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Searching for an HD antenna--this any good?


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10 replies to this topic

#1 of 11 OFFLINE   James Grasso

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Posted April 10 2003 - 11:02 AM

I'm planning on investing in a 42 inch HDTV this summer, and want to get the HD broadcasts around here. I'll be living in an apartment building, so rooftop sets are out of the question and I'm in a city where it's red color coded at AntennaWeb. Will this antenna work at all. I really don't know anything about this antenna business so I appreciate any help.


Alright, I just saw that that was a "as seen on tv" website, so nevermind the question about it being a good antenna. What about the Terk TV55?

#2 of 11 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted April 10 2003 - 11:47 AM

I might move this post to the TV/Projectors fourm where all the HDTV owners hang out.

You do know that it is illegal by federal law for a apartment owner or home-owners association to deny you the ability to put up a dish or antenna?

http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

I've heard a some good things about the Zenith Silver Sensor indoor antenna. Sears and CC are said to carry them for about $20-$30. There are also some descrete outdoor antennas like the ones pictured on this site: http://www.warrenelectronics.com/

I'd avoid any little thing that looks like a little dish hat plugs into your outlet. I have heard of some people having luck with RadioShack "Bowtie" antennas indoors, but these are not people in the "red" area. I've also heard that Terk has a bad reputation as well.

You want a real UHF amp, get one from an antenna store. I also hear that UHF-only units work better for HDTV that the combo UHF/VHF amps.

Hope this helps.

#3 of 11 OFFLINE   James Grasso

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Posted April 10 2003 - 12:16 PM

Didn't know that, thanks a lot Bob. Guess I should have known to put this in the TV forum anyway.

#4 of 11 OFFLINE   nick_rh

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Posted April 10 2003 - 01:30 PM

FYI, many apartment buildings have big roof-mounted antennas that connect to all the apartments in the building via wall jacks. This is what I've been using for HD reception, and it's working great--much better than the indoor antenna I tried out at first.

#5 of 11 OFFLINE   Ottis Fletcher

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Posted April 10 2003 - 06:28 PM

I just picked up the TV55 and Zenith HDV420 HDTV receiver tonight. I haven't had a chance to mount it where I wanted to but I did hook it up and set the antenna on the porch. I got every channel that www.titanTV.com said I would. All the signals are upper normal to good. The only complaint I have is that my HT is in the basement and I could not get a signal from there, it doesn't matter to me though because it was going outside to begin with. Someone on another thread told me not to get the TV55 but, besides the high price tag, I see no reason why not to get it. If you have any other questions about it, I'll try to answer them, I will have it hooked up and properly mounted by this time tomorrow.

#6 of 11 OFFLINE   James Grasso

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Posted April 11 2003 - 07:50 PM

Ottis, what color are your stations rated at antennaweb?

#7 of 11 OFFLINE   Ottis Fletcher

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Posted April 11 2003 - 08:56 PM

10 Yellow 10 digital 05 Green 01 digital 03 Lt. Green 01 Digital 10 Blue 01 Digital 01 Violet 00 Digital The oddest thing happened, I was getting a bunch of channels in HD, all most all the ones listed above. Let me explain how I had/have me antenna. I have a brick house, with about a foot of aluminum awing over where the rain gutter is. Last night before I got my stuff hooked up properly (with the help of an electrician, my mom's friend) I had the antenna sitting on a plastic chair next to the house under the awning. Today I mounted the antenna on the banister about 8-10 feet of the ground facing straight ahead, with no obstructions in the way, except the house behind it, which didn't affect it before. Today I got 1-3 channels, mostly NBC all the time and PBS sometimes. So I moved it back on the chair and got more channels but not as many as last night, I don't know why. I don't know if HD reception has anything to do with weather but it did rain today and was foggy at night when I used it. Another thing is I'm not sure if some channels stop broadcasting at a certain hour or stop their HD feed after a certain hour. Tomorrow before work I'm going to check the reception again in the day time with clearer skies. If I still don't get many channels I'm going to mount it on my roof. Do you know if weather affects reception? I don't think it would because the transmitters, unlike satellites, are on the ground below the clouds, but it was foggy.

#8 of 11 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted April 12 2003 - 04:51 AM

Yes, the ammount of moisture in the air causes the signals to "skip" and can make far-distant signals arrive. Bad/over-cast weather is actually better for pulling in far stations. Years ago I was crusing with friends and surfing the radio. We found a song we liked and were listening, then the announcer came on and announced the current temp was something like 23 degrees and more snow was expected. Since we were in the SF Bay Area, we started looking at each other wondering if we had driven into the Twilight Zone. When the station announced it's call letters, we learned it was someplace in Idaho? It was a over-cast night in December so this stray signal somehow bounced all the way to the west coast. We continued to listen for about 15 minutes, then the signal faded. The Ozone Layer is another factor. At night, the Ozone layer changes levels and many broadcast stations change the transmitter output power to compensate. Many stations do not broadcast HD 24 hours per day. I believe they do it for evening & late-night shows. This means you should mount your antenna during the day, but dont scan for channels/rotate the thing until evening when you would likely be watching shows, and the shows would be on.

#9 of 11 OFFLINE   Ottis Fletcher

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Posted April 12 2003 - 06:00 AM

Thank you. I think I'm going to put it on the roof. I do get channels in when the antenna is back 5 feet from where it is now. I'm going to put it on the roof above those chairs I talked about in my previous post to see how that works out.

#10 of 11 OFFLINE   James Grasso

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Posted April 12 2003 - 08:25 AM

I get all of the NTSC "Red" stations that antennaweb says I should using a normal bunny-ear antenna. Does this mean that I should be able to get the ATSC (HDTV) signals about as easily?

#11 of 11 OFFLINE   Ottis Fletcher

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Posted April 12 2003 - 04:14 PM

I have a quick question about antennaweb.org. Under the live date if it doesn't say "under review" "now live" or a future date, is it not available in my area yet? Sorry I know its probably a dumb question, but I'm not picking up ABC but it has nothing under now live.




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