Mountain View, CA: Advice on HDTV Antenna - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-29-2012, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys, I'm really new here so please excuse the simplistic questions. I'm trying to get an antenna to receive HDTV signals at my new home. From the attached image from TV Fool, it looks like I should have pretty good reception.

Currently I have this antenna from monoprice. But with it I can only pick up a few stray channels and none of the major ones. I live on the first floor in a suburban area, so there are buildings around.

Basically my questions are these:
1. Is it the monoprice antenna's fault (anyone know this antenna in particular)? Or is it a problem of the direction/height that I'm placing the antenna (I tried a few different angles).
2. Should I get a new antenna? If so, which one? I've read about the Terk HDTVa, which seems pretty popular. Any comments here?

Thanks a lot.
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-30-2012, 02:49 PM
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Those flat indoor antenna usually do not give good results. Not to mention you are 30 miles away from the towers which might be pushing any indoor antenna to the limit.

Your towers are to the NW of you, so as a test, try pointing the antenna out of a NW facing window, as high as you can go. If it still does not yield good results, you probably need a more conventional antenna like the Antennacraft HBU-22 from Radio Shack, and put it outside or if you have an attic you can try in there.
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-30-2012, 09:03 PM
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-30-2012, 10:51 PM
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If you're in Mountain View, CA then I suggest taking your question to the SF OTA group. There's lots of help there that is specific to your area. However, I would consider an outdoor, rooftop antenna if possible. I have OTA and live about 50 miles south of the Sutro Tower and get perfect reception, but I also have excellent LOS and an antenna about 30' from ground.
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-30-2012, 11:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions. Since I'm renting right now, can't really install an outdoor antenna. Hopefully I can still have some luck with the right indoor antenna.
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-01-2012, 12:44 PM
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The problem with most indoor antennas is they end up small. Higher broadcast frequencies can be picked up with smaller antennas. Lower broadcast frequencies require larger antennas for reception.

You ned to know if you are trying to get any stations that broadcast in the VHF frequencies.
Any antenna that can receive VHF will be about three feet wide.

What some people do is use small outdoor antennas indoors, The RCA ANT751 is about 2 feet long, 3 feet wide but only 2 inches high. Mont it at the ceilng or just push it under something. In my den upstairs I have an Antennas Direct 2 Bay Antenna that I modified to add VHF reception.

My personal experince with Terk was less than impressive but that was 1998 before the 199 changeover and a lot stations were not at full power then.
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-01-2012, 07:36 PM
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The Terk HDTVi and HDTVa are good indoor antennas; the other Terk models not so good. And DB2, 4220, and Clearstream 1 or 2 can be good indoors, but they are mainly UHF so you may need to add rabbit ears for VHF. And sometimes a dist amp can help stabilize a signal, but other times it may overload. Just trial and error. The only flat panels that tend to get good reviews are the Mohu Leaf and the Walltenna.
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-02-2012, 05:36 AM
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One of the better indoor antennas, if you can handle its size, would be the ClearStream 2V with indoor mount base and 20" mount. Just don't poke yourself in the eye on the VHF rods. It will run circles around the Leaf and the Wall-tenna on both UHF and VHF at the cost of being substantially larger. The Terk ZSS clones are pretty good on UHF but are only average on VHF.
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