What about TV antennas?

Discussion in 'Home Theater & Video' started by eljr, Jan 20, 2018.

  1. the skipper

    the skipper Amateur Curmudgeon Subscriber

    I have no idea what those colored marks mean. you've gotten some very good advice and recommendations already. You might want to review this thread. Also, you might want to spend some time reading that link that Who posted in post # 8
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
    eljr likes this.


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  2. W9TR

    W9TR Well-Known Member

    The Neutral Zone
    to the OP:

    With digital TV, you need to take a structured approach to antenna selection.
    While Antennaweb.org will get you started, use TVfool.com. It will show you the stations you may be able to receive from your location and their relative direction.
    It also will tell you what type of antenna you may need: indoor, attic mount, rooftop, etc.
    If you have a clear line of sight to the stations you want to receive, you may be able to get away with an indoor antenna.
    You will need to determine if there are large obstacles (buildings) between you and the stations you want to receive.
    If there are, even if the signal strength is fine, you may need a directional antenna.

    Advice about what works for people is not very valuable due to the large number of variables in every situation.

    Good luck

    I LIKE MUSIC and eljr like this.
  3. Tim64

    Tim64 Super Member

    Southern Oregon
    Being on the third floor I think a indoor ant would work fine for you. I would just check the reviews on Amazon. Some of the indoor ones have a amplifier built in to boost the signal as do the outdoor ones. My out door one does not and works fine even with about 35 feet of coax leading into the house.
  4. eljr

    eljr Koyaanisqatsi


    but that is where this question came from!

  5. petehall347

    petehall347 the brandy coffee man Subscriber

    uk.. the middle bit
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  6. GSS61

    GSS61 Super Member

    http://www.tvfool.com/ is the right place to start in order to find out where the broadcast TV transmission towers are located relative to your specific location and what type and size of antenna you will need.

    The reason some stations may require a larger, longer range antenna than others to receive them is that some TV stations have higher power transmitters than others.

    There is no such thing as a "digital" TV antenna. That is a marketing term being used to let buyers know that the antenna will pick up today's digital broadcast TV signals.

    Most TV stations these days broadcast in the UHF bandwidth, but there still some that transmit on VHF. In other words, an old fashioned UHF-VHF antenna like what your grandfather used will work just fine.

    Depending on your location, a cheap indoor VHF rabbit ears/UHF loop combo antenna may work. If none of the stations in your area broadcast on VHF, then you only need a UHF antenna.
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  7. JoeESP9

    JoeESP9 ESL's & tubes since 83

    Philadelphia PA
    I have an old Channel Master indoor antenna that I use in my second floor bedroom. 60+ stations show up when I do an auto channel scan. I'm roughly 12 miles from the local TV antenna farm. I live in Northwest Philadelphia.
    eljr likes this.
  8. HPuser9557

    HPuser9557 Active Member

    Lawton, OK.
    Or, grab a universal mount, a block of wood, and a pair of small Yagis, connect them to a coupler, and then point the two arrays in different directions, for a bit of a nicer indoor antenna than a set of rabbit ears. If possible, for an added insurance policy, get a coupler that can combine three antennas, and add an omnidirectional unit to the pair of Yagis.

    Eg combining two of these.... https://www.channelmaster.com/STEALTHtenna_Digital_HDTV_Outdoor_TV_Antenna_p/cm-3010hd.htm
    .....with one of these in a single array. https://www.channelmaster.com/Digital_HDTV_Outdoor_TV_Antenna_p/cm-4220hd.htm

    This is the pole that would be attached to the base, and that the pair of Yagis and the multidirectional array would be attached to. https://www.channelmaster.com/Universal_Antenna_Mount_p/cm-3090.htm

    Finally, something like this would be used to combine the three units into one array. https://www.amazon.com/CHANNEL-VISI...1&refRID=7TH71JJCX9CEA1S4WFSG#customerReviews
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
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  9. stevo137

    stevo137 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Even better I’m sure!
    Multi directional, yep!
  10. HPuser9557

    HPuser9557 Active Member

    Lawton, OK.
    I guess you could consider my idea in a way a mutation of a rabbit-ear array. The 50mi Yagis would take the place of the dipoles, and the 40mi multidirectional would take the place of the loop, theoretical combined range would be 140mi from a rather large and crazy indoor antenna array. Also, the signal from that could be split to an FM tuner.

    Adding a signal preamp before going to the splitter to the TV tuner box/card and the FM tuner would boost reception a bit as well. Although I could swap that multidirectional unit out with a SMARTenna to make the array a tad more compact, as all three units in that case would be in a horizontal orientation, the Yagis pointing in whatever direction seen fit while the Smartenna just hangs there not being moved due to its omnidirectional nature.

    *possible side income maybe if that idea works?

    Line-of-sight x2 + one 180-degree unit in its original form, definitely, actually, I pretty much made an omnidirectional array with that, as IIRC the Yagis have to be within 90-degrees of the tower they're pointed to, x2, that's a 180-degree area right there, with the single METROtenna covering the rest.

    Although a slightly more simplified version, with still a 100mi combined theoretical range at 180-degrees combined, would just be to leave it at the Yagi pair and a 2-way coupler, ran through a signal amp before going to a 2-way splitter to a TV tuner and an FM tuner.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  11. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

    west Texas
    Hey they are still using the same broad cast UHF channels from days of old. So yes the antennas have been refined a bit. But if your old antennae has a UHF provision then you don't need a new antennae. However if your antennae is VHF only , standard broadcast channels, then a new one will be required. Thats one reason the effective working distance is shorter now days and antennae pointing is more critical.


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  12. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier Subscriber

    MI, US
    I currently use two RCA antennas picked up from Amazon a few years back. Most of the local stations are to my west, but the Canadian stations are to the south, so I have the antennas pointed in those directions. We have one nearby station to the north, but it has a really dumpy picture quality. We never watch it. As long as I can get CBC from Windsor, and NBC, I'm all set for Olympics coverage. ;)

    Just a bit of temporary caution--TVFool isn't a reliable resource currently, as they retrieve their data from a third party, and the data they receive lately has been incomplete. This happened with a November update on their site. In my local market, a few of the major channels are now missing from TVFool, yet they are very clearly still on the air and broadcasting. (We're talking major network affiliates here.) I'm not alone--many others are missing in other major broadcast markets. Information here: http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=16376 . Hoping it's rectified shortly, as it is very helpful here in aligning antennas. (I still have an old TVFool printout from a few years ago that I reference.)

    EDIT: Looks like they've gotten ahold of a better database now and most of the issues are resolved, yet a couple of forum users still report minor issues. Our locals seem to mostly be there, but still one or two missing...
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018

    I LIKE MUSIC Super Member

    Basic antenna theory tells us that it does not work this way, the distances do not add. When adding the gain of 2 different antennas, the increase in gain will be less than 3 dB greater than the antenna with the most gain, if they have similar RF patterns and the correct spacing.

  14. IsNull

    IsNull New Member

    Helena, AL
    Upvote for tvfool.com, that's where my "journey" started. By the way, I hate it when people say "journey" :D

    If it weren't for all of the mountains (hills, really, but who's wants to argue about such things) in the Birmingham area, I would have line of site and less than 15 miles to most of the transmitters I receive. But, the mountains are there, and there are other less predictable geographic features that affect reception as well. I have a friend just a mile away, and he can get all available channels with a $10 set top antenna. I had to install seperate larger VHF and UHF antennas in the attic to pull in the same channels, and that's what tvfool.com predicted. One other difference, I'm feeding signal to the whole house, two TVs and an HDHomeRun for recording.

    I chose products from ClearStream:


    They are certainly more epensive, but they don't seem to generate as much animosity as a traditional yagi if you mount them outside. I knew there was a chance that I would need to roof mount them to get the channels I wanted, and these would would be far less likely to trigger a standoff with the home owners association.

    Best of luck. Once you get your reception squared away, it's time to build a DVR!
  15. HPuser9557

    HPuser9557 Active Member

    Lawton, OK.
    Some of the smaller yagis like I mentioned, which are also small enough to be used indoors, are able to be discreetly mounted, actually, in comparison to the larger ones.

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