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Thread: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

  1. #1

    Default Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    This is my HDTV, a Samsung LN19B360 or LN22B360, depending on what side of the manual you read. It's nice.



    My problem? I can't pull a thing off any antenna. I live on the ground floor of an apartment complex built in the late 70's. I can't hang anything outside.

    I've tried almost every stinking HDTV antenna. I've tried no antenna. And I still can't pull any of those lovely free DTV signals.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    Terk makes the TV55 its an indoor outdoor amplified HD Antenna. chances are noone would notice it mounted outside. I have Terk indoor model HD-TVi on 2 tvs as well as cable and the over-the-air HD signal blows cable off the radar. I use it for my windows media center to record in full HD when I can. http://www.audiovox.com/webapp/wcs/s...rvlet/terk.jsp

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* Flying Turtle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    I'm having trouble getting decent reception with a small kitchen set. It worked acceptably before digital, but now with a converter box only a couple stations come in. I tried an amplified antenna, too, with no luck. There's just not enough signal to amplify.

    Wish I had some good advice for you. Until the TV stations improve their broadcast a lot of folks may be out of luck, except through cable or sat.

    Geoff

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* mudman cj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    My experience has been similar to Flying Turtle's. I am afraid that with digital signals, either there is enough of a signal to begin with or you are just amplifying noise. I have not seen evidence that amplified antennas are any better than non-amplified ones given they share the same antenna design. Fortunately for me, I have a home and was able to install a Channel Master 4228 to get a signal. Of course, now my tuner broke so I am back where I started.
    Last edited by mudman cj; 08-23-2009 at 06:51 PM.


  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    Quick and easy lookup of stations you can realistically get: http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx

    Way more detailed index of all stations in your area, with mapping and signal strength indicators: http://www.tvfool.com/

    Build your own big-gun HDTV antenna with a board, some wire hangers, and screws/hardware bits: http://blog.makezine.com/archive/200..._steadyca.html

  6. #6
    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    It's very hard to know what signal levels are available at the outlet without access to a good TV field strength meter.
    Seems to me that all the antennas you have tried should have given some sort of result, are you using the same cable to test each antenna? Is the cable properly terminated at the antenna and the outlet or connector (if the cable goes straight to the TV and not an outlet) if you are using a wall outlet is the fly lead between the set and the wall OK?
    There could be a fine wire from the braid of the cable shorting out the signal either at the socket, antenna or at a plug (I guess your using F connectors).
    I'm just listing thing I know would cause the symptoms you describe, it's very unusual to have tried multiple antennas with no result. As already mentioned check the web site given http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx by StarHalo.
    Norm
    Last edited by Norm; 08-23-2009 at 09:20 PM.

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* Flying Turtle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    Thanks for the links, StarHalo. That homemade antenna looks interesting. However, I don't think my wife would allow it in the kitchen.

    Geoff

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Turtle View Post
    Thanks for the links, StarHalo. That homemade antenna looks interesting. However, I don't think my wife would allow it in the kitchen.
    Out of his links, I'd say the TVfool.com website would be your best bet... especially if you have a directional antenna (generally anything other than rabbit ears). You may very well not have your antenna pointed in the correct direction, thus picking up a reflection of the signal + not the main signal itself... once you get it aimed in the right direction, also try tilting it up/down a few degees (which sometimes helps)

    Adding a signal amp is often not needed + can actually cause more problems... if you boost the signal too high... similar to if you'd take a picture with too much light + over saturating things (everything looks white)

    I personally only have OTA (over the air) TV - no cable or satellite in my household. I live about 70 miles from the nearest transmitting station + my only option was to put up a large antenna similar to the homemade antenna. (A commercial version - the CM4228). I also needed to add an amp... mine has a boost level knob.... it only needs to be about 1/4 of the way up to hit the sweet spot for best signal....

  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...


  10. #10

    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    I made a 4 bay antenna out of coat hangers and house wire and a board that works great. I got the info off another forum.
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  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    Necro bump; a new hardware update for those of you who still use indoor HDTV antennas - Mohu, the people who make the top-rated Leaf antenna, are introducing a new super indoor antenna called the Chroma. Two-plus feet of width and an amplification stage provide a rated 65 miles of pull, which would make this not only the new top dog of indoor antennas, but would put it on par with some small outdoor models. One color to each side so you can flip to match your decor, soon available in a range of colors for $70, but so long as you can deal with blue/black or beige/gray, it's $50 as an introduction deal.


  12. #12

    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    Necro bump; a new hardware update for those of you who still use indoor HDTV antennas - Mohu, the people who make the top-rated Leaf antenna, are introducing a new super indoor antenna called the Chroma. Two-plus feet of width and an amplification stage provide a rated 65 miles of pull, which would make this not only the new top dog of indoor antennas, but would put it on par with some small outdoor models. One color to each side so you can flip to match your decor, soon available in a range of colors for $70, but so long as you can deal with blue/black or beige/gray, it's $50 as an introduction deal.

    It looks about the size of a bow tie antenna to me I somehow doubt it can perform better than an antenna I built from coat hangers that has 4 elements to it.
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  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    For those viewing over the air TV with an antenna; please be aware that some of your channels may be moving and you'll have to rescan. Details:


  14. #14

    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    Channels moving can make for problems when they get new frequencies sometimes the frequency is so different that reception gets either better or poorer due to your current antenna design. I recommend folks go to Titantv.com and see what channels are available. Over the years I have had several stations add several subchannels and even change channel programming on those subchannels.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
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  15. #15
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    As Tyler (The Antenna Man) will point out (and surely did in that video): There is NO SUCH THING as an HDTV antenna. A TV antenna designed to pick up TV stations in the 1950s will work in the 2020s. For the low-band VHF channels (2-6), you need one with really long elements. A lot of those flat antennas will be OK for the high VHF and UHF channels but be abysmal for low-VHG. And quit buying that one he tells everybody not to buy!

    Also, for those of you with those big arrow-shaped TV antennas, have the shorter elements and the reflector pointing towards the transmitters (it will basically look like it's pointing *away* from the transmitters, like an arrow flying backwards).

    And here's an update about Repack Phase 8: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glXzfZkFzwE

  16. #16

    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    Something new on the horizon is new broadcast tuner hardware for digital tvs. These TVs will have an ATSC 3.0 tuner in them that will be able to receive 4k broadcasts and be hooked up to the internet to be able to have more features also which could be interesting (good and bad perhaps). The ATSC 3.0 format incorporates improved reception technology and also 5.1 channels of sound. Current ATSC 1.0 sets will not be able to receive these broadcasts and stations will be required to continue broadcasting ATSC 1.0 format for the next 5 years or so but that doesn't mean that they can make agreements with other stations to use some of their available bandwidth to broadcast in 4K format.
    I think the new TVS with ATSC 3.0 will come out later this year and more likely to be the higher end sets at first and there will probably be stand alone tuner boxes available in time to hook up to older sets. It is possible in time all broadcast stations will go to the ATSC 3.0 format such that without a new tuner you will have limited options/channels/stations available 5-10+ years in the future.
    ATSC 1.0 tuners will be unable to receive ATSC 3.0 broadcasts. I believer current station broadcast frequencies will stay the same and no new bandwidth/frequencies will be allocated just for ATSC 3.0 either.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    As Tyler (The Antenna Man) will point out (and surely did in that video): There is NO SUCH THING as an HDTV antenna. A TV antenna designed to pick up TV stations in the 1950s will work in the 2020s. For the low-band VHF channels (2-6), you need one with really long elements. A lot of those flat antennas will be OK for the high VHF and UHF channels but be abysmal for low-VHG. And quit buying that one he tells everybody not to buy!

    Also, for those of you with those big arrow-shaped TV antennas, have the shorter elements and the reflector pointing towards the transmitters (it will basically look like it's pointing *away* from the transmitters, like an arrow flying backwards).

    And here's an update about Repack Phase 8: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glXzfZkFzwE
    Those arrow shaped antennas are beam antennas and highly directional the more elements they have the tighter the beam. They aren't suitable as much for areas with broadcast stations in all directions for those you need a more omnidirectional antenna.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

  18. #18
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    Those arrow shaped antennas are beam antennas and highly directional the more elements they have the tighter the beam.
    It's true, but still doesn't take away from that often they are pointed 180° away from the station or market they are trying to pick up.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    Something new on the horizon is new broadcast tuner hardware for digital tvs. These TVs will have an ATSC 3.0 tuner in them that will be able to receive 4k broadcasts and be hooked up to the internet to be able to have more features also which could be interesting (good and bad perhaps). The ATSC 3.0 format incorporates improved reception technology and also 5.1 channels of sound. Current ATSC 1.0 sets will not be able to receive these broadcasts and stations will be required to continue broadcasting ATSC 1.0 format for the next 5 years or so but that doesn't mean that they can make agreements with other stations to use some of their available bandwidth to broadcast in 4K format.
    I think the new TVS with ATSC 3.0 will come out later this year and more likely to be the higher end sets at first and there will probably be stand alone tuner boxes available in time to hook up to older sets. It is possible in time all broadcast stations will go to the ATSC 3.0 format such that without a new tuner you will have limited options/channels/stations available 5-10+ years in the future.

    ATSC 1.0 tuners will be unable to receive ATSC 3.0 broadcasts. I believer current station broadcast frequencies will stay the same and no new bandwidth/frequencies will be allocated just for ATSC 3.0 either.
    Subscribing to this thread so I'll know when you have more info on this. Was going to get the IR receiver on a >10 year old Sony fixed (seems the resistors overheat but can be replaced), but this might make it not worthwhile since a lot of my OTA stations have interference - probably reflections from all the trees, and I am in a depression too, so no direct LOS to anything. Preferred analog - the sound was clear even if the picture sucked.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    It's true, but still doesn't take away from that often they are pointed 180° away from the station or market they are trying to pick up.
    Yes these beam antennas tend to trade off lower reception on the sides for increased front reception and back reception also tends to be stronger than that of the sides too.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    Quote Originally Posted by lumen aeternum View Post
    Subscribing to this thread so I'll know when you have more info on this. Was going to get the IR receiver on a >10 year old Sony fixed (seems the resistors overheat but can be replaced), but this might make it not worthwhile since a lot of my OTA stations have interference - probably reflections from all the trees, and I am in a depression too, so no direct LOS to anything. Preferred analog - the sound was clear even if the picture sucked.
    Yeah I have issues with multipath signals here especially in higher winds/gusts the other day we had gusts up to 50mph and almost all of my stations kept "hiccupping". You may be helped from an antenna on a pole as it would get you more out of that hole you are in.
    I liked analog for distant reception but with large buildings in a city you often had ghosts and shadows on your pictures of many stations that digital reception did not have plus stations with a little snow on them come in razor sharp here but sadly some stations went from watchable on a normal antenna setup to non existent with digital tv. I think that many stations were sold on lowering transmitter output thinking they didn't need as much power to get out there and lost a lot of customers on the fringes when they dropped effective power output to save costs.
    As for the Sony TV if it cost more than $20 or so to fix it and is not larger than 40 inches I would consider retiring it as the cost of 4K tv sets in the 50+ inch range keeps falling. The problem these days however is shutdowns over the virus has greatly reduced factory output of sets such that finding sets in stores has become very hard. I've was looking at a Visio 55 inch before all of this virus stuff started and now it is like the factories are all shut down only can find some 65 inch ones and a few 40 inch or below down from 15-20 offerings to abou4 4-6 in their line now.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    You may be helped from an antenna on a pole as it would get you more out of that hole you are in.
    ...
    As for the Sony TV if it cost more than $20 or so to fix it and is not larger than 40 inches I would consider retiring it
    No place for a freestanding pole, can only maybe raise the one bolted to the end of the house. Its on my to do list...

    The space can only fit 32" - and there seem to be fewer of that size being made these days. Prefer Panasonic, the remote does not require you to enter the sub-channel numeral after the dash or dot, but defaults to "-1."

    Ebay repair place charges about $50 to rebuild the board. Common failure, it seems.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Looking for some Antenna HDTV help...

    Quote Originally Posted by lumen aeternum View Post
    No place for a freestanding pole, can only maybe raise the one bolted to the end of the house. Its on my to do list...

    The space can only fit 32" - and there seem to be fewer of that size being made these days. Prefer Panasonic, the remote does not require you to enter the sub-channel numeral after the dash or dot, but defaults to "-1."

    Ebay repair place charges about $50 to rebuild the board. Common failure, it seems.
    If it is only a 32 inch tv.... $50 is probably too much as 32 inch tv sets now are dirt cheap. I've seen these shelf setups with a hole in them for old tube tv sets and wondered if people could accept attaching a flat panel type tv set on a mount having it float a few inches outside of the front. One place you can mount an antenna if you have a chimney there used to be mounting kits for them.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

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