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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all,


I've read the posts here and certainly learned a great deal of HD reception.

I'm seeking advice/info/help from all you experts here.....


Here's my scenario:


Similarly to everyone here, I'm interesting in getting HD reception. I am strongly leaning towards purhasing the LST-3100A STB. I also subscribe to Charter Communications (analog) cable service. In a recent conversation with them, They said that in my area Charter Communications only offering FOXTV and NBC in HD.


In visiting antenna.org, after I input my exact street address, and get NOTHING that is in HD format. IAs a test, I moved my location to be about 3 blocks down from me, and voila, everything available that is HD OTA, it can be accesses there.


Two questions:


First, since antennaweb.org reports nothing for DTV for my exact address, am I just out of luck on this ? Has anyone else tried to setup a HD configuration even if they were in a similar situation as me. If so, what antennas/amps were useful ? Is there any hope of getting HD, OTA ?


Second, Since I am leaning towards the LST-3100A device, anyone have that hooked up using Charter Communcations cable ? Does Charter send any thing HD that is unscrambled ?


I'd hate to make this device (LST-3100A) purchase and get nothing from cable, and since I'm in an area where the OTA signal for HD is also not good, I hope this is not a lose-lose situation for me all round.


Any thoughts/comments/help is certainly appreciated.


CNCjay
 

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I'm not sure where you are in relation to the transmitters, but I'm 60+ miles from them in Houston and I pick up almost all of them with no problem; Antennae.org also couldn't find my exact address, but I'm in the country with "country addresses"; depending on what's between you and them, you should get signals ok; but keep in mind the line of site; I have a 60+' antennae so it helps a lot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Natgas - Thanks for your feedback.


I would agree with you. Where I live there are hills around. Greater Los Angeles county area have many of those, depending on where you live. I am actually about 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. So, the line of sight is definitely out of the question. There are many big buildings along the way, eventhough I'm 30 miles away from them. The hills of this neighborhood add to all this I bet.


In the past, I've never really been able to get any OTA reception for any of the VHF channels but since a majority of HDTV reception comes on the UHF band, I was being optimistic and hoping OTA reception would be better.


CNCjay
 

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What sort of antenna have you tried for ota analog reception? Are there any roof antennas in your neighborhood--indicating reception may be possible for others in your area?


As a kid I lived in Fairfield CA, 45 miles east of SF with the coastal range between us and SF. We got all the SF stations fine with a good roof antenna, and that was back in the 50s.


Here in Fresno I'm about 30-40 miles due west of the transmitters, with an airport a mile east of me and a high tension power line only about 100 yards east of my location between my house and the transmitters. I get all my locals quite nicely with a medium sized UHF/VHF antenna mounted 4 feet above my single story roof. Some of my local digitals are VHF, hence the UHF/VHF antenna.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Steve S,


To be honest, I've not tried any antenna yet for HD signal. As I had originally posted, I've not purchased any HD OTA STB yet. Since the signal quality (or availability) is in question for my address, I did not want to make a $400 investment in a device which may only serve as a good doorstop :D ... but (based on all that I've read) I'm leaning strongly towards the LST-3100A unit.


I am hopeful that someone will post info about their experiences despite what that antenna.org shows for their address. Per that website, there's nothing listed as "*DTV" signal for my exact street address but I if broaden my search, just 3 blocks from where I live, there's a full spectrum of DTV signal available.


I just may take a gamble and buy the LST-3100A, and read up more about the various antennas are being used and try buying one of those, arm myself with a good ladder, dedicate a weekend, and GO FOR IT !!! :cool: . I'm not sure if Charter Communications Cable company's HD signal is unscrambled as I don't know anyone who can validate that, getting the LST-3100A unit will allow me to exeriment with that as well.


If nothing works out.. look for a LST-3100A unit on eBAY from me :p
 

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As a test, I plugged my address into antennaweb.org. I had a Winegard HD7084P on the roof of my single-story home until October, when I replaced it with an 8200P on a 54' tower. Needless to say, reception has improved. :)


According to antennaweb, from my roof I should get exactly zero digital stations. With my rooftop antenna, I got 3. If I say I have a two-story home, antennaweb says I should get one. From my tower, I get many, many more.


Your situation isn't hopeless at all. At 30 miles, any decent outdoor antenna should do the trick, even without line-of-sight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
sregener,


a 54' tower huh.. WOW, very impressive !!


Thanks SO much for that info. I am happy to read what you wrote, it gives me hope. Last night, I did order the LST-3100A STB from amazon.com, which in turn, is ordered from JandR.com It should be here in a few days.


Meanwhile, I'm now on a quest for the best outdoor antenna that will work for me. I'm open to all recommendations, and suggestions. Just wondering, is there such as thing as "overkill" ? meaning, can I get a too strong of an antenna ? Given my poor signal area, logic tells me to buy the antenna with the most gain, and also, buy an amplifier (if needed). As I've read here, for some folks, a simple indoor antenna has done the trick, in my case, I am opting for an outdoor one for the best possible picture.


I'm also hopeful that the HD signals on my cable (Charter Communications) are also unscrambled. If anyone has any feedback about that cable company, I'm ALL ears to learn more. In speaking with them, unfortunately, for now, they only offer FoxTV, and NBC in HD. Once I get the STB, I will hook that up and find out.


CNCjay
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Unfortunately, giving up cable is not an option at the moment. I also have a cablemodem hookup, which I need for when I work from home.


Since I'm rather new to the HD arena, I was looking to explore it the least costly way. OTA was the best option to start with, till I went to antennaweb.org and got disapointed of what I saw there for my area but feedback from sregener gives me hope.. I guess ultimately, it will all come down to when I get my STB, which I now have on order through Amazon.com.


Between climbing up to the roof and hooking up a good UHF antenna or scanning my cable for unscrambled HD channels, eventhough it may only be Fox and NBC via cable, I'm hoping to get a taste of HD....and if that fails...I'll have to figure on an another approach.


CNCjay
 

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You didn't say what antenna you have used in the past trying to get NON-hd (?) Anyway hard to believe the reception could actually vary that much between those 3 streets unless you were right up against some big building or something but you said they were 30 miles away?? Or hard to believe that even if it was that antennaweb.org would be able to factor that in to that precision between 2 places 3 blocks from each other?...Frenchy
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Frenchmarky,


I had a RadioShack antenna, which I purchased about 4 years ago, I erected it up, and pointed to Mt. Wilson, which is where all the transmitters are, and had NO luck. The PQ was full of snow. In speaking with a neighbor, he also mentioned that this is a problem reception area, due to hills all around, therefore, the cable company offers a barebone package that just gives basic cable. Since then, I've been a cable subscriber. No, I'm not up against any big building, just a lot of rolling hills all around me. Today, as I was driving by, I was looking for other houses with antennas on their roof. There were some homes that had them, but very few. I did notice one house in particular, their antenna was on a very tall mast.


Yes, I would also agree with you and question the same, that why just moving three blocks down, the reception changes so drastically, at least per antennaweb.org. I guess the ultimate test would be when I get the STB and actually hook up an outdoor antenna.


Any recomenndations of a good UHF antenna, with the highest gain ?


CNCjay
 

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Your best bet is to get a Channel Master 4228. I wouldn't worry about it being too much antenna. If you were right under the transmitter, it might be too much, otherwise it'll be fine.


If snow remains a problem on analog UHF channels, a good quality preamplifier from Channel Master or Winegard would be the way to go. I'd also avoid one that does VHF since the number of radio signals in your area has to be extreme.


For what it's worth, I got a very snowy picture on two UHF channels before I put up a preamplifier. Then pictures cleared up dramatically. I still have a fair bit of snow on my UHF analogs from 75 miles out, and some of the digitals work trouble-free. Most seem to be better or worse depending on the weather. I get solid signals from 60 miles, even with 50kw ERP stations and no way to get line of sight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
sregener,


Thanks again for your input. I too am leaning towards the Channel Master 4228. I'm hoping that an amplifier will not be needed but will get one if I have no choice. There's a similar antenna made my Winegard, I'm also looking into that as well. I did not realize the CM4228 weighs around 15lbs. Wow, thats a heavy antenna. In my searches on this topic, I came across a pretty impressive website that discusses the type of things I've been looking for in an antenna. There are even graphs shown of antenna radiation patterns, which are very informative.

http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ISSUES/erecting_antenna.html


This morning, I saw an email from JandR.com, my STB shipped yesterday WOOHOO !! :D. It should arrive in the next few days. I did not opt for a priority shipping so it is probably arriving on a camel's back thru US Postal service :D. The very first thing I plan do is to hook it up to my cable and scan for the two channels Charter Communications offers in HD (FoxTV and NBC). If I get either of the two, it would certainly wet my appetite and allow me to see HD in its glory. Regardless, I will post the results here.


Then, Over the weekend, I plan to hunt down a CM4228, and accessories, and hopefully start the install. Most likely, the actual install will be in a couple of weeks. I'm not sure I have a ladder tall enough to reach the roof of my house.


I've also just finished surveying the outside area of my house, scouting some possible locations for the installation, and if I did my math right, I may be in for a major disappointment. My next door neighbor who has a dish, it is pointing towards the southern skies. Using that as a reference, the HD channels per antennaweb.org are based per true North. So, keeping that In mind, I am now looking opposite direction to where that dish is mounted. My HD channels are in the 310-312 degree range. If that IS the case, I'm pointing my antenna approximately 45 degess left of true North, which is directly at the MASSIVE tree planted in that same neighbor's backyard. This tree, which is about 20+ ft in diameter & about 35+ ft in height, it is planted on soil that is approximately 45 degee incline angle


DANG !!!!!!

:(
 

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Don't use your neighbors dish as a reference. It may most likely does not point to true south, just to the equator.


Use a real compass and point north as Antennaweb says.


Get the antenna up as high as possible. I have hills in my way, but it works great in my attic of a 2 story house. I get plenty of snow on about 1/2 the VHF & UFH stations with the same antenna for analog, but the OTA HD is clear on all LA stations.


Best of Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
ccrooster,


Thank you very much for your input. I am glad there's still yet some hope here to my installation. You definitely made a good point about the dish lined up with the equator, and not so much a true south. I will find and use a good compass to help with this process.


Today, I am working from home, and continue to go outside my house and keep examining to determine the best installation location on my house. I'm located in Walnut, near the Diamond Bar area, and there are plenty rolling hills all around me.


In inspecting further, it appears that the "east" side of my house can clear that massive tree. There's still that 45 degree slope in my own backyard, as well as my neighbors. I am currently searching around on the web to find the best way to raise the antenna without looking like as if I'm contacting Mars :D . RadioShack has a 10ft mast I will dig deeper and find what is the safest size to use without excessive bracing and guy wire configuration. I will be installing the antenna at the edge of the house, right at the "A" frame, where the two pieces of wood meet. From ground at "A" point is about 15 ft high. Combining that with a 10 ft mast, I will get approximately 25ft height to work with.


RadioShack has a brace should work for what I'm trying to accomplish but with this type of install, I may have to sacrifice 1 to 3 ft of height.
http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...ct%5Fid=15-891


I know this probably hard to answer, but does this sound a good, workable height ?


CNCjay
 

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Without knowing your local topography, no one can tell you what is the right height.


I got adequate reception from the roof of my single-story home, even though every installer in town said I was "in a valley" and would "never get anything." Of course, the 54' tower improved what I got, and I now get more digitals from 75 miles away than before, but being 20' up was enough for the local stuff. I was also shooting through trees, and through a hill about 1 mile away.


In general, you want to clear local trees (within 100') by about 10'. So if you have a generally clear area, you might be okay. That DirecTV dish should be pointed nearly SE for you, pointing to a bird somewhere over Texas.


If you have a lot of wind, get a tripod support. That should be good for about 10' of mast. Much more and you'll absolutely want guy wires.


The Winegard seems to perform better than the CM on the low frequencies, with a dropoff towards the top of the range. At half the weight, it probably isn't a bad choice. My local installer won't put 4228s on towers because of the wind load, but we're in the Midwest and swirly-clouds drop by for a visit every now and then.
 

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Quote:
They said that in my area Charter Communications only offering FOXTV and NBC in HD.
Fox doesn't broadcast in HD
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
sregener,


Thanks again for the feedback. All what you listed certainly is valuable information. Based on all the information I've read, Ive reevaluated the location of the antenna, and keeping all the numbers in mind, If I install the antenna at the WEST side of my house, I miss that massive tree completely from the line of transmission. I still have to deal with a sloping hill but at least the tree will be out of the way. HD stations are about 310'ish degrees from true north. With the antenna height of about 20 ft off the ground, and that high gain CM antenna, hopefully there will be signal.


Picture this: Behind my house, there's flat ground, about 10 ft, then there's a retaining wall, which is about 4 ft high. At that point, the hilly slope starts. It is at about 25-30 degree angle. It slopes up for about 70-80 ft. It then flattens out for about 30-40 ft. There's storm drain there. Then, the slope picks up at the same angle. It keeps sloping up for hunderds of ft. At the top, there's another track of houses. So, one might conclude that my house is right closby a tall sloping hill.


With the height of the antenna, I will clearly miss my own slope that is 70-80ft but the other slopes, which the antennas are pointing directly towards, are impossible to get above.


So, I'm hoping there's enough singal to come my side of the hill


CNCjay
 
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