I need a good indoor OTA antenna. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 03-17-2011, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't know if this Is the right place to put this, if not point me in the right direction.

I recently cut my cord and now use my Htpc with 2000+ movies and tv series, Netflix,hulu zinc, and boxee. I needed to save money and I found that's all we pretty much used anyway. I don't regret it at all. But the old lady wants a couple network shows and its easier than downloading.

I would like to try an ota indoor antenna and see what kind of channels I get. I know nothing about them and I want to know if a cheap is as good as an expensive one, if there is a certain brand or type of antenna I should pick. The whole point for me is to save money, but I also want the best reception I can get. What are my options?

I live in apartment by the way.

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post #2 of 13 Old 03-17-2011, 09:42 AM
 
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For starters, how close are you to a city with OTA stations? If you are in the middle of nowhere, you can pretty much forget indoor antennas.

Go here http://tvfool.com/ for more info.
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post #3 of 13 Old 03-17-2011, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvernon View Post

For starters, how close are you to a city with OTA stations? If you are in the middle of nowhere, you can pretty much forget indoor antennas.

Go here http://tvfool.com/ for more info.

I get about 20 stations in my city of aprox.80,00 digital and analog. I live about 80 miles north a major city and about 60 miles south of another major city.

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post #4 of 13 Old 03-17-2011, 07:09 PM
 
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If you get that many local OTA signals, you should be ok. You can forget picking up those 60 to 80 mile away signals with an indoor antenna though.

http://www.antennasdirect.com/ is a vendor of good antennas.

Winegard has been the antenna business for decades: http://www.winegard.com/offair/index.php

http://antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx is another good source of info for your specific location.

This is my personal favorite (http://www.winegard.com/kbase/upload/2452064.pdf) and works well in my area (Dallas suburb) for both frequency ranges. It feels kinda cheap and clunky, but it does work.

One thing to verify is if all your actual RF channels are UHF or a mixture of UHF and VHF. Many (most ?) antennas sold are for UHF only. I bought one by mistake and could never receive channel 8 in Dallas despite being close to their tower. All the other local analog VHF stations moved to digital UHF and come in clear.

Good luck.
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post #5 of 13 Old 03-18-2011, 01:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvernon View Post

If you get that many local OTA signals, you should be ok. You can forget picking up those 60 to 80 mile away signals with an indoor antenna though.

http://www.antennasdirect.com/ is a vendor of good antennas.

Winegard has been the antenna business for decades: http://www.winegard.com/offair/index.php

http://antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx is another good source of info for your specific location.

This is my personal favorite (http://www.winegard.com/kbase/upload/2452064.pdf) and works well in my area (Dallas suburb) for both frequency ranges. It feels kinda cheap and clunky, but it does work.

One thing to verify is if all your actual RF channels are UHF or a mixture of UHF and VHF. Many (most ?) antennas sold are for UHF only. I bought one by mistake and could never receive channel 8 in Dallas despite being close to their tower. All the other local analog VHF stations moved to digital UHF and come in clear.

Good luck.

I live next to the Canadian border and receive all of their channels. Their still using analog and won't be switching to digital for about 6 months. I've heard after that we won't be able to get them anymore because digital signals don't travel as far. I would like to pick them up until then though, does that mean i will need both uhf/vhf? Or somthing else?

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post #6 of 13 Old 03-18-2011, 01:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvernon View Post

If you get that many local OTA signals, you should be ok. You can forget picking up those 60 to 80 mile away signals with an indoor antenna though.

http://www.antennasdirect.com/ is a vendor of good antennas.

Winegard has been the antenna business for decades: http://www.winegard.com/offair/index.php

http://antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx is another good source of info for your specific location.

This is my personal favorite (http://www.winegard.com/kbase/upload/2452064.pdf) and works well in my area (Dallas suburb) for both frequency ranges. It feels kinda cheap and clunky, but it does work.

One thing to verify is if all your actual RF channels are UHF or a mixture of UHF and VHF. Many (most ?) antennas sold are for UHF only. I bought one by mistake and could never receive channel 8 in Dallas despite being close to their tower. All the other local analog VHF stations moved to digital UHF and come in clear.

Good luck.

I also have one of those Motorola coaxial signal boosters, would that help with signal/reception any?

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post #7 of 13 Old 03-18-2011, 07:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeydrunk View Post

I live next to the Canadian border and receive all of their channels. Their still using analog and won't be switching to digital for about 6 months. I've heard after that we won't be able to get them anymore because digital signals don't travel as far. I would like to pick them up until then though, does that mean i will need both uhf/vhf? Or somthing else?

Again, you need to find out what their digital RF channels will be to know for sure. For example, here in Dallas VHF analog RF channel 4 moved to UHF digital RF 35, channel 5 moved to UHF 41, and so on. I have no idea what Canadian stations will do. Hopefully they will supply that info well ahead of time to their viewers.
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-18-2011, 07:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeydrunk View Post

I also have one of those Motorola coaxial signal boosters, would that help with signal/reception any?

Not sure exactly what that is, but I would suggest getting an amplified antenna unless you are next door to their towers. You should be able to get a decent signal maybe 20 miles away on a continual basis. If you are on the ground floor of the apartment building or facing the opposite direction or there are mountains around, well that might be a different story.
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post #9 of 13 Old 03-18-2011, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvernon View Post


Again, you need to find out what their digital RF channels will be to know for sure. For example, here in Dallas VHF analog RF channel 4 moved to UHF digital RF 35, channel 5 moved to UHF 41, and so on. I have no idea what Canadian stations will do. Hopefully they will supply that info well ahead of time to their viewers.

Thankyou for all theater great info I appreciate it. I think you might have misunderstood me about the Canadian thing, j wasn't asking for you to tell me what they were going to be doing, I was just explaining that they have analog channels and I wasn't sure if I needed anything different because if that. Also here is my info if it would help:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...8d17e333ac492c

So I'm thinking I will need a directional uhf/vhf. Is there any size or specs of the antenna or design that I should look for? What about the new smart antennas, do you know anything about those?

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post #10 of 13 Old 03-18-2011, 07:06 PM
 
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Sorry for misunderstanding.

Doesn't matter if the signal is analog or digital to the antenna, it will pick either format up. What matters is the frequency - VHF or UHF.

An indoor antenna works best by a window and the higher the better. Are you on the second story or higher? If you are facing the tower you should be able to receive the stations close to you. Most likely you will never see those 45 mile away stations though.

Yep, you definitely need a directional VHF/UHF antenna, don't waste money on omnidirectional ones.

A ground floor apartment dwelling buddy of mine lives about half my distance to the Dallas area antenna farm and gets decent reception even though his apartment windows face north and the towers are to his south. The signals are strong enough for him due to his proximity to the towers.

Also, note my experience is with the flat terrain in north Texas. When I think of WA and western Canada mountains come to my mind.

Really have zero knowledge with smart antennas. When I found something that worked (the Winegard) I stopped there.

Good luck.
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post #11 of 13 Old 03-19-2011, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeydrunk View Post

Thankyou for all theater great info I appreciate it. I think you might have misunderstood me about the Canadian thing, j wasn't asking for you to tell me what they were going to be doing, I was just explaining that they have analog channels and I wasn't sure if I needed anything different because if that. Also here is my info if it would help:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...8d17e333ac492c

So I'm thinking I will need a directional uhf/vhf. Is there any size or specs of the antenna or design that I should look for? What about the new smart antennas, do you know anything about those?

Joey,

Also type in your address here: www.antennaweb.org and see what type of antenna(UHF/VHF) you are going to need.

Another good thing to do is to go to your local OTA forum here at AVS and find out what people right near you are using to receive OTA channels. It will give you good idea about what you are going to need

Here is your thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ght=seattle+wa

I took a guess that you were near Seattle since you said you can receive some Canadian stations(Vancouver?). But if I am wrong try to find your local thread. And don't be afraid to tell people where you are located. Don't be paranoid. No one is coming to get you
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post #12 of 13 Old 03-19-2011, 02:07 PM
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I use a $9 set of rabbit ears. I get all my local channels perfectly. Even in bad weather. I finally placed them in the attic just because they are kind of ugly to look at.

But before spending lots of $$ on something you may not need, try the bunny ears.
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post #13 of 13 Old 03-22-2011, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Thankyou everybody for all your help. It will definitely assist me a bit in making an educated purchase.

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