Some interesting news for TV cordcutters

BernieP

Resident PIA
I am sure, when I first got it in 2003 it was 3.0Mb and it was bumped up intermittently until I cancelled it in 2018. I routinely checked it using speedtest and fast.com.

My moms from Frontier Communication is 3.0 (and only $15/month) and we can stream a 720P movie from it just fine.
I'm getting ripped off by Verizon. Internet and phone is over $90 a month. The internet portion is the largest chunk.
Use to get the triple play discount (with Directv). But then AT&T sucked up DTV and that's changed a lot of things.
I'm also been informed that any hope of fiber is gone, Verizon and AT&T are not laying fiber, they are focusing instead on 5G cell service and wireless.
Lower cost for them to implement and quicker to get online.
 

sastanley

Member
Got the same problem BernieP, especially since I moved and 're-set' my DirecTV account. I was recently told at the VZW store here in SOMD that they (Verizon) are working on de-coupling the verizon one-bill bundle too. My DSL internet is only $35/month (well..really almost $60 if you count the requirement for a landline) but my verizon one-bill is at least $175/month. I heard several years ago that Verizon didn't give a crap about land comms anymore..their focus is all wireless..and that is obviously a smart choice. Except for those of us with DSL, and older folks like my 80 year old step-father who spends a lot of time at home and lives in the woods with spotty cell until he is outside, who has a landline anymore?
 
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$135 experiment…

As any of you long time SOMD forum members probably know, I’ve been a long time proponent for the free OTA (see my previous posts on the matter to understand the many channels and positive reasons why, please). My last effort on the matter is to suggest a $135 experiment that might succeed or fail. (This probably is not for residential neighborhoods.)

Fringe antenna $120 (free shipping):

https://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=hd8200xl

RG6 cable $15 for 40 feet:

https://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=sscbls

Now for challenges to test your ingenuity. The fringe antenna is over 12’long. Clumsy. Get it up temporarily as high as you can, cable attached. Be careful of power lines. Use rope over a tree branch, the top of a chimney, high flat structure, roof, whatever you can find… Attach 1 TV. Point the antenna to DC (use a compass and Google maps) from your location. Scan the TV; get acquirable channels. Point antenna to Baltimore. Repeat channel scan.

If you get marginal success, you might want to improve your odds with a pre-amp; $60.

https://www.solidsignal.com/search.asp?q=tv%20preamp

What do you get?

If you succeed, you get a one time expense of $135 to $195. This is verses a $1000 or more a year in unending yearly expense… destined to rise.
If you fail,you can try and return the items for your money back… good luck with that. Or maybe you could loan them to a friend to allow them to try the experiment. Sup to you…

Good luck. Don’t fall.
 

sastanley

Member
I bet the guy I sold my house to would sell you those items cheap. Fringe UHF, fringe Hi-VHF and a Channel Master pre-amp that has separate inputs for VHF and UHF. I left them on the roof...oh and a rotor. I ran the rotor cable outside down the back of the house too and tucked it inside the siding so I only had to drill a small hole in the sheathing in the back of the garage.
 
$135 experiment…

As any of you long time SOMD forum members probably know, I’ve been a long time proponent for the free OTA (see my previous posts on the matter to understand the many channels and positive reasons why, please). My last effort on the matter is to suggest a $135 experiment that might succeed or fail. (This probably is not for residential neighborhoods.)

Fringe antenna $120 (free shipping):

https://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=hd8200xl

RG6 cable $15 for 40 feet:

https://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=sscbls

Now for challenges to test your ingenuity. The fringe antenna is over 12’long. Clumsy. Get it up temporarily as high as you can, cable attached. Be careful of power lines. Use rope over a tree branch, the top of a chimney, high flat structure, roof, whatever you can find… Attach 1 TV. Point the antenna to DC (use a compass and Google maps) from your location. Scan the TV; get acquirable channels. Point antenna to Baltimore. Repeat channel scan.

If you get marginal success, you might want to improve your odds with a pre-amp; $60.

https://www.solidsignal.com/search.asp?q=tv%20preamp

What do you get?

If you succeed, you get a one time expense of $135 to $195. This is verses a $1000 or more a year in unending yearly expense… destined to rise.
If you fail,you can try and return the items for your money back… good luck with that. Or maybe you could loan them to a friend to allow them to try the experiment. Sup to you…

Good luck. Don’t fall.
I put a $30 RCA antenna on a 5 foot pole on the chimney with a power rotor. Two-part power amp, one piece at the antenna, the 2nd piece at the TV, 6dB gain (I think... been many years since I put it in). I get enough channels to keep me happy, CBS, FOX, ABC, MeTV, CW, ION (which I rarely watch), PBS.
I've wanted to replace the small antenna with a large fringe, just not on the priority list at the moment.
 
I've wanted to replace the small antenna with a large fringe, just not on the priority list at the moment.
Well, I did it. Just ordered a Channel Master CM-3020 Deep Fringe, $111 including delivery. During the winter, signal reception is pretty good, but come this time of year it gets spotty. About an hour after sunset I can lose the signal completely due to atmospheric skip.

Hoping I can use the existing mount for the new antenna. Not going to put it on a tall mast, just higher than the roofline should be fine. Will re-use the existing rotor, in-line amp and cabling.

Looking forward to getting stations ffrom DC/Balt that I don't get now. My current antenna doesn't get VHF, so I miss out on channels 2-13.
 

BernieP

Resident PIA
I was in BJ's last night looking for a DSL modem. Noticed a lot of antennas for sale, particularly the "leaf" ones.
Also noticed tht the range on some of those - 30 miles. Why in the name of Philo Farnsworth would you see an antenna that had a range of 30 miles (best case) 60 plus miles from the source of the signal?
Oh, and these are designed to be mounted inside, on a window or wall.

BTW, the more I learn about Atlantic Broadband, the more I recall the story related to me by a then member of the cable advisory panel.
Customer and Service should not be used in the same sentence with Atlantic Broadband unless the word Sucks is included.
Witnessed them blaming an issue on the contractor / builder who wired the buildings (apartments). Only to learn that it was the one of the cable companies that has been rebrnded in St. Mary's county that wired the buildings. Can you say, substandard and hacked.
Why doesn't your service match your website? Because two years later we are still Metrocast, haven't really integrated into ABB.
ABB apparently hasn't spent a dime to upgrade or standardize the system in St. Marys county, as none of their predecessors didn't do either.
It's a patchwork of new and old. Replace only what you had to, and focus on new builds (developments).
Which explains why the wide variation in data rates.
As for Atlantic Broadband itself, looking at the corporation you quickly learn they suck up tiny (local) cable outlets. They don't invest in the market, basically they service it. The advantage (to the customer), is that when there is a surge because of some major issue, ABB can reasign crews to the county to deal with it. Most often these are the technicians that give you the real scoop on the infastructure.
So be jealous, in PG county they have FiOS, with gigabit speed network and a lower price than the entry level network package from eeither Verizon (DSL) or Atlantic Broadband.
 

imaref

Member
I have to begrudgingly give Atlantic Broadband a little credit--they recently replaced the main fiber optic cable from the main road to our neighborhood (Cedar Cove) and it's made a huge difference. I don't know how they pick and choose what infrastructure to replace nor when. We have had a lot of residents complaining for the past six months so maybe it's based on the number of complaints they receive per area? Just a guess...
 

BernieP

Resident PIA
I have to begrudgingly give Atlantic Broadband a little credit--they recently replaced the main fiber optic cable from the main road to our neighborhood (Cedar Cove) and it's made a huge difference. I don't know how they pick and choose what infrastructure to replace nor when. We have had a lot of residents complaining for the past six months so maybe it's based on the number of complaints they receive per area? Just a guess...
When did they install fiber? As far as I know they are still copper coax. Someone told me that Settlers Rest (behid Lowes) had fiber and I did confirm a dozen or so "luxury" townhouses in Wildewood have fiber. The townhouses were recently built right on the Parkway and were pre-wired for fiber.
I'm not sure about the apartmanet complex (Settlers Rest), I heard they had fiber service but have no hard evidence to confirm or deny.
Those are the only two residential properties with fiber. The main fiber trunk is on 235 and is used to serve businesses and schools.
 
Well, I did it. Just ordered a Channel Master CM-3020 Deep Fringe, $111 including delivery. During the winter, signal reception is pretty good, but come this time of year it gets spotty. About an hour after sunset I can lose the signal completely due to atmospheric skip.

Hoping I can use the existing mount for the new antenna. Not going to put it on a tall mast, just higher than the roofline should be fine. Will re-use the existing rotor, in-line amp and cabling.

Looking forward to getting stations ffrom DC/Balt that I don't get now. My current antenna doesn't get VHF, so I miss out on channels 2-13.
Well, Step 1 / Phase 1 didn't work out so well. I got the new antenna, assembled it and stood it up in the backyard. I didn't expect very much, and that's just what I got. Not very much. I was only able to find one major channel. Yes, fighting a number of things: Too low to the ground, didn't have the amp in-line, and it is VERY directional. I chose this one over the deeper fringe model because it wasn't quite as directional but the receive beam is very narrow anyway.

So, the only way to prove this out is to get it on the roof and get it on the rotor with the amp. Won't have time for the next 2 weeks.
 
And as a little side bar, I had a piece of PVC pipe for my current antenna mast, thru it up because it was handy. At some point I got a piece of "real" antenna mast, aluminum. It killed the signal. Put the PVC back up, and it work so much better. Go figure....
 
And as a little side bar, I had a piece of PVC pipe for my current antenna mast, thru it up because it was handy. At some point I got a piece of "real" antenna mast, aluminum. It killed the signal. Put the PVC back up, and it work so much better. Go figure....
The mast as well as the parasitic reflectors should be grounded for best signal. Forgive the suggestion, but I believe part of your antenna system might be 'shorted'; the parasitic grounded elements touching the active elements or mast. I also am a bit surprised by the low performance you have experienced. I think I know your approx. location so I am thinking you should see better signals. It's just a guess. Could be twin lead/coax converter near the top of the antenna. Signal belongs in the core and not the shield of the coax.

Just tryin to help.
 
Thanx. I'll take the grounding issue with a grain of salt. As an experienced radio and electronics guy, I always thought a rooftop antenna needed to be grounded. It does, but not for signal. It gets grounded for lightning protection. This was contrary to my beliefs, but even the manufacturer's documentation says that.

Doubt there is any shorting in the new antenna.

Like I said, when I have time I'll put it up the right way and double-check everything. The cheap little $35 RCA antenna I have now gets 25 channels.
 

PeoplesElbow

Well-Known Member
Thanx. I'll take the grounding issue with a grain of salt. As an experienced radio and electronics guy, I always thought a rooftop antenna needed to be grounded. It does, but not for signal. It gets grounded for lightning protection. This was contrary to my beliefs, but even the manufacturer's documentation says that.

Doubt there is any shorting in the new antenna.

Like I said, when I have time I'll put it up the right way and double-check everything. The cheap little $35 RCA antenna I have now gets 25 channels.
Curious, where are you located and is that cheap RCA antenna an outdoor unit?
 

PeoplesElbow

Well-Known Member
FYI I i started using locast last night, so far it has been great, they havent bugged me for a donation yet and I can get 10 channels OTA channels through it.
 

imaref

Member
Glad it's working for you. I have a feeling Locast is going to be around for a long time as AT&T just gave them a donation of $500,000 to expand their free local channel broadcasts across the country. I don't usually root for AT&T, but in this case I hope they put the screws to the local stations. Directv and Uverse started putting the locast app on their streaming services.

I remember back when cable TV first started and the deal was that one would pay a small fee to have the channels rebroadcast through the cable wires while the commercials would pay the stations' operating fees/profits. Yeah, wonder what ever happened to that...
 

Chris0nllyn

Well-Known Member
FYI I i started using locast last night, so far it has been great, they havent bugged me for a donation yet and I can get 10 channels OTA channels through it.
Same here. Since Sling doesn't offer ABC or CBS, I added the Locast channel to Roku and can watch all the local channels.

So far so good.
 

PeoplesElbow

Well-Known Member
Same here. Since Sling doesn't offer ABC or CBS, I added the Locast channel to Roku and can watch all the local channels.

So far so good.
I was mostly missing CBS since the ABC app lets you watch stuff that is over a week old, but it is pretty cool to have it live too.
 
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