Question: Looking for a antenna. Starting from scratch

billkater

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
Hello all, and thanks for the help.

I am wanting to cut the cable and go to OTA TV. I have a 30' +/- free stand tower with a OLD broken up antenna on it. Was here when we purchased the home.

I am needing antenna suggestions. I am wanting to receive WTHI Terre Haute, IN (45deg) and WFIE Evansville, IN(151deg) TV channels. I would love to use a OmniDirectional antenna but I am sure there is not one out there that will pick up that far away.

What are your suggestions?


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MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#2
Could you explain why you want those 2 specific channels? Could you possibly live with WTWO as your NBC station?
Otherwise, you are looking at a two antenna solution.
 

billkater

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#3
We like to watch the news from both evansville and Terre haute. But if I had to choose. I would rather have Terre haute. WTHI.

Why do you say a 2 antenna system and not a rotor and one antenna
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#4
:welcome: bilkater

Earlier today, I noticed the TVFOOL results are not (currently) based on address locations and it defaults to general areas. I'm sure they will fix the glitch soon, so you can rerun your survey and it will have more accurate results.

Based on the current report, WFIE is right on the edge of possible reception: I have a very similar station in the distance that I managed to capture, but I had to build my own 'cut-to-channel' antenna to receive it. I'm not saying that effort will be required, but it is a possibility. Take a look at my Project-48 antenna in my photo albums here: it is very similar to what you might need.

Jim
 
#5
Base on the TV fool report posted I would have to recommend a large high VHF/UHF antenna aimed at 46 degrees. Antennacraft HBU 55, or Winegard HD7698P.
Winegard Platinum Series VHF/UHF HDTV Antenna(HD7698P) from Solid Signal
AntennaCraft UHF/High-Band VHF Outdoor HDTV Antenna (HBU55) from Solid Signal
If you really want to receive WTHI you are going to need an antenna with some serious gain on the VHF side which will require a large antenna. I have made these suggestions base on a TV fool report that may not be accurate for your actual location. As little as 100 feet change in location in some areas can make a big difference in antenna requirements. You may get by with the next size smaller antenna in the same product lines anything smaller will greatly reduce your chances of success. None of the signals you want are line of sight, and they are over 50 miles away.
Steve
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#6
We like to watch the news from both evansville and Terre haute. But if I had to choose. I would rather have Terre haute. WTHI.

Why do you say a 2 antenna system and not a rotor and one antenna
A rotor is a possible solution, but living with a rotor is not as easy in the digital age as it was in analog.
Could I request that you use this version of the TVfool locator, to place your antenna exactly? https://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=90 You may want to experiment with different locations and heights.
 
#8
First you need too find out how receivable the signals really are at your location. TV fool gives us a pretty good forecast of what to expect, but in the real world it is far from a perfect prediction tool. None of the signals you desire are predicted to be strong. Trying to receive some of them could require a lot of time, effort, and frustration.
To answer your question. A two antenna system can be built, but it requires two coax runs, and a switch, or two tuners at each location. Simply combining two antennas pointing different directions will not work in areas where signal levels are low. It often does not work even in areas with much stronger signal levels. While I have read of some pretty amazing reception results in some low signal areas. I have also read of the frustration, and failure others have have experienced when trying to pull weak signals out of the noise.
Steve
 

billkater

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#9
So. What would be my first course of action? Purchase one antenna, install it, and go from there. Or is there a way to test my signal strength before setting up a antenna?
 
#10
I really don't have a cheap easy answer on how to test for signal in an area where signals are not very strong. Purchase one antenna, use one run of coax to one receiver keeping it as short as possible. This is always the right way to start building an antenna system. The change to digital has made it more difficult to chase weak signals.
Steve
 
#12
The DB8e is a very good but high priced UHF antenna. If you want to receive the VHF channels in your area you will also need an antenna with very good high VHF capability. High VHF channels are the ones listed as real channels 7-13 on the TV fool report. The channel numbers listed as real channels on the TV fool report are the ones that matter when selecting an antenna. If you want WTHI CBS the DB8e is not the right antenna for the job. I took time to move the red marker around the map on the TVfool map page for your community, and there is quite a bit of variation in signal levels in different parts of town. If you were in an area where all signals are UHF (there are a few) I would not have recommended an antenna with such a large part of it built to receive high VHF signals. If you had a major network in your area transmitting on Low VHF I would have recommended an antenna built to receive Low VHF. You have both high VHF signals, and UHF signals in your area. Which is the case in most parts of the country.
The majority of television broadcast signals in this country are currently UHF. The Majority of television markets in this country have one or more broadcast signals being transmitted on high VHF. There are currently only a few areas where television is being broadcast on low VHF real channels 2-6.
Steve
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#13
The DB8e is pricey, but works well - for UHF. I used to own and use one before I moved. There are, however, cheaper 8 bay antennas that are nearly as good. And because of the weak signals you are dealing with, you would need to point both halves of the antenna in the same direction for maximum gain. In any case, a bowtie antenna would not receive VHF channels well, and you have a few of them. You also are in an area with mostly edge signals. With edge signals, moving the antenna a few feet in any direction can greatly affect reception, so be sure to experiment with different locations before permanently mounting an antenna. For a discussion of edge signals, look here: http://www.dtvusaforum.com/dtv-hdtv-reception-antenna-discussion/20594-1edge-vs-2edge.html

A 2 antenna solution would usually involve separate VHF and UHF antennas pointing in differing directions. But in your case, channels 7 and 10 (both VHF) are in different locations, so it won't work! Your best solution may actually be a large UHF/VHF combo antenna like the AntennaCraft HBU55 or Winegard HD7698P, and a rotor.
 
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