Question: Best indoor antenna for my location?

KrazyKatz

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
I joined because I saw you had solved a static problem exactly like mine. staticky noise for sound - DTV USA Forum So easy and so great!:bowdown:

My problem:
Analog TV with a Digital Stream converter box.

6th floor in an 8-story apt. bldg, major metro area. I face north, Empire State Bldg is about 12 miles to the southwest.

After 9/11, the antennas were moved from the WTC to the ESB. I needed Radio Shack # 15-1634 just to get channel 13 (WNET,) because my building won't maintain the rooftop antenna. (Don't even think about it.) I would switch between the 2 antennas when changing channels.

Since digital--just switched from the rooftop antenna back to my Radio Shack for all channels. When the reception is good, it's crisp and clear.

My interest is in 2, 4, 7 and 13.I'm getting a few channels past 13 but they're not essential. All are in the pale green zone.

Reception using the old numbers: Channel 7 (ABC) comes and goes, Channel 2 (CBS) and 4 (NBC) sometimes have pixelation and sound breakup. 13, coming from NJ, breaks up the most, and is the most important to me. I've attached a total of about 20' of coax to try to move the antenna round, but it's not helping.

I'm limited to indoor antennas.

My Pages:
TV Fool

AntennaWeb
........................................................

One other Q--the box came with a flimsy RF cable. Can that be replaced by coax for better reception? I have 2, but substituting didn't help.
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#2
I suggest you try a different antenna.

Terk HDTVi

Digitenna Metro

RCA ANT751

Depending on how radical you are willing to get.

What is your building made of? Brick?


Ch. 7, 11, & 13 are likely to be your most problematic. As they are VHF High, and getting directional antenna action requires large antennas, to fight multipath. The UHF should be easier to catch a bounce from another building and focus the antenna on it.

Try the Terk HDTVi, first. Then move up to one of the other 2, if that fails.

The RS 1634 is likely a lousy antenna for your purposes, box it up and resell it.
 
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SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#3
KK,

I really don't have anything to add on EV's recommendations on the Antennas.

I'd just like to tell you, how NICE it is to have someone do their homework, provide a Chart and all, without us having to ask several times.

It really helps, thank you !:whoo:

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#4
I suggest you try a different antenna.

Terk HDTVi

Digitenna Metro

RCA ANT751

Depending on how radical you are willing to get.

What is your building made of? Brick?


Ch. 7, 11, & 13 are likely to be your most problematic. As they are VHF High, and getting directional antenna action requires large antennas, to fight multipath. The UHF should be easier to catch a bounce from another building and focus the antenna on it.

Try the Terk HDTVi, first. Then move up to one of the other 2, if that fails.

The RS 1634 is likely a lousy antenna for your purposes, box it up and resell it.
Be sure to get a HDTVi, (not the HDTVa as sold in most stores). the i means not amplified (why they use an i I don't know but a is amplified and not good for you).

Even being on the wrong side of the building you should have enough signal without an amp. Most likely with an amp you are overloading and actually making reception worse with the RS1634 you have.

I think you have two problems to narrow it down more.

1) is the RS16134 is amplified and you live in a strong signal area and a high noise area. All the amp does in that environment is distort like speaker turned up too high. And it's probably amplifying some city electrical noise along with trying to amplify the signal.

2) Multipath. We used to just call it ghosts in the analog days. If you lived there before the analog shutoff this year, tell us if you had a lot of ghosts on your channels if using analog (if you did or remember).

On multipath it's a guessing game what will cure it anymore without a lot of test equipment (you can't just see ghosts like the old days of analog). So it's trial and error method.

With the Terk HDTVi (which is my strongest suggestion) you might find you don't point the antenna at the ESB. Because in particular UHF signals bounce off all those buildings like a pinball in a pinball machine, so you can't be sure a signal bouncing off another building might actually be stronger than pointing at the ESB. It's very likely you may find actually pointing away from it work with a HDTVi. Why? Because you are on the wrong side of the building and there could be a signal bouncing off a building farther than the ESB from you and reflecting back though your north wall! really.

VHF tends to twist and turn though the canons of intense urban building like where you live. The HDTVi has only rabbit ears for VHF, which are good, but not very directional. Normally people lay the rabbit ears out horizontal but in your case you may find putting them in odd directions works per channel. Also on the HDTVi, take a ruler or tape measure and only extend each to about 15 inches on the rabbit ear part, then try them horizontal. If that is not good, try making an equal V with them, about 45 degrees each from horizontal (and or vertical in this case). If that doesn't work, try anything with the rabbit ears on the VHF stations.

To tell which are VHF and UHF, look at the real channel numbers in TVFool. 7-13 are VHF and 14 to 51 are UHF.

-------------

I would be very curious to know what a Winegard FreeVision does in deep urban NY City. I hesitate from suggesting it until more results are known about how it deals with mulitpath. As again I will say, I think you biggest problem is not signal strength but multipath in reflections off other buildings.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#5
KrazyKats, :welcome:

Here's a question to others here: out of curiosity, he says he has a Digital Stream converter box and I wondered about its 'abilities' compared to a Channel Master 7000. My Philco converter and my DVD Pal are about equal to each other, but the CM is head and shoulders superior.
Jim

PS Possible ooops here, because KrazyKats referred to analog TV and the CM box does not have an analog-bypass function ... or did he mean analog TV set?
 
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KrazyKatz

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#6
I've done my homework (BTW, I'm a SHE, not a HE) because I've already done this at another forum. The folks there were so involved in comparing the high-tech specs of their setups that I was pretty much ignored. The fellow whose attention I finally got didn't have OTA. It was the AVSforum.

I'll answer you in turn:

What is your building made of? Brick?
Brick with plaster walls, and in a highly populated suburb of NYC, surrounded by lots of apt. bldgs.


Try the Terk HDTVi, first. Then move up to one of the other 2, if that fails.

The RS 1634 is likely a lousy antenna for your purposes, box it up and resell it.
That's what I had, it's just temporary, and I felt that if it worked partially, I could hope for good reception with another. Not selling it as it's 6 years old, and absolutely everyone here has cable with about 500 stations. It's OK, I got 6 years of Channel 13 on it.

The problem with trying out various antennas is ordering them online, then paying to reship. My resources are limited and this could be costly, unless I can find something at Radio Shack (nix Best Buy.) However if it's a choice between another lame one and a better one.
 

KrazyKatz

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#7
1) is the RS16134 is amplified and you live in a strong signal area and a high noise area. All the amp does in that environment is distort like speaker turned up too high. And it's probably amplifying some city electrical noise along with trying to amplify the signal.

2) Multipath. We used to just call it ghosts in the analog days. If you lived there before the analog shutoff this year, tell us if you had a lot of ghosts

To tell which are VHF and UHF, look at the real channel numbers in TVFool. 7-13 are VHF and 14 to 51 are UHF.
Yes, I had ghosts before. I'm living here 35 years. And yes, the RS16134 is amplified. It has a little connector that plugs into an outlet.I started researching this whole thing as soon as the conversion was announced way back. I also knew I couldn't afford an digital TV for a while., but I'll still need the reception from an antenna.

A bit confused about the numbers: does 7-13 and 14-51 refer to the old numbers or the new numbers? I was referencing the old numbers in my original post, as that's how the analog TV references them.
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#8
Brick is absorbtive of radio waves.

This is unconventional but I have heard from others in big cities (NYC as a matter of fact) that the amplified version of the Philips Silver Sensor. The PHDTV3 worked for them, when the unamped version didnt.

So you could try the Terk HDTVa. Its available at Best Buy, so you could buy locally and return if it doesnt improve things to your satisfaction. Also another poster just bought one from them and recieved a price matching discount to online prices, becaue Best Buy has these marked up to twice as much as online.

Or the Amplified Silver Sensor. Or the RadioShack 1892 UFO which is available at Radio Shack with good return policy. Or the Quantum FX ANT 102, which is only available online.

If that doesnt work then you are going to have to try the RCA ANT751, which is available at Walmart which also has a good return policy. The Digitenna is expensive....it is similar to the RCA ANT751 but smaller....and only available online.
 

KrazyKatz

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#9
I would be very curious to know what a Winegard FreeVision does in deep urban NY City. I hesitate from suggesting it until more results are known about how it deals with mulitpath. As again I will say, I think you biggest problem is not signal strength but multipath in reflections off other buildings.
I'm not in deep urban NYC, so you'll have to wait. :p I'm about 10 miles north of Manhattan.
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#10
You could probably use an FM Trap if you are going with an amplifier. Im not sure if any of those mentioned have an integrated FM Trap, before their amplifiers.
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#11
You definitely want to get in the window with your antenna.

And if the buildings around you are also brick, then they may be significantly reducing the signal strength of reflections. TV Fool is wrong about the levels because of your facing away from the towers, and your building materials. Thus, an amplifier may be helpful.
 
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KrazyKatz

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#12
Jim In Seattle;47938 Here's a question to others here: out of curiosity said:
Digital Stream converter box[/I] and I wondered about its 'abilities' compared to a Channel Master 7000. My Philco converter and my DVD Pal are about equal to each other, but the CM is head and shoulders superior.
Jim

PS Possible ooops here, because KrazyKats referred to analog TV and the CM box does not have an analog-bypass function ... or did he mean analog TV set?
I meant an analog TV set. Isn't that the same as analog TV?

Boxes were flying off the shelves here for months, and they couldn't keep them in stock fast enough. It took me many weeks at another forum to find that my Magnavox box was defective, and it was too late to get a refund. I found the DS box at Radio Shack, and I had already spent my coupon on the first one. So it might not be the best.

There was never support from the company on the DS box, BTW. The website is useless. It's over a year old, if it's bad I toss it.
 

KrazyKatz

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#13
EscapeVelocity--

I can put the RS16134 in the window, but not OUT the window; not allowed here. I'll disconnect the amp tonight and report back on both variables. Whether it improves or not, there's more info toward the next antenna.
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#14
Its not a bad box. It does have a propensity to get kind of hot. If you elevate the box off of a surface a bit that will help prolong its life.

Performance wise its top notch.
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#15
Good idea. Some newer high insulating value windows reduce RF radiation. However its a good bet that it doesnt. And also it will likely be better than buried into a brick building.
 

KrazyKatz

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#18
If you want to know what folks in the heart of urban NYC are using, check out the AVSforum. There are sections there for several major metro areas. But that's where the I couldn't get any real help. Too many antenna snobs.

SWHouston-- Thanks for the warm welcome. :D Check my first post as to how I got here. And it was through Google.

First report--The old RS16134 was doing pretty well tonight, totally useless without the amp. Nada, zilch, zero, goose egg. So I need an amp.

[quote EscapeVelocity]Its not a bad box. It does have a propensity to get kind of hot. If you elevate the box off of a surface a bit that will help prolong its life.

Performance wise its top notch.[/quote]

EscapeVelocity--you have to refer back to specific questions in your replies. Don't you know about using quotes in forums? :D Were you referring to my converter box or the Philco Jim in Seattle asked about on page 1?
 

KrazyKatz

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#19
BTW--although the option is checked in my profile, I've received no email notifications of these posts. I just have the page bookmarked. To whom do I complain about the email?

And how do I increase the "Thank-you" scores of all of you?
 

KrazyKatz

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#20
Thanks, guys and/or ladies

1--One Q I've already asked--when you referred to 2-13 and 14-59 as VHF and UHF, were you speaking about the old numbers or the new numbers?. The TV, of course, gives the impression that the old numbers are retained, when in reality they're not. I've made a chart of the conversions.

2--Is there any official estimate of how many folks in the country rely on FF (FOREVER FREE!!) OTA TV?
 
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