local HDTV stations via antenna

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Burklund, Sep 3, 2004.

  1. Burklund

    Burklund Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been looking at the HDTV outdoor antennas on the internet and have noticed that they are UHF, picking up channels 14-69.
    I want to pick up digital/HDTV 6,8,12,35 on my Sony HDTV w/built-in tuner.
    I'm kinda confused on how to get 6,8,12 HDTV with just a UHF antenna...I guess I wont !!
    But I dont see any VHF HDTV outdoor antennas.

    Any ideas on how I can make this work?

    by the way...I've tried indoor antennas and the arent working for me.
     
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 1999
    Messages:
    3,756
    Likes Received:
    1
    You are aware that the vast majority of HD broadcasts are actually in the UHF band even if the analog channel is vhf?

    For example an analog NBC station may broadcast on VHF channel 4, but it's digital broadcast is most likely on the UHF band. Most tuners remap the channel number for digital stations to match the existing analog broadcast, so that NBC station's actual digital broadcast may be on UHF channel 36, but will show up on your tuner as 4.1 or
    4-1 instead of 36.

    I live in a town where all analog stations broadcast on UHF, but 2 of the digitals are on VHF, just the opposite of the normal setup.

    In any case, there is no such thing as a digital specific, or HD specific antenna, an antenna good for VHF analog is also good for VHF digital, as an antenna for UHF analog is good for UHF digital. Marketing types like to sell "HDTV" antennas but there really is nothing about them any different from a good analog tv antenna. Another thing to keep in mind about antennas is that weird new designs don't work as well as the tried and true antennas that have been around for 20 years, and that Terk is the Bose of the antenna business.

    So if in fact some of your digital broadcasts are in the VHF band you need only buy a VHF-UHF antenna instead of a UHF-only or VHF-only. There are any number of VHF-UHF antennas on the market that will work for you. I use one myself as I have one digital station on VHF channel 5 and another on VHF channel 9, while the rest are in the UHF band.

    Check the Antennaweb.org website for antenna recommendations for your specific area.
     
  3. Burklund

    Burklund Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0


    look at those antennas and tell me what you think. You have anything like those antennas?


    Thanks
     
  4. Burklund

    Burklund Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0
  5. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 1999
    Messages:
    3,756
    Likes Received:
    1
    Some interesting and exotic stuff there, but chances are you don't need anything very expensive.

    Before you order a lot of lot of highly specialized and expensive stuff I'd very strongly recommend you
    Go Here:


    http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/Address.aspx

    Fill in the form and the site will tell you what kind of antenna you will need. If you're within 50 miles or so of the broadcast towers and have no major obstructions you probably won't need any of the exotic stuff like signal amplifiers and such.

    I'd also suggest you go to AVS Forums, click on their HD forum, select Local HDTV forum and post an inquiry giving the town you live in in the thread title. Chances are others living in your same area will respond with great advice on what antenna you will need. Try this:

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forum...php?forumid=45

    The HD section in general over there is very comprehensive and informative with lots of info on all aspects of HD reception. If you browse around there you'll find that HD reception is really only difficult if you are dealing with long distances between you and the towers and/or lots of obstructions.
     
  6. Burklund

    Burklund Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0
  7. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 1999
    Messages:
    3,756
    Likes Received:
    1
    I can't get the link to work, but Channel Master is a well regarded mfg as is Winegard.

    I'm using a Radio Shack VU-160XR, mounted about 4 feet above my single story roof peak. All my stations broadcast from about the same direction and the towers are about 40 miles away. I get all my local digital stations quite well.

    What works for me may not work for you, this stuff is very specific to your own particular location and terrain so the antennaweb.org link I posted above is really the best way to determine what's best for you, I'd highly recommend them.

    You might also just look around your neighborhood to see what kinds of antennas people in your immediate area have on their homes. Chances are what works for your next-door neighbor will work for you, as long as it's UHF/VHF.

    Most of my neighbors have UHF-only antennas as they only need to receive the analogs which are all UHF in my area. Those with UHF-VHF antennas all look quite similar to the one I have.
     
  8. Burklund

    Burklund Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0
    sorry....I fixed the link
     
  9. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 1999
    Messages:
    3,756
    Likes Received:
    1
    That Channel Master model is UHF-only, should also pick up VHF channels 9 and above pretty well but not VHF channels lower than that. That is about the best UHF-only choice for fringe area reception (more than about 40-60 miles from the broadcast towers), but you may not need that much antenna.

    If you need to pick up both VHF and UHF, you need an antenna like one of these:

    http://www.signalelectronics.com/cha...ster%20vhf.htm

    Since I live in Fresno California, and you live somewhere in Virginia (which ya gotta admit covers a lot of territory and lots of different kinds of terrain) I'm not really qualified to make a specific recommendation on what antenna you need.

    That's why I posted links to Antennaweb.org and AVS forum, they'd both be a lot more helpful to you in your specific location than I could ever be.

    I really want you to be able to enjoy HD as much as I am, and am trying to direct you to sources of information that can much more accurately recommend the correct antenna than I can.

    I'd really hate like hell to make a specific recommendation to you, and have it not work out. I can recommend some reputable brands of antenna, like Winegard and Channel Master but as far as which specific model is best for you I really can't be nearly as accurate as the antennaweb.org site or some of the folks at AVS that actually live in your area.
     
  10. Burklund

    Burklund Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0

    Just made a post there about my area.

    Thanks for your help !!

    Personally....I'd rather buy a larger antenna than what I might need. I'd hate to "under-do-it" and have to spend more money for a bigger antenna....hell, I bought 2 today and had to take them back. I doubt I will be able to return a big outdoor antenna after I assemble it and erect it.
     
  11. Burklund

    Burklund Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0
    Damn !!!!!
    I started thumbing through my manual for my Sony and just realized I had to push a certain button on my remote to switch over to my antenna.....now I'm receiving 2 digital channels....22.3 and 22.4.
    I'm getting somewhere !!!
     
  12. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 1999
    Messages:
    3,756
    Likes Received:
    1
    Congratulations, you're on your way!

    DirecTV is now offering east and west coast CBS HD feeds to customers in areas where the local station is owned and operated by CBS, and will soon add NBC and Fox. It might be worth checking to see if your local stations are owned and operated by these respective networks, as the satellite HD signal would be much easier to get than ota signals if you're in a red zone. You can also get these feeds if the local station is not owned and operated by the network, but only if your local analog reception is below a certain strength or if you can get a waiver from your local station. There are some threads about this at AVS in the HDTV programming section.

    This would require an HD-capable DirecTV receiver and a triple lnb dish, but there are several deals to be had on these.

    Also, if you're lucky, you may be able to get plenty of HD programming from your local cable company, again you would have to use one of their boxes but the cost premium for an HD capable box from most cable companies is usually only $5 a month more than their regular digital cable boxes.

    There are a number of HD channels available on most satellite and cable systems that aren't receivable ota--ESPNHD, HBO, Showtime, Discovery HD, HDNet, HDNet movies, Bravo HD+, TNT hd, and more. Not all systems carry all these channels, but some of them are HD all the time and not just scripted shows in primetime as is the case with the ota channels.

    Both of these alternatives would have a monthly ongoing cost you would not incur with your built in tuner, but would also give you a lot more HD content than you are likely to get ota in a red zone.
     

Share This Page