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post #1 of 50 Old 01-10-2011, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
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which HDTV antennas are rated best for both indoor and outdoor use?
i have the option of placing a roof top antenna, will the picture quality be better from a roof top antenna vs. an indoor antenna? also if i were to go with the roof top antenna is there a maximum distance that i can go with the cable before deterioration starts? additionally for indoor models is an antenna required for each tv?

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post #2 of 50 Old 01-10-2011, 10:14 PM
 
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A) No such thing as a HDTV antenna.

B) No difference in quality of picture. You either get a picture or you won't.

C) rooftop antennas will mostly likely need a pre-amp.

what kind of antenna you need is going to be based on where you live.

Go here and post a link to the results. Your exact address provides the most accurate information. It is NOT shown in the results.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
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post #3 of 50 Old 01-10-2011, 10:40 PM
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Outdoor antennas can be used indoors, provided one has the space. However, most indoor antennas can't be used outdoors, because they're not designed to be. TVFool can have some great information for finding the antenna that will work best for you. Don't worry if the info doesn't show up in your post as a link. We can copy and paste the info.

The best antenna is always one that works.
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post #4 of 50 Old 01-11-2011, 04:52 AM
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Adding to BCF68's list , perhaps at the top...

*) There is no such thing as the "Best of.." since there is no single device that works the best in every situation.
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post #5 of 50 Old 01-11-2011, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

C) rooftop antennas will mostly likely need a pre-amp.

It depends. If you close to the towers, probably don't need one. Unless you are driving multiple tuners.
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post #6 of 50 Old 01-11-2011, 12:11 PM
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Since OTA ATSC digital tuners suffer badly if there is any mulitpath interference of the incoming signal the Outdoor antenna manufactures make some very directional models which they market as HDTV antennas.
Also digital tuners unlike analog tuners will not process an incoming signal it it is either too week or if it is too strong, so an antenna can be too good for many locations that are resonable cost their local towers lets day 20-30 miles.
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post #7 of 50 Old 01-11-2011, 12:23 PM
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As said above, run a TV Fool report. With a TV Fool report, we can talk you thru the purchasing decisions.

Most people find indoor antennas to be less than great. For instance, brick exteriors block an awful lot of the broadcast signal.

FYI, anyone selling an 'HDTV' antenna is feeding you a lot of marketing hype. As long as an antenna works in both the UHF and VHF frequency ranges, then that antenna will work with new digital/ATSC broadcasts. Although there are some exceptions, almost all of the channels that you want will be in the range of channels 7 thru 51. When you get your TV Fool report, you need to pay particular attention to broadcasts on channels 7 thru 13 that you would hope to get, that will affect some purchasing decisions.
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post #8 of 50 Old 01-11-2011, 12:27 PM
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General antenna advice, in no particular order:

Bigger is better.
Outside is better.
Directional is better.
Higher is usually better, but placement is critical and even moving it slightly can make a big difference sometimes.

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post #9 of 50 Old 01-11-2011, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

C) rooftop antennas will mostly likely need a pre-amp.

Not true.
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post #10 of 50 Old 01-11-2011, 02:03 PM
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Would it be fair to say the best antenna would be one of those "single" channel antennas made by Blonder Tongue?
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post #11 of 50 Old 01-11-2011, 02:36 PM
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Sometimes, the "best" antenna can be from Radio Shack.
The realistic answer is... is depends. All situations are different.
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post #12 of 50 Old 01-11-2011, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim58hsv View Post

Would it be fair to say the best antenna would be one of those "single" channel antennas made by Blonder Tongue?

If you only wanted one channel, sure.

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post #13 of 50 Old 01-11-2011, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
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If you only wanted one channel, sure.

That's what I'm thinking, and in most cases you'd need more than one...and a really big bank account too to put 'em all to use.
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post #14 of 50 Old 01-11-2011, 04:27 PM
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Attached is an ad for a FinCo 400A, this monster was 8'x7' and had about a 16db gain, I read a post on another board from a guy who made a clone of it and he says it has the best VHF reception he has ever seen and it will do 150 miles with ease, too bad they are no longer around, as they would really be good for DTV reception.
LL
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post #15 of 50 Old 01-11-2011, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Sometimes, the "best" antenna can be from Radio Shack.
The realistic answer is... is depends. All situations are different.

My setup is a RS VU90 with a CM7777 preamp and RG6 into the DISH DVR722 OTA (better than the OTA tuner in my DTV!)...I can almost get a RF7 which is 60+ miles away (need to tweak the antenna...and maybe change a jumper).. Closest RF tower is 4 miles north (LD)...closest high power is 15-20m away...get all of them with no problem.

As said earlier, YMMV (Your mileage may vary I always recommend an outside antenna (federal law allows it no matter what your HOA or deed restrictions say)..how far are the transmitter towers from your location? You can use TVfool to see where they are in your area..you may or may NOT need a preamp....if you DO use one, DONT go with Radio Shack...use quality Channel Master or Wineguard..you'll be happy you did. Antenna depends on how much you want to spend and how much room/etc you have..You CAN over do it on the antenna as well...(though the RS VU90 or CM3016 are average...but they include elements for lowband, TV 2-6, which is basically not used in most areas...again, your own situation will vary)

???s Ask away...thats what this forum is for..... just be prepared for a lot of opinions!
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post #16 of 50 Old 01-11-2011, 04:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Not true.

Ok let him go through the effort of putting up an antenna without one then end up needing on and have to mess with it again. I'm a big believer in getting it right the FIRST time. Call me silly. Oh by the way I didn't say 100%. If you have the thing 30 feet up, then have the coax running all through the house hooked to multiple TVs( because as we know the average household has nearly 3 TVs ) then I'm pretty sure many people would need one.
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post #17 of 50 Old 01-11-2011, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

Ok let him go through the effort of putting up an antenna without one then end up needing on and have to mess with it again. I'm a big believer in getting it right the FIRST time. Call me silly. Oh by the way I didn't say 100%. If you have the thing 30 feet up, then have the coax running all through the house hooked to multiple TVs( because as we know the average household has nearly 3 TVs ) then I'm pretty sure many people would need one.

Hm-m-m... silly.
I have a CM4228 with a plain ole rabbit ears mounted in my attic at ~ 40' with 80' of RG6 coax. No pre-amp necessary.

When not necessary, a pre-amp can create problems. So, one cannot make a blanket statement that a rooftop (or any) antenna needs a pre-amp.
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post #18 of 50 Old 01-11-2011, 08:35 PM
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There is sometimes such a thing as "picture quality" with digital. Signal strength near the cliff can produce a picture that frequently pixellates and audio that stutters. It is not always "perfect reception" or "no reception". There can indeed be "bad reception".

How can we say "the digital transition is complete" when thousands of low power stations are still broadcasting in analog?
LOW POWER ANALOG NEEDS TO DIE NOW!!!
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post #19 of 50 Old 01-11-2011, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Hawk View Post

There is sometimes such a thing as "picture quality" with digital. Signal strength near the cliff can produce a picture that frequently pixellates and audio that stutters. It is not always "perfect reception" or "no reception". There can indeed be "bad reception".

Audio quality is much worse with digital signals. In analog days, there was no such thing as audio dropouts here. The picture may have looked like crap, but the audio was always there. This was true for channels that can't be received at all today here, either audio or video.
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post #20 of 50 Old 01-11-2011, 11:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Hm-m-m... silly.
I have a CM4228 with a plain ole rabbit ears mounted in my attic at ~ 40' with 80' of RG6 coax. No pre-amp necessary.

When not necessary, a pre-amp can create problems. So, one cannot make a blanket statement that a rooftop (or any) antenna needs a pre-amp.

You live in NJ. How far can you possibly be from the towers? Go look at a map of the US and how many are like you? And I as I said did I say all? Nope. Now enough.
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post #21 of 50 Old 01-12-2011, 05:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

And I as I said did I say all? Nope. Now enough.

Quote:


C) rooftop antennas will mostly likely need a pre-amp.

True, you did not say "all", but IMO, "mostly likely" is almost all.

Oh... I'm about 20 miles from the antenna farm, with the antenna aimed through large maple and sycamore trees.

As soon as the OP provides TVFool results, appropriate recommendations can be offered.
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post #22 of 50 Old 09-14-2011, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
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time to follow up on and revisit my original post, i got involved in other things.

went to tv fool as advised and got the following information, (see link below)
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...14f37b2ec4e6e4
as many of you had advised this information would be needed in order for antenna recommendations to be made. i have no problem installing a rooftop should that be the scenario which would give the best results. the tip of the roof would be about 20' high. i was considering running the cable through the roof vent-down the wall-to the basement where it would be split to supply 2 or 3 televisions on the first floor. all of my sets are older and i will be using an external converter.

given the particulars any help on choosing the best antenna / routing plan would be much appreciated. thanks for all of your good info.
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post #23 of 50 Old 09-15-2011, 03:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by av409 View Post

time to follow up on and revisit my original post, i got involved in other things.

went to tv fool as advised and got the following information, (see link below)
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...14f37b2ec4e6e4
as many of you had advised this information would be needed in order for antenna recommendations to be made. i have no problem installing a rooftop should that be the scenario which would give the best results. the tip of the roof would be about 20' high. i was considering running the cable through the roof vent-down the wall-to the basement where it would be split to supply 2 or 3 televisions on the first floor. all of my sets are older and i will be using an external converter.

given the particulars any help on choosing the best antenna / routing plan would be much appreciated. thanks for all of your good info.

You should have no problems with a basic VHF/UHF combo antenna on your roof. You probably will not need an amp. Use RG6 cable and point your antenna to the Empire State Bldg. (point it the right way, skinny end should point to the ESB)
You can probably get a good antenna at Radio Shack, Lowes or HD. You don't need anything big.
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post #24 of 50 Old 09-15-2011, 06:58 AM
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This antenna should work well, per your TVFool. It is relatively small, as outdoor antennas go.
http://www.amazon.com/RCA-ANT751R-Ou...B5C/ref=sr_1_1
Audiovox sells it under the "RCA" brand. It is manufactured by Winegard in the US and is a very sturdy and well made antenna. It comes with a J-mounting bracket.

Run RG6 coax cable to your basement and split to your TVs there. If, and only if, you have low signal after splitting and long cable runs, add this distribution amp in the basement in place of the splitter. Do not add an amp unless signals are low enough that they are causing drop outs, blocking or freezing.
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post #25 of 50 Old 10-24-2011, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks
i think i will try the "RCA ANT751R Outdoor Antenna" as axraw recommended. i will be putting it on the roof an running RG6 through the ridge vent and than down to the basement where it will be split. i have a few questions?

1) would there be any benefit to-or would it be advisable to use "quad shield"

2) is there any special outdoor type cable i should use for the section exposed on the open roof before it goes into the attic?

thanks
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post #26 of 50 Old 10-24-2011, 03:38 PM
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1) No. It wouldn't hurt, but it's not necessary.

2) No, as long as the cable is rated for outdoors, it should be fine.

Just make certain water can't follow the cable and into your attic space.....
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post #27 of 50 Old 10-24-2011, 03:57 PM
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That ANT751 may indeed work fine, but another good choice may be the Antennacraft HBU22 sold at Radioshack. Would probably offer a bit more gain if necessary.
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post #28 of 50 Old 10-25-2011, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post

Just make certain water can't follow the cable and into your attic space.....

Expanding ... always have a "drip loop" outside where water on the cable drips off before going into the enclosed structure.

I date back to significant twin-lead use, some of which was hollow. The outdoor end was "never" water PROOF and the hollow cavity would be wet. We slit that (and opened a small portion with razor blade) at the bottom of the drip loop. Water would occasionally wick down the conductors, and slitting them was an occasional thing.

Later with coaxial cable, it was not unusual for water to get in the cable. Our commercial installations terminated 2 cables in an enclosure that became the drip loop. All I ever worked with were "UHF", BNC, and N connectors, but our pro guys used bigger stuff.
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post #29 of 50 Old 10-25-2011, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deltaguy View Post

Audio quality is much worse with digital signals. In analog days, there was no such thing as audio dropouts here. The picture may have looked like crap, but the audio was always there. This was true for channels that can't be received at all today here, either audio or video.

Really? Audio quality is much worse with digital? I have a single, 26 year old Winegard, UHF-VHF antenna on my roof about 30' from ground level. HDTV reception is practially flawless and audio, which is discrete 5.1 when broadcast, is clear and clean. And I get everything that comes off of the two main towers here at about 50 miles.
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post #30 of 50 Old 10-25-2011, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

Really? Audio quality is much worse with digital? I have a single, 26 year old Winegard, UHF-VHF antenna on my roof about 30' from ground level. HDTV reception is practially flawless and audio, which is discrete 5.1 when broadcast, is clear and clean. And I get everything that comes off of the two main towers here at about 50 miles.

Tree scatter never compromised audio during analog days. It does now.
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