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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all -


Well, set to jump into the HDTV world next week or so... with a receiver en route, and then a tech coming to swap out my DIRECTV dish for the eliptical one I need.


My question is this... I really want to get all the wiring done at once, which means I'd like to have selected/purchased my antenna for OTA HD stuff ASAP... but despite reading as much as I could here, checking anntennaweb, etc... I'm still confused. So.. help!


I live in Shrewsbury MA (01545). Antennaweb says I only need a "yellow" coded antenna to get the Boston stations (about 45 miles away). My strong preference would be to get an antenna that can just attach to the dish (ground mount) so I don't need another mount, or to put someting up on the roof.


But I also don't want to get something that won't be strong enough or is simply wrong.


So I'd appreciate any advice as to the type of antenna I need, and perhaps even recommendations of particular brands/model numbers. I can then check those in the forums as well via a search.


Thanks all, and I appreciate any info you can give. You can post here, or if you'd prefer to e-mail I'm at [email protected]


Thanks,

Frank
 

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Frank..

Remember the "yellow" recommendation reflects the MINIMUM antenna you'll need. Since there are so many variables (nearby structures, terrain, etc) it's impossible to reccomend the "perfect" antenna for your situation. You can minimize your trial-and-error by starting with a roof mount antenna that is particularly good with UHF. Or, if you don't care about VHF signals, a UHF only arrangement might work, since all of Boston's DTV signals are UHF (I believe). Since you'll be running through a diplexer (I'm assuming) at the dish and probably 75-feet of RG-6 total, a preamp such as the CM 7777 would be advised. Outside of that, shop for price and keep receipts.


Good luck.


Doc
 

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forget the over priced clip on ant, Get a better ant than what ant web says. and run a RG-6 cable from ant to TV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to both for your feedback!


I went to my local Cambridge Soundworks today, and was told that I should be fine with the clip on... then four stores down at Radio Shack and was told that I'd be unhappy with that.. and to go roof mount.


The thing is, I really want to avoid roof mount if I can help it, as much from an appearance standpoint as anything else. There is an old antanna in my attic.. attached to nothing. It is jammed up there in the corner... but it IS there. I guess I'll see if maybe that can help.


I'm hoping that the tech guy who comes out to do the install will be able to offer some advice too.
 

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Frank..

Try the attic antenna, first. The clip-on won't work at 45 miles unless you're on top of a mountain. Even then, interference is an issue. But at 45 miles out for digital, you may as well resign yourself to the possibility of a roof mount should the old attic antenna fail.


Doc
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Don - Thanks for the advice.


Is there anything .... less obtrusive than the "old school" roof mount style? The wife just isn't going to go for that.
 

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Frank,


We all want to receive DTV without a large conventional antenna on the roof, but in most cases at your distance, it's unavoidable if you want reliable reception.


As pointed out above, you can try an attic mount first. Get the largest antenna that will fit. Radio Shack has a good return policy.


If you have verified the DTV stations in your area are all on the UHF band, there are a number of different UHF only choices that are a little less objectionable than a standard large VHF/UHF yagi antenna.


The Televes DAT75 yagi is a very good example, as is the Channel Master 4228 8-Bay Bow Tie.


Also:

You should consider the Channel Master 9521 remote controlled rotor and an antenna preamp, the CM 7775.


Do a search here for details on these products. Channel Master has a good web site for their products.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ken -


How do I confirm whether or not the stations are UHF or VHF? I saw the list at antennaweb.com... but is it just by the channel numbers?


Sorry to ask an obvious question!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Frank_M
Ken -


How do I confirm whether or not the stations are UHF or VHF? I saw the list at antennaweb.com... but is it just by the channel numbers?


Sorry to ask an obvious question!
Be sure to verify the channel numbers are the actual DTV frequencies, and not the remapped numbers that correspond to the analog channel.


Channels 14 and over are UHF, channels 13 and under are VHF.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here's what I found on atennaweb.com... so I don't need to worry about VHF, it seems. On its recommendations for antenna type, if I upgrade to "green"... it suddenly pulled in all the analog stations, which I obviously don't need.


Digital Antenna Type Call Sign Channel Network City State Live Date Compass

Orientation

* yellow WMFP-DT 18 SAH Lawrence MA Awaiting FCC Permit 102°

* yellow WGBH-DT 19 PBS Boston MA Now Live 102°

* yellow WCVB-DT 20 ABC Boston MA Now Live 102°

* yellow WUTF-DT 23 UNI Marlborough MA Now Live 75°

* yellow WUNI-DT 29 UNI Worcester MA May 1 2003 20°

* yellow WBZ-DT 30 CBS Boston MA Now Live 102°

* yellow WFXT-DT 31 FOX Boston MA Now Live 103°

* yellow WBPX-DT 32 PAX Boston MA Awaiting FCC Permit 102°

* yellow WSBK-DT 39 UPN Boston MA Now Live 102°

* yellow WLVI-DT 41 WB Cambridge MA Now Live 103°

* yellow WHDH-DT 42 NBC Boston MA Now Live 102°

* yellow WGBX-DT 43 PBS Boston MA Now Live 102°

* yellow WYDN-DT 47 DAY Worcester MA May 1 2003 102°
 

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At your distance you may want to try a 4 bay bowtie like a Channelmaster 4221, I just put one in this past friday at a location that was flat with no trees, tall buildings ect. At 20-25 feet above ground we got perfect reception from around 60 miles away with no preamp. Nice flat antenna not to obtrusive and may meet with your wife's approval.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Frank_M
Here's what I found on atennaweb.com... so I don't need to worry about VHF, it seems. On its recommendations for antenna type, if I upgrade to "green"... it suddenly pulled in all the analog stations, which I obviously don't need.


Digital Antenna Type Call Sign Channel Network City State Live Date Compass

Orientation

* yellow WMFP-DT 18 SAH Lawrence MA Awaiting FCC Permit 102°

* yellow WGBH-DT 19 PBS Boston MA Now Live 102°

* yellow WCVB-DT 20 ABC Boston MA Now Live 102°

* yellow WUTF-DT 23 UNI Marlborough MA Now Live 75°

* yellow WUNI-DT 29 UNI Worcester MA May 1 2003 20°

* yellow WBZ-DT 30 CBS Boston MA Now Live 102°

* yellow WFXT-DT 31 FOX Boston MA Now Live 103°

* yellow WBPX-DT 32 PAX Boston MA Awaiting FCC Permit 102°

* yellow WSBK-DT 39 UPN Boston MA Now Live 102°

* yellow WLVI-DT 41 WB Cambridge MA Now Live 103°

* yellow WHDH-DT 42 NBC Boston MA Now Live 102°

* yellow WGBX-DT 43 PBS Boston MA Now Live 102°

* yellow WYDN-DT 47 DAY Worcester MA May 1 2003 102°
Since 11 of the 13 stations are essentially located in the same direction you may not need (or want) to use a rotor. You might use a channelmaster 4228 antenna on a rotor in the attic if you have room for about a 40" turning radius. The 4228 is about 39.5" X 39.5" so if you have decent sized attic you may be able to use it there. This antenna does a great job 30+ miles from a transmitter. I would also recommend a Channel Master UHF preamp, particulary model 7775 which has a 26db gain.
 

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You may find help by wading through Status of Boston DTV Tower??? - CONTINUED II


A lot of forum members have reported multipath problems in the Boston area, so the 8-bay 4228, which has a narrower beamwidth, would be preferable to the 4-bay model. The only two stations that are not on in the same direction as the others are both Univision stations. If you care about them then you can spring for a rotor or a second antenna.


The Channelmaster 4228 8-bay bowtie is a better at rejecting multipath in your market than would be a Yagi with corner reflectors like the Channelmaster 4248, Winegard CA-90X5 and PR-90XX series and the Televes DAT 45/75, because all of your UHF assignments are in the middle and lower part of the UHF band. The so-called "Yagi with corner reflector" antennas are highly directional at the high end of the UHF band, but much less so from the middle on down, where your local transmitters are.
 

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Frank,


I was in the same boat as you. I needed an antenna but I wanted to keep it simple, no running cables, attaching another mount etc. I bought the terk42, the one that attaches to the satellite dish. Let me warn you now do not get this one, especially if you are about 45 miles from Boston. I live in the Miami/Ft Lauderdale area, I'm about 40-45 miles from West Palm Beach and this antenna won't even think about picking up those channels. As a matter of fact I can't even pick up all the Miami Channels without going on the roof and adjusting the antenna.


The terk42 is only good for people that live in the same city as their TV stations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Kwikdraw -


Thanks. I've heard that from several folks now, and will pass on the "clip on" antenna. I'm going to see if I can get anything from the old antenna left up in my attic... and then take it from there.
 
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