Military Member needing help


DTVUSA Jr. Member
my TV input only has cable and TV available. when I initially went to TV it was a snow until I did auto tune which gave the initial 6 channels, but now im down to 2 for some reason. I lost TBS, Ion, Telmundo and two religion channels. I'll get pics of my roof tomorrow. This is pretty depressing right now with all the TV Fool report shows.
It's not the input, it's a different item on the menu. You have to change something in the menu to do a TV scan. You were getting cable before, correct? If you do a channel scan, it will automatically be for cable channels, not for TV channels, which are different. You can be getting a few stations just "bleeding" over from cable.

I don't want to be insulting. This is a common problem, as I mentioned.

Other possibilities are:
- You have it mounted on the north or west side of the chimney, and chimney is brick, or some other RF obstruction.
- There is some other major obstruction in the way.
- Some other major source of RF interference, like an arcing power line.
- The second antenna (the one on the roof) is a dud.
- One of the connectors is not connecting, or is a complete dud. (It can be possible to screw in an F connector, where the pin gets bent over to the side.)
- (Unlikely) Tuner in the TV plain doesn't work for OTA broadcast signals.

... All I can come up with, right now ...

Come to think of it, you probably shouldn't have it on the side of a brick chimney. It may just need to be on a short pole, a foot or two above the roof, and far away from chimney. There are some pro installers on the forum who can advise.

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DTVUSA Jr. Member
20140329_081635.jpg 20140329_081704.jpg

so here are two more pictures of what i have going on. i have used both antenna in both situations (ie both have been inside and both outside) either way the tenna on the inside gets the channels and nothing from the antenna on the outside. At this point I am kind of stuck. I tried going into my TV menu, but I didn't see anything that referred to cable, antenna or OTA. Should I just bit the bullet, send these back, and buy an actual antenna and try to mount it 5-10 ft above the chimney?
Maybe premature to send it back just yet.

You can't have the SMARTenna propped up against a window, like a Leaf or FlatWave type. You've got the whole antenna in a "null" blocking signals from the side, trying to catch RF waves from straight overhead. It has to be horizontal. Isn't there a little mount, so it can lay flat a foot or so ABOVE the chimney?

I tried going into my TV menu, but I didn't see anything that referred to cable, antenna or OTA.
To the best of my knowledge, it has to be there. You can't just leave it in cable mode and have it get OTA broadcasts! If you tell me the make and model of your TV, I'll see if I can find the manual online. Also, please hook the antenna up directly to the F connector on the TV (probably on the back). Don't go through the TiVo until we figure out what's going on.

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I pulled up the manual for one LG TV, and the remote has an INPUT button you have to press to select the input source. It's a generic manual for several different models, so there's no pictures of the menus, etc. I just know the TV has to know to take input from the RF connector on the back, and to look for OTA signals, not cable signals. It has no way to know that until a human being changes the menus.

We cross posted. I'll see if I can find the manual for that LG: 47LH30.

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K, I did find the manual online: LG 47LH30 Support: Find Manuals & Warranty Info | LG USA
It's the 9,376K file. But it looks like you have it hooked up correctly, and the channel scan should go through everything OTA as well as CATV, so should be working. There is that INPUT button. Should still be on the right input from your CATV hookup, but you could check that to be sure.

Thanks for the video. That was very helpful.

That leaves antenna placement. Could you mount it somewhere else on the roof, and try to be sure there's no obstructions near the antenna? Also, take the second antenna and put it in the basement far from the antenna that you have hooked up. It could be causing some multipath problems. An antenna is also a transmitter, and the second antenna could be reflecting signals to the first. I think we discussed multipath issues with omnidirectional antennas back a few months ago.

Please try all these things before you give up. You really should be able to get 40 or 50 different channels with all the subchannels. Again, the SMARTenna, like most any "omni" antenna, needs to be flat -- it's only omni out to the sides, not up and down. There could also be something in your roof or walls obstructing the RF waves, so outside is best to get line-of-sight to the transmitters.

I have to go out now, but I'll be back tomorrow morning. Maybe you'll have it working by then!



DTVUSA Jr. Member
IMG_3450.jpg IMG_3451.jpg

the picture with the coax closest to me (the photographer) shows me facing north. The picture with the coax farthest from me shows me facing south. My roof is very slightly slanted, but i got the smartenna to lay pretty flat though just propping one end up. After this is went inside and autotuned......wouldn;t even find the 2 channels I can get from inside. Is it possible the black coax that runs into my house is different somehow? I can't think of why it wouldn;t work on the roof.


DTVUSA Jr. Member
So I brought the antenna back inside and got 6 channels again. Although this time the 4 of the 6 do not come in well at all. The first time I set this up I got 6 channels (4 of the channels are different than the current 6 I have). Here is a video:


Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
OTOH, the 4221HD looks pretty shabby since they moved production to China. Rick

This probably belongs on a new thread but what are the differences between domestically and Chinese manufactured CM4221HD antennas? I have one I have not yet tested and its a solid design. I have no idea where it was built because it has no ID at all and I didn't know they were ever manufactured in the States.

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It sounds like you are making progress. I would have good reason to suspect that the building does have radiant foil barrier insulation that is making indoor reception equivalent to being in side a metal building. I currently live in a metal sided building the only inside reception possible here is through a south facing window which leaves out some needed signals to the north. In my situation it requires getting the antenna at least three feet away from the building. My currently installed antenna is 10 feet away from the building in a location where the building does not block signal, and only 10 feet above the ground. Having limited resources, and abilities reception of all available local television signals did not happen over night.
10 channels definitely sounds like progress. I'm not sure if you mean 10 stations (transmitters) or 10 channels including all the subchannels. At least down here in the 48, we average about two and a half channels for each station.

The reason it works better out on the patio seems pretty clear. Like Jim and Steve said, there's metal (or something very reflective) in your roof and probably also your walls. The stations you're getting are probably line-of-sight to that patio, so the RF doesn't have to pass through anything nasty to get there.

Another problem is all those trees I see around your house. Are you surrounded by a forest in every direction?? I don't remember trees being discussed at all back when we started!

Either way, it seems clear you should get the antenna as high as possible, away from the offending materials. I know nothing about outdoor installations. Wild guess, I'd think a three foot pole on the roof might do the trick. But others on the forum would know better.

Maybe we should have been clearer that you need to install an antenna correctly before it can work for you. :doh: Once you get a good, working installation, we can think about bringing the other antenna back up from the basement, or else possibly splitting the one that's working.


This probably belongs on a new thread but what are the differences between domestically and Chinese manufactured CM4221HD antennas? I have one I have not yet tested and its a solid design. I have no idea where it was built because it has no ID at all and I didn't know they were ever manufactured in the States.
I'm pretty sure they moved to China before putting out the HD version of the 4221. I can see why you thought that from what I wrote. I've read quite a few complaints about poor quality after the move, and my 4221HD looked like it went through a war. The antenna itself was OK (although it was bent in the package), but the mounting parts looked sort of marbled or off color.



DTVUSA Jr. Member
so I went cheap and bought a 2x4x8 at lowes and mounted the Smartenna to the top. Set it above my chimney and had the wife autotune. I got 7 stations with 19 channels (about 15 channels actually work though). I guess I should just count my blessings with that and buy a mast.

Can I use a standard splitter from lowes and is it for both tvs? or does it not work that easy?
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Can I use a standard splitter from lowes and is it for both tvs? or does it not work that easy?
I don't think it's quite that easy, w1a. A splitter cuts the signal in half, right off the bat, and I'm not sure you have enough signal to splice and dice. Using the other SMARTenna might be better, with a separate run of coax to the other TV. The two antennas should be kept far apart. You might want to put one on a pole in the yard, as far from your house as possible.

You never answered my question about the trees. It makes a difference. The RF waves are trying to reach you, but they need line-of-sight for a fair chance.

That about exhausts all my expertise. I encourage all the real experts to jump in with both feet, particularly since my first idea didn't work out too well.



Since this is the first time I am contributing to this thread, it is my turn to take my hat off and bow to you and your service to our Country. Thank you.

Your location and the channel mix in your TVFool report pose a special kind of challenge. In my opinion, you do not need big antennas, but they need to be somewhat directional and properly positioned. I would suggest separate VHF / UHF antennas pointed in different directions:

For VHF, a simple dipole should do, as long as you make it face 15degrees (Magnetic). In other words, the rod must be parallel to the 105deg. / 285deg. (Magnetic) line.

For UHF, I would suggest a wide beam antenna, pointed at 82 degrees (Magnetic). Antennas Direct DB2e may be a good option, and other 2 bay would work as well, the wider the beam, the better.

A pretty convenient "one stop shopping" option would be the Clear Stream 2-V assembly, which contains both antennas you need (UHF+VHF). You would have to point the two sections as I suggested before, which would involve some mechanical work and creativity (because when assembled "by the book", the two elements face in the same direction). It is up to you to decide if the convenience of getting them in one box for a good price, is worth the extra installation effort.

With the signal levels I see in the reports you included, you should be able to split to 2 TVs with no problem (unless you have very long cable runs, that is).

I hope this helps.
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