Which TVs work best with Antenna?

gary350

DTVUSA Member
#1
I am shopping for a new TV. I wonder which TVs have the best reception with antenna?

I have a Sanyo HDTV reception is not as good as my 2 analog TVs with a converter box. Also the Sanyo is so heavy we need a fork lift to move it 214 lbs.

I guess some manufactures assume everyone is on cable or satellite and receiving a good strong signal so they skimp on the preamp to save money. I want a TV with a good preamp I am on antenna.

I am also building a home Movie Theater sound system. We check out lots of Videos from the library and I buy lots of videos at yard sales. We will probably watch DVDs and VHS videos on projection TV with 10 ft screen.

I want to connect the new HDTV to the sound system too. I have a terrable high frequency hearing loss problem I have a lot of trouble hearing TV if I turn it up louder it is not any clearer just louder. Words with S, F, SH, CH etc. have these sounds missing like the word school sounds like ool to me on normal TV speakers. I visited a friend with a very good home built high quality sound system and to my suprise I can hear every single sound from his TV I was hearing things I have not heard in 25 years. A full range sound system is what I want and need.

Any suggestions on which TVs works best on antenna?????
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#2
Gary,

I have a 2 year old Sony Bravia and it works very well on our antenna systems, however, my converter box is more selective and/or sensitive than the Sony's tuner. I am also using a Channel Master CM-7000 converter box on an analog TV, which is heads and shoulders better than others I have tested. That being said, my guess is the Bravia and most converter boxes are probably on par with each other. One possible reason is most converter boxes have SD outputs whereas the Sony has to work harder for HD.

If you enjoy old TV shows from RTV, THIS TV and soon to come ANTENNA TV, beware that many of their shows soundtracks have deteriorated are very muddy. Have you concidered trying a good quality set of headphones? You could insert a graphics equalizer between the source and the headphones and tailor the audio output to what works best for you.

Jim
 
Last edited:

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#3
Gary,

I'm kinda stepping out on a limb here, because I don't know a lot about this, but...
There seems to be two types of Tuners. Silicone (the more sensitive) and Metal (less so).
I know that Converter Box's come with either, and believe that the CM-7000 which Jim has, is equipped with a Silicone. Some other boxs too.

Anyhow, this feature may be applied to TV's as well, but, I have never seen any specifications for the type tuners TV's have. I've never looked for that though. It would be at least wise to look into this.

On the Sound...
I know that there is a vast difference in FM now. High Definition Radio is a lot better than before. However, if you can find an Amplifier for your HT, which has an "Equalizer" built in, you'd be able to "punch up" the frequencies which challenge your hearing, I too have some problem with the high ones.

I've built a couple Speaker systems (speakers - crossover networks) and know that all speakers are not equal. HA, that goes with out saying. But, in selecting those which deliver upper ranges of sound (mid range - tweeters) one can access their Response Curves. Those are like the Polar Charts for TV Antennas.

I say this because a good Amp cost a LOT of money, and you might be able to compensate for some shortages in your existing amp, by buying a Speaker(s) which will deliver higher volume at the frequencies you need help with.

Now...
I'm sure this is obvious, but, sound quality can be diminished in ANY component of a system. If you don't have a good original source (like an old VHS Tape like that) then it can't get to your Amp and Speakers.
At one time, I had a Phonograph Record, which had sections (tracts) on it, which had standard Frequencies recorded, where you could play it, and check your Sound System with a Meter. Then, adjust your Equalizer to produce the proper (balanced) sound. Therefore compensating for any Speaker or Amp inadequacies.
There may be such a device available now, or a CD replacement for it, which you could use to diagnose any problems with your system.

However...
I'm thinking that given your hearing problem, you already know the ranges of sounds which you have a problem hearing. IF you can get hold of one of the Test Disk or Phonographs, you then could see a readout on your Sound Meter, bump that frequency up in volume, and set your system up specially for you.

HA, it may sound crappy to someone else, but, who cares if you're happy with it ! :cheer2:

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#4
This is one of my pet peeves about TV shopping: There are very few showrooms where you can actually try OTA on a TV. So you have no idea what reception is like, and no clue what type of EPG it has. Some older stores still have an antenna from "back in the day", and even hook a set or 2 to it. If you can find a store with an antenna on the roof, see if they will let you try different sets on it. Other than that - and I know this sucks for a big TV - you may have to take it home, see how it does, and return it for a different set if you don't like it. (Costco and Sam's have good return policies)

That said, I've found little difference in reception in the brands I've had or installed antennas for, be it a no-name 15" or top of the line Sony, or converter box. You don't say how old your Sanyo is, but newer sets all have better tuners these days. I've tried a 50" Sanyo Plasma 720p (Walmart, ~$650, 6 months ago) and had no OTA problem with it.

The most annoying thing about new TVs for OTA is the EPG - or lack of one. Hell, my DTVpal converter box has a decent program guide, but my 52" LCD will only tell me whats on now, and I have to tune that channel to see it. No detailed info, no "now/next", no antenna meter, whether its 480, 720, 1080 - NOTHING. I get around the EPG issue by using my DTVpal thru the composite input JUST for surfing channels with the DTVpal's great program guide and info.

Let us know what you find... good luck.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#6
Fry's in Renton, WA. has one TV connected to a CM-4221-HD (indoors) demonstrating OTA works. Oddly, it is sitting on a counter on the back wall far away from their OTA antenna, mast, coax and misc. parts section. It looks like 'just another TV turned on'. Give me one week working in their OTA department and I would rearrange everything to promote OTA and their sales would jump.

Jim
 

gary350

DTVUSA Member
#7
My 32" Sanyo HDTV is about 5 years old I bought it a couple weeks before Christmas for about $600. at Wal Mart.

If I push the info button on any channel it shows me a field strength meter and some information about the station.

Channel 4, 5, 8 are all 1920* 1080 (60i)

Channels 2, 17, 28, 30 are all 1280* 720 (60p)

I am not sure what that information means.

Any channel less than 50% on the field strength meter there is no reception. Most signals are from 70 to 90 with my 8 bay antenna.


My 2 analog TVs with converter boxes pick up all the same channels field strength meter reading is higher on all channels and both TVs pickup 1 more station that the Sanyo HDTV will not pick up. Field strength meter on both TVs is from about 85 to 97.

If bad weather causes a reception problem on the Sanyo HDTV reception is usually fine on the converter box TVs.
 
Last edited:

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#8
Channel 4, 5, 8 are all 1920* 1080 (60i)

Channels 2, 17, 28, 30 are all 1280* 720 (60p)
The 1080 and 720 are the number of horizontal lines per frame (the 1920 & 1280 are vertical lines). The 60 is the refresh rate (60 times per second). The "i" stands for interlaced (only every other line changes per cycle). The "p" stands for progressive scan (every line changes per cycle). The reception problems are probably because of the age of the tuner. Newer tuners have improved error correction. I had a LP station that only some tuners could handle (My Digital Stream converter box). I'm sure that had to do with the quality of the stations signal.
 
Last edited:

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#9
My daughter has a big screen Vizio of some kind or the other and it brings in everything that the Insignia/Zenith converter boxes bring in. On the other hand my son has some off brand tv called a Viewsonic and the tuner on that one sucks. I hooked up a Zenith converter box to it so he could pick up more ota stations. Myself, I have a tv/monitor from Radio Shack called Auvio. Pretty good tuner in that one too. The Zenith/Insignia box has a slightly better tuner but generally the Auvio will pick up whatever the converter box will and the Auvio has a really nice epg guide.
 

quezay

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#10
Most TV's are made by Funai & Orion so it really doesnt matter anymore whether its Sony, Sanyo, Sansui, Vizio, Emerson, Samsung, Toshibia etc the only difference is the label and the case its in.

The real question is who makes better TV's Funai or Orion.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#11
Sony is still made by Sony, and Samsung still makes their own sets. There's some others, too, but I can't remember who they are. Philips was bought out by Funai in 2008 and all their manufacturing plants and most of their employees went with it. I've seen a list of remaining TV OEMs on the net, but I can't locate it right now. Some links on the topic:

List of television manufacturers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Orion Electric - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Funai - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

quezay

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#12
Sony is still made by Sony, and Samsung still makes their own sets. There's some others, too, but I can't remember who they are. Philips was bought out by Funai in 2008 and all their manufacturing plants and most of their employees went with it. I've seen a list of remaining TV OEMs on the net, but I can't locate it right now. Some links on the topic:

List of television manufacturers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Orion Electric - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Funai - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Actually it was announced last year that Sony would outsourced their LCD TV production to Hon Hai (Foxconn)
 

re_nelson

DTVUSA Member
#13
Sony is still made by Sony, and Samsung still makes their own sets. There's some others, too, but I can't remember who they are. Philips was bought out by Funai in 2008 and all their manufacturing plants and most of their employees went with it.
Any idea of what kind of chip is at the heart of televisions branded as follows?

Toshiba 37AV502U
Sylvania LC195SLX

The one common trait is that the single bar signal quality meter never exceeds a reading of 97 on both sets. The scale ranges from 0-100 but maxes out at 97 regardless of whether the input is cable (QAM) or OTA.

And on an OTA channel-by-channel comparison between the two televisions, the signal quality meter shows the identical readings on both. So, I presume they're using the same underlying tuner.

I've tried the Sony Bravia (which has more sophisticated signal diagnostics) but suffers from not being able to receive marginal OTA signals quite as well as the tuner in the Toshiba and Sylvania units. Although I like the Sony's AGC/SNR/strength indicators, it seems that whatever tuner is in the Toshiba and Sylvania is decodes a bit better.
 
Last edited:

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#14
I have the same Sylvania 19", its made by Funai. Nice little set for the price, it cost me about $150 a year ago @ K-Mart. EPG is now / next, current channel only, and gives a program description, too.

Only problem I have with this set is I have never found a universal remote code to work with it, but I got a Philips learning remote last week - clearance at Shopko, $3.00, last one!- and can finally control the TV and a Samsung dvd-r / vcr combo with one remote.
 
Last edited:

re_nelson

DTVUSA Member
#15
I have the same Sylvania 19", its made by Funai. Nice little set for the price, it cost me about $150 a year ago @ K-Mart. EPG is now / next, current channel only, and gives a program description, too.

Only problem I have with this set is I have never found a universal remote code to work with it, but I got a Philips learning remote last week - clearance at Shopko, $3.00, last one!- and can finally control the TV and a Samsung dvd-r / vcr combo with one remote.
I have since acquired a Sencore SLM-1456 which, to some extent, has obviated the need for the Sylvania's "Channels->Antenna" on-screen diagnostics. I've learned to just accept that 97 actually means 100 (full scale). What I don't like is the too-short timeout for that signal meter. Until the Sencore became a reality, my hack was to keep pressing the "Info" button to bypass the timeout while optimizing antenna(s) placement.

The universal remote I use for the little Sylvania is a $3.00 GE-branded unit (RM24911) from Big Lots. Ultimately I discovered that the code of 1172 (for an Emerson device) was a near match for nearly all functionality. That remote is a bit awkward because some of the keys must be toggled into a shifted state.

Since the age of your Sylvania is quite close to mine and may be from the same manufacturing run, does your signal quality meter also top out at 97?
 
#16
<snip>

On the Sound...
I know that there is a vast difference in FM now. High Definition Radio is a lot better than before. However, if you can find an Amplifier for your HT, which has an "Equalizer" built in, you'd be able to "punch up" the frequencies which challenge your hearing, I too have some problem with the high ones.

<snip>
From the wiki HERE:

"HD Radio, which originally stood for 'Hybrid Digital...'"

From the HD Radio trademark guidelines HERE:

"Do not equate &#8220;HD&#8221; to &#8220;hybrid digital&#8221; or &#8220;high definition&#8221;. &#8220;HD Radio&#8221; is the brand name for the digital AM and FM radio technology developed by iBiquity. &#8220;HD&#8221; is part of the brand name and does not stand for either high definition or hybrid digital."
 
Last edited:

Chips

DTVUSA Member
#17
I have the same Sylvania 19", its made by Funai. Nice little set for the price, it cost me about $150 a year ago @ K-Mart. EPG is now / next, current channel only, and gives a program description, too.QUOTE]
I bought a Sylvania 19 inch this summer. Like yours it is a great receiver, comparing it to some TV tuner cards I have on computers it out performs them and is equal to to the Digital Stream Converter box I have, as far as performance. Also performs well with the analog channels out of Canada. However my newer version does not have a EPG, just an info button that will give current programming information.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#18
version does not have a EPG, just an info button that will give current programming information.
It gives more information than most TV sets. It's not a "real" EPG, like my DTVpal has, it just tells you whats on now/ next when you tune to a channel. For $150, I'm happy with it.
 
Top