HDTV antenna question- Indoor antenna?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by JamesOr, Jul 9, 2003.

  1. JamesOr

    JamesOr Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I just bought a new Hitachi HD-ready tv(57TWX20b) and the only antenna that is an option for me is this indoor model I found at Crutchfield-
    http://www.crutchfield.com/cgi-bin/S...=0&cc=01&avf=N

    I live in an apartment so I can't get a rooftop antenna but does it matter which direction the broadcast networks are from my apartment in relation to the indoor antenna? My patio faces east and all the local tv stations are to the west. I'd hate to buy a receiver and antenna and find out I can't get any stations.

    Also, does anyone know if this antenna is capable of receiving good signals from all the sources? I'm about 30 miles from all the local stations that are broadcasting HD and the terrain is basically level(outside Cleveland,OH). Thanks for any help
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    38,749
    Likes Received:
    480
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    You could try any number of VHF antennas from Radio Shack if there's one nearby (in combination with an amplified antenna booster box if needed). Terk isn't a highly regarded antenna brand. Perhaps you might score a Zenith Silver Sensor at one of the nearby electronics store? I lucked out with one of the older Radio Shack Double Bowtie antennas (but they are discontinued, though sometimes show up on Ebay, or on clearance at Radio Shack stores - though that's more unlikely nowadays). And I'll throw out www.antennaweb.org as the site to use to see if you are in the green zone or the yellow zone for antenna reception needs.
     
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    To further comment on Patrick’s suggestion, I have a UHF/VHF indoor antenna that works pretty well in my location (I’m more or less the same distance from the transmitting towers as you are), You need to check out your local stations as to which channels they are really using to transmit their digital signals (I presume that you know that they use a different channel for their digital signals than their analog ones). It may turn out that you will only need a UHF antenna.

    In any case I’d go ahead and by a receiver and an indoor antenna and experiment. For example, I have to rotate my indoor model occasionally to pull in different stations. And I have to spread my ‘rabbit ears’ in order to get the one VHF digital signal in my area.If it turns out that you are not satisfied, use the 30-day money back guarantee.

    You also need to consider your receiver carefully. The newer models are much better at locking in weaker signals than the ones of two years ago.
     
  4. JamesOr

    JamesOr Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the suggestions. I did check out the antennaweb site and found that I need a medium directional "red" coded antenna. Is this something that is available in an indoor antenna? I'll make a trip up to Radio Shack if this is something I can have inside. It looks like the local stations that are broadcasting in digital have a separate channel for their digital signal. Does this mean I can't use a regular uhf antenna? Can I still find something at Radio Shack or do I need something a little higher end?
     
  5. SeanA

    SeanA Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am in the same boat as you James... living in an apartment, relatively flat terrain, stations about 15-20 miles away. I tried the Silver Sensor and it worked fine for a "directional" antenna. But since it is directional, and if your TV stations are not all coming from one direction, you will have to continually move the antenna for different stations. At least that is what I discovered.

    What works very well for me is the Jensen TV940 antenna. It is both UHF and VHF. It has built-in, individual boosters/amplifiers for both the VHF and UHF band. And the real key is that the antenna can be rotated and translated remotely, and than programmed to recall more than 60 (I think) different channels. I use my Sony universal remote for all my home theater equipment, including the Jensen antenna. It's pretty cool. You should at least check out this antenna. I think I bought it from Amazon, and it is cheaper than the lousy Terk antenna you were considering.
     
  6. JamesOr

    JamesOr Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the tip. Do my local stations have to be broadcasting their HD signals on uhf/vhf in order to use that antenna you have? It's hard for me to tell on the antennaweb site whether they are using uhf/vhf or not. I'm not really familiar enough with HD to know if there is such a thing as broadcasting in "digital" as opposed to uhf/vhf. Do I need to find out how exactly they broadcast the HD programming before getting an antenna? These are the results I got on antennweb.org:

    * = Digital
    -----------

    * yellow WOAC-DT 47 SAH Canton OH Nov 1 2003 167°
    lt green WOAC 67 SAH Canton OH 167°
    * red WKYC-DT 2 NBC Cleveland OH Now Live 296°
    red WKYC 3 NBC Cleveland OH 296°
    red WEWS 5 ABC Cleveland OH 291°
    red WJW 8 FOX Cleveland OH 288°
    * red WOIO-DT 10 CBS Shaker Heights OH Now Live 296°
    * red WEWS-DT 15 ABC Cleveland OH Now Live 291°
    red WOIO 19 CBS Shaker Heights OH 296°
    * red WVIZ-DT 26 PBS Cleveland OH Nov 1 2003 282°
    * red WUAB-DT 28 UPN Lorain OH Now Live 292°
    * red WBNX-DT 30 WB Akron OH Awaiting FCC Permit 295°
    * red WJW-DT 31 FOX Cleveland OH Now Live 288°
    * red WQHS-DT 34 UNI Cleveland OH Under Review 294°
    * red WDLI-DT 39 TBN Canton OH Under Review 210°
    * red WEAO-DT 50 PBS Akron OH Awaiting FCC Permit 218°
    red WBNX 55 WB Akron OH 295°
    * red WVPX-DT 59 PAX Akron OH Awaiting FCC Permit 209°
    red WQHS 61 UNI Cleveland OH 295°
     
  7. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    38,749
    Likes Received:
    480
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    The vast majority of the HDTV signals are broadcasted on the UHF wavelengths (anything from channel 14 to channel 69, IIRC), so any old UHF antenna (that has the proper reception strength, be it a rinky-dink piece of coat hanger looking antenna in a circular shape connected to a 300 ohm to 75 ohm ballum/F-converter, or a sophisticated and well designed UHF antenna for indoor use, or outdoor use) is suitable.

    Now, if you are in the red zone, outdoor antennas are probably your best choice, but that's a problem since you live in an apartment. You will have to try an indoor antenna in conjuction with an antenna amplifier and hope for the best.

    HDTV reception is pretty much all-or-nothing. Sometimes you'll get a ragged signal that cuts in and out (stutters) due to directionality/distance issues, but you're going to either get a usable signal that brings in glorious HDTV, or you'll get nothing, nada, zippo.

    These are the channels you'll need to work on for HDTV:

     
  8. JamesOr

    JamesOr Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Great, thanks for the explanation. I think what I'll do is wait until football season is about to start before getting an antenna and receiver. There isn't anything I'm dying to watch right now so I'll save my $ and get a decent receiver and an amp for the antenna. Thanks again
     
  9. Tamer C

    Tamer C Agent

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  10. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    38,749
    Likes Received:
    480
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    I haven't, but since Radio Shack has a good return policy, if you can get it at a local RS, why not try it and let us know?
     
  11. Steve Carlo

    Steve Carlo Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    We initially used an indoor antenna for HD. Bought it from Lowes for about 50. It has a rotating dish on it (claims to be omni-directional but that's a myth) and 2 rabbit ears. Built in amplifier. Worked well for us.

    We've just switched to an external antenna on our dish which works better for more channels [​IMG]
     
  12. SeanA

    SeanA Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Steve,

    What antenna are you describing ? Almost sounds like the Jensen TV940 that I am using.
     
  13. Steve Carlo

    Steve Carlo Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Afraid I can't tell you anymore than that except it is made by Magnavox. It amplifies UHF and VHF signals. Works OK, but not as well as an external.
     
  14. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2001
    Messages:
    2,276
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
  15. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    38,749
    Likes Received:
    480
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
  16. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    5,995
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    The BK
    Real Name:
    ManW
    Pat,

    Do you need to use an amp w/ that RatShack antenna? If yes, which one? I might want to give it a try.

    I recently hooked up a Sammy T151 to an old RCA amplified VHF/UHF indoor antenna (model 600), and I can only get it to work on the side of the building facing the Empire State Building (and only at ground level, not main floor, no less). Also, I can't seem to get some of the weaker signals this way. I'm hoping to be able to get more.

    Thanks.

    _Man_
     
  17. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    38,749
    Likes Received:
    480
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    I used a RCA VH-140 4-way splitter antenna booster (only 10dB of boost, IIRC). I got it at Home Depot.
     
  18. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2001
    Messages:
    2,276
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Unfortunately, the Zenith Silver Sensor did nothing for me. I live about 40 miles north of Atlanta (close to the North GA mountains), so perhaps that has something to do with it. I guess I need something with an amp. I know that Terk isn't highly regarded, but will this one pull in anything?

    http://www.sears.com/sr/product/summ...id=05768519000
     
  19. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2003
    Messages:
    931
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    No - that Terk is the absolute worst, the Silver Sensor is 10x better without an amp. Since you are 40+miles you really need a higher gain outdoor antenna like the Channel master model 4228 with a good low noise preamp like the Channel Master 7777. 40miles+ is very fringe reception, smaller and indoor antennas are for local reception like under 20miles.
     
  20. Eddie Ras

    Eddie Ras Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2002
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i see sean uses the Jensen TV 940== do you like it?
    anyone else use it?

    i can't find it anywhere- where did you buy it?

    i'm in deerfield, il about 26 miles north of the towers-- will this work do you think?
     

Share This Page