Can anyone recommend a good TV for Over-the-Air use?

#1
I ditched cable last September to save $100 per month, and have been pretty happy. I've got an antenna on the roof with a remote-controlled rotator, and I can get most of the local channels. My one gripe is my 42" Philips TV.

Most channels are at 150 degrees or 280 degrees. I can usually position the antenna around 215 and pick up a decent signal for all the channels. However, if there's a storm or some other unknown issue, some of the channels are choppy or won't come in at all, and I'll need to rotate the antenna directly to 150 or 280 to get a clear picture on the channel I want to watch. (I understand how that works, and I'm ok with that)

The problem is that if I rotate to 150 or 280, sometimes I forget to rotate it back before I start flipping through channels. When that happens, if I flip to a channel that's at the other position, the Philips TV detects no signal and automatically removes the channel from the list. That also happens if I have the antenna positioned at 215 and flip through channels when there's inclement weather. The Channel Up/Down button on the remote then goes right past it, like it doesn't exist. The only way to get the channel back is to rerun the Autoprogram routine from the setup menu (which takes several minutes). I find myself doing this ALOT, and it is very frustrating.

Ideally, I would like a TV that doesn't erase the channel from its list if/when there are times it doesn't detect a signal. I understand if the screen comes up black because there's no signal, and I'm ok with that, but I hate when the TV automatically edits my list of channels.

Can anyone recommend a good HDTV that doesn't do that? Or do all of the digital TVs nowadays do the same thing...
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#2
Your problem is very common, among those with Rotators.

I'm not sure if there is a TV which will do as you wish, but, there may be an alternate approach.

With some TV's, one can disconnect the Antenna Input (coax) and do an Auto-Scan for channels. This of course would provide no channels, and in some instances force the TV into a manual mode. That way you only have to remember what channel to manually input, according to the direction you have your Antenna pointed.

Another option is...
If you have just a couple of directions to "look" at with your Antenna, you could do an Auto-Scan with the TV for one, and if you have a DVD/R with an ATSC Tuner in it, you could scan the second direction with it, and then use the TV Source to change to the second channel lineup memorized in the DVR.

It's possible that others here may have alternatives.
 

Jim1348

DTVUSA Member
#3
Can Anyone Recommend A Good TV For Over-The-Air Use?

I happen to like Samsungs and I have bought several over the past few years. I have two large screens. One is 42" and the other is 46". I also have several 19" models and a 22" Samsung. I use them on my computers as a monitor and then use the PIP (Picture In Picture) to watch TV as I surf the internet. They seem to have excellent ATSC tuners, too.

Ad far as the problem of channel scanning, I think the solution posted above is the best. Now if you didn't already have a rotor, I would have suggested running two antennas. Keep one pointed at 150 degrees and the other one at 280 degrees and then connected them to a diplexer (combiner). That way someone at the TV could select channels without even having to use the rotor!

Here is a story about how I ended up doing this years ago as a kid growing up on a small dairy farm. Keep in mind that these are analog (NTSC) days and we lived on the south edge of reception for the Duluth DMA. We had an outdoor log periodic point northeast and connected via twin lead. I got the idea to upgrade by replacing the twin lead with RG6 coaxial cable. It did, indeed, improve reception and then I decided to shoot for the Minneapolis-Saint Paul DMA. These were all VHF analog channels then, so getting reception would require a bit more height and better antenna with more gain. I originally thought about a rotor, but I was concerned about how well it would hold up in Minnesota winters and the "learning curve" for my parents, as well as the cost. Then I thought that since the original antenna was working okay, but an additional antenna was required, why not simply leave the existing antenna in place, add the larger antenna, and combine the signals. Keep in mind that this was about 30 years ago and it was difficult to get information about project like this. Someone suggested an A-B switch in case combining the signals did not work. Well, I used some additional mast, snugged things down with guy wires, ran coaxial cable, etc. and it worked quite well! My father thought it was pretty nice because the channels out of Duluth MN back then were only 3, 6, 8 and 10. By adding the antenna, the "new" channels were 2, 4, 5, 9, and 11. Granted, by today's standards of numerous channel choices, it doesn't sound like much. But by standards then it more than doubled the number of channels AND did not require the expense or hassle of using a rotor!
 

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#4
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but a lot of the newer HDTVs have a manual channel add feature available after scanning for channels.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#5
Philips makes a decent TV as far as picture quality and tuner goes. I have a 2007 Philips 52", it's as if they designed it for pay-TV only. They lack features for OTA. NO EPG. There is no "scan/add feature, and it only displays the current channel and title info when you tune to the channel. I also have the same channels on different frequencies - for example, channel 13 is on both RF 33 and rf 50. 33 is the weaker signal, so I removed it from the menu. But when I key in "13.1" on the remote, it goes to rf channel 33! Even for cable, it kind of sucks - to access nearly anything in the menu, it pulls up a full-screen bright white and blue menu. Really annoying when you're in a dark room... And, yea, it removes the channel if it finds no or weak signal, and I need to manually add it back when the signal returns. However, if I change the channel as soon as I realize that the signal isn't strong enough, it won't drop the channel.

My signals are 180 degrees apart. I have an antenna pointing towards each direction, and an amplifier boosts the signals. Making the signals stronger and more stable has solved the problem for me. In the digital age, a rotor is not a good solution if you can avoid it.

If you could post your TV fool and tell us what antenna you are currently using, perhaps we can find a way to make your signal more stable and save you the cost of a new TV.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#6
:welcome: GolfHacker,

I have a Sony Bravia and it never forgets channels it has received. I use three different manually selected antenna systems with A-B-C switches in each room and one system uses a Channel Master remote-controlled rotor.

If I had to rescan for channels every time I switched antennas or rotated an antenna, it would drive me nuts!

Jim
 
#8
Thanks, everyone!

Here's the TV Fool report: TV Fool

My antenna is a Clearstream 2 by Antennas Direct. It's mounted outdoors, about 15 ft above the ground.

I checked the TV manual, and don't see any way to manually add channels after scanning. But then again, this TV is a 2005 model, so maybe that's a bit old now. I can use the remote to go to a specific channel, but it doesn't remember it in the list of channels when I do next/previous channel.
 

scandiskwindows9x

Moderator of DTV Latino
#10
i have heard that LG have good turners well that is about but no low signal proof i have a panasonic plasma tv with ATSC turner but we do not use ATSC so use a converter box for HD over air
 
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