWR Mismatch Loss from the usual Raw Gain numbers...unfortunately, Ken Nist didn't post his "New" DB8 models, so I can't recalculate Raw Gain]:
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/DB8.html

91XG is ALSO designed for the Old UHF Band, so it also suffers from Loss on the Lower Channels, compared to the NEW, NEW DB-8e, which is about $50 more:
https://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_files/attachmentlibrary/Technical Data PDF's/DB8E-TDS.pdf
I believe the Multi-Bay type Bowties have an advantage compared to 91XG when Multipath forms "bands" of alternating strong and weak signal strength patterns....when some Bays are in a Null, it is likely that OTHER Bays are NOT in a Null. Same argument applies to receiving signals thru Trees:
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/antennas/siting.html

Although still designed for the OLD UHF Band and hence not quite as high a performer as the DB-8e, the CM4228HD is a good, lower cost alternate, esp. if you do the HHH (Holl_ands Horizontal Harness) modification, which FIXES the Loss on Lower Channel problem:
http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/multibay/8bayrefl [See items 4 compared to item 3.]

HOWEVER, for your location, you need an Antenna with the HIGHEST GAIN you can get....which means the DB-8e (or a DIY Project)....BUT you'll probably find you need a PAIR of Horizontally Stacked Antennas....which could be two lower cost 91XG's, if the cost of a PAIR of DB-8e's scares you off.
I looked up the DB8e and the reviews on it, pretty impressive. That might be a big help, especially since I could have both bays in the middle each direction, or one pointing one way and another pointing the other way.
I'll probably just buy one antenna, not do any modifications or any stacking. I'd love to be able to have RF 13 solid, but my TV Fool report @ 20 feet says the NM is -19. I don't see getting that with the DB8, DB8e or even the CM4228HD (heard the new model is worse then the original).
I just know based on pointing an old CM4221 at 190 degrees (signals come from 265), I had solid signal on 5 Pittsburgh stations (2, 4, 22, 22 and 53). This was something I tested like 3 days in a row, 2-3x a day. Signal is there, so maybe the DB8/DB8e since it might be scattered a good bit...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Here is a website which has tested the gain of the DB-8 antenna. Specifications are also shown... http://www.hdtvprimer.com/antennas/db8.html

Alternatively, here are the specifications for the XG91...
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/antennas/XG91.html
The gain is shown here...
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/antennas/comparing.html

Comparing net gain, the XG91 has 10.8 to 15.8 dBi of gain from channels 14-51. The gain increases gradually as the channel number increases. The DB-8 has 7.0 to 14.4 dBi of gain, with a sharp drop on channels lower than 20. So from those numbers, the XG91 is a better performer on UHF channels, and I would personally attest to the fact that it's a good antenna. I have it...



A couple days ago, I was able to receive WTAE at 110 miles away with the XG91...


You gotta love ducting. The gain looks good on the XG91. But if I were to try to do a set up with out a rotor, I'd need something that could get signal from 90-120 degrees or so. Another member mentioned the DB8e and I looked it up, maybe that is what I should be doing.
Getting RF13 with the NM being -19 @ 20 feet seems a little far fetched too.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top