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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the very near future, I will be discontinuing my service as a DTV satellite subscriber due to monthly budget reduction. In doing such, I'd like to utilize an HDTV Antenna to receive OTA HD network channels, mainly NBC, FOX, ABC, and CBS. PBS would be nice too. I would also like to be able to receive the same HD channels after the digital switch.


I live a little under 30 miles from Sacramento and about 50 miles from San Francisco. My ZIP is 95688. I live in a 1 story house, with slate tile roof, and plenty of attic space. There are no tall buildings or trees around me, but there is a small, local airport a couple of miles away.


I'd like to have an antenna that I can mount in my attic (if the slate tiles and roof wouldn't interfere), directly on my 'old' DTV dish, or use the same DTV pole mount. I really don't want any towers raised or more mounting holes in my stucco or eves. I was looking into the Terk HDTVo, but the reviews on here have started to make me think twice. Can someone please, without any flaming, recommend and antenna to fit my needs. I have gone to AntennaWeb and have posted the findings below:


DTV Antenna Type Call Sign Channel Network City, State Live Date Compass Heading Miles From Frequency Assignment
* yellow uhf KTFK-DT 64.1 SAH STOCKTON, CA 161° 35.6 62
* yellow uhf KCRA-DT 3.1 NBC SACRAMENTO, CA 97° 27.3 35
* yellow uhf KTXL-DT 40.1 FOX SACRAMENTO, CA Feb 17, 2009 (post-transition) 94° 26.5 40
yellow uhf KTFK 64 SAH STOCKTON, CA 159° 34.9 64
yellow vhf KOVR 13 CBS STOCKTON, CA 98° 27.5 13
* yellow uhf KOVR-DT 13.1 CBS STOCKTON, CA 98° 27.5 25
yellow uhf KMAX 31 CW SACRAMENTO, CA 95° 27.4 31
* yellow uhf KCRA-DT 3.1 NBC SACRAMENTO, CA Feb 17, 2009 (post-transition) 95° 27.4 35
* yellow uhf KMAX-DT 31.1 CW SACRAMENTO, CA Feb 17, 2009 (post-transition) 98° 27.5 21
* yellow uhf KOVR-DT 13.1 CBS STOCKTON, CA Feb 17, 2009 (post-transition) 98° 27.5 25
* yellow vhf KVIE-DT 6.1 PBS SACRAMENTO, CA Feb 17, 2009 (post-transition) 94° 26.5 9
* yellow uhf KTFK-DT 64.1 SAH STOCKTON, CA Feb 17, 2009 (post-transition) 98° 27.5 26
* yellow uhf KTNC-DT 42.1 SPA CONCORD, CA Feb 17, 2009 (post-transition) 161° 35.6 14
* yellow vhf KXTV-DT 10.1 ABC SACRAMENTO, CA Feb 17, 2009 (post-transition) 98° 27.5 10
* yellow uhf KQCA-DT 58.1 MNT STOCKTON, CA 94° 28.3 46
yellow vhf KVIE 6 PBS SACRAMENTO, CA 94° 26.5 6
* yellow uhf KVIE-DT 6.1 PBS SACRAMENTO, CA 94° 26.5 53
* yellow uhf KSPX-DT 29.1 ION SACRAMENTO, CA 95° 27.4 48
* yellow uhf KTXL-DT 40.1 FOX SACRAMENTO, CA 94° 26.5 55
yellow vhf KXTV 10 ABC SACRAMENTO, CA 98° 27.5 10
* yellow uhf KXTV-DT 10.1 ABC SACRAMENTO, CA 98° 27.5 61
yellow uhf KTXL 40 FOX SACRAMENTO, CA 94° 26.5 40
yellow uhf KTNC 42 SPA CONCORD, CA 159° 35.0 42
yellow uhf KQCA 58 MNT STOCKTON, CA 95° 27.4 58
green vhf KCRA 3 NBC SACRAMENTO, CA 95° 27.5 3
green uhf KUVS 19 UNI MODESTO, CA 91° 70.1 19
green uhf KSPX 29 ION SACRAMENTO, CA 60° 62.2 29

light green uhf KCSO-LP 33 TEL SACRAMENTO, CA 91° 70.1 33.

* red uhf KUVS-DT 19.1 UNI MODESTO, CA 91° 70.1 18
* red uhf KMAX-DT 31.1 CW SACRAMENTO, CA 95° 27.4 21
* red uhf KTNC-DT 42.1 SPA CONCORD, CA 159° 35.0 63
* blue vhf KNTV-DT 11.1 NBC SAN JOSE, CA 193° 55.3 12
blue vhf KNTV 11 NBC SAN JOSE, CA 193° 55.3 11
blue uhf KEZT-CA 23 BOX SACRAMENTO, CA 51° 28.9 23
blue uhf K45HC 69 TBN SACRAMENTO, CA 42° 31.7 69
blue uhf KSTV-LP 53 SPA SACRAMENTO, CA 55° 50.1 53
blue uhf KRJR-LP 41 DAY SACRAMENTO, CA 36° 34.2 41
violet vhf KRON 4 MNT SAN FRANCISCO, CA 196° 51.5 4
violet vhf KQED 9 PBS SAN FRANCISCO, CA 196° 51.5 9
violet vhf KTVU 2 FOX OAKLAND, CA 196° 51.5 2
violet vhf KPIX 5 CBS SAN FRANCISCO, CA 196° 51.5 5
violet vhf KGO 7 ABC SAN FRANCISCO, CA 196° 51.5 7
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dru the Fu /forum/post/15543423


In the very near future, I will be discontinuing my service as a DTV satellite subscriber due to monthly budget reduction.

Dru, go to http://tvfool.com and plug in your location, then choose after transition as pre-transition is all but over.


You can copy and paste your image from there here. Digital only after transition would probably be best as you didn't state you wanted any post analog low power signals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here's a pic from TVfool with only Post-Transition Digital channels selected.


I forgot to mention that I'd like to spend no more than in the area of $100 if possible.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dru the Fu /forum/post/15544608


Here's a pic from TVfool with only Post-Transition Digital channels selected.


I forgot to mention that I'd like to spend no more than in the area of $100 if possible.

Well the good news is all your green channels are in one direction. That is very good news. They are also strong (in the minus 30dbm range) for 30 miles away.


2 issues. One is your attic and you say a slate roof, so I assume no metal on the roof beside screws or nails. The second issue is you have 2 VHF stations.


The Terk HDTVo is amplified and your signals all in the -30dbm range are pushing for overload. The specifications for gain on that antenna are not real. There is now way a single folded VHF section will have 12 db gain, they are counting the amp. Same with UHF, saying a 22 inch boom including the mount (so it's probably 18 inch boom) won't have 11 db of gain. The real gain for that antenna is probably very negative dbd in low band (you don't care about lowband), then at best unity or zero dbd at VHF 7-13 (High Band) and about 5 dbd at UHF (at best).


My experience is most of these new "trick" antennas, don't work even close to their specs, at best half or much less. I tell people to avoid them.


Being in the attic you will loose 10 to 15db of gain. That puts your stations in the mid to high -40dbm range. That puts them needing a little big of gain in the antenna itself. Outdoors, not so much gain should be needed.


The UHF gain needed for a -45 to -50 dbm signal is not hard to do in an attic. The antenna needed for VHF channels (PBS and ABC) is more.


That I think will be your biggest deciding issue is KVIE and KXTV on VHF. putting them at -36 to -40 range outside even all the "trick" antennas are not going to work.


This antenna should work outside, HD7694P
http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...p?prod=HD7694P


I would jump to at least the HD7696P in the attic. They make up to a HD7698 but that is probably too big and expensive.


I would not buy an amp, unless you find you need it. Don't at first.


Also you should be able to split that signal to 2 TVs if you coax is under 50ft to each TV and you use RG6 cable (don't even waste money RG59).


There is also a Sacramento, CA - OTA thread
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=397256


San Francisco, CA - OTA
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=369015


Where if you read through say the last 6 months of posts you may find someone in just your situation and they have a solution.
 

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Looks like a directional antenna is definitely in your future, and yes, they can use the dish mount if it's already on top of your house.


If the coax cable is good, you can really trim the cost down as it's already run from the dish to your tv.


Personally, I have the EZ_HD antenna from Dennysantennaservice.com, and it performs decently (on aimed-at stations), regardless that it's surrounded by trees on a 1 story house. It was $60 including shipping.



That Winegard HD 7694P looks real nice... I'd try that attached to your dish mount, aimed towards the clump of channels.
 

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That antenna probably used 3rd harmonic on the VHF elements for added gain on UHF. So I guess it might be as high as 6dbd on UHF, which ain't bad.


On VHF, though it probably barely hits 3dbd. The 2 directors are so close together they are more to cover a wider freq spread than calling it a 4 element antenna. It looks like a good antenna design to me, just I wonder if there is enough gain there to give a good signal on VHF.


The old dish coax should work fine as they use at least even cheap rg6. I would not replace it, good point.


Here in Gainesville FL we have a channel 9 that is only about -40 to -50 dbd, though they are on low power 4.9kw).


People here have tried lots of antennas for it and nothing short of an AntennaCraft Y5-7-13 Highband-Broadband VHF HD Yagi for Channels 7-13 (Y5-7-13) cuts the mustard. Even then the report was 83% with no preamp and about 50ft of cable.


That is why I suggest the HD 7694P outside. It does mount though in the middle, so unless your dish mount sticks up above the roof, it won't work on the side of a building. Too much gain in his situation would be hard to do with no preamp. So I would go up to the HD 7695 or 96 in the attic would ensure enough gain, if he can fit one in the attic.


But see I am prejudice. I say get an antenna one size bigger if you want to buy once, if you don't need the beamwidth of separated towers, which he doesn't have. To fit an antenna into a class on how to mount it so limits your choices.
 

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I would like to say, there is no such thing as a HDTV antenna, there is just TV antenna, since it all uses the same bands and they are all analog. What you will likely need is more gain than with the old style analog signals, because of the all or none reception of digital signals. So I would add maybe three db to the desired gain, just to be safe. The best gain is antenna gain, amplifier gain, which is ok, introduces noise.


That said, looks like you will need a directional antenna. I am partial to the flat style like the DB4 types, especially for attics, if you have enough height to stand it up. Yagi style antenna often have pointing problems due to the rafters and the other roof supports limiting movement. But that's just my preference. I have also been successful in getting strong high band VHF reception off of these style antennas, just enough it seems to work fine.


TVFool is a good site to look at for information --- Good luck.


PS, to see how it might work, you can build one of the coat hanger style flat antennas and give it a try for virtually zero cost. I did and it sure told me a lot about my site, without spending any money.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill-tb /forum/post/15545654


I would like to say, there is no such thing as a HDTV antenna, there is just TV antenna, since it all uses the same bands and they are all analog. What you will likely need is more gain than with the old style analog signals, because of the all or none reception of digital signals. So I would add maybe three db to the desired gain, just to be safe. The best gain is antenna gain, amplifier gain, which is ok, introduces noise.


That said, looks like you will need a directional antenna. I am partial to the flat style like the DB4 types, especially for attics, if you have enough height to stand it up. Yagi style antenna often have pointing problems due to the rafters and the other roof supports limiting movement. But that's just my preference. I have also been successful in getting strong high band VHF reception off of these style antennas, just enough it seems to work fine.


TVFool is a good site to look at for information --- Good luck.


PS, to see how it might work, you can build one of the coat hanger style flat antennas and give it a try for virtually zero cost. I did and it sure told me a lot about my site, without spending any money.

There are only a couple of good preamps on the market that typcially have as low or lower a noise floor as the receivers. Cheap ones like Radio Shack amps add as much trouble as they fix in a lot of situations.


The best gain is in the antenna.


You say you are getting good VHF on a 4 bay UHF. I am not doubting that but on tvfool.com what is the dbm of your VHF stations? His are getting near -50 if he puts an antenna in the attic.
 
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