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EV's Recommended & Top Rated DTV Indoor UHF/VHF Set Top Antenna Review Round-Up Guide - Page 50

post #1471 of 3314
Well the Cornet F-645A arrived, and I had even worse results
with VHF channel 7 than the Radio Shack UFO. I found the Cornet
flaky. Some of the DTV UHF channels would not even come in
unless the amp/power was turned on, making me think the power
switch actually closes the circuit for the UHF antenna.

Out of curiousity, I tested it out on some analog VHF and UHF
stations, to make sure it was pointed correctly (same towers
as DTV here) and also found the middle 1/3 of the gain knob
actually made the picture worse on the analog signal.

I can only assume that wasn't helping the DTV signals either.

Out of curiousity, I took it apart to see how it was built, and
found the wires that connect the antenna elements (rabbit ears
and UHF loop) are about as thin as you can get. Note in the pictures
those connecting wires are thinner than the LED wires!

There is actually circuitry in there, but I'm not sure it is better
than a non-amplified signal.




In the end, I ended up making my own antenna, and guess what?
It worked great! It looks ugly, but cost me under $3, and it pulls in VHF-7 with 68% signal strength and 100% quality (APEX CECB has dual meters)

I hope this helps someone out there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick313 View Post

I was on a similar quest a few months ago and came to realize that rabbit ears are pretty much it for indoor VHF reception. However, if you're a do-it-yourself kind of guy, you might check out the following thread. It didn't help me much since I'm not one for building my own stuff, but it's there if you're interested.

How to build an indoor VHF antenna

When I was comparing various antennas, I found the Terk HDTVa to be superior to most others I've tried. The VHF dipoles are thicker and longer than most other antennas. However, the UHF reception is a little too directional for most people's taste.



The following page at HDTV Primer is a great resource for comparing various antennas including the Sharp Shooter.

Comparing some commercially available antennas

The Sharp Shooter was one of the many antennas I've tried, and I wasn't particularly impressed with it. In my opinion, it doesn't perform any better than many other antennas that cost less than half as much.
post #1472 of 3314
I have the Terk HDTVa whose range is 40-45 miles, and was thinking about trying Radio Shack's UFO, to see if it is better. OTA broadcast towers are about 40 miles from me.
post #1473 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by OTA1954 View Post

I have the Terk HDTVa whose range is 40-45 miles, and was thinking about trying Radio Shack's UFO, to see if it is better. OTA broadcast towers are about 40 miles from me.

Most indoor antennas don't make any claims about range, but 40-45 miles is pretty much the maximum limit for any of them. You could certainly give the UFO a try, but I would not expect it to do any better than the HDTVa. Indoor antennas are basically designed for urban/suburban reception up to about 30 miles. At 40 miles, you really need to consider an outdoor or attic mounted antenna.
post #1474 of 3314
Thread Starter 
While I generally agree with Rick313's comments. If you are getting pretty good reception with the Terk HDTVa, you may do better with the RS UFO, it has a wider beamwidth and thus can give you better, more stable less "physically adjusting the antenna" reception.
post #1475 of 3314
Well the Petra was available in limited quantities for a microsecond on buy.com today. They sold out while I was in the process of checking out though LOL.
post #1476 of 3314
Has anyone tried out the best buy smart antenna yet? Made by Apex. And if so how does it work for you?

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1218067406680

My box doesn't have Smart antenna port
post #1477 of 3314
I helped my mother in law today with a converter install. She is less than 7 miles from the Shoreview MN towers and was having reception problems in the basement with VHF rabbit ear antenna on some channels. I am thinking of getting a Silver Sensor or something similar for her since she doesn't want anything mounted outside. Anyway, is the Silver Sensor still the indoor antenna of choice and, whichever if the antenna of choice, are there likely to be local stores that carry this or should I focus on something on line? Also, I am considering the double bow tie indoor antenna, possibly the CM 4149.
post #1478 of 3314
Thread Starter 
If you dont have any VHF stations, then the CM 4149, I would recommend over the Silver Sensor.

Post her TVfool.com info, and you will get better recommendations.

If she is in a basement, then mounting on a window with suction cup window hooks toward the direction of the towers is the best option. Dont forget to look for sweet spots.
post #1479 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim1348 View Post

I helped my mother in law today with a converter install. She is less than 7 miles from the Shoreview MN towers and was having reception problems in the basement with VHF rabbit ear antenna on some channels. I am thinking of getting a Silver Sensor or something similar for her since she doesn't want anything mounted outside. Anyway, is the Silver Sensor still the indoor antenna of choice and, whichever if the antenna of choice, are there likely to be local stores that carry this or should I focus on something on line? Also, I am considering the double bow tie indoor antenna, possibly the CM 4149.

You are having problems because all of your digital stations are currently on UHF and rabbit ears are VHF antennas. Hang on to the rabbit ears, they may be needed for 9 & 11 come June 12th as they go back to their original assignments from UHF locations.

Pick up a UHF antenna, position it in a window facing the towers and go for it. Also, test it on 9 & 11 analog for a preview of whether or not it will pick up those two post-transition. At your close range, even a cheap UHF-only antenna will still likely get the job done.

Otherwise, just pick up a rabbit-ear/loop combo for twenty bucks or less and it should work.
post #1480 of 3314
Thread Starter 
Duh, Shoreline MN.

Yeah, you might be best served with a Rabbit Ears and Loop.....the best Ive tested is the Radio Shack 1874 Budget.

Or you might go with an Eagle Aspen DB2 clone, because Fox and NBC are moving to 9 and 11 which are VHF Hi. The Channel Master 4149 starts losing gain on lower UHF, and its really not effective for VHF. The DB2 clone is not much more money and has better gain on VHF Hi than the CM 4149. Mounting a DB2 on suctioncup hooks to a window is one of the slickest mounts, Ive seen or heard.

Try the RS 1874 first though.
post #1481 of 3314
Here is the URL for TV Fool

If you would like to share these results with others, this page can be referenced as:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...7c72b2c91e36f5

This place shows the EAGLE ASPEN DTV2BUHF DIRECTV 2-BAY UHF ANTENNA for under $21 shipped. My wife just reminded me that the suction cup hook mount might work for them, but they have no windows in the basement. I seem to recall a single or double bow tie from Radio Shack back in the day that had feet or a stand allowing it to be places on top of a table or desk, but I haven't seen that one for ages.

http://riascrazydeals.com/rw_15890_22428.html
post #1482 of 3314
Apt location = absolute worst in entire garden complex. I live in Central NJ and can only receive signal in my bedroom from PA which is 60+ miles away with no shot right now of getting NY Digital signals 26 miles away (Horrible location for OTA)

After being frustrated with several antennas including the Not So Smart RCA Ant2000, (It only picked up 1 digital channel in my living room), I decided to try something with my RS1982 UFO that I have been using in my bedroom My sole UFO (in a perfect sweetspot location next to my bedroom window) is now the primary antenna for all 4 TV's in my apt. And to my amazement, all 4 TV's can pick up every channel that my primary (bedroom) TV picked up!! My other 3 TV are set up with Tivax STB-8's while my bedroom TV did not require a converter I used a 3 way splitter to connect my Room TV, then I used 75 feet of Cable to get to my living room TV. Then I used a 25 foot cable through the floor to a 2 way splitter connecting a TV in my make shift gym. Then I connected another 50 feet of cable to get to my other TV in the family room/game room

I can't praise this UFO antenna enough!! For an indoor antenna to pick up 40+ (combined digital and analog) channels from mostly 60+ miles away was impressive enough. But for it to still have enough strength to bring every single channel out to my other 4 TV's with 2 splitters and over 150 feet of cable involved just blew me away?!!

For testing purposes I turned on all 4 TV's at the same time and had each TV on different channels (and flipped through channels to make sure they were all viewable). No issues whatsoever!!! All it took was finding the SweetSpot with the help of the Signal Meter of one of my Tivax Converters. I'm still amazed that this 1 Radio Shack indoor antenna is capable of this?? I was just about positive that splitting the signal from the RS-1892 would not work, or would not work well...
post #1483 of 3314
Thread Starter 
The Eagle Aspen is available from Amazon...

$23.54 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25.

Just use a filler, maybe some coax cable or a splitter, etc.

If you have no windows in the basement, then amplification may help....but that will require some testing.
post #1484 of 3314
Thread Starter 
Polarican, thats great!

Thanks for the report!
post #1485 of 3314
I bought RS UFO model Monday to use at work to pick up the local digital stations. I have an Insignia 5 inch color TV on my desk. I work just outside of Baltimore and it picks up the digital versions of channels 2, 11, 13, 24, 45, 54 and 67. The things I like about this antenna are the remote and it remembering settings. You don't need to get out of the chair to adjust it, which is good at work, because you don't want to be dicking around with antenna when your supervisor walks by your cubicle. One other good thing about it for being used in an office is that people don't notice it as being an antenna.
post #1486 of 3314
Here's the user manual for the "UFO" RS Model: 15-1892:
http://rsk.imageg.net/graphics/uc/rs...1892_PM_EN.pdf

Quote:


"1. Press < or > to rotate the antenna until you get the best reception.
2. Press + or - to select the gain level: 3 for weak, 2 for most, 1 for strong stations.
3. Press and hold STORE until CH indicator flashes.
4. Enter the channel number.
5. Press STORE again to save.
6. Repeat for each channel."

Question: For step 4. do you enter the physical channel number or the virtual channel number, or does it matter?
IOW, is the number you enter just for reference purposes?
post #1487 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by arxaw View Post

Here's the user manual for the "UFO" RS Model: 15-1892:
http://rsk.imageg.net/graphics/uc/rs...1892_PM_EN.pdf


Question: For step 4. do you enter the physical channel number or the virtual channel number, or does it matter?
IOW, is the number you enter just for reference purposes?

Just for reference purposes. Since, I only needed two positions for all the channels in my area, I just set them as 01 and 02.
post #1488 of 3314
Thread Starter 
arxaw, as mdyoung has stated, it is only a reference number for you, so that most people would be probably choose the virtual number. But like mdyoung, most people will only need 2 or 3 directions probably, (some just one and they can set it and forget it).

Hope this helps.
post #1489 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapeVelocity View Post

arxaw, as mdyoung has stated, it is only a reference number for you...

Thanks.
I figured that's how it worked, but I sometimes tend to make things more complicated than they are!
post #1490 of 3314
I haven't been here for months.....
Over the winter, I got some plans and (don't laugh) built my own attic antenna. I previously had a TV top amplified rabbit ear thing. Well, here in New Haven county, I'm surrounded by hills, and frankly, getting in all kinds of stations is not really important, as I don't watch much - just the occasional news program or kids' show, so I don't want a rooftop antenna.

With this new antenna in the attic, I can position it to get WTNH New Haven and Channel 30 in New Britain (which I was never able to get before). If I reposition it, I get WTNH and the PBS Bridgeport station. Obviously New Britain and New Haven are totally opposite directions.

Question....a)if I get a splitter and attach my TV top antenna to the attic antenna, will I possible get in the PBS station (i.e. do TV top antennas "work" at a greater distance from the TV)? This station was fairly strong when it came in..
b)would it be preferable to attach a splitter to another attic antenna (I don't want to make another one..maybe one of those DB2 ones?)

My other option is to just go up the attic and reposition this one every time I want a specific show. At least I can watch the Kentucky Derby on Saturday!
Thanks.
Christina
post #1491 of 3314
Thread Starter 
You might be better off with 2 antennas and an A/B switch. Combining signals of broadspectrum antennas without filters usually isnt a good idea.

Post your TVfool.com info, so we can help you better.
post #1492 of 3314
I can't seem to copy/paste my TV fool info here. Sorry.
post #1493 of 3314
Thread Starter 
All you need to do is copy and paste the link.
post #1494 of 3314
I love this thread but which indoor antenna should I go and buy to see if I can get HD off the air?
post #1495 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlanoRick View Post

I love this thread but which indoor antenna should I go and buy to see if I can get HD off the air?

Hi Rick,

I'm in very Far North Dallas (near Addison). Where I am, (about 27 miles from the Antenna farm) -- I'm on the fringe of getting adequate reception with amplified set-top antennas. I now get all channels, but need to reposition the antenna if switching between channels 21 and 27 (which carry the Mavs and Rangers). Looking at TVFool, after the Digital switch in June - these stations will all get stronger. I think the local stations have taken into account their signal strength for the Northern Suburbs -- I think an amplified set-top antenna is going to be fine!
post #1496 of 3314
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...7f144002d5268b

Here's the link - I thought there was a way to put my diagram on.

Christina
post #1497 of 3314
Can anyone recommend a good indoor antenna? I have just tried the RS DA-5200 but it wont pick up any digital channels unless I hold it out the window although it says its an indoor/outdoor antenna, even with cheap rabbit ears I was able to pick up digital channels but they were breaking up alot so I decided to pick up a better antenna. Attached is my tvfool img. Thanks.
LL
post #1498 of 3314
What station(s) are you looking for? You're probably having multipath issues. If the stations you want are from one direction, then you need a very directional antenna like the Terk or Silver Surfer...
post #1499 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by eljeffreynyc View Post

Can anyone recommend a good indoor antenna? I have just tried the RS DA-5200 but it wont pick up any digital channels unless I hold it out the window although it says its an indoor/outdoor antenna, even with cheap rabbit ears I was able to pick up digital channels but they were breaking up alot so I decided to pick up a better antenna. Attached is my tvfool img. Thanks.

Eljeffreynyc,

As Lord_Zath stated, your problem with the RS DA-5200 is that you have multi-path issues. The RS DA-5200 is an omni-directional antenna and probably picking up signals bouncing off the buildings in NYC. It is best that you get a directional antenna like the Terk HDTVi or Silver Sensor if you can still find them. Because of your close proximity to the broadcast antenna, I would not recommend an amplified antenna.

The tvfool image that you posted is for dtv transmission prior to June 2009. Post June 2009, I believe some of the NYC channels will move back to the VHF-High frequencies. The Silver Sensor is UHF only so it would not pick up any VHF channels. Although the Terk HDTVi has dipoles and should pick up the VHF channels, I do not have any experience with how well the rabbit ears will do in a multi-path environment. If you can get antennas from a store that has a liberal return policy, it may be worth a try to get several types and just see which are keepers for your situation.
post #1500 of 3314
Guys -

About to buy an antenna, my main goal here is to get fox, cbs, nbc, and abc, all in HDTV. My TV is located in the basement, which is at walk-out level to the backyard, but unfortunately that seems to face the opposite direction from where the signal towers appear to be located.

I would prefer an indoor antenna, because I have no idea how to install or wire an outdoor one on my roof. This is being installed in a middle-unit townhouse.

What antenna would you recommend in my situation? Can I get away with an indoor, or do you recommend I have a professional come install and wire an outdoor antenna for me?

Here is my TVfool: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...7f144bbe6b4532
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