AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: North Western PA
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Indoor Antenna Question: Regarding Amplifiers
I have a question about amplifiers on indoor antenna's, but I will give some background to my setup.
I am using an indoor RCA amplified antenna(Model#ANT200B. VHF/UHF FM) which can be found at CC, Walmart, or Target. Or it's improved brother or cousin(Phillips) which I will get to in a minute. The ANTENNA has an amplification of up to +25dbs. It is connected to a Recoton 4-way splitter(which I got on an open box at BB for $5, even though only two of the outputs are used) which, when plugged in has an amplification of +10dbs. The outputs are connected to a Yamaha HTR-5590 for FM, and a Sylvania SRZ3000 HD STB(nice, cheap entry to people interested to HD).
I have four digital stations that I receive between 15-30 mile radius, and one(CBS/KDKA out of Pittsburgh) which is 50 miles away(PGH is South of me), but I believe is the only one operating at full power(1000 kws or greater, whatever FULL power is, it is operating at it.) The four digital stations come in, on average, between 75-95. It fluctuates greatly sometimes when going from of the four to the next, but that is because I am just too lazy to adjust the antenna for optimum level on whatever channel I am on(I found somewhat of a "sweet spot" but not perfect). KDKA/CBS out of Pittsburgh is consistently in the 80-85 range, although I am 50 miles away. I've watched during the day, night, good weather(clear), and bad weather(cloudy, thunderstorms, rain, etc....) but the antenna level is almost always between 80-85. The dipoles on the antenna are always extended to their full extent. Although the dipoles are used for VHF/FM, they GREATLY help in the reception of the UHF channels for some reason, so I leave them up. All channels mentioned are UHF, and are MAPPED UHF. All this and I live in a Wooded area, surrounded by trees with full leaves(some 30ft or higher). There now you know my topography and my connection situation(and at this point, my life story! )
Today I saw that both RCA and Phillips have new amplified antenna's that now each have an adjustable gain for both VHF/FM and UHF. They are seperate from each other. There gains are as follows:
1. RCA: Up to 45dbs gain on VHF/FM. Up to 35dbs gain on UHF.
2. Phillips: Up to 45dbs gain on VHF/FM. Up to 30dbs gain on UHF.
My question is would picking up either one of these actually HELP my overall INDOOR reception. Would my average antenna rating(75-85) be GREATLY/ or SOMEWHAT increased with the higher amplified gain on both of these antennas?(an average of +40 between the two, as compared to the +25dbs I am getting now). Does there come a point in AMPLIFYING that you could have a amplification of +100dbs on your antenna, but +40dbs will get you the same results you are getting now.
Will the average +20dbs amplification on both antenna's give me better results?(instead of an average 75-85 range, the average could be significantly higher. 85-100 range). Or should I just keep my money.
An analogy to this(it is stupid so bear with me) is sunblock. 30 SPF or above will keep you well protected. The ones that are 35 or above, aren't going to keep you anymore protected then the SPF 30. Kind of an overkill.
Is the antenna amplification the same deal?
Thanx for your help in advance