Cut the Cord and switched to an Antenna for TV

   #1  

EddieWalker

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I've been wanting to do this for awhile, but struggled making the decision on what to buy. Too many options and opinions that overwhelmed me. Then last week our Dish stopped working. They had to have somebody here for them to fix it, which I understand, but with our schedules, that meant waiting a week until that happened. My wife wasn't happy, so I went to Home Depot, Lowes and Best Buy to see what they had. Just based on the boxes on the shelf, I went with the Clearstream 4Max HDTV Antenna with mount from Lowes for $149.

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I also bought 50 feet of new cable.

I ran the new cable from the back of my TV out through my garage and connected the antenna temporarily outside on my truck to see if it worked. I didn't have it facing South like I wanted it to, but thought this would be OK to see if it worked. According to Antennas Direct | TV Transmitter Locator and Mapping Tool I have 13 channels out there. After connecting everything, I ran a search through my TV to find them, and it worked great. We got all 13 channels, and the picture was amazing!!!

First problem that we discovered is that my surround sound doesn't work. I'm still trying to figure that out. The sound from the TV is OK, so it's not a big deal, it's just something that I'll have to figure out eventually. ROKU and the DVD player are now plugged into the back of the TV instead of my receiver.

Big surprise is that we now only use the remote for the TV to do everything while watching TV. When using the ROKU, we use that remote for everything except volume. We still have to use two remotes when watching something on the ROKU.

There are 4 towers in my area, one for each network. Each network has other stations that it broadcasts from. For example, NBC is 56.1 then there are three other channels that are 56.2 and 56.3 and 56.4 It's real easy to figure out.

So then I decided to mount the antenna permanently to the bracket that my Dish satellite was using. It was a simple swap from one to the other. This put it at the top of my second story. No trees in the way and a clear view facing South. I could only get 2 channels from that location. Depending on what direction I pointed it, and I tried 8 different angles, it was always a different combination of two channels. I have no idea why this happened. It makes no sense to me, but it is what it is, so I took it down and mounted it above my garage door. This has it facing kind of SSW, which is one of my attempts from the other location. Due to the wall of the house being where it is, I have to angle the antenna down slightly and it's cock eyed instead of level like it was on the second story. And it works perfectly in that spot.

If I had not accidentally tested it in a location that I didn't think was ideal, I might never have gotten all 13 channels right off the top like I did, and I probably would have returned the antenna because in my opinion, it didn't work.

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While running the cable through my trusses over my garage, I attempted to connect the new cable to the old cable from the Dish that went through the wall and outside to where it comes back into the house behind the TV. I figured it would be the easy way to do it, but I lost the quality of my picture from that short length of old cable. That might have been my problem with the Dish? I drilled a new hole through the wall and ran the cable all the way to my TV, which gave me a clear picture.

It's been 5 days now since I started all this and today I just finished it up by hiding the cable up in the trusses. We are very pleased with the result and looking forward to saving $120 a month for Dish.
 
   #2  

radios1

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all you can get is 13 commercial laden channels though!. and the hours that something worthwhile is on is very limited, and filled with commercials!. no guide or DVR either.. you have to watch what's on when it's on, no recording!..
 
  
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EddieWalker

EddieWalker

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There is a guide, but it only show's what is on each station at that time. Not sure if there is a way for it to show what's on next. One of them is in Spanish, so I really only have 12 watchable channels. All we wanted was the 4 main networks, the rest are a bonus.
 
   #4  

flyerdan

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You can always make a TVGuide account for your local area with favorite channels and bookmark it. That's what I did when I ditched the cable ages ago.
 
   #5  

fried1765

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There is a guide, but it only show's what is on each station at that time. Not sure if there is a way for it to show what's on next. One of them is in Spanish, so I really only have 12 watchable channels. All we wanted was the 4 main networks, the rest are a bonus.

ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN ?
I would not watch TV at all if those were my only choices.
 
   #6  

TnAndy

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all you can get is 13 commercial laden channels though!. and the hours that something worthwhile is on is very limited, and filled with commercials!. no guide or DVR either.. you have to watch what's on when it's on, no recording!..

And there are DVR's you can connect to over the air antennae. That would be a must for us, because we never watch anything live so the commercials can be fast forwarded thru.
 
  
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EddieWalker

EddieWalker

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No DVR, and don't have a reason for it. We've found that if we miss something, we can almost always find it on YouTube.
 
   #8  

Oaktree

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all you can get is 13 commercial laden channels though!. and the hours that something worthwhile is on is very limited, and filled with commercials!. no guide or DVR either.. you have to watch what's on when it's on, no recording!..

Which is still 13 more than some of us can get. Watching what's on when it's on is not a big deal to me, if I miss something, oh well.
 
   #9  

goeduck

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I am hooked on free OATV, love it. I get about 60 stations, including substations and it is about all I watch.

We also have YoutubeTV, Philo and Netflix and I wish I could wean my TV Adict wife off of at least 2 of those.
 
   #10  

MossRoad

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Good for you! :thumbsup: We had DirecTV for about 17 years and it kept going up, and we really only watched about half a dozen channels. So, we bought an antenna, removed the satellite dish, and, like you, mounted the antenna on the old dish mast out on the garage. I originally had wired the satellite to a head-end, then distributed it back throughout the house so that any TV in the house could watch whatever was on the dish, so I just popped the antenna onto the same coax that I used for the dish. I added an amp at the antenna, and we now feed living room, bedroom, basement laundry room, etc... all from the same antenna. When we did that about 4 years ago, the local stations had about 2 channel each, so about 11 channels. Today, we have 32 channels! Only 1 is spanish and 2 are religious. NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, FOX, Start, This, H&I, Justice, Escape, CourtTV, Quest, Bounce, DABL, Ion, GRIT, LAFF, LIGHT, HSN, MeTV, Movies!, Telmndo, Decades and some locals. Very nice! :thumbsup:

Coupled with the ROKU box and our paid Netflix and we have more than enough to watch.
 
 
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