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Any tips for installing tv antenna?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: October 02, 2022 09:24PM
We don't have cable tv so we rely on broadcast. For much of the past three years I've had an antenna inelegantly placed in a window. Sometimes it worked and other times it didn't. After doing a bit of research I figured out where the local broadcast antenna are and the best line of sight is nowhere near the tv - its basically the other side of the house. Today I moved the TV upstairs near the potential antenna placement and it seemed to work better. I'd like to make use of preexisting coax which runs to the basement, then I'll finish the run up to my living room tv.

How worthwhile is it to fuss over exact antenna placement? I'm thinking about taping it to a wall, either behind or above a bookshelf. Obviously behind would look nicer but I suspect above would work better.

Is there any concern about signal strength degrading over the length of the coax run?

Thanks,
Matt



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Re: Any tips for installing tv antenna?
Posted by: John B.
Date: October 02, 2022 09:44PM
Wait for it…..”it depends”

If you’re in/near a major metro and transmitters you won’t have to be as precise as if you’re more distant.

My house is stucco over wire lath. Interior antennas are iffy at best. The previous owners had a satellite dish on the roof. I repurposed the mount pipe and coax run, and mounted an external antenna. Problem solved.

Coax runs from my antenna on the roof down to the basement, where it is connected to an un-amplified splitter, which has coax runs out to various TV locations in the house. No signal strength/length issues here, but your mileage may vary.
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Re: Any tips for installing tv antenna?
Posted by: davemchine
Date: October 02, 2022 10:10PM
If there is a small satellite dish outside you can buy an antenna that clips onto it and piggy backs on the same coax. I did this in my last house and it worked great.



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Re: Any tips for installing tv antenna?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: October 02, 2022 10:12PM
What channels? There are three bands: VHF-low (2=6), VHF-high (7-13), UHF (14-51 [69?] ).

Did you use Antennaweb.com for the station locator?

If the antenna is outside, you might want to look at having an electrician with RF installation experience add a lightning arrestor.

Use of coax depends on the antenna (design, brand, model number), quality of signal at the antenna outputs, and length of run. Decent new coax will lose something like 60% of voltage for every 100 ft on high channels 36 (600 MHz) to 51 (690 MHz). If the TV works fine at the antenna, but not so well with a hundred feet of coax in between, look for either an amplified antenna, or add small amplifier at the transition between twin-lead and coax.

Some TVs have a signal strength meter, which can be very helpful trying to aim the antenna.



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/02/2022 10:12PM by Filliam H. Muffman.
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Re: Any tips for installing tv antenna?
Posted by: Fritz
Date: October 02, 2022 11:54PM
structures, trees, blah, blah, blah all effect reception.

what Filliam says or this [www.tvfool.com]

I'd say 50' of coax is the limit with a good Yagi antenna.

Whatever range is quoted, figure half.
Some of them newfangled multi bowtie Clearstream types are suppose to be better for capture at longer distance with less wind load.
We are on the borderline of a 6' or 10' yagi. I went with the 6' Winegard for the wind load (HD7694?). Bad idea. Now I need an in line booster amp. Or get the longer beam with more elements.
But since we only ever watch OTA between 11p and 1a, I'm not rushing.
Ours is on a 6' mast on a 2 story house.

Most modern antennas have the balun between twin lead and coax mounted on the antenna. That helps to save some loss.

It also somewhat depends on the front end of your TV. Our newer TCL is way better with the shorter beam than the older former Sharp was.
With one TV, at least you won't suffer the splitter loss of ~3db.

What works well in winter may not work well in the dog days of August because of how weather effects propagation.

But if you really want great reception, a PWS helical is the best. But the wind load and cost is insane.



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Re: Any tips for installing tv antenna?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: October 03, 2022 12:06AM
Quote
Fritz
...

what Filliam says or this [www.tvfool.com]

...

tvfool.com stopped updating their site about 2 years ago, so it has not got updated channel information for the channels effected by the frequency repack. Use [rabbitears.info] instead for TV channel and related information.
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Re: Any tips for installing tv antenna?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: October 03, 2022 12:24AM
The primary antennas are about 5 miles away.

While we live in an older house, the wall construction is reasonably modern in this particular spot. At least on the inside.

>Did you use Antennaweb.com for the station locator?

Yes.

Unfortunately there's no outdoor antenna mount. I assume the previous owners had cable since its early days. ....I just looked at the price of cable aaaaand hell no! Srsly, their entry level package is $50? Maybe I need to talk to someone on the phone to get basic basic basic.

I need to dig around to see what coax bits and bobs I have. I started removing some coax from the first floor...and threw it away, no imaging another purpose for it.

>I'd say 50' of coax is the limit with a good Yagi antenna.

Hm, I don't think I'd be going further than that, but its also kind of close. The upstairs wiring snakes around a bit due to the way renovations were done.

Here's a link to the antenna I have - [www.amazon.com] - claims to have 25 mile range.

It would be nice to mount an antenna outdoors but I don't see a good spot for it. I'll try to get away with interior until I'm fed up with it.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/03/2022 12:26AM by mattkime.
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Re: Any tips for installing tv antenna?
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: October 03, 2022 04:49AM
I have in antenna in my attic. It works. Not very well though. CBS is all I get reliably. But that works for me as I only watch the local news on it in th morning and sometimes after work.

As far as distribution, the antenna runs into an HD Homerun which is connected to my network. From there, Plex "sees" the HD Homerun and pulls in a guide. Then I am able to see the antenna feed on any TV which has Plex...which is all of them. No coax needed (except from the antenna to the HD Homerun of course).







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/03/2022 04:50AM by bazookaman.
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Re: Any tips for installing tv antenna?
Posted by: Bernie
Date: October 03, 2022 05:00AM
When my daughter was off to Norfolk getting years 5 & 6 of college I put this set up in the top of a closet adjoining the living room.

Antenna
Mount

No pre amp and she got Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk. Fifty + channels in fixed and forget location.

Every 3db is half and those plastic pads (Behave Bernie)

Here at the homestead I have the biggest old school antenna with preamp just to get PBS and weather.




Staunton, Virginia
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Re: Any tips for installing tv antenna?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: October 03, 2022 05:34AM
How worthwhile is it to fuss over exact antenna placement?


'It depends..." Is about the most accurate answer.

An attic is a poor place for an antenna, regarding reception.

One needs a strong signal as roofing material generally crushes reception.

A good gain antenna is important as a preamp or signal booster needs some signal to boost are all one gets is a higher noise floor.

Most booster/preamp don't have a great signal to S:N, so improvement can vary wildly.

Sites like antennafool are approximations at best.

They generally don't take local terrain and obstacles into account.

What looks good on paper can often be thwarted by seemingly innocuous obstacles.

Lost story short, line of sight to your stations' antennas is key

Know where they are and check the terrain between them and you.

Generally, elevation of an antenna is your friend.

It helps if someone can rotate/aim the antenna while someone else checks the image for the desired stations.

As mentioned, if the TV has a signal strength meter, that would be a big help..






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Re: Any tips for installing tv antenna?
Posted by: Fritz
Date: October 03, 2022 06:55AM
5 miles! there should be almost no issue other than the aforementioned trees, terrain & structures.
But outside and higher than the roof line as others have said.
No peaked roof line?

didn't know TVfool stopped updating.

Thanks for rabbitears. Good one. Much easier to read too.



!#$@@$#!

proofraed by OwEn the c@t.



Nobody remembers their first download, but everyone remembers their 1st LP.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/03/2022 07:06AM by Fritz.
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Re: Any tips for installing tv antenna?
Posted by: Fritz
Date: October 03, 2022 07:05AM
hmmm



!#$@@$#!

proofraed by OwEn the c@t.



Nobody remembers their first download, but everyone remembers their 1st LP.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/03/2022 07:05AM by Fritz.
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Re: Any tips for installing tv antenna?
Posted by: rgG
Date: October 03, 2022 07:10AM
I also hung an old school outdoor antenna in my attic at the old house and connected it via the coax that was run for cable. It worked well enough, and we were 20-25 miles from our local stations.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Any tips for installing tv antenna?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: October 03, 2022 09:23AM
Found the signal meter on the TV - reads 100% (within a couple percent) for all channels - interesting to see how HDTV allows for over compressed broadcast.

Behind the bookshelf works great but now I'm tempted to try a couple of spots that are more hidden, including a crawl space and utility closet.



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Re: Any tips for installing tv antenna?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: October 03, 2022 09:35AM
Roof antenna will always be the best solution for all channel connectivity. Your home's construction may attenuate or block signals. The classic chimney mount solution still works pretty well. My in-laws were in a valley.. they put up a 30 foot tall tower in the 1960's.
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Re: Any tips for installing tv antenna?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: October 03, 2022 12:11PM
…..aluminum foil hat …..



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Re: Any tips for installing tv antenna?
Posted by: S. Pupp
Date: October 04, 2022 09:00AM
I have an antenna in the attic, with splitters feeding a few HD HomeRun tuners. In my setting, I needed an active splitter/preamp to receive ABC (nearest broadcast station is close to 60 miles away).

Also in my setting, precise direction was necessary to receive ABC.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/04/2022 09:01AM by S. Pupp.
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Re: Any tips for installing tv antenna?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: October 04, 2022 09:54PM
Also in my setting, precise direction was necessary to receive ABC.


Same here.

The uncompressed OTA signals fed to an old 32" CRT Sony via a Channel Master DA tuner look terrific for CBS and NBC, and I had about a 200º 'field of view' to capture them.

Pure analog never looked that good to me, probably because its S/N was never as good as with HD and a good amp-tuner.

But ABC (CH 7 out here) needed to be spot on.

I think this was because my antenna was a four-bay UHF antenna, and CBS and NBC were UHF channels, while ABC was VHF-High.

I never got 'round to getting a combo antenna.






I am that Masked Man.

All you can do, is all you can do.

There’s trouble — it's time to play the sound of my people.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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