ota dtv antennae/amplifier issue

kimkitchyFebruary 7, 2010

Hi All,

We have two digital TVs currently connected via a splitter to our big ole 1960's vintage antennae. Get great picture and good number of channels on TV in living room. BUT, not so many digital channels come through on the kitchen TV. We understand that we probably are experiencing signal loss/degeneration due to the splitter and possibly the length of the cable run from the antennae. Our antennae is in very good line of sight to the translator. The DTV signals in our town are VHF.

Are there newer VHF antennaes with the amplifier built in? If so, do you know brands/models? If not, do you know of amplifiers that work well?

Finally, our old antennae comes into the house on a flat twin lead cable and connects indoors to the coaxial cable. Is it possible to run new coaxial cable on our old antennae, or is it better to buy a new one where coax is already afixed?

Thanks for any help on this.

-Kim

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jdbillp

Don't bother with an amplilfied indoor antenna.

I would suggest replacing that old twin lead wire with a twin-lead-to-coax-adapter and run all new coax cable.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 11:09PM
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tigerbangs

If your TV antenna really dates back that far, chances are good that it has poor UHF performance, and is probably corroded to the point where it only half-functions. The advice about replacing twin-lead cable with RG-6u coax cable is a good one. Your location will determine what kind of antenna and/or preamplifier you need, but remember that NO indoor antenna will ever perform as well as a properly installed outdoor antenna.

Try using this link: put in your information, and post the results link here, and we can advise you as to how to proceed.

Here is a link that might be useful: TV reception predictor

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 6:15PM
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kimkitchy

Hey, thanks for the responses!
And, maybe I was not clear, we are NOT considering an indoor antenna; the old one is on the roof now and we'll stay with roof top. We were advised by our local met-rec people to get an amplifier kit and would help our problem where the living room TV gets more channels than the kitchen TV (we are using a splitter). They described that you usually get two amplifiers in the box and you attach one close to the antenna balan and one indoors at the TV... does that sound right? Still wondering about how one changes out the flat cable that is attached to the old outdoor antenna to coaxial, if we keep the old antenna... maybe our electrician knows how. The indoor runs are all updated coaxial, it is just flat from the antenna to where it comes indoors. Suggestions for a model of new outdoor antenna that would work well for us are most welcome!

Finally, I'll reinterate that our line of sight to the translaters is very, very good. They are maybe less than 3 miles away on a mountaintop in clear sight of our rooftop without any trees, etc disrupting the view.

Below is the results link with my information.
Thanks, in advance, for any further advice you can give us!

Here is a link that might be useful: our house channel info

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 12:03PM
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tigerbangs

Thank you: Posting your TVFool.com scan tells me a LOT. While it is true that the transmitters are only a mile and a half away, they are all low-powered translator channels, designed to cover only a few miles, hence, the actual signal strength of the stations at your house is equivalent to living 35 or so miles from full-powered transmitters.

Yes, you definitely need to use an outdoor antenna in tis situation. If you are not currently using RG-6 coax cable, I strongly suggest that you change over your wire to coax cable, as twin-lead deteriorates badly after only a few years.

You have described a preamplifier in your original post, and a preamplifier will definitely help you when dealing with long cables and splitting signals to multiple TV sets. A preamplifier is NOT a substitute for a good antenna or good cabling, but, when the other antenna components are optimized, the preamp can make the difference between seeing a digital signal reliably and not seeing it at all.

As for changing over twin-lead to coax, the best bet is to use a bauln transformer, which attaches to the antenna terminals of the antenna and converts the cable at that point.

If this was my choice, I would use the following components: a NEW VHF-UHF antenna like a Winegard HD-7082P or a Channel Master Crossfire 3679. I would replace all the existing cabling with satellite-grade RG-6u coaxial cable, and use a high-gain preamplifier like a Winegard AP-8275 or a Channel Master Titan 7777. Use only a high quality, low-loss 1 gHz of better splitter with enough outlets to satisfy your needs in the household.

Once installed, this system will insure excellent long-term reception of all your local stations. Adding an antenna rotator will allow you to find stations from other locations, as well.

Check out these internet suppliers for antenna products:

http://www.solidsignal.com
http://www.summitsource.com
http://www.warrenelectronics.com
http://www.starkelectronic.com

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 2:21PM
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kimkitchy

Wow! Thank you, Tigerbangs. I think you have thoroughly answered every question I posed. I really appreciate your kindly sharing your expertise with us!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 5:18PM
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jimisham

Those translator stations may still be transmitting an analog signal instead of a digital signal.

Here is a link that might be useful: Low Power TV Stations

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 9:03AM
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