Outdoor antenna recommendations for hdtv
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Outdoor antenna recommendations for hdtv


This is a discussion on Outdoor antenna recommendations for hdtv within the DTV | HDTV Reception and Antenna Discussion forums, part of the Over-the-Air (Antenna TV) category.

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  1. #1
    DTVUSA Jr. Member
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    Outdoor antenna recommendations for hdtv

    good evening,
    i own a outdoor uhf antenna that is no longer cutting the butter with reception of ota hd. I've been following recommendations here and at hometheaterspot for the past month and finally joined to get some help so please bare with me. antenna reception genius i am not!

    here's my tv fool TV Fool

    if anyone could recommend me a good uhf/vhf antenna I would greatly appreciate it. i've got pretty good cable already rg-59 and a good mounting system so i'm hoping it'll be as easy as disconnecting the old antenna and installing the new one in the same place.


  2. #2
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    You need some gain in your system on VHF and UHF.

    Some depends on how big an antenna you want to use.

    But the minimum system I would recommend would be a
    Winegard HD 7696P High Definition VHF/UHF HD7696 Series Antenna (HD7696P) | HD7696P [Winegard]
    with a
    Winegard HDP 269 SquareShooter Pre-Amplifier for SquareShooter SS-1000 (HDP-269) | HDP-269 [Winegard]
    if you have less than 75 feet of coax and no more than 2 TV's hooked up.
    The more I understand, the less I know.

    PORK... The Other White Meat....

  3. #3
    DTVUSA Jr. Member
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    are you sure the cable is r-59? if it is, that needs to be the first thing to go! use rg-6q which is quad shield. lowest losses for plenum run

  4. #4
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    Yep, ditch the RG59. It has too much loss on UHF channels.

    TVFool lists channels in order of strongest to weakest. In the "digital-only" list, what's the lowest channel on your list you are actually interested in receiving?

    Also, entering your specific address and antenna height will give you a more accurate reception prediction. Your address will not be shown on the results page.

  5. #5
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    This will proabably amaze most of you. My run from my amp to my first splitter is guess what folks? RG59, and not that great a piece of it. It got hit by a lawn mower by accident and chopped in two pieces. The part without any tears in the insulation is outside but so is a splice I had to put in it with 2 compression fittings and a barrel. There are some nicks in the indoor piece I covered with heat shrink.

    So how do I get away with it? Amp. My amp more than makes up for any loss in the RG59.

    Considering most of the CECBs and TV's have a noise figure in the 5 to 8 db range and a good amp is 3 db or less. Simply adding an amp (provided you are no in overload by being too close to a tower) will add 2 to 5 db of apparent gain by lowering the noise figure to 3 db for the system. Then a modest amp like the HDP269 has plenty of gain to over come the loss in up to 75 feet of RG59 and a two way splitter. The amp has 12 db of gain, a 2 way splitter -3.5 db and 75 feet of bad RG59 -7.5 db. That still leaves positive 1 db of gain, so any signal that the antenna sees will be delivered to the TV with out any loss or additional noise.

    So if you had a system with say 50 ft of RG59 and no amp, and you lived rural with weak signals (no nearby tower) and just changed to RG6. You would see 2 db better picture because the coax would deliver 2 db more to the set to over come any noise in the TV set or CECB. Now take the same system an add a HDP 269 (not much more expensive) and the coax loss becomes an non-issue. Unless you have a very very good tuner you lower the noise in the system 2 to 5 db, again depending on the receiver. Most estimates since Noise Figure is not listed on 99% of receiver is around 6 to 8 db range. So a 3 db noise figure amp will add an apparent 3db of gain by lowering the noise by 3db. So in most cases you will pick up 1 to 2 db more usable signal with a small amp than changing the coax on a 50 ft run.

    Now on a 100 ft of RG59 changed to RG6 you would probably come out even as far as gain is actual usable gain is concerned. But without an amp you would still be losing 6 db in the coax, and if you are at a cliff 6 db is a ton of bloody signal more.

    So yes it's very confusing. Unless you do each case mathematically and compare different configurations. Why there isn't a magical solution.

    That said it's better to use better coax in all cases. My point is sometime adding an amp though will make replacing old coax unneeded for several more years or at least good enough to see what a maximized system would preform with the same old antenna without buying coax.
    The more I understand, the less I know.

    PORK... The Other White Meat....

  6. #6
    DTVUSA Jr. Member
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    i agree you can compensate for the problem with a low noise>3db, but my theory is to do it the best way to lowest s/n ratio. fix the problem instead of covring it up. i also realize the expense of good quad shield and connectors, so if you have to be on a budget than go the cheapest way to get what you need.

  7. #7
    DTVUSA Jr. Member
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    also if you have to use the 59, than put a new set of connectors on each end, and make sure you use dielectric grease to keep weather ect. out. also make sure the crimps are done properly.

  8. #8
    DTVUSA Jr. Member
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    Lots of responses! thank you. I will replace the RG-59 first since I have a spool of RG-6 already. I'd like to get every channel that's possible within my range but I don't have a lot of cash to spend right now.

    About my setup. I only have about 40' total length of cable between the antenna and converter box so my thinking was that I do not need an amplifier. Do you think if I added one like the Winegard that Piggie suggested it would help with a few channels rather than replacing the whole antenna? Or would a cheaper alternative like using a combiner and adding a VHF below the UHF be something to consider?

    Eureka, as you asked: TV Fool

    Really appreciate everyones thoughts so far. I'll try to change out the coax this next weekend and we'll see if it shows any improvement.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. rukus View Post
    i agree you can compensate for the problem with a low noise>3db, but my theory is to do it the best way to lowest s/n ratio. fix the problem instead of covring it up. i also realize the expense of good quad shield and connectors, so if you have to be on a budget than go the cheapest way to get what you need.
    If you have a low noise amp you have the lowest signal to noise you can have (since we are yet to find a tuner with lower signal to noise.

    If you have a 12 db amp and your line is say 6 db per hundred feet (RG6 at 600 MHz approx). So you have a signal that is 12 db stronger than it came out the antenna but you just added 3 db of noise to that signal with the amp. You can't add the gain and say well 12 db minus 3 db means we now have -51dbm signal. Actually we have less signal because the amp added noise. In a broad sense we now actually have a -63dbm signal.

    So we go down 100 ft of RG6 in the example above and we used up 6 of the 12 db the amp provided, but we still have a -60dbm signal. But it's still more signal than would have had without the amp as then we would have had -66dbm.

    So when we hit the tuner since the signal has already been through one stage of amplification, and have 6 db more voltage that was not lost, even if the first stage of the amp is say 8 db noise figure, we over ride any noise it adds with signal. So we have exactly the same signal to noise as we had coming out of the amp or a noise figure of 3 db. In other words we had 6 db to spare.

    Had the cable been RG59, we would have had 2 db left over.

    Until you reach the point where the gain of the amp is used up by the loss in the feedline system.

    Ok, lets say you put 200 ft of RG6 on a 12 db amp. Then at 200 ft you run out of gain. At that point you just do have enough to maintain the lower noise figure the amp provided but it's cutting it close. If we add another 100 ft of cable for a total of 300 ft we now have 18 db loss in the cable but only boosted it by 12 db. So we now have a real loss of signal of -6db. Just like if there were 100 ft on the antenna without an amp. The amp in the receiver amplifies again and adds noise. The part I left out is the AGC circuit and dynamic range of the first stage in the receiver. But didn't want to extend this into that.

    So if you have 12 db of gain, you can even use up to an old piece of RG 59 and get away with the same end result.

    And the best things to do is throw away your crimpers and buy a cheap set of compression tools for coax. If you find a good one it will do 59 and 6. I have much fewer connections go bad without using any thing on the compression fitting once I am done.
    The more I understand, the less I know.

    PORK... The Other White Meat....

  10. #10
    DTVUSA Jr. Member
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    it looks like all the channels are either vhf-hi/uhf. i have the same situation here in metro atlanta, and am using a cm4228hd that i mdified with 2 seperate baluns and a combiner. i run a 8275 wingard with 8 outlets, and have 85-90% signal on all my sets. 3 are built tuners(samsung) and 3 dtv pal echo star boxes. you may be able to pickup off the back side of the 4228. i do. but the 3 i do have less strength and are also in ala. there are 26 channels not including those 3. be aware the an amplifier only amplifies what the antenna recieves. it does not make the ant more powerful. 2 of my stations are vhf-8 and 11. 8 is 8, and 11is carried over 10. i hope this may help you.

  11. #11
    DTVUSA Jr. Member
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    also don't forget you are going to add the noise of the amp into the equation. amplifiers amplify everthing.

  12. #12
    DTVUSA Jr. Member
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    forgive me on saying crimping as i am old school. i do use compression crimps oneverything now.

  13. #13
    DTVUSA Jr. Member
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    thanks piggie! good explanation, i did not how deep this person was into this subject,so i did not go into all the senarios on noise, s/n adding the noise to the lines or thresholds like you said. forgive my crimping, old school. all i use now is compressions on everything. i myself have never had any bad results from using good dielectric. but thanks for the info.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. rukus View Post
    it looks like all the channels are either vhf-hi/uhf. i have the same situation here in metro atlanta, and am using a cm4228hd that i mdified with 2 seperate baluns and a combiner...
    Someone in our area bought a 4228hd and couldn't get all the local chs (45-70 miles away) until he modified his. He used two identical lengths of 300 ohm flat wire combined to a single balun. He also insulated the screen from the bowties with plexiglass spacers. His reception improvement was really incredible, especially on VHF, which he couldn't get at all before the mods.

    Did the 2 separate baluns make a big difference in the gain of your 4228hd? Is that the only modification you made?

  15. #15
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    What so what are you doing? connecting the reflector screen to a balun and then using a UVSJ (or combining amp) to connect the screen to VHF and teh elements to UHF on the UVSJ?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by EscapeVelocity View Post
    What so what are you doing? connecting the reflector screen to a balun and then using a UVSJ (or combining amp) to connect the screen to VHF and teh elements to UHF on the UVSJ?
    you take cm's cheap balun and tie leads off completely, and either use 2 short pieces of 300 to amp or use 2 4:1(300-75) than 2 short piecesof 75 to combiner or amp. tie them off to keep away from dipoles and reflector. the original leads or cross wires are unequal and the balun is directly in the plane of the dipoles.the mod is supposed to be good for a couple of dbs.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eureka View Post
    Someone in our area bought a 4228hd and couldn't get all the local chs (45-70 miles away) until he modified his. He used two identical lengths of 300 ohm flat wire combined to a single balun. He also insulated the screen from the bowties with plexiglass spacers. His reception improvement was really incredible, especially on VHF, which he couldn't get at all before the mods.

    Did the 2 separate baluns make a big difference in the gain of your 4228hd? Is that the only modification you made?
    i never checked it before hand, but by looking at the balun in the dipoles plane it couldn't hurt. just make sure you use low loss baluns>approx1db. most higher quality baluns are about -.5 to -1db. correct me if anyone knows better balun specs on the 4:1 baluns. my setup works well for me, but again i'm only 20-30 miles out, and almost all my staions are in the same azimuth plane(75-92dgr). also from what i heard that new balun is cheaply made, and wide tolerance.
    Last edited by mr. rukus; 07-27-2009 at 04:59 PM.

  18. #18
    DTVUSA Jr. Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eureka View Post
    Someone in our area bought a 4228hd and couldn't get all the local chs (45-70 miles away) until he modified his. He used two identical lengths of 300 ohm flat wire combined to a single balun. He also insulated the screen from the bowties with plexiglass spacers. His reception improvement was really incredible, especially on VHF, which he couldn't get at all before the mods.

    Did the 2 separate baluns make a big difference in the gain of your 4228hd? Is that the only modification you made?
    also i did not use plexi on mine. some people say those center cross connectors help vhf-hi. i have no problems on 8(actual8vhf) or 11(actual10vhf) without them. if any one else has any input on this, i would love to know.

  19. #19
    DTVUSA Jr. Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. rukus View Post
    it looks like all the channels are either vhf-hi/uhf. i have the same situation here in metro atlanta, and am using a cm4228hd that i mdified with 2 seperate baluns and a combiner. i run a 8275 wingard with 8 outlets, and have 85-90% signal on all my sets. 3 are built tuners(samsung) and 3 dtv pal echo star boxes. you may be able to pickup off the back side of the 4228. i do. but the 3 i do have less strength and are also in ala. there are 26 channels not including those 3. be aware the an amplifier only amplifies what the antenna recieves. it does not make the ant more powerful. 2 of my stations are vhf-8 and 11. 8 is 8, and 11is carried over 10. i hope this may help you.
    I will take everything that everybody has posted into consideration. I'm not a very technical person when it comes to antennas so I'm hoping that changing the cabling to RG6 will help me pick up a few more channels. I've read information here on the problems with VHF before I posted so I knew that I'd need to do some kind of work to my old antenna.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eureka View Post
    Someone in our area bought a 4228hd and couldn't get all the local chs (45-70 miles away) until he modified his. He used two identical lengths of 300 ohm flat wire combined to a single balun. He also insulated the screen from the bowties with plexiglass spacers. His reception improvement was really incredible, especially on VHF, which he couldn't get at all before the mods.

    Did the 2 separate baluns make a big difference in the gain of your 4228hd? Is that the only modification you made?
    Noted, thank you for the help.

 

 

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