Disabled looking for the best, easiest to install, antenna

U

Unregistered

Guest
#1
Hi guys,

I'm switching from DirecTv to Hulu/Netflix and want to pick up HDTV signals from my local stations (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, PBS).

Here's my TVFool report: TV Fool

Can you recommend an antenna that is easy to install and relatively inexpensive? I am disabled and will need help installing and setting up.

Also, is there an easy DVR-type substitute for recording from these channels?

Thanks!!
 

hawtsauc3

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#2
Like i tell everyone. Start with your basic RCA or GE indoor antenna for $10 and see how many channels you get with it first. It may satisfy your needs. While using this setup i advise using a 3 way splitter and an extra coax cable to extend the distance you can move the antenna for optimum reception. 9/10 if you're in a decent sized city that will suffice and takes zero effort. As far as DVR simple tv starts at $150 and is designed for antenna tv.
 
#3
While using this setup i advise using a 3 way splitter
Once again, why the splitter? What are you splitting? A 3 way split will eat up 7 dB or more in gain. (The 3.5 dB I mentioned is for a 2 way split.)

Disabled, please check out this thread, for a bunny rabbit ear / loop combo with a fairly long lead, and an alternative to the splitter.
http://www.dtvusaforum.com/dtv-hdtv-reception-antenna-discussion/48849-roof-indoor-antennna-one.html
Unfortunately, getting good indoor reception is a multi-stage process, so you may need help on more than one occasion.

Good luck!
Rick
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#4
Hi guys,

I'm switching from DirecTv to Hulu/Netflix and want to pick up HDTV signals from my local stations (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, PBS).

Here's my TVFool report: TV Fool

Can you recommend an antenna that is easy to install and relatively inexpensive? I am disabled and will need help installing and setting up.

Also, is there an easy DVR-type substitute for recording from these channels?

Thanks!!
If you are able to install a small outdoor antenna, a Channelmaster CM2016 HDTV VHF High Band & UHF Digital Outdoor TV Antenna-Channel Master CM2016 (CM2016) pointed to about 245 degrees magnetic would be ideal for your location, either outdoors or in an attic. Small, lightweight, easy to install, this antenna will get you all the networks you are seeking AND MORE. You'll need a suitable mounting and RG6 coaxial cable. Your cost will be about the same as a single month of cable TV.

If you want good reception, FORGET RABBIT-EAR TYPE ANTENNAS and other INDOOR ANTENNA SOLUTIONS! You're just throwing away your money. They may work, but they are prone interference and to fading as you move around the room. Do it right - and you won't be disappointed.

Attic or outdoors is the way to go. Your TVfool supports the antenna I recommend.
 
#5
If you are able to install a small outdoor antenna,
Did you notice he's disabled?

Your cost will be about the same as a single month of cable TV.
Not if he has to hire an installer.

disabled OP said:
Can you recommend an antenna that is easy to install and relatively inexpensive?
If you want good reception, FORGET RABBIT-EAR TYPE ANTENNAS and other INDOOR ANTENNA SOLUTIONS!
Spoken like a true antenna installer... Oh wait! :duh:

Rick
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#6
Did you notice he's disabled?
Yes, I did see that. Maybe you missed the part where I said "if you are able" OP did not state HOW disabled. There are varying degrees of disabled. "Outdoors" doesn't always mean "go climb on the roof"

Not if he has to hire an installer.
He may not need an installer. There are many thing the disabled can do by themselves, in fact, it provides a great sense of accomplishment to many. I don't know what his situation is. OP may be mobile enough to do a simple install, or he may have an easily accessible location where it could be placed. OP may have friends or relatives that can help. "Disabled" ≠ helpless or friendless.



Spoken like a true antenna installer... Oh wait! :duh:
As a "true antenna installer", I'm not all about making money. I want people to dump their pay TV if they don't need or can't afford it. Did you know I've given away antennas or installed at cost to those in need? Did you know I have a fear of heights? I hate climbing on roofs, but I hate seeing people waste good money on pay TV even more! I got into this because I hated my monthly DirecTV/Dish/Comcast bill, and wanted to save my friends and neighbors from that monthly expense, too.

If the OP didn't think himself capable of doing as I suggested, he could just state "I can't do that", and we can all search for other options.

Now, if our guest could share some details about his disability and his residence (Attic with access? Porch or balcony? Window with a South or West view?), we can find the best solution for him.
 
G

Guest

Guest
#7
Hey,

No need to get chippy over this. I like your suggestions...and I'm going to use them. I'm going out to buy the $10 RCA indoor antenna today and have a friend help me move it around the room to see what kind of reception I can get.

If that doesn't work, I'll buy the outdoor antenna you suggested and have a buddy go climbing. :)

I'm in a wheelchair so, really, any and all of this will require some level of help. But I truly appreciate your responses and will see what we can see.

Have a great weekend!
 
#8
Now, if our guest could share some details about his disability and his residence (Attic with access? Porch or balcony? Window with a South or West view?), we can find the best solution for him.
Fair enough. :thumb: Our guest knows enough about his situation he can probably decide which option to pursue first. I, personally, feel the cheap indoor test setup is an often neglected first option. But maybe that's just because I was lucky going that route. I treated it like a science fair project. :becky: I don't get discouraged easily.

Please keep us posted on your progress, disabled OP!

R.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#9
Perhaps I should have also asked for more info about the OP's situation before making suggestions.

OP, The "rabbit ear" test will get you some channels for sure. But for reliable reception, a "real" antenna is the way to go, even if it is indoors. Moving around the room screws up reception with rabbit ears, and a metal wheelchair moving around could really do a number! I had a co-worker using rabbit ears who told me that he couldn't even even move his arm to drink his beer without the signal dropping. "I can only drink during commercials!" lol... Putting a home-made 4 bay antenna in a window facing the transmitters solved his problem.

As for the problem of recording TV OTA, there are really only 2 good solutions. One is a computer with a TV tuner (you can find USB TV sticks for under $50) and media center software (included in windows 7), and the other is the Magnavox HDD / DVD units with tuner, here: magnavox hdd & dvd recorder - Walmart.com or here: Magnavox HDD / DVD w/ Tuner
 
#10
Somehow our posts crossed. I didn't see your last post when I put up mine.

No need to get chippy over this. I like your suggestions...and I'm going to use them. I'm going out to buy the $10 RCA indoor antenna today and have a friend help me move it around the room to see what kind of reception I can get.

If that doesn't work, I'll buy the outdoor antenna you suggested and have a buddy go climbing. :)
Whoh!! The idea of the $10 jobbie is mostly to find out whether an indoor will be practical. Like I said -- multi-stage process. It would be very unusual if a rabbit ear / loop combo was your ultimate indoor setup. As I said, try the $10 test then get back to us!

One big reason indoor antennas have such a bad rep among professional installers is that everyone goes for the little plastic, preamped contraptions. We don't want you to spend hundreds of dollars, but we also don't want you to wind up with one of those scams -- which are everywhere. The rabbit ear / loop combo isn't scam cause it's so cheap, but it's a rung below the plastic contraptions in reception.

I'm in a wheelchair so, really, any and all of this will require some level of help.
That was my impression. Do you feel as if your present location is where you'll reside for the next 10 years at least? If so, that would argue strongly in favor of the outdoor antenna, especially since you have permission to put it up and a (hopefully young, healthy and insured) friend willing to help. I just get a little nervous when I hear about non-professionals crawling around on roofs. :eyes:

Take Care,
Rick
 
#11
OP, The "rabbit ear" test will get you some channels for sure. But for reliable reception, a "real" antenna is the way to go, even if it is indoors.
Right!

Moving around the room screws up reception with rabbit ears, and a metal wheelchair moving around could really do a number! I had a co-worker using rabbit ears who told me that he couldn't even even move his arm to drink his beer without the signal dropping. "I can only drink during commercials!" lol... Putting a home-made 4 bay antenna in a window facing the transmitters solved his problem.
See, I think all indoor antennas should be 2 or 4 bays or better -- or at least an HD BLADE -- installed in a window, or up close to the ceiling, largely eliminating the arm waving problem. I think I was the first to suggest a $10 antenna as a test setup, since few individuals can afford a signal meter. Then dkr suggested it a couple times ... maybe he thinks he had the idea first. :confused:

Rick
 
G

Guest

Guest
#12
Well, believe it or not, the $10 antenna worked like a charm. It picked up all of the major networks clear as an HD bell.

The problem I found was that Hulu wasn't able to provide me the cable channel line-up I typically watch (Bravo, TNT, Food Network, ESPN, etc) so going with Hulu, no matter what antenna I found, isn't going to be an optimal solution.

Wish I could find an antenna that picks up those cable channels... :)
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#13
The problem I found was that Hulu wasn't able to provide me the cable channel line-up I typically watch (Bravo, TNT, Food Network, ESPN, etc) so going with Hulu, no matter what antenna I found, isn't going to be an optimal solution.
Cutting the cord requires some patience. A lot of the cable show do become available on Netflix, Amazon, iTunes - but you have to wait usually until the next season to see this season. And you'll have to pay, usually.
 
#14
Well, believe it or not, the $10 antenna worked like a charm. It picked up all of the major networks clear as an HD bell.
I really am surprised. Now we know there are no major obstructions between your antenna and the important stations. But supposing reception goes sour in bad weather, or you start hankering for some of the stations farther down on your TV Fool report, you can always come back to Mr. Pogi's suggestions. As a middle ground, you could try an HD BLADE antenna from solid signal. (Don't get one of their canned setups. I see they have an amped version now, which verges on scam territory. Get the plain BLADE with no coax, and some quad RG-6 cable at whatever size, color you like off of eBay.)

The problem I found was that Hulu wasn't able to provide me the cable channel line-up I typically watch (Bravo, TNT, Food Network, ESPN, etc) so going with Hulu, no matter what antenna I found, isn't going to be an optimal solution.
Well! Since you're retired, maybe you have enough time on your hands to get into iTV. There's a certain site on the internet, which shall remain nameless, that has a bad reputation for planting malware on people's computers. BUT if you know how to protect yourself with a good ad blocker and antivirus software, it provides fairly current links to almost everything. Problem is the links keep changing, cause it's mostly illegal in the U.S. (In Canada, I understand you can use any signal once it crosses onto your property.)

Doubt any individuals will go to the slammer for private use, but that doesn't mean it's right either. :eyes: Aiding and abetting, yadayadayada... Google is your friend.

Rickabadboymus :bolt:

[edit: Should have mentioned you need a high speed internet connection to do the iTV thing.]
 
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MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#15
Well! Since you're retired, maybe you have enough time on your hands to get into iTV. There's a certain site on the internet, which shall remain nameless, that has a bad reputation for planting malware on people's computers. BUT if you know how to protect yourself with a good ad blocker and antivirus software, it provides fairly current links to almost everything. Problem is the links keep changing, cause it's mostly illegal in the U.S. (In Canada, I understand you can use any signal once it crosses onto your property.)

Doubt any individuals will go to the slammer for private use, but that doesn't mean it's right either. :eyes: Aiding and abetting, yadayadayada... Google is your friend.

Rickabadboymus :bolt:

[edit: Should have mentioned you need a high speed internet connection to do the iTV thing.]
Maybe you have a neighbor with pay TV you could visit to watch those programs.
Also...
Some Pay TV providers allow you to watch content online IF you are a customer, but you need to use your account username and password to log in. Now, I realize that YOU don't have pay TV, but maybe you have a friend who does, if you see where I'm headed... ;)
 

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#16
Reminds me of this:

I tried to watch Game of Thrones and this is what happened - The Oatmeal
NOT SAFE FOR WORK.

(There is a C-bomb dropped at one stage - you were warned).

If you dont know what a C-bomb is... dont click.
Some faux-adult pills ads in there for good measure too.


It should be noted that the series is now reasonably widely legally available.





On a DTV related note, Ive seen the c-bomb dropped a few times <830pm down here. Good luck with that on US OTA.
 
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#17
Hey nbound,

Entire U.S. political system was BOUGHT OFF many years ago. You think the copyright laws are fair and righteous? Have you SEEN the obscene penalties that went in some 20 years ago? 1 year in jail and/or $150,000 in fines for first offense -- right (I think it's higher now). I remember when it went through. Big exposes in all the papers, both liberal and conservative, on how it was outright bought from the Congress by big media companies. Didn't matter -- it's called legal bribery. Once upon a time I was a great supporter of copyright law. That was when it made sense.

If government is your god, you really, REALLY are advertising your youth.

Not saying anyone should violate the law. Noooooooooo ... not me! Nope. That's why I shall now exit this sub-thread (probably). There is approximately zero chance you can think of anything that would change my mind. Hardening of the arteries ...
 

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#18
Im not a fan of copyright, and neither are my countrymen, Australia usually rates very high up (disproportionately so), for any US TV series, as far as piracy is concerned (mainly bittorrent).

It also helps we are located just below South East Asia.

I saw The Hobbit on DVD in a shop in Bali (an Indonesian island - and an Australian tourist hotspot) for $1 no more than 2 or 3 days after theatrical release.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#19
It also helps we are located just below South East Asia.
I saw The Hobbit on DVD in a shop in Bali (an Indonesian island - and an Australian tourist hotspot) for $1
I hate you Aussie #*%!!s! (Nothing personal, it's just that I can rarely get to SE Asia myself and then there's the whole short US vacation thing) I have seen the bootleg DVDs in the markets in the Philippines.

Yes, "The Mouse" and his henchmen paid off our Congress to re-write our copyright laws. Once a work was copyrighted, the copyright lasted for an initial period of 28 years. The copyright owner could renew the copyright for a second-term of 28 years - which was increased to 47 years in 1978.

As far as I'm concerned, anything older than 56 years is fair game. Screw you, Mouse Boy!
 
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