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Antenna Needed w Dish?

883 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  afiggatt
This is a newbie question, but I'm building a house, and will soon be upgrading to the Dish HD package. Will I need an antenna to get the local channels in HD, or does Dish provide locals in HD?

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You probably have to pay extra for em' with Dish, plus their guaranteed to be more compressed.

Living in Rochester, I know the TC market. All the digital stations are on UHF, after 2009, 11 & 9 will go back to their VHF-HI allocation.

Could you give us your antennaweb.org results? I think you could get away with a CM 4221 ($25) and pull in everything including i41.
CM 4221 is nice (I use one for local channels), but you can also use one of these things if you wanna combine the local signal on the same cable run into your house (you break it out with a diplexer just upstream of the Dishnet receiver):


I was able to get some decent results with it, but it isn't ideal, as is evident from some of the reviews....

I got it cheap off fleaBay, then upgraded to the Channel Master later.

Here's the Channel Master 4221:


Just my $0.02...
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Originally Posted by Todd_L /forum/post/0

This is a newbie question, but I'm building a house, and will soon be upgrading to the Dish HD package. Will I need an antenna to get the local channels in HD, or does Dish provide locals in HD?

Someone may correct me on this, but I think Dish only provides the big four - ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC - for the HD locals with a limit to 6 HD locals in a market? We have 7 HD broadcast networks. So if you want to get PBS, CW, My Network, or future possible HD locals, you may need an antenna to get those.

Even if Dish were to provide all the local stations in HD, if you are building a new house you should have a RG-6 cable run from the TV/rec room to the attic and/or a spot where you can run a cable in from the roof to the attic to connect it. I would put up an antenna regardless, because it means you are not entirely dependent on Dish or the local cable system for the local broadcast stations. Depending on where you are, you may be able to get stations from another city/market, local stations & sub-channels that are not available on Dish or cable.

If you post your zip code, we can provide advice on what antennas to consider.
The CM 4221 antenna above should work, but in Feb., 2009, it may not work for chs 9 & 11, when those chs move back to their original channel assignments in the VHF band. A CM 4228 would be a more future-proof choice, because it usually works better than the 4221 for most highband VHF channels.

To aim your antenna, enter your complete address at http://www.antennaweb.org

Click "Street Map" to show which way to point your antenna.
Thanks for the info, looks like I'll definately want one. FYI, my zip is 55318.

Originally Posted by Todd_L /forum/post/0

Thanks for the info, looks like I'll definately want one. FYI, my zip is 55318.

Here are your antennweb.org results for your zip code and adding 300' to the antenna height to get a more complete list of the digital stations (the color codes are not meaningful when adding 300' but it is a useful step to see what stations are around you that might be able to get):

* yellow - uhf KARE-DT 11.1 NBC MINNEAPOLIS MN 51° 28.7 35

* yellow - uhf WCCO-DT 4.1 CBS MINNEAPOLIS MN 51° 28.7 32

* yellow - uhf WFTC-DT 29.1 MNT MINNEAPOLIS MN 52° 29.1 21

* yellow - uhf KSTC-DT 45.1 IND MINNEAPOLIS MN 51° 28.7 44

* yellow - uhf KSTP-DT 5.1 ABC ST. PAUL MN 51° 28.7 50

* yellow - uhf KTCA-DT 2.1 PBS ST. PAUL MN 52° 29.1 34

* yellow - uhf KTCI-DT 17.1 PBS ST. PAUL MN 53° 29.1 16

* yellow - uhf KPXM-DT 41.1 ION ST. CLOUD MN 351° 39.6 40

* yellow - uhf KMSP-DT 9.1 FOX MINNEAPOLIS MN 52° 29.1 26

* green - uhf WUCW-DT 23.1 CW MINNEAPOLIS MN 51° 28.7 22

With the exception of the KPXM Ion/Pax station at 40 miles & 60 degrees away from everybody else, all of your stations are in the same direction.They are all currently on UHF. As already posted, two of your stations, KARE-DT NBC 11 and KMSP-DT Fox 9, will be switching their digital channels to upper VHF 11 & 9 in 2009 after the analog shutdown.

The Channel Master 4228 8 Bay bowtie is a good choice for your situation. The CM 4221 would also work for now, but you might have to add a upper VHF antenna such as the Winegard YA-6713 to get the NBC and Fox station in 2009. If you had stations scattered around in different directions, the CM 4221 would make sense, but your stations with the exception of the Ion station are in the same direction. If you aim the CM 4228 a few degrees north of the Minneapolis/St. Paul stations, you might be able to get the Ion station as it is at 1000 kW (the maximum allowed for digital UHF), but Ion is SD only and not a high priority station for most people.

Since you are building the house, put in good quality RG-6 cable. If you split the antenna cable to multiple TVs, make sure that you place any splitters or distribution amps at places where you can access them after drywall is put up. If your cable run is not that long, you probably won't need a pre-amp. A pre-amp is something that you can always add later if it turns out you need it. Check solidsignal.com and warrenelectronics.com for prices on the CM 4228.
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