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Old 05-03-2010, 05:38 PM
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PiX64 PiX64 is offline
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Cutting the Cable ang using only OTA...

I am currently in the process of evaluating all of my TV options, and have come to the conclusion that i am sick and tired of paying comcast 70 a month for TV that i can get for free OTA.

I have been looking at antennaweb.org as well as tvfool.com to try and figure what the best antenna is for me. I am in 60545 -- Plano IL and it seems that a large directional antenna would be the best for me..as i am sure it is for everyone. I really don't want this HUGE antenna on my roof, so i have been looking for an antenna that will give me the most coverage while being in my attic. I live in a 2 story home with a pretty large attic. I am mainly concerned about the following channels

WBBMDT
WFLDDT
WMAQDT
WLSDDT (ABC)
WPWRDT
WGNDT
WCIUDT 1 - 4

I was hoping that some of you might be able to put your thoughts and comments in as to which antennas you like, and which have worked well for you with an HDHOMERUN and HVR2250...

I am currently looking at the following antenna to mount in my attic:

http://www.compusa.com/applications/...411&CatId=2767

Let me know what you all think....All comments, pointers, suggestions welcome.

Thanks all,

Pix64
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Old 05-03-2010, 06:57 PM
rmac321 rmac321 is offline
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If you have any DIY skills, go the home-made route. Check out the thread over on AVSForum which will help you size a you-tube style antenna for the stations you are trying to get. The thread is pretty long, but there is a ton of useful information and a lot of helpful people:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=798265

I'm in central IL with a 9 1/2" mclapp antenna in the attic using a wineguard AP8700 preamp to feed 2 HDHR's. mclapp is one of the guys who has posted a bunch of antenna designs as well as actual data for the various designs he has built. I've been planning to build a 10" mclapp, but the 9 1/2" has been working so well that I haven't gotten around to building the next one.

FWIW, we've been OTA only for years. Now that OTA is digital the quality is so much better than SD cable it will blow you away. With an HD200, even a regular SD TV looks amazing.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:27 PM
ranger ranger is offline
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I went OTA for a year and really didn't mind. The ONLY reason I put cable TV back in is because Comcast offered a one year price on the triple play that essentially gave me phone, Internet, and TV for the price I was paying for Internet and phone.

Who knows, next year I may be back to the antenna in my attic. I still use it for some recordings as the OTA HD quality is better.

I had 2 problems I had to overcome with OTA. One station was 90 degrees away from my other stations so I had to beef up the antenna a bit, and the other problem is that another station is VHF hi-band, so a UHF only antenna didn't work well.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:48 PM
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Awesome. Thank you and i will def. check out the DIY thread. I actually would prefer to do it that way because well i like most people around here like to tinker, build, make good, tear down and rebuild :-)

its a sickness really ;-)

thank you guys for your input.

~Pix64
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Old 05-04-2010, 05:48 AM
pjpjpjpj pjpjpjpj is offline
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Pix,

If you are into the DIY thing - it's really easy and works great - also try the antenna threads here:
http://lumenlab.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=9613
and here:
http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=186

and I recommend using www.tvfool.com for your reception data, rather than antennaweb. Tvfool.com has better topographic info with regards to things (i.e., hills) which block reception. Be sure to put in the approximate height above outside grade that your antenna will be when mounted in your attic.

For attic mounting, be aware that the aluminum-faced insulation board that is used in many houses can act as a reflector and prevent reception. So if you have that in your attic on the side between the towers and you, you may have difficulty. On the other hand, if you have (as I do) the board on sides of your attic that are 90 degrees from to the direction of the towers, it acts as nice "protection" from signal multipath (signal waves that reflect off of stuff (buildings, trees, hills, house structure, etc., and create interference in reception). In general, plywood/OSB roofing wood and typical asphalt shingles do not create much problem.

Remember that you want as short as possible of coax cable runs, because you attenuate signal in the coax. I highly recommend using the HD Homerun and mounting it either in your attic (depends how clean/protected your attic is), or else in a closet just below the attic (what I did). You get a shorter run of lossy coax, and once you are in the HDHR, the network cable run back to your system is basically lossless. If you use the 2250, you either have a long run of coax (and losses), or else need to put your server up near the attic.

Feel free to PM me if you want (or just post your TVfool "plot" here) and I can give you more advice. I'm not claiming to know all, but I really got into this stuff a few years ago when I set up my system and I am happy to share the info I learned.
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:01 AM
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PiX64 PiX64 is offline
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awesome PJ, i will def. post my tvfool plot to get some of your feedback.

Hope this is what you were looking for:
Attached Images
File Type: png Radar-All.png (63.4 KB, 283 views)

Last edited by PiX64; 05-04-2010 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:12 AM
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While I love to tinker, I didn't want to be messing with an antenna in the attic or on the roof on any sort of regular basis, so I had one professionally installed on the roof. According to TVFool, the majority of the towers were about 30 miles away from me, in a single direction.

I went with a Channel Master CM-3016, with a CM-7777 pre-amp and a CM-3410 distribution amplifier (just in case I had long runs). The intent was to pull in the strongest signal I could from the furthest tower around and be done with it. To give you an idea of just how well this worked out, the first idiot (supposed professional) installer had the antenna pointing AWAY from the towers (even after I mentioned it to him and he ignored me), but it was still pulling in decent signals. After about a month like this, we lost just about all our channels and got a real professional to point it the right way and couldn't be happier. Even with 70mph winds, we have never lost any channels. It did get pixelated a couple of times, but it was fine to watch.
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