Amplified vs Non-Amplified Antennas - AVS Forum
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
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From reading this forum and other websites, I think I have a general idea of what Amplified Antennas and Non-Amplified Antennas can be used for.

Regular Antennas (Non-Amplified)
  • Good for Suburbs & Cities
  • Receive stations within 10 miles
  • Ideal for a majority of houses


Amplified Antennas
  • Coaxial Splitter
  • Cables 25+ feet long
  • Stations 30+ Miles Away
  • Ideal for Rural areas

Does anyone want to add to these lists? Is there anything else to be aware of when shopping for antennas and in the differences and how they function and what they should be used for?
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:09 AM
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Yes. It's best to look at http://www.tvfool.com/ to see what kind you need. You can anonymously post your results here and the folks in this forum will help guide your antenna choice.
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:48 AM
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The type and size antenna needed and whether amplifed or not is based on the channels being used in your area and how strong the signals from the towers are at your location. Also, how much coax will be connected to the antenna and how many splits. In the case of your other thread you started, an amplified antenna would not be needed for the channels of interest in the TVFool report you posted; and the signal could likely be split without need of an amp.

Amps introduce noise and often pick up and amplify electrical interference, and should only be used as a last resort.
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I bought a Terk HDTVa, because I was going to use a cable splitter with it. I want to run a cable from the basement TV to the Terk on the first floor. I imagine the cable will need to be 50+ feet, so the signal loss could be fairly great.

Seems from what you are saying arxaw, it would be overkill to use this amplified antenna even with the long cable run and splitter?
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:10 AM
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Not overkill, but amp/tuner overload from such strong signals present, according to the TVFool report you posted in your other thread. On a TV signal meter, the result may actually show up as a lower or fluctuating signal strength/quality reading, than it might without the amp.


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Old 01-22-2012, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamsAutoAdvice View Post

From reading this forum and other websites, I think I have a general idea of what Amplified Antennas and Non-Amplified Antennas can be used for.

Regular Antennas (Non-Amplified)
  • Good for Suburbs & Cities
  • Receive stations within 10 miles
  • Ideal for a majority of houses


Amplified Antennas
  • Coaxial Splitter
  • Cables 25+ feet long
  • Stations 30+ Miles Away
  • Ideal for Rural areas

Does anyone want to add to these lists? Is there anything else to be aware of when shopping for antennas and in the differences and how they function and what they should be used for?

I would add, if you know for sure that you are receiving a strong signal, is to use a distribution amp at the end of of a long cable run to make up for the cable losses if you plan to split the signal to multiple TVs. No danger of amplifier overload since you are amplifying a weaken signal.
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by retiredengineer View Post

No danger of amplifier overload since you are amplifying a weaken signal.

So you think my Amplified Terk Antenna would be ideal?
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:38 PM
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Is this your TVFool? If so, you do not need an amplified antenna for your major networks in green at the top of the list.
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamsAutoAdvice View Post

So you think my Amplified Terk Antenna would be ideal?

I think he means you would have no danger of overload if you were using a distribution amp at the end of a long coax run.

Amplified antennas and some pre-amps are very likely to overload ("cross-modulate") when fed by strong signals, even if those signals are out of the normal TV bands. Many times, a professional pre-amp will have to have built-in or external bandpass filters, or have a "notch" filter or two added, in order to not have overload problems. Then, and only then, can the preamp be used to drive a really long line, say, going down from the roof of a big hotel or hospital, to a downstairs head-end/processor.

There's no place in an "amplified antenna" to put any outboard filters.

Ken English, Sr. Engineer, KSL-TV.
"The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent the Company positions, strategies or opinions."
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Old 01-22-2012, 04:01 PM
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As kenglish stated, an amplified antenna is not appropriate for your strong signals location because of potential overload. However if the HDTVa works well for you then you should consider using the HDTVi instead, which is the non-amplified version.
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I have an HDTVi which has been a great Antenna! That is why I got the HDTVa.

That is not my TVfool report.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:18 AM
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It was in another thread you started, along with questions. I assumed it was the location in question. Sorry.

What is yours?
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is my TVfool signal analysis. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by AdamsAutoAdvice View Post

Here is my TVfool signal analysis. Thanks for the advice.

Since your less than two mile from the stations, I think your can make due with the HDTVi antenna even with a 50ft cable & splitter (unless your trying to get channels beyond WUTB 24).

Since you said you've already got both a HDTVi & HDTVa antenna, why not just rig up a test setup to see how well it would work?

ANTENNA --> SPLITTER --> 50FT COAX --> BASEMENT
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:58 AM
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I'm less than 2 miles from Madison's two TV towers, and still benefit from an amplifier. What you say? While I'm 2 miles away horizontally, the antennas are more than 1/4 mile above my head. Even with negative beam tilt, I'm still off-axis from their narrow vertical gain lobe. What's worse, FM radio stations mounted lower on the same towers, and atop much lower towers all close to my neighborhood puts a LOT of FM radio band energy into my passive omni. I put an FM trap before the amp, and switch on the built-in FM trap in the amp. Between the filters and using all 4 outputs, turning the gain all the way up seems to give the best results. I see the same signal levels no matter how I set the gain, but the BER is less with more gain. Go figure.

I'd rather use my own antenna amplifier rather than buy an amplified antenna. With the latter there's no guarantee that the amp circuit is any good, and not much to do if it sucks. Some you can't even turn off!

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Old 01-25-2012, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamsAutoAdvice View Post

So you think my Amplified Terk Antenna would be ideal?

You probably don't need an amplified antenna for the Baltimore channels, but it may help if you want DC.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:39 AM
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AdamsAutoAdvice,
For the channels in green on your TVFool, you do not need an amp'd antenna.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
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For the most part the HDTVa and HDTVi seem to be similar on in terms of reception and quality on the 1st floor. However, on the 2nd floor the HDTVa seems to perform slightly worse, picking up less channels.
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Seems both Terks work better when facing one side of the house.
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:18 AM
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My Terk TV 5 works great on my channels that are 8 miles away. I leave the antenna plugged in but I have the antenna turned off.

Broadcast TV - a vital national public resource
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi Master View Post

My Terk TV 5 works great on my channels that are 8 miles away. I leave the antenna plugged in but I have the antenna turned off.

You mean you have the amplification turned off when using your Terk?
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:29 PM
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Sony KDL52V5100 currently using a philips
http://www.amazon.com/Philips-SDV862...9110090&sr=1-5

We tried hooking the antenna directly to our set and it wouldn't "scan" for new channels. Says it has a built in tuner but for some reason it doesn't scan new channels using this amplified antenna. For now had to use a converter box which allows it to have tv but as you know it looks like regular poor tv quality. Every time we try to connect directly antenna to tv it doesn't seem to work. Getting about 14 channels with this setup but looking for more.

House is on a side of a hill so ground level estimate of 25ft with mounted outdoor antenna on a 8ft pole over the roof line. We are in the boonies lol.

Looking for an antenna upgrade.


"I should really see what dB levels I'm pushing. Long as it can't foam my beer during a movie we are ok "
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Old 02-13-2012, 05:16 AM
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Quote:


Says it has a built in tuner but for some reason it doesn't scan new channels using this amplified antenna.

Use the "Channels and Inputs" menu to run the scan. Your model of Sony set has a "built-in" owner instruction manual. Refer to it for specifics.
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:00 AM
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Yeah with it hooked directly can run the "auto program" all we want it never finds anything. Scans through all several minutes later and nada every time. Put the converter box inline is the only way to get picture. I somehow think its the antenna needing the power injector inline it's not "seeing" an antenna when connected directly.

Frustrating but we don't watch much tv so been living with it as is. First few months viewing since 04 actually. Figured when it's on would like to at least see it in HD.

Back to antenna's looking at a channel master 3020. If need be also the inline amp 7777. Any input? I wan't to revamp and upgrade this.
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_6593020...ster-3020.html

"I should really see what dB levels I'm pushing. Long as it can't foam my beer during a movie we are ok "
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:43 PM
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You have to tell the TV whether to look for ANTENNA or CABLE channels.
At least that's how my Sony is setup.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamsAutoAdvice View Post

Here is my TVfool signal analysis..

Height: 5 feet? Is this a set top antenna in the cabin of your boat on the Chesapeake Bay or somethng?

I just ran your TVfool for the approximate coordinates of 39.34 and -76.62 and miraculously, the Washington, DC channel strengths improved by typically nearly 50dB and became 1 edge, except for channel 50, which became LOS.

Try increasing your mast height a little with yor exact coordinates and see how much Washington, DC might improve.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:36 PM
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Autox320. Make sure the set is in TV or antenna input or source mode instead of any other input or source mode before you select "menu", as sometimes the menu won't let you scan if you entered it in a non-RF input or source mode.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post

Height: 5 feet? Is this a set top antenna in the cabin of your boat on the Chesapeake Bay or somethng?

It is placed in a rather high window sill.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post

Autox320. Make sure the set is in TV or antenna input or source mode instead of any other input or source mode before youu select "menu", as sometimes the menu won't let you scan if you entered it in a non-RF input or source mode.

Thanks Mike I'll have the lady check it out next time she wants to watch tv.

"I should really see what dB levels I'm pushing. Long as it can't foam my beer during a movie we are ok "
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arxaw View Post

You have to tell the TV whether to look for ANTENNA or CABLE channels.
At least that's how my Sony is setup.

I'll have her check that also, thanks.

"I should really see what dB levels I'm pushing. Long as it can't foam my beer during a movie we are ok "
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