[kwlug-disc] OT: Non-satellite alternatives to Rogers Cable?

Jason Locklin jalockli at uwaterloo.ca
Tue Nov 8 11:46:13 EST 2011

On Mon, Nov 7, 2011 at 9:35 AM, Colin Mackay <zixiekat at gmail.com> wrote:
> May I ask what kind of an antenna you are using and where is it
> mounted?  I was considering putting up a tower with a 4 bay antenna to
> see what I could pick up from TO / Buffalo.  Knowing your setup can
> help.

It really depends on your location (try TVfool.com). I live in a
terrible location down low near the grand river (Bridgeport). Even so,
I am able to *almost* get buffalo consistently. I'm hoping a few more
tweaks here and there and I can get it. I have a Antenna's Direct 91XG
(monster of a) UHF antenna on a 5-foot roof tripod that puts it about
35 feet above ground level. It has a Channel Master rotor and a
CM-7777 amp. The rotor is required because the 91XG is extremely
directional and cannot pick up Toronto and Buffalo without pointing
directly at them. A 4-bay antenna won't have that problem, but won't
pick up Buffalo in KW unless you are in a good, high spot.

> On Mon, Nov 7, 2011 at 9:32 AM, L.D. Paniak
> <ldpaniak at fourpisolutions.com> wrote:
>> Having discovered last night the Rogers pulled the plug on HDNET, I too
>> am front-burner-ing the search for alternatives.
>> With an antenna suggested on this list once upon a time by Andrew K. and
>> a cheapo amp mounted miles from the antenna, I can reliably get the
>> local channels, CBC from TO and CHCH from Hamilton.  Quite often
>> (ex-rain,heavy cloud, snow), channels from Buffalo are good too with
>> WNET(PBS) leading the way.  I have yet to tie this feed into my Myth
>> system, but I have been pleased with performance on the LG widescreen.
>> My questions would be best multi-tuner PCI(-E) ATSC capture card for
>> Mythtv? And suggestions for a decent UHF amp.

For MythTV, the HdHomerun is brain-dead easy and reliable. It costs
slightly more than a 2-tuner PCI(e) card, but is well worth it IMHO.
The network connection also lets you locate it wherever you want
-possibly negating the necessity of an amp if you can get it close
enough to the antenna.

The best amps out there seem to be the Channel Master ones. I have a
CM-7777. The Only issue is that CTV13 and Global6 overpower it -even
with an antenna that massively attenuates these VHF signals. I would
avoid cheap amps, they often have too high of noise output, which can
easily wipe out weak signals. Unless you are splitting the signal, an
amp "miles from the antenna" is likely to make things worse -even with
the best of amps. Amps are a kludge to push a weak signal over a long
coax line. Modern tuners are very sensitive, so amplifying late in the
game only serves to force a lot of noise into the tuner.


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