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EV's Recommended & Top Rated DTV Indoor UHF/VHF Set Top Antenna Review Round-Up Guide - Page 107

post #3181 of 3314
Hi,
I stumbled on this thread and would love some help. We have cut ourselves away from dishnetwork after umpteen years after my teaching contract was cancelled for next year, leaving me looking for an alternate career. This is my situation. I wanted to mount an exterior antenna for all three TVs to make use of the coax from our dish system. The dish is on the Southeast corner of our house on a shed roof over a porch. We converted a dairy barn into a home so we have a huge 12/12 (square pitch) roof over the main part of the house that I'd rather stay off of. Here is the link to my TV fool layout. If the exterior location is no good, I could wall mount an exterior antenna in our bedroom on the west wall or west side of our chimneyof the house and gain 6-8 feet in height.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d9900bbb0910524

Thanks in advance,
Alan
post #3182 of 3314
I tried several indoor models and finally hooked up a old used outdoor mid size Tv antenna and hung it level the attic ceiling. I had to change the Verizon splitter(why I don't know) and used there coax drops in the walls.. Pointed it towards our aera Tv stations towers
as one is on the opposite side of the city and made it a pain to finally dial in all the major networks. I was/am Shocked how good a picture I got watching Jay Leno on HD in all three rooms now..
It's as good of pic as our Verizon FIOS HD we turned off months ago... I am close to retiring and $130.00 a month for Tv was not in my budget and stay at home and not look for a job eek.gif.
There were several models that need to be placed near a window faced towards the towers for best picture. Read back a few pages as it's been months. I read aboout a rabbit ears with a adjustable loop that had a 110 AC plug for signal gain boost and adjustment. It was about $25.00 on Flebay and worked Ok on one HD TV where will live here in the DFW area in Texas. Hope this helps.
post #3183 of 3314
Can someone recommend an antenna for this tvfool report plz?

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d99005e831867e3
post #3184 of 3314
@ceadmin, if you are hoping for an indoor antenna recommendation, you are out of luck. Just by the color key used in the report's table, you should know that you need an outdoor antenna, and a large one at that. A Winegard HD7078p or HD8200P would be appropriate.
post #3185 of 3314
Since you said you live in an apartment, a big outdoor antenna might not be feasible for you.

If you have a balcony facing the transmitters, you could try mclapp's DIY UHF 4-Bay (NO Reflector), with
9.0-12.3 dBi in New UHF Band and about 3.5 dBi in the Hi-VHF Band (Ch7-13) with good SWR:
http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/multibay/4bay/super4m10x95
http://m4antenna.eastmasonvilleweather.com/Drawings/PDF%20Drawings.html

Next step up in complexity would be to add a BIG Reflector, which provides 13.9-15.6 dBi in UHF Band
and 9.4-9.0 dBi in Hi-VHF Band, although SWR is degraded and would need to be carefully hidden if
used indoors (see drawings above): http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/multibay/4bayrefl/m410x95

4-Bay Bowtie could be placed on the balcony, using on a support pole stuck in a stand-alone planter pot
(or whatever) or find a place for it indoors. Alternatively, it could be constructed using 3/4-in Aluminized
Foil Tape on either posterboard or a conveniently facing window. If you don't have a window facing the
transmitters, you could still try it...but your chances for reception are diminished:
Edited by holl_ands - 8/7/12 at 12:14pm
post #3186 of 3314
@holl_ands, thanks for offering a more constructive recommendation than I did. If I were in his shoes, that's what I would try. Those designs have the most gain (again, preamps don't count!) in a reasonable size that is pretty easy to construct. There may be one problem left to solve after trying this - WOI on RF 5, the OPs only ABC affiliate. No relatively compact antenna will have any gain for channel 5. The best you can hope for is not terribly negative gain (loss). If the bow-tie design doesn't get WOI, then you could try adding a set of rabbit ears to the system.
post #3187 of 3314
I have recently moved and I'm looking to get an antenna for my place. I will put the antenna in my attic. Here are my tvfool results : http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de7797ef68e0f32
post #3188 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick27 View Post

I have recently moved and I'm looking to get an antenna for my place. I will put the antenna in my attic. Here are my tvfool results : http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de7797ef68e0f32

If you have a attic, a mid sizes outdoor UHF/VHF is the Best way to go. I tried the indoor model after turning off cable. I looked in my attic and there was a 20 year old out door atenna. I turned towards the towers and hung it level with fishing line and moved it several times before all the stations came in CLEAR.. I have a new roof and did Not want to mount one outside. I was Shocked how good HD on ABC,NBC,FOX and CBS came in like HD cable did. Leno at night is awsome. Any cheep outdoor antenna will work great. Don't caught up in the Expensive New HD Super huge outdoor models, when a old school one works Great. Hope this helps.
post #3189 of 3314
Louis, Thanks for the reply. I am curious if you know which antenna models would be good to check out. Also would a cheap model have the range I would need to get most of the channels in the chart for around 40-55 miles away from the tower?
Thanks
post #3190 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick27 View Post

Louis, Thanks for the reply. I am curious if you know which antenna models would be good to check out. Also would a cheap model have the range I would need to get most of the channels in the chart for around 40-55 miles away from the tower?
Thanks

I had a good picture with the one that looks like rabbit ears and round hoop that plugs in the wall AC/DC powered rabbit ears with a "Signal Gain" adjustment feature. I paid $20.00 for it on Ebay and was Suprised how nice it worked for $20.00. Where I live in the DFW area the NBC tower ( I think)
was not located on Cedar Hill where all the other stations have theirs. I had to keep it near a window and move it for a perfect pic on that odd stations tower... Find a used outdoor at a garage sale and hang it in the attic and be done with it. I had to purchase a splitter and coaxial wire I hooked up to where the Charter cable had a 3 in to 1 splitter. What a mark up on New HD outdoor model when a 20 year old medium sized works Great. Hope this helps as I spent a LOT of time reading all these posts on this thread.Some good info here. Good Luck

Louis
post #3191 of 3314
There are threads on a couple of forums, including here, that have discussed antenna designs and construction. Some points that have come up there to keep in mind:

1) Mileage ratings are useless. They arose to help translate a technical parameter (gain) to a more generally understood measure of performance. There is no technical basis for them, so manufacturers can say anything they want.

2) An antenna's size has to be a significant fraction of the wavelength of a signal for the antenna to be useful. There are a couple of designs, for example the Antennas Direct C5, that exploit a clever trick, but never expect a compact antenna design to be useful for channels 2-6.

3) You can't fight physics. Successful reception of ATSC television requires the signal to be a certain amount stronger than the background and man-made noise. The ONLY device you can get that increases signal-to-noise is an antenna. Amplifiers are useful in primarily to overcome signal losses in long cable runs. There are a few special cases that take a while to describe, but in those situations it is easy to add a preamp later.

Thanks to the internet, it's much easier to size up the available broadcast TV signals to help figure out what antenna to buy. There are a couple of decent sites, but TVFool offers the most information. In general, one needs to pay attention to three columns in the table: Real channel (where the signal from transmitter to you is located), "NM" (noise margin, the strength of the signal relative to the minimum required for reception), and azimuth (to see how broad the region of sky is that the antenna must be sensitive to). More on how to read a TVFool prediction is here.

Nick, to your situation. Note that you'll probably want to recieve everything down to WHYY to be sure you have all the major networks. That means you have channels in all three bands: VHF-LO (WPVI 6), VHF-HI (WHYY 12), and UHF (all the rest). The NMs are all positive, meaning, in theory, you don't need much antenna gain to make things work. However, to protect against signal fading and overcome the losses by receiving through the roof, you will need at least a moderate amount of antenna gain. An attic mount will likely work because all of the signals of interest come from one direction. My situation is very similar to yours, and I have an old medium-range Radio Shack all-channel antenna in the attic that works well. There is one proviso - if the antenna has to point out the side where the foil-backed insulated panels are, then all bets are off.

I think you are looking at a Winegard 7080P, which has elements that are sensitive to all three bands of channels. It's about $60 on-line.
post #3192 of 3314
I currently am using a Radio Shack UFO, but am having difficulty getting WJLA (7) and WUSA (9). I only get 1 bar from them (I've tried all 12 positions and all three gains), whereas I can get up to 5 bars for WTTG (36), WRC-DT (48) , WDCW (50), WETA-TV (27)

Here is my tvfool report:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de7796c0083061f

I've tried moving the antenna to different locations and get the same result.

Anyone have any clues as to how I can improve my reception to get those 2 channels?
post #3193 of 3314
thr17,

Get a set of rabbit ears. Those channels require an antenna with a physical length around 2.5'. Combine the two antenna outputs with a UVSJ.
post #3194 of 3314
The UFO has rabbit ears built in and I've tried adjusting them, but it didn't really improve the signal. Could multipath be the issue?
post #3195 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by thor17 View Post

The UFO has rabbit ears built in and I've tried adjusting them, but it didn't really improve the signal. Could multipath be the issue?

Interference from electronic devices is more likely than multipath since only VHF channels are causing problems. Moving the antenna away from these could solve the problem. Bear in mind, if a room has too much noise from electronics, VHF can be impossible to receive. While it's a long shot for your VHF stations, I'd even consider removing the rabbit ears from the UFO and checking that way. By all means, try adjusting the height of the UFO as well. That can also produce much better reception. Pay no attention to UHF signals when trying to get your VHF channels. Good Luck.
post #3196 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by thor17 View Post

The UFO has rabbit ears built in and I've tried adjusting them, but it didn't really improve the signal. Could multipath be the issue?

Move the antenna to a window. I did and helped.
post #3197 of 3314
What DIY design is recommended for my location? I would prefer an attic mount. There is ~75-100ft of coax between the antenna and my amplified 8:1 splitter (4dB gain). Should I use a pre-amp as well (to drive the coax)?

I currently have a large Terk directional antenna in my attic and it doesn't work very well. I'm thinking a smaller bowtie will give me much better results. Right now virtual channel 6.1 (UHF) is choppy and 8.1 (VHF) comes in fine (but signal strength indicator is ~75-80%... somewhat low).

Thanks for the help!

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d2df90257afced6
post #3198 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg_R View Post

What DIY design is recommended for my location? I would prefer an attic mount. There is ~75-100ft of coax between the antenna and my amplified 8:1 splitter (4dB gain). Should I use a pre-amp as well (to drive the coax)?
I currently have a large Terk directional antenna in my attic and it doesn't work very well. I'm thinking a smaller bowtie will give me much better results. Right now virtual channel 6.1 (UHF) is choppy and 8.1 (VHF) comes in fine (but signal strength indicator is ~75-80%... somewhat low).
Thanks for the help!
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d2df90257afced6
I should mention that there is another house directly in my line of sight to the towers + some very large, densely packed (pine) trees.
post #3199 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg_R View Post

I should mention that there is another house directly in my line of sight to the towers + some very large, densely packed (pine) trees.

Then don't be surprised if you find yourself to be


Signals must reach the antenna in adequate strength and with adequate quality. Physical obstructions such as buildings will affect any signal. Trees will affect UHF signals more so than VHF signals.
post #3200 of 3314
But, but, but... Check out the signal strengths available before obstructions! One check and one suggestion:

Is the Terk pointed east? (have to ask) if so, then...

Bypass the distribution amp and connect just one outlet to the cable from the antenna. Before you mentioned the local obstructions, I was thinking you might be overloading the amp even after 100 feet of cable. You have nine signals with noise margins of 60+!

For a DIY, try the bowtie array documented at http://m4antenna.eastmasonvilleweather.com/index.html. It's pretty easy to build and is easy to work with in the attic. Be prepared to try adjusting the antenna's aim if pointing east doesn't work.
post #3201 of 3314
Yep, it's pointing right at the towers (and I do have the antenna facing the right direction). The 100ft of cable is (cheap) RG-59 if that makes a difference. I've built that bowtie antenna option and plan on giving it a try. There is another placement option towards the front of the house that -may- limit obstructions and reduce the cable length. However, it's all blown insulation and I was trying to avoid that area smile.gif. I think my problem is the number of obstructions and lack of a good line of sight to the towers. I also have a variety of signal attenuators that I can try in the path if the signal is too strong; I had already tried them with the old antenna.
post #3202 of 3314
Looking for help with picking the best antenna and tweaking my setup. I have plenty of channels close by, and all the channels I want are coming in, but I get lots of interference from passing cars. Getting an antenna on the roof would be very problematic, so I'm hoping there might be other options. Currently using a fairly cheap, passive RCA antenna.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d2df90fea2eb228

Thoughts on the best indoor antennas and best tricks from minimizing the impact of traffic interference?

Thanks!
Edited by oakst8 - 10/12/12 at 11:00pm
post #3203 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by oakst8 View Post

Looking for help with picking the best antenna and tweaking my setup. I have plenty of channels close by, and all the channels I want are coming in, but I get lots of interference from passing cars. Getting an antenna on the roof would be very problematic, so I'm hoping there might be other options. Currently using a fairly cheap, passive RCA antenna.
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d2df90fea2eb228
Thoughts on the best indoor antennas and best tricks from minimizing the impact of traffic interference?
Thanks!

Bump. I'd love some advice on antenna options and configurations that are least impacted by traffic interference. Thanks
post #3204 of 3314
Perhaps an amplified antenna would help prevent the dropouts caused by interfernce. Radioshack sells an amplified version of the basic rabbit ears and loop. And there is the Terk HDTVa which you can try with the amp turned both on or off. But it must be plugged in either way. Sometimes amps help, sometimes they do not.
post #3205 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by oakst8 View Post

Bump. I'd love some advice on antenna options and configurations that are least impacted by traffic interference. Thanks

No such thing.

"Traffic Interference" is due to signals either being blocked or reflected by the moving vehicles (dynamic multi-path). An amplifier will never cure this issue, the only recourse is a combination of antenna location and directionality.

Directionality helps as it allows the antenna to reject the off-axis reflections while focusing the reception capability of the antenna on the incoming signals that are of the better quality and strength.

Antenna location must be actively considered for TV reception just as folks have learned to adapt to bad cell signals indoors. Pretty quickly, cell users will identify and exploit the "good" locations while avoiding the "bad" areas. Sometimes, though, despite ones best efforts, you figure out you're just screwed and your cell phone doesn't work in certain areas. TV reception is quite similar.
post #3206 of 3314
Has anyone added the Orca AX-190? This antenna cured my reception problems of receiving Stations 40- 50 miles away and it is a indoor Antenna
post #3207 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Loudin View Post

But, but, but... Check out the signal strengths available before obstructions! One check and one suggestion:
Is the Terk pointed east? (have to ask) if so, then...
Bypass the distribution amp and connect just one outlet to the cable from the antenna. Before you mentioned the local obstructions, I was thinking you might be overloading the amp even after 100 feet of cable. You have nine signals with noise margins of 60+!
For a DIY, try the bowtie array documented at http://m4antenna.eastmasonvilleweather.com/index.html. It's pretty easy to build and is easy to work with in the attic. Be prepared to try adjusting the antenna's aim if pointing east doesn't work.
I tried the DIY antenna and it was slightly worse than the large directional antenna. Removing the distribution amp also reduces the reception quality. Adding attenuators reduces the signal strength & picture quality so IMO it's not a "signal is too strong" problem. I have not eliminated the in-wall wiring and connectors; my next step is to try the antenna outdoors on my front lawn (as an experiment). If that works then I'll try to work out an effective roof mount option.
post #3208 of 3314
My main goal was to avoid having to get on top of my 40ft+ high roof peak and mount an antenna mast + antenna. However, I may have to go down that road. What eave mounts & masts are recommended? I do not need a rotor...
post #3209 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by oakst8 View Post

Bump. I'd love some advice on antenna options and configurations that are least impacted by traffic interference. Thanks

Your passive rabbit ears/loop antenna is probably not a very good one. Since you are getting reception with it, a different antenna may yield better results (less drops in A/V). Of the passive variety:

Fry's may have a Silver Sensor available (Philips SCV2780). You have to get this one in store, so call ahead. This is a good UHF antenna and can also receive KGO and KNTV if signal is strong enough.

Amazon offers the HD Blade from Solid Signal and the Mohu Leaf antenna. These are also pretty good. Worth a try provided you can return it. Amazon does allow returns. With the HD Blade, a variety of cable lengths are available. This is a plus.

I've been receiving VHF with "UHF" antennas for several years, and my signals are not as strong as what you have there.

How is your reception currently for KGO and KNTV?
Have you moved the antenna around the room using additional coax?
Where is the traffic interference? Is it between your antenna and S.F. or elsewhere?
post #3210 of 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltaguy View Post


How is your reception currently for KGO and KNTV?
Have you moved the antenna around the room using additional coax?
Where is the traffic interference? Is it between your antenna and S.F. or elsewhere?

Thanks for the suggestions - and sorry for the slow reply. I've been experimenting with an amplified loop/rabbit ears from radioshack with minimally improved results. I'll definitely look into the ones you suggest. The street causing the interference is between my tv and SF, so it makes sense that I'd have issues.

I can get KGO and KNTV in great, but they are more susceptible to traffic interference than Fox and CBS. KQED can also have issues.
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