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Comcast STB Rant
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The Robman
Site Owner


Joined: 01 Aug 2003
Posts: 18907
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there such a thing as a device that lets you combine the antenna output? It seems to me that this shouldn't be too hard to invent. The device could have 3 or 4 coaxial inputs and an onscreen menu that lets you pick which channels you want to accept from each antenna (and by implication, which ones you want to block) and it should also give you the ability to re-locate channels to a different number for the cases where you want CH2 (for example) from different sources.

This sounds like the sort of thing that ChannelMaster might make.
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vickyg2003
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Joined: 20 Mar 2004
Posts: 7053
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have some Radio shack antenna. I'd heard of the Channel master, but I couldn't find one locally, in fact I could only find 3 models at a brick and mortar stores. The first one I tried only picked up one network, so I returned it for the one I bought. I didn't consider the third option, because it didn't pick up VHF and I didn't realize adding a seperate vhf antenna was an option. Now I do thanks to Rob.

When I tried the second one it worked pretty well in the front bedroom. However, when I moved it into the attic (deed restrictions against roof top antennas) it wasn't quite as good. It looks like I'm headed back up into the attic, hopefully this time won't be as disasterous as the last. No I didn't fall through the ceiling, Apparently I stepped or pulled on the PVC pipe that led to the roof stack under all that insulation and it separated. When we had our next heavy rain the ceiling in the third bedroom caved in. Embarassed Crying or Very sad Laughing
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wnewell



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 158
Location: DFW, Texas

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, any restriction of any kind is not legal. The FCC overruled everyone, including HOA's, etc. on this back in the 90's. So as long as the roof isn't shared, you can put an antenna on it. Even if it's house you are renting. There's nothing the landlord can legally do about it. Ref.
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

Radio shack sells all kind of antennas, so without a model number or picture, I couldn't comment much except to say it's probably not the one you need.Smile Placement of the antenna is a major factor. Outside unobstructed would be best, but the attic should do just fine as long as you place it at a point that the less material between it and the towers. In the attic here, I got good reception with the CM4228HD even though there was a huge tree outside directly between the antenna and the towers. BTW, I replaced an old 8' boom style uhf/vhf antenna that the uhf never worked good on, and the vhf was marginal.. I'm feeding 9 tuners from my antenna, so I've got a dual distribution amp in the attic. As close as you are, you shouldn't need on unless you are going to be splitting it to 6 or more locations, and maybe not even then. Watch out for wire mesh in the walls (stucco) or anything metal between the antenna and the towers that will block the signals.

You can use a reverse splitter to tie a vhf and uhf antenna together and it will work ok, but it would be best to use diplexers. They make a bunch of them for specifics like blocking the uhf frequency from the second antenna down to blocking all frequencies except one channel. And many in between. These extremes are normally not required though. I'm pretty confident that a single CM4228HD would work. Fry's sells them if there's a Fry's store up there. If you are industrious, you can make on very similar with a wood frame and some coat hangers (metal).Smile
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dolivas27



Joined: 31 Jul 2005
Posts: 48
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Vicky

We have Solid Signal right here in Novi Michigan and the will sell to the public you can pick it up and save the shipping cost if you are close enough and from the looks of the map you are.

Here is a link to the antenna you are looking for http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?mc=03&p=4228-HD&d=Channel-Master-4228HD-8bay-HDTVUHF-TV-Antenna-%284228HD%29&c=TV%20Antennas&sku=

I have no connection to them just purchase a lot from them.

Hope this helps if you need any help just let me know.
Dean
Data Telcom Services
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vickyg2003
Site Admin


Joined: 20 Mar 2004
Posts: 7053
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Novi's not that bad a drive, although if I have to make the drive a second time to return the antenna, then those miles add up.

But what do I do for VHF? The reason I bought the antenna I did, was because it added VHF. I can't pick up Fox with just rabit ears. Even though it looks like I can use a reverse splitter, I still need to get a seperate antenna to pick up Fox.

Also I don't know that much about digital, but if I went the diplex route, to point a seperate antena towards my G1 station, when you add back in a signal from another antenna, does that cover a range of stations? I'm not quite sure how all this adds up, since they've masked what the actual station numbers are.
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wnewell



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 158
Location: DFW, Texas

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With all those stations only about 10 miles out, you should be able to get all of them with rabbit ears w/uhf loop. If not then there's another problem. The actual transmission of the digital signal is still the same as it is with old ntsc. It's just the content and receiver (tuner) that has changed.

The 4228HD works with high vhf good. And while the uhf is rated for 60 miles, the vhf is only rated for 45 miles. I'm 40+ miles out and receive real channels 8, 9, and 11 without a problem. The 4228HD actually receives a stronger signal than my old 8' boom uhf/vhf antenna on vhf. At one point I had them tied together for VHF with a reverse splitter. After testing I removed the old boom antenna completely. So you shouldn't have any problems receiving Fox or any other of the local stations you want. Fox is at 195 degrees from you. And that's close to the middle of the range of stations you want to get good, so point the antenna at 195 degrees and you should be good for all of them and probably some you didn't know you could get.

I really can't understand why you are having any problems at that distance. I's check your cable between the antenna and TV. It should be RG6, although some of the cheaper stuff is smaller. There's not much lose in a small 6 foot rf cable, but from an antenna more than 6 feet away use RG6.

Forget diplexors or even tying 2 antennas together. You shouldn't need them for what you want. Try the single 4228HD first. I think you'll find it will get you all you want.

Major things that will interfere or completely block the rf from the stations.

Stucco - contains a wire mesh that will block signals.
Foil backed insulation - need I explain why? A lot of homes used this on outside walls and attics to some degree.
Walls - the more the worse.
Trees - ditto.
Some electronics producing efi at the same frequencies as the station(s). I have an old router that really screwed up my vhf reception.

Put your antenna as high as possible with as much direct line of site (LOS) as possible.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3db7c85f176b05bb

Good luck.
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vickyg2003
Site Admin


Joined: 20 Mar 2004
Posts: 7053
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I really can't understand why you are having any problems at that distance. I's check your cable between the antenna and TV. It should be RG6, although some of the cheaper stuff is smaller. There's not much lose in a small 6 foot rf cable, but from an antenna more than 6 feet away use RG6.


Basically the problem I've been having is the angle. I can pick up anything except the station to the north when I point directly at it. I'm on the side of a hill so that way is going to be totally blocked. (Also the reason I'm not going to try to be the first to put up a roof top antenna, my roof top is right in the line of site of the neighbor's window).

We're in a cell phone dead zone too.
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wnewell



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 158
Location: DFW, Texas

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The link I sent from TV fools says you have LOS at 30', but you would need to out in your exact info on the site to get more accurate. I just used your zipcode. If you can't get los, then you may be out of luck. If you can walk at 195 degrees from your house as far as you reasonably can and post a picture of it,that would shed a lot of light on it. You can also get good signals that bounce off nearby structures. For instance face the antenna north at a big building to get signals from the outh that you are blocked from. I used a 5' tripod and an 8' mast to mount mine. If that will get you los, then that would be the way to go. You'd probably need guy wires for anything higher than that.
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vickyg2003
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Joined: 20 Mar 2004
Posts: 7053
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I hadn't followed the TVFool link before. I didn't understand the LOS, line of site requirement.

I can see my problem, the network that I really want to get, (and did get while I was aiming my antenna) has EVERYThing against it. Not only is it out at an angle, its got the 2 edge warning, co-channel and adjacent channel, and the weak channel warning. I probably was bouncing the signal off another building the day when I got the signal.
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vickyg2003
Site Admin


Joined: 20 Mar 2004
Posts: 7053
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just found that ION has received a permit relocate last October to Southfield. This should take care of all but 1 problem station, until Canada goes digital next year.

Now that I know that LOS is line of site, I'm probably going to lose the CBC when the move from VHF to UHF. Right now I get the CBC with the outline of the Ren-Cen. I'll bet when that goes to UHF, I'm going to lose it completely. No Hockey Night in Canada, no unbiased world news. That will be a sad day.
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Duane



Joined: 21 Oct 2007
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:57 pm    Post subject: Philips amplified antenna Reply with quote

Vicky,

Look into a Philips MANT940 UHF antenna. It is multi-directional (receives signals from all directions). Amplified to help with signal loss from splitting to multiple TVs (use coax only). Receives high VHF signals well. Small compact design.
I have friends that have used this antenna with good results. Searching the internet for reviews, I have found at least one antenna installer that only installs this antenna.
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zaphod7501



Joined: 02 Aug 2004
Posts: 529
Location: Peoria Illinois

PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 8:43 am    Post subject: Re: Philips amplified antenna Reply with quote

Duane wrote:
Vicky,

Look into a Philips MANT940 UHF antenna. It is multi-directional (receives signals from all directions). Amplified to help with signal loss from splitting to multiple TVs (use coax only). Receives high VHF signals well. Small compact design.
I have friends that have used this antenna with good results. Searching the internet for reviews, I have found at least one antenna installer that only installs this antenna.

I've been in the TV repair business for over 35 years and I also like this antenna. I use one at my shop and at home, replacing Channel Master 4221's. It's not really omni-directional but is bi-directional. (front and back)

It comes with a 20' section of coax that is not very good quality. I'd replace that quickly with a section that is cut to fit the needed length.

It is an indoor/outdoor design. I would suggest trying it indoors first and gradually moving it into better locations until reception is adequate. Since the antenna has very low wind loading, you can mount it fairly high with only a simple mast.

UHF reception is like magic. You can do everything right and get nothing or everything wrong and have great reception. I live in an area that has always been 100% UHF and I could have told them that going to a UHF system was not going to work very well.
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greenough1



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 659

PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Vicky,
Let me throw in my 2 cents:

If the channel numbers are RF (radio frequency) numbers in your picture, then all the stations you're trying to get B, C, G are UHF. D (4.1) is VHF and F (source direction direction for interference?) is VHF (7).

With a UHF only antenna (use the chart on this page for reference http://www.starkelectronic.com/cmchart.htm), you'll probably get all the UHF's that you want if the angle of reception is wide enough. Good for this application is this bow-tie style
http://www.starkelectronic.com/cmuhf.htm

The above antenna is UHF only so won't be affected by VHF signals and channel 7 interference.

Now how to bring in D (4.1)? You need a cut to channel VHF one like this
http://www.starkelectronic.com/winp12.htm

To combine them use one of these (a joiner):
http://www.starkelectronic.com/cmjoiner.htm

To distribute the signal to all of you TV's, you're part-way there since you have COAX cable going to all your TV's currently. You need to insert your OTA signal onto the existing COAX, where it enters the building is generally the right spot (most upstream).

You probably don't need a distribution amp if you have enough signal coming from the antenna (the starkelectronic.com main page has a link to these). You can add a a pre-amp up on the pole with the antennae to boost the existing signal. But remember, if you have low signal to noise to begin with, pre-amps/distribution amps won't help. You need more "gain", and this only comes from the antennae.

Instead of ordering online, where shipping can be high for odd sized antenna, try and find a local electronics store that specializes in antenna. Nearly every major city has one, but they tend to be old school and are sometimes hard to find. They can hook you up with most of the gear you might need.

Good luck and I feel your pain with Comcast. I used to get my HD content OTA, but once I was spoiled by a DVR, I had to give it up, as well as a few dollars.

Best,
jeff
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3FG
Expert


Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 3246

PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's important to realize that DTV channels numbers are virtual, and are not necessarily the same as the RF channel number that were used for the last 60 years or so.

For example, Channel 4.1 WDIV (NBC) really broadcasts on RF channel 45, and so requires a UHV antenna. 7.1 WXYZ (ABC) is really channel 41.

TVfool.com shows both virtual and real channel numbers in its outputs.
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greenough1



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 659

PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

greenough1 wrote:

If the channel numbers are RF (radio frequency) numbers in your picture, then all the stations you're trying to get B, C, G are UHF. D (4.1) is VHF and F (source direction direction for interference?) is VHF (7).


Hence my caveat...
VHF is 2-13
UHF is 14-83.

Best,
jeff
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