Whole house ota HD antenna

Discussion in 'Audio/Video & Home Theater' started by DarkTXKnight, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. DarkTXKnight

    DarkTXKnight Senior member

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    Im looking at a home AV project that would allow me to get rid of our expensive cable. I already have a myriad of htpcs, xboxes etc. around the house, and im tyring to find the best way to feel the OTA HD signal to everything from the HD tuner cards to a few rooms with the digital set top boxes. I have a house that has a cable distribution unit in one bedroom, and I was thinking that if I replacedthe cable feed from that unit with an HD antenna, that would sovle my problem. Would this be the case or would I need to buy multiple antennae for this? Id really like to use all the joacks in each room to pull from one source.
     
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  3. sivart

    sivart Golden Member

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    How many sources?

    I have my main HDTV antenna split in two and can run both with no degradation issues. At the wall, one splits again and goes to the TV and the HTPC. So, technically I'm running 3 splits off of one antenna with a modest amplifier before the main splitter. So, HDTV antenna --> Amp --> 3 way splitter (only 2 connected) --> 2 rooms. (within one room a passive (non-powered) splitter).

    For my main PC and my bedroom, I have a secondary antenna in the attic that splits with an amp.

    I haven't tried more than 3 devices running (tuning) at the same time off a single antenna.

    Disconnecting your cable feed right before the split to the rooms and inserting the antenna feed would be a quick way to find out if it would work.
     
  4. sdifox

    sdifox No Lifer

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    You could try an antenna signal booster.
     
  5. DarkTXKnight

    DarkTXKnight Senior member

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    im probably looking at 6 runs to the bedrooms etc. if im looking at the cabling correctly from my distribution box i cold get two antennae (1 per feed) and split into 2 groups of 3 drops each.
    what anenna\amp are you using and is everything in the attic? Any concerns with that I should be aware of?
     
  6. sdifox

    sdifox No Lifer

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    I don't have any booster :) maybe something like this?

    http://www.amazon.com/Motorola...ref=dp_cp_ob_e_title_1

    my antenna is outside strapped to a pole ducktaped to the railings of my balcony :laugh:
     
  7. sivart

    sivart Golden Member

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    my amp is just a simple coax signal amp...forget the brand, hidden away behind a panel in the closet. Nothing fancy, I think it was about $20. It works without the amp, however, I loose some distant (> 40 miles) stations without it.
     
  8. DarkTXKnight

    DarkTXKnight Senior member

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    what types of OTA antennae are you using?
     
  9. sivart

    sivart Golden Member

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  10. alfa147x

    alfa147x Lifer

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  11. DarkTXKnight

    DarkTXKnight Senior member

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    anyone using this ins an attic with a radiant barrier (techshiled) installed? I hear it might cause interference ...
     
  12. kalrith

    kalrith Diamond Member

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    If you're serious about installing it in the attic, install the antenna and run one cable to a TV to check the signal strength. It would suck to run all the cables and assume that it's going to work, and then it not. Even without a barrier causing interference, installing in an attic will cause you to lose about 40% of your reception compared to installing it on the roof. So even in the best situation, attic installations can make it difficult to pull in a strong signal. They're usually only a good option if you're something like 10-15 miles from the towers.

    Edit: I installed my OTA antenna off my back deck. It's a second-story deck, so it has a decent height to it. The antenna is hardly noticeable. I haven't checked my signal strengths, but I always receive a solid signal. I'm only 14 miles from the towers, so that helps. I just mention this because putting an antenna on the roof instead of the attic isn't all about getting the antenna higher. It's about eliminating as much interference (i.e. roof) as possible.
     
  13. sdifox

    sdifox No Lifer

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    err, you want to install an antenna under a radiation barrier? Ain't gonna work.
     
  14. Mloot

    Mloot Diamond Member

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    I haven't done it, but from everything I've read, radiant barriers and attic-installed antennas do not mix.

    How far are you from the antenna farm in Missouri City? I live on the Northeast side of Houston, and I have an outdoor antenna setup feeding four tuners in my house. I live 35 miles away from the transmitters.

    With the right setup, you can easily feed 6 tuners with a single antenna. What kind of cable distribution system do you have in the one room that you mentioned? I once had cable tv, and most of the rooms in my house have a cable feed coming through the wall from outside. I still have the 4 port cable splitter that Time Warner installed outside to route the incoming cable signal to the different rooms of the house.

    My antenna setup consists of a Winegard 7080p all-channel antenna (medium sized) with a Winegard AP-8700 pre-amplifier. The pre-amp is mast mounted, with the power injector inside my house. Here is a very crude representation of how I have mine situated. Please excuse my lack of artistic ability. Anyway, the current comes from the power injector, back up through the coax cable, through the dc pass-through port of the 2-way splitter to the mast portion of the amp. The 2nd port of the splitter is used to send the amplified signal to the 4-way splitter, which feeds all of the tvs, tuner cards, etc. in my house.

    One thing to consider when looking for an antenna for our area is that alot of antennas that are advertised as "HD" antennas are UHF-only antennas (channels 14-69). Large, squarish antennas like the Channel Master 4228, or similar antennas with bowties, are mainly UHF antennas and may not receive all the channels in the Houston area. For example, we have three major stations that broadcast in the VHF range (PBS channel 8, CBS channel 11, and ABC channel 13). In most cases, an all-channel antenna (like the one I have) will give you a better chance of receiving all of our local channels.

    I hope that helps a little.
     
  15. kalrith

    kalrith Diamond Member

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    The 4228 actually does a decent job with upper VHF channels (7-13). Mine picks up our local VHF channel 10 with no hickups whatsoever. If I were farther from the tower, then it might be more of an issue.

    OP, go to antennaweb.org, put in your address, see how far and what direction the towers are from you, and see if they're UHF or VHF. That should tell you if you'll need things like a rotor to turn the antenna, a pre-amp if you're far away from the towers, etc.

    To sum things up, the problem won't be distribution to several sources within your house. It will be to get a good solid signal in the first place. That probably isn't going to happen in your attic. Your choices for an antenna and accessories will be based largely on what you find on antennaweb.org.