UHF and VHF TV Broadcasts and antenna questions

#1
My old UHF antenna works great for UHF channels, but I have 2 VHF channels that I haven't been able to receive since the transition. I just want to know if I replace my outdoor antenna, will it be ok for the next 10-20 years or is there going to be some newer broadcast tech coming out soon that'll make UHF/VHF obsolete like my old UHF antenna. Sorry if this is a dumb question.
 

JER

DTVUSA Member
#3
If your current UHF antenna works great then you might be about as well off adding a dedicated VHF antenna with a VHF/UHF combiner (diplexer). This won't degrade what you already have and will give you the option of pointing the VHF antenna in a different direction. This is nice since the VHF stations might be in different direction than the UHF ones anyway and you won't likely want to bother with a rotator if you can avoid it.

Note that there are two VHF bands. The low VHF band covers 54 to 88 MHz. The high VHF band covers 174 to 216 MHz. About 20 to 25% of stations are on high VHF now. Only about 1% of stations are on low VHF. You should check to see what channels your stations are on and select the antenna accordingly. If you don't need low VHF you can get by with a much smaller antenna.

BTW: You may also want to check to be sure that your VHF stations are actually going to stay on VHF. Some are actually trying to move back to UHF as they have discovered UHF offers some advantages over VHF for DTV.

Good luck!
 

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#4
My old UHF antenna works great for UHF channels, but I have 2 VHF channels that I haven't been able to receive since the transition. I just want to know if I replace my outdoor antenna, will it be ok for the next 10-20 years or is there going to be some newer broadcast tech coming out soon that'll make UHF/VHF obsolete like my old UHF antenna. Sorry if this is a dumb question.
No one can say for sure what the future holds but one thing is for sure, your uhf antenna isn't obsolete unless you live in an area where there are no uhf channels.

If I were to make a prediction on the future of ota antennas I'd predict that vhf antennas will become obsolete.

Several of the stations that are vhf now have requested to move to the uhf spectrum because of reception issues. Two of the three stations broadcasting on vhf frequencies in this area have asked the FCC to let them move to uhf and many other vhf stations around the country have done the same.

Your vhf channels may have requested to move too so let us know what channels they are and maybe someone here will know if they have made a request to move to uhf.

Hello, Trip. :)
 
#5
My old UHF antenna works great for UHF channels, but I have 2 VHF channels that I haven't been able to receive since the transition. I just want to know if I replace my outdoor antenna, will it be ok for the next 10-20 years or is there going to be some newer broadcast tech coming out soon that'll make UHF/VHF obsolete like my old UHF antenna. Sorry if this is a dumb question.
The short answer is "probably not" as far as a general assessment. Your local market may switch operating spectrum as mentioned, but since we have no idea where you are, we can't be specific.
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#6
Welcome to the Forum Harry !

First of all, you need to do a couple things, just to make sure that you know exactly what is available to you, after the Changeover.

Knowing exactly which Channels that are available in your specific location is very important.
If you do not presently have a Chart, for the Local Channels in your area, then follow these...
LookUp Instructions for finding your Free Local TV Channels.

Once having this information, we can then know what to tell you, and...
The only dumb question, is the one that goes unasked.

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
 

Don_M

DTVUSA Member
#7
I just want to know if I replace my outdoor antenna, will it be ok for the next 10-20 years or is there going to be some newer broadcast tech coming out soon that'll make UHF/VHF obsolete...
Let's put it this way: Analog TV was in widespread use for six decades before it was supplanted by digital broadcasting. Also, it took more than 15 years after adoption of a final DTV standard to complete the full-power transition in the United States. Most outdoor-mounted antennas are either nearly or completely worn out after about 20 years. So even if new broadcast standards or frequency assignments were to be developed next year -- and there's no such thing in the works at present, BTW -- chances are very, very good you'd need to replace your current antenna by the time another transition occurs, anyway.
 
#8
All very helpful. Thank you very much. I got a quote of $285 from an antenna installed who told me that it would be a good idea to extend the height of my current mount by 5'. Does this price sound ok? I wasn't planning on this expense so I want to be sure this antenna lasts for a little while with the current TV broadcasts.
 

Don_M

DTVUSA Member
#9
It's a fair price if the antenna he installs provides trouble-free reception for all the channels you want to watch. Has he specified the make and model number of the antenna he'll install for that price? How many rooms is he willing to wire? (That quote's not outrageous for one TV.) Does it include a pre-amp? The contract (or signed estimate, if that's the way he works) should include as many details as possible before the work starts.

The installer's recommendation of additional height suggests he may be one of the good guys who knows your area well. I'd take him up on it.
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#10
Harry,

You need to do this !!!

Go to TVFool and find out for YOURSELF what Channels are available to you, where when you see what is on the TV, that you know FOR SURE is reasonable.

Once someone here sees your Chart, they could play with the height and tell you if that 5' is really necessary. Also, 5' from where ??

Have a good Day ! :dance:
S.W.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#11
Harry,
SW Houstin is right: go to TVFOOL dot com and using your address, check to see if the UHF channels you are missing have returned or dropped back to the VHF band. Here in Seattle, both my Fox and PBS affiliates, and an Independent returned to VHF and it took some work for me to reestablish their signals (well, I now get two of three).
Jim

PS Check your local Craigslist and you might find the same or similar antenna WAY cheaper.
 
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Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#13
Harry,
If that report accurately shows the stations you can potentially get at 10 feet elevation, I wonder what 30 feet would look like? You have an incredible location for OTA HDTV!

If I was working with your situ, I'd try an old-style CM-4228 on a rotor, with a variable or stepped attenuator to reduce signals that are too strong, causing overload.

Use a good quality RG-6 like Belden, not Radio Shack coax which has been proven to be lossy and leaky.

Can you post a photo (or a link to a photo) of your current antenna?
Good luck! (I wish I had so many channels to capture here).
Jim

PS We will deal with any VHF channels later ... and it would really help if we knew which ones you want to capture!
 
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SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#14
Harry,

"Requested" ! HA :D, I think it was more like me throwing a childish tantrum, me trying to get you to access that report!

I apologize, but, regardless of who installs your system (you/friend/contractor) I just wanted you to know what was available, and not be slighted because of some easy out, which one might do in lieu of a totally functional install.

You do have a pretty good chart as Jim says, but Jim, check out this...
Typical Houston Chart
Not that I'd brag any :cheer2: but it is nice to have flat terrain and large Market Area that they're all trying to get to.

Harry, 6 of your 7 Major Channels are to your South, all UHF with about a 45° span. "Span" is the required "eye" or Beamwidth of the Antenna, needed to see that horizontal area.

Jim, I certainly agree with you on the RG-6, but, that 4228 you mentioned, may not have enough Beamwidth, to capture that South Farm for Harry. I have it listed at between 15-20°, but correct me on that if I'm wrong.
That of course is assuming the possibility that Harry won't want a Rotator.

Harry, that "all UHF" I mentioned, was assuming that you wouldn't have much interest in the Channels listed below the ION. Darn that thing, being right at 180° from your Major Farm. ION, given it's the new kid on the block, is really coming along nicely, Shatner not withstanding ! :;

Jim's suggestion about the CM-4228 is solid. That's a very good antenna. But, given your UHF only needs, there are other choices like the...
AntennaCraft U-4000
I have it as having a 54° Beamwidth. (ie: no Ion but no Rotor needed)

Then there's the...
Antennas Direct 42XG
You have to use a Rotator with this one, the difference is that's it's a Yagi Type, instead of the Bow Tie like the 4228. It's a much smaller antenna, but just as powerful.

Harry, I know these suggestions may be confusing, please post back and say if you really want to include the ION station, do you want to go to the expense of having a Rotator, tell more about your needs there, and we can focus more on a specific setup. If your Contractor didn't expect to include a Rotator (which I don't think that price Quote indicates) then you'll need to decide yes or no on that, and expect an increase for the cost of the installation if yes.

Also, did he quote any specific type antenna, or other particulars for you?

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#16
Aaron,

HA, you're right, it's not bad at all. But, from some of the LA charts I've seen, your area is very populated also.

One time I counted that one, with a Full Range (Ch 2-69) 60+ mile Antenna and Rotator, could (with Sub-Channels) receive nearly 90 Channels from just about anywhere in Houston.

You'd be surprised at now many people get mad at me, when they find that out ! :D

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
 

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#17
Aaron,

HA, you're right, it's not bad at all. But, from some of the LA charts I've seen, your area is very populated also.

One time I counted that one, with a Full Range (Ch 2-69) 60+ mile Antenna and Rotator, could (with Sub-Channels) receive nearly 90 Channels from just about anywhere in Houston.

You'd be surprised at now many people get mad at me, when they find that out ! :D

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
Yes, it's so nice to be privileged with so many stations here in LA, but you have to speak a few languages to get the full benefit. ;) The one thing I can never get tired of looking at, is all of the beautiful women on Telemundo. :)
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#18
Aaron,

We do think alike ! :drinks:

But, here in Houston, you do not need a TV to see Las Latinas, we have many right here !

Come visit ! :brushteeth:

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
 

CptlA

DTVUSA Member
#19
Aaron,

HA, you're right, it's not bad at all. But, from some of the LA charts I've seen, your area is very populated also.

One time I counted that one, with a Full Range (Ch 2-69) 60+ mile Antenna and Rotator, could (with Sub-Channels) receive nearly 90 Channels from just about anywhere in Houston.

You'd be surprised at now many people get mad at me, when they find that out ! :D

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
90?? It's time for me to upgrade my piddly ole rabbit ears. My market is no where near the size of your guys'.
 

FOX TV

Contributor
#20
No one can say for sure what the future holds but one thing is for sure, your uhf antenna isn't obsolete unless you live in an area where there are no uhf channels.

If I were to make a prediction on the future of ota antennas I'd predict that vhf antennas will become obsolete.

If I were to make a prediction on the future of OTA antennas I'd predict that vhf and uhf antennas will both become obsolete for DTV.

If things keep challenging the use of DTV frequencies for DTV, then all U/V antennas will be obsolete, at least for DTV broadcasting, but they will still receive the signals of who ever gets to steal the DTV band from the public though !! It's always about the money, so.... follow the money !!!!!
 
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