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Author Topic: Digital (OTA) antenna question  (Read 168 times)

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Online EV607797

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Digital (OTA) antenna question
« on: August 02, 2019, 04:48:32 AM »
I know this isn't phone related, but I figured that the wealth of knowledge available here would point me in the right direction.  Has anyone had any luck in using OTA antennas?  I have one that is propped up in a window, but it doesn't provide much.  I'm down in a valley, plus in a 'B' market, so my hopes weren't high.  I pick up a few home shopping channels and several sub-channels of the local PBS station, but that's it.

My real question is the connection of these things, specifically when using multiple TVs.  Can you just feed these into existing COAX, along with the regular splitters, etc. to multiple TVs?  The general design of the indoor units appear to be made for a 1:1 type of installation.  I figure that the outdoor ones must have this ability, but I haven't spent a lot of time investigating. 

If anyone here has used these things, I'd be interested in your feedback.  My main goal is to help my 83 year old mother find something in order to 1) Restore her access to CBS with the AT&T/DirecTV blackout and 2) Help her save some money on the ridiculous cost of cable/satellite service.  Any information will be greatly appreciated.
Ed Vaughn

(540) 623-7100 (V)  (540) 693-5800 (F)
EMVaughn3@Outlook.com

Offline liquidvw

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Re: Digital (OTA) antenna question
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2019, 08:45:04 AM »
I had no luck.  But Im in the woods and far from the city.  Idea.  Get a firestick.  Lowes and Best buy have it for $15 right now.  And try out some of the free apps or paid ones like Hulu and Netflix.  IMO, there is so much on Netflix that I will never get to all of it. 

Online ttech

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Re: Digital (OTA) antenna question
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2019, 09:30:23 AM »
Here’s a link to the FCC coverage that could be expected at your address

https://www.fcc.gov/media/engineering/dtvmaps

Online Keighlar

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Re: Digital (OTA) antenna question
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2019, 10:23:36 AM »
Very cool website, ttech. 
“Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?”
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Online Yoda

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Re: Digital (OTA) antenna question
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2019, 02:13:19 PM »
That's all I've ever used. I have an old fashioned, although new enough that it is digital compatible, antenna on my short tower. I also use a rotator, but I've found a sweet spot so don't have to move it. I get plenty of channels OTA, and if I occasionally miss a show, I'll stream it.

The antenna is about 20 feet high. I live in a rural area, about 40-60 miles from local tv station towers. I do have a signal booster on the coax, located in the basement. I know many boosters advertize as being placed at the antenna, mine is meant for inside. It has a 120v connection. I feed this into an 8-way splitter, with only three flat screen TV's connected.

I get several digital channels from each tower. So the local CBS station for example, has 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3. The other networks are similar. Lots of good programming. I think the small antenna's you see advertized that you place in a window, will work if you're close to a signal, like in the city. By the way, the link ttech mentioned shows my location as getting about 2/3 of the channels I actually receive. So you might get better than expected. Like other things, location, location, location.

Jim

Online hbiss

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Re: Digital (OTA) antenna question
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2019, 04:08:06 PM »
Quote
I have an old fashioned, although new enough that it is digital compatible antenna... I do have a signal booster on the coax, located in the basement. I know many boosters advertise as being placed at the antenna, mine is meant for inside.

All antennas are "digital compatible" as long as they are designed for the frequency bands that are used. Other than losing the low VHF band (Ch 2-6)) nothing has changed. The high VHF and UHF is still the same.

The best place for an amp is at the antenna because you don't have the loss associated with the cable from the antenna to the basement at it's input. Always better to "push" than "pull" and, especially at UHF frequencies you can achieve a much better SNR than just an amp at the distribution. Often locating the amp (actually a pre-amp) at the antenna can actually make or break whether a signal is usable or not.

This is old technology that has been around since the 40's so I don't expect the Millennial generation to know anything about it.  :002:

-Hal


I gotta get out of this business...

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Online Yoda

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Re: Digital (OTA) antenna question
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2019, 04:23:39 PM »
Ha! I'm busted, Hal. I'm well beyond millennial status and I know the antenna doesn't care if it's digital or analog signals (if there were any analog signals). Maybe I was thinking of that old converter box I dont need anymore. 

Online hbiss

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Re: Digital (OTA) antenna question
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2019, 06:43:41 PM »
Or that old TV you have with the dial that goes from 2-13.  :015:

Oh, and I never figured you for a Millennial. Gen X maybe... :011:

-Hal

I gotta get out of this business...

COMSYSTEC- Phone Systems | paging systems | background music systems | foreground music systems | retail music | restaurant music

Online EV607797

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Re: Digital (OTA) antenna question
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2019, 09:30:30 AM »
I should have placed more emphasis on the 83 YEAR OLD MOTHER part.  It is already a challenge to get her to turn on the TV without pressing the wrong buttons.  Devices such as Fire Sticks are not an option.  She's not going to be able to comprehend navigating screens and inputting names in order to select channels.  Besides, I bought one for myself and it was a joke.  By the time I would have paid for all of the add-on monthly fees just to recover the basic cable channel lineup, it would have actually cost more than basic cable.  I couldn't give that thing away fast enough.

I understand that OTA service is a crap shoot as I've found in several places that I've lived.  I'm not too optimistic about that concept ever being the norm again.  I need to provide her with something that is as simple as it used to be:  Turn on the TV and select from a few channels using the keypad or channel up/down buttons.  I'm finding that this isn't quite as cheap and easy as it used to be.
Ed Vaughn

(540) 623-7100 (V)  (540) 693-5800 (F)
EMVaughn3@Outlook.com

Online CMDL_GUY

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Re: Digital (OTA) antenna question
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2019, 03:46:09 PM »
Your best bet will be to build a Yagi antenna and experiment with the number and length of the elements as well as the direction it's pointed in.  Find the frequency of a station you would like to recieve and start the process of building the antenna from that information.
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