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HD Antenna Amplifier??

Discussion in 'Displays' started by P.S., Dec 3, 2007.

  1. P.S.

    P.S. Member

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    In my quest to receive my local HD channels over the air, I am receiving resistance from my local fox channel (which happens to show my beloved Browns). All of my other channels come in fine...but the Fox is in a city further east from me.

    My question is this...am I able to install an inline amplifier to boost these air signals coming from the antenna? I have some wiegarrt antenna or some crazy thing like that, that a Dish network guy installed on my house for me.

    It's maddening having this channel short out all the time, while the other channels come in flawlessly.

    Thanks for any help in advance!
     
  2. sptrout

    sptrout Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you can use an amplifier in your antenna system. First, there is no such thing as a "HD Antenna Amplifier," they are all the same and it makes no difference if the desired signal is analog or digital. The most important rule of any amplified antenna system is that the amplifier must be installed as close to the antenna as possible, which usually means it must be mounted on the mast directly below the antenna.

    I have an amplified antenna system that drives both analog and digital TVs throughout the house and the system works great. I even have mine diplexed onto one of my DirecTV cable drops from the attic.
     
  3. Phil A

    Phil A Premium
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    There are 2 types of amplifiers generally associated with a consumer TV antenna. One is commonly referred to as an antenna pre-amplifier. It is a signal amplifier that amplifies the TV signals and is generally designed to be placed close to the antenna. The other is a distribution ampflier meant to amplifier signals in the line to make up for losses in cable runs and splitting. I take it you've already gone to www.antennaweb.org to see where the signals are coming from (and how your antenna is pointed) and on what frequencies they are being broadcasted?
     
  4. P.S.

    P.S. Member

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    Thanks for the reply.... I'm too chicken(and I don't have a high enough ladder), to get up to the 2nd tier roof where the antenna is. But, if I can get the inline amplifier installed about 6-7 from the antenna (where the 1st level roof is), would that still work out alright?

    Also, what amplifiers do you recommend...I saw some Monster Cable amplifiers for about 35-40 bucks that got pretty good reviews...
     
  5. P.S.

    P.S. Member

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    I have the antenna pointed in the direction of the city where the transmitter is...but the problem is the city is about 15 miles east of where all the other station's transmitters are located.

    Also, what help does the frequency give me? Not that I have access to the antenna on my own (its too high up), but is there some frequency setting on most antennas? Because, honestly I have never noticed one?
     
  6. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Well-Known Member

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    There are two--three bands used by broadcasters: VHF (2-13, sometimes divided into low (2-6) and high (7-13), and UHF (14-69 or so). The antenna design varies with the band being used. Some UHF antennas are very insensitive to VHF, particularly low VHF..
     
  7. Phil A

    Phil A Premium
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    Besides the above, there are different designs that may have different abilities to pick up stations from various angles or directions. I have a 10 ft. antenna in my attic with a preampflier on it and the signal is split several times (and I actually have a small attenuator inline to relieve an overload on one station). Despite that and being west of DC and southwest of Baltimore and probably most of the transmitters between the 2 cities are probably around 50 miles apart and I was able to point the antenna to get basically everything from the two markets in digital. For one station that came in so so in the DC area (PBS) I merely stuck another small (UHF) antenna on the other side of the attic and have a lead going down to the main room and an A/B switch. All amplifiers and preamplfiers are not the same in signal quality or noise either. The best procedure is to get the best antenna for your location and get it pointed in the direction (sometimes splitting the difference gets you there) that gets you what you want. You can always get a rotator as well for the antenna.
     
  8. P.S.

    P.S. Member

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    I just found the antenna that I actually do have...it is a
    Winegard Sensar® Bi-Directional VHF/UHF Antenna
    (I would have pasted the link, but it won't let me yet [​IMG] )

    I also believe I have the amplified version, as it has a power supply. So, since it is already amplified, would additional amplification still prove beneficial??


    Also I would really like some amplifier recommendations from you guys if you don't mind..(like exact products or product lines)
     
  9. sptrout

    sptrout Well-Known Member

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    I have a Channel Master Titan 2 (Model 7777 or 7778) that covers all the TV & FM bands. I am not familiar with the brands that you mentioned, but I have had mine for a couple years so I have not had a reason to research current products.

    Yea, I am no big fan of ladders either, but my antenna is about 15' off the ground and easy to get to with a ladder. If you have to have cable between the antenna and the amp, you have to. Six - seven feet should not be a big deal. The key is to keep the total losses between the antenna and the first amp to a minimum.

    Other pointers:
    1. Use a high gain, directional antenna if your situation permits (all the TV transmitters located in the same general location from your house. This will increase the desired signals while decreasing the undesired signals (everything you don't want to receive).
    2. Mounting the antenna in the attic is fine if the signal attenuation is not too high. My attic is an RF dead zone so I had to go outside.
    3. Note that after the final FCC required analog/digital changes, it is possible that TV stations currently in one band may shift to the other. In Houston, we have a couple analog VHF stations that have mirror UHF digital channels, that are switching back to VHF next year. So do not get trapped in one band thinking all is well.
     
  10. Phil A

    Phil A Premium
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    So - this is what you have?

    http://www.winegarddirect.com/sensar...II-antenna.asp

    If so then a pre-amplfier would not be beneficial. I thought I read the UHF was directional and the VHF bi-directional (which does mean 360 degree converage either or omnidirectional). Unless you have loss from splittings, I doubt a distribution amp would do anything either. Getting back to what I orig. posted, did you look at www.antennaweb.org for the station direction and the type of antenna recommended? A conventional (UHF/VHF) antenna may be a bit bigger but many have something like a 60 degree window for the direction they are pointed in (like the one I have which allows me to pick up stations not exactly in the same area). A bi-directional antenna would probably be good for someone who is seeking to pick-up stations in front and back of the antenna.
     
  11. P.S.

    P.S. Member

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    That is indeed the antenna I have... it was recommened to me via my Dish Network installer, as he is the one that installed it.

    Since then I have had him come back to adjust it to point to the location where the Fox Transmitter is (Which I found using AntennaWeb). Unfortunately, its still incredibly weak in comparison to the CBS,NBC,ABC transmitters which I am not even pointing at!!

    I can consistently get 6-7 bars (on a scale of 8) for the other channels , but Fox maxes out at about 3.. and drops down to 2-1-0 when a mouse farts.

    In comparison, the 'Good Signal' channels are located about 20 miles away..where as Fox is about 30 miles away... but I don't think this should really matter seeing how the antenna is rated at about 55 miles.
     
  12. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Well-Known Member

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    when you plug your complete address into antenna web, what are the Digital Transmitters? Green? Red? Purple?

    It could be blocked by terrain, or it could be a low power signal. Or it might be a shaped broadcast pattern.
     
  13. Phil A

    Phil A Premium
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  14. P.S.

    P.S. Member

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    There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the coloration...The channel that comes in terrible is Green...but then again so are 2 of the other channels that come in beautifully.

    To make matters worst my best reception channel (3.1) is listed as farther in distance than my worst channel!

    I suppose its possible that the transmitter for the channel in question is weak, but I think there is some other type of shannanigans a foot.
     
  15. P.S.

    P.S. Member

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    I think I need those more than then the mice after trying to watch football in HD on Sundays.........

    [​IMG]
     
  16. chtr0192

    chtr0192 New Member

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    This forum is old but what RF is that Fox station? P.S. all of my tv channels are purple and the most weak channel sometimes fezzes.
     
  17. Robert_J

    Robert_J Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum, John. I suggest you start your own thread and give a little more detail about your problem. I'm not sure what fezzes means.
     
  18. 5riven

    5riven New Member

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    I have an amplifier hooked up to my antenna. I am in a bad area for reception, so I've had to install a 40 ft antenna. I am getting most channels. When I turn the power off to the amplifier, it makes no difference.
     
  19. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what it means either, but it has potential. I like the way sounds. Fezzes. Fezzzzezzz. FeZES! I'll offer that in the future it should refer to static, followed by picture lock.
     

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