Dual TV Antennas

2020-06-27 12:19 - General

My two antennas: one in the window and one on the wall.

I mentioned a while back that I was experimenting with setting up a TV antenna to enable me to stop paying for cable yet still have access to some of the shows I enjoy. Since then I've been continuing to think about it. I got a HDHomeRun tuner device and set up Tvheadend on my server. This allows that computer to act as a fully featured DVR. What that means, though, is wanting a stable antenna set up that always works, and gets every channel at the same time.

As I said in my earlier post, I enjoy plenty of the programming on the Quest channel. But of course it's the one that's hardest to receive. It's especially hard to receive without losing reception on plenty of other channels. I started to think about setups to get multiple antennas and combine them with filters, so one would pick up (only) Quest and one would pick up the rest. This is possible, but complicated and expensive. As I was looking into it, I found a great article titled merging feedlines. It made me confident enough to take a shot at a very cheap and easy solution: just feed two antennas into a "splitter" (which can also function just as well as a combiner), and plug that into my tuner.

It works great! I found this one tiny particular area on the wall where Quest comes in strong (really, two or three feet in any direction ruins the signal!), and most of the other channels come in well in plenty of convenient spots, so I hung the second antenna in the corner of the window (normally covered by the blinds) with a couple of binder clips. The first antenna (except for the cord hanging down) is hidden behind a painting and mostly supported by two nails at the bottom.

At this point I've got all the major three-letter broadcast stations, a couple smaller affiliates, and Quest. With a functioning DVR setup, through the computer. I'll continue using it for a while to confirm that I get a consistent and solid signal, that watching those recordings is convenient, etc. But it's starting to feel like I should really divert funds away from the cable company.


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