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Need a new Antenna

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm in the market for a new antenna after the cat chewed the wire on the old one.

The antenna I used to have was just a cheap $15.00 RCA digital flat one from Wal-Mart...


It worked ok but it needed to be constantly adjusted. I used to hang it out the window since the tv is near the bedroom window and it would lay out on the roof (room is on the second floor).

Today I bought a more expensive RCA antenna from Wal-Mart...


Though this one is amplified I'm not even getting close to the same amount of channels I got with the older cheaper antenna. Maybe I'm not setting it up right. I've never used an amplified one so I don't know much about them.

Would I be better off getting the old antenna I have, sticking with the amplified one, or should I consider this other one that they have at Wal-Mart...


It either needs to be from Wal-Mart, Radioshack or Best Buy, I need an Antenna for Wednesday so I can watch the Cowboys game.

I may be willing to get another one (from a website) but that one won't be here in time. So what I need is a temporary recommendation (sports bar isn't possible) for this weeks games. And then a long term suggestion.

The long term suggestion needs to be under $50.00.
Edited by Oedipus - 9/3/12 at 7:01pm
post #2 of 9
It's usually best to stay away from any kind of amplified antennas. If there's enough TV signal to make them work, there's usually enough FM Broadcast and other signals, to make them overload. You be better off to buy something that's more directional, like a small outdoor antenna, even if you use it indoors and just point it out the window.
post #3 of 9
Please post your tvfool results so we can get an idea of reception in your area.
post #4 of 9
We can't help you without the TV Fool information and your location.

Please read the sticky about posting antenna help questions and follow the recommendations. Without your location in the thread title and the TV Fool info in your initial post, you're not going to get a lot of help.

post #5 of 9
My advice, you can't go wrong with something with exposed fins. I've found that, more often than not, those sexy flat, enclosed antenna suck.

While I'm not a big Terk fan, this one is really good:


It even has extendable rabbit ears - plenty long to grab nearly any signal.

The only issue would be, you can't leave it outside. However, it pulls in signals so well, you might not even need to have it outside at all. Just point it in the general direction you need it to near the windo and it may well be fine indoors.

I was able to pull in a station on the opposite side of a hill inside a brick building with one of these.
post #6 of 9
Terk makes an outdoor amplified version, the HDTVo. It uses the same excellent UHF design, but adds a better VHF dipole. Now sold at Best Buy. And you can also buy the unamped version, the HDTVi, and use it outside with your own separate preamp if needed. And if you don't need the rabbit ears, buy the cheaper HDTVi, and attach the UHF element directly to your own separate RG6 coax. Avoid attaching it to the base which holds the rabbit ears. Add your own separate preamp if necesary. Works great. The UHF element is very well designed, and is Terk's version of the acclaimed silver sensor concept. And that UHF piece can also get VHF by itself. These HDTVa/i/o antennas truly are Terk's best antennas, with proven results.
post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post
And that UHF piece can also get VHF by itself.


Not reliably enough, in my experience. The UHF element is not physically designed at all for VHF.

Edited by Rammitinski - 9/8/12 at 10:03pm
post #8 of 9
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Not reliably enough, in my experience. The UHF element is not physically designed at all for VHF.
Very true, in my experience.

I can often pick up UHF stations just by hooking up the coax without the antennna connected, while VHF stations require the antenna element (even if unpowered) to pick anything up. I've also found that those flat, enclosed antennas tend to be very poor collectors, which is why you can't beat something that looks like it came out of a metal shop class.

Potentially ugly? Sure, but are you in this for looks or the TV shows?
post #9 of 9
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Not reliably enough, in my experience. The UHF element is not physically designed at all for VHF.
I should have added based upon location, and signal strength at that location. The UHF element gets RF7, RF9, and a more problematic RF13 at my location, but for others the rabbit ears may be necessary to optimize VHF reception.
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