Antenna Question/Tuning Issues

Kckr2001

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
I'm ditching my cable service due to not being able to afford it anymore. I currently have a 42" Dynex HDTV and another smaller HDTV (but havent tested it out yet). I have an HD Antenna (random Phillips brand indoor from Walmart) that was given to me that worked fine in conjunction with a digital tuner to bring reception on an older TV. It worked rather well for that setup. When I hook that same antenna up to my Dynex TV it seriously picks up one channel. I did a TV Fool Analysis TV Fool and quite honestly....its all foreign to me. What do I need in order to pull in all the local channels? Is there some sort of amplifier or something that I can use? I just find it hard to believe that I could use that antenna on a lesser quality setup and get better results. The TV/Antenna will be in a 3rd floor apartment and exterior mounting of an antenna is probably not going to be allowed. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#2
Check your Dynex and make sure it is set to "air" or "antenna" rather than "cable." Your main grouping of stations is to the east of you. So, an east facing window will work best. You have two VHF-high channels (FOX and CBS) and several UHF stations, so you will need a combo antenna.

Check the settings on your Dynex, and then if it still doesn't work we can work with you on another antenna.
 

Kckr2001

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#3

Kckr2001

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#4
I really need some help here....tv is set up properly and even with the antenna I linked above outside on the deck pointed east....I only get a couple of channels and they're constantly cutting in and out....I can't attach an outdoor antenna to the building here....but I could build a stand or something...I just need help and need to know what's gonna give me the best reception possible (without being a giant eyesore)
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#6
If you can build a stand outdoors Denny's EZ-HD would work well. I have a feeling that 20dB amp in your current antenna is either overpowering the tuner in the Dynex or distoring the signal enough that the Dynex can't read it. What worked well for analog doesn't necessarily work well for digital. Analog needed a strong signal, digital simply needs a clean signal.
 

Kckr2001

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#7
I should be able to put something on the deck....one issue I may have is that I really don't have a true view of the east sky....there are some small trees in front of the building and it doesn't quite point east....nor do I have a direct view that way. is that a major problem? otherwise...that antenna you put up is maybe a bit on the large/eyesore side of things. anything a little more low profile/clean looking? I'm just worried that I buy the thing and find a way to build a stand and have the apartment manager tell me I can't keep it out there because of how it looks
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#8
I should be able to put something on the deck....one issue I may have is that I really don't have a true view of the east sky....there are some small trees in front of the building and it doesn't quite point east....nor do I have a direct view that way. is that a major problem? otherwise...that antenna you put up is maybe a bit on the large/eyesore side of things. anything a little more low profile/clean looking? I'm just worried that I buy the thing and find a way to build a stand and have the apartment manager tell me I can't keep it out there because of how it looks
If the apartment manager says anything simply point out that if he/she insists on you taking down your antenna, that they will be in violation of federal law, and that they are opening themselves up for a lawsuit.

Installing Consumer-Owned Antennas and Satellite Dishes | FCC.gov

A Winegard FV-HD30 would be lower profile, but it isn't going to work as well.
 

Kckr2001

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#9
Well thank you for that information, could become useful....any insight on that whole facing east issue? After reading that link from the FCC it would mean I should be able to mount something in the area around my deck, but even then I wont get a clean view of the east sky.
 

FOX TV

Contributor
#11
It would be very helpful to know just what model of antenna you are trying to use. Most of your signals are only at 10 miles out so exact aiming may not be real critical, and the one channel you are getting is a UHF channel, but i see several VHF channels listed to at the same power and distance parameters. I also see 1 and 2 edge obstructions, which simply means that there are mountains or other tall structures in your direct line of sight path.

Signal levels at or near the 75 dbm level [ Pwr (dbm) ] column on the TV FOOL data chart are very hard to receive without a direct line of sight path. Please post the model number of the antenna you are using so one can know the antennas specifications. This will help unlock the mystery of your reception issues a great deal.
 

Kckr2001

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#12
Radio waves do bend around objects, but to what extent it will block the signal is going to depend on the amount of obstruction. Really can't tell until you try.
Understandable....which is what I would typically expect....but ya gotta ask. Thanks for all your help.


Fox I had posted it earlier in the thread its Philips - Digital TV antenna Indoor 20 dB amplified HDTV/UHF/VHF - SDV6122T/27 - TV antennae - Home entertainment accessories - Accessories

Nothing special, but it really just wont pull anything in with any type of clarity. I've tried it in the house and out on the deck to no avail. I was able to barely tune in NBC (10.1) but it keeps cutting in and out. There was one channel it picked up ok, which is 28.1 (listed as Real Channel 22 - WB) and thats way down on the list. I dont get it....like I said before its all foreign to me.
 

FOX TV

Contributor
#13
Antenna manufacturers are dishonest and misleading !!

The real problem I see for the most part is your need to receive VHF & UHF channels using one antenna. Unfortunately there are not many choices available in a small package the would be practical for an apartment balcony (Except for my design, which is not really available currently due to patent issues). It really aggravates me to see all of these brand name antenna manufacturers that take advantage of consumers with clever marketing and misleading packaging that makes DTV reception seem so simple.

The consumer gets the poorly designed antenna home expecting great results, only to be disappointed with the results, leaving them feeling that they got ripped off, which they did. Simple physics states that there is no antenna that will receive a signal that is not there. You have to have a reasonable amount of energy reaching the antenna, but this is where the consumer who does not understand the physics themselves gets blindsided by the antenna manufacturer by all of their hype and misleading promises, which then leads to discontent with potential DTV viewers who then spread the rumor that DTV is not worth trying.

Virtually all TV antennas are a compromise due to the TV band frequencies themselves.

VHF Low Band - VHF Ch. 2 - 6 59 - 88 MHz requires an approximate 1/4 wave length of 6 feet

High Band - VHF Ch. 7 - 13 175 - 216 MHz requires an approximate 1/4 wave length of 2.5 up to 3 feet

UHF Band - UHF Ch 14- 51 470 to 698 MHz requires requires an approximate 1/4 wave length of 6 to 6.5 inches

This chart clearly shows the reason conventional antennas are designed the way they are, and the need for the enormous sizes required for the low VHF channels, which leads to many compromises when designing an antenna. The original proposal was for all DTV to be in the UHF band, which would have made it much easier for antenna designers to build small practical antennas, but a lot of the VHF broadcasters who where misinformed about DTV signals, thought that since VHF was the best band for analog signals, the same would automatically apply to DTV, which is not true.

Many former VHF stations got a UHF assignment, and were unhappy due to lots of misconceptions and misinformation, so they lobbied the FCC to allow them to go back to VHF after the transition was complete, and many of them regret that decision to this day, especially those who went back to the low VHF band, which is the worst possible band for DTV broadcasting.

In my opinion, there are no reliable indoor antennas that will perform up to the marketing hype they all seem to be subject to. I wish my antenna was available for sale, for I know it would solve a lot of situations like yours. I just finished my indoor design that measures 16 X 9 not including the stand itself. I can be hung on a wall, or mounted on a stand that would sit on a bookcase or small shelf. It too is a compromise, as are all antennas, but I would grantee its performance against ANY indoor antenna currently on the market with a money back grantee.

I know this does not answer any of your questions, or present any solutions, but the antenna manufacturers are only concerned with sales, and care not about the reputation of DTV reception, or the consumers who purchase their inferior products, and I am not afraid to point out this fact. The dimensions for the indoor version of my antenna are given below, and it does receive UHF and VHF low and VHF high band signals as well, when these signals are actually present at the antennas location. !Remember that no antenna will receive a signal that is not present at the antenna itself !!

DSC03490 c.jpg
My Indoor Antenna Dimensions
 
Last edited:

FOX TV

Contributor
#14
Radio waves do bend around objects, but to what extent it will block the signal is going to depend on the amount of obstruction. Really can't tell until you try.
I do have to disagree with this statement somewhat. Radio waves travel in a straight line and do not actually bend. They can be reflected or refracted, but do not actually bend. They can get into places that are not direct line of sight simply due to the size of the physical wave length such as dipping into valleys on a long wave situation, but in actuality, they cannot truly bend.
 

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