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stev32k
Premium
join:2000-04-27
Mobile, AL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Mediacom
·DIRECTV
·AT&T Southeast

Need a little help with cutting the cord (cable)

I've decided to get rid of cable (directv) and use an antenna located in my attic. In trying it out I unhooked the diretv cable coming from the dish to the splitter located in the attic. Then ran a cable from the antenna to the splitter. It works pretty well I get 20 channels, but some of them have weak signals. I just ordered this Motorola BDA-S4 signal booster »www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000WP···F8&psc=1 to improve the signal strength. In addition I would like to be able to surf the internet using the TV, but don't have a clue as to where to start.

So several questions: First the signal booster I ordered gets good reviews on Amazon, but is it the right device? Second what do I need to set up so that I can access the internet on the TV. The TV itself is a late model (less than one year old) 58" Panasonic plasma TV that is supposed to have all the latest bells & whistles. I currently have a DSL line that gets 6.0 down and 512 up - is that good enough or do I need a faster connection?

Sorry for all the questions, but I am a novice at this sort of thing.

BoulderHill1

join:2004-07-15
Montgomery, IL
Reviews:
·AT&T DSL Service
My two cents here...

The device you linked is not exactly what you need.

If your intention is to use soley over the air broadcasts for your TV viewing then you should choose a device dedicated for that purpose.

The device you linked is really intended for use on a cable TV feed to boost signal levels for multiple use applications. Such as several TV's on one line or a large area where signal degrades over the long runs of cable.

You should use a dedicated OTA antenna signal amplifier such as this one from radio shack
»www.radioshack.com/product/index···3780245#

or this one
»www.ebay.com/itm/Archer-VCR-TV-U···-content

even better yet this RCA model would be the perfect for your application.
»www.ebay.com/itm/RCA-10-dB-Ampli···8032c8cf

These devices will amplify the signal that the antenna receives. I personally use an Archer unit very similar to the one I linked.

Since many of the digital broadcasts are now in the UHF range you will want to make sure the amplifier works in this range. The RCA goes from 50 to 900mhz. Some models are VHF and do not operate higher than around 400 mhz.

They should ideally be located as close to the antenna as possible. They do require a power source. Since you mentioned an attic mounted anttenna you may have acces to power lines in the attic and can mount the amp in the attic. The shortest length of antenna wire between the antenna and the amp is what you want to acheive here.

As far as getting internet connection to your TV I would recommend hardwire cat 5 / 6 cable directly to the TV from your DSL connection gateway or router. I do not know what physical obstructions you may have at your house that might limit your options in going hardwire so that will need to be considered.

I have the same connection speed from AT&T and use a ROKU that is hardwired from my router. It has been quite capable for Netflix streaming. Titles that are available in HD from netflix stream that way with no problem for me.


stev32k
Premium
join:2000-04-27
Mobile, AL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Mediacom
·DIRECTV
·AT&T Southeast
reply to stev32k
I have three TVs so thought the one I purchased would be about what I needed. The antenna in the attic is over 20 years old and the signal from it seems pretty weak.

I have a very cheap antenna I bought from Wal-Mart maybe 5 years ago to use while I was working out of town for several months. Just out of curiosity I hooked it up to see what would happen and boy was I surprised. The large antenna in the attic would pull in 20 stations, but about half have such a weak signal that they cut in and out. The little flat and cheap antenna pulled in 24 stations and gets a much better signal on all of them. The picture was good, but not as good as the directv picture.

Running cable from my modem to the TV is not practical. It would have to go up in the attic then come down in the den and that is not something I'm prepared to do. I have a pretty good Wireless network setup and get a good strong signal where the TV is located. Could I make that work?

BoulderHill1

join:2004-07-15
Montgomery, IL
Reviews:
·AT&T DSL Service
Yes you could also do a wireless connection at the TV if it is properly equipped. You may have some issues that are related to the nature of the wireless connection that you would not have with a hardwired connection. Just depends. My BIL does wireless without issue.

Regarding the antenna situation, the age of the attic antenna is not the most relevent but rather it's condition and type. If it is is poor condition or perhaps is not designed for the frequencies that are in use now then it will not get the best result. Also attic installations are not the best either. As with any antenna, any nearby objects will affect the signal. In an attic you will typically have many long rafters and trusses that do affect the signal. Best spot for this type of antenna is outside where nothing is closer to the antenna than about twenty feet. ((My outdoor antenna is on a tower that was installed in the mid seventies. Still using the same antenna with flat twin lead from the antenna, down the tower and into the attic. From there it connects to the signal amp and coax from there to the TV. Works great!))

With that being said I am also not surprised that the walmart antenna pulled in more stations.

However I would say that with the digital broadcasts it is either a go or no-go type picture. If you have a weak signal then it will not produce a watchable image. It will pixelate out and just freeze or stall. Not like old analog where the picture might be snowy but you would still have a comprehendable video to watch.

Likewise also if you have a strong enough signal then the digital broadcast will deliver a perfect picture. It should be every bit as good as the picture from directtv. Actually better. Becuase with OTA you are getting the signal straight from the broadcaster and it is not subject to compression or other methods used by cable or satelitte providors to pack more content into their system.

OTA should be the best quality HD programming available.


darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Frontier FiOS
said by BoulderHill1:

OTA should be the best quality HD programming available.

Only for the primary channels. Most sub-channels are less than 720p and not HD at all.

This page: »www.silicondust.com/support/channels/ will give you an idea of what channels are available OTA (make sure you select Antenna after entering your zip code) and their broadcast quality (at the sending end).
--
♬ Dragon of good fortune struggles with the trickster Fox ♬


stev32k
Premium
join:2000-04-27
Mobile, AL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Mediacom
·DIRECTV
·AT&T Southeast
I checked out your link and the listings must be out of date. Almost nothing they list matches (channel number wise) with what I pick up. They also list 21 channels, but I'm getting 24 that I can watch reliably and about 10 more that are very weak.


darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4
Interesting. Are you sure you selected Antenna from the drop down list? What's your zip code?
--
♬ Dragon of good fortune struggles with the trickster Fox ♬


stev32k
Premium
join:2000-04-27
Mobile, AL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Mediacom
·DIRECTV
·AT&T Southeast
Yup, I selected antenna. The zip code is 36619.

Edit: I just looked again and notice they show comcast as the cable provider. Comcast does not service this area Mediacom does. It does not look like they include my zip code in their data base. - oh well no, biggie.


darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Frontier FiOS
Well, seems like you're right, it's out of date I can't recall how actively Silicondust supports that info / scanning operation...

Still, I would expect the station names / call letters to be correct along with the resolution (quality) of the broadcast.
--
♬ Dragon of good fortune struggles with the trickster Fox ♬

BoulderHill1

join:2004-07-15
Montgomery, IL
reply to darcilicious
said by darcilicious:

Only for the primary channels.


Well..duh..


Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC
Reviews:
·Hargray Cable
reply to stev32k
As far as internet to TV I just bought a cheap laptop with a HDMI connector, connected to my wireless network. Easy I can use the laptop on any TV in the house or outside if I want to drag out a TV. I watch just about anything available on the net with no problems for the most part. NetFlix works well and I think it's well worth $8 a month.


darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Frontier FiOS
reply to BoulderHill1
said by BoulderHill1:

said by darcilicious:

Only for the primary channels.


Well..duh..

But perhaps not obvious to any who hasn't done OTA before or at least not since the transition to digital...

(Awesome contribution to the thread, dude! )
--
♬ Dragon of good fortune struggles with the trickster Fox ♬