Good indoor antenna for new HDTV - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-29-2007, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Guys,

I recently purchased a new HDTV and was looking for some advice on getting a good indoor antenna. I don't want to sign a new 2-year contract with DTV and hence was looking for alternatives. My TV has a built-in tuner and I live in zip code 20850. Below is a readout that I got from the antenna website. Sorry it is not in a clear format. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.

D

DTV Antenna
Type Call Sign Channel Network City State Live
Date Compass
Orientation Miles
From Frequency
Assignment
* yellow - uhf WRC-DT 4.1 NBC WASHINGTON DC 166° 10.5 48
* yellow - uhf WUSA-DT 9.1 CBS WASHINGTON DC 164° 9.9 34
* yellow - uhf WTTG-DT 5.1 FOX WASHINGTON DC 164° 9.5 36
* yellow - uhf WHUT-DT 33 PBS WASHINGTON DC TBD 164° 9.9 33
* yellow - uhf WJLA-DT 7.1 ABC WASHINGTON DC 164° 9.9 39
* yellow - uhf WDCW-DT 50.1 CW WASHINGTON DC 149° 10.8 51
* yellow - uhf WNUV-DT 54.1 CW BALTIMORE MD 67° 32.6 40
* green - uhf WBFF-DT 45.1 FOX BALTIMORE MD 67° 32.6 46
* green - uhf WMPT-DT 22.1 PBS ANNAPOLIS MD 109° 30.0 42
* green - uhf WDCA-DT 20.1 MNT WASHINGTON DC 164° 9.9 35
* red - uhf WETA-DT 26.1 PBS WASHINGTON DC 183° 13.0 27
* red - uhf WFDC-DT 14.1 TFA ARLINGTON VA 166° 10.5 15
* red - uhf WPXW-DT 66.1 ION MANASSAS VA 215° 22.1 43
* red - uhf WNVC-DT 57.1 IND FAIRFAX VA 204° 14.5 57
* red - uhf WFPT-DT 62.1 PBS FREDERICK MD 337° 14.9 28
* red - uhf WMAR-DT 2.1 ABC BALTIMORE MD 67° 32.5 52
* red - uhf WJZ-DT 13.1 CBS BALTIMORE MD 67° 32.5 38
* red - uhf WBAL-DT 11.1 NBC BALTIMORE MD 67° 32.5 59
* blue - uhf WNVT-DT 30.1 IND GOLDVEIN VA 216° 3

Samsung LN-T4665FX/XAA (SX06 panel)
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T-TULPAUS0-1037, Oct 30 2007
T-TULPAUS5-1011 CS[49AE] [46(AMV)-inch]
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-29-2007, 11:20 AM
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You might be able to get most of your near stations (the ones 10 miles away from you) with a Silver Sensor, although any cheap rabbit ear setup might work as well.
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-29-2007, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot for your reply. I am a real newbie here so please bear with me. Does the antenna have an HDMI output that I connect to the HDMI input of the HDTV? Also, getting the stations that are further apart is not possible with an indoor antenna? Who makes the silver sensor and where can I purchase it? Thanks.

D

Samsung LN-T4665FX/XAA (SX06 panel)
November build (PB)
T-TULPAUS0-1037, Oct 30 2007
T-TULPAUS5-1011 CS[49AE] [46(AMV)-inch]
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-29-2007, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by direfan View Post

Thanks a lot for your reply. I am a real newbie here so please bear with me. Does the antenna have an HDMI output that I connect to the HDMI input of the HDTV? Also, getting the stations that are further apart is not possible with an indoor antenna? Who makes the silver sensor and where can I purchase it? Thanks.

No, the antenna has a RF co-axial cable connection to the antenna input of the TV. HDMI is a digital connection from a cable box, DVD player (or HD-DVD/Blu-Ray), tuner STB, receiver to the TV. Two very different things. You need to hook the antenna up to the TV and do a digital channel scan.

All of the DC and Baltimore digital stations are currently on UHF. This will change in February, 2009 after the analog shutdown as WJLA-DT 7, WUSA-DT 9, WBAL-DT 11, WJZ-DT 13 will move their digital channels from UHF to their upper VHF analog channels. But if you are not concerned about 2009, the Silver Sensor UHF antenna is a good choice. It can be hard to find one locally as the Best Buys and Circuit Cities push these overpriced antennas with built-in amps. The Silver Sensor design is sold by several companies - Zenith, Philips, Terk - and here is what ones looks like: http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/silver.html. You can get it on-line easily enough. If you only want the DC digital stations, a basic tabletop UHF loop and VHF rabbit ear antenna may do. Radio Shack and the other stores stock them. Start with the cheaper models.

If you want help with the DC and Baltimore stations, check the active Washington DC / Baltimore thread in the locals forum at http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=793124.
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post #5 of 12 Old 12-03-2007, 09:22 PM
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The Terk HDTVa should work great for you

Best Buy sells it retail for $69.99, but you can find it online for around $35

We have a lot of excellent digital OTA programming in the baltimore-washington area, you'll enjoy it
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post #6 of 12 Old 12-04-2007, 08:28 AM
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Indoor antenna are usually good for about 10 miles, the amplified ones good for a few miles more. The Terk version of it is amplied the reason I like the Terk is that it also has VHF (those are the ones you "extend").

It depends on your situation how it will work. If you're up on a hill and can face it towards the broadcast antenna you'd be surprised how far away you can get stations with an indoor antenna. Placing it in front of a window without a metal screen will give you a boost compared to placing it behind a metal screen or drywall. Other than that, I recommend a rooftop antenna which will increases your signal strength by an order of magnitudes, a good one may get you stations over 80 miles away.

I got the Terk amplified indoor antenna and was happy with how it looked and its performance. However, I found that since I live on the fringe my signals are very directional. I have to have it face one way for Channel 7, face it another for Channel 4, another for Channel 9, I got so sick of having to spin it around I purchased a rooftop antenna with a rotator.
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post #7 of 12 Old 12-05-2007, 03:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedmont View Post

I got the Terk amplified indoor antenna and was happy with how it looked and its performance. However, I found that since I live on the fringe my signals are very directional. I have to have it face one way for Channel 7, face it another for Channel 4, another for Channel 9, I got so sick of having to spin it around I purchased a rooftop antenna with a rotator.

Didn't you give the Radio Shack 15-1892 a shot first?
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post #8 of 12 Old 12-05-2007, 10:25 AM
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Different indoor antennas serve different purpose. This is how you should step up if the particular option doesn't work for you. Start with the cheapest.
1) Rabbit ear - Should work if the broadcast tower within 10-15 miles (just an estimate, YMMV) and signal strength is good. Also rabbit ears are good for VHF and not that good for UHF. Rabbit ears are also directional, but within this close range it can recieve signals from any direction.
2) Philips/Zenith/Terk HDTVi Silver Sensor - Directional UHF antenna without amplification. Philips/Zenith are well known and have good reviews. I don't have experience with HDTVi. HDTVi also has the VHF dipole, so this can recieve both UHF and VHF. This works good if tower is within 10-20 miles.
3) Terk HDTVa Silver Sensor- Directional UHF/VHF amplified antenna. I have this and I am pretty satisfied with it. I can vouch for it.
4) Bow tie antenna made using coat hanger (if you are into DIY). This is directional and UHF. You can have this with or without amplification.
5) Channel master/DB2 outdoor antenna setup - These are proven and tested setup but outdoor only.

Since all your network stations are in different directions, try the radioshack antenna as suggested by rammitinski which has a remote controlled rotor built in with memory settings.
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...entPage=search
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post #9 of 12 Old 12-06-2007, 05:13 AM
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A great set of basic rabbit ears are from Radio Shack: the 15-1868, available for $25. Nice fine-tuning knob, and the VHF dipoles are very nice. I personally use one.
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post #10 of 12 Old 12-14-2007, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kousikb View Post

5) Channel master/DB2 outdoor antenna setup - These are proven and tested setup but outdoor only.



Not outdoor only. I have a DB2 in my attic and it works fine.
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post #11 of 12 Old 12-16-2007, 12:01 AM
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that antenna site is correct but not always right. It claimed I needed some monster 8 foot antenna to get OTA. I went and picked up that Zenith (the star trek looking one) for $30 at sears. It picked up every single HDTV OTA channel with signal levels in the 90's (according to my old Hughes HTL-HD receiver).

My advice -- go pick one up, the zenith seems to be the best of the bunch and give it a test. If it works out great, if not return it.

-d
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post #12 of 12 Old 12-16-2007, 03:09 PM
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Forget Terk!

SILVER SENSOR may very well be what you need.
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