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The difficulty with over-the-air TV reception, especially in an area with many hills and mountains like the Bay Area, is that it is extremely location-specific.


At your house you may get nothing, and a nearby neighbor could get everything. And there could be every permutation in between these extremes.


One of the key questions is whether you have direct view of the transmitters or if you have obstructions in between you and the transmitters (obstructions are common in the Bay Area). Then the questions are how high are the obstructions, how close are they to you, and what are they (metal or dirt).


Likewise, there can be one location on your property, and one height of your antenna, at which you get good reception and another location/height at which you get poor reception.


Also, the particular antenna you use can affect the results.


The bottom line is that you may have to be prepared for a fair amount of trial and error of different locations/heights/antennas. You may put something up and get lucky the first time and have it work fine. You may not.


In my case, I've been through a dozen antenna installations on my property (in the difficult East Bay behind mountains) with widely varying results. I currently use two antennas at two locations/heights to get all the Sutro stations and Sacramento stations. Also, reception can be affected by many other factors, such as time of day, time of year, and airplane flight patterns.


In Livermore you may have better luck getting the Sacramento stations than the San Francisco stations, depending on your particular location.


The best approach would be to start with something simple and inexpensive and see how it works. You can try different locations and heights. If needed, you can increase the cost and complexity if needed (in my case I use two horizontally stacked yagi's to reduce multipath).


You can hire someone with the proper equipment to conduct a site survey at your location to determine feasibility of reception and the best location/height, or you can experiment yourself.


Hope this helps.


Les

ISF Certified Video Calibrator
 

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Anyone have recommendations for where in SF/oakland to buy channel master/winegard antenna's?


I live in Rockridge [flatland section of oakland], and work in SF. Just got an EDTV, gotta get on the full HD bandwagon...
 

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Holy Macaroni! Somehow I could never find this 49.2 but there it is. I pray I'll be able to tune this is in during the mysterious times I cannot pull in 11.1. Thank you.
 

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Am I the only person that watches Smallville in HDTV here in the Bay Area? It looks awful on my system but no one else ever responds when i bring it up on other threads.
 

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Well, I'm putting up my CM4228 this Sunday. Assuming it all works and the HTPC card also works, maybe - well, no, i still don't think I'll watch it
 

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For archival purposes, I live in the flatlands of Rockridge[oakland], and put up a CM4228 on a 10' mast on top of my house. About 10deg up from horizontal. I'm using my HTPC and the ATSC tuner on my Fusion3HDTVGold card to tune the stations. I may/not check this forum that often, so in addition to responding to this post, please PM me if you have a question.


I am able to tune with the following signal strengths as of this moment in time:

Digital 2[KTVU] 100% 32.6dB

Digital 4[KRON] 100% 29.5dB

D5(KPIX) 100% 29.5dB

D7(KGO) 98% 26.5dB

D9(KQED) 100% 29.5dB [and my fav - dang there's good stuff here]

D20(KBWB)87% 23.5dB

D26(KTSF) 100% 32.6 dB

D38(KCNS/shop-at-home) 100% 27.8

D43(KCSM) 100% 27.8

D45(UPN) 100% 29.5

D47 70% 19.1dB

D65(PAX) - 98% 26.5

D66(??) 100% 32.6


Can't quite get D35(??) 16% 3.2dB


There was one more, but it was a foreign language one and I deleted it out of my guide and can't remember which one it was. I also get the following analog channels:

-6

-7

-9

-11

-13

-25

-37
 

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My friend just moved out to Palo Alto, so I've been seeing what channels he should get at his location.

I don't see KNTV, the NBC affiliate in San Jose, in your list.

You must be waiting on that cut-to-channel 12 yagi.
 

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Actually, in August [by olympics] they're moving to San Bruno mountain, which is about 15 miles away from me and only a few degrees over. Hence, I'm currently on the "pray that the CM4228 can get both with maybe some slight repositioning" plan.


Your buddy should have no issues with KNTV, though, the lucky bum. My wife thinks OTA HD is phenomenal, but almost every show she watches is on NBC.
 

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In the Oakland hills with a direct view of Sutro tower and a Zenith Silver Sensor buried in a wooden footlocker on the first floor of a three story house, we get the following:


KPIX-DT - CBS

KGO-DT - ABC

KTVU-DT - FOX

KQED-DT - PBS

KCSM-DT - PBS

KBWB-DT - WB

KBHK-DT - UPN

KRON-DT - Independent

KTSF-DT - Independent

KKPX-DT - Independent

KCNS-DT - Independent


No KNTV NBC, either on the primary or alternate (48-2) feeds. Currently we have three options for getting HD NBC in our house:


1. Wait for KNTV to move their transmitter to Mt. San Bruno and hope the Silver Sensor works.


2. Wait for NBC to cut a deal with DirecTV to provide a national HD feed (similar to the CBS deal)


3. Test drive more powerful antennas to try to pick up the current KNTV feed.


We only regularly watch two network shows (Letterman and Arrested Development), neither one of which is broadcast in HD or on NBC, so our motivation to get HD NBC is very low.


However, as a huge track and field fan I am highly motivated to get this working prior to the Olympics. Or at least I was highly motivated until yesterday. That was when I came across the thread discussing NBC's decision to broadcast all Olympic HD with a 24 hour delay. With that I have lost all interest in lifting a finger to get HD NBC.


Saves me a bunch of money for a new plasma and HD TiVo that were going to part of my Olympic upgrade, though!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by IVB
Actually, in August [by olympics] they're moving to San Bruno mountain . . .

IVB,


The last I heard (in a local paper a few days ago) the move to Mt. San Bruno was far from a done deal. Apparently the owner of the tower there has booted (one of) the current tenants (KCSM) to make room for KNTV, but the FCC was still reviewing the deal and KRON and KTVU were both seeking to block this move. Based on that I would not hold my breath about getting this done in time for the Olympics.


Or maybe you have other/better info that you can share???
 

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All my info is 8th-hand: The owner of Schand Electronics in SJ was the one who told me to hold off, and as he would have made more $$ selling me the 2nd antenna, I believed him.


That said, I can see why KRON would want to block, but why KTVU? Isn't that fox? Why would they care?
 

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Don't know what KTVU's beef is. All I know on this subject I learned in a paragraph near the bottom of this Comical article .


Edit: I did come across this article indicating that there is some interference between KTVU's digital signal and an existing digital transmission from Mt. San Bruno. That may have something to do with KTVU's objection.
 

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Whether or not KNTV goes online at Mt. Bruno in August, I got the yagi-cut channel + jointenna solution set up with my Channel Master 4228A.


After about 2 hours of work (as a novice) on the roof of my house, I've got great reception to all the major OTA signals in the bay area using my HD-Tivo.


Location: Los Altos, CA (94024). Single Storey house. Many trees here and there but no mountains nearby.


Vendor: SCHAD Electronics (I recommend them highly. Fry's in Sunnyvale has some of the channel master stuff for about 10% cheaper such as the 4228 but they don't have everything so SCHAD is a one-stop-shop. but be careful, no refund, no exchange! Also, I figure it's in all of our best interest to help SCHAD make some money so they stay in business...)


Resource: antennaweb.org


Main UHF antenna: Channel Master 4228. Aimed at Mt. Sutro.

VHF Cut Channel Yagi: Winegard YA-6713 (VHF 7-13, this is all they had). This is pointed almost 180" opposite of the channel master, to get KNTV-NBC VHF channel 12 (the HDTV signal)

Join-Tenna 75 OHM for CH. 12 (Channel Master)

a 10' mast

a lot of cable (150 feet of RG-6)

some decent female connectors for making cable ends.


These guys highly recommend the 4228 over the newly released WInegard Squareshooter.


The big story is that I didn't need a pre-amp. Antennaweb.org says I'm about 33 miles from Sutro, and around 22 miles from the KNTV tower. The jointenna, the 4228 and the yagi are all one one post. Each antenna has it's own balun (75:300 ohm transformer) and short coax cables from each antenna to the jointenna, and then a 150 feet cable from the jointenna to my HD receiver.


Total cost: $160.69 (not including my LABOR!)


Gotta admit, it's tough to get on the roof. Luckily today was balmy but without any breezes. The key is to have a good ladder, one you can trust going up, and down!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by 85n280
Whether or not KNTV goes online at Mt. Bruno in August, I got the yagi-cut channel + jointenna solution set up with my Channel Master 4228A.


I've got the same situation in Palo Alto. Would it be possible for me to visit your antenna solution. It would help me is I could see yours -- from the ground!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by htwaits
I've got the same situation in Palo Alto. Would it be possible for me to visit your antenna solution. It would help me is I could see yours -- from the ground!

Here some photos, let me know if this helps.


I bought the tripod (channelmaster) from Fry's @ Arques. They also had the 4228 for $49, and it was $64 at Schad, FYI. But Fry's doesn't have the joint-tenna box to isolate channel 12 and connect it downstream, and Fry's doesn't have the 7-12 yagi. The yagi I got was 6 element, about $34 dollars at SCHAD.


As per antennaweb.org, the 4228 (the big mesh antenna) is facing 308 degrees, and the yagi is pointed at 127 degrees which is KNTV. Obviously this is really based on my house location, but I can't imagine it can be that different a few miles north of my house, where you are. Also, I had to move the antenna to the middle of my roof because it was the only place where I had the most "runway" (no immediate trees) to 308 for Sutro. The 127 yagi is actually pointed right at a couple of oak trees.


I have a 10 foot mast (bought at Schad but Fry's has it too) and 150 feet of RG-6 and some weatherproof female connectors for the RG-6.


The yellow box at the base of my antenna post right under the 4228 is the join-tenna. Also, each antenna has a balun. The Yagi comes with a special weatherproof box which a 75 ohm coax output, and the 4228 comes with a balun that butterfly-screw's in to the antenna and of course 75 ohm coax comes out of that as well.


The biggest suprise of all of this is that when I first moved into the house, there was a monster antenna with a rotor on top of a 10 foot pole, which was horrible. I tried pre-amping it but no luck. I think getting a good antenna is worth it because certainly I've learned the lesson, size and rotors and preamps don't matter if you've got a good antenna!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by 85n280
Here some photos, let me know if this helps.


Thanks for the pictures. They are just what I needed. I don't know antenna terminology so I may have some questions later.
 

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Oh, one last thing for posterity's sake: many people say the 4228 can pick up a whole lot, and I never actually tried receiving Channel 12 (it's the digital channel for KNTV-11) with the 4228. It may work really well since from my house, Sutro and KNTV are almost perfectly 180 degrees from each

other. If that works, you would save about $40 for the yagi and the jointenna.



the yagi and jointenna was first posted by people closer to hwy 92 (e.g., redwood city, san mateo, and points north) because of their trouble picking up KNTV in San jose. Palo Alto may not be that bad.
 

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Coyote Waits
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Quote:
Originally posted by 85n280
the yagi and jointenna was first posted by people closer to hwy 92 (e.g., redwood city, san mateo, and points north) because of their trouble picking up KNTV in San jose. Palo Alto may not be that bad.

That could be. According to antennaweb.org we are 27.5 miles and 305 degrees from Sutro and 28.2 miles and 130 degrees from KNTV's location.


I have an uninstalled Channel Master Model 4221 that I've had in the garage for a year and a half. I wonder how it would perform compared to the 4228. I can mount it either as an extension of the mast or attached to the mast like your installation.


If I don't have any old analog TV sets around I guess there is no point in keeping or replacing the VHS antenna.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by htwaits
That could be. According to antennaweb.org we are 27.5 miles and 305 degrees from Suto and 28.2 miles and 130 degrees from KNTV's location.


I have an uninstalled Channel Master Model 4221 that I've had in the garage for a year and a half. I wonder how it would perform compared to the 4228. I can mount it either as an extension of the mast or attached to the mast like your installation.


If I don't have any old analog TV sets around I guess there is no point in keeping or replacing the VHS antenna.

The 4221 looks good, and I guess it's within the range for where you are. Sutro is listed as x>31 miles for me so I thought it would be fringe for me. The old VHF antenna with the rotor that was on my roof originally would pick up HD signals for my DirecTV HD-TIVO (OTA signals) but the picture would fade-in-and-out. If there is ever a momentary fade-out (picture freezing or blanking out) then Tivo stops recording which is a real big pain.


imho I would sell the 4221 on ebay and pick up the 4228 at Fry's....
 
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