Dumb question re OTA antenna and cable

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Martin H, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. Martin H

    Martin H Extra

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    The forum descriptions basically say that this is the place for stupid questions, so here goes.

    I currently have analog cable thru the local cable company and recently bought an HDTV-ready set. I'm really anxious to get some HDTV programming, but I don't want to sign up for digital cable or E* or D* until there is more HD content available. So, I picked up an OTA HDTV tuner (Sammy t151) off of ebay and it should be here anyday now. I'm hoping to be able to use an indoor antenna, but I'm skeptical.

    My question is, assuming I need to put an antenna on the roof, what is the best way to run the cable? Down the side of the house and into the crawlspace (if so, how do I run it back out of the crawl space to the TV)? Down through the roof and ceiling somehow? Down the side of the house nearest the TV and then through the outer wall?

    We just moved into a new house in a nice neighborhood, so I'd like it to look as clean as possible. Can I run the antenna cable down to where the analog cable from the cable company comes in, and combine the signals, then separate again when it comes out of the wall behind the TV?

    Is this something I can do myself or should I have it installed? How much will an installation cost?

    TIA.
     
  2. Greg*go

    Greg*go Supporting Actor

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    Martin,
    You'd be surprised how well indoor antennas can work. Try to get yourself a decent indoor amplified antenna first since I'm guessing it will work. But then I'm in urban area and am not very familiar with how good reception is in Idaho. But try that method first and worry about the outdoor variety later.
     
  3. Martin H

    Martin H Extra

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    Thanks, Greg. That is definitely my plan. I really should get decent reception indoors - I'm only about 20 miles from the transmitters, with good line of sight except for other houses, and all the transmitters are located in the same place. OTOH, antennaweb puts me in the red zone for all channels.

    I went ahead and picked up a Silver Sensor from Sears to try out. If that doesn't work, I'll try one of the best ones from either Radio Shack or Lowes.

    I'm just trying to anticipate plan B so I can move on it ASAP if needed.
     
  4. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Cameron Yee
    Antennaweb showed yellow and green for my location but I got massive signal disruptions because I live on a heavy traffic corner. I could pick up the signals fine with an indoor but having them stay was the trick. I finally got tired of it and mounted a 21.00 UHF outdoor antenna on my roof. That did the trick, raising it up above the traffic and increasing the signal gain by going outside.

    My installation was relatively simple thanks in part to my original purchase of a Primestar satellite system. That system required a run of double coax line. When I was upgraded to DirecTV that system only required one of the lines, leaving a good length of coax into the house unused. So I mounted the antenna, connected a cable to the spare line and am now enjoying local HD. (BTW the coax run goes down the side of the house, into the outdoor entry into the crawlspace and up through a hole drilled into the floor of the living room.)

    If you do go with an outdoor, remember to properly ground it for lightning strikes. I won't go into details unless you get to that point, but as a teaser, the best part of it is ramming an 8 foot grounding rod into your property.
     

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