First I installed the stick and accompanying software on my computer. Everything went smoothly, but the antenna was unable to detect any signals. This was not surprising. Our computer room (and TV-viewing family room) is located on the lowest level of our split-level house, and therefore is half underground. Antenna height was approximately 3-feet off the ground. Woefully inadequate to reach the broadcast towers 30-50 miles away. (According to AntennaPoint, we have 14 UHF transmitters within 60 miles of us, ranging from 130 to 770kW, covering CBS, 2 NBCs, 2 PBSes, FOX, Telemundo, Univision, Ion, MyTV, ETV, The CW Network, and "Independent." So, all the major networks except ABC ... which we can stream through Huku. Another 20 miles adds 5 more stations, but that seems unlikely, despite the antenna's claims.)
As I saw how the install would work and that was really my main objective, I uninstalled it. When Joe got home we installed it again, but this time on the DVR-PC, which is where we plan to keep it. We ran the 50' of cable out the window and up a ladder, where Joe held it up on the highest point of the roof (approximately 28' above the ground). The auto-search channel scan picked up one signal from Wildwood (WMGM, NBC-40, 205kW) and one from Philadelphia (WCAU, NBC-10, 320kW). But the stick would only actually tune in the Wildwood station. The image was periodically steady and then very jerky, but I think that's a processor or RAM problem.
|Looks pretty impressive, no?|
We plan to mount the antenna in the attic, and should it receive the stations we expect it to, we may also opt to purchase the HD HomeRun tuner, and return the USB stick. This would act as a tuner up in the attic, closing the lengthy gap between the antenna and tuner. Then we'd run network cable from the tuner down to the computer. The device is compatible with the SageTV software we're already using for DVR purposes, so ... sweet. Sounds like a plan, but we'll see.
Should we receive a CBS station clearly, this would eliminate one of the biggest gaps served by our Playon subscription. We'd still have a few holes in our current viewing habits to do without, or fill, but Playon wasn't going to help much with those options anyway (Food Network, Discovery channel, AMC, Nick).
Stay tuned ... the big antenna is due to arrive any day now.