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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just spent almost 20k on a HT upgrade..but still can't watch HDTV on ABC, NBC, or CBS because can't get digital signal from them.


I got a high end Home Theater company to install, but they are baffled why signal is poor and have about given up. I have tried a Terk on-roof (worked OK for ABC and NBC, but couldn't get CBS for final four so we swapped out). We put an in-attic fishbone antennae in attic last Saturday, and it worked great for two days, then Monday I started to get digital artifacts, and they came out and remounted the antennae to highest point in attic. Now I can only get Fox, TBS, and WB. The HT place says they've spent enough time messing with it, and now their work is done...but I can't watch 75% of the local channels I want for sports (MN Football, NBA playoffs, NCAA final four next year). Anyone have any suggestions? Has anyone else had trouble with OTA signal in North Atlanta?
 

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Wow David I live very close to you. I was looking at trying OTA HDTV and was wondering what the reception in this area was like. Did you figure out the reception problem yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No, my HT company sort of gave up on it. I'll probably have to hire someone else to come out and see if an amp or another type of antennae would help. I can get Fox all he time, CBS 80% of time, ABC 30% of time, and cannot get NBC.


I live in St Marlo if you know that subdivision.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by david4602
No, my HT company sort of gave up on it. I'll probably have to hire someone else to come out and see if an amp or another type of antennae would help. I can get Fox all he time, CBS 80% of time, ABC 30% of time, and cannot get NBC.


I live in St Marlo if you know that subdivision.
David,


You can email me here or at [email protected] . I can try & help you out freely. I live in Forsythe County (Cumming near the 400 at exit 15). So I am some 40 miles away from the transmitting towers. I get all of the digital Atlanta channels (between 70-100% signal strength) with attic antennas (good equipment from Televes and ChannelMaster). It took a lot of work (3 months worth, not easy) & a lot of experimentation/positioning to get it all working so I may be able to help you out.


~ Ben
 

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David


Yeah in know exactly where that is. Very nice neighborhood.


Bernd


Also a nice neighborhood. I have some friends that there.
 

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I dunno if this helps, but I live in Athens and get good reception with my 2.00 rs double bowtie. I get wb, upn, tbs, and fox all the time. I can also get abc and cbs about 25% of the time. But then again I guess I need a slightly bigger/more expensive antenna...
 

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This is ridiculous. It shouldn't take an engineer to get OTA TV. Digital TV should be able to be received by anyone using a simple antenna.


If you can't receive OTA DTV, let the FCC know about it. Contact Rick Chessen, Chairman of the FCC DTV task force.
[email protected]

tel: 202 418-2602
 

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Hey, guys. I live in North Hampton near the intersection of Sandy Plains in East Cobb. I'm having my basement finished starting mid-may. I've decided on a Panasonic L300u projector and a 45x80 (92") screen. I also want HD OTA locals and have no idea what I'm doing. Although I think the FCC regs say my subdivision can't prevent me from putting an antenna on the roof (there are some requirements), I'd rather try an attic antenna if they work with some success. I looked on antennaweb.org and almost all of the Atlanta locals seem to be, from my address, about 158-160 degrees. So I think a directional attic antenna would work.


I would be grateful for any advice any of you are willing to give. I'd like to know what kind of antenna, do I need a pre-amp, will the attic work, where locally can I buy such antenna and does anyone install it? I was also considering, but only a little, whether switching back to cable from Dish would be better for HD - but I hate, hate, hate cable, the customer non-service, unexplained outages, poor signal and crappy must watch advertising TV Guide channel that is 2 inches of useful stuff and 5' of crap.

If I can get OTA locals, I don't need to switch. PLEASE HELP!!!
 

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I live in Cumming (Forsythe County) off exit 15 near the 400. Some 40 miles from the transmitting towers. I use antennas in the attic (a Radio Shack VU-190 for VHF reception - NBC). For UHF (ABC, FOX & CBS) I use the Televes DAT75. Both go into a ChannelMaster 7777 pre-amp (VHF + UHF). My antennas point 205 degrees from my home towards the transmitting towers. A combo UHF/VHF antenna did not work for me so I wound up using the RS strictly for VHF and bought one of the best UHF antennas available - the Televes (ordered from England). A combo UHF/VHF antenna such as the ChannelMaster 3020 may work for you in the attic (Lowes sells them) or a Radio Shack in the VU series.


A lot of this equipment may be ordered over the Internet from Stark Electronic or Warren. If you prefer to shop in town try Dow Electronics in Duluth - they have everything from antennas to pre-amps.


You can install the antennas yourself in the attic by mounting them on a mast (Radio Shack sells antenna masts as does Lowes) or hanging from a rafter. However if your attic does not have a floor, take care not to slip and crack the ceiling below. One thing to watch out for...you have to find a location in your attic where the signal strength will be sufficient enough. That takes some experimentation by moving the antenna around from spot to spot. Sometimes an inch this way or that way may make a great difference.


I needed a pre-amp with low noise such as the ChannelMaster 7777. Now all of my signals come in at 75-100%. Usually a signal strength of 50% is enough. You can do it - I didn't know a thing about antennas when I started. If you do it yourself, you will have the time to experiment. Pay someone else to do it and he may be there for just a few hours and leave you with insufficient results. It took me quite a while (days & weeks) manouevering the antennas around the attic to find the "sweet spot".


~ Ben


PS the best UHF antennas you can buy in town (at Dow) are the ChannelMaster 4248 and the 4228 (both around $60). A ChannelMaster pre-amp (should you need one would also cost you around $60).


BTW I'm also a Dish customer and am avidly waiting for the 921 HD PVR to come out so I can replace my 501 with it. It will allow reception & recording of OTA, Dish HD & Dish SD programming.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by david4602
I live at McGinnis Ferry and 141, just at Forsyth county line. Thanks for the link...its great.
David,


I am a couple miles North of you on Mathis Airport Road. I get all the stations without a problem. I use the Channel Master 7778 preamplifier & it works great. One thing to keep in mind with digital ota signals, it takes magic, black magic to get these things working sometimes. The hardest one I ever set up was IN Atlanta, ON TOP of a large hill. If the trees weren't full foliage I'd bet I could see the antennas!


Go figure...


If all else fails PM me..
 

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Thanks. Where can I find the televes you bought? How do I know if I need a pre-amp? I was told that too much power (gain?) is no good either. I'm not sure why; perhaps becuase if there is anything reflective, it gets worsened? Honestly, I'd like to try what worked for someone else - unless there's a company I can call, tell the distance and situation, and they can tell me which one to get. I'll probably have the guy finishing my basement pre-wire the cables into the antenna and the basement, and then I'll fool around with the antenna. I'd be fine with 2 antennas like you did if that's the best. Some of my attic has a floor, but most does not. I'm okay with moving around the antenna. With what do you measure the signal level? Thanks for the answers in advance!
 

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I have a MyHD HD receiver card in my PC which shows me signal strength on the screen. Other HD receivers have ways of showing signal strength on an HDTV set.


You would need a Televes DAT75 or a ChannelMaster 4248 (or 4228) if you are 35 miles or further away from the transmitting towers. I think you are about 15-20 miles away from the transmitting towers. I ordered the Televes from England but a 4248 would do just as well for you if you needed a powerful antenna. Probably a ChannelMaster 3020 combo (Lowes) would be fine for you or a medium Radio Shack VU model. However these things are not predictable...I tried several different kinds of antennas before hitting on a winning combination.


I discovered that I needed a pre-amp when most of my signals came in at 20-30% with lots of dropouts and freezing. I started without pre-amps, just antennas. Start off with just the antenna(s).


When you first start and you see something appearing on your screen, then you can evaluate whether you need a pre-amp. If it tends to freeze or you experience frequent dropouts, go to a pre-amp. That's after you've moved the antenna around and determined that nothing else will help.
 

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Excellent! I'll shoot for the 4248 or 4228 channelmaster. Isn't that a UHF only? If so, what about for VHF? Is the Radioshack VU-190 VHF? And do the HD decoders like the Samsung have inputs from an antenna for both UHF and VHF? Does anyone sell a compass and signal strength meter aside from the PC version? Would Dow or the Shack have one?


I'm still wondering, like Ben said, if I'm better off waiting for the new Dish box which will do both OTA and Dish HD. Ben, do people have any better idea when that's coming out and how much it will cost? If it'll be $700+ as I have heard, I might go for the cheaper non-HD PVR and plain non-Dish HD for OTA only to save money. Any thoughts on the VHF, strength meter, compass and HD box. Thanks!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by nahtanoj
Excellent! I'll shoot for the 4248 or 4228 channelmaster. Isn't that a UHF only? If so, what about for VHF? Is the Radioshack VU-190 VHF? And do the HD decoders like the Samsung have inputs from an antenna for both UHF and VHF? Does anyone sell a compass and signal strength meter aside from the PC version? Would Dow or the Shack have one?


I'm still wondering, like Ben said, if I'm better off waiting for the new Dish box which will do both OTA and Dish HD. Ben, do people have any better idea when that's coming out and how much it will cost? If it'll be $700+ as I have heard, I might go for the cheaper non-HD PVR and plain non-Dish HD for OTA only to save money. Any thoughts on the VHF, strength meter, compass and HD box. Thanks!
The Radio Shack VU-190 is VHF. I have the Radio Shack mounted on a mast going into the VHF input of a ChannelMaster 7777 pre-amp. The Televes is mounted on another mast near the Radio Shack and goes into the UHF input of the same 7777 pre-amp as the Radio Shack. The 7777 has 2 inputs (one VHF, the other UHF). One output line comes out of the pre-amp going to my receiver (a 50' RG6 cable from my attic to my living room). This way you can get any HD receiver with just one input to it.


The 921 was rumoured to come out in August of this year. It now appears to be delayed (first until September, then December). But these are rumours. Prices have been rumoured at $750 to $1200. The only reason I'm interested in the 921 (since I already have a receiver) is that my wife is demanding a PVR for HD which can suitably replace one of our 501s.


Compass I bought at Wal-Mart (camping section). My best reception is a few degrees south of the 206-209 span quoted to me by Antennaweb. You may have to fiddle around with that as well - a few degrees to this side or that side of what Antennaweb tells you.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by arxaw
This is ridiculous. It shouldn't take an engineer to get OTA TV. Digital TV should be able to be received by anyone using a simple antenna.
I wish that were true but there are so many factors that go into this...distance, intervening topography, signal deflection & rerouting, station transmitting power, antenna structure, etc.
 

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The intent of I our post was awesome, but I'm not sure I totally understood it. I looked at the picture, but it was too small to see. What antenna is that? Would that one work for HDTV? Would it be better on a dish or roof than the channel master 4248 in my attic? One of the other posters said it was frustrating that it was so hard to get DTV OTA, and we should write the FCC chairman. You seemed to be saying he had some fault because he has already been told a small antenna would work - it's probably irrelevant to my issue, I'm just curious. I'm a newbie to all this, so forgive the ignorance of the politics. If there is a small antenna that would be better than an in the attic one, I'd like to consider that one. It does seem like getting over the air DTV and specifically HD should be easy. In the old days, everyone had an attic on their roof and it just seemed easier. But now, at least where I live, everyone is so concerned about property values and standardization, freedom has been compromized. That, I guess, is why the FCC ruled that restrictive covenants can't prevent you from putting a small dish on your roof, and perhaps a small antenna too.


The current complexity, I'm guessing, is just caused by simple physics.
 

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Sadly, this stuff is almost like vodoo. It has to do with the atmosphere, low voltage signal levels and the like. Sometimes it seems as if there is no reason to it: I tried for 3 months to get decent signals with a couple of different attic antennas. Finally, I gave up and ordered Comcast. An hour before they came, I found a possible fault in how I had my last setup, re-scanned and got every Atlanta digital station 5X5! Having said that, I still like the convienence of the Comcast box. The whole install took less than an hour for 2 sets, and the picture is at least as good as DirecTV or OTA - possibly even better. And, I don't have to worry about the atmosphere, rain, etc.
 
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