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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Two days ago, I got my HD receiver (a myHD equipped HTPC) hooked up for the first time.


For starters, I used the cheapest rabbit ears I could get my hands on. Results were mildly pleasant: I could get all local stations, including KNBC (Los Angeles, CA) nice and strong with no break-ups; except for KCBS, which didn't come in at all. FWIW, www.antennaweb.org , put my location in the yellow (small multi-directional antenna) range for DTV reception.


Next, I hooked up my setup to my rooftop antenna (an old, big Radio Shack rig: something like this one ), and things looked really good. KCBS came in strong, with infrequent break-ups (pixelation due to low signal strength). KNBC remained strong. However, the next night, from about 6-9PM, KNBC was a really weak, mostly unwatchable mess, with very erratic to low signal strength. Other stations, too, like KCET (PBS) which had been rock solid the previous night, broke up occassionally. Signal strengths from various stations seemed to waver between 30-60%, sometimes momentarily dropping to 0-10%.


So... I really would like to get rid of my rooftop antenna, especially since I can't directly replace the 300 ohm line that runs through the attic and inside walls and converted to 75 ohm at a wall socket by the TV, but I'm wondering what I should do here:


1) Run coax (RG-6?) from the antenna over the roof and into the back of my house (where my den/Home theater resides)?


2) Get an amplifier to boost up signal strength?


3) Buy a nice ($50+) amplified indoor antenna like this one ?


4) Get a new rooftop antenna (how about this one ?) and run RG-6 from it over a shorter distance (by posting it against the chimney that comes up from my den's fireplace)? BTW, good or bad idea to have an antenna next to a chimney, especially when marshmellows are rosting over an open fire?
 

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How many different directions do you need to look? The antenna is always going to be a compromise between the the number of different directions it can recieve a signal and the strength those signals need to be.


In any case you need to replace the 300 Ohm twinlead. It wasn't designed to draped about like coax and when it is its performance sucks. Twinlead can have lower loss than coax but it is difficult to install properly.


A nice rooftop antenna will outperform amplified indoor units everytime.


What is the length of the two proposed coax runs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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How many different directions do you need to look? The antenna is always going to be a compromise between the the number of different directions it can recieve a signal and the strength those signals need to be.
For all but one station--which I really don't care about--pretty much due north, 358-359°

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In any case you need to replace the 300 Ohm twinlead. It wasn't designed to draped about like coax and when it is its performance sucks. Twinlead can have lower loss than coax but it is difficult to install properly.
And on top of that, I'm pretty sure it's cracking all over the place. It was installed prior to our purchasing the house, so who knows how long it's been there.

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A nice rooftop antenna will outperform amplified indoor units everytime.
Yes, but if I don't need it, I can do away with the ugly factor. Putting on my chimney would be a nice compromise, though, and the coax run would be shorter...

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What is the length of the two proposed coax runs?
For the old/existing antenna, about 30-40 feet is my guess. The new one would be maybe 20 feet.
 

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A medium sized outdoor directional antenna with no amplifier would be best. It will give the best performance against multipath and will not need to be rotated if all your stations are in a single direction. If all your channels are above CH 7, the CM 4221 would do nicely.


The difference in loss between 40 feet and 20 feet of RG6 is not worth considering. (about 1.8 and .9 dB respectively).


Antennas aren't ugly.:)
 

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Originally posted by eswrite
1) Run coax (RG-6?) from the antenna over the roof and into the back of my house (where my den/Home theater resides)?


2) Get an amplifier to boost up signal strength?


3) Buy a nice ($50+) amplified indoor antenna like this one ?


4) Get a new rooftop antenna (how about this one ?) and run RG-6 from it over a shorter distance (by posting it against the chimney that comes up from my den's fireplace)? BTW, good or bad idea to have an antenna next to a chimney, especially when marshmellows are rosting over an open fire?
Option 1 might help, but I'd hold off on it.


Option 2 will more than likely destroy your reception. Unless you're getting significant snow on analog UHF channels, an amplifier is going to create more noise and multipath than it's going to fix.


Option 3 stinks. If you want an indoor, get the Zenith Silver Sensor. Target even carries it now. They look a little funky, but outperform just about everything else for indoor UHF reception.


For option 4, get a Channel Master. The 4-bay bowtie (3021) is a great choice for your location.


Having antennas near the exhaust of a chimney (wood or otherwise) shouldn't cause any problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, folks. I got me one of 'em Zenith Silver sensor (ZHDTV1) jobbies, pointed it in the general direction, and guess what? Yup. 80-100% steady. Bring it on. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mount Wilson, in Los Angeles, is 15-20 miles away north of my house. I'm in a sweet spot, really, because I have little obstruction around me, mostly one level residential; I have pretty much a single angle for most if not all stations, and, as you can already see, I am fairly close. I am just flabergasted that this diminutive antenna beats my rooftop Radio Shack beast.
 

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I installed a MyHD-120 in my HTPC!!!! Wow......!!!! I have a 10 year old Radio Shack antenna in the attic, and I am still able to pull in phenomenal digital television! The only HDTV I'm picking up is the Demo on PBS, and a few mindless sitcoms that I wouldn't normally watch, but the picture quality is phenomenal! I wasn't even sure that I would be able to pull in any HD stations, analog signals are pretty weak where my house is located.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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The only HDTV I'm picking up is the Demo on PBS, and a few mindless sitcoms...
Go to www.titantv.com and get the programming for your area. The 3 majors (CBS/NBC/ABC) are outputting quite a bit of HD these days. If you want something other than mindless sitcoms, check out CSI on CBS or Monday night football on ABC. Remember you can always record if you aren't home/awake at the scheduled times. BTW, PBS has good HD programming, but so far, I haven't seen any of it transmitted in 5.1 audio--all 2 channel--which is disappointing.
 
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