TV antenna shopping for NYC area


DTVUSA Jr. Member
has anyone tried one of these?
I bought this and it doesn't get 2 or 4 in the exact same direction as the upper chans.
I'm 35 miles from the (NYC) jersey antennas and this is rated at 40.
2 TVs and FM radio. 30' off the ground.
Without seeing a TV Fool report for your location, and not knowing if channels 2 and 4 mentioned are real or virtual channel numbers it is impossible to offer much advice. Go to TV Fool.
Get a signal report for your location, and post a link back here then we can try to offer some advice.
The RCA ANT751 is a good little antenna.
The other one you linked to is junk they sometimes work, but for a very short period of time.


Thanks for getting back Steve.

TV Fool

I would like to try to avoid putting up a 6' behemoth if at all possible. The other antenna I referred to appealed to me because of the coax fed/powered amp.
I figure I need more signal coming down the lead. The lead is around 50' to the split. The split would hit a 2nd TV another 50' further, an FM receiver at the split and perhaps a Tablo OTA DVR at the split.
I was thinking that a powered DA might be a better choice instead of the split, but not sure what ones, if any, are decent.


Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
This is not necessarily a "need more power" situation, contrary to what Tim "the tool man" Taylor would say.

My first thought is to run a single coax straight from the antenna to the TV and see what you get, and also play with the aiming and location of the antenna.
Your missing channels are all UHF signals real channels 33, 28, and 44. MrPogi made some very good suggestions. Start simple try to establish good signal to one TV before you try to add more. If your reception of the high VHF signals is good WABC, WPIX and you are still missing some needed UHF signals you might need to add a UHF antenna with more gain which can be coupled to the ANT751 with a UVSJ or pre-amplifier with separate UHF VHF inputs.
There can be a learning curve to establishing good OTA reception.
While I do not consider a 6' antenna to be a behemoth it probably won't be needed based upon what you've told us so far.

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If you are still with us. The advice you received on another forum was the correct advice on antenna size required to receive real channels 2, or 4, but is totally wrong when the real channels the signals are being transmitted on are 33, and 28. UHF antennas are much smaller then the low band VHF antenna that would be required for reception of real channels 2 to 6. I understand the reason for your confusion. Real channel numbers as listed on a TV fool report are the ones that are needed when selecting the correct antenna for a given location.


DTVUSA Jr. Member
antenna 90% ......... however

Thanks Steve.
boy, what a bonehead I are. I should know this stuff. I'm not gonna admit why this is so embarrassing. It is a case of Real vs Virtual.
In any case, the little RCA I bought is doing most of the job.
In checking again today, I have Virtual CBS 2 on 33, NBC 4 on 28, ABC 7 on 7 (who do they know, ;-), PBS 13 and 21 on 13 and 21 respectively.
But not (WNYW) Fox 5 on 44 (or any other affiliates in the area), or WOR 9 on 38.
In reading the TV Fool info, it seems to me (from what I remember of my amateur radio days; oh, that's not the most embarrassing bit) that both WOR and WNYW should be receivable.
Same location and direction as the others, the jersey antenna farms at 251º. Both with better signal than most of the other chans I do get.
Something else I'm missing?

The 2nd TV will come off a 1x3 or 1x4 passive split and go a further 50'-75' to the 2nd TV. Do you think it would need a booster amp after the split?
And if so would you please suggest a couple?

Whether 1x3 or 1x4 depends on if I decide to buy an OTA DVR like Tablo. Then I'd have 1 TV, FM rcvr, and Tablo at the first split, plus the continuation for the 2nd TV.

Also, does summer propagation affect reception? Am I likely to get less signal or is that mostly eliminated with a dig signal?
While it is great to start planning an OTA signal distribution system take it one step at a time. While specifications have never been published most agree the RCA ANT751 antenna has about 7 dbi (5 dbd) gain on both high VHF, and UHF based upon what is known about the antenna. On UHF that is about the same as a single loop with correctly sized and spaced reflector. That is the reason I suggested adding a higher gain UHF antenna if you already have good reception of the needed VHF signals. UHF antennas with an honest 10 to 12 dbi gain are not huge or difficult to find. Moving the antenna may be all that is needed. Television signals do not always magically arrive at the location we think they should. Sometimes moving the antenna a couple of feet can make a big difference. Higher is normally better, but not always when working with non line of sight signals. Most of my antenna work the last few years has been with junk box, and thrift store supplies I've certainly seen a missing channel caused by a poor coax connector or balun when good signal has been present.
While mixing FM radio and TV signals is not a good idea. In fact trying to get rid of as much FM interference as possible can improve television reception. In most cases there is going to be plenty of FM signal even when an FM trap is used and the antenna is not designed for FM radio use.
Do not use more splitters then necessary. Don't use a three way when a two way is all you need.
How Much Signal Do I Lose Going Through A Splitter? – Support
As far as amplifiers I would suggest working with the antenna system to optimize signal first. Amplifiers are not a magic cure all and when incorrectly selected and installed can create more problems. Adding an amplifier always increases the complexity, and decreases the reliability of an antenna system. I don't hate amplifiers. I've use them when needed. If you use a distribution amplifier the Channel Masters are often recommended. I'd probably use a preamp. The RCA TVPRAMP1R is a good choice and the price is right.
Do not use both!
Trees still leaf out in the summer. Trees still block VHF/UHF signals. All of the known theory of VHF/UHF signal propagation still applies digital signals did not change that. If your signals are so close to the edge that you depend on small changes in atmospheric pressure for reception you won't have reliable reception. Tropospheric ducting can take place in areas of the country that are prone to that.
Tropospheric propagation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
You need to establish reliable reception take it one step at a time.


DTVUSA Jr. Member
thanks for the detailed info Steve.
Using the 1x3 and all 3 are in use.
The TV at the end of additional 50' coax isn't getting Real 33 or 28, which the 1st set is.
Since it's the same antenna with a split and extra loss due to length, I assume that trying the RCA pre is probably as good idea, or do I have that wrong?

And should I be using the "True" number or the "Magnetic" number for Azimuth/aiming?

I still have the old 8' or so, V formation antenna. Might that be better overall?
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First a three way is normally not a balanced splitter. -3.5 db on one output, and -7 db on two. The -3.5 output should be the one used for the most distant TV. I've sometimes recommended this one for a troubled coax run. RCA Digital Amplifier for Indoor Antenna: Electronics
I've read the bench tests on it. It's not great, but does have some out of band filtering, and is better then the over hyped Jolt.
I'll write a bit more when I have time.


DTVUSA Jr. Member
I didn't realize the split isn't equal. A 7db split was on the furthest TV and the 3.5 was on the closest TV. Made the swap.
Unfortunately, 7 isn't enough for the 1st TV and 3.5 isn't enough for the 2nd. Back to the RCA mast amp I guess.
The 1st TV measures 2.1 and 4.1 sig strength @~40, 7.1, 13.1 @~75 (I assume out of 100. Though I don't know if this is based on any standard other than Sharps) on a 3.5 split.

It appears I should be the "Magnetic" number, 266º, for Azimuth/aiming. I used the True 252º, so I have to go tweak.
I realize the better the accuracy of antenna direction, the better the outcome.
However, how wide might the window be? 1º, 5º?

I still have the old 8' or so, V formation antenna. Might that be better overall?


Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
If you're going to be splitting the signal, a higher gain antenna would certainly help. Could you post a pic of the "old" antenna so we can try to identify it?
If you wanted to start over with a new antenna my advice would be an Antennacraft HBU 33, HBU 44, or Winegard HD7694P, HD7697P.
As far as what the old antenna is it may, or may not be better. It depends upon the condition of the antenna, and how much of the antenna design is dedicated to what frequencies. Low VHF took a far larger priority in older antenna designs, and some are VHF only. While the ANT751 is a good antenna I would not have recommended it for your location.
While the RCA TVPRAMP1R will solve distribution loss problem, and probably improve reception on all tuners in use. Correct set up and installation is a must, and from reading forums I'm aware of plenty of mistakes that have been made upon first installation. The reason I don't like mast mount preamps is if you loose power to it, or it quits working you will have no or very low signal until you can go outside remove replace and get it fixed. Pre-amps are sometimes a useful or even necessary tool. I used one for years with no problems.
The local WalMart here has the RCA AMP1450R on the shelf, but they have gone up on the price. Local availability at stores with a good return policy has its advantages. A small indoor amplifier might be enough to solve your distribution problem. You might need to experiment with placement.

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It's a Radio Shack VU-110. It looks like it's missing an element, maybe they are just folded back. Missing VHF elements and broken plastic is quite common on that antenna line. Some of them have survived the years better then others. If they are in good shape I still recommend using them. I was using a VU-90 up until 2010 when I had to move. The antenna is a UHF corner reflector yagi directly coupled to a VHF log periodic. The long VHF elements covered both low, and high VHF. While not ideal for the channel 14-51 currently in use in this country the UHF performance of the antennas is still good. A definite step up from the ANT751.



DTVUSA Jr. Member
all the els are there, just folded in. Many of the plastic retaining clips have broken. But I could ty-rap them in place.
Maybe I'll have to re-employ it. Pretty sure it wouldn't have enough gas to make the additional 50' or so to the 2nd TV.
But I guess I could put an in-line amp after the split to #2.

I tried to re-aim the RCA yesterday, but got no better signal strength.
I really don't have the correct answer on repairing failed Antennacraft blue plastic. If you can restore the antenna to close to original it should work. Pay attention to phasing lines keeping separation where they cross.
One that was beyond repair.
One that worked out quite well.
Both were smaller models from the same product line.