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EV's Recommended & Top Rated DTV Indoor UHF/VHF Set Top Antenna Review Round-Up Guide - Page 97

post #2881 of 3314
It should work.
post #2882 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by develvjd- View Post

Started with this one: http://www.amazon.com/Audiovox-Acces.../dp/B002PNDG4W and only encountered pixelation sporadically on a couple of the HD Channels. Upgraded to this little amplified Terk: http://www.amazon.com/Terk-Amplified...1574208&sr=1-1 and it's even better now, but I still see some pixelation every once in a while on a couple HD channels. Maybe one out of every 10 recorded shows will have brief occurrences of minor pixelation.

At 6-8 miles from the towers and without much obvious geographical interference, I'm looking for perfection. Is this unrealistic?

Have you tried the Terk without the amplifier? That might yield better results. What channels have you had problems with?

I agree about the 751 working. You might be able to get away with a smaller, more esoteric, outdoor as well.
post #2883 of 3314
The ANT751 is small.
post #2884 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltaguy View Post

You might be able to get away with a smaller, more esoteric, outdoor as well.

Like this one? http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2
post #2885 of 3314
post #2886 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by develvjd- View Post

Like this one? http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

I don't have experience in the outdoor antenna field, so I can't say about that. That looks more like what I saw working close to a lawn though. You might ask in the Indianapolis thread, or create a thread for outdoor advice. Finding out what is working in your area is a good idea.
post #2887 of 3314
It probably won't work well for your VHF channels. Rule of thumb: most antennas with lots of plastic on them don't work well for OTA television.
post #2888 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by arxaw View Post

Rule of thumb: most antennas with lots of plastic on them don't work well for OTA television.

Except for the ClearStream series. They will outperform anything of comparable size on UHF, and a ClearStream 2 is probably the best indoor-friendly antenna available (even though it is designed for outdoor use).
The other plastic-encased models, like the "pizza boxes" and the one at Monoprice in the above link, are no better than a rabbit-ear loop or a clip-on bow-tie, IMHO. The big difference is that the ClearStreams (except the C1) have a reflector.
post #2889 of 3314
However, the CS antennas are UHF are not very good for VHF.
post #2890 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by arxaw View Post

However, the CS antennas are UHF are not very good for VHF.

The C4 is okay with very strong VHF-high, but yeah, the rest are basically useless. I have heard of some folks making a loop in the coax just below the antenna, and getting somewhat effective VHF results.
I've given up on trying to get VHF signals with UHF antennas. The homemade VHF-high Yagis on Holland's image event site work great, though. For indoor use, you can build one inside a shallow box frame, and then stretch fabric around the frame and secure it with upolstery staples. Attach the box to the ceiling with the antenna pointed towards the transmitters. It would look like a "fabric pizza box", about 3 feet square, that goes with the room's decor.
post #2891 of 3314
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, across the bay up in the hills with Sutro Tower in plain view (14.3 crow-fly miles away). I'm using a family castoff Magnavox MANT300 "SmartAmplifier" indoor antenna. I hooked it up last year in place of the testy, ancient roof antenna and kept using it, because it performed better than the roof antenna (believe it or not).

But . . . I still have problems, especially in bad weather and especially with the two VHF channels ("real" channels 7 and 12 = virtual channels 7.1 and 11.1). Those were also the worst with the roof antenna, too.

Here is my TVFool signal analysis: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...81a38df8c557d8

As you see, I have line-of-sight (LOS) views of the sources of all the channels I want to receive (green), although I wouldn't complain if I also had channels 23 (22.1), 36 (36.1), 50 (54.1), and 9 (6.1).

Although this is an amplified antenna, I have the amplifier-gain control knob turned to OFF. When I try to turn it on, I have worse reception on almost every channel and channel 12 (11.1) drops from 80% to zero on the TV set's signal strength meter.

The problem is that the antenna is very sensitive to direction. If it is moved slightly (say by dusting it), I can lose the sensitive stations (esp. the VHF stations). Also, in rainy or windy weather, I lose some signals.

The antenna is situated off the floor, on the southwest corner of the house, next to a window from which the broadcast towers can be seen. I have a Panasonic Plasma HDTV purchased in December 2007.

Question 1: Do I compromise my reception by using an "amplified" antenna even if I don't turn the amplifier part on? (I usually have the power adapter disconnected completely from the antenna.)

Question 2: If I tried replacing this indoor antenna, what models would work best in my location? (Yes, I know I should be able to "use a paper clip," as posters are fond of saying. Yet, I obviously need more. I studied EV's lists on page one and, frankly, was overwhelmed. Perhaps that means it doesn't matter what I choose.)
post #2892 of 3314
Please excuse the following platitudes, but they really are meant with the best intent:

If it doesn't look as ugly as an old over the air antenna, it probably won't perform as well as an old over the air antenna.

Most of the antennae that have lots of plastic bits or include a cheap amplifier really aren't very good antennae to begin with. The RCA ANT751 (allegedly made by Winegard) is a pretty darn solid over the air antenna for its size.

For optimal high band VHF reception at <15 miles over the East Bay, you could go with a five or ten element VHF hi band antenna from Winegard or Antennacraft. You also could try a simple set of rabbit ears. In either event, try to position the antenna outside facing west-southwest. Try to get a decent line of sight without too much interference from electronic gear in your home. The topography of your home has clear line of sight to Mt. Sutro. Try to make sure that your house/apartment and buildings in the local area also provide clear line of sight.

Finally, use an affordable (but not cheap) UHF-VHF separator joiner (UVSJ) from Hollands or Pico Macom to join the VHF antenna or rabbit ears to your UHF antenna. This should only cost $3 or so, but you will make sure that the best possible antenna for hi band VHF is receiving 7 and 12 and you aren't getting any garbled signals from anything else. BTW, VHF channels 7 and 8 are just about perfectly positioned to get inter-modulation noise from strong FM stations. You might want to trap out the FM stations just above lo band VHF channel 6 just to be sure.

Short version, you have excellent topography and you live are fortunate enough to in a market with excellent local TV and FM stations. Don't waste time and effort on cheap amplifiers and antennae that try to use marketing puffery to violate fundamental laws of physics.
post #2893 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnSun View Post

...If I tried replacing this indoor antenna, what models would work best in my location?

Impossible to tell what model would work best at any indoor location. But which indoor antenna would I try if I had your TVFool? This one.

If it doesn't work well, turn off/unplug everything else in the house, except the TV, to rule out electrical interference from anything in the house.

If it still doesn't work well, try adding an attenuator to the antenna.
If it still doesn't work well, try a better ATSC tuner than the one in the Panasonic.
post #2894 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by arxaw View Post

It probably won't work well for your VHF channels. Rule of thumb: most antennas with lots of plastic on them don't work well for OTA television.

I wouldn't go on the roof or to the attic with one of those, but simply outdoors, it wouldn't hurt to try. It needs to be returnable though. That Indy location may be a reception slam dunk.

Since I explained a seat for the bowtie on the last page, here's how to use a bowtie for vhf: Have the bowtie and twinlead configured in a "T", with the bowtie at the top. This yields two wires of about two feet in length in a "II" below the bowtie. Aim it the direction that works best, even if it isn't "correct." Don't allow the twinlead to touch metal.

Higher is better and parallel with windows works most often here. However, in one room, the two vhf stations from Walnut Grove require different aims. A correct aim for uhf doesn't ensure a correct vhf aim. A correct location (sweet spot) for uhf is NOT necessarily correct for vhf as well.
post #2895 of 3314
Fools Report - http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...da32ad596e23e2

FWIW - we are only trying to receive the signals within 25 miles. The top 4 in the report above.

I have to use an indoor antenna at my Dad's apartment. We are third floor so thats good. I can run with wire to a closet shelf behind where the TV is located so I could put up something that is unattractive. I also have a good bit of space to work with. I could maybe install a "bar" style antenna up high.

I was thinking a bow tie like the DB2 would work good, but he has a VHF channel so that will not work well will right?

Any recommendations? - Thanks in advance.
post #2896 of 3314
Well, if I read that correctly WHBF is sort of good news/bad news.

The good news is it is less than 10 miles away.

The bad news is it is a low VHF on RF Channel 4.

My advice is to buy antenna locally, save the receipt, and verify that they have a very liberal return policy in case it doesn't work out. If you like the DB2, maybe you can find a local retailer that carries it. Some people are having good results with UHF antennas that also have built in VHF rabbit ears.
post #2897 of 3314
WHBF is # 5 on the list and isn't one he asked about (first four on the list).

The ClearStream 2 is about the best indoor UHF antenna I've found, but it will most likely leave you out in the cold for your lone high-VHF signal.

FWIW, I haven't found anything better than rabbit ears for indoor VHF except for a ClearStream C5 loop. Unfortunately, it's both a bit large for indoors and is expensive.
post #2898 of 3314
Rabbit ears can be used in a bar for vhf. "_._"
While I never saw anyone employ rabbit ears in this way growing up, it does work. Good Luck.
post #2899 of 3314
How about Jointenna-ing a pair of rabbit ears to the DB2 for that one VHF channel?
post #2900 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

How about Jointenna-ing a pair of rabbit ears to the DB2 for that one VHF channel?

A U/V diplexer (UVSJ) is what is needed.


That's a completely logical and workable solution provided the dipole is adequate. Given that TVFool forecast, I'm not terribly optimistic on any of them, UHF or VHF.
post #2901 of 3314
Anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerlin View Post

Fools Report - http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...da32ad596e23e2

FWIW - we are only trying to receive the signals within 25 miles. The top 4 in the report above.

I have to use an indoor antenna at my Dad's apartment. We are third floor so thats good. I can run with wire to a closet shelf behind where the TV is located so I could put up something that is unattractive. I also have a good bit of space to work with. I could maybe install a "bar" style antenna up high.

I was thinking a bow tie like the DB2 would work good, but he has a VHF channel so that will not work well will right?

Any recommendations? - Thanks in advance.
post #2902 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerlin View Post

Anyone?

You could try the rabbit ears first. The dipoles could then be added to later for UHF. Your address might not be yielding a good TVFool report if it is a large structure(s). Your elevation might also make a difference.
post #2903 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltaguy View Post

You could try the rabbit ears first. The dipoles could then be added to later for UHF. Your address might not be yielding a good TVFool report if it is a large structure(s). Your elevation might also make a difference.

The rabbit ears ARE the dipoles....
post #2904 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post

The rabbit ears ARE the dipoles....

Yes.
post #2905 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltaguy View Post
Yes.
..and they're for VHF, not UHF as suggested above.
post #2906 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltaguy View Post

You could try the rabbit ears first. The dipoles could then be added to later for UHF. Your address might not be yielding a good TVFool report if it is a large structure(s). Your elevation might also make a difference.

Emerlin, did you understand that?

Getting VHF first is a good idea because lots of folks, who go for UHF first, wind up with an antenna in a location that's not good for VHF. All your stations are from Rockford, so VHF first seems logical to me. Add the DB2 later.
post #2907 of 3314
Since the overwhelming majority of full-service stations are UHF (roughly 75%), the numbers (in most cities) suggest that UHF will net the most programming. Rockford is no exception with only one VHF station.

If Emerlin's dad's apartment has an east-facing window, he has a chance. If not, the odds are poor since that location is behind a hill that is to his east (west-facing slope).
post #2908 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post

Since the overwhelming majority of full-service stations are UHF (roughly 75%), the numbers (in most cities) suggest that UHF will net the most programming. Rockford is no exception with only one VHF station.

If Emerlin's dad's apartment has an east-facing window, he has a chance. If not, the odds are poor since that location is behind a hill that is to his east (west-facing slope).

Thanks for the response - I am some what confused. I understand the VHF may be harder to get, but why would I try to get just one band? FWIW - I wrongly assumed the DB2 was VHF/UHF antenna.

I did get some channel master rabbit ears and got 2 of the 4 channels reliably. The other 2 pixelated badly or did not come in. It was not mounted as high as possible, so I am thinking with a better antenna and higher placement I could be ok.

I do not think we are behind a hill of any notable size, at least as it relates to line of sight to the towers.

So - is there a recommendation on a better antenna for both bands? I could easily mount a bar style antenna in the top of the closet. Would that be a better choice?

Thanks for the help. I am heading there this weekend and would like to get this wrapped up for the football games!

Cheers
post #2909 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerlin View Post

Thanks for the response - I am some what confused. I understand the VHF may be harder to get, but why would I try to get just one band? FWIW - I wrongly assumed the DB2 was VHF/UHF antenna.

I did get some channel master rabbit ears and got 2 of the 4 channels reliably. The other 2 pixelated badly or did not come in. It was not mounted as high as possible, so I am thinking with a better antenna and higher placement I could be ok.

I do not think we are behind a hill of any notable size, at least as it relates to line of sight to the towers.

So - is there a recommendation on a better antenna for both bands? I could easily mount a bar style antenna in the top of the closet. Would that be a better choice?

Thanks for the help. I am heading there this weekend and would like to get this wrapped up for the football games!

Cheers

If you have line of sight to Rockford, your TVFool chart will show the channels you're trying to get can likely be had with the returnable Radio Shack budget antenna for around $10.

If the rabbit ears got rf 13 and a UHF Rockford channel, this may be all you need. The rabbit ears + DB2 recommendation was based on obstacles being in the way. Good Luck.
post #2910 of 3314
Emerlin, if you run out of ideas for getting WREX, try this-
http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/yagi...lpp085.eagle_s

If you are handy, you could build an indoor version pretty easily. I am 42 miles east of WREX, and there's a big ridge in the way, but this homemade antenna is getting it very reliably. It might also get WQRF, WIFR, and WTVO, even though they are UHF (mine does).
LL
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