OTA question for a clueless person (me!) (3 Viewers)

sktrus

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Feb 4, 2020
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Georgetown, Kentucky
Before I order this product, I want to make sure I understand how it really works. I am about to lose local Fox network due to issues between Nextar and Dish. Here's what I have:
Hopper 3 and 3 latest wired Joeys. An attic antenna installed by professional team when the house was under construction 18 yrs ago. (Back then Dish and Directv did not offer locals.) The cable runs from attic to homerun room in the basement where Hopper 3 is located. My idea is this: Attach the cable from antenna to OTA plugged into Hopper 3. So, I don't need to do anything but turn on one of the tvs (4 total. 1 hopper 3 and 3 joeys), change the input from Dish to air, and hope for the best! Even 18 yrs ago, Fox was kinda cloudy. The distance to their tower is too much, I am afraid. Anyhow, am I correct with my understanding with ota?
Thank you.
 

Nebugeater

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18 years ago the transmission was still analog and not digital. Your ability to pick up OTA will be different. Maybe better, maybe worse.
 
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Bobby

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OTA on the Hopper and Joeys work like this: Along with your antenna you need an OTA adapter from either DISH or AirTV (they are the same product just a different color and AirTV costs much less.) You attach the antenna coax to the OTA adapter and then plug the adapter into one of the Hopper's USB ports. Then on the Hopper you scan for channels and save them. This will bring those saved OYTA channels into you Hopper guide and you can watch them just like you would the satellite channels. The OTA channels will have a -1, -2, -3 (if there are sub-channels available) whereas your satellite locals will not. Example, say you have a channel 2 in you local area. The satellite channel would show as channel 2 and the OTA channels would show as 2-1, etc:

Screen Shot 2020-12-01 at 8.03.47 AM.png


The Joeys would receive the channels the same way. You can watch the locals up to two channels at a time on any of your TVs.
 

Altitudinous

SatelliteGuys Guru
Oct 6, 2020
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Northern NM
An attic antenna installed by professional team when the house was under construction 18 yrs ago.
I might make one comment about your antenna. I think that in most areas, the majority of digital TV stations broadcast in the UHF band. If your antenna does not have a solid UHF section, and it turns out that you have trouble with any of your desired locals, you might consider trying a newer antenna which, if advertised as a "digital TV" antenna, will have a strong focus on the UHF band. Just a thought.
 
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tetrode

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Dec 21, 2017
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I might make one comment about your antenna. I think that in most areas, the majority of digital TV stations broadcast in the UHF band. If your antenna does not have a solid UHF section, and it turns out that you have trouble with any of your desired locals, you might consider trying a newer antenna which, if advertised as a "digital TV" antenna, will have a strong focus on the UHF band. Just a thought.
Before I order this product, I want to make sure I understand how it really works. I am about to lose local Fox network due to issues between Nextar and Dish. Here's what I have:
Hopper 3 and 3 latest wired Joeys. An attic antenna installed by professional team when the house was under construction 18 yrs ago. (Back then Dish and Directv did not offer locals.) The cable runs from attic to homerun room in the basement where Hopper 3 is located. My idea is this: Attach the cable from antenna to OTA plugged into Hopper 3. So, I don't need to do anything but turn on one of the tvs (4 total. 1 hopper 3 and 3 joeys), change the input from Dish to air, and hope for the best! Even 18 yrs ago, Fox was kinda cloudy. The distance to their tower is too much, I am afraid. Anyhow, am I correct with my understanding with ota?
Thank you.
Do yourself a favor and connect the cable from the attic antenna to the tuner input of your TV. That way you may see how well the existing antenna performs without any additional hardware. The tuner in your TV will probably outperform the Dish USB dongle adapter.

You can watch local OTA on the TV without using the Hopper. Just no time shift.

If you do decide to replace the antenna, you may want to research what stations are on what RF channel. (The displayed channel seldoms matches the actual RF channel). In my area there are two high band VHF stations with the remainder UHF.

I did have some ongoing problems with the Dish USB dongle that necessitated rebooting the Hopper every few days. We are back to paying Dish for the locals with the USB dongle removed so I don't know if that has been resolved.
 

sktrus

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 4, 2020
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170
Georgetown, Kentucky
Thanks to y'all;
Bobby, I forgot to mention the adapter. $30 at Products | AirTV very reasonable. By reading Q&As here, I am learning a lot. I am aware that some OTA adapter users r having issues. So, when I watch local stations with adapter, I still turn Hopper and/or a Joey on and navigate as usual right? How 'bout recording as prime time or individual stations? Does Hopper 3 let u save recorded shows as it does with others? Also, do I scan channels with Hopper 3?

Nebugeater; I hope more! But, u never know. The antenna they used was Trek brand. They installed it horizontally under roof rafters. I don't mind changing if there is a better alternative. It has to be an attic antenna. My 3 story house has a very steep roof. I wouldn't dare going up there!! Plus, all the holes and potential leaking issue.

Tetrode; thanks for the warning. The antenna cable comes down straight into homerun room (located underneath the basement stairs). The wifey did not want to see cables everywhere. So, there is no tv closeby to try the antenna.

If I am wrong, I will have wasted 30 bucks plus shipping and maybe another antenna. But, if it works, I have a chance to cancel local package to save some money.

I will attach two pics. My antenna looks like the one in pic. Different number.
The other pic shows the cable coming from antenna.
Screenshot 2020-12-01 at 1.15.09 PM - Edited.png
ant cable.jpg
 

TheKrell

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Jan 4, 2007
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So, when I watch local stations with adapter, I still turn Hopper and/or a Joey on and navigate as usual right?
Right.
How 'bout recording as prime time or individual stations?
Individual stations. You can still turn on prime time anytime anyhow (as I do) even though it will not record anything. I use it to get the autohop feature on my OTA local channels.
Does Hopper 3 let u save recorded shows as it does with others?
Of course!
Also, do I scan channels with Hopper 3?
Indeed you do. I forget where that is... (Turns on H3.)

You hit the Home button twice to get the Menu to come up. Select Settings. Select OTA Channels. Scan (mine says Rescan).
 
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navychop

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Terk is not a good brand.

Another option is an outdoor antenna with a gable mount. Feed coax into attic and replace Terk.
 

sktrus

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Feb 4, 2020
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Georgetown, Kentucky
Thank u TheKrell for taking your time to enlighten me.

Navychop; No idea how the installers decided on Terk. We avoided using the roof for Satellite dish installation 'cuz it would be extemely difficult to wipe it off after a snowy day. The wife made them use the second floor deck to install the dish and have several cables run thru the wall and go straight down to the basement hidden behind drywall. Her idea was a blessing. Super easy to clean the snow off of the dish. I am doing some research to find out the best attic antenna I can use. (I tried few indoor antennas next to a tv in different rooms. The reception was awfull. I live in very heavily wooded area. The closest transmission tower is 20 miles ahead.)
Here's my thinking:
1-Get airtv ota adapter. Install. Run Hopper 3 scan and see what happens.
2- If the results r bad, buy a reasonably priced antenna and replace the old antenna. Rescan.
3- If better, be happy. Wait a month and cancel local package if recording from ota is ok.
4- If nothing works, I will be 60-100 bucks poorer. At least, I will know ota is not working for me.
 

sam_gordon

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May 21, 2009
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Lexington, ky
Thank u TheKrell for taking your time to enlighten me.

Navychop; No idea how the installers decided on Terk. We avoided using the roof for Satellite dish installation 'cuz it would be extemely difficult to wipe it off after a snowy day. The wife made them use the second floor deck to install the dish and have several cables run thru the wall and go straight down to the basement hidden behind drywall. Her idea was a blessing. Super easy to clean the snow off of the dish. I am doing some research to find out the best attic antenna I can use. (I tried few indoor antennas next to a tv in different rooms. The reception was awfull. I live in very heavily wooded area. The closest transmission tower is 20 miles ahead.)
Here's my thinking:
1-Get airtv ota adapter. Install. Run Hopper 3 scan and see what happens.
2- If the results r bad, buy a reasonably priced antenna and replace the old antenna. Rescan.
3- If better, be happy. Wait a month and cancel local package if recording from ota is ok.
4- If nothing works, I will be 60-100 bucks poorer. At least, I will know ota is not working for me.
tetrode had the best idea yet... plug your feed into the antenna port on a TV and have it scan for channels. Even if you end up getting the OTA dongle and going through your hopper/joey system, testing with a TV will potentially eliminate a lot of trouble shooting.
 

sktrus

Thread Starter
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Feb 4, 2020
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Georgetown, Kentucky
Thanks Sam. The antenna coax comes behind drywall in homerun room. A tiny room under basement stairs. The big screen tv is far away. Unless I buy extension cable, I cannot plug it into tv's antenna port. Another reason is this: I want to be able to watch locals on 4 tvs. With ota adapter on Hopper 3, I can achieve that.
 
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crodrules

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A cheap way to do it would be with a small portable TV and one of those digital-to-analog converter boxes. That would be easier than either moving a big-screen TV to the basement, or running a long cable to connect the antenna to where that TV is currently located.
 
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sktrus

Thread Starter
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Feb 4, 2020
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Georgetown, Kentucky
Jim & Crodrules; thank you. What if I get 20' long coax cable and a cable extender (little metal piece that connects two coax cables) and have the experiment. I imagine they shouldn't cost much and widely available at Amazon.
The big screen tv is also in the basement, roughly 15' away from where the hopper 3 and antenna coax r located.
 
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Altitudinous

SatelliteGuys Guru
Oct 6, 2020
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"Digital TV" as a claim on antenna packaging has NOTHING to do what stations/frequencies will be picked up. It it totally a marketing gimmick. The antenna will be either UHF, VHF, or a combination.
Uh, I know. Since the DTV transition for full-power stations started in 2009, and the OP said that his antenna was installed 18 years ago, I was suggesting that "nowadays" most antenna manufacturers probably take note of the fact that the majority of DTV broadcasts are in the UHF band, with some in high VHF. The point was that IF his antenna was geared more toward analog broadcasts of 2002, it might be oriented more toward VHF and might not be as effective as an antenna with the marketing gimmick of "Digital TV".
 

TheKrell

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A cheap way to do it would be with a small portable TV and one of those digital-to-analog converter boxes.
I bought a 7" portable TV from Target shortly after the digital migration for $28! I thought that was a pricing mistake. But it came with rechargeable batteries, a wall wart transformer, and even a 12V adapter. I had to use the latter when my power went out for 4 days. :( Anyhow, it has an ATSC tuner and therefore needs no D to A.
What if I get 20' long coax cable and a cable extender (little metal piece that connects two coax cables) and have the experiment.
That is an excellent idea if you don't have a portable TV. The "little metal piece" is called a barrel connector.

 

sam_gordon

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May 21, 2009
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Lexington, ky
The point was that IF his antenna was geared more toward analog broadcasts of 2002, it might be oriented more toward VHF and might not be as effective as an antenna with the marketing gimmick of "Digital TV".
And all I'm saying is there's no such thing as an "analog" or "digital" antenna. Not "might not", but "there is no".
 

Altitudinous

SatelliteGuys Guru
Oct 6, 2020
124
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Northern NM
And all I'm saying is there's no such thing as an "analog" or "digital" antenna. Not "might not", but "there is no".
Come on. I never said there is an "analog" or "digital" antenna. I said that older antennas, like the one my dad had mounted to the chimney, had large VHF sections. In fact, back in the analog broadcast days, channels 2 to 13 were, uh, pretty popular. Those days preceded the digital broadcast days, where, as I mentioned, most of the channels used for DTV broadcasts are in the UHF band, with a few in the high VHF band. Since the advent of DTV, understandably manufacturers want to assure buyers that the antenna is "DTV ready", that is, quite capable in the UHF band. See ya.
 

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