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Thread: Anyone here use a digital TV antenna?

  1. #1
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Anyone here use a digital TV antenna?

    I was at an RV park the other day and was surprised at the number of antennae in the air (I thought stations ceased transmitting OTA but that was just for analog signals). Is there anyone here who use one or have tried to use one? I guess my surprise was that I thought they'd be subject to line-of-sight issues and upon further review (and a little research) they are. And I it seems there is no need for a special antenna because the carrier method is still good old VHF and UHF delivery, so you can pick off a digital TV signal with a set of 'rabbit ears'.
    Last edited by 3LockBox; 08-09-2015 at 08:40 PM. Reason: update - because there's not a delete function
    Digital playback brought high fidelity to the masses and audiophiles will never forgive it for that

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    I have a little flatscreen here, and I noticed it had a tuner. I've always heard of how hard a digital signal is to get, it doesn't get weak and snowy and fade out, it just quits. And I'm 40 some odd miles north of Tampa, in the sticks. So I figured if I was lucky maybe I'll get a station or two. I took a 20 ft piece of fence rail and mounted a bent a piece of wire like an18 inch version of a UHF antenna on top. Coaxed to the TV, I now get 6 stations with subchannels on all of them. Now if there was just something worth watching.....

    Any antenna will work, just getting it up as high as you can seems to be the secret.

  3. #3
    ALL ACCESS Gruno's Avatar
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    Do you have the makeshift antenna grounded?

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    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Do you mean TNT antenna (terrestrial numerical transmission)? (nope in Europe, they don't capture UHF and VHF)

    TNT is slowly replacing hertzian airwaves TV over here (already done in NL and half-done in Belgium >> not nearly as flat grounds as NL), but this is mostly the state TVs that have done the moves (private TVs suck shit anyways)

    Not that big on TV anyways, so the seven chains I receive are more than enough, for moi.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

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    Member Brian Griffin's Avatar
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    I have a small roof mounted HD antenna

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/RCA-Suburb...-Mast/10828410

    This replaced a much higher end larger one originally mounted one that I originally had put up when I went to HD

    It gets the same 20 or channels and their subs the other one did

    BG
    "When Yes appeared on stage, it was like, the gods appearing from the heavens, deigning to play in front of the people."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gruno View Post
    Do you have the makeshift antenna grounded?
    The metal pole is stuck in the ground. Coax is grounded as usual.

    My biggest worry is lightning. Lost 2 TVs a couple years ago. Friend around the block lost 3 last week to lightning. Pine tree in my back yard took a hit in the same storm. Florida - lightning capitol of the world - no doubt about it. I keep everything unplugged !

  7. #7
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    I don't understand the need for any antenna outside at all. You can get all the stations with a small set of rabbit ears and a converter box you get at Target for 35 bucks. It looks just like cable, sometimes better. I'm sure it helps I am in a busy city with lots of signals.

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    Member Brian Griffin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    I don't understand the need for any antenna outside at all. You can get all the stations with a small set of rabbit ears and a converter box you get at Target for 35 bucks.
    That is really dependent on your location Sean

    I know I tried this at my mothers apartment before her cable was installed and she was only able to get a single channel with an indoor antenna

    BG
    "When Yes appeared on stage, it was like, the gods appearing from the heavens, deigning to play in front of the people."

  9. #9
    All (or most) US areas have been required by the FCC to offer free digital transmission of their local channels. That applies to local stations and network affiliates. You see the hucksters on TV selling the digital antennae that you can get at the local store, like Target, as Sean noted.
    The White Zone is for loading and unloading only. If you got to load or unload go to the White Zone.

  10. #10
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Well, without that box old TVs can't pick up digital signals though, so it has it's purpose.

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    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Griffin View Post
    That is really dependent on your location Sean

    I know I tried this at my mothers apartment before her cable was installed and she was only able to get a single channel with an indoor antenna

    BG
    yup, that TNT is defintyely nowhere ,near the UHF/VHF hertzian power levels... if you live in the rear Appalachians, or in the first Alp valley you're not likely to pick up anything at all. I live right next to Brussels' southern forest, and in summer time, the reception is worse/weaker than in winter time, because the trees have leaves that absorb/block the signal.

    But I have a puny antenna that looks like a muiniature white UFO flying saucer in my living room.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

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    Member WHORG's Avatar
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    http://www.gomohu.com/

    We use the Leaf 50 (medium multi-directional) and pick up over 20 channels - with the majority in HD. It needs a USB connection to power the signal amplifier module built into the coax . . .

    Ditched the cable TV portion of our service over 2 years ago.


    http://www.antennaweb.org/Address.aspx

    This site above can tell you what channels and reception rates you'll get depending on location, etc - - - and suggest the appropriate antenna (indoors or out) to explore.
    It's always a good night when the "heat" shows up ~Pepe

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    Member Firth's Avatar
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    The words "digital" and "HD" applied to antennas is bull shit. Digital signal reception is better than analog, with antennas produced prior to the introduction of digital waveforms modulating an analog carrier. Main benefit of digital signals is multi path reduction. What we need for reception is a signal level indicator because it is a pain in the ass to find distant stations by using a TV picture while rotating an antenna.
    [They] agreed that it was neither possible nor necessary to educate people who never questioned anything.

  14. #14
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    They do sell digital signal level indicators, but given where I'm located, I doubt I'll be investing too much money for an antenna setup. Seattle is blocked by mountains and all I get are bad Canadian channels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    The words "digital" and "HD" applied to antennas is bull shit. Digital signal reception is better than analog, with antennas produced prior to the introduction of digital waveforms modulating an analog carrier. Main benefit of digital signals is multi path reduction. What we need for reception is a signal level indicator because it is a pain in the ass to find distant stations by using a TV picture while rotating an antenna.
    My little Toshiba has a signal level indicator buried in the pic menu. It's pretty slow at readout, making rotating/searching a PIA.

    Yes, that's true about the antenna BS. my question is ... would I be better off with a bigger antenna or a signal amplifier ??

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    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean
    I don't understand the need for any antenna outside at all. You can get all the stations with a small set of rabbit ears and a converter box you get at Target for 35 bucks. It looks just like cable, sometimes better. I'm sure it helps I am in a busy city with lots of signals.
    I do the same in a small town with just indoor rabbit ears and a box. I have line-of-sight to the mountain with all the broadcast antennas on it. No way I want an antenna on the roof. If the lightning didn't get it, the wind sure would. I considered putting a bigger antenna in the rafters in the garage (so as to still be under a roof), but so far the rabbit ears are good enough, and cheaper. Cable is available here, but pricey and monopolized, and only coax, as this town does not have fiber optics. Satellite is available, but for best reception you are supposed to point the dish antenna southwest, which is the nearest of many mountains. U-verse television isn't available here yet, presumably due to the lack of fiber optic cable. So with no money and no patience for outdated technology and cable greedheads, broadcast TV it is.

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    Member Firth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom unbound View Post
    My little Toshiba has a signal level indicator buried in the pic menu. It's pretty slow at readout, making rotating/searching a PIA.

    Yes, that's true about the antenna BS. my question is ... would I be better off with a bigger antenna or a signal amplifier ??
    Amplifier for sure. An antenna located on a mast above your house would be great. A bigger antenna doesn't help, but a yaggi with dipoles of different lengths would help. That's what the old antennas were. For UHF or RFs used by most HD channels the smaller yaggi is better.
    [They] agreed that it was neither possible nor necessary to educate people who never questioned anything.

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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    It's 3LockBox's fault - he started it!

    So it's been a while. Does anyone use one of those HD antennas that has a flat thingy you attach to a window? I ordered one recently but it hasn't arrived yet. If you use one, was it easy to get a good signal or did you have to try several locations? We're close to NYC so should get some strong signals. We have cable, but I'm thinking of cutting that cord. Right now though we have a Roku TV in the bedroom but no cable box there - I really just want to be able to watch a couple of major network shows that we can't get via Sling.

  19. #19
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    I bought one a couple years ago. For me it's as good as basic cable. Between all the PBS channels, H&I, MeTV, Comet, etc. I'm good.

  20. #20
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    I bought one, took the dish down, and strapped it to the pole that held the dish and used the existing coax. After lining it up to receive the most stations, I’m getting over 20 non-compressed HD channels. This and an Internet connection are all you need. I am in a rural area with mountains obscuring the line-of-sight, but it works superbly!

  21. #21
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    It's 3LockBox's fault - he started it!
    and I feel stupid about it actually

    As has already been mentioned in this thread, it's a line of sight thing; the more height, the more better. There's no magic HD antenna design.

    When I first posted this thread, it never occurred to me that, although the signal was digital instead of analog, the carrier frequency was still FM, so any antenna would work.

  22. #22
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    I'm disappointed because USPS is delivering this for Amazon for some reason, and the package is delayed for an unspecified reason. I can't wait to try the thing out and see what results I get.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    I'm disappointed because USPS is delivering this for Amazon for some reason, and the package is delayed for an unspecified reason..
    Government shutdown, perhaps?
    The White Zone is for loading and unloading only. If you got to load or unload go to the White Zone.

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    I dropped cable recently and bought one of those flat antennas Jed mentioned. I was disappointed with the results but that is because I live in ocean Isle beach, 35 miles from Wilmington, nearest source of signals. I bought a rooftop antenna and reception is much better. Still have interference during heavy rain, but hell, I had that with the dish as well.

  25. #25
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    I'm disappointed because USPS is delivering this for Amazon for some reason, and the package is delayed for an unspecified reason. I can't wait to try the thing out and see what results I get.
    The trick to digital TV reception is your proximity to a station's transponder. Being that you are near a major metropolitan area there should be transponders all over the place. The picture quality with a digital signal can be outstanding

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