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  #1  
Old 11-27-2018, 08:09 PM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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Cutting the Cord...

Well, I just cancelled my cable TV service. Verizon offered me an Internet-only plan for $45 dollars, or Internet+TV for $180. And since I wasn't willing to sign a 2-year agreement that included TV service, I couldn't even get the $180 price.

My plan is to use Youtube TV as my primary service, possibly augmented with Philo (which is sideloaded on my Shield TV boxes). I'm going to try to keep Sage around with OTA service, but I'm not sure I'll be able to pick up a strong enough signal with an indoor antenna. Maybe I'll try to install an attic antenna, but I'll have to decide if it's worth the trouble.

I must say, I've used Sage much, much longer than I ever expected. I started using Sage v1.4 in 2003 with a PVR-250. That was before nationwide EPG data, so I had to use XMLTV. I never thought I'd be using it 15 years later. Of course, I also never thought I'd sink so much money into it. Off the top of my head, I've bought/used:
  • 1x PVR-250
  • 1x HVR-1600
  • 3 HDHRs (2x ATSC/QAM, 1x HDHR Prime)
  • 2x HD-PVRs
  • 1x Colossus
  • 1x Network HDMI encoder
  • 1x HD100
  • 1x HD200
  • 6x HD300
  • 1x USB-UIRT
  • 4 different servers- one purpose-built (Athlon XP 2400, Athlon x2 4200, Q6600, Core i7-4770k)
  • Hard drives... so many hard drives

I might start migrating new OTA recordings to Plex, mostly keeping Sage around for my old stuff. Maybe I'll try to eventually move some of the stuff into Plex, although it's a little unclear if Phoenix Renamer will work for that purpose.

Anyone else go this route?
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2018, 11:44 AM
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Where you live at ?.
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  #3  
Old 11-28-2018, 12:53 PM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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Originally Posted by SHS View Post
Where you live at ?.
Suburbs of DC- Montgomery County.

I'm not that far from the broadcast antennas (<15 miles), but I've got a brick house and all my jacks are on interior walls away from windows. So, I don't have a lot of placement options for indoor antennas. I tried putting a ClearStream Eclipse in a first-floor window, which is the only place near a jack, but I don't get a reliable signal there.

I should have had the electrician run a cable to my attic when he ran the other coax and ethernet lines.

I think there is a relatively straight shot up from my air return, but I know it took some effort on their part to use it.
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Old 11-28-2018, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by reggie14 View Post
Suburbs of DC- Montgomery County.

I'm not that far from the broadcast antennas (<15 miles), but I've got a brick house and all my jacks are on interior walls away from windows. So, I don't have a lot of placement options for indoor antennas. I tried putting a ClearStream Eclipse in a first-floor window, which is the only place near a jack, but I don't get a reliable signal there.

I should have had the electrician run a cable to my attic when he ran the other coax and ethernet lines.

I think there is a relatively straight shot up from my air return, but I know it took some effort on their part to use it.
Is your house a 2 story ?, how big is the attic
With out seeing photo of that air return it hard to say as it could be easy so easy even with some patients even you could do it

Last edited by SHS; 11-28-2018 at 01:35 PM.
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  #5  
Old 11-28-2018, 03:42 PM
btrcp2000 btrcp2000 is offline
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I just spent a bunch on shields to get sage/netflix/hulu/etc all in one interface and wean the family off the hd100s which are slowly dying. Now that it's so easy to get to the streaming sites, I can see the day coming when I dump the old satellite r5000 boxes and use sage for ota only. Those were not cheap 10 years ago and it took me the better part of a year to get them to work with unraid, so I'm dragging my feet. Only way to get local baseball though, so that's how I justify it..

As for attic antenna, I was able to very easily find a cable that ran from my basement into the attic above my kid's bedroom. Her room will never have anything in it that needs coax, so I cut it and attached it to the antenna. I thought it would be an all-day job, but maybe just an hour. Maybe you can find something similar in your house
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  #6  
Old 11-28-2018, 09:17 PM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHS View Post
Is your house a 2 story ?, how big is the attic
With out seeing photo of that air return it hard to say as it could be easy so easy even with some patients even you could do it
Yeah, it's a two-story townhouse. The attic isn't exactly small, but the rafter supports would make a big directional antenna a bit awkward. It could probably be done, but I've been looking at the ClearStream 4MAX antenna.

It seems like it shouldn't take a lot to get a usable signal. TV Fools thinks I should have been able to get away with small indoor antenna, but I suspect a combination of my brick exterior and a large tree directly in the line-of-sight is my problem.

I can see where the electrician dropped the CAT6 and RG6. It seems like a long way to go, though.
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  #7  
Old 11-28-2018, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reggie14 View Post
Yeah, it's a two-story townhouse. The attic isn't exactly small, but the rafter supports would make a big directional antenna a bit awkward. It could probably be done, but I've been looking at the ClearStream 4MAX antenna.

It seems like it shouldn't take a lot to get a usable signal. TV Fools thinks I should have been able to get away with small indoor antenna, but I suspect a combination of my brick exterior and a large tree directly in the line-of-sight is my problem.

I can see where the electrician dropped the CAT6 and RG6. It seems like a long way to go, though.
Well yes it uselly around 18ft run with 2 story house some time a bit more depend on number thing wish I live in your area I could help you out with it.

I'm not a fan of ClearStream product to me they don't work will I know some people that have got there prodoct

I take look at ChannelMaster ULTRAtenna 60 or the EXTREMEtenna 80 and other like the DB4 and DB8
Used good quality cable like RG6 tri or quad shield easy to get off ebay with out buying a big roll just
Order the ChannelMaster Coaxial Connector Installation Kit this come from PCT International who make very good quality stuff and tools in fact a lot of product from Channelmaster are made by them

Also this will help give idea
https://www.google.com/search?q=tv+a...h=1021#imgrc=_
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  #8  
Old 11-29-2018, 10:35 AM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHS View Post
I'm not a fan of ClearStream product to me they don't work will I know some people that have got there prodoct

I take look at ChannelMaster ULTRAtenna 60 or the EXTREMEtenna 80 and other like the DB4 and DB8
Used good quality cable like RG6 tri or quad shield easy to get off ebay with out buying a big roll just
Order the ChannelMaster Coaxial Connector Installation Kit this come from PCT International who make very good quality stuff and tools in fact a lot of product from Channelmaster are made by them
Thanks. Those ChannelMaster antennas seem to have slightly better VHF gain.

I've attached the TV Fool report for my location. In theory, it should be pretty easy for me to get a good signal, but as I said before, a basic indoor antenna didn't cut it- the signal kept cutting out.

I'm a little concerned about the high-band VHF channels. VHF antennas look huge. Even the CM-4228HD looks big. The CM-4221HD might be a good option, although VHF gain is only 3.5db. I'm hoping just by moving the antenna into the attic I'll get a stronger signal.
Attached Images
File Type: png Radar-All.png (78.5 KB, 103 views)

Last edited by reggie14; 11-29-2018 at 10:42 AM.
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2018, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reggie14 View Post
Thanks. Those ChannelMaster antennas seem to have slightly better VHF gain.

I've attached the TV Fool report for my location. In theory, it should be pretty easy for me to get a good signal, but as I said before, a basic indoor antenna didn't cut it- the signal kept cutting out.

I'm a little concerned about the high-band VHF channels. VHF antennas look huge. Even the CM-4228HD looks big. The CM-4221HD might be a good option, although VHF gain is only 3.5db. I'm hoping just by moving the antenna into the attic I'll get a stronger signal.
There are many reason for that, It be you got lots tree around or down in small valley or there are metal root around you which can be a pain to if you house has a metal roof which what I have and I tested with small antenna sitting on our roof using a Laptop it got a few but no where near as good as my monster antenna Advantage 100 a long Amplify Adjustable Gain Preamplifier that I installed only get tick off a few months later when come out with the Amplify+ Adjustable Gain Preamplifier for Professionals for also Combines two antennas LoL.
If you do got a Metal Roof I highly recommended Adjustable Eave Mount or a 3 Tripod Mount and go with Advantage 45 or my 1st chose would be 60 be the over the Digital Advantage model and it seem that all channel facing south east not count north east in to Baltimore for that you go with combines two antennas to receive broadcast channels from two different locations will be idea setup.
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  #10  
Old 11-29-2018, 01:36 PM
will will is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reggie14 View Post
My plan is to use Youtube TV as my primary service, possibly augmented with Philo (which is sideloaded on my Shield TV boxes). I'm going to try to keep Sage around with OTA service, but I'm not sure I'll be able to pick up a strong enough signal with an indoor antenna. Maybe I'll try to install an attic antenna, but I'll have to decide if it's worth the trouble.
I went a similar route this summer. I finally got rid of cable after Spectrum started encrypting the OTA ClearQAM channels - that was just the final straw.

But I just can't part with SageTV yet, too much time and money invested, and honestly, I like SageTV a lot! So I use OTA with a HDHomeRun Connect Quatro and I created a way to integrate Philo directly into SageTV with a Roku Streaming Stick, a custom guide, a HD PVR 60, and a custom batch tuning script I created that communicates with the Roku via the local web API. In the guide, when I select a channel, like Science (136), the EXEMultiTunerPlugin sends the tuner and channel as a parameter to my batch script which then looks up some codes in a CSV file and instructs the Roku to load the content.

After some initial hiccups everything works very well and I really like Philo - I actually now get channels I want to watch, like AHC, Science, etc. - channels I could only previously get with the top-of-the-line cable package.

Basically, everything is working the same as it did when I had cable, just I'm only paying $45/month for internet now and $20 for Philio vs the $150 I was paying for TV/internet.

Also, if you still have a login to a cable subscriber's account, like your parents, you can also setup live streaming/recording of other channels like FX, FXX, National Geographic, TBS, TNT, etc. I think all the cable channels have an app for Roku but not all of them support live streaming, for example, USA and SyFy don't have live streams.

Overall, after the switch, I get more channels that I want to watch, I pay less than half the price, and the quality is very good (though only stereo audio w/the HD PVR 60).
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  #11  
Old 11-29-2018, 09:11 PM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHS View Post
If you do got a Metal Roof I highly recommended Adjustable Eave Mount or a 3 Tripod Mount and go with Advantage 45 or my 1st chose would be 60 be the over the Digital Advantage model and it seem that all channel facing south east not count north east in to Baltimore for that you go with combines two antennas to receive broadcast channels from two different locations will be idea setup.
No metal roof, but I do have a very large and tall tree directly in front of my house, right in the path of the broadcast antennas.

I'm growing increasingly convinced the VHF channels are going to be huge problems. Mostly as a test (since it involved running ethernet across the floor of a room), I moved my small window antenna to a window on the second floor, basically 8 feet of so below where the attic antenna would go. I actually got a worse signal on the VHF channels than on the first floor, likely because of the tree.

So, if I'm going to do this, I think I need something with more VHF gain. Unfortunately, those are all pretty big. The CM-2018 seems to be one of the smallest antennas with a 7db+ VHF gain. I think that will fit- I just worry it will be awkward up there.

Do you have any other recommendations?
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  #12  
Old 11-29-2018, 09:26 PM
JustFred JustFred is offline
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Before spending money on a fancier antenna with more VHF gain, it might be worthwhile to go online and determine which stations in your area will be affected by the upcoming TV spectrum re-allocation. That takes place within the next 2 years, IIRC. You may also find that some stations will physically relocate their transmitting antenna(s). Some may abandon VHF. All this may affect your antenna needs.

And RF ch 7 is at the very bottom of high-band VHF.
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Last edited by JustFred; 11-29-2018 at 09:28 PM.
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  #13  
Old 11-29-2018, 09:47 PM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustFred View Post
Before spending money on a fancier antenna with more VHF gain, it might be worthwhile to go online and determine which stations in your area will be affected by the upcoming TV spectrum re-allocation. That takes place within the next 2 years, IIRC. You may also find that some stations will physically relocate their transmitting antenna(s). Some may abandon VHF. All this may affect your antenna needs.

And RF ch 7 is at the very bottom of high-band VHF.
I don't think the two main VHF channels are moving back to UHF, although I don't know how to find that definitively. After the Google searches, I see this is a relatively common problem. These stations moved from UHF to VHF in 2009 and a lot of people lost the signal.

In any event, the longer I go without OTA, the more likely I'll just drop Sage completely and go all-streaming. I don't particularly want to do that, as I'd 1) like a fall back option, and 2) avoid the unskippable commercials sometimes found on YoutubeTV.

Antenna cost isn't really an issue. I'm increasingly inclined to pay an electrician to handle the installation, so the difference in cost between antennas is pretty negligible compared to the installation costs.

And after some more research, it looks like these two antennas are a bit smaller than the CM: RCA ANT751 and Winegard HD7694P.
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  #14  
Old 11-29-2018, 10:28 PM
JustFred JustFred is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reggie14 View Post
I don't think the two main VHF channels are moving back to UHF, although I don't know how to find that definitively.
One source: https://antennaweb.org/Stations?Addr...ngitude=-77.21

Look under the FCC Repack column.
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  #15  
Old 11-30-2018, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustFred View Post
One source: https://antennaweb.org/Stations?Addr...ngitude=-77.21

Look under the FCC Repack column.
Just go here https://www.fcc.gov/media/engineering/dtvmaps type in your zip.
Look at column IA if you see R Click on the station's callsign to see the information about when that station will be changing it frequencies look for Repacked Channel and Repacking Dates.
It really nothing to worry about just do a rescan to pick it back up.


Quote:
Originally Posted by reggie14 View Post
I don't think the two main VHF channels are moving back to UHF, although I don't know how to find that definitively. After the Google searches, I see this is a relatively common problem. These stations moved from UHF to VHF in 2009 and a lot of people lost the signal.

In any event, the longer I go without OTA, the more likely I'll just drop Sage completely and go all-streaming. I don't particularly want to do that, as I'd 1) like a fall back option, and 2) avoid the unskippable commercials sometimes found on YoutubeTV.

Antenna cost isn't really an issue. I'm increasingly inclined to pay an electrician to handle the installation, so the difference in cost between antennas is pretty negligible compared to the installation costs.

And after some more research, it looks like these two antennas are a bit smaller than the CM: RCA ANT751 and Winegard HD7694P.
The Winegard HD7694P is better
If want something read about antenna then have look at this link http://www.indiana.edu/~radiotv/wtiu/uhf.shtml

Last edited by SHS; 11-30-2018 at 08:45 AM.
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  #16  
Old 11-30-2018, 09:41 AM
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Telecore Telecore is offline
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I use this compact antenna for OTA (upper VHF+UHF)

http://dennysantennaservice.com/ez_hd_tv_Antenna.html

It is outdoors mounted where a DirecTV dish used to be (same j-hook).
I am 37-40 miles from the transmitters and technically outside the range of this particular antenna (they have maps of major US cities indicating effective range) and it is on the 1 story roof pointed into a two story house behind me, yet I receive all channels of interest clearly.
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  #17  
Old 11-30-2018, 10:27 AM
KarylFStein KarylFStein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telecore View Post
I use this compact antenna for OTA (upper VHF+UHF)

http://dennysantennaservice.com/ez_hd_tv_Antenna.html

It is outdoors mounted where a DirecTV dish used to be (same j-hook).
I am 37-40 miles from the transmitters and technically outside the range of this particular antenna (they have maps of major US cities indicating effective range) and it is on the 1 story roof pointed into a two story house behind me, yet I receive all channels of interest clearly.
Funny, I was just looking at one of those yesterday and debating between that or a Winegard model. I was leaning toward this one as I like to support local businesses and one of the selling points on the website is it works well for Detroit stations . Good to hear it works well for you.

When I bought my first antenna I had no clue about UHF and VHF. It worked great except for one channel that was unwatchable. Turns out that channel is "upper" VHF, (physical channel 7 even though it describes itself as channel 2--learned a bit about all this OTA weirdness yesterday). It didn't matter too much as I have cable and OTA was just a back up, but as soon as Silicon Dust gets 5.1 audio on their feed I'm going to switch, so having solid OTA is more important now...
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Old 11-30-2018, 12:17 PM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telecore View Post
I use this compact antenna for OTA (upper VHF+UHF)

http://dennysantennaservice.com/ez_hd_tv_Antenna.html

It is outdoors mounted where a DirecTV dish used to be (same j-hook).
I am 37-40 miles from the transmitters and technically outside the range of this particular antenna (they have maps of major US cities indicating effective range) and it is on the 1 story roof pointed into a two story house behind me, yet I receive all channels of interest clearly.
That appears to be the same antenna as the RCA ANT751R. As far as I can tell, the ANT751 was the original version for analog/digital, and the 751R was tuned for digital channel frequencies. Amazon sells a 751E, while Home Depot sells a 751Z, although I don't know if those are the original version or the revised/tuned version.

It's a convenient size. I just worry that a ~4db gain on high-VHF isn't going to be enough, given my test with the window antenna.

I really don't want to do a roof-mounted antenna. We had one of those when I was a kid and we regularly had to reorient the antenna after it moved in the wind. But that was a one-story rambler with a relatively flat roof. I'm not going to go up on the roof of my townhome .

Last edited by reggie14; 11-30-2018 at 12:22 PM.
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  #19  
Old 12-01-2018, 09:23 PM
jpwegas jpwegas is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reggie14 View Post
I really don't want to do a roof-mounted antenna. We had one of those when I was a kid and we regularly had to reorient the antenna after it moved in the wind. But that was a one-story rambler with a relatively flat roof. I'm not going to go up on the roof of my townhome .
Reggie,
I live in the western DC suburbs (Loudoun) and set up an antenna (ClearStream 4MAX) in the attic pointing generally northeast into a line of trees and I still get 67 channels with my Quatro. Even a few Baltimore stations. You might be surprised how well the attic antenna works.

--John
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  #20  
Old 12-01-2018, 09:33 PM
jpwegas jpwegas is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will View Post
I went a similar route this summer. I finally got rid of cable after Spectrum started encrypting the OTA ClearQAM channels - that was just the final straw.

But I just can't part with SageTV yet, too much time and money invested, and honestly, I like SageTV a lot! So I use OTA with a HDHomeRun Connect Quatro and I created a way to integrate Philo directly into SageTV with a Roku Streaming Stick, a custom guide, a HD PVR 60, and a custom batch tuning script I created that communicates with the Roku via the local web API. In the guide, when I select a channel, like Science (136), the EXEMultiTunerPlugin sends the tuner and channel as a parameter to my batch script which then looks up some codes in a CSV file and instructs the Roku to load the content.

After some initial hiccups everything works very well and I really like Philo - I actually now get channels I want to watch, like AHC, Science, etc. - channels I could only previously get with the top-of-the-line cable package.

Basically, everything is working the same as it did when I had cable, just I'm only paying $45/month for internet now and $20 for Philio vs the $150 I was paying for TV/internet.

Also, if you still have a login to a cable subscriber's account, like your parents, you can also setup live streaming/recording of other channels like FX, FXX, National Geographic, TBS, TNT, etc. I think all the cable channels have an app for Roku but not all of them support live streaming, for example, USA and SyFy don't have live streams.

Overall, after the switch, I get more channels that I want to watch, I pay less than half the price, and the quality is very good (though only stereo audio w/the HD PVR 60).
Will,
Would be interested in any details you're willing to share on how how you are mapping the shows in the Sage guide to the Roku interface.

--John
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