Semi-Clueless OLD Newbie

Reception, channel detection, network issues, CableCARD setup, etc.
Mr.K
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:33 pm

Semi-Clueless OLD Newbie

Post by Mr.K »

I'm about to make the cut on Directv. Have multiple questions.
Equipment
1) MacBook Pro with M1 chip, QNAP NAS, Nighthawk AX Router, CM2100 Modem, Apple TV 4th generation, iPhones, iPads and an ancient iPod touch.
2) ClearStream 4MAX maybe or ClearStream 5 if I can't get good VHF signal.
Questions:
Would like to utilize the Directv coax to 4 TVs
From my endless searches my thoughts are HomeRun Quad tuner wired to router. Record to NAS .
How can I CHEAPLY connect the other three TVs so that I can get the Apple TV and my live local TV stations and recorded shows to them. Please don't tell me I have to have 3 more Apple TVs.!!!
I'm sure I'll have more Questions but this should get me going.

Please be kind and explain like Im an idiot. (Which might not be too far off the mark and 65 y.o.)

Thank you all!

clarkss12
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Location: Michigan, USA
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Re: Semi-Clueless OLD Newbie

Post by clarkss12 »

The HDHomeRun app will run on almost any inexpensive devices.....
Do you want/need a device that connects directly to your TV by the HDMI port or do you want a stand alone box that has an Ethernet port........

JDazell
Posts: 120
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:19 pm
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Re: Semi-Clueless OLD Newbie

Post by JDazell »

Mr.K wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:26 pm I'm about to make the cut on Directv. Have multiple questions.
Equipment
1) MacBook Pro with M1 chip, QNAP NAS, Nighthawk AX Router, CM2100 Modem, Apple TV 4th generation, iPhones, iPads and an ancient iPod touch.
2) ClearStream 4MAX maybe or ClearStream 5 if I can't get good VHF signal.
Questions:
Would like to utilize the Directv coax to 4 TVs
From my endless searches my thoughts are HomeRun Quad tuner wired to router. Record to NAS .
How can I CHEAPLY connect the other three TVs so that I can get the Apple TV and my live local TV stations and recorded shows to them. Please don't tell me I have to have 3 more Apple TVs.!!!
I'm sure I'll have more Questions but this should get me going.

Please be kind and explain like Im an idiot. (Which might not be too far off the mark and 65 y.o.)

Thank you all!
MR K.,
Use the Antennas Direct Transmitter locator to verify direction and distance to Towers.
Bear in mind that unless you can get over 50' in height over the surrounding terrain and the target Transmitters are over 1000' over the terrain, you will be limited to Line of sight Horizon (otherwise known as 60miles). So don't go crazy with an antenna with a range much over 60 miles.

Yes you can use the existing direct TV cable runs, as long as the cable is in good condition (no cracking or deterioration). But then you don't need an HDHR device to go direct to the TVs. Check the entire cable path to ensure that you have no more than one three way splitter in the entire path, feeding a max of three TVs. Any more splitters in the system will degrade the signal such that reception will be garbage. If you want to feed four or more TVs, then you will need an amplified cable splitter.

Hopefully you are planning just on using the direct TV cable to feed the HDHR. If so then the same rules apply; check the condition of the cable and make sure that there are NO splitters in the cable between the Antenna the HDHR. There are tools to verify this but, I recommend visual inspection of the entire cable run.

Apple TV does support the HDHR App, as do Android TV, and Fire TV. I would stay away from Roku, unless it it built in to a TV.
There are many Android Based Smart TVs on which you can install the HDHR App through the Google store. Also most LG Smart TVs manufactured in the past few years also have the HDHR App in their App Store.

So you have many choices for getting the HDHR signal to your TVs and other smart devices, Tablets, Cell Phones, etc.

The overriding thing to ensure a good signal at the TV's is to ensure that your WiFi has sufficient Signal at each TV location to support Live Streaming TV Broadcast signals from the HDHR Tuner. Use a good Cell Phone app to test the signal, like Wifi Analyzer v3.11.2 by Kevin Yuan. You will want to ensure that you have 5G signal between -30 to -55 DBM at each TV. The lower the number the better. So if you do not already have a mesh WiFi, I would suggest that you invest in a good one now. Eero do work but the best IMHO are TP-Link Deco M5 or M9.

Mr.K
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:33 pm

Re: Semi-Clueless OLD Newbie

Post by Mr.K »

JDazell wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:11 am
Mr.K wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:26 pm I'm about to make the cut on Directv. Have multiple questions.
Equipment
1) MacBook Pro with M1 chip, QNAP NAS, Nighthawk AX Router, CM2100 Modem, Apple TV 4th generation, iPhones, iPads and an ancient iPod touch.
2) ClearStream 4MAX maybe or ClearStream 5 if I can't get good VHF signal.
Questions:
Would like to utilize the Directv coax to 4 TVs
From my endless searches my thoughts are HomeRun Quad tuner wired to router. Record to NAS .
How can I CHEAPLY connect the other three TVs so that I can get the Apple TV and my live local TV stations and recorded shows to them. Please don't tell me I have to have 3 more Apple TVs.!!!
I'm sure I'll have more Questions but this should get me going.

Please be kind and explain like Im an idiot. (Which might not be too far off the mark and 65 y.o.)

Thank you all!
MR K.,
Use the Antennas Direct Transmitter locator to verify direction and distance to Towers.
Bear in mind that unless you can get over 50' in height over the surrounding terrain and the target Transmitters are over 1000' over the terrain, you will be limited to Line of sight Horizon (otherwise known as 60miles). So don't go crazy with an antenna with a range much over 60 miles.

Yes you can use the existing direct TV cable runs, as long as the cable is in good condition (no cracking or deterioration). But then you don't need an HDHR device to go direct to the TVs. Check the entire cable path to ensure that you have no more than one three way splitter in the entire path, feeding a max of three TVs. Any more splitters in the system will degrade the signal such that reception will be garbage. If you want to feed four or more TVs, then you will need an amplified cable splitter.

Hopefully you are planning just on using the direct TV cable to feed the HDHR. If so then the same rules apply; check the condition of the cable and make sure that there are NO splitters in the cable between the Antenna the HDHR. There are tools to verify this but, I recommend visual inspection of the entire cable run.

Apple TV does support the HDHR App, as do Android TV, and Fire TV. I would stay away from Roku, unless it it built in to a TV.
There are many Android Based Smart TVs on which you can install the HDHR App through the Google store. Also most LG Smart TVs manufactured in the past few years also have the HDHR App in their App Store.

So you have many choices for getting the HDHR signal to your TVs and other smart devices, Tablets, Cell Phones, etc.

The overriding thing to ensure a good signal at the TV's is to ensure that your WiFi has sufficient Signal at each TV location to support Live Streaming TV Broadcast signals from the HDHR Tuner. Use a good Cell Phone app to test the signal, like Wifi Analyzer v3.11.2 by Kevin Yuan. You will want to ensure that you have 5G signal between -30 to -55 DBM at each TV. The lower the number the better. So if you do not already have a mesh WiFi, I would suggest that you invest in a good one now. Eero do work but the best IMHO are TP-Link Deco M5 or M9.
Thanks for the great detailed reply!!!
This is where I stumble a little. So, just use the existing coax from the dish on the roof to the basement where it goes into a splitter. Disconnect the splitter and just continue the coax to the HDHR.
Then I can use the HDHR App to send the Apple TV programs to the HDHR which will transmit to the TV over network. Right??
On the other 3 TVs just hang a Chromecast on each of them and I am good to go as far as start watching programs on one TV and resuming on one of the other three?
Is it really that simple?
Am I missing anything.
I am thinking of Recording OTA from the Antenna to the HDHR and sending that to my NAS for the DVR Storage. My NAS can do On the fly transcoding. Again will need the app to go to the QNAP NAS also?
This is as far as my brain can go today.
Just cancelled Directv!!!!!
Last edited by Mr.K on Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mr.K
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:33 pm

Re: Semi-Clueless OLD Newbie

Post by Mr.K »

clarkss12 wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 7:50 am The HDHomeRun app will run on almost any inexpensive devices.....
Do you want/need a device that connects directly to your TV by the HDMI port or do you want a stand alone box that has an Ethernet port........
Thank You!
I can go either way. I have 2 HDMI ports on the Main TV, a semi smart LG in the basement, an old Mitsubishi (picture tube) in the bedroom and a small Insignia flatscreen in the kitchen.
I would like to go the easiest/smallest footprint/least costly way that I can.

CordCutterNewb
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:01 pm
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Re: Semi-Clueless OLD Newbie

Post by CordCutterNewb »

Don't quote me on this, because I don't even own a HDHR yet. I am doing the research into how it works and if I want to spend $$ to get one. But if you have an Apple TV, look at the Apps you can add. Or maybe you want to add a Fire TV Stick from Amazon. I am partial to my ROKU and I don't know why the previous poster suggested staying away from it. But, to each their own.
Here's my understanding. You add the HDHR to your network and plug an antenna into the HDHR. Then you access the HDHR from the app. You can have the app on your smart phone, or any smart tv or dongle in which you access your streaming media.
Again, I could be completely wrong. Like you, I'm an old guy who has cut the cord. I have a network-attached-storage (NAS) with 9TB space. I get TV from a subscription and save the show episodes to the NAS. I can watch the shows like a Tivo. But I use an app called Plex which was incredibly easy to set up. Now I have an antenna to watch ABC local/national news. I want to record the news, so I don't have to be there for the news and can watch it before or after dinner. From everything I have learned, this HDHR will plug into a CAT 5 cable into my network which I can access from any room. I gave up on coax cables a few years ago with my ROKU and Plex. This has been the one piece I have not added since I did not have any channels with the antennas I tested. I recently bought an antenna from Walmart and it worked to get ABC. Comes in very clear. So now I can complete the one piece I have missed in my viewing the news.

Good luck!
You got this!
Old guys - we rule!

jasonl
Expert
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Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:23 pm
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Re: Semi-Clueless OLD Newbie

Post by jasonl »

The summary of Roku is this: Roku devices are designed to play web streaming video. They do a pretty good job of that. They aren't designed to play other kinds of video like broadcast or cable TV, but you can kind of hammer a square peg into a round hole and sort of get something that almost works. it's not very pleasant, has a lot of limitations, and just randomly breaks if the slightest thing isn't perfect. However, when you use Plex or other similar programs, what they do is take the video from the HDHomeRun (or other non-live sources) and convert those into the same format used by web streaming video, and then when you access that from the Roku, it works a lot better because it's in a format the Roku likes.

CordCutterNewb
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:01 pm
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Re: Semi-Clueless OLD Newbie

Post by CordCutterNewb »

Thanks Jason. I did read that the ROKU+Plex for HDHR is a good solution on Reddit too. I just ordered my HDHR Duo from Amazon. It will be here tomorrow. I am looking forward to being able to watch the news on my schedule. I read good things about this setup. Hoping for the best! I researched HDHR, Tablo, and Hauppauge, which seem to be the only viable solutions. for the $ and lack of frustration, this is the only one that I would choose. I just haven't settled on the antenna yet. The one I have is from Walmart. I get a few stations (ABC happily) mostly Spanish-speaking channels. To be expected in southern Arizona. I may have to invest more than $30 in an antenna. We shall see!

JDazell
Posts: 120
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:19 pm
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Re: Semi-Clueless OLD Newbie

Post by JDazell »

CordCutterNewb wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 7:39 am I just haven't settled on the antenna yet. The one I have is from Walmart. I get a few stations (ABC happily) mostly Spanish-speaking channels. To be expected in southern Arizona. I may have to invest more than $30 in an antenna. We shall see!
IMHO the antennas from Antennas Direct are absolutely the best.

I install Antennas and HDHR as a side business since I retired. In the Toledo, Ohio Metropolitan market, I have installed over 30 of the Antennas Direct 2Max and HDHR. The antenna is rated 60 miles when mounted between 15 -20' above the ground. That is fairly easy on almost any structure. My installs all pickup solid signals from up to 45 miles from the transmitters.

So if you are not adverse to putting in a few screws and running some coax, I say go to the Antennasdirect.com website and use their "Learning Center".

CordCutterNewb
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:01 pm
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Re: Semi-Clueless OLD Newbie

Post by CordCutterNewb »

Thanks JD, but I have the antenna on a ledge by the window. I am getting ABC for the news is - really all I wanted when I bought the antenna. So I'm good.
Maybe next house I will look at something like that. Hopefully, I will be moving out of town where a better antenna is needed. :)

jasonl
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Re: Semi-Clueless OLD Newbie

Post by jasonl »

I'm assuming that's Tucson? Most everyone in greater Tucson should be able to get ABC, PBS, Telemundo, and Univision pretty easily. Those in Oro Valley, Marana, and other parts in the NW will have a lot of trouble with Fox and probably NBC, and may or may not have trouble with CBS depending on the antenna. Mt. Lemmon blocks most of the signal going to that area from the primary broadcast site on Mt. Bigelow, so you have to receive from the repeaters on Tumamoc Hill or Tower Peak. The ABC, PBS, and Univision repeaters are on UHF, as is the Telemundo primary, so they come in for pretty much everyone in the urban area. CBS's repeater is on high VHF, so you need an antenna that receives high VHF or a lot of work on a UHF-only antenna (including most panels). NBC's repeater is on low VHF, so most will need a large attic/roof antenna to receive it. Fox doesn't have a repeater, so most of the NW part of the area can just forget about it entirely. ABC is also on KWBA's broadcast which has good coverage in most of the area. The Winegard YA7000C (must be the C model) should work for those in the NW to get all the major stuff except Fox.

CordCutterNewb
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Re: Semi-Clueless OLD Newbie

Post by CordCutterNewb »

Wow! that's a great deal of information!! Thank you.
I'm in Oro Valley near the post office - if you are familiar with the area. I just ordered a Mohu Curve 50 Amplified Indoor TV Antenna. It will be here tomorrow. I'm hopeful that will work better. If not, I'll give the Clear Stream Eclipse a shot.
Thanks again for your comments.
-M (another old guy)

NedS
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Re: Semi-Clueless OLD Newbie

Post by NedS »

CordCutterNewb wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:33 am Wow! that's a great deal of information!! Thank you.
I'm in Oro Valley near the post office - if you are familiar with the area. I just ordered a Mohu Curve 50 Amplified Indoor TV Antenna. It will be here tomorrow. I'm hopeful that will work better. If not, I'll give the Clear Stream Eclipse a shot.
Thanks again for your comments.
-M (another old guy)
I'm just down the street near CDO High School. Fox/KMSB probably won't come in for you at all, but NBC/KVOA can come in with a VHF-Lo antenna. This is what I use to get NBC: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001TIQ6SW/ (Winegard HD7000R)

jasonl
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Re: Semi-Clueless OLD Newbie

Post by jasonl »

FWIW, the HD7000R and YA7000C are basically the same antenna, except the HD version has the mounting clamp in the middle vs. the YA having it at the end, and the YA includes a J pole and mounting bracket while the HD requires a separate mast. I believe the HD model is discontinued, so it's not a bad idea to pick one up for cheap while you still can.

CordCutterNewb
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Re: Semi-Clueless OLD Newbie

Post by CordCutterNewb »

Thanks Jason. I think I'm getting everything I wanted. I'm not sure which app is now recording. I bought the subscription to HDHR DVR so I can record. I setup to record the news. I can watch it on my computer. I also had purchased Plex Pass and it looks like my new antenna is working with Plex recording to my NAS. It'll be a day or 2 until I figure out if they are both working, it's a bit odd, the HDHR DVR is saving to my computer, but I'm having a hard time getting Plex to add those recordings to the Plex inventory or programs. I don't need both, so whichever one works consistently and easily I will stay with. I'd like to just use PlexPass with a lifetime subscription and be done with it. But I've already spent the $35 for HDHR 1 year. So if I can get those into Plex, I will just use that - for the year.

Thanks again!

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