Antenna Recommendation

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Brando82501

Thread Starter
Member
Aug 10, 2020
6
1
Riverton, WY
I need to get me a new OTA antenna or two. I’d like to point one antennna toward my southwest and one to the north. I tried posting my tvfool report but it wouldn’t let me post even when I used the URL tag.
Any recommendations? I’m trying to get the channels at 19 deg and 231 degrees as the ABC station to the northeast has been off the air since June and they were recently purchased and we are a small market so they have no idea when they will attempt to get it back online. I can pull in and SD sub channel but who wants to watch those anymore? I plan to plug both antennas if two into an HDHomeRun Quattro.

Thanks,
Brandon
 
Mister B

Mister B

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 3, 2008
352
149
El Paso County Texas
I took an interest in your request as I have lived in several remote areas of New Mexico and had to depend on translator stations for TV. That was back in the analog days but antennas have not changed. I only considered your HD major networks and did not see a NBC affiliate.
Your difficulty lies with the fact that you have both VHF and UHF stations in both the NE and SE directions. There is no easy or cheap way to combine two antennas that cover the same frequency. Some people try it but the problem is that no antenna actually picks up signals from just one direction and the same signal fed from two antennas tend to cancel each other out. Obviously you are in a mountainous region and that just makes matters worse with signals bouncing off of distant obstructions.
The simplest solution that I see would be a high quality combination VHF/UHF antenna pointed to the SE to pick up CBS on 7, PBS on 8 and ABC on 22. Hopefully FOX on 10 would come in on the backside of the antenna as it is higher on your list.
The best solution would be to place the combination antenna on a rotor or buy two of them and run in separate cables and have a switch to choose which antenna is needed. The downside to that solution is it limits your ability to record unattended or watch different channels on different TVs if you have more than one person in your household.
OTA reception is not an exact science especially in trying to give advice from another state. It may take some experimentation. I will link one suggestion for the combo VHF/UHF antenna below.
19410169
 
primestar31

primestar31

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You can also use TWO network tuner devices, with each one having an antenna pointing in the appropriate directions. Something like a HdHomerun, or AirTv, or Tablo, etc.

This can be a perfect solution for your situation.
 
Mister B

Mister B

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 3, 2008
352
149
El Paso County Texas
You can also use TWO network tuner devices, with each one having an antenna pointing in the appropriate directions. Something like a HdHomerun, or AirTv, or Tablo, etc.

This can be a perfect solution for your situation.

I wondered about that but did not mention it since it is outside of my knowledge base. I used to have two VCRs, one Beta and one VHS.
 
Mister B

Mister B

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 3, 2008
352
149
El Paso County Texas
I found your NBC affiliate on physical channel 28 to the northeast. I am not sure why it is shown on the "target grid" as the virtual channel (13). I would not count on getting it if trying the backside of the antenna theory as it is further down the list than channel 10.
 
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Brando82501

Thread Starter
Member
Aug 10, 2020
6
1
Riverton, WY
Thanks for the feedback folks! I think I may end up going the 2 antenna and 2 tuner route. I’ll have to pick me up another Quattro but that will be fine I have plenty of space in my rack!
 
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solarvic

solarvic

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Oct 17, 2019
265
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Hadley, pa.
I have 2 tablo players and use them on one app with my roku sticks and amizon sticke. You name each player. I call one pittsburgh and other one erie. My question is. Do you play more than one silicon dust quatro with one app like the tablo players? I think I might get one of the nextgen quatro players when or if they become available.
 
B

Brando82501

Thread Starter
Member
Aug 10, 2020
6
1
Riverton, WY
I have 2 tablo players and use them on one app with my roku sticks and amizon sticke. You name each player. I call one pittsburgh and other one erie. My question is. Do you play more than one silicon dust quatro with one app like the tablo players? I think I might get one of the nextgen quatro players when or if they become available.

I use Channels DVR which allows me to use my Fubo TVE access and then integrate my HDHR’s into it. They unfortunately only support TVE and Silicondust units. I’m not familiar too much with the Tablos but the Quattros have 4 tuners in them.
 
solarvic

solarvic

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 17, 2019
265
154
Hadley, pa.
Tablo has both 2 tuner models and 4 tuner models. Only reason I want to get one of the quatro atsc 3.0 model when it becomes available is to try the new signal. Both roku and amazon has an app.
 
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S

statmanmi

New Member
Oct 24, 2018
3
1
West Michigan
Hi Brando82501,

Welcome to the forum!

There's definitely merit to considering possibly needing two DVRs, but I'd like to suggest that you not put the cart before the horse. Rather, you should get squared away with the antenna solution first, and see how it does feeding into a single recorder before you spend the money on a second one.

Have you considered the ClearStream 4 or 4V models from Antennas Direct? I like them better than the newer ClearStream 4 MAX, for two reasons: These older models include the reflectors (that look like chicken wire), and if you get the V style (or separately purchase the Antennas Direct VHF Add-On...it's what's included to get from the 4 to 4V), you can zip tie the VHF dipole element to your mast to be facing in a different direction.

This is my rabbitears.info report: RabbitEars.Info

I have a ClearStream 4 in place to receive my UHF stations. It points at approximately 195 degrees True, through tall hardwood trees, and has me locking in both RF26 WCMU-TV PBS from 14 degrees (estimated at 67 dBuV/m) and RF15 WXSP-CD MyNetTV at 251 degrees (estimated at 64 dBuV/m)--and all UHF signals listed above on the report. I used to use the V element to get my High-VHF stations, through RF11 WGVU-TV, but then the OTA bug struck me and I wanted to attempt to receive both RF9 WWTV and RF10 WILX--so I've since upgraded my VHF antenna to being an RCA ANT3037 pointed straight onto RF10 WILX. Separate UHF and VHF antennas can be combined into a single downlead RG6 coax from the roof by using a UVSJ = UHF-VHF Signal Joiner. Antennas Direct and Radio Shack sell them online...avoid the Stellar Labs option, as it has more loss than the others per testing by one or more members of this forum.

I'm guessing you'll not find antennas locally. I'll offer the suggestion that you check that big online site that will sell you everything for their open-box deals on the ClearStream 4, ClearStream 4V, and Antennas Direct VHF Add-on. When I looked just now, there's a really good deal on a "warehouse" ClearStream 4, such that it's most economical to purchase it and the VHF Add-on separately.

Once you have them, try first pointing the ClearStream 4 in both of the directions, and see which way the reflectors help the most with the UHF signals (the ones not with the yellow background on your report). Then see if the VHF dipole works out when clicked to the reflector, or if better when zip-tied to the mast and pointing a bit differently. Worst case, if the single dipole isn't enough, the my next thought would be to order up a UVSJ and likely a RCA ANT751 will be sufficient enough for the 3 VHF stations, since they're relatively strong.

That's my two cents on how to incrementally approach your situation, and my experience with the bi-directional attributes of the ClearStream 4.

Cheers! ~~ Statmanmi
 
Mister B

Mister B

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 3, 2008
352
149
El Paso County Texas
I agree that a step-by-step approach is usually best. But of course those of us who like to give advice on this forum also like to experiment with these things. If it were me, I would buy one good antenna ( or VHF/UHF pair) and turn it by hand in different directions just to get a feel for what is possible. I understand that some people just want to buy the whole set-up, and be done with it.
I tried the Clearstream 4 with the clip on VHF rod when helping a friend in a very difficult location in the hills of southern Orange County, CA. It was one of the very few available in the big box stores. We had to return it as it just was not sufficient. Especially the VHF rod is no better than clipping an old fashioned rabbit ear onto the pole. I also feel the Clearstream line is overpriced for appearance sake to appeal to those people turned off by having an antenna on the roof.
We ordered the Antennas Direct DB4e. It has been specifically designed for the now lower UHF frequencies. I had planned to add the Stellar Labs Fringe VHF-HIgh antenna with a UVSJ but surprisingly the DB4e brought in San Diego on the backside which was almost 180 degrees from Los Angeles and that was enough to satisfy my friend.
 
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B

Brando82501

Thread Starter
Member
Aug 10, 2020
6
1
Riverton, WY
I took an interest in your request as I have lived in several remote areas of New Mexico and had to depend on translator stations for TV. That was back in the analog days but antennas have not changed. I only considered your HD major networks and did not see a NBC affiliate.
Your difficulty lies with the fact that you have both VHF and UHF stations in both the NE and SE directions. There is no easy or cheap way to combine two antennas that cover the same frequency. Some people try it but the problem is that no antenna actually picks up signals from just one direction and the same signal fed from two antennas tend to cancel each other out. Obviously you are in a mountainous region and that just makes matters worse with signals bouncing off of distant obstructions.
The simplest solution that I see would be a high quality combination VHF/UHF antenna pointed to the SE to pick up CBS on 7, PBS on 8 and ABC on 22. Hopefully FOX on 10 would come in on the backside of the antenna as it is higher on your list.
The best solution would be to place the combination antenna on a rotor or buy two of them and run in separate cables and have a switch to choose which antenna is needed. The downside to that solution is it limits your ability to record unattended or watch different channels on different TVs if you have more than one person in your household.
OTA reception is not an exact science especially in trying to give advice from another state. It may take some experimentation. I will link one suggestion for the combo VHF/UHF antenna below.
19410169

Would I also need a preamp you think for the antenna you recommended? I shoot through a bunch of trees right by my place with no way around them. A friend gave me a Televes Diginova boss antenna to try and it gets fox cbs and pbs great I have it pointed to the SW towards the tower that has abc on 22 on it and it doesn’t pull it in at all.
 
Mister B

Mister B

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 3, 2008
352
149
El Paso County Texas
I looked up your antenna on Amazon and it appears to already have an amplifier built in. You certainly would not want to add a second amp. From the size of the antenna it would seem to be primarily built for UHF, there is just no way elements of proper length for VHF could fit in that enclosure. So, it is puzzling why you are only getting VHF signals. They must simply be much stronger than the other stations in your area. If you turn the antenna around to the northeast can you pickup channel 24 from Shoshoni (just as a test to determine its UHF capability).
Honestly, I do not put much faith in antennas concealed in an enclosure with a built-in amplifier. It is great that a friend gave it to you to experiment with but I would feel more confident with a traditional non-ampified antenna with rods that are the appropriate length for the frequency and are clearly visible.
 
B

Brando82501

Thread Starter
Member
Aug 10, 2020
6
1
Riverton, WY
Sorry I wasn’t more clear I was wondering you thought the preamp would be a good idea with the antenna you recommended/. I’m hoping next week to get one purchased and get it up in the air.
 
Mister B

Mister B

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 3, 2008
352
149
El Paso County Texas
I am the one who strayed from meaning of your question. If you purchase a new antenna, should you also install a preamp at the same time? A preamp can only makeup for the loss incurred in a long cable run. It can not "create" signal that never got to the antenna in the first place due to obstructions from trees or anything else. If your cable is going to be more than about 50 feet, that loss could be enough to make the difference between a stable signal and a picture that has break-ups.
I would want to try a new antenna without any amplification first to get a feel of what it can really accomplish. In my experience if there is no signal there at all without an amp then the addition of an amp is not going to take you from no signal to a useful signal. If however the signal without an amp is just on the verge of being good enough, then that little bit of boost from compensating for the loss in the cable run could make the difference from not being acceptable to being a useful channel.
You do have the advantage of not being near any full power transmitters. In those unfortunate locations where one is trying to pull in some weak or distant signals but there is also a strong local station in the area, the signal from the strong station will almost always "over-amplify" and create unwanted interference for the weak stations. If you do have to add an amp later it should not create problems in your location.
I have not purchased a preamp for a very long time. Units made by both RCA and Winegard are often recommended on this site.
 
T

Tower Guy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 1, 2005
726
97
That is a cool and inexpensive antenna. It is also rated down to 80 MHz, which means it works on channel 6 and the FM band.
 

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