Trouble recieving OTA HD, too small of an antenna? Not connected right?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Mike.P, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. Mike.P

    Mike.P Second Unit

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    Since the football playoffs are coming up, I wanted to finally set up Over the Air HD at my parents house for at least the super bowl. So I checked Antennaweb, and found that I needed a medium multi-directional antenna for picking up the digitals I was interested in in our area (Mostly ABC, CBS, Fox, etc). I figured since all of the towers were within about 2 miles (I can actually see them if I look outside the TV room window!), I would just get an indoor antenna and take my luck with that. So I headed down to Radio Shack, got a 20 dollar antenna, put it on top of the TV, screwed it into the Hughes Receiver we have, and when I go to each of the 12.1 or 25.1 (digital) channels, they all read as no signal still. If I go to the channel thats just analog over the antenna, those come in fine so I am pretty sure we can receive the signals with the indoor antenna.

    Basically, is there something I'm missing? I'd really love to be able to get the games tomorrow in HD, but if thats not possible I'd at least like to get this all done by the Super Bowl!

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    You need a UHF antenna, not a VHF antenna. It may be that simple. How are the regular UHF channels coming in?
     
  3. DougR

    DougR Second Unit

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    Not familar with the Hughes Receiver. but does it have something in a Setup Menu to Search and Memorize Channels ?? If so, you may have to do that first ?

    Did you get this Antenna ?

    http://tinyurl.com/4qv47
     
  4. Mike.P

    Mike.P Second Unit

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    I did indeed get a dual UHF/VHF antenna. It's not the one Doug linked, it looks like an old pair of rabbit ears that would sit on top of the TV. most of the non major stations such as UPN and WB come in as well, but they are a bit fuzzy and feature lots of ghosting. But again, I have no interest in getting any of these anyways, just looking to get the channels for football when the HD game isn't picked up on Sunday Ticket.

    And all of the channels have been searched and memorized. I can scroll right through 25 (Digital/DirecTV), 25 (Antenna), then 25.1 (Digital/ANT), but when I get to the 25.1 (The one the HD would come through), thats the channel that has a small No Signal box at the bottom of the TV.

    Hope that gives a bit more information.

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  5. DougR

    DougR Second Unit

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    Have you tried to move the antenna left to right to see if the signal can be picked up? Sometimes they can be pretty sensitive ( Directional)
     
  6. Mike.P

    Mike.P Second Unit

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    I've moved it to where in the channel population list, if I check signal strength, it picks up the channels from 2-33 with mostly 91 signal strengths. However, there is still no picture [​IMG]

    Regards,
    Mike
     
  7. David_Rivshin

    David_Rivshin Second Unit

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    Try ordering this antenna (commonly called the "double bowtie") from RadioShack online. They don't carry it in stores, but it's inexpensive and is a highly regarded UHF antenna. I got one for myself, and it performs significantly better than the cheap rabbit ears+loop antenna I had laying around (my DVR921's tuner says signal strength more than doubled). If it doesn't work for you you should be able to just return it to your local RS store.

    Note that because that antenna has 300Ohm 2-wire cable on it instead of coax, you'll need a transformer such as this (although I'm sure you can find them cheaper than that) to connect it to your tuner.

    Hope this helps,
    -- Dave
     
  8. Mike.P

    Mike.P Second Unit

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    Thanks for the recommendations on that Radioshack antenna, will probably switch to that shortly, as upon further testing the previous antenna couldn't keep a signal for very long at all.

    Will post up if I run into anymore road blocks.

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  9. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Combination UHF/VHF antennas have or should have some metal object (loop, bowtie, etc.) less than a foot in size either between or attached to the rabbit ears. Only this smaller element is functional for UHF (all HDTV) reception, the rabbit ears themselves only pick up VHF.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm

    If you can find an outdoor UHF only antenna (because it is physically much smaller than an outdoor UHF and VHF antenna) you may be able to mount that indoors above your TV. It is directional, that is, you have to turn it for each station. Generally the more "sensitive" an antenna is, the more directional it is. For best results the antenna, even a cheap one, should be in front of a window with "line of sight" to the stations's transmitting tower and no metal insect screen or decorative bars.
     

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