TV reception

I use an RCA HDTV antenna.
Sometimes I get electronic static.
It is usually with stations just outside of the range of the station.
But it also occurs with stations which are withing range.
Would it helped if I got an external outdoor antenna, one with the folding aluminum arms ?
Thanks.
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On 05/30/2014 03:44 PM, Andy wrote:

The first rule of antennas is that an unobstructed signal is king; this is accommodated by putting the antenna outside, up high, with the goal of having "line of sight" to the transmitter. As to the choice of antenna, that is up to you, but you should get (or make) one specific to the signals you are trying to receive.
For HDTV, this means a UHF antenna; here is one you can build with things you probably already have laying around:
http://www.tvantennaplans.com/
Jon
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On Friday, May 30, 2014 6:30:14 PM UTC-5, Jon Danniken wrote:

Thanks, antenna looks easy to construct.
Andy
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wrote:

You MUST try each in your actual location any of those active antennas, most are useless, even depends on the model. I found TERK TV5 indoor version received quite a few stations when all went digital. Radio Shack was worse than a pair of rabbit ears! Also, bad weather usually reduced most of ours to the point of pure frustration. At least with analog you could 'kind of see' between bad spots, but with digital...
You didn't say where you were, how far to stations, nor if all same location or spread around the clock so to speak. Makes a big difference. There are websites that will tell you exactly where, and how far, each station is and sometimes even signal strength you should expect.
Historically nothing beats a giant, fringe antenna mounted on a two story roof top about another 15 feet up with NOTHING between you and transmitters. I had to use 2 antennas, VHF = huge and UHF strange shape. But I used to receive 66 channels free.
Well, except for cable or dish types.
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On Fri, 30 May 2014 17:05:30 -0700 (PDT), Andy

THere is a story going 'round that all current stations are UHF.
Not so. Most are but not all. He should look at antennaweb.org or the other one whose name I'veforgotten to see what actual channels are used for the stations he might get.
One of them has an antenna recommendor. He doesn't have to buy the one there, but he should at least look at what it looks like.

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On Friday, May 30, 2014 6:44:31 PM UTC-4, Andy wrote:

if OP is in US they shouldnt be getting static since digital tv doesnt get static, it pixxels. the picture breaks down into little boxes or disappears completely.
static was a analog tv problem, digital has the pixeling issue.
I have a large UHF corner reflector tv on the house at its peak.
since most stations are network tv they all carry the same programing.
so even if you can get a 100 channels, when all is said and done theres probably just 8 sepearte groups of content
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micky wrote:

http://tvfool.com/
The OP is in Dickinson or League City Texas.
This is a TVFool report on what stations he can receive:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid )&q=id%3de1c68295e735d7
Seems to be about 34 possible channels he can receive, with 33 of them being 27 to 29 miles away, and 1 channel being 9 miles.
Almost all possible channels are 28 miles away - actually about 2 dozen channels are clustered at around 285 degrees (almost due west) from him, in a very tight spread around 28 miles away. There are about 5 other channels located at 320 compass degrees (exactly north-west) with all of those also in a tight spread about 28 miles away.
There are actually many analog channels on the air in his area - about 15 (if by virtue their call signs end with "-LD" or "-LP" or "-CD" and they have no virtual channel identifier). The number of analog channels seems to outnumber the digital channels.

Most likely that is channel 5 (KJIB) which is 9 miles exactly due north. It is affiliated with the CW television network.
----------- The CW Television Network (commonly shortened to The CW) is an American broadcast television network that launched on September 18, 2006. It is a limited liability joint venture between CBS Corporation, the former owners of the United Paramount Network (UPN), and Time Warner subsidiary Warner Bros. Entertainment, former majority owner of The WB Television Network. The "CW" name is derived from the first letters of the names of these corporations (CBS and Warner Bros.). -------------
A home-made single-bay Gray Hoverman antenna located inside the house (hanging on a wall or from the ceiling or located in an attic) would suffice for the OP.
http://www.diytvantennas.com/sbgh.php
The tin-foil-covered rear reflector is not needed - a wire mesh with 1/2" or 1" openings is all you need.
There are a handful of stations in the VHF band that might be a challenge to pick up with a UHF antenna:
KUHT (channel 8 - PBS) KTRK (channel 13 - ABC) KDHU (channel 7) KAHO (channel 4) KJIB (channel 5)
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On Sat, 31 May 2014 10:26:48 -0400, HomeGuy

Very good!

How'd you know that?

IIRC the only analog stations are either low-power, -LP or -LD, but LD stands for something else.
Even though they're low power, TVFOOL is saying he can get them, some just with rabbit ears. For years, I've wondered about how this could be possible.
If I were the OP, I'd wkip or google all the small stations to see if there is any of them he really wants, and then plan to get them if possible. I would check with neighbors to see what is possible. I would actually drive down the road looking for houses with outside antennas and knock on the door, introduce myself, and ask about what stations he gets, what stations are worth having, what problems he had getting them. Believe, they won't mind. They paid a couple hundred dollars to have that antenna put up and they'll get as much satisaction from telling the OP about it as they do from watching TV for a week.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KVDO-LP http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KDHU-LD Its low (300 watt) power and VHF band placement make the station difficult to receive in most parts of the Houston area. The station has filed to increase its power to 3 kW. But even 3kw is not much iirc. http://houstondtv.wordpress.com/tag/kdhu/

Bob made a good point about static. On what channel do you get static? And are you old enough ;) to know what static really is? It's the noise in an AM radio when there is lightning outside (or inside) and can be caused by other things too. With an analog television, it shows up as little white spots that come and go at many seemingly random spots on the screen.
As to antennas, I'd look at www.solidsignal.com . I think you can call them too and they have people answering questions who really know what they're talking about. I don't remember you insisting on a very cheap antenna. I bought one with those arms you mention, OP, and the arms just swing out, plus there was a second part to the antenna that screwed in with only one screw iirc, and iirc one signal wire. I put mine in the attic (didn't even mount this one on a pole, screwed to a rafter, like I did my amplified antenna from 30 years ago. I just rested it on two big cardboard boxes), which was much easier than the roof, although there is at least one person here who thinks the attic is a bad idea. I think it's a good idea.
You may well need an antenna amplifer for one in the attic or even morseso outside. I got one second hand which may have failed, and iirc solidsignal has so many models I couldn't make up my mind. I shoudl call them.

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On Saturday, May 31, 2014 10:26:48 AM UTC-4, o m e H o m e G u y wrote:

How can the village idiot be consistently wrong about so many things? LD <> analog. More analog TV channels than digital? Really? I guess you didn't hear about the transition to ATSC many years ago. Good grief you're dumb. Thanks for proving it yet again!
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trader_4 stuck his foot in his mouth again by writing:

Yet again you show yourself to be the ignorant fool:
=============Low-power stations
In September 2010, the FCC announced a proposal to set a hard deadline of 2012 for low power stations to broadcast in digital, though this deadline was not adopted.
On July 15, 2011, the Federal Communications Commission issued a final ruling regarding Broadcast translator (TX), Low-powered (LP), and Class-A low-powered (-CA) stations, requiring that analog transmitters shut down by September 1, 2015.
Transmitters on channels 52 to 69 were required to vacate their channels by December 31, 2011, but may remain in analog on another channel until the September 1, 2015 deadline. As part of the rules that were imposed, low power VHF stations on channels 2 to 6 can transmit with a maximum ERP 3 kW instead of the previously allowed maximum of 0.3 kW. =============== Unless you went to the FCC website data portal and looked up every transmitter, it's a good bet that any stations with call signs ending with -CD and -LP are broadcasting in analog. Maybe even the -TX (translator channels) as well.
The TVfool link I gave earlier, when selecting only analog channels, gives this list:
KQHO-LD (rf channel 56) KVDO-LP (rf channel 25) KJIB-LP (rf channel 5) KUMY-LD (rf channel 22)
So you will note that two of those are "-LD".
This seems informative:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_North_American_broadcast_station_classes#FCC_service_table
Any station call sign ending with "-TV" or with no suffix is a Full-Service analog transmitter. In theory, none of those should currently exist, yet the OP's TVfool channel list shows about a dozen such callsigns with either "-TV" or no suffix.
Any station call sign ending with "-CA" is Class A Analog.
Any station call sign ending with "-LD" are apparently Low Power Digital, yet TV fool shows several -LD stations as being analog.
So the -suffix used in the call sign is inconsistent in terms of identifying which transmitters are broadcasting analog signals.
But the bottom line is that there are probably dozens (if not hundreds) of tv transmitters scattered across the US that are broadcasting analog NTSC signals, and they have the legal mandate to continue to do so until September 2015.
Now tell me why I have to educate you on how things like this work in your own country?
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On Saturday, May 31, 2014 1:40:45 PM UTC-4, o m e H o m e G u y wrote:

It's digital:
http://www.fccinfo.com/CMDProEngine.php?sCurrentService=TV&tabSearchType=Appl&sAppIDNumber 30647

It's dead, off the air:
http://radioinsight.com/community/topic/kvdo-tv-25-goes-dark-again/

It's either gone altogether or it's digital.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KJIB-LP

Digital
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KUMY-LD

Which of course proves nothing.

Maybe you should go straighten them out.

But you told the OP that there were 15 analog stations broadcasting in his area and that the number of analog stations exceeded the number of digital ones available. In fact, on your list of 4 examples, not one is broadcasting analog. They are either digital or dead. Not that it matters, because as you can see from those sorry examples, they barely qualify as TV stations to begin with. Most of them don't even have a website.

Try again idiot.
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wrote:

Because going through the roof weakens the signal, by 30% he said. Idon't remember if we discussed how much going through the walls weakened the signal. Not the same materials so I'm not assuming it's the same.

Because to a large extent, a weak signal works as well as a strong signal with digital. Despite what they said, there is a marginal area inbetween good picture and no picture. and an increase of 3/7ths in signal strength would probably make a station like that much better, but IME in most cases, if it doesn't work out in the attic, you can move thesame antenna to the roof later. Since I already had an antenna cable goingto the attic, it took me, in addition to the time it took to unwrap, unfold, and do the minimal assembly of the antenna, which would have to be done toput it outside too, maybe 5 minutes to find boxes to rest it on. It would have taken longer were there no boxes there already. I used empty boxes, but I don't think there is any need to.
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The roof provides additional protection against surface corrosion. And, nothing lowers the Q of those elements faster than a bit of corrosion! Even a 'rough' surface is not so good. Check out the 'skin depth' for aluminum at 100MHz to 500MHz and you'll see.
I would bet the loss through the roof is less than the loss caused by corrosion after one year. Ooops, guess you could anodize the surface!, or alodine(sp?) it.
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Andy-
Jon's home made antenna may be just what you need. You will have to try it to find out.
In general, the antenna will have greater range if it is higher. It is directional and must be pointed toward the station you want to receive. If you live where stations are in widely different directions, you may need an antenna rotator.
Even the best installation can have drop-outs. There are times when you receive the same signal from two different directions and they cancel. I often have a problem with reflections from low flying aircraft from a small nearby airport.
Fred
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I'm not sure I have any good advice to add, but for what it's worth, in my experience it all depends on where you are. I used to live in the city, on the first floor and got nothing. A cheap Radio Shack antenna on the roof gave me dozens of stations. I have a brother in NH who needs a giant, motorized antenna just to get a few stations. Where I live now is near broadcast towers. I get 40+ stations very well with nothing but rabbit ears on the floor next to the TV. (First floor.) Oddly, there's also a TV on the 3rd floor with a small antenna that gets slightly less good reception. The only problem I usually have is occasional glitchiness when it's very windy. I don't know why. Maybe the trees moving.
So... All that's to say that while your antenna can make a difference, the reception it gets is more important. If your reception is so-so with an in-house antenna then if you can get a less obstructed line to the broadcast antennas from the roof then it should help.
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