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Brrrr

@myvzw.com

OTA TV reception

We live in central Ill & are 35-50 miles from the local TV station towers. We put up a DB-4 multi directional antenna on a 15' pole that goes from the ground & is bolted to the overhang of the house & is up against the edge of a wood frame patio cover that is roofed in metal. Due to the location of the stations- this is the best side of the house to locate it. We have a small Vizio, a small Toshiba & a 55" Vizio- all digital. All stations come in very well on all tv's except for one channel comes in on the small tv's fine- but is pixilated & in & out on the big Vizio. We tried putting this antenna higher up & received nothing. This is the only height/ spot that we seem to be able to receive in. We were experimenting with rotating the antenna & realized that the station comes in perfect if we leave the house door open- but cuts out almost completely with it shut!! The antenna is about 4 ft above the metal roof, aimed at a 45 degree angle to the sky, and almost directly above the open door beneath the patio cover. We have a new multi port preamp just inside the house with separate new cables to each tv. This is bizarre & it's getting kinda cold outside to leave the door open!! (it's CBS & has our favorite shows). Any thoughts?


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·FirstLight Fiber
·Hollis Hosting
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1 recommendation

Try plugging your exact location into the TV fool web site to see what the expected signal strength is. In addition they have a companion site FMfool to see if interference with FM is potentially a problem.

»tvfool.com/

You are loosing a lot of signal with the 3-way split. If you connect the problem TV directly to the antenna does the problem go away or at least get better? If so a preamp or distribution amp will help.

A 45 degree tilt is pretty severe. Does reception improve if you aim it lower?

/tom


Brrrr

@myvzw.com
The tilt is preset by the bar that comes with the antenna....might be less than 45..... We don't have a 3-way splitter (or any splitters)- but we do have a distribution box/amplifier. We did do the station locator at TV fool & all the stations come in good & strong that we wish to receive. Checked them out before we even started putting the system up (great website!) Sometimes the CBS will come in OK......but not reliably. Usually it's awol just when Hawaii Five-O comes on etc. We have no problem getting even extra stations from farther away with the two small tv's (19" + 22") & the reception is great on both at all times. But, with the 55" Vizio in the living room- we can't get the farthest away stations & CBS from about 35 mi away fades in & out & is often pixilated. We will check for FM interference- we do have a small religious radio station on the outside of town.....but would think that it would affect all stations & tv's? We figured the metal roof somehow must be the cause- but the door thing blew us away! We tried opening windows off to the side, but that didn't make any difference. We tried this door thing for days.....always the same.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey

1 recommendation

If you don't have a splitter, how are you connecting multiple TVs? Does the amp have multiple outputs?

What does TVFool say for the real and virtual channel numbers for CBS?


Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21
reply to Brrrr
You need to find a way to get the antenna vertical. That near-45' slant is going to ruin any marginal channels.
--
If you can't open it, you don't own it.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:13
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
reply to Brrrr
Whats with the tilt? Also is the antenna mast and coax properly bonded (to power ground, not to an individual ground rod)? Most antennas have directions showing how to make a proper bond.

A lot of the amplifier / splitter combo units on the market are not of the best quality. What brand / model do you have? It's almost always better to get a quality amplifier and use splitters.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


runnoft
Premium
join:2003-10-14
Nags Head, NC
kudos:1
reply to Brrrr
Are you using RG-6 coax to go from antenna to TV?
»skyvision.com/digital/OTA-FAQ.ht ··· FAQ.html

Until I read your post and websearched it and found that website, I thought the limits of digital OTA were in the range of 25 miles, but I see there that it's more like 70-100 miles with a good setup and clear LOS to the tower, which should be possible with good height on your antenna in central Illinois. If the suggestions you get here don't do it for you, consider calling that local CBS station and asking for assistance. They may have some ideas as well. If you get the right old-timer station tech, they can be willing to go the extra mile for 'hobbyists' trying to beat cable out of another subscription LOL!


Anonymous_
Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-21
127.0.0.1
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to Brrrr
said by Brrrr :

The tilt is preset by the bar that comes with the antenna....might be less than 45..... We don't have a 3-way splitter (or any splitters)- but we do have a distribution box/amplifier. We did do the station locator at TV fool & all the stations come in good & strong that we wish to receive. Checked them out before we even started putting the system up (great website!) Sometimes the CBS will come in OK......but not reliably. Usually it's awol just when Hawaii Five-O comes on etc. We have no problem getting even extra stations from farther away with the two small tv's (19" + 22") & the reception is great on both at all times. But, with the 55" Vizio in the living room- we can't get the farthest away stations & CBS from about 35 mi away fades in & out & is often pixilated. We will check for FM interference- we do have a small religious radio station on the outside of town.....but would think that it would affect all stations & tv's? We figured the metal roof somehow must be the cause- but the door thing blew us away! We tried opening windows off to the side, but that didn't make any difference. We tried this door thing for days.....always the same.

I can use a 2.4gHz router to block out your TV signal. sorry this is why digital sucks hands down.

--
Well, does your car at least turn into something else? Sometimes I turn it into a trashcan. Hmm...


Hayward
K A R - 1 2 0 C
Premium
join:2000-07-13
Key West, FL
kudos:1

4 edits
reply to Brrrr
Yeah again what is it with the tilt?

Also any amplification must be at the antenna not set or you are just amplifying noise.

Back in analog days 2 decade+ or so ago put up an antenna in the attic to get a distant UHF station 50+ miles away down the Hudson River Valley from Albany, NY. I had a petty clear shot at but hardly local for UHF.

Amp at set end worse than none. Amp at antenna CRYSTAL CLEAR... like it was far better than any of the local cable signals.
For that simple move.

Works the same with digital.... just that its an on or off situation you maybe see pixelization... but no chance of snowy trace pic... again just on or off is seen or not... not snowy trace analog might, but same principles applies.

Min signal.... amp needed at ANTENNA NOT SET end of cable.

PS was also back in the day TV's and VCR's had separate VHF/Cable and UHF inputs making it much easier to select/separate... but still the principle still applies.

But also while most stations still have their VHF channel ID (2-13) they are now actually mostly on UHF frequencies) a bit more complex, but still generally freq not used by SAT to set though could maybe be interference problems with Cable depending on OTA channel and cables spectrum use.
--



Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to Anonymous_
said by Anonymous_:

said by Brrrr :

The tilt is preset by the bar that comes with the antenna....might be less than 45..... We don't have a 3-way splitter (or any splitters)- but we do have a distribution box/amplifier. We did do the station locator at TV fool & all the stations come in good & strong that we wish to receive. Checked them out before we even started putting the system up (great website!) Sometimes the CBS will come in OK......but not reliably. Usually it's awol just when Hawaii Five-O comes on etc. We have no problem getting even extra stations from farther away with the two small tv's (19" + 22") & the reception is great on both at all times. But, with the 55" Vizio in the living room- we can't get the farthest away stations & CBS from about 35 mi away fades in & out & is often pixilated. We will check for FM interference- we do have a small religious radio station on the outside of town.....but would think that it would affect all stations & tv's? We figured the metal roof somehow must be the cause- but the door thing blew us away! We tried opening windows off to the side, but that didn't make any difference. We tried this door thing for days.....always the same.

I can use a 2.4gHz router to block out your TV signal. sorry this is why digital sucks hands down.

LOL.
--
If you can't open it, you don't own it.


Anonymous_
Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-21
127.0.0.1
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
said by Cabal:

said by Anonymous_:

said by Brrrr :

The tilt is preset by the bar that comes with the antenna....might be less than 45..... We don't have a 3-way splitter (or any splitters)- but we do have a distribution box/amplifier. We did do the station locator at TV fool & all the stations come in good & strong that we wish to receive. Checked them out before we even started putting the system up (great website!) Sometimes the CBS will come in OK......but not reliably. Usually it's awol just when Hawaii Five-O comes on etc. We have no problem getting even extra stations from farther away with the two small tv's (19" + 22") & the reception is great on both at all times. But, with the 55" Vizio in the living room- we can't get the farthest away stations & CBS from about 35 mi away fades in & out & is often pixilated. We will check for FM interference- we do have a small religious radio station on the outside of town.....but would think that it would affect all stations & tv's? We figured the metal roof somehow must be the cause- but the door thing blew us away! We tried opening windows off to the side, but that didn't make any difference. We tried this door thing for days.....always the same.

I can use a 2.4gHz router to block out your TV signal. sorry this is why digital sucks hands down.

LOL.

buffalo WHR-HP-54G

does nasty things to the reception of the DTV broadcasts
--
Well, does your car at least turn into something else? Sometimes I turn it into a trashcan. Hmm...


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
I have a 2.4 ghz router less than 3 feet from my TV with a digital box attached - no issues...


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·FirstLight Fiber
·Hollis Hosting
·G4 Communications
reply to Anonymous_
said by Anonymous_:

does nasty things to the reception of the DTV broadcasts

I have no problem with our Access Point, or separate router, or any other electronic gear for that matter, interfering with Over the Air TV.

Given that OTA uses much lower frequencies (VHF 55 - 211 MHz & UHF 471 - 693MHz) the problem is probably not due to Wi-Fi radio but radiated or conducted noise from the box itself.

At far as the pros and cons of DTV vs analog and different types of DTV modulation, we live in a rural area with a roof mounted antenna, have good reception of both NH and Boston station and due to sub channels many more TV channels then before. We were also lucky that the NH stations are on VHF and the Boston on UHF. That means by using separate VHF/UHF antennas we no longer need to use a rotor.

/tom


cablegeek01

join:2003-05-13
USA
kudos:1
reply to Anonymous_
said by Anonymous_:

buffalo WHR-HP-54G

does nasty things to the reception of the DTV broadcasts

Sounds like a shitty router. 2.4Ghz should not interfere with broadcast TV in any way shape or form.


Insight6

join:2012-08-25
reply to Brrrr
I'll spare you my tale of woe on getting OTA reception when the pocketbook couldn't handle cable anymore. I did a lot of research on what is necessary in getting a strong signal. Fortunately I had a genuine expert to guide me.

My main problem was I live in the foothills of a mountain range and there is a mountain ridge between me in the local towers high atop the nearest large mountain.

The bottom line is conventional antenna and rules or reception do not apply to digital OTA reception or signals that applied to analog.

The easiest of several ways is to get a good indoor antenna or certain models of rabbit ears. (Do your Internet review research first though as there is a big difference in performance by model. The good news is there doesn't seem t be a correlation between cost and performance. In fact you are just as likely to get good reception with a cheapo as a deluxe model.

You also can even use just a certain type of "antenna" wire to run out in a string that you can move or adjust it position by hand.

I am hooked up to a conventional roof antenna just because it happens to have all ready been there. It actually isn't as effective as those other choices I mentioned.

In Southern California you get quite a "selection" of TV stations.

OTA television is great here. It's especially good if you speak Armenian, Farsi, Arabic, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, or Chinese as each of these languages or cultures have one or more stations. I'd say Spanish is in the lead for the number of stations.

If it were not for the traditional network and independent stations that were around during analog I'd be doomed.

Good luck.

dmagerl
Premium
join:2007-08-06
Woodstock, IL
reply to Brrrr
There are differences in tuners tv tuners. I believe current TVs are shipping with 6th generation tuners which have much improved multipath handling over the earlier generation tuners. It could be that the Visio TV has an older tuner and no matter how much signal you have, its not going to work because it cant compensate for multipath.

It could also be you just have a plain lousy signal. Do you know if that CBS station is a VHF station? Because that antenna is UHF only and may be just good enough to get a signal that the other tuners can receive but the Visio cant.. In which case, getting a VHF/UHF antenna will help tremendously.


norbert26
Premium
join:2010-08-10
Warwick, RI

1 recommendation

reply to Brrrr
For all you folks that depend on OTA and it currently works good there are dark clouds on the horizon. When the transition from analog to digital happened the number of channels was reduced. back in Analog days UHF once was 14-83. In 1982 that was reduced to 14-69 and above 69 refarmed to cell phone carriers and the like. Then came digital. that left channels 14-51 UHF with all above 51 refarmed for other purposes. (the virtual channels displayed may be different like channel 10-1 may be REAL CHANNEL 51 UHF. ) Now the FCC wants to do "incentive" auctions and "encourage" broadcasters to give up channels above REAL channel 31. This would leave channels 2-13 VHF and only 14-31 UHF (real channels not virtual). This will further reduce available channels and require more sharing of channels and may reduce number of stations available now. Consider this BEFORE investing too much in OTA TV.


Hayward
K A R - 1 2 0 C
Premium
join:2000-07-13
Key West, FL
kudos:1

1 edit
said by norbert26:

This will further reduce available channels and require more sharing of channels and may reduce number of stations available now. Consider this BEFORE investing too much in OTA TV.

Well not sure I have heard all of that, and that actually VHF had been largely reduced (the spectrum space they really wanted back (Hence all the virtual actually UHF stations now)

But one thing unique about digital, being just on or off fixed signal, much less over modulation/interference issues than with analog, so while still not every channel (though tech possible as is on cable but more problematic when you get to high power transmission) Every other channel is very possible.

So even areas with adjoining markets... that would be a shared pool of many more channels than there are broadcast networks. Other than low power religious and shopping channels, independent broadcast TV has pretty much vanished with the 100's of cable channels, showing what they used to. (TVLAND, TCM, HUB, HALLMARK, TBS, ION, etc) That even started to happen 25 years ago becoming FOX and later UPN and WB affiliates.

That what the Albany NY independent I worked for did, we were Fox the day they went live... albeit just 1 day a week to begin with, but full week prime time within a couple of years plus something else pretty new then first run prime time big budget syndication like Star Trek NG. (Until that all went to the short lived UPN and WB made up of many of the remaining indies that hadn't gone FOX)

And that was when cable was far less choice.

Like just one Discovery and History not a half dozen of each...Viacom MTV and NICK, now several of each of those, plus TVLAND and several others)

Really no money to be made in independent OTA anymore.

Really don't see much need for more than 30 OTA channels even in adjoining markets let alone isolated ones.
--



Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to norbert26
said by norbert26:

For all you folks that depend on OTA and it currently works good there are dark clouds on the horizon. When the transition from analog to digital happened the number of channels was reduced. back in Analog days UHF once was 14-83. In 1982 that was reduced to 14-69 and above 69 refarmed to cell phone carriers and the like. Then came digital. that left channels 14-51 UHF with all above 51 refarmed for other purposes. (the virtual channels displayed may be different like channel 10-1 may be REAL CHANNEL 51 UHF. ) Now the FCC wants to do "incentive" auctions and "encourage" broadcasters to give up channels above REAL channel 31. This would leave channels 2-13 VHF and only 14-31 UHF (real channels not virtual). This will further reduce available channels and require more sharing of channels and may reduce number of stations available now. Consider this BEFORE investing too much in OTA TV.

Yup.

»www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/pos ··· log.html
--
If you can't open it, you don't own it.

handlebar

join:2011-02-25
Grover, NC
reply to Brrrr
The DB-4 is horizontally and vertically directional. I don't know why they call it multidirectional or why they include a mount to point it at the sky.

Does your TV show signal strength? If you swapped TVs, that could show if there's a problem in the distribution to that room.

The problem could be reflection off the metal roof. Layering caused by reflection could be why you lose everything if you raise the antenna. If you tipped the antenna down to the horizon, that might increase the gain enough that the reflection wouldn't matter. If that didn't work, I'd move the antenna in front of or away from the roof.


Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
said by handlebar:

The DB-4 is horizontally and vertically directional. I don't know why they call it multidirectional or why they include a mount to point it at the sky.

The J-mount is meant to be angled vertically, depending on the slope of the roof it's attached to.
--
If you can't open it, you don't own it.

handlebar

join:2011-02-25
Grover, NC

1 edit

said by Cabal See Profile
The J-mount is meant to be angled vertically, depending on the slope of the roof it's attached to.

It looks as if no mount comes with the DB-4, and I don't know why Brrr would use a mount if it's on a 15' pole. He seems to be long gone, so he can't tell us.

Thirty years ago, I mounted a couple of these with preamps and rotators to get UHF from 70 miles away at two houses. The problems with analog UHF were signal strength and multipath ghosting. These antennas worked great.

When I went digital, I hoisted an antenna like the DB-4 to a tree limb above rooftop level, used a rope tied to a corner to aim it, and received 35 channels. I found I could receive the same 35 channels with the antenna beside the TV in the dining room, even though a refrigerator and a row of windows with metal screens blocked the most distant transmitters.

HDTV can thrive at signal levels where analog would show only snow, but multipath can wipe HDTV out. I've found that inversion layers, which bounce signals off the sky, can make it temporarily unwatchable in one direction or all directions. Another poster said more modern tuners are much better. I'll bet that's true.