Freevision FV-HD30 Antenna

IDRick

DTVUSA Member
#41
Quick test report with the FV-HD30

I gave my son a FV-HD30 for Christmas and we installed it in his apartment over the holidays. Info for his location can be found here: RabbitEars.Info and here: TV Fool

Note, there are several digital channels on the tvfool report that presently do not exist (comparing rabbitears.info versus tvfool and based on our actual test results).

I compared the FV-HD30 versus two rabbit ear/loop indoor antennas (RCA-111 and Radio Shack 1874) using the margin to dropout method. Higher margins are better and a minimum margin of 15 dB or higher is desirable.

Test results are shown in the attached graph. The FV-HD30 clearly beat the two indoor antennas on both VHF and UHF reception. Given the positive results, we added a splitter and ran cable to a second tv up in the bedroom loft. Margin to dropout decreased by 4 to 6 dB after adding the second tv + 2 way splitter. Signal strengths on the main tv (new Samsung LCD) were 100% for all stations except ch 39 which was 80%. The second tv has a zenith converter box and all stations were ~85 to 90% on it (shows a SS bar only, but no numeric value).

I should note that ch 39 locked on my Apex converter box but would not display on the tv. Therefore, I could not determine margin to dropout for this particular channel.

My son and I were very pleased with the positive test results and easy installation! :) IMO, the FV-HD30 is a viable competitor in the indoor antenna market. It is more expensive than the rabbitear/loop antennas but had superior performance and a smaller form factor (mainly referring to height) than the two indoor loop antennas.
 

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Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#42
My son and I were very pleased with the positive test results and easy installation! :) IMO, the FV-HD30 is a viable competitor in the indoor antenna market. It is more expensive than the rabbitear/loop antennas but had superior performance and a smaller form factor (mainly referring to height) than the two indoor loop antennas.
Even over the famed RS-1874. :) Very nice and thanks for the graph.
 

IDRick

DTVUSA Member
#43
During the Boise test, I also compared the FV-HD30 to a reflectorless mclapp 2 bay antenna. The mclapp is a DIY antenna with 10 inch whiskers, 9-1/2 inch bay spacing, and 1-3/4" phase line spacing. It costs less than $5 to build. Results are shown in the attached graph. The FV-HD30 had slightly better performance in high VHF than the mclapp while the mclapp tended to have higher performance on UHF. Adding a reflector to the mclapp increases UHF reception by ~3 dB but reduces VHF reception by 9 dB. The DIY mclapp 2-bay is a viable option for the cost conscious buyer. It (mclapp 2-bay) is not a particularly attractive antenna and would work best in situations where it can be hidden (near an outside wall) rather than mounted on the wall in plain sight.

All tests were conducted indoors. Results may have varied with outdoor testing.
 

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Piggie

Super Moderator
#44
Quick test report with the FV-HD30


I compared the FV-HD30 versus two rabbit ear/loop indoor antennas (RCA-111 and Radio Shack 1874) using the margin to dropout method. Higher margins are better and a minimum margin of 15 dB or higher is desirable.
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This is directly inline with my empirical tests comparing a single whip to the FV-30HD.

A deep fringe antenna it is not, but both your and my tests show it's a viable indoor antenna alternative. Like the small N-bays it could be put behind a TV if someone didn't want to see it.

It's also robust enough from my handling it that it would be fine mounted outdoors.

With the simple construction (2 wing nuts and a sticker) and it's box, I hope at least one of the big box stores picks it up as something to sell people.

For those in town on cable or satellite it buying a $500 to $1000 TV, why not spend another $40.00 or what ever MSRP is and have your local channels as well. A lot of cable and satellite companies are not yet showing all the sub channels.

I would have to look back over the literature on the Winegard site. But I think they suggest if you want to color match it just paint it.

Channel 39 is no surprise considering it's pouring out 35 KW toward your son's house.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#45
During the Boise test, I also compared the FV-HD30 to a reflectorless mclapp 2 bay antenna.
On another note, my playing with the HD-1080 for say people like in your son's neighborhood would work just as well and be more robust in the snow and ice if mounted outdoors.

Overall though I would not be surprised if Winegard drops the HD-1030 after a little longer run. The only thing besides feeling more mechanically robust than the FV was it was a little more directive on UHF that might cure a multipath situation.

I wonder though about N-Bays that are only ganged vertical as T was talking about in the other thread. Because if you look at how I cured my wind driven multipath going from a CM4221A to and U-75R, then look at the plots for the two and there is not a lot of difference. So was my multipath coming from the side or was it vertically displaced cause and phase difference in the elements of the 4221 causing the fading? Something that would be very hard to measure or determine. But back several years ago I heard of others having the same trouble. Back then the solution was ditch the 4221 and buy a 4228, which would lead to thinking the multipath was more from the sides, not a spacial difference in reception by the elements.
 

IDRick

DTVUSA Member
#46
Channel 39 is no surprise considering it's pouring out 35 KW toward your son's house.
Hmmm, not sure what you are saying here.... The Sammy LCD had no problems with ch 39 nor the zenith dt901. My Apex would lock during the scan but not display. First time it has ever done this... I don't think it is overload. Other much stronger stations displayed correctly on the Apex.

Thanks,

Rick
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#47
3 Element High Band Beam

I am surprised so little has been talked about the 3 element beam I tested. Of course it appears it hasn't been made for years but I was more amazed at what it could receive than the FV or HD1080. It performed pretty darn good on UHF. I think a small UHF director and two feed elements it would make a great deep suburban to close fringe antenna for 7-51. The again someone did that already basically the EZ-HD Antenna

If anyone is interested I could find a way to take pictures of it as I already posted the dimensions.

Jim has some nice construction techniques that could be used to duplicate it.
 
#48
I'm surprised that there hasn't been more discussion online about DigiTenna antennas. EV seemed initially excited about them back in July on AVS Forum but never really reported much on them. I'm curious how the FV-HD30 would compare to the DigiTenna Metro? The specs on the DigiTenna seem much more impressive than the Winegard, but as Piggie has pointed out, the numbers don't always translate to the real world as expected. Considering that the DigiTenna costs twice as much as the Winegard, which of these antennas do you think would be the better value? By the way, I am interested in these antennas for indoor use only.
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#49
Im very high on the Digitenna Suburban and Metro especially. The Fringe is good too. Im not as high on the Indoor. But call me an outright fan of the Suburban and Metro.

I just never got around to posting on them. I should get back to that.
 
#51
Im very high on the Digitenna Suburban and Metro especially. The Fringe is good too. Im not as high on the Indoor. But call me an outright fan of the Suburban and Metro.
Yeah, I never saw much point in the DigiTenna Indoor or City models since they're UHF only. I guess they would be okay in an area without any VHF stations, but in that case, there are much cheaper antennas that would work as well. Since we have 4 VHF stations in Denver, I really need something that works equally well for UHF and VHF.

I take it you would recommend the DigiTenna over the FreeVision? Would either or both of these antennas be an improvement over rabbit ears?
 
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EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#52
Yes, both of them would be an improvement over Rabbit Ears and the FreeVision, and the HD 1080.

The Suburban doesnt really offer much over the Metro. It's Front to Back ratio on UHF is a little higher, and just a tad more gain on UHF. The Suburban isnt much bigger than the Metro either....though the Metro is a bit thinner because it lacks the 2 fold out corner reflectors. The Metro would do better getting stuff off the backside a bit than the Suburban.

If you bought the Suburban, you could remove the fold out corner reflectors and have a Metro. Thus the Suburban is my favorite. It's a bit more expensive though.

And I have a Metro New in Box at significant discount. ;)

I was pulling in Channel 7 and its 2 subchannels from 45 miles away reliably. Only occassional breakups, and not every day. This is on the roof with a CM Titan 7777 amplifier, 50 ft of coax to a good 5th or 6th generation LG Tuner in a Vizio GV42LF.

UHF was rock solid at 45 miles. Also picking up 44 off the backside at 21 miles....reliably....with only occasional breakups....and not every day.
 
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Piggie

Super Moderator
#53
I had forgotten these antenna and remembered why when I Googled them

a1Components - Digitenna Metro Antenna UHF/VHF High 0-20 Miles
a1Components - Digitenna Fringe Antenna UHF/VHF High 0-60 Miles
a1Components - Digitenna DUV-DF Deep Fringe Antenna VHF hi-band/UHF 0-80 Miles

It had little to do with design and more with price.

I would say if I like any of them based on construction, not price, it's the Metro. This is a lot like the EZ-HD and what I eluded to with my posting here about the 3 element I found in my junk pile. The one I found was clearly a 3 element high band VHF beam. But it performs remarkably well on UHF. If it had just an inkling of a driven element attached to the high VHF driven element with a single director for UHF, I am sure it would be a great dual band antenna for 20 to 30 mile range. Heck as it is now it works even on a station at 300 meters, 160 KW, at 37 miles away, up only a little over 3 meters off the ground (though LOS to the station).

So yeah, I bet that Metro works great for 20 to 30 mile range and noted in it's claims that is all the antenna was designed to do (in other words no false claims of 100 miles).
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#54
Yes, both of them would be an improvement over Rabbit Ears and the FreeVision, and the HD 1080.
I am NOT discounting the Metro, as I already said from appearance and my experiments with my 3 element high band it appears to be a solid design.

But I have issue with lumping the

Metro, Rabbit Ears, FreeVision and HD 1080 uncategorically in the same comparison.

Since an antenna is more than gain, it's price, where can , if I can mount it, and signal strength.

If you lived near the towers buying anything but rabbit ears would be a huge waste of money.

If you lived 10 to 20 miles from the towers a FreeVision would work fine at half the cost of a Metro, but 3 times that of Rabbit Ears. As I and Rick have found you can hang a FreeVision about anywhere, provided your signal strength is 40 db NM or greater (I have had success at lower levels but being conservative).

The HD-1080 is not much better than the FreeVision, but it offers a rugged outdoor mount if that is one's desire.

Now that said based on my tests with a 3 element high band beam, I have little doubt the Metro blows away the other 3 on high band VHF, as my 3 element does such as well.

But again, someone reading here lurking with less experience might spend twice as much as needed when a smaller less expensive antenna would do just fine.

Or I could say, yes, the 7698P is a marked improvement over the Metro, FreeVision, HD-1080 or Rabbit ears.
 
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