Before I got a DTV, I got a Phillips "HDTV" set-top amplified antenna.
For analog TV, I was amazing, as good as a rooftop antenna with an
amplifier. Then I got a DTV. That antenna was terrible. I guess it
wasn't good at rejecting multipath distortion, which can wreck a digital
It worked better with the amplifier power supply unplugged. DTV can do
fine on a weak signal.
A splitter will mean 3dB attenuation. That may be OK with DTV, but 2
antennas seems to ask for multipath distortion.
When we first got a TV antenna, there were 3 weak stations 3 directions.
Rotators were expensive and prone to trouble. Our mast had 3 fixed
antennas and 3 transmission lines leading to a switch on the back of the TV.
I've considered using 2 fixed antennas. I'd use 2 coax lines and a coax
I haven't noticed, either, but quality can vary. When my BIL went to
DTV, he bought a balun at Radio Shack to connect his cable to a 300-ohm
antenna. He couldn't get anything. I unscrewed the cable and put my
finger on the center conductor. He got several channels.
I gave him a spare balun that cost about 1/4 of what he'd paid. It
worked. With baluns and splitters, it might pay to buy a spare of a
That makes me feel lucky.
We are West of Philadelphia in a town called Paoli (zip 19301).
http://www.antennapoint.com/ says we are about 13 miles from our major
stations - and I suspect they all use the same antenna farm, or at least
antennas close to each other in a place called Manayunk.
Our rooftop antenna has been working well since summer of 2008. We get
the major channels (3, 6, 10, 12, 17) plus a few others.
BTW., my large multi-arm antenna in the attic is just sitting on one or
two large empty cartons. That's just as good as a mast, isn't it?
When I had a small round remotely-rotatable amplified antenna in the
attic, I screwed a 2 foot piece of metal tubing to a rafter and attached
the antenna to that. but since this big one doesn't rotate, I saw no
reason to use a mast. Yes?
I meant to say that it worked fine this way**, but maybe the amp power
supply broke because the attic gets fairly hot. The old amp power
supply smells burnt now, and the other half doesn't.
**People with antenna on masts don't do it this way, because they have
no AC receptacles on the roof or at the top of the mast!
Sometimes. Before the amp, I got a lot of feeze frame for 1 to 5
seconds, or sound on/off/on/off.
Now I get all these stations from 50 miles away, but one of the channels
in Baltimore, whose antenna is on "television hill" maybe 12 miles away,
has the sound on/off/on/off and blotchy picture much of the day. It
does this no matter where I set the amp adjust knob on the antenna amp.
I think without the amp it worked better, but all the other stations
work better with it.
I saw it recommended somewhere. Maybe at solidsignal.com, but maybe
not. But multipath is another reason to take a tv into the attic to
aim antennas there.
Talking about a co-ax switch reminds me. I haven't been using one much
lately, but I have two antennas myself. One is the one I've been
talking about and the other is a 6 or 8 foot piece of single strand
(insulated, fwiw) wire that just lies on the floor in the bedroom, or
maybe it's run across a dresser. It plugs into the center hole of a
co-ax switch, and when the antenna amp was broken, sometimes gave a
picture on more stations than the large, multi-arm attic antenna.
Now I think it's plugged into the input co-ax connector for the digital
to analog converter set-top box that feeds my VCR. The set-top box has
a better tuner than the Philips DVDR with Hard Drive. I use the vcr for
tapes and its settop box when I want to record one station and watch
another. That's rare.
But you're not saying they're designed for lower or higher frequencies?
Just that the quality can be bad?
I have an omnidirectional FM antenna hanging from the rafters by strings.
I once took an ion generator to the attic because it was great for
settling the dust I stirred up pushing the rock wool insulation around
to do wiring. I forgot it. When I remembered, the heat had wrecked it.
I'd unplug the amp for that channel. An adequate signal may pass
through the amp.
I ended up using a 4-bay bowtie that I used to have 10 feet above the
chimney with an amp for analog UHF. When I got a DTV, I hoisted it to
that height and scanned with it pointed in various directions. I listed
the channels and found that I could get them all indoors on the ground
I may rotate the antenna depending on weather. With a distant
transmitter, the strongest signal can bounce off the sky. In some
weather conditions, it's erratic, and I do better turning the antenna 45
degrees to catch the bounce off a building.
By "switch" I mean a thing that looks like a splitter, with fittings to
screw on three cables. With a splitter, the three circuits are on the
same transformer. With a switch, one antenna won't interfere with the
I looked at amazon. Few advertise 1, 2, or 3 GHz. All should be
adequate for DTV. If it's not designed well or quality control is poor,
an impedance mismatch could cause reflected energy. That could make a
mess of reception on some or all digital channels.
On Fri, 7 Nov 2014 21:49:13 +0000 (UTC), "badgolferman"
Two things come to mind:
1) Some roofing materials are worse than others for blocking signals,
especially metallic radiant barriers.
2) Is the antenna for both VHF and UHF -- check antennaweb to see if
you need both ("RF channel" 13 or below). I've seen some antennas
advertised as "digital" (there's no such thing; they're all just hunks
of metal) that were UHF-only. In my area at least, during the
transition period all of the "temporary" channels were UHF, but
several stations moved back to VHF after the cutover, disappointing
some who bought the UHF-only ones from companies that should have
As others suggested, it may be worth taking the TV outside with a
ladder and trying there, to see if it's the roof interfering. FWIW,
we're about 25 miles from the transmitters, no mountains in the way,
and get all of the local affiliates with a pretty compact cheap
antenna I got from Home Depot.
True. There's no such thing as a "HD antenna" either. HD refers to
display resolution, and the antenna has nothing to do with that.
However, I was SURE that advertisers would make both claims.
Here, most stations used (and still use) UHF channels. The ABC channel
was an exception (temporary channel = 10, regular channel = 7). I have a
UHF-only antenna that picks up NBC and CBS, but not ABC.
46 days until the winter celebration (Thursday December 25, 2014
12:00:00 AM for 1 day).
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