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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
 www.antennaweb.org can't find my location (naperville, right at route 59 and north aurora) and I'm having a horrible time trying to find it on the map.. Can anyone suggest what I might nee to try the local HD broadcast channels? I live in an apartment on the 3rd floor (no one above me) and I have a very clear view (ie with my direct tv dish) pointing south west.. I also beleive I have a pretty good north view (partialy blocked i think) but my east view I think is completely blocked.


My question is this.. is it worth the risk of buying one of these 400-1000$ hd recievers only to get some maybe all or no hd broadcasts? What's the success rate? I can't put up any 10' attena on the roof either.. i have no crawl space so I cant hide one either.. What do I do? I'm REALLY interested in doing it but I am so reluctant to go for it due to cost and possibly the availibility of some channels...
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Gameboya
www.antennaweb.org can't find my location (naperville, right at route 59 and north aurora) and I'm having a horrible time trying to find it on the map..
I can't help you with your map skills, sorry, but I did a search in Naperville, IL on antennaweb.org and went as far north as US Hwy 20 (north of I-90.) In that area, you're in the yellow for a whole lot of stations, most to your WNW direction. Yellow being the best you can get, it seems likely you'll get these stations.


WCPX-43, WSNS-45, WLS-52 all lie in that direction. ESE is the direction of your other digital channels, and your mileage will most definitely vary. You might see if your apartment manager will let you put an antenna on the roof, or if they already have one pointed in that direction... Stations that way (still yellow) are WGN-19, WMAQ-29, WFLD-31, and WBGO-53.


A simple test you can perform without blowing a lot of money is to pick up a twin-bow-tie antenna from your local Radio Shack. They run about $18, they'll take it back if you're not satisfied for any reason, so you're really not risking much. Then, see what you get on the UHF band with it. Try to assess the quality of the picture - is it full of shadows, do things go wavy, or is the signal solid? Snow isn't really a factor here (unless there's a lot of it.) You're looking for a solid signal that doesn't change much over time. (Keep in mind this is a directional antenna and you'll need to turn it to get best reception.)

Quote:
My question is this.. is it worth the risk of buying one of these 400-1000$ hd recievers only to get some maybe all or no hd broadcasts? What's the success rate? I can't put up any 10' attena on the roof either.. i have no crawl space so I cant hide one either.. What do I do? I'm REALLY interested in doing it but I am so reluctant to go for it due to cost and possibly the availibility of some channels...
Most companies selling digital boxes have fairly liberal return policies. You might check Crutchfield or your local Best Buy. They'll take things back in a reasonable period of time if you can't get what you expected.


In my limited experience, it doesn't cost much (shipping, in my case) to give it a shot. You'll find that success varies by so many factors that your neighbor in apartment 3-B might get everything and you get nothing. But being in the yellow would indicate that you have a pretty good chance.


Happy hunting and good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
what does being in the yellow mean?? Also if I buy this attena do I still need the hd receiver or am I just testing the standard signal strength of each channel?
 

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You won't know your signal strength until you connect an HD receiver to the antenna and see what you've got.


The Radio Shack double bow-tie is said to be a great antenna. I tried it in my basement window (it's not a great location) and it didn't quite do the job, so I took it back. I'm in a house so I just put a big antenna on the roof, and everything comes in great.


All the Chicago stations are downtown, either on the Sears Tower or the Hancock Building. Don't worry about some stations saying Aurora IL or Gary IN; they will all be broadcasting from downtown.


It's a little north of due east, so if you have a view toward the east, you should be in great shape. Even if your view is blocked, you still might be able to pick something up.


I would suggest asking the guys at Tweeter if you can borrow a used receiver. Then pick up the antenna at Radio Shack (it's under 20 bucks) and give it a shot. Jay Leno is on 29 every weeknight at 10:30, they have a strong signal and if you can't pick that up, you will probably have a hard time with the others.


You might also want to buy a receiver at Best Buy -- they have a liberal return policy if you bring it back within 30 days, if you can't or don't borrow one from Tweeter.


Good luck -- I went through this trouble last year and believe me, HD is worth the effort.


Dan
 

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If I'm a betting man, I'll agree with sregener and say that your odds are good that you'll be able to receive a decent OTA signal with an indoor antenna. As sregener notes, lots of variables come into play, but at least you should be close enough to the transmitters (that's what the yellow means) to receive the stations' signals, barring any major obstructions or multipath problems.


Yes, you can buy only the Rat Shack double bowtie, hook it up to your TV, and see if you can pull your local UHF analog channels. If you get any kind of decent signal at all, you may want to then take sregener's advice and pick up an STB at a place that will let you return it if it doesn't work for your situation.


When I was faced with your dilemma, I bought a Rat Shack amplied indoor antenna and hooked only that up to my TV. The local analog stations looked like crap, but I could at least receive their signal. Based on this, I went ahead with the purchase of a Tosh DST-3000 STB. Much to my surprise, the digital channel reception from my lone HD broadcaster came in at a 90-100 signal strength with very few dropouts. Remember that the digital signal is all or none--it looks great or you don't get it (or you get it, but it cuts out frequently). I had more degrees of freedom than you, since I figured that if I couldn't receive HD OTA, I'd reluctantly go to DirecTV and use the STB for at least the HD-HBO and HDNet. However, I'm happy with my local OTA ABC programming and the local NBC affiliate will go online with its digital broadcasts any day now.


Ultimately, the decision on whether or not to gamble is yours. The quote from Dirty Harry about "feeling lucky" certainly applies here. Good luck!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Gameboya
what does being in the yellow mean?? Also if I buy this attena do I still need the hd receiver or am I just testing the standard signal strength of each channel?
Antennas are rated by their ability to pull in signals. Yellow, being a small, multidirectional antenna, is about as good as it gets. You don't need a lot of antenna to pull in stations in the yellow.


If you really want to know what HD signals you get, yes you'd need a HD box. If you want a good idea if you'll get them, judging analog picture quality is probably your best bet. (Note that all my talk about shadows, fading in and out, etc. don't apply to digital reception. The things that cause those have a different impact on digital reception.)
 

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im gonna say cause i actually work at the tweeter in fox valley that your probably gonna want a rooftop antenna and not a small one. the guys on this site are almost always right but for whatever reason most people in naperville just need that rooftop antenna. we sell channel master which is pretty darn good and well im sure if you surf this site you will see the praises that some of the radioshack antenna's do. according to antennaweb our store is in the green. so go to channelmaster's website and find an antenna that is dark green. hope that helps a bit
 

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I live in west Naperville right near Rt 59 and 75th St. I purchased a large rooftop type antenna from RS and installed in my attic. I get great HD reception on all stations except for CBS. Well worth the purchase.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by pmnovak1
I live in west Naperville right near Rt 59 and 75th St. I purchased a large rooftop type antenna from RS and installed in my attic. I get great HD reception on all stations except for CBS. Well worth the purchase.
Which antenna did you get?
 
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