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Need good indoor OTA antenna for HDTV!!!


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10 replies to this topic

#1 of 11 BrianEK

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Posted February 17 2004 - 05:36 PM

I live in an apartment in wheaton, IL. I am having dish network installers coming tomorrow to hook up HD. I'm trying out an RCA $70 indoor antenna i bought to get my locals. I can't seem to find anyplace in the room where I can get a good signal. Are there any other indoor antennas to try that might work better? Or am i stuck using an outdoor antenna? My landlord doesn't want dishes or antennas on our patios but I know that the FCC does not let them say that. But i'd rather not get into it with my landlord, so that's why I want to stick with an indoor antenna. Or are there any outdoor antennas that are not too large? I only have 3 days to decide whether or not to keep dish, so i need help quickly. if i can't get my locals, I don't see much reason to keep dish, I guess i'll have to go cable hdtv.

#2 of 11 Gabriel_Lam

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Posted February 17 2004 - 07:32 PM

Go to your local best buy and pick up the Zenith Silver Sensor (under $30). At least you have 30 days to try it. It's one of the best inexpensive indoor ones.
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#3 of 11 DaveLenhert

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Posted February 18 2004 - 01:51 AM

I second the recomendation for the Zenith Silver Sensor. However, I had to end up getting a Channel Master amplifier for it since I live in a basement apartment to ensure that I got a very stable signal (plus I'm like 25 miles from the antenna farm). DON'T bother with any "amplified" antennas, the amps tend to be very very bad, a seperate amp from a company like ChannelMaster tends to do a much better job. They also make makes some antennas too.

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#4 of 11 BrianEK

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Posted February 18 2004 - 04:31 AM

Thanks for the info, but isn't the silver sensor only a UHF antenna? meaning I won't pick up VHF signals, which are all the lower channel numbers? here in IL cbs is channel 2, nbc channel 5, etc. Also, I work at Circuit City and we once had a Terk TV5 antenna hooked up to our tv's and it gave suprizingly good reception for being inside an electronics store. Is this antenna worth trying? and i am also hooking the antenna up to a motorola $100 signal amp.

#5 of 11 Jay Blair

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Posted February 18 2004 - 12:15 PM

Dave, what is the model number for the amp you got, and where can I pick one up? I have the Silver Sensor and think it's a good antenna, but it only picks up about half the channels in Los Angeles. I use an amplified antenna from Radio Shack to get the other stations. Maybe my long time goal of not having to switch back and forth between two antennas could be solved by the Channel Master amp.

#6 of 11 DaveLenhert

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Posted February 18 2004 - 12:41 PM

Brian-

I'm not in Chitown, but you should clarify those channel numbers. There are Virtual Channel Numbers & Real Channel numbers. To clarify for others...the Virtual numbers are the numbers that are assicated with the analog channels, such as NBC-10, ABC-6. However, the digital stations are boradcast on other frequencies, these are the "real" channel numbers. Most of the HD channels ("real" channels) are broadcast in the UHF band, depending on your location, only one or two stations MAY be in the VHF band. But to answer your question, YES, the SilverSensor is only UHF. In Philly, this hasn't been a limitation.

Many ppl have a love-hate relationship with TERK. Some think they work great while others think they suck. If I can generalize, Terk are average antenna with subpar amplifiers. I would stick with the SilverSenor, people have had much better sucess rates with them.

Jay-

I puchased the UHF/VHF ChannelMaster TITAN 2 Mast Mounted Preamplifiers - Model #7777. They have a UHF only version (Model 7775), but I wanted to be somewhat future proof as I'll be moving shortly and I'm not sure if the HD stations will be either only UHF or both UHF/VHF. Its a bit cumbersome to use this type of amplifier on the SilverSensor, but its worth it in my opinion plus I won't always have the silversensor. You should be able to buy them for $50-$60 or so.

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#7 of 11 Jay Blair

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Posted February 18 2004 - 01:38 PM

Thanks, Dave. I was just online (at solidsignal.com) looking at these but when it said mast mounted, I figured I'll pass. But if you say it works with the Silver Sensor, I think I'll give it a shot.

#8 of 11 BrianEK

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Posted February 18 2004 - 04:18 PM

I took a look on titantv.com and found the actual digital channel listings you were talking about dave, all channels are on the uhf band except for cbs, which is digital channel 3. I love CSI so this is a problem. Is there any possible way to hook up 2 antennas at the same time to my HD box? If not I guess I'll see if something else works, I like what everyone says about the silver sensor, but it's disappointing I will not be able to receive CBS with this antenna. Right now my antenna can pick up the WB NBC pretty well, ABC is in and out, and my hd box can't get any signal recognized from CBS.

#9 of 11 Jay Blair

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Posted February 18 2004 - 07:13 PM

Brian, my 2nd antenna besides the Silver Sensor is a Radio Shack amplified unit that cost $50. The Radio Shack model has a switch on the back for use with a 2nd antenna/input, so in order to get all the HD channels in LA (about a dozen) I have to keep using the A/B switch when I go from channel to channel. That's why I'm hoping that an amp used with the Silver Sensor will be all I need, though I'm sure I'll still need to reposition the Silver Sensor a little with some channels.

By the way, for anyone looking for the Silver Sensor, I saw it today at Sears for $24.99 and they have a 10% off sale going on until the 20th when using your Sears charge.

#10 of 11 DonM

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Posted February 22 2004 - 12:59 PM

This may be a dumb question.....but my new HDTV is in the basement family room. Will I have any results at all using this Zenith Silver Sensor there or should I just plan on getting a new antenna on my tower. I have a 30' tower next to my house with a Winegard antenna that was damaged during a recent storm. The flying tree limbs broke off 2 elements. I have Dish Network so I wasn't using the OTA antenna much and even broken it still works pretty good. I live just southwest of Chicago about 20 miles from the stations. I need some suggestions for a good UHF/VHF antenna for HDTV. I heard of a lot of people doing the attic installation but I can't see how that is any good.
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#11 of 11 marc

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Posted February 23 2004 - 12:02 AM

Hey Brian,

I am in Grayslake, and used the Zenith antenna and recieved nothing. It didn't get a signal anywhere I put in in the room. I was not using any type of amplifier, just the antenna. Just an FYI.. Having Comcast HD installed today. Anyone have any input on Comcast and the quality of their HD package, or the digital cable in general?

Marc