UHF HD help

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by PeterB, Feb 1, 2002.

  1. PeterB

    PeterB Agent

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    Hello there

    I'm new to HDTV and I live in the heart of LA, so I figure I should be able to get OTA reception. I don't care about DirecTV or HBO and such, so I just want CBS, ABC, etc.

    Anyway, I have a Toshiba 65" HD set, and the receiver box, but apparently my UHF reception is not strong enough. I've been told I should look into a "UHF booster" or something to attach to my rooftop antenna.

    Unfortunately, I don't trust Circuit City, Radio Shack, etc., for help, so does anyone have any advice? Is it best to try and find a good custom installer for this type of thing, or is what I need pretty simple?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jim Garbern

    Jim Garbern Stunt Coordinator

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    Peter,
    Check out the Channel Master brand UHF amplifiers first if you already have an outdoor antenna. These are generally regarded highly:
    http://www.channelmaster.com/pages/ts1.htm
    I've used a $25 Radio shack amplifier with decent results, with an indoor antenna and transmitters about 35 miles away, as well. Just be sure the amplifier is listed as being a UHF amplifier.
    Here's an assortment. At least with RS, you can try it out and return it if it doesn't meet your needs:
    http://www.radioshack.com/category.a...4%5F000&Page=1
    Be sure to check out the Keohi HDTV site
    http://www.keohi.com/keohihdtv/
    and the AVS forum for a lot of helpful info, including Lalaland HDTV reception.
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forum...?s=&forumid=25
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...threadid=27746
    Jim
     
  3. David_Schiller

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    Peter,

    I live in Orange County, and for $60 (installed) Dishmaster hooked up a Winegard rooftop antenna (PR-7010). Both my VHF and UHF signals come in just fine. I might get a UHF/VHF amplifier anyway, just 'cause I like gadgets, and then I'll probably cancel my $6/month for locals off the satellite. I get local HD without any problem. Remember, with digital signals off UHF, you either get it or you don't. That is, there is no difference between adequate signal strength and strong signal strength. You'd get a garbled picture if your signal wasn't above the minimum threshold.

    -David
     
  4. John Wiles

    John Wiles Auditioning

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    Peter:

    I am an old time analog (CATV in remote areas) TV person--no HDTV in this area, but I do keep up with the technology. After reading many of the technical reports on OTA digial HDTV reception, I see that many of the same things that affect analog reception also affect digital reception including signal strength (too little and too much, multipath, and other items).

    When we get OTA HDTV in this area, I will buy the largest UHF antenna that I can get (a 10'+ Winegard or Channel Master), add a rotator (if the channels are in different directions), and then add an attenuator. Only as a last resort will I add an RF amplifier, because anything less than $100 may create more problems than it solves. In metro areas, the rotator may be necessary to deal with multipath problems from tall buildings. It will be mounted as high as my neighbors and wife will let me--hopefully over the nearby pecan trees. The attenuator (get one that has a bandwidth up through the UHF channels) will cut back signals that may overpower your receiver. The large antenna will add signal strength without adding electrical noise and distortions as an amplifier will. Yep, I know it is a digital signal, but practice does not always match theory. Also use a very high quality RG-6 coax like Belden 1694A for low noise and lowest losses. Finally, install the antenna and cable to the requirements of the National Electrical Code (NEC) which means ground the antenna, mast, and cable per the maufacturer's instructions and the code.

    John
     

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