Question: Roof or indoor antennna and which one?

U

Unregistered

Guest
#1
Hi, I'm sorry I'm not registered, I tried but the page keeps hanging but I'd appreciate any help you folks can give me anyway.

I'm looking at ditching Comcast but am concerned about reception. I have a tivo box with a cable card (but the card will have to go when Comcast does so I don't know how much good the Tivo will do me after that). The TV is a fairly new Samsung LN32D450G. I don't care about HD as much as clear reception. I only watch a few stations but they're ranging from green to grey according to TVFool's site, and here's the link they gave me:

TV Fool

I guessed at the '25 feet high' because I'm on the 3rd floor of a 4 story building. There are windows to the north that face an airwell, there is an indoor wall on one side and the rest are outside walls. The building was built in 1897 so is wood and has no insulation but I'm betting at least several coats of lead paint (lol!) I can mount an antennae on the roof if I need to.

I'd rather not spend a ton on an antenna but if it got around $100 or more it would be ok since it's still way cheaper than a Comcast bill.

Anyway, any direction or help you can offer would be great. There's almost too much info out there and it's confusing!
 

hawtsauc3

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#2
Depends on where you live. I'd suggest getting a basic set of bunny ears, RCA or GE etc for $10 at your local store. Get a 3 way splitter an another coax cable, as you will most likely need to move the indoor antenna around to see where you get the best reception. you might pull in 3 channels in one spot of the room and 28 in another. If the $10 antenna doesnt seem to do the trick you might have to get an external antenna. It's always better to try with $10 and fail than go straight to $60 only to find out all u needed to spend was $10.
 
#3
:welcome: Unregistered! Try registering again in a few days. I think the board might be experiencing some "growing pains."

I guessed at the '25 feet high' because I'm on the 3rd floor of a 4 story building. There are windows to the north that face an airwell, there is an indoor wall on one side and the rest are outside walls.
Any chance there's a west facing outdoor wall with a window in it? Or at least a spot with no lead paint?? Nearly all your good, strong station are west-southwest. Grrrrrreat TVFool report, by the way!

The building was built in 1897 so is wood and has no insulation but I'm betting at least several coats of lead paint (lol!) I can mount an antennae on the roof if I need to.
You have so many excellent signals, this is one case where I'd try to get setup indoors first. [nbound: bear in mind apartment dwellers in the U.S. are often temporary dwellers.] I agree with the advice to try a cheap rabbit ear / loop combo, to get the lay of the land. The RCA ANT112R ($10 at Walmart) has 6 feet of lead, and if you can put a TV on a cart, you can wheel it around to find the "sweet spot" in your apt.

I'd rather not spend a ton on an antenna but if it got around $100 or more it would be ok since it's still way cheaper than a Comcast bill.
I have a feeling you might get by on less than $100. It's going to be a step by step process. Try your cheapest option first and report back to us. :thumb:

Rick
 
#4
I'd suggest getting a basic set of bunny ears, RCA or GE etc for $10 at your local store.
Please don't just say "bunny ears." There are plenty of bunny ears around that are VHF only. You need the UHF loop to get 90% of the stations out there nowadays.

Get a 3 way splitter an another coax cable,
Sorry, but you gots ta stop recommending the lossy splitting. If he needs to extend the coax lead, this is all he needs:
F Type Female to Female Coaxial Barrel Coupler Adapter Coax Cable RG6 F81 3GHz | eBay

99 cents including shipping and handling. ;)

Rick
 

hawtsauc3

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#5
you can use an F type female to female, but cable companies give you splitters for free whether you need them or not with the cable box, therefore 99% of people have a splitter. If you lose that much signal with a 3 way to where it's noticeable, then the indoor antenna isn't the proper set up for you in the first place.
 
#6
you can use an F type female to female, but cable companies give you splitters for free whether you need them or not with the cable box, therefore 99% of people have a splitter. If you lose that much signal with a 3 way to where it's noticeable, then the indoor antenna isn't the proper set up for you in the first place.
It's 99 cents. Give it up. The signal loss is automatic -- happens to everyone. A cable signal is always strong enough to overcome it. A 3.5 dB loss is a lot to give up for 99 cents. It's over half the OTA signal on all channels! You don't know whether it will be noticeable indoors until you get a snow storm or whatever. (Indoor multi-path, bouncing signals are affected by weather.) SOME cable companies MAY allow you to keep their splitter. Some satellite splitters won't even work at OTA frequencies.

Your heart is in the right place, but you're wrong on this one. Best place for the cable splitter is in the garbage -- along with the box and the rest of their garbage.

But keep trying. :thumb:

Rick
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#7
you can use an F type female to female, but cable companies give you splitters for free whether you need them or not with the cable box, therefore 99% of people have a splitter. If you lose that much signal with a 3 way to where it's noticeable, then the indoor antenna isn't the proper set up for you in the first place.
hawtsauc3,

I agree with Rick: there is no reason to use a splitter in place of a double-female RF connector unless the $0.79 bill plus tax is just too expensive to face.

Television RF signals are affected by weather and an unnecessary 3db loss in signal from a distant station (everything is somewhat distant to rabbit ears) could easily make some stations drop.

In simple terms, using a splitter is like using a 'Y' fitting on your garden faucet with two hoses. Each hose gets half the water, but in the case of a splitter the 50% loss is there regardless if there is a second TV set connected.

Jim
 

hawtsauc3

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#8
hawtsauc3,

I agree with Rick: there is no reason to use a splitter in place of a double-female RF connector unless the $0.79 bill plus tax is just too expensive to face.

Television RF signals are affected by weather and an unnecessary 3db loss in signal from a distant station (everything is somewhat distant to rabbit ears) could easily make some stations drop.

In simple terms, using a splitter is like using a 'Y' fitting on your garden faucet with two hoses. Each hose gets half the water, but in the case of a splitter the 50% loss is there regardless if there is a second TV set connected.

Jim
WRONG. My neighbor down the hall gets the same number of channels that i do with his rabbit ears. his is directly hooked up, no f, no 3 way splitter to his tv. mine has the splitter. its based on location of the antenna primarily. and yes 99 cents isn't that much but most of the store's that carry it locally by me have it the same cost as a splitter. considering the splitters are FREE why spend $4 when i have something that works for free! it's called TESTING, in which when you TEST you want to spend as little money as possible.
 

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#9
[nbound: bear in mind apartment dwellers in the U.S. are often temporary dwellers.]
I wasnt actually gonna say anything :nyah:

I think an indoor antenna is probably worth a shot in this case.

His TVFool is alot like how I would envisage my own, all far too strong and on one heading. The spare TV in the garage works off 2m of speaker cable perfectly.
 

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#10
WRONG. My neighbor down the hall gets the same number of channels that i do with his rabbit ears. his is directly hooked up, no f, no 3 way splitter to his tv. mine has the splitter. its based on location of the antenna primarily. and yes 99 cents isn't that much but most of the store's that carry it locally by me have it the same cost as a splitter. considering the splitters are FREE why spend $4 when i have something that works for free! it's called TESTING, in which when you TEST you want to spend as little money as possible.
Just because your neighbour gets the same as you doesnt mean you are right.

With many indoor antennas if you connect a splitter up to them you will actually end up with negative gain.

Why not just get a joiner? Use your antenna the way it was meant to be used.

Even if it all comes to nothing and you need an outside aerial in the end, the joiner is still useful for adding new runs, bypassing cable/sat components, or extending flyleads.

Even $4 is next to nothing, a Big Mac is more expensive.
 

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