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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm pretty sure there's no help for me, but figured I'd run it by you folks first.


I'm in the second floor of a five-year-old four-story metal frame office building which sits high on a hill. I'm fairly certain the windows have some kind of anti-glare coating/tinting on them as well. I'm about 35 miles away from all major transmitters.


I've got a hybrid Hauppauge tuner (HVR 950) and it can't pick up anything - digital or analog. The best it can pull in is a single analog UHF station with loads of static.


I've got an old RCA ANT1020 hooked up to it inside my office (outdoor placement is not an option) and no amount of repositioning will improve the signal. I have it right next to a window.


Would an amplified antenna help me at all? What about something dedicated to HD like the PHDTV1?


Are there any antenna styles that are designed for someone in my situation - basically stuck inside of what amounts to a Farraday cage?


I'm SOL aren't I?
 

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Does your cell phone work at all from your office? If so, then radio signals are getting through the window (I would expect them to). The question is whether the window is facing any of the broadcast towers you are looking to get. If the broadcast towers are on the other side of the building, then you may indeed be SOL. 35 miles is pretty far for a basic UHF loop antenna. Are your local digital stations all on UHF? If the window is facing the broadcast towers, you could try a Silver Sensor UHF antenna to see if that helps.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by peepoop /forum/post/0


I'm pretty sure there's no help for me, but figured I'd run it by you folks first.


I'm in the second floor of a five-year-old four-story metal frame office building which sits high on a hill. I'm fairly certain the windows have some kind of anti-glare coating/tinting on them as well. I'm about 35 miles away from all major transmitters.


I've got a hybrid Hauppauge tuner (HVR 950) and it can't pick up anything - digital or analog. The best it can pull in is a single analog UHF station with loads of static.


I've got an old RCA ANT1020 hooked up to it inside my office (outdoor placement is not an option) and no amount of repositioning will improve the signal. I have it right next to a window.

Do the coated windows run continuously from the ground floor all the way up to the top floor or are there gaps between floors? If there are gaps, there's a chance that more signal is getting through the concrete than through the metallic film.


Are you on the side of the building facing the transmitters?


A better analysis can be done if you provide a zip code or more accurate location.



Quote:
Would an amplified antenna help me at all?

Not likely. Amps cannot improve the intrinsic behavior of an antenna. Amps help overcome losses due to long cable runs or splitters, but if you're just going directly into a single tuner over a short cable, then an amp won't help.



Quote:
What about something dedicated to HD like the PHDTV1?


Are there any antenna styles that are designed for someone in my situation - basically stuck inside of what amounts to a Farraday cage?

There's nothing special about "HD" antennas. It's just a marketing label. What really matters is the intrinsic gain of the antenna. The ANT1020 that you're using is a small loop antenna that has about 3 dBi of raw gain. As a comparison, a "high gain" outdoor antenna like the Channel Master 4228 has about 15 dBi of raw gain. That difference of about 12 dB is enough to make the difference between a snowy picture and a clear picture (for analog channels). Again, amps do not do anything to improve the raw gain for the antenna.


Yes, your building is probably making reception difficult. I've had to install antennas on the roof and run coax in a few office buildings (I work with TV signals, both indoor and outdoor). Most buildings are very porous with regards to RF signals, while a few are not. If your building does not have any "RF-transparent" sections, then you'll have a very hard time getting any signal.


The fact that you can almost see one UHF channel means that at least some energy is leaking into the building. There are better antennas like the Silver Sensor (about 7 dBi gain) or the DB2 (about 10 dBi gain), but these might not be enough, given how low your signals seem to be. Your best hope is to identify parts of the building that might let signal through and stick the antenna there. If no such place exists, then I'm afraid the rooftop would be the next most viable solution.


Best regards,

Andy
 

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We re-did our MATV system here over the past several years. Our corporate offices, on the top floor, did not join in on the upgrade until a few months ago, when they purchased several HDTV sets.


Although the "big guy's" office faced the transmitter sites, with a totally unobstructed view, we had the same problem you do.....absolutely no signal, digital or analog, would penetrate the metal walls, metallized glass, and metal-wrapped HVAC ducts. We did get a LPTV analog station from the opposite direction, though. Something to do with some "leak" someplace.


On the same floor, though, the reception room/lobby got a perfect signal with a small wire loop for an antenna. The only difference was, they had a different type of glass, not designed to block heat and UV light.


Corporate finally authorized the money to re-wire their floor for the new MATV system, after that.


I'm afraid that many office buildings are going to be in the same fix you are in, unless their owners see the value of a good MATV system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well this is all very great info guys, thanks. I've learned quite a bit.


It sounds like any indoor solution I attempt would provide little to no improvement, (I'm also on the building side opposite the transmitters) so I'm just going to give up on this for now. Shucks.
 

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Please let your building management know of your concerns, though.


They, like most Americans, probably have no clue what is going on with TV. Hate to see you guys left "out in the cold" next time something major happens, and you can't get any TV there.
 
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