Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Johnson City, TN / Jonesborough, TN
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I just thought I would drop a quick note to let you guys know that there are others out there monitoring this thread, and appreciating its existence. I also wanted to share one of my learnings w/ you.
Standard disclaimer applies that each site is different, and the guy right next door to you may not be able to duplicate your results.
I live in north Johnson City on top of a small hill. I live in a subdivision that has restrictive covenants against outdoor antennas, though they do allow 18" satellite dishes. (Yes, I am aware of the FCC regs and laws that say property owners cannot be prevented from errecting antennas of property they own or control; I don't want to create an issue w/ HOA unless its a last resort.)
My goal in this was to be able to get HDTV signals from all stations w/o having rotator b/c I eventually want to get HD Tivo.
I purchased the Panasonic PT-50LCX63 (fantastic cousin of the PT-50LC13) which included the internal HD tuner. I was convinced that I would need a very good amplified indoor antenna if I was going to be able to receive HD indoors. I know that indoor was a long shot, but thought I would try before heading outside and into confrontation w/ HOA and neighbors.
I did lots of research and purchased the RadioShack 15-1880 amplified table-top antenna. I was encouraged that I was able to receive 5-1, 5-2, 11-1, and 11-2 without much effort; 19-1 was reachable w/ a lot of fine tuning which caused me to loose 5-1; was once able to tune 15-x PBS channels out of Marion, VA, but I think this was w/ tropo aid; could NEVER pickup Fox out of Greenville, TN w/ the RS 15-1880.
Went back to the research mode to try and find a better solution. Figured that I would need two different antennas to be able to pickup Fox w/ one, and ABC/NBC/CBS with the other (140 degrees opposite coordinates).
Decided to buy the DB-4 from antennas direct since it has a wide angle of reception. I plugged the DB-4 up indoors just to see what I would get. I got an immediate boost in 5-1, 5-2, 11-1, & 11-2 and got 19-1 w/o much trouble (all of these are in the same vector). I decided to rotate 140 degrees and see if I could pickup Fox for the 1st time. I was able to get Fox, but lost all the others.
This lead me to decide I needed 2 seperate antennas & a way to join them. For kicks, I decided to see if the simplest antenna ($1.99 rabit ears w/ UHF bow tie) could pickup Fox out of Greenville.
To my surprise, I was able to pickup Fox w/ the bow tie.
To my utter and complete dismay, I was able to spend 10 minutes positioning the bow tie to pickup Fox/ABC/NBC/CBS all at the same time w/o reorienting the bow-tie antenna!
The only stations that I don't get currently are the 52-x channels out of Marion, VA (used to be 15-x). I could probably get these by repositioning the bow-tie, but I don't want to loose the others. I may splurge and get a second bow-tie to dedicate to 52-x channels.
Lesson learned & shared, don't assume you need the $50-100 or more antenna solution, before you try the cheap simple one.
HD Tivo, I'm coming to get you!