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Testing for Indoor HDTV reception (1 Viewer)

Roberto Carlo

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Apr 14, 2002
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I live in a condo, so outdoor antennas are out. I'd like to test the various indoor antennas. (Suggestions are most welcome.) My question is this: Can I get a read on my ability to receive HDTV signals by connecting the various antennas and seeing how they receive OTA UHF signals? (In DC, HDTV is all UHF.) For instance, If I can receive PBS (26), UPN (20) and WB (50) will that tell me anything useful about my ability to get the digital broadcasts? I prefer not to buy a HDTV tuner until I know that I can use it and, to be honest, before Samsung's $399 comes out?
Thanks for the help.
 

Matt Stryker

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For instance, If I can receive PBS (26), UPN (20) and WB (50) will that tell me anything useful about my ability to get the digital broadcasts?
Definitely a good sign, but its not a sure thing. Are the towers for those channels in a similar location to the DTV towers you will be trying to recieve? (use www.antennaweb.com or www.titantv.com to find out). For an indoor antenna, its hard to beat the trusty old Radio Shack Double Bowtie. I would recommend you modify it slightly by removing the flat 300ohm wire from it and riveting the 75-300 ohm converter (basically coax to spade clips looking thing) to the antenna itself.
Check and see if there are other forum members in your area or even a mailing list/group of HDTV enthusiasts in your area. You should be able to find a person who lives near enough to you to give you some idea of what kind of reception experience (and antenna needs) you will have when you do get your STB.
 

Roberto Carlo

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Apr 14, 2002
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thanks for the reply. I don't know if they use the same tower. According to TitanTV, I should be able to receive all the stations as least "good" and the rest "excellent." Of course, they're recommending an antenna I've never heard of that you have to mail order, which makes returning it a PITA if it doesn't work.
I believe that the old double bow tie isn't being sold anymore. That's too bad.
 

Matt Stryker

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Roberto- here is the Radio Shack page for the bowtie: http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...%5Fid=15%2D623
I'd call your local store and mention the product # 15-623 and see if they still have any in stock. And antennaweb should be able to show you the locations of the non-DTV UHF towers as well (it will give you a bearing and a distance) so you can use that for comparison.
I'm in apt right now too, so I feel your pain.
 

Roberto Carlo

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Thanks a lot, Matt. Actually, all the digital towers are located in the same direction from my home. It appears that at least a few of them share the same tower. Here's hoping.
 

Alex-C

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Apr 18, 2000
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I just picked up on this thread and had a few questions.
I live near the transmitting towers in my area, and according to titantv.com if I buy this megawave $50 antenna for my attic, I will receive excellent signals from the stations in my area.

Does that mean with a HDTV set top box and a HD compatible TV, with this antenna, I could get HDTV programming over the air for free, doh...I mean no monthly charge ????
 

Roberto Carlo

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 14, 2002
Messages
445
That's the theory. I'm in the same boat as you. I live 10 miles or less from the towers and, in theory, a $50 or less antenna and a $400 STB is all that stands between me and watching Smallville, Enterprise, The West Wing and other shows in HDTV. (I already an HDTV-compatible set.) For free.
Since I am a pessimist, I'm thinking it can't be nowhere near that easy.
 

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