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  #1  
Old 08-10-2019, 08:49 AM
NetworkGuy NetworkGuy is offline
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Moving to OTA

I am planning on cutting my cable and moving to OTA. The SageTV Server is in the basement and I am planning on mounting the antenna in the attic. (It is a two story house.)

I am trying to decide if I am better having the HDHomeRun Connect Quatro tuners closer to the antenna or closer to the SageTV server. There is already existing RG-6 and Cat 6 from the attic to the basement. (~30' run)

The question is which is better: signal loss on RG-6 or network congestion for 8 tuners on a single cat 6 cable.

I have attached a simple diagram of the two alternatives.

I would like to hear people's thoughts and experience.

Thanks
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File Type: jpg Over the Air.jpg (235.4 KB, 97 views)
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  #2  
Old 08-10-2019, 10:43 AM
wnjj wnjj is offline
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If the cat6 is within spec lengths I would think it should handle the bandwidth as easily as with shorter distances. The coax, on the other hand, means increasing signal loss that when coupled with a splitter only gets worse.

I would go short coax, long cat6 if it were me.
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  #3  
Old 08-10-2019, 12:40 PM
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KryptoNyte KryptoNyte is offline
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Because this is likely a short run, I think that either option should be fine. I do the opposite of wnjj, but it's because I like to keep electronics in the basement where it's always far cooler than my attic, and the RJ6 was already run while the Ethernet cable was not.

I did the same thing a little while ago making the switch to OTA, but I'm about 30 miles out of town with lots of obstacles so my OTA wasn't always reliable, and that is really frustrating after years with solid cableTV. It did force me to try other options, and honestly, Playstation Vue is about as good as it gets for about $70/month (via high speed Internet) - local stations, all the good sports (local and national), pretty much everything I had with cableTV and more.
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  #4  
Old 08-10-2019, 02:00 PM
wnjj wnjj is offline
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Good point about the heat of the attic...that is a consideration. Our HDHR sits behind the upstairs bedroom TV and the antenna is outside that wall. The cat5 was there for the HD200 already so it was a no brainer.

Maybe a compromise where the equipment is in an interior room near the attic with coax up and cat6 down?
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  #5  
Old 08-10-2019, 04:25 PM
JustFred JustFred is offline
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Since the OP hasn't provided any specifics about what kind of attic (unfinished vs. finished w/ properly installed 110v power outlet), my comments below will assume an unfinished attic.

An attic is no place for "active" electronics (e.g., tuners). Heat is your enemy. The chance of a 12vdc wall-wart causing a fire (or at least starting to smoke, without your notice) is just too great. Accessibility for future maintenance is lousy.

Keep the active components (tuners, enet switch) some place where you can easily access them.

From a functional standpoint, the only real difference between your 2 drawings is the amount of RF signal loss from the length of RG6. No need to guess about this value; look it up online. Either way, you've got exactly the same amount of network traffic between the tuners, switch & PC; as long as you're under the 100 meter Enet max, the cat-6 cable length doesn't matter.

Having said all that, one of my Sage systems is a bit of a hybrid, location-wise. My tuners & their Enet switch sits next to my Tv, because that's where the coax from the rooftop antenna is most easily accessible. The Sage server is in the office upstairs along with the myriad of other technology: desktop PCs, printers, switches, etc. It wasn't feasible to put the HDHR tuners adjacent to the Sage server because of the excessive RF signal loss that would have been introduced by adding another 100 ft of RG6. YMMV.

Edit: I'm assuming you've done your homework about the chance of success with an antenna in the attic. Foil-backed insulation and some roofing materials are signal killers. Ditto for the "chicken wire" that backs stucco walls. Flat panel antennas themselves are frequently marginal unless you're REALLY close to the tv transmitter(s). There's good reason why most TV antennas are exterior-mounted.
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Last edited by JustFred; 08-10-2019 at 05:52 PM. Reason: choice of antenna
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  #6  
Old 08-11-2019, 04:40 AM
NetworkGuy NetworkGuy is offline
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Sorry, I should have added some additional detail.

The attic area where I am going to mount the antenna is located next to the upstairs loft area. The RG6 and Cat 6 cables are actually in the loft on the other side of the wall of the attic. My plan was to run the antenna cable into the loft and put the electronics there so they would be in an environmentally friendly environment. (New diagram attached.)

I have been doing some testing with different antennas and positioning in the attic, So far I am able to get all of the channels except one. I am going to start testing again as soon as the summer heat wave is over. The attic is way too hot.

I think I will probably go with option 1 with the shorter coax.

Thanks
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Over the Air.jpg (247.0 KB, 45 views)
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  #7  
Old 08-11-2019, 07:55 AM
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RonBoyd RonBoyd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkGuy View Post
I think I will probably go with option 1 with the shorter coax.
Yes, it is off-topic but what program are you using to create these attachments? That's impressive.
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  #8  
Old 08-11-2019, 08:51 AM
JustFred JustFred is offline
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One other thought: consider whether or not the tuners & switch would benefit from being plugged into a UPS. Power outages (even brief glitches) make for unhappy viewers. Locating the tuners near your Sage server would allow them to share the same UPS.
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  #9  
Old 08-11-2019, 01:19 PM
NetworkGuy NetworkGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
Yes, it is off-topic but what program are you using to create these attachments? That's impressive.
I am just using PowerPoint to draw the diagram (using web images and lines). Then I take a screen shot to make a jpg.

It is a heck of a lot easier than using a lot of the drawing programs on the market.
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  #10  
Old 08-11-2019, 01:21 PM
NetworkGuy NetworkGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustFred View Post
One other thought: consider whether or not the tuners & switch would benefit from being plugged into a UPS. Power outages (even brief glitches) make for unhappy viewers. Locating the tuners near your Sage server would allow them to share the same UPS.
Interesting idea. Fortunately, we have had very few power outages (or even brief glitches). But I do have a spare smaller UPS that I could put there.

Thanks
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Tuner: (2) HDHomeRun Prime
Client: HD300; Onkyo TX-SR607; Sony XBR-65X850D
Client: HD300; Samsung UN46B7000
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  #11  
Old 08-11-2019, 07:32 PM
nyplayer nyplayer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkGuy View Post
Sorry, I should have added some additional detail.

The attic area where I am going to mount the antenna is located next to the upstairs loft area. The RG6 and Cat 6 cables are actually in the loft on the other side of the wall of the attic. My plan was to run the antenna cable into the loft and put the electronics there so they would be in an environmentally friendly environment. (New diagram attached.)

I have been doing some testing with different antennas and positioning in the attic, So far I am able to get all of the channels except one. I am going to start testing again as soon as the summer heat wave is over. The attic is way too hot.

I think I will probably go with option 1 with the shorter coax.

Thanks
I have option 2... with moca from basement to Client Switch & Router upstairs... I also went from a power hungry (heater) I5 desktop to a small nuc.
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Last edited by nyplayer; 08-11-2019 at 07:39 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-12-2019, 07:29 AM
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RonBoyd RonBoyd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkGuy View Post
I am just using PowerPoint to draw the diagram (using web images and lines). Then I take a screen shot to make a jpg.

It is a heck of a lot easier than using a lot of the drawing programs on the market.
Great Hack. Kudos
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  #13  
Old 08-12-2019, 02:32 PM
pjpjpjpj pjpjpjpj is offline
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I've had what the OP is talking about for 11 years now. I have two homemade directional antennas in the attic (facing two cities 180 degrees apart, one of which is too far to reliably grab with an omnidirectional antenna). I have two older HDHR, 2 tuners each, wired from them. I didn't want them in the hot dirty attic so I put a receptacle in the upper back wall of a 2nd floor linen closet and mounted a shelf just below the ceiling. I then ran network cable down to the basement server. I wanted the coax as short as possible and ended up with about 7 feet from one and 15 feet from the other.

The closet probably approaches 90F at the ceiling, which is immediately below the attic, in the hottest part of the summer (now). However, in 11 years, I think I've had 4 instances of the wall warts dying and needing to be replaced (two of which were when the originals had that known issue and died and SiliconDust replaced them). I work in commercial HVAC and figured I would install a small fan to pull house air through the closet if I was having unusually-high failures. However, I have not considered the "death rate" high enough to bother; and despite IT folks wanting their computer server rooms a nice cool 70F, industry standard for commercial electronics is that they function just fine up to 104F/40C - the desired cold room temp is for the comfort of those working on the equipment, not the equipment itself.

After those initial wall wart replacements, when the next one died and I found a $7 replacement that worked on Amazon, I just went ahead and bought like 3 or 4 spares to have on hand. I've only had to use one or two of them. A couple of bucks every few years is cheaper and easier than installing a fan in the closet or moving the HDHRs... and way cheaper than a single month of cable TV.

NetworkGuy, do you regularly expect to have 8 shows recording from OTA at the same time? It's only on very rare occasion that we have 4 at once (all 4 of our tuners) and we have two different cities' content from which to choose.
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:56 PM
KarylFStein KarylFStein is offline
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I really don't like going up into the (unfinished) attic, so try to limit the need to take trips up there. I have a couple antennas, although one is for FM. Everything runs to the basement (two story house), and then distributed there. I'm about 20 miles away from transmitters, so the signal is good. But one channel gave me some problems even though another at the same location was fine, (there's about a 30 degree spread across the transmitters and these are at one end of that). Instead of trips up to make adjustments then down to try things out, (rinse and repeat), I purchased an amplifier to see if that work work. The kind I bought lets you plug one end into the lead coming out of the antenna then in the basement you plug in a power injector. While I do have an outlet in the attic I don't need to use it. That seemed to have cleared up my issues and let me consolidate everything in a single spot. I have a powered splitter with 0db signal loss for the cable and the FM antennas. Wires from those then feed the equipment as well as back up to the various outlets.
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  #15  
Old 08-13-2019, 04:27 AM
NetworkGuy NetworkGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjpjpjpj View Post
NetworkGuy, do you regularly expect to have 8 shows recording from OTA at the same time? It's only on very rare occasion that we have 4 at once (all 4 of our tuners) and we have two different cities' content from which to choose.
I was only going to allocate 6 tuners to SageTV, I planned on leaving the other 2 tuners to watch live TV on WiFi using the HDHumeRun app.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:33 PM
nyplayer nyplayer is offline
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Originally Posted by NetworkGuy View Post
I was only going to allocate 6 tuners to SageTV, I planned on leaving the other 2 tuners to watch live TV on WiFi using the HDHumeRun app.

I had to get at least 2 Quatro's because I like to keep padding on all my recordings including back to back same channel ... Unfortunately Sagetv requires more tuners to do this.
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  #17  
Old 08-15-2019, 08:37 AM
pjpjpjpj pjpjpjpj is offline
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Originally Posted by nyplayer View Post
I had to get at least 2 Quatro's because I like to keep padding on all my recordings including back to back same channel ... Unfortunately Sagetv requires more tuners to do this.
I hate to tell you since you've already bought the hardware but there's an option (in detailed setup somewhere) that allows Sage to ignore padding on back-to-back recordings on the same channel so you don't have to do that...
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  #18  
Old 08-15-2019, 08:54 AM
NetworkGuy NetworkGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjpjpjpj View Post
I hate to tell you since you've already bought the hardware but there's an option (in detailed setup somewhere) that allows Sage to ignore padding on back-to-back recordings on the same channel so you don't have to do that...
Where is this setting? I could use it today.
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  #19  
Old 08-15-2019, 09:30 AM
wnjj wnjj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjpjpjpj View Post
I hate to tell you since you've already bought the hardware but there's an option (in detailed setup somewhere) that allows Sage to ignore padding on back-to-back recordings on the same channel so you don't have to do that...
That setting removes padding so they can use the same tuner. He wants to keep the padding on both shows.
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  #20  
Old 08-15-2019, 11:25 AM
nyplayer nyplayer is offline
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Originally Posted by wnjj View Post
That setting removes padding so they can use the same tuner. He wants to keep the padding on both shows.
Correct.. I do not want to go hunting for the other show that might have the ending.
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