Best antenna for portable DTV viewing?

ksnetv

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
For the past couple of years I've been using a set of Radio Shack rabbit ears that I've had for some time now. For seeing what I can get while I travel I use a MacBook laptop with an Elgato EyeTV hybrid as my DTV stick. UHF reception is fine, but VHF stinks! Often I can't get high band channels unless I'm within just a few miles of the tower. Low band VHF (yes, there are a few of those around here) is almost impossible.

I'm wondering about some of the flat antennas designed for indoor use, or perhaps something such as the Terk HDTVa. I know I'm not the only one who likes to power up the laptop to see what stations I can get in a particular area, so I'd like to hear back from those of you who do the same!
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#3
ksnetv,
Greetings, welcome to the Forum :welcome:

That HDTVa is sorta clunky to be portable, not that it's not a good antenna.

You might take a look at the RCA ANT series, they're pretty flat like a book,
and if you had a satchel for your Labtop, they'd fit right down in there with it.
Take a look at...
Shop for ANT at SolidSignal.com
Some of them are Amplified, so look carefull, unless you wouldn't mind
the extra cord and Power Supply.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#4
Am I the only person that hasn't had any real problem with high VHF? Low VHF is another story, but high VHF hasn't been a problem for me.

My homebuilt dipole works well for high VHF and UHF, but you wouldn't want to carry it around because of the 29" length.

Combo Antenna.jpg
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#5
Big Lots, which you probably don't have in your area, carries a $15 flat pannel antenna like the ones SWHouston showed. I have no idea how well it works though!
 

ksnetv

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#6
You are correct, dkreichen. Big Lots is a bit far from me.

I do wonder about the flat panel antennas, I figure the name brands will probably be good. And yes, SW Houston, I do have a laptop bag that one could easily fit into. I carry the rabbit ears in it right now, and going through security last year at the Austin, TX, airport the TSA actually had to check it over real thorough. That's never happened at any other airport. I imagine the flat panel antenna wouldn't raise much concern.

I figure those flat ones are more likely to be omnidirectional, and I presume they will be meant for VHF, not just UHF.
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#7
ksnetv,

I think the RCA ANT series is Bi-directional to a point. But given how "right there" it will be for you, I don't think that aiming it will be a problem. And that model does full range Ch 2-69, but...
That type Antenna does not have a lot of Gain, which is probably why they make comparison models which are Amplified. I have a ANT-1400 (unamplified) for the receiver in my Computer, it does pretty well, but, I'm quite close to the transmitters.
 
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