Good Antenna at Best Buy? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 05-09-2011, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Can anyone recommend a good Antenna from Best Buy? I have some gift certificates I would like to use there. The antennas I have currently work fine for most of the basic channels, but I would really like to get PBS. It sometimes comes in, but other times the reception quality is poor. I would appreciate any help or advice.
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post #2 of 37 Old 05-09-2011, 01:00 PM
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Most of the antennas at Best Buy are overpriced junk so I wouldn't buy them there. Use your gift cards towards Bluray, TV, speakers, computers, anything else. But the Clearstream antennas they sell are good for UHF, but again are overpriced there. And for 11 and 13, you will probably need rabbit ears for VHF. A good combo antenna on roof or attic would work better, and you may also be able to receive DC channels. Look at Antennacraft HBU33 or Winegard 7696. Or a separate YA 7-13 for HiVHF and CM4221 for UHF into a CM 7778 or 7777 preamp. But if you want an indoor antenna, look at Terk HDTVa.
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post #3 of 37 Old 05-09-2011, 02:17 PM
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Like music? Want something other than commercial, terrestrial radio crap or over-priced, terrible sounding satellite radio? Got better than dial-up for internet?

BB has the Logitech Squeezebox tabletop radio on sale this week.

Might as well use them there on something that you'll get a lot more for your money with. Their antenna prices are obscenely ridiculous.

Amazon's got some really good prices on antennas and related equipment (including the HDTVa).
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post #4 of 37 Old 05-09-2011, 03:07 PM
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If you want advice on antennas that might work for your situation and are reasonably priced:

1. Go to http://www.tvfool.com/ .

2. Click "See Which TV Stations You Can Get on a Map", then "Start MAPS".

3. Enter your address, or your exact latitude and longitude if you know them, and click the "Map this" button. You'll get a map showing your supposed location, and a list of stations.

4. If necessary, adjust your location by dragging the marker around on the map. If you switch to satellite view, you can probably see your house.

5. Underneath the map, enter the height of your antenna (current or planned).

6. Above the map, click the "Make Radar Plot" button. You'll get a table of detailed information about the signal levels at your location. You'll also get a Web address that links to that page. Paste the address here so people can advise you intelligently. (Note that the table does not display your exact location.)
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post #5 of 37 Old 05-09-2011, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post

If you want an indoor antenna, look at Terk HDTVa.

Actually I was considering the Terk. I've read quite a lot of reviews and people really seem to like it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Amazon's got some really good prices on antennas and related equipment (including the HDTVa).

Funny you say that, because I was checking Amazon out. I agree BB has waaaay overpriced Antennas.
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post #6 of 37 Old 05-09-2011, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is my TV Signal Analysis. Appreciate the help!
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post #7 of 37 Old 05-09-2011, 05:19 PM
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Dont get those flat panel antenna. I think they built those for looks.

Get thos that look like fish bone and the two antenna. That is what I would get if I dont have free basic cable.

Believe it or not, those $12 Radio Shack works fine for most people.
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post #8 of 37 Old 05-09-2011, 05:34 PM
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Are you looking for an indoor or outdoor antenna?
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post #9 of 37 Old 05-09-2011, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chong67 View Post

Get thos that look like fish bone and the two antenna.

nice way to describe the Terk HDTVa, hadn't heard it described that way but makes sense
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post #10 of 37 Old 05-09-2011, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamsAutoAdvice View Post

Here is my TV Signal Analysis. Appreciate the help!

Those nearby VHFs are super strong, so a UHF antenna should work fine. If you must get one from Best Buy, make it a Clearstream 2 and point it southeast. That should get you all of those 1.8 milers, the PBS to the south, and several of those from the southeast.
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post #11 of 37 Old 05-10-2011, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Rules View Post

Are you looking for an indoor or outdoor antenna?

I'd prefer getting an Indoor Antenna. Would the Terk be a good option for my location?

However, I've been considering maybe putting up the money for a good Outdoor Antenna. It seems to be it would be worth the time and effort to mount a good Antenna on the roof.
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post #12 of 37 Old 05-10-2011, 05:37 PM
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At 1.8 miles from the towers, any amplified antenna will almost certainly overload. Have you tried sticking a paperclip in the connector?
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post #13 of 37 Old 05-10-2011, 06:06 PM
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I mentioned the HDTVa but it looks like that one is amplified, I was thinking of a similar antenna but non amplified. That one sells for <$30 and IMO a amp on a indoor antenna is a bad idea. Amps(whether pre or distribution) are basically to cancel line or splitter loss, neither of which you'll have with a indoor antenna and 6 feet of cable. Look for a similar antenna w/o the amp, for whatever reason I can't seem to find it at amazon
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post #14 of 37 Old 05-10-2011, 06:16 PM
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The $4 bowtie at RS is as good as the stealth fighter design antennas for uhf, but it's much better at vhf. It could be all that you need. No rabbit ears are necessary.
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post #15 of 37 Old 05-10-2011, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamsAutoAdvice View Post

I've been considering maybe putting up the money for a good Outdoor Antenna. It seems to be it would be worth the time and effort to mount a good Antenna on the roof.

PBS may be hard to get with an indoor antenna. If it were me, I would get an HBU-22 & point it around 315° to get the PBS station north of Baltimore. I'm afraid the stronger PBS to the south will be tough to get because of the searing strength of adjacent channel WUTB-24. Both PBS stations are Maryland Public Broadcasting affiliates & have identical programming.
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post #16 of 37 Old 05-10-2011, 10:52 PM
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I think you're reading the chart backwards. It shows WMPT as being 16dB stronger than the adjacent WUTB. That is most likely due to the 5' antenna height entered and not a sign of what actual reception would be like, particularly with a couple extra feet of antenna height.
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post #17 of 37 Old 05-11-2011, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

I mentioned the HDTVa but it looks like that one is amplified, I was thinking of a similar antenna but non amplified. That one sells for <$30 and IMO a amp on a indoor antenna is a bad idea. Amps(whether pre or distribution) are basically to cancel line or splitter loss, neither of which you'll have with a indoor antenna and 6 feet of cable. Look for a similar antenna w/o the amp, for whatever reason I can't seem to find it at amazon

Try the HDTVi which is the non-amplified version.
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post #18 of 37 Old 05-11-2011, 04:44 AM - Thread Starter
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You mean this Terk HDTVi? I think this is unamplified model with the "fishbone design." The picture shows a Phillips flat panel one though, which is a little odd!
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post #19 of 37 Old 05-11-2011, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteaz View Post

I think you're reading the chart backwards. It shows WMPT as being 16dB stronger than the adjacent WUTB. That is most likely due to the 5' antenna height entered and not a sign of what actual reception would be like, particularly with a couple extra feet of antenna height.

Yes, but WMPT is 90° off axis & may be too wide a compromise for aiming a real antenna. The OP may have to try both scenarios to see which one works best.

An indoor antenna may work, but will likely require frequent adjustment.
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post #20 of 37 Old 05-11-2011, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamsAutoAdvice View Post

You mean this Terk HDTVi? I think this is unamplified model with the "fishbone design." The picture shows a Phillips flat panel one though, which is a little odd!

Here it is: You had to look quite a few pages into it before it came up.

http://www.amazon.com/Indoor-Passive...40388&sr=1-131

Price is a little higher now than I remember it in the past, though, at least through them.
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post #21 of 37 Old 05-11-2011, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamsAutoAdvice View Post
You mean this Terk HDTVi? I think this is unamplified model with the "fishbone design." The picture shows a Phillips flat panel one though, which is a little odd!
Yes that's the one I was thinking about, I seem to remember it well under $30 though Odd about the picture , the HDTVi is definitely not a flat antenna, it's basically the HDTVa without the built in amp. I just couldn't find it searching Amazon yesterday.
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post #22 of 37 Old 05-11-2011, 05:05 PM
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I use a Signal Booster with my current TV Antenna. Do you think that is helping or hurting my signal strength? It's always seemed to help. Would I need it with the Terk HDTVi?
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post #23 of 37 Old 05-11-2011, 05:32 PM
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As mentioned before the main purpose of a amplifier is to boost the signal before line losses. For something like a tabletop antenna line losses are very little so a amplifier may cause more problems than good. I used to use a amplifer with analog TV but when I switched to digital I actually got fewer(actually no) dropouts by removing the amp, whereas I did have a few problems with it in line. Of course YMMV
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post #24 of 37 Old 05-11-2011, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Any other recommendations for a good Antenna, besides the Terk? That seems to be the best option.
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post #25 of 37 Old 05-11-2011, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamsAutoAdvice View Post

Any other recommendations for a good Antenna, besides the Terk? That seems to be the best option.

I still think the bowtie is a better option to start with. As has been mentioned, aiming may be required for some channels indoors. This is far easier, and available in more places, than aiming the awkward Terk. Good Luck.
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post #26 of 37 Old 05-12-2011, 01:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamsAutoAdvice View Post

Any other recommendations for a good Antenna, besides the Terk? That seems to be the best option.

I use the Terk TV 5 indoor antenna. Where I live my stations are 8 miles away except for my PBS station which is 30 miles away. My Terk TV 5 picks up all the stations perfectly with no antenna adjusting. I get 10 full bars of strength on the stations 8 miles away and 7 bars of strength on my PBS station from 30 miles away. I plug the antenna in but I leave the amplifier turned off. Terk makes great antennas and either Terk will do the job. An outdoor antenna is overkill for your area.

http://www.amazon.com/Terk-Low-Profi...5189133&sr=1-1

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post #27 of 37 Old 05-12-2011, 01:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chong67 View Post

Dont get those flat panel antenna. I think they built those for looks.

Get thos that look like fish bone and the two antenna. That is what I would get if I dont have free basic cable.

Believe it or not, those $12 Radio Shack works fine for most people.

Do you get HD with your basic cable. If not hook up an antenna and get free HD OTA. You also might get some subchannels that aren't on your basic cable.

Broadcast TV - a vital national public resource
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post #28 of 37 Old 05-12-2011, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi Master View Post

An outdoor antenna is overkill for your area.

Not neccesarily. Multipath is generally at it's worst as you get closer to the transmitters. An outdoor antenna is much more effective at battling the wild signal reflections inherent in these areas.

The OP will just have to try an indoor antenna & see what happens.
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post #29 of 37 Old 05-12-2011, 06:17 AM
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Don't believe this one is available at Best Buy (yet) but it definitely is worth a look.

http://digitenna.com/
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post #30 of 37 Old 05-12-2011, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamsAutoAdvice View Post

The picture shows a Phillips flat panel one though, which is a little odd!

The picture in the link seems wrong to me too.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ERK-_-82145018
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