Originally Posted by JingoFresh
Why are you certain VHF needs rabbit ears?
Adequate reception of radio signals (and TV is a radio signal) is most efficiently achieved when the antenna is tuned to the signal it is receiving. You want your antenna to resonate with the transmitted signal. The higher the frequency, the shorter the antenna.
Channels 2 through 6 (54 MHz through 88 MHz) ideal elements range from 50" (for Ch 2) down to 33" for Channel 6. (Almost no stations make use of these frequencies any more)
Channels 7 through 13 (175 MHz through 216 MHz) ideal elements range from 16" (Channel 7) down to 13" for Channel 13.
For the UHF Channels 14 through 51 (470 MHz through 698 MHz) ideal elements are even shorter, being from 6" down to 4".
There are two elements, and the overall length is really doubled. So, your UHF antennas will be no more than a foot wide at best, maybe a little more. Your VHF antennas will be longer. Ears are the most efficient (in terms of cost -- you wouldn't want a 3 foot box like antenna on your wall, would you?)
There is a reason why the majority of car antennas are ~28" tall... They are matched to receive FM radio most efficiently.
There are of course, exceptions. The closer you are to the transmitter, the more forgiving your antenna will be. The more powerful the transmitter, the better the signal will be. Surroundings also have an important play.
With the antenna I have now, I get PIX11 flawlessly and ABC is mostly fine, but just enough less than fine to be annoying.
Reflections and harmonics may be explaining why you can receive 11 no problem and 7 with some breakup, but I find it puzzling you cannot receive 13 at all.
Flaw-free reception is best achieved with an antenna designed to resonate with the transmitted signal.
My building does not have a master antenna. I will look for a better option, that one was just mentioned in the article Aero posted.
I'd still borrow a pair of old rabbit ears from someone to verify that it IS the antenna and VHF and not something else beyond your control (siding, trees, tall building in the way, etc.)
Half of the antennas tested in that article could not pull in VHF Ch 7 nor VHF Ch 8.... and even the author did nor expect them to, as their elements are too short for good RF gain on VHF...
I always try to use the right tool for the right job...