HDTV Antenna that doesn't use Coax cable to connect? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 05-21-2007, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I was wondering if there is such a model of antenna that connects to the tv via component, HDMI, VGA, basically something other than coax. I ask because I have an Olevia 437V LCD with built-in tuner but can't receive any OTA HD broadcasts as of now. Auto channel search for "air" turns doesn't find anything, so I figure I need an antenna. Circuit City guy told me it would receive OTA HD broadcasts out of the box due to the built-in ATSC/NTSC tuner, but apparently not.

Anyway, I'm in a weird situation because I live on a college campus and my only option for cable is the university-provided cable service for things like espn, discovery, etc. However, they don't have HD service and don't plan on offering it anytime soon. So my one coax input on the 437V is already occupied and I want to hook up an antenna to another input to receive OTA HD broadcast of ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, etc shows. Are such antennas even produced because I can't find one after searching various stores and the forums. What's my best option here?
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post #2 of 21 Old 05-21-2007, 11:16 PM
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Your best option is to get a VCR that tunes NTSC has component out, then connect the campus cable to the VCR to get those channels (via the VCR's tuner) and connect a UHF antenna to the coax connector of the TV so it can receive the HD TV signals.

A concrete and steel building will probably have huge multipath issues, so you might not be able to get anything anyway.
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post #3 of 21 Old 05-21-2007, 11:51 PM
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Nope, you need a tuner since an antenna merely collects the RF signals at lots of different frequencies to a coax cable. A tuner is separate and "tunes" the desired specific frequency and decodes it, either an analog tuner for analog channels, digital tuner for digital/HD channels and then outputs to composite, component, or HDMI. An antenna alone doesn't "tune" anything. Many newer HDTVs have a built-in tuner though so an antenna can connect thru a coax cable directly to such a set.

If your TV has a built-in tuner, you need an antenna and a location that can pickup RF signals well. Like thru a window from a decent height and with no major obstructions (buildings, etc) in the direction of the local broadcast towers. There are websites where you can enter your address/zipcode and it will locate the local TV station broadcast locations and the direction and distance to them. The type and size of antenna required depends on the distance to the broadcast towers, the elevation, and the power output from the station.
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post #4 of 21 Old 05-22-2007, 02:47 AM
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Since your TV has a built in tuner all you need is antenna. If you are close to the broadcast towers an indoor antenna is all you need. The Silver Sensor is highly recommended by many and is available for $19.

Rick R
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post #5 of 21 Old 05-22-2007, 06:57 AM
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Before we can make specific antenna recommendations, we need your zip code. We need to look up your local digital stations, roughly how far you are from the broadcast towers, and find out whether they are broadcasting on low VHF or upper VHF along with presumably some UHF stations. If you are in a dorm building and are many miles from the broadcast towers or on the wrong side of the building from the towers, you may be out of luck. Apartment buildings often have central antenna systems on the roof, but colleges are generally not going to bother with those for a dorm building.
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post #6 of 21 Old 05-22-2007, 07:00 AM
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Looking at your post carefully, and reading up on the TV set, it appears that you have a set with only a single "antenna" input, but you have two sources you need.....the campus "cable" system for most channels, and a possible OTA antenna for local OTA Digital.

Sets with a single RF input usually require you to set the RF mode to either CATV (Cable TV channelization) or OTA (Over the air channelization). They are different schemes, and don't work with mixed signals. Sets with two independent RF inputs will usually allow you to set one to OTA and the other to CATV, sometimes even including the QAM-mode tuner that is needed for Digital Cable.

Your best shot is to buy a cheap analog VCR, set to "CATV" mode, for the Campus Cable, and plug it in to one of the video inputs on the set.
Then, use an antenna to feed the set's RF input, with the TV set set up on "OTA" mode.

BTW, does the University understand that they only have 637 days before the local stations' analog signals go away? Perhaps you could direct them to these forums, and to the FCC, DTVAnswers, and MSTV websites.

Ken English, Sr. Engineer, KSL-TV.
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post #7 of 21 Old 05-22-2007, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

BTW, does the University understand that they only have 637 days before the local stations' analog signals go away? .

The campus apparently has a CableTV feed... so it really doesn't "directly" affect them and is a non-issue IMO. That's a cableco issue only IF they receive their local feeds via OTA, which I highly doubt (and sure they are aware), and ... the cableco can continue to convert to analog for as long as they like.
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post #8 of 21 Old 05-22-2007, 09:16 AM
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You can get a switch for a few bucks.

Any of the "AB" models here will do what you want:

http://www.showmecables.com/showProd...ategory_id=395
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post #9 of 21 Old 05-22-2007, 09:39 AM
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A/B switches can "swap" signals between coax feeds, but the issue may be that on many TV's (especially digital tuners), you have to re-scan when changing from "cable" to "antenna". Tedious and time consuming. An inexpensive VCR would be the better option for the analog (NTSC) tuning and dedicate the RF coax feed for the antenna (ATSC).
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post #10 of 21 Old 05-22-2007, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

A/B switches can "swap" signals between coax feeds, but the issue may be that on many TV's (especially digital tuners), you have to re-scan when changing from "cable" to "antenna". Tedious and time consuming. An inexpensive VCR would be the better option for the analog (NTSC) tuning and dedicate the RF coax feed for the antenna (ATSC).

All I have SEEN only require a scan on each; one list is kept in the set for each mode, even with one RF jack.

That doesn't mean that all do, my experience is limited to 4 models.
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post #11 of 21 Old 05-22-2007, 11:07 AM
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Super... I've SEEN the other results. So, hopefully the OP finds an optimal solution that works best for him/her.
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post #12 of 21 Old 05-22-2007, 12:02 PM
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I've suggested that the NTIA (of the "subsidized converter box" fame) ask some of the manufacturers to build a second version of the STB, that would only tune CATV channels....a sort-of "companion" unit to the ATSC 8VSB boxes.

So many (especially smaller) sets are designed for the "either (OTA)/or (CATV)" customers. I guess the manufacturers and designers figure you'll have an antenna or Cable, but not both. Many would like to use Cable for their primary channels, and still have antenna for the niche OTA channels and subchannels.

Ken English, Sr. Engineer, KSL-TV.
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post #13 of 21 Old 05-22-2007, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you very much for all the helpful replies! My situation is as kenglish described, I want two RF inputs but only have space for 1 on my Olevia 437V. From setting up the TV previously, I think that when using an AB switch I would have to switch from "cable" to "air" or vice versa and re-scan all the channels every time I want to switch between the two. The Olevia isn't very smart about most things with its menu interface and I don't believe it will juggle air and cable channels at the same time.

I'll probably hunt for a VCR to run the cable through and connect to another input (I guess composite will be fine since I'm only getting 480i from the university cable anyway). Then I'll try the Zenith Silver Sensor hooked up to the RF input on my Olevia 437V. For whoever asked, my zip code is 27705 (I go to Duke University). I'm ~32 mi away from the HD broadcast towers here (the closest signals all come off the same tower in the Research Triangle Park). I'm not optimistic that the silver sensor will do very well, but to me it's worth the $20 to try it out and see.
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post #14 of 21 Old 05-23-2007, 04:34 PM
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nfg05 - THe OTA transmitters (most of them) are out by Clayton - east south east of Raleigh southern edge. You'll do better on the OTA if your window faces that direction.

As for the VCR - a DVD recorder with an NTSC tuner should also work - something like this should be available at Walmart.

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

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post #15 of 21 Old 05-23-2007, 05:29 PM
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I punched in a Raliegh zip code into antennaweb and it listed nine UHF stations, but no VHF. If nfg05 doesn't need any cable channels above about channel 64, and if he isn;t using his cable for high speed internet, then he can put a Channel Plus channel 64 lowpass filter on his cable line, a $3 UVSJ on his antenna line, and combine them with a simple splitter.

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post #16 of 21 Old 05-23-2007, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post

I punched in a Raliegh zip code into antennaweb and it listed nine UHF stations, buut no VHF. If nfg05 doesn;t need any cable channels above about channel 64, and if he isn;t using his cable for high speed internet, then he can put a Channel Plus channel 64 lowpass filter on his cable line, a $3 UVSJ on his antenna line, and combine them with a simple splitter.

Both of those apply to me (I don't use cable channels above 64 and I don't use cable for high speed internet), but I'm unsure about what this lowpass filter or UVSJ is supposed to do for me. Will this combo allow me to pick up HD feeds of local stations (fox,abc,nbc, etc)? What does each piece of equipment do?
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post #17 of 21 Old 07-25-2013, 12:42 PM
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Do HDTV's still include a coax connection? I just checked a couple of Sony models online (BRAVIA KDL32EX340 and KDL-40R450A) and no mention was made of one. TIA
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post #18 of 21 Old 07-25-2013, 01:36 PM
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By definition, if it's called HDTV, then it has an ATSC OTA Tuner...with a Coax input....otherwise it's a MONITOR.

You should go to the source (Sony Support) and download Operating Instructions:
http://esupport.sony.com/US/p/select-system.pl?DIRECTOR=DOCS
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post #19 of 21 Old 07-25-2013, 03:30 PM
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Definitions aside... if you're not intending to use an antenna for TV reception, a coax (RF) input is not something to be concerned about for an HDTV. Most all TV's have an RF input for an antenna.

What generated your concern?
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post #20 of 21 Old 07-25-2013, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polydorus View Post

BRAVIA KDL32EX340

I just looked at the Sony store page for this model. Under the "Specifications" tab, the "Inputs and Outputs" section lists "RF Connection Input(s) : 1 (Rear)". This is the coaxial input for either an antenna for OTA broadcasts, or for connection to a cable TV line without using a cable box, in which case you get whatever unscrambled analog channels and "clear QAM" digital channels the cable company provides.
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post #21 of 21 Old 07-31-2013, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polydorus View Post

Do HDTV's still include a coax connection? I just checked a couple of Sony models online (BRAVIA KDL32EX340 and KDL-40R450A) and no mention was made of one. TIA

The second one definitely has one:

http://www.digitaltrends.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/sony-bravia-kdl_40r450a-tv-rear-ports-macro.jpg

My older HDTV had two RF inputs, one for cable, one for an antenna. My new one combines them like the Sony.

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