OTA antennas

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
I keep wondering IF I can ever try to get TV over the air - you know, SOME concoction of antenna or boosters or something that can actually pick up - well - anything.

Has anyone ever had any luck getting TV from an antenna? I would prefer not to mount outdoors, but I now have a completely free and clear attic where I could mount just about anything. INDOORS.
 

Sneakers

Just sneakin' around....
I've been using an antenna for years. Def needs an in-line amp and a rotor tho. Been using a small RCA antenna, but I have a deep fringe antenna in the basement ready to mount outside. I've tried a few in-line amps, and the one that seems to work best is a 2 part system, an amp at the antenna, and a booster at the tv.

158913
 

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
I've been using an antenna for years. Def needs an in-line amp and a rotor tho. Been using a small RCA antenna, but I have a deep fringe antenna in the basement ready to mount outside. I've tried a few in-line amps, and the one that seems to work best is a 2 part system, an amp at the antenna, and a booster at the tv.

View attachment 158913
How many channels can you actually get, and what is the quality?
 

wittykitty

Active Member
@SamSpade
My family has pretty decent (outdoor mount) reception from Hollywood. I know one home on our farm gets at least 50 channels, probably more but I hesitate to say that because I haven’t seen it for myself.

I do know that my parents have an outdoor antenna both in California and Hollywood, and they have successfully tuned in to at least 20 channels, which kept my Dad occupied in his earlier retirement days.

I tried an indoor antenna, and it was not successful. Perhaps I didn’t buy a quality product ($100 was my budget) and I am willing to bet my brick/block walls probably had something to do with not getting reception.

I also had an antenna in my first home in LP about 10 years ago and I had zero signal!

It seems that geographical location is important, as well as nearby interference 🤷🏼‍♀️

Good luck! Keep us updated!
 

Sneakers

Just sneakin' around....
At least 20, but each channel has at least 3-5 sub-channels. ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and a whole slew of "cable type" channels. For example, channel 9.1 out of DC is WUSA CBS, 9.2 is Crime, 9.3 is Quest, 9.4 is Twist.

There are other forumites that have antennas with very good results too.

Quality is not like the old analog system where it fades in and out with scratchy lines, you either get the channel in it's full resolution, or you don't get it, all digital. The lead channels, typically the first sub-channel in a group, are 1080i, other sub-channels can be 720i to 480i. And because most of the stations are far away (Eastern Shore, Baltimore, DC, etc...) there are times when the channels disappear due to atmospheric changes, which is why I want to put up the fringe antenna, to help eliminate the dropouts. Clear winter sky is better than humid, stormy summer skies.
 

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
At least 20, but each channel has at least 3-5 sub-channels. ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and a whole slew of "cable type" channels. For example, channel 9.1 out of DC is WUSA CBS, 9.2 is Crime, 9.3 is Quest, 9.4 is Twist.

There are other forumites that have antennas with very good results too.

Quality is not like the old analog system where it fades in and out with scratchy lines, you either get the channel in it's full resolution, or you don't get it, all digital. The lead channels, typically the first sub-channel in a group, are 1080i, other sub-channels can be 720i to 480i. And because most of the stations are far away (Eastern Shore, Baltimore, DC, etc...) there are times when the channels disappear due to atmospheric changes, which is why I want to put up the fringe antenna, to help eliminate the dropouts. Clear winter sky is better than humid, stormy summer skies.
I'd like to try mounting from WITHIN my attic - I know my wife isn't keen on the aesthetics of an antenna on the roof - even the DirecTV antenna we had on it years ago was mounted on the roof in the BACK.

Ya think I have any chance? I'm not sure it's a project I'm willing to play with if it isn't going anywhere.
 

Sneakers

Just sneakin' around....
Ya think I have any chance?
Lot of factors here. Antenna choice/design, your physical location (elevation/surrounding terrain), amount of metal nearby, tree line..... Honestly, the only way to know is to try it. Something outside first, to see if there is a signal, then move it inside.
 

PeoplesElbow

Well-Known Member
I keep wondering IF I can ever try to get TV over the air - you know, SOME concoction of antenna or boosters or something that can actually pick up - well - anything.

Has anyone ever had any luck getting TV from an antenna? I would prefer not to mount outdoors, but I now have a completely free and clear attic where I could mount just about anything. INDOORS.
Nothing indoors will work this far away.

I'm a member of an antenna group on facebook. Many of us have built our own antennas because a targeted antenna for the stations in your area is much better than a mass produced one that has to cover the full range. I built one for a single channel at my moms house, works like a champ.

Amplifiers really dont get you more signal, they just make what you are getting better suited for your tuner and help overcome the line loss of your wire run.


Here is probably the best one you can buy for down here, point it toward DC and you should get decent reception
 

PeoplesElbow

Well-Known Member
I'd like to try mounting from WITHIN my attic - I know my wife isn't keen on the aesthetics of an antenna on the roof - even the DirecTV antenna we had on it years ago was mounted on the roof in the BACK.

Ya think I have any chance? I'm not sure it's a project I'm willing to play with if it isn't going anywhere.
Any thing the signal has to pass through will attenuate the signal, even air attenuates, plywood, shingles, brick, siding much more.
 

Sneakers

Just sneakin' around....
Here is probably the best one you can buy for down here, point it toward DC and you should get decent reception
Thanx for the recommendation, just ordered it. I have a deep fringe antenna in the basement to install, but it's huge, needs guy wires, etc. The one you recommended has better specs and is much smaller.
 

PeoplesElbow

Well-Known Member
Thanx for the recommendation, just ordered it. I have a deep fringe antenna in the basement to install, but it's huge, needs guy wires, etc. The one you recommended has better specs and is much smaller.
I've actually seen a couple out in the 7th.

Which deep fringe do you have? I wish I had time, I have a design of my own I really want to try.
 

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
Nothing indoors will work this far away.

I'm a member of an antenna group on facebook. Many of us have built our own antennas because a targeted antenna for the stations in your area is much better than a mass produced one that has to cover the full range. I built one for a single channel at my moms house, works like a champ.

Amplifiers really dont get you more signal, they just make what you are getting better suited for your tuner and help overcome the line loss of your wire run.


Here is probably the best one you can buy for down here, point it toward DC and you should get decent reception
Is DC enough channels? I don't know the range of stuff - but I have little patience for watching TV where I have to rotate it anytime I want something else.
 

Sneakers

Just sneakin' around....
Thanx for the recommendation, just ordered it. I have a deep fringe antenna in the basement to install, but it's huge, needs guy wires, etc. The one you recommended has better specs and is much smaller.
Dammit.. just noticed something I didn't catch before I ordered it. It's specific to high VHF and UHF, not low VHF. Channels below 7 might not be optimized. I don't watch those often, but would still like to get them.
 

PeoplesElbow

Well-Known Member
Dammit.. just noticed something I didn't catch before I ordered it. It's specific to high VHF and UHF, not low VHF. Channels below 7 might not be optimized. I don't watch those often, but would still like to get them.
Low vhf needs a BIG element, the channel I made an antenna for at my mom's is ch 5, and it required a 6ft span. A simple dipole picked it up when all of these antennas made for high vhf wouldn't and the station is only 5mi from her house.
 

PeoplesElbow

Well-Known Member
Is DC enough channels? I don't know the range of stuff - but I have little patience for watching TV where I have to rotate it anytime I want something else.
You can also do something like this, these antennas may not be big enough though. Denny's is a respected expert in tv antennas btw.
 

Sneakers

Just sneakin' around....
Low vhf needs a BIG element, the channel I made an antenna for at my mom's is ch 5, and it required a 6ft span. A simple dipole picked it up when all of these antennas made for high vhf wouldn't and the station is only 5mi from her house.
My little RCA antenna gets 4 and 5 pretty well, it's actually pretty impressive for it's size. I'll try the new antenna and see how it goes. And now I remember why I got such a frikkin' big antenna, it was for the low VHF range.

Is DC enough channels? I don't know the range of stuff - but I have little patience for watching TV where I have to rotate it anytime I want something else.
I've had a rotor for many years, and it really only takes a few seconds to slew it to the right direction. It's nice to be able to "tweak' the antenna direction when signal is weak, you can zone right in on the best reception. If aimed at DC, frequently can't get Baltimore and vs versa.
 

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
It's a lot of channels, go to rabbitears.org and out in your location.

Good. I'll let my rabbits know.

That would be rabbitears.info.

Anyway, I didn't see a LOT of channels. Maybe a dozen and a half in the DC direction, and the field strength was bad for almost all of them, for my location. I'm thinking this is still not going to be worth experimenting with.
 

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
I've had a rotor for many years, and it really only takes a few seconds to slew it to the right direction. It's nice to be able to "tweak' the antenna direction when signal is weak, you can zone right in on the best reception. If aimed at DC, frequently can't get Baltimore and vs versa.
We had a rotor when I was little - back when there WERE only about 4 or 5 stations. You never had the luxury of just clicking back and forth among the SAME channels just to make up your mind. And of course - you changed channels with your hand - and tuned it to get a grainy picture.

Ugh - and actually flipping rabbit ears around. I forgot about all that.
 
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