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  #1  
Old 10-13-2010, 11:18 AM
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Default Digital broadcast TV?

When we moved to our house in 1998, we were disappointed to find that over-the-air reception here was so bad that we were forced to get either cable or satellite TV. I tried rabbit ears and I also bought a powered antenna from Radio Shack. Nothing improved the signal enough to get a decent picture.

However, I'm getting fed up with paying my DIRECTV bill. We're also starting to get 50% of our content over the Internet via streaming (mostly from NetFlix, but I'm planning to try Hulu Plus when they invite me to the beta test).

So I'm wondering: with the transition to digital broadcast TV, might my signal be improved?

Question 1: Is having a weak signal less of an issue with digital broadcast TV?

Question 2: Can my HOA prohibit me from installing a TV antenna on my roof? I never went full boat and bought a big antenna. This thing is only $99:


Question 3: If my HOA can ban me from installing an antenna on my roof, does putting a TV antenna in my attic impede its effectiveness significantly?
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:36 AM
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HAve a look at this site and plug in your location:

http://www.fcc.gov/mb/engineering/maps/

It should give you a good estimate of the signal strength you get. A roof top antenna will have much more gain than any small indoor unit. If you have room in your attic for a fullsize unit, it might get you where you want to be. That double array in the picture is overkill for the metro area. I recently ordered a Channelmaster CM-2018 to replace a 20 year old Radio Shack antenna. My reason for replacing the antenna is a bit odd as it worked great most of the time. someone in my neighborhood has a really noisy air conditioner that wipes out my reception when the AC is on. Some of the channels have a high enough signal strength to beat out the noise while some are still affected. I'm hoping that a bit more antenna gain might get me over the hump.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:41 AM
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Have you tried plain old rabbit ears? Our signals are very good since the majority of the stations are now located on the super antennas on Lookout Mt. At our house I'm getting -20dBm to -30dBm signal strength with just rabbit ears.

I will be putting an antenna on the roof, though, to get it out of sight. But I've found I will only need a dipole (I'm doing a folded dipole to make it even smaller) and not a yagi. MUCH easier to get out of sight.

With the stations collected pretty closely you could point a yagi at Lookout inside your attic or garage and still get good strength.
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:56 PM
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Interesting that you are getting a lot of station sBruce...

we got this one:

http://www.winegard.com/kbase/upload/MS-2000.pdf

and it really sucks. it is even on a mast about 20' above our roof. Only major network we get is CBS. Do you guys get all the stations? maybe my proximity to the CU Dorms kills my signal..
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:17 PM
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I'll have a spare antenna, or possibly two, if you want to try something different. When the noisy air conditioner is off, I get all of the broadcast stations. My antenna is on a 10foot pole on top of a one story house. Lookout Mountain is at a direction of 168 deg from my house - almost behind Table Mesa but not quite.
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rover67 View Post
Interesting that you are getting a lot of station sBruce...

we got this one:

http://www.winegard.com/kbase/upload/MS-2000.pdf

and it really sucks. it is even on a mast about 20' above our roof. Only major network we get is CBS. Do you guys get all the stations? maybe my proximity to the CU Dorms kills my signal..
I have a powered digital antenna in the attic. When I first upgraded from the generic non powered ring we had solid lock on many channels. Lately, (about 3 or 4 months) channel 7 - 001-003, and 9 - 001 are too weak to lock but we still have many others. As much as I hate the ided of an antenna outside I think thats my next move.
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rover67 View Post
Do you guys get all the stations?
The one we have is linked below. We get 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 20, 31, 59 very solid. It drops out briefly if I walk in front of it, but it's sitting on the floor behind the TV stand, at the ground floor in the middle of the house. Horrible location. I don't get 12 very well, but this tower is way up Deer Creek Canyon and I have no visibility to it.

http://www.amazon.com/RCA-ANT301-Amp.../dp/B00008V6JO

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Old 10-13-2010, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 60wag View Post
HAve a look at this site and plug in your location:
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/engineering/maps/
Thanks. I will check this out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveInDenver View Post
Have you tried plain old rabbit ears? Our signals are very good since the majority of the stations are now located on the super antennas on Lookout Mt. At our house I'm getting -20dBm to -30dBm signal strength with just rabbit ears.
When we first moved to Denver, we lived in the same apartment complex that Dr. Schlegs lives in now, at Dayton & Arapahoe. We had great signal with our rabbit ears.

Then we moved to our house near Holly & Dry Creek, and the rabbit ears were terrible. We're at the very bottom of our neighborhood (mobile phone reception is terrible at our house as well).

Do you need less signal strength with digital or is the same strength needed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveInDenver View Post
With the stations collected pretty closely you could point a yagi at Lookout inside your attic or garage and still get good strength.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Ben View Post
I have a powered digital antenna in the attic.... As much as I hate the ided of an antenna outside I think that's my next move.
So how much does putting an antenna in an attic impede the signal?
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hulk View Post

So how much does putting an antenna in an attic impede the signal?
Digital signals are short compared to the old analog signals. When we built the house we put a huge Winegard beast in the attic and got all VHF, UHF and even FM stations in the area clearly. When everything went to digital we struggle to get all the normal VHF broadcast stations but now we got a bunch more UHF stations. The attic definatly impedes digital signal I suspect!
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:48 PM
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I'm waiting to see what Google TV looks like.
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