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distribution amp vs preamp

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm going to buy the RCA ant751 for 4 tvs, attic placement, 20 miles away, high vhf channels biggest concern, and a guy at an antenna company suggested both a preamplifier and a distribution amp but said if I only get one, the distribution amp is more important. Do you concur? If so, I'm thinking one of these two, any suggestions?

winegard hda100
$37 but it seems I'd have to get a 4way splitter to go with it

Channel Master 3414 4 Outputs Distribution Amplifier
$33 and it has 4 outputs.


is more expensive for less outputs indicating a better amp? or is the channel master the obvious choice?

thanks for any help!
post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ouradu View Post

a guy at an antenna company suggested both a preamplifier and a distribution amp

You should not use both. Which is better depends on the signal levels. If the signals are weak, a distribution amplifier won't help enough. If the signals are strong a preamp can be overloaded.
post #3 of 8
Concur with Tower Guy. You are pretty close to stations so may not need any type of amplifier even feeding 4-sets.

Try just the antenna and a passive 4-way splitter.

If that works you are home free. If not bypass the splitter and use the antenna with one TV. If that works, but the passive splitter does not, then will need some sort of amplifier.

If connecting TV directly to the antenna does not work well need to get a higher gain antenna and/or mount it outside.

Post your http://tvfool.com/ results. That will provide an indication as to expected signal levels
post #4 of 8
Also, if at all possible, putting your antenna outside on the roof will increase you signal strength, thus decreasing your chances of needing an amp. The ANT 751 is not a big antenna, it can even be wall mounted.
post #5 of 8
Quote:


If the signals are strong a preamp can be overloaded.

Will be overloaded! Preamps have no tolerance for strong signals.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks for the advice. I think I'll do what you suggested and test it with a passive splitter first, but if I decide a distribution amp is needed, which of those two would you suggest?
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ouradu View Post

thanks for the advice. I think I'll do what you suggested and test it with a passive splitter first, but if I decide a distribution amp is needed, which of those two would you suggest?

Depends entirely on your physical setup. You can use the one with four outputs, if you have a place to "home-run" the cables from. You can use the single-output one some place convenient, then put a four-way splitter (or, even a two-way, feeding two other two-ways) where they will work out best.
Most all of those distribution amps are just a 15 dB amplifier, with or without built-in splitters. They make different versions (1 out, 2 out, 4 out or 8 out) just for convenience of the installer.
post #8 of 8
The only amp that worked for me in my mixed signal location (extremely strong and extremely weak signals from the same direction) is a discontinued model from Winegard that should be able to be found on e-bay; the DA-1018 (18db gain). There is also a DA-1036 (36 db gain), but it overloads easier due in part to the higher output.
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