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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just moved on to the second floor of a duplex near Jane and Bloor. I am looking to get OTA channels at my place. I purchased an amplified antenna from Canadian Tire . I do have an east facing window (towards CN tower), but it is not direct line of sight. The channels I could pick up were Global, TVO and CBC. None of them were particularly clean signals though and kept getting digital noise.

My question is... is there a better way of getting reception in my area? I do have an antenna on the roof of the place, but I dont know if it is wired up to anything. It's also a rental, so I dont want to spend money to have a contractor come to set it up for me (unless its really cheap). Is there a better antenna I could purchase to receive clearer channels and possibly more channels? Any assistance would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
for the record... The antenna I purchased that didnt do so well was an Quantum HDTV Amplified Antenna. I cant link to it for some reason but that is the one.
 

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for the record... The antenna I purchased that didnt do so well was an Quantum HDTV Amplified Antenna. I cant link to it for some reason but that is the one.
I would return that and try a simple pair of rabbit ears first. Since you appear to be 5 mi from the CN tower, an amp would most likely overload itself or the TV tuner. Also, the amps on those antennas are not the best.

It also doesn't look like there are that many tall buildings in your neighborhood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would return that and try a simple pair of rabbit ears first. Since you appear to be 5 mi from the CN tower, an amp would most likely overload itself or the TV tuner. Also, the amps on those antennas are not the best.

It also doesn't look like there are that many tall buildings in your neighborhood.
Thanks for the advice! I did read somewhere that rabbit ears might be better for urban areas. I realise it wont be the most amazing reception, but if I can get better than I have, it's worth a shot right? I'll return the one I have and try a more basic one. I did notice there was the end of a ribbon cable sticking in through the wall in my lounge room, but have no idea if it is actually connected to the antenna. Is there a way of checking to see if it is without having to go in to my walls? I guess I'd need to know how to go about converting that to coaxial as well if it did work.
 

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Here's your TV Fool report for the intersection of Bloor and Jane... http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id=f1f0e159f5c7a1

Look at the noise margin values. The Toronto stations from the CN tower are pretty strong. Try a Mohu Leaf antenna. CFTO-9 is your only VHF station you stand a chance at getting (all others are UHF), and it's powerful enough that the leaf may be able to receive it. The leaf is supposed to be a UHF-only antenna, but I do receive VHF with it when I'm near the transmitters. One thing I noticed about the report is that it's missing CBLT-5, but that's an easy catch. I assumed you're antenna is 10' above ground in the report.
 

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If you're limited to indoor only, then the Mohu Leaf is a good antenna. I bough mine at Wal-Mart here in Ohio, and the performance is surprisingly good on UHF stations... better than other antennas I've compared it to like rabbit ears and the directional Silver Sensor antenna. I hook it up to a portable TV when I'm traveling, and it brings in much more than the portable TV's built-in antenna, and it's small... you can hang it on a wall or from a window.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here's your TV Fool report for the intersection of Bloor and Jane...

Look at the noise margin values. The Toronto stations from the CN tower are pretty strong. Try a Mohu Leaf antenna. CFTO-9 is your only VHF station you stand a chance at getting (all others are UHF), and it's powerful enough that the leaf may be able to receive it. The leaf is supposed to be a UHF-only antenna, but I do receive VHF with it when I'm near the transmitters. One thing I noticed about the report is that it's missing CBLT-5, but that's an easy catch. I assumed you're antenna is 10' above ground in the report.
ok thanks! I'll try a leaf anetnna. It's also less of an eyesore in my room too. CBLT-5... is that CBC? I was hoping to get CBC! damn....
 

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ok thanks! I'll try a leaf anetnna. It's also less of an eyesore in my room too. CBLT-5... is that CBC? I was hoping to get CBC! damn....
Yes it is CBC. If weather conditions are right I can pick it up across the lake.

Leaf is another one you could try. Didn't work for me, but I was just advising with the cheapest, most simple solution first. We can go from there if it is warranted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes it is CBC. If weather conditions are right I can pick it up across the lake.

Leaf is another one you could try. Didn't work for me, but I was just advising with the cheapest, most simple solution first. We can go from there if it is warranted.
Thanks very much. I will certainly try the cheapest option first, then try a leaf if I think it's still not great.

Appreciate the advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
would it be worth getting someone to take a look at the antenna on my roof and seeing if it is easy/cheap to connect? do most people do a free quote if they come around for an inspection? Just looking at all my options.
 

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would it be worth getting someone to take a look at the antenna on my roof and seeing if it is easy/cheap to connect? do most people do a free quote if they come around for an inspection? Just looking at all my options.
What type of antenna does it look like? Is the antenna missing any elements? Follow the wire coming from the antenna (if it still has any) and see if you can hook it up to your TV. Is the wire coaxial or 300-ohm? If it's the old 300-ohm, then you need a cheap 300-ohm to 75-ohm separator/combiner at the TV. Is there any TV cable coming from the walls? It's definitely worth a shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
What type of antenna does it look like? Is the antenna missing any elements? Follow the wire coming from the antenna (if it still has any) and see if you can hook it up to your TV. Is the wire coaxial or 300-ohm? If it's the old 300-ohm, then you need a cheap 300-ohm to 75-ohm separator/combiner at the TV. Is there any TV cable coming from the walls? It's definitely worth a shot.
It's an old antenna. It doesnt appear to be missing elements? its 300-ohm i think? It's flat wire and it seems to feed from outside the house and up in to the roof. I dont know if I can get in to the roof to see where it goes though. The stupid thing is there is coax points in 3 rooms in my place, all looking new. They dont seem to pick up anything like they were never connected?
 

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It's an old antenna. It doesnt appear to be missing elements? its 300-ohm i think? It's flat wire and it seems to feed from outside the house and up in to the roof. I dont know if I can get in to the roof to see where it goes though. The stupid thing is there is coax points in 3 rooms in my place, all looking new. They dont seem to pick up anything like they were never connected?
How old is your place?

My parents house was built in the 50's and the people who previously lived there put up a Channel Master antenna. God knows how old it was before my father and I replaced it in the mid 1990's. It was wired with twin lead, probably before coax was the thing. My guess is they had a real antenna then when cable cable through they ran coax. They may not be putting any signal on the coax because it may be hooked up to the cable system instead.

Twin lead looks like this:
http://www.electronicplus.com/images/products/COL300B.jpg

And you need a 300 ohm to 75 ohm balun such as this to hook it up to a modern TV:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0..._m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0AZ2228P52Q4711Y421Y

You can probably tell if it's missing elements if the antenna doesn't "look right" - there should be consistent spacing between elements. Here is an example of a broken one:
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_bsGp7iJrCTc/SoxqEiCxviI/AAAAAAAAAkY/STrXvcnMV4g/s640/016.JPG
 

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would it be worth getting someone to take a look at the antenna on my roof and seeing if it is easy/cheap to connect? do most people do a free quote if they come around for an inspection? Just looking at all my options.
You may be better off calling a roofer (or antenna installer if you can find one these days) and having him just replace the thing. It probably would be too expensive since you can use the existing mount. I had a roofer (been married 1.5 years and the wife didn't want to claim the life insurance policy quite yet) mount mine for $100, it was 45 min of work. He charged more because I put up a monster. Since you aren't deep fringe, and don't want to DX (unless you want too), you can get away with a smaller set up with no rotators.

You can probably run coax through your place as well, you can tape it to the twin lead and then pull it through. Don't know how deteriorated the twin lead is, and it may be pretty old anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So after I got home from work last night, I tried something really simple... I made a 30cm length of tin foil in to a stick and added it to the end of the indoor antenna I had. Guess what!!! I got CBC, Global, CityTV, CTV, TVO to name a few. Who would have thought that doing so little could do so much. It's a complete eyesore in my room, but I am still going to send this one back and get a classic set of rabbit ears and add foil to end if need be.


Just thought I'd give an update to all that helped out. My tip for anyone.... get a 50cent roll of tinfoil and add it to your $5 rabbit ear indoor antenna. Save yourself potenitally $100's.
 

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So after I got home from work last night, I tried something really simple... I made a 30cm length of tin foil in to a stick and added it to the end of the indoor antenna I had. Guess what!!! I got CBC, Global, CityTV, CTV, TVO to name a few. Who would have thought that doing so little could do so much. It's a complete eyesore in my room, but I am still going to send this one back and get a classic set of rabbit ears and add foil to end if need be.


Just thought I'd give an update to all that helped out. My tip for anyone.... get a 50cent roll of tinfoil and add it to your $5 rabbit ear indoor antenna. Save yourself potenitally $100's.
That's good news. I knew it wouldn't take much effort at your location. I bet if you really were able to get a good outdoor antenna hooked up and pointed south, you would have no problem getting all the American networks from the Buffalo area as well. Unfortunately, as far as I am aware, Canadian OTA digital TV stations do not have subchannels (Someone correct me if that statement is incorrect). So that limits your number of channels available, but if you're happy, then that's all that counts. Here in the Cleveland market, I can receive 49 different channels over-the-air if I include all the subs. And that's not counting all the duplicate channels.:D So I'm perfectly happy here. It's like having free basic cable.

By the way, here's a link on how to get the most out of basic rabbit ears... http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/RabbitEars.html#Getting
 

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That's good news. I knew it wouldn't take much effort at your location. I bet if you really were able to get a good outdoor antenna hooked up and pointed south, you would have no problem getting all the American networks from the Buffalo area as well. Unfortunately, as far as I am aware, Canadian OTA digital TV stations do not have subchannels (Someone correct me if that statement is incorrect). So that limits your number of channels available, but if you're happy, then that's all that counts. Here in the Cleveland market, I can receive 49 different channels over-the-air if I include all the subs. And that's not counting all the duplicate channels.:D So I'm perfectly happy here. It's like having free basic cable.

By the way, here's a link on how to get the most out of basic rabbit ears... http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/RabbitEars.html#Getting
I know that Global has an SD sub channel but it is kind of pointless.

There are some good sub channels out of Buffalo. My wife likes the re-runs on MyTV out of Buffalo. She complains if I turn the antenna to watch something else out of market (like news)
 
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