Hooking up an HD antenna using existing coax cable possible?

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Old 07-05-14, 05:43 AM
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Hooking up an HD antenna using existing coax cable possible?

I've been reading and going around in circles so here is my question. I am ready to cancel my cable and buy and HD antenna. However, my tv is in the basement and there are no windows. My house has existing coaxial cable outlets in all the bedrooms. Can I put the antenna on a bedroom window (considering the Mohu Leaf), connect it's coaxial cable to the coaxial cable outlet in the bedroom, unhook the other end of the coaxial cable from the box in the panel and hook yet another coaxial cable to that end and then to the tv. Thus making a direct coaxial cable from the antenna to the tv if that makes sense! It works in my head anyway lol! thanks!
 
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Old 07-05-14, 06:00 AM
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Not exactly. It doesn't work simply by continuity. Any splitters in the lines are one directional, where the antenna in needs to be coming in to the correct side of the splitter. So you would need to find the wire coming IN to the house from the cable box, disconnect it, and connect your antenna wire to that one wire which is what branches out to all parts of the house. You would also need to be sure there are no filters inline past the point where you hook in. Plus you usually have a 4db drop every time you split a line in two, which is fine for a strong signal from cable but can destroy a weak antenna signal. A booster can help.
 
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Old 07-05-14, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by bren1519
My house has existing coaxial cable outlets in all the bedrooms. Can I put the antenna on a bedroom window (considering the Mohu Leaf), connect it's coaxial cable to the coaxial cable outlet in the bedroom, unhook the other end of the coaxial cable from the box in the panel and hook yet another coaxial cable to that end and then to the tv.
Short -

Cable Yes. That should work.
Antenna No, you don't need a HD antenna, old fashioned rabbit ears in the attic work fine.

Long-

Cable
Depending on WHEN your house was wired with cable, you could have "analog cable" which is classic analog cable. You may have newer "digital cable" which is higher bandwifth, better quality to work with HD tv signals.
I've used analog and digital cable with various over the air HD cable boxes, real difference is you may see more pixelation on the weakest channels with older cable.


Antenna-
A simple rabbit ear antenna at the highest point of your attic should give the best reception.
US has a few good services AntennaWeb - Home
to determine WHICH stations you should get (helpful)
and also which transmission tower they use (VERY helpful)
Example, by figuring out where the towers were made it easy to figure
out that the towers were obscured by a masonry gable wall, so moving
the antenna in one side of the attic resulted in much better signal strength.





Which brings up an interesting technical question. Most HD OTA boxes have analog outputs.
Since HD cable IN signals are one frequency range, and analog channel 3/4 out are at different frequencies is it possible for one cable to carry both signals?

If you use a splitter to push the channel 3/4 analog input back INTO the cable bringing the HD signal from the antenna, can you watch the SD output somewhere else?
 
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Old 07-05-14, 07:03 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

It sounds like the OP just wants to splice the cable at the location where all the cables currently connect. Splicing the cable at that point with a coax barrel is ok and will work fine. You may be able to put a splitter at the same location to run a second TV.

As far as rabbit ears in the attic..... don't bother.

Make sure before you cut the cable that there are stations in your area that you can receive. The digital signals don't travel as far as they are using low power transmitters.
 
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Old 07-05-14, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by PJmax

As far as rabbit ears in the attic..... don't bother.
Eh, makes a difference in some areas, not in others.
Probably more accurate to say that it depends on where you are.

If you're in flatland-south-jersey, then an extra 15' of elevation probably won't matter.
But, if you in an area with hills, then an extra 15' may just get you into clear sight of a
tower that's hidden beneath the next ridge.
 
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Old 07-05-14, 10:33 AM
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Cable

So a few different answers but I just want to clarify what my thought was. Not sure if it is a CORRECT thought though lol! So more input would be great.

If I had an HD Antenna in the bedroom and dropped the cable directly from that through the wall to the basement and attached it to the tv, I'm assuming that would work (if I can work out the bit out getting it to the basement).

Hence my idea of attaching the cable to the cable in the wall outlet. That cable attaches to the box in my panel box along with the cables from all the other rooms. If I detach it from the box (must figure out which one is the right one!) and attach that end to another bit of coax cable to the tv. I would theoretically have a cable from the antenna to the tv direct. Just not sure if that is correct or not or if I'm missing something. Not looking to use a splitter just get the cable from the top floor to the basement so I get some sort of signal for the tv.

I'm in Ontario btw. Just east of Toronto and I have had it up to my ears with Rogers Cable in the last month so I'm cutting the cord one way or the other! I don't need a lot of channels as I stream Netflix etc.

thanks again for all the input and any more ideas!
Brenda
 
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Old 07-05-14, 10:39 AM
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What you propose should be fine. Basically you are just using the existing cable as an "extension cord".
 
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Old 07-05-14, 05:21 PM
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Can I put the antenna on a bedroom window (considering the Mohu Leaf), connect it's coaxial cable to the coaxial cable outlet in the bedroom
Not sure what part of my earlier comments weren't clear... or if I'm just misunderstanding.

Above you are saying you want to plug the antenna directly into a wall outlet. That, by itself, is wrong.

But then you said:

If I detach it from the box (must figure out which one is the right one!) and attach that end to another bit of coax cable to the tv.
Now that would be correct. If you can find that cable and disconnect it, basically using it as an extension cord for your antenna, that would be fine. Just make sure that cable is disconnected from all the others and that there are no splitters inline that will reduce your signal.
 
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Old 07-06-14, 05:34 AM
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Cable

Thanks for all the replies. Sounds like it's worth a try so I'm going to go buy an antenna today. I think I'll start with a cheap one and see how it goes. Thanks again!
 
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Old 07-07-14, 09:41 AM
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The kind of antenna you get will make a big difference if stations are not right in your city. The chances are really not good for rabbit ears. But no matter what you try first, it's a guess.

A coax run with numerous joints (such as a short piece from antenna to nearest wall outlet, using the section of cable in the wall, and a short piece from another wall outlet to the TV) will not be as good as a continuous coax cable run. Even a coax barrel (female to female connector) will introduce some loss.

A splitter will impose a loss whether or not all of the ports have been connected up.
 
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Old 07-07-14, 06:18 PM
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Thanks for that added tip. So even though it would work, I would be better to run one cable directly from the antenna to the tv (just need to figure out how to get it from the bedroom to the basement). I bought a cheap antenna (digiwave indoor HD antenna) and I've tested it on a tv upstairs. I'm picking up about a dozen stations but still need to test it in different spots before I try running the cable to the basement.
Thanks again. All the input and assistance is appreciated!
 
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Old 07-08-14, 03:13 AM
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Some clarifications:
-- bren1519, the way you originally planned to get signal from the bedroom to the basement will work just fine. The fact that there is a panel box in the house with home-run cables to each TV probably means there are no splitters other than the large one in the panel.
-- Splitters however, don't care which way the signal passes. You can use a splitter as a combiner for, say, and antenna and a sat dish box. There is a -3dB to -3.5dB loss of signal per split, however, so if the cable from the bedroom to the basement passes through more than a couple splitters it may not provide enough signal. In that case add an RF amplifier at the antenna or use an amplified antenna.
-- Each addition of a barrel to connect two pieces of cable end to end will introduce a minimal .5dB loss. (That's one half of one dB.) Nothing to be concerned about unless you plan to use 20 of them in a run.
-- Rabbit ears may not work at all if they don't have a UHF component. Most of the stations in Toronto are in the UHF range, with CFTO on channel 9 being the exception. You need an antenna that picks up both VHF and UHF frequencies. It doesn't have to be a special "digital" antenna as long as it picks up the correct freqs.

Use this website to determine the stations (in both US and CA) that are available in your area:
TV Fool
 
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Old 07-09-14, 02:40 AM
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Thanks for that Rick. I'm going to give it a try on the weekend when I have some time to play with it. The antenna I bought was a cheap Digiwave one ($12) and facing west I'm pulling in Global, CBC and a few others. On the weekend in the same spot I was picking up several from the States (CW, NBC) but I guess it's subjective. I am going to try it in several spots and also try an amplifier but I'm reading reviews on antennas to find out if I want to invest a bit more and on what. Unfortunately, inside a townhouse, the only wall I don't have windows on is the south wall, so I can't get the degrees tvfool recommended but I'll settle for a few clear stations plus my netflix, hulu plus etc.

Again, I appreciate the assistance.
Regards,
Brenda
 
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Old 07-10-14, 03:49 AM
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If you're only connecting to one TV an amplifier may not help. Too much signal is just as bad as too little, and amps are typically used to overcome signal loss due to cable long lengths and splitters.
 
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Old 07-21-14, 06:23 PM
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I thought since you were all so helpful, I'd provide an update. Now, I'm in Bowmanville and only have windows facing east and west as I'm in a townhouse. I bought a digiwave 4500 hd antenna for 12.99 and put it in the west facing upstairs window and connected it via the coaxial cable as per my questions and your advice above to the tv in the basement. I pulled in 4-6 stations including Global, CBC, TVO and CFTO. I then took it a step further and bought a second antenna and put it in the east window upstairs, hooked it up to the cable outlet and then put a splitter in the basement and attached both coax cables from upstairs to it and then to the tv. Contrary to googled advice which said this would affect the signal, I am now pulling in all of the above stations plus a few from the US (WNLO, WXII, FOX). I'm pretty happy with the result and may eventually upgrade the antennas but I just wanted to say thanks for the advice and let you know that it worked out well!
Cheers!
Brenda
 
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Old 07-21-14, 07:19 PM
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Glad to hear that you made it work for you.

Now comes the hard part - finding something worth watching.
 
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Old 07-22-14, 06:01 AM
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One of the many reasons I'm cancelling my cable lol!
 
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Old 08-14-14, 08:55 PM
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Yes and it will work as long as its a newer model tv.
 
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Old 08-14-14, 10:07 PM
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Yes and it will work as long as its a newer model tv.
tykey.... can you explain what a newer model TV would be ?
 
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Old 08-15-14, 12:33 PM
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Probably any TV made in the last 7-8 years as around that time the FCC (Not sure what Canada has for an "FCC" equivalent though) said manufacturers had to put in a digital ATSC tuner to receive over the air digital broadcasts
 
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Old 08-19-14, 11:59 AM
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Hers's the "skinny" on when ATSC tuners were legally required in TV's :

The FCC has issued the following mandates for devices entering the US:

By July 1, 2005 all televisions with screen sizes over 36 inches (91 cm) must include a built-in ATSC DTV tuner

By March 1, 2006 all televisions with screen sizes over 25 inches (64 cm) must include a built-in ATSC DTV tuner

By March 1, 2007 all televisions regardless of screen size, and all interface devices that include a tuner (VCR, DVD player/recorder, DVR) must include a built-in ATSC DTV tuner.
 
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