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iron
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getting old
PostWed Jan 28, 2015 11:02 pm 
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we're going to get an antenna for the roof (or attic) as the rabbit ears don't cut it in our new house. i see the following signal map for my area:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d2c1590f9c3a8c8

it looks like a multidirectional antenna would be best based on that chart. i'm curious if anyone else uses a single direction antenna in the seattle area and how they like it.

if single direction, i'd probably lean towards something like this:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/audiovox-outdoor-hdtv-antenna/1307702499.p?id=mp1307702499&skuId=1307702499

if multidirectional:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/antennas-direct-multidirectional-outdoor-hdtv-antenna-black-silver/7511001.p?id=1219276502654&skuId=7511001

open to suggestions too. we don't watch much tv, but when we do, we like the screen not to freeze every 5 seconds.

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man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

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joker
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PostWed Jan 28, 2015 11:37 pm 
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These guys make pretty decent antennas (i.e. for instance they work as spec'd, and without quite the hype and groovy plastic design glitz as some other antennas that tend to cost more for less...), and here's their guide to antenna selection: http://www.channelmasterstore.com/Antenna-Selection-a/134.htm including a link to antennaweb.org - may be similar to the site you linked in your OP...

Also, getting the antenna up high tends to be a good move. My uncle (long gone) used to install antennas in western MA, and he was really good at climbing trees. I'm doing OK with a mast up on the roof as we're on a hill with pretty OK line of sight to the towers, but some channels do fuzz out in weather events so I'm sure I could improve things if I bothered to get up in one of our trees and mess with running the long cable (though this can lead to messing with amplifiers etc.)... I'd say "go with the roof instead of the attic" to get at least a few extra feet.
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NacMacFeegle
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PostThu Jan 29, 2015 1:03 am 
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I haven't watched broadcast television since it went digital (never watched it very much anyway). Before we could get a number of channels on a good day, though they were never very clear. I remember that when I was a kid  I would often be watching Saturday morning cartoons when fuzz would start to creep into the picture and I would dash desperately out onto the back porch in the pouring rain in order to realign the antennae! These days Netflix DVDs and the internet have entirely replaced traditional television for me.

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Read my hiking related stories and more at http://illuminationsfromtheattic.blogspot.com/
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marzsit
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PostThu Jan 29, 2015 5:41 am 
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in the seattle area, you need an antenna that is capable of receiving the VHF high band (VHF channels 9, 11 and 13) and the UHF band (channels 14 and up). former VHF channels 4, 5 and 7 have been re-assigned to UHF frequencies.

there is no such thing as an HDTV antenna. it's just a marketing gimmick... however most of the mass-market HDTV antennas are only designed to receive the UHF band, so you may or may not be able to receive the VHF high band channels. channel 13 (fox) does broadcast simultaneously on UHF channel 22-2 so that one really isn't a problem.

i'm in kent on east hill and can receive good signals from 2 directions: north for the transmitters in seattle on queen anne and capitol hills, and slightly east for the transmitters on tiger mountain. i use a homemade vertical 4-bay bowtie antenna made from welding wire (coat hangers would also work) and simple lumber (chunk of 2x4) with an aluminum foil reflector, the entire antenna is about 2-1/2' tall and 1-1/2' wide and sits on top of a floor speaker in my living room. plans for an antenna like this are easy to find on the web, just search for diy tv antenna.

in my experience, directional antennas work much better than omnidirectional ones. this means you need to be able to rotate the antenna, either directly like i do, or remotely using an antenna rotator.  in my case, the signals come from almost the same location.
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yukon222
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PostThu Jan 29, 2015 6:25 am 
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This antenna has worked extremely well for me. Went with a J mount and solid copper cable. http://dennysantennaservice.com/ez_hd_tv_Antenna.html

They do offer a 2nd antenna similar to this one that can pull in signals from two directions. Really helpful people at this company.
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flatsqwerl
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PostThu Jan 29, 2015 8:52 am 
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In Tacoma I get 4.1, 4.2. 7.1, 7.2, 13, 16, 22.1, 22., 23 28.1 , 28.2, 31, 33, GOOD and a TON more that I've edited out (shopping, mixed language channels)  I have a simple loop of wire on my 8' ceiling wall behind/above the TV formed in the shape of a triangle. It works better than the cheap store-bought ones.
I know your Q was about Seattle, but improvising one on the cheap first may work..at least it was fun and easy to try.
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whitebark
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PostThu Jan 29, 2015 11:37 am 
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I had good luck with this antenna:

http://www.amazon.com/Eagle-Aspen-EASDTV2BUHF-Directv-Approved/dp/B000GIT002/ref=sr_1_24?ie=UTF8&qid=1422560041&sr=8-24&keywords=amazon+hdtv+antenna

It is mildly directional, so you do have to aim it toward the transmitter towers.
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iron
getting old



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getting old
PostThu Jan 29, 2015 11:45 am 
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for those of you that have recommended specific antennas, did you roof-mount them or put them in the attic?

i haven't looked into the rest of the installation yet. do you just run a 75 ohm cable from the antenna to wherever your tv is? or reuse cabling that's already installed in your walls from previous utility companies? do the antennas require power?

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man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

--- moe sizlack
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yukon222
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PostThu Jan 29, 2015 12:01 pm 
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I was doing a new install so there wasn't any old cable involved.  Side mount on the outside of my structure, then about 25' cable length run to indoor TV location.  I'm targeting and picking up 2 batches of signals - 18 miles and 42 miles away, separated by about 11 degrees of angle. I just use the single antenna.

I went with a small pre-amplifier, plus ground wire etc.  Here is what I ordered for my particular set up:

1 EZ HD TV Antenna with J-Pole mounting arm VHF/UHF/FM/digital/HD
Bulk RG 6 Solid Copper Cable - Any Length (Black)
Thomas & Betts RG 6 Cable End Connector "Compression Fitting"
Winegard LNA-200 Boost XT Preamplifier
Solid Copper GROUND WIRE
Ground Wire Screw Clip Fastener
SCREW CLIP CABLE FASTENER
Ground Rod
36"  E-Z J Pole Mount for Small Antennas
COAX CABLE GROUND BLOCK


Resources
A Guide to TV Antenna Installation http://dennysantennaservice.com/tv-antenna-system-installation-.html
Installing a Preamplifier http://www.dennysantennaservice.com/1136577.html
TV Antenna Aiming http://dennysantennaservice.com/tv-antenna-aiming.html
TV Antenna Attic Installation http://dennysantennaservice.com/tv-antenna-attic-installation.html
How to Install Coax Cable Connectors http://www.dennysantennaservice.com/Coax_cable_end_connector_installation.html
TV antenna installation HELP Center http://dennysantennaservice.com/tv-antenna-help-center.html
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mike
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PostThu Jan 29, 2015 12:16 pm 
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check out Winegard That's what I bought. Albeit for a fringe location. Lots of choices.

Looking at tvfool seems like you would be best served with a rooftop directional yagi with rotator and amplifier... yagi is the V-shaped end for UHF. The other end is for VHF like the old analogue channels were. You may or may not not want to bother with the VHF. photo is for illustration only. You probably don't need anything so big.
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Malachai Constant
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PostThu Jan 29, 2015 12:32 pm 
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We use an antenna to get TV at the beach cabin from a repeater on Neakanie. There is no magic to antennas. In general the more metal the stronger the signal. We used a cheap Radio Shack one that is a couple feet long and it works fine. Since signals are digital now they either get a good picture or nothing and are not as critical as in analog days. Folded Dipoles used in all antennas have a 300 ohm impedance so you need a small transformer to link to 75 ohm coax. Most do not require power except for a few fancy ones that have amplifiers. Roof or attic will be dependent on local signal. In issaquah antennas do not work because we are blocked by Cougar and Squak Mountains.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Damian
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PostThu Jan 29, 2015 5:01 pm 
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I just installed a 60 mi directional Channelmaster from Frys.  Put it on the roof.   About 60 bucks.  We live SE of Cougar.  I was impressed when I plugged it in and received over 50 perfect HD channels.  No amplifiers, powers 3 tvs just fine.  Install a Roku box for a few more bucks and you got your movies and Kung Fu reruns.  Heck with cable.
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DWB27
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PostMon Feb 02, 2015 12:19 pm 
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I too purchased the channelmaster 60 mile multi-directional antenna and titan amp based on the tvfool info and broadcasts from Vancouver, Victoria and Orcas Island.  From the tvfool website I get all the channels stated except for CH. 13 fox out of Seattle. I live in Bham which was on the fringe anyway.  The Chuckanuts block my line of sight I think. I mounted to a chimney.  Check out cableandwireshop.com for mounts.  All you need is a pipe to attach the mount to the antenna.  For cheap coax, monoprice.com is likely best but Amazon can also verify prices.  Also, consider the soon to be mass released sling TV (sling.com) that for $20/month no contract will allow ESPN(2) streaming.  It kills me to see that goESPN locks out all sporting events unless you have a cable subscription.  You pay for internet, the stream is there so give it to the people, right?!! rant.gif Big changes are coming with internet TV.  Roku and netflix for $8/month is well worth the cost.  Cable is not.

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ôLet the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others." - H. Jackson Brown
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Joey
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PostMon Feb 02, 2015 1:05 pm 
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We only have a simple UHV/VHF antenna plugged into the tv.  We have learned that antenna position is crucial to the point that we get out a compass (with current declination set) so we can point the antenna correctly for the station we want to recceive.

Some stations require us to get the antenna up high.  (Antenna on tall stool on raised fireplace hearth.)

Our sense is that the position of the antenna cable also affects reception.

Also after you change antenna position it will likely take a couple seconds to fill the tv buffer before any picture will display.  So adjust, pause, adjust pause,...
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Bedivere
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PostFri Feb 06, 2015 6:32 pm 
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I live in Burien, fairly near the top of the ridge and I have one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Ultra-Thin-Amplified-Indoor-Antenna/dp/B00DIFIP06/ref=sr_1_2?s=audio-video-accessories&ie=UTF8&qid=1423275991&sr=1-2

I can receive all of the OTA broadcasts in the Seattle area that are worth watching and a bunch that aren't.

The only downside is that the only place I've found where it picks up every station is laying flat on my dining room table or the floor near the table.  Putting it up on the wall or in the window makes some stations worse, depending on which wall I hang it on.  I'm thinking about drilling a hole in the ceiling and putting it up in the attic to see if that works.

A couple of the weaker channels get a little glitchy when the wind blows really hard, but since that doesn't happen all that often it's not a big deal.

I've heard it said that the OTA picture quality is better than cable and I can attest to the truth of that.  I never realized just how clear an HD picture could be 'til I got that little antenna.  Stuff broadcast in 1080p almost looks 3D.

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