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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I just bought a Zenith HD-SAT520 from CC (I think I overpaid, it was $439 for an openbox, but its still cheaper than buying it elsewhere ... CC said they can't control the price that the computer controls the openbox prices based on how long they've been sitting?!).


Anyways, I also had a TERK TV44 antenna installed on my Oval Directv dish. Currently, the only major channel that I can receive a good signal with is FOX. Everything else is hit or miss, sometimes I get an OK signal, but sometimes I don't ... and sometimes the signal is between OK and bad, so its impossible to watch since every other second it pauses.


Is there anything I can do to improve my reception? ... Would buying the Zenith Silver Senor antenna improve it? ... I was under the impression that an outdoor antenna would work better than an indoor one, but I've read a lot of positive things about that particular antenna.


I live in the McNair Farms area of Herndon, VA ... about 25 miles west of DC. I figure that I'm not far enough from the city to be getting really poor reception, so there should be some way I can improve it enough to be able to enjoy HDTV.


I also was told that there's the possibility of the signal strength increasing at certain times from the broadcasters ... Is that true and if so when is the best time to watch? ... So far, I've only tried this weekend so there really wasn't any "primetime" for HDTV. I'm hoping maybe that this week during primetime that the true HDTV broadcasts will net me better reception.


Also, I live in a 3-story townhouse where right across my backyard is another 3-story townhouse ... My dish is on the "top" of the 2nd floor. Don't know if this would detract from the signal at all...


Thanks to anyone who can help! I'm hoping I can get a better signal and that I haven't wasted $400+ on a receiver! :)
 

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Welcome to the forum.


You can try the Silver Sensor and it might work for you. This antenna stuff is more an art than a science. Just make sure to try something that you can return. Radio Shack is a good local place to do tryouts. If you go exterior you should be able to pick up Baltimore as well.


Check out the Washington DC/ Baltimore HD thread for more ideas.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by LiQiCE
Anyways, I also had a TERK TV44 antenna installed on my Oval Directv dish. Currently, the only major channel that I can receive a good signal with is FOX. Everything else is hit or miss, sometimes I get an OK signal, but sometimes I don't ... and sometimes the signal is between OK and bad, so its impossible to watch since every other second it pauses.


Is there anything I can do to improve my reception? ... Would buying the Zenith Silver Senor antenna improve it? ... I was under the impression that an outdoor antenna would work better than an indoor one, but I've read a lot of positive things about that particular antenna.
The Terk lineup is generally junk and the "clip on" design is easily the worst. Almost any antenna is going to perform better, including the $1.99 UHF loop from Radio Shack.


25 miles might be pushing it for indoor reception, but the Zenith SS is worth a shot - especially since you can return it if it doesn't work well. Try placing it near your television first, and if that doesn't work, you can try it in your attic. It is not designed for outdoor installation and would likely fall apart outside.


For an outdoor antenna, look into one of the Channel Master bowtie designs, like the CM3021.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by sregener
The Terk lineup is generally junk and the "clip on" design is easily the worst. Almost any antenna is going to perform better, including the $1.99 UHF loop from Radio Shack.


25 miles might be pushing it for indoor reception, but the Zenith SS is worth a shot - especially since you can return it if it doesn't work well. Try placing it near your television first, and if that doesn't work, you can try it in your attic. It is not designed for outdoor installation and would likely fall apart outside.


For an outdoor antenna, look into one of the Channel Master bowtie designs, like the CM3021.
Thanks for the advice ... I grabbed the Silver Sensor from BestBuy today and it picks up NBC, CBS, and FOX for me. Only guys I can't get are ABC, and the WB. May have to look into getting a rooftop antenna installed to grab the rest of the HDTV channels!
 

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Try moving the antenna around some; The Silver Sensor is directional and sometimes won't pick up all stations from the same position.


Rooftop is of course preferable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by jckessler
Try moving the antenna around some; The Silver Sensor is directional and sometimes won't pick up all stations from the same position.


Rooftop is of course preferable.
jckessler,


Thanks, I already tried moving the antenna around and I got it in the best position for CBS/NBC/FOX, but I was only able to briefly get ABC (mostly garbled anyways), so the signal wasn't quite strong enough to grab with the Silver Sensor. The WB I haven't been able to get anything on...


I figure with a good roof antenna I should be able to get the majority of stations for HDTV.
 

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It appears that Hearndon is more like 15 miles from the main towers in NW DC. You couldn't possibly have a signal strength problem unless you have some serious blockage. Besides FOX is the weakest of the four networks in that area. You may be overloaded or pointed in the wrong direction. Your not using a pre-amp are you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by NightHawk
It appears that Hearndon is more like 15 miles from the main towers in NW DC. You couldn't possibly have a signal strength problem unless you have some serious blockage. Besides FOX is the weakest of the four networks in that area. You may be overloaded or pointed in the wrong direction. Your not using a pre-amp are you?
I thought WTTG and WUSA have 1000kW signals, with WRC-DT coming in somewhere around 700kW, WJLA-DT coming in at the lowest at around 325kW ... and then WETA and WBDC coming in last ... That makes sense to me since I can get a good signal for the first 3, just not the last 3.


I'm not using a pre-amp of any sort with the Silver Sensor ... I'm only using the SS connected to my SAT520.


I'd probably get a better signal with the Silver Sensor on my 3rd floor by the window rather than my first floor... but of course the HDTV is on the first floor right now.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by LiQiCE
... I'd probably get a better signal with the Silver Sensor on my 3rd floor by the window rather than my first floor... but of course the HDTV is on the first floor right now.
If all your stations are in the same general direction, try the SS in the attic. Connect the antenna using a temporary piece of coax. Running it out the end of the house and down into a 1st floor window to the TV might not be too difficult.


If it works in the attic, install it permanently. Running the coax through closets makes the job much easier.


For very long coax runs, try adding a CM 7777 preamp.
 

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You may be correct about the transmit powers. I was only speaking from my own experience where I get 4-1, 7-1, and 9-1, digital channels with strong steady signal strength in the 90s with no dropouts and WTTG in the 60s with some dropouts. I am over 50 miles away using an outdoor CM 4228.

I just think you should have an easy time of it, even with an indoor antenna.
 

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I live in Herndon near the golf course. I rented a Samsung STB from a company in MD when I was getting ready to place my order for an HDTV.


I could only get 5.1, 7.1, 9.1, 50.1-2 and 66.1-4 using the antenna (omni directional in attic) originally. I got a $22 UHF only antenna at Radio Shack, put it in the attic and then I could also get 4.1, 26.1-4 and 22.1. I then had to return the rental STB and ordered a Winegard 8700 pre-amplifier. When I put that in place, the analog TV will scan the channels and actually lock on all of the digital station numbers (including baltimore). You might want to try out the $22 UHF only antenna as a check.
 
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