Antennaweb vs. TV Fool

What site do you believe in the most?

  • AntennaWeb

    Votes: 1 4.0%
  • TV Fool

    Votes: 24 96.0%

  • Total voters
    25

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#21
TV FOOL gets my vote

TV Fool has been a very helpful tool for me to use to determine what antenna and height to try first on customer's sites. I use it and the antenna field maps that used to be available at the REC website. REC Broadcast Query I wish they were still available. My Avatar is the pattern from KVOS-12 (35) Bellingham, WA and I live just south of the red ring. To receive them I built a 15-bar Yagi with coaxial balun and have their signal at a solid 65. By the way, I tried it first with a 'Rat-Shack' balun and the signal was a solid 55, so there is a difference...

Regarding the two local antenna 'farms' to my East-ish, TV FOOL is dreadfully inaccurate here do to my hilly and shadowed location, but it is very accurate on distant stations. As far as range, I can receive 47 (a low-power translator) to the south-ish, 50 to the SE and the analog carrier from 10 to the NW in Canada, and that was on my 35 Yagi. Next summer I'll try for that station with a more appropriate antenna. Attached is my TV FOOL chart.

Jim

PS I have no clue why the attachment shrank itself. I sent it as a .png and now it's a .jpg ... hmmm. Here's the direct link to my location. http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id=7d521af9588973

PPS I checked this morning and the maps are again available at the REC broadcast query website!
 

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Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#23
There is a signal strength calculator on the FCC.gov web site.

The Digital TV Transition: Reception Maps

I find it very close to tvfool. Is it right for your station?
---------------------------------------------------------------
Tower Guy,
I had forgotten about that website and thanks. In my case, I checked by zip code and the map plopped the pointer about 4 miles out of my zip code. I dragged it 'home' and it reports every station as green, even channel 9 (VHF) with its 21.7 kw ERP, and a hill between us! To receive 9, I built a 7-bar Yagi and I finally receive it from 24' in the sky and up. Its not accurate here at all.
Jim
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#24
As far as helping with Signal diagnosis, it's TVFool hands down for me.
I hardly ever send anyone to AntennaWeb, but have them go to...
2150.com Locater

You must have GPS for your location, and they have a link to find that.
But, for someone who is trying to just Aim, clicking on the "Direction" button, gives them all the stations in a single location/Farm.
Most times they like that better than trying to figure it out via TVF.

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
 

Yes616

The Mod Squad
#25
I like the fact that Andy with TVFool is accessible and listens to feedback as well.
Very true. On December 5th, WNEP16 from Scranton, PA moved from real channel 49 to 50 and increased their power at the same time. This was not shown on the TVFool site until I pointed this out via e-mail. The next day I had a thank you in my in box then 2 days later, it was fixed.

Funny how the channel that was sending out the best signal increased their power but the ones that could really use a signal boost (WYOU & WBRE) don't bother.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#26
Well there are now a few sites with useful information. But you have to give Andy a huge amount of credit for how long his site has been up and useful. When I was banging my head and having to put in the fact I had a 100 ft tower to see channels I can see at 10 ft on antennaweb.org, Andy had much better results.

Had it not been for his site, I don't believe I could have been any where near as useful to the people that posted here and AVS about what they needed to use for an antenna.

So I say hats off for years of wonderful service from Andy.
 

FOX TV

Contributor
#28
Increasing the power !!

Very true. On December 5th, WNEP16 from Scranton, PA moved from real channel 49 to 50 and increased their power at the same time. This was not shown on the TVFool site until I pointed this out via e-mail. The next day I had a thank you in my in box then 2 days later, it was fixed.

Funny how the channel that was sending out the best signal increased their power but the ones that could really use a signal boost (WYOU & WBRE) don't bother.
Congratulations to you and TV FOOL for finding the error and correcting the database. Increasing the power levels of a transmitter is not just as simple as going to the transmitter and turning a knob to up the power output. Your maximum power levels depend on a lot of different variables, and each one contributes to the final chosen power level for your given channel assignment and coverage area and is regulated by the FCC.

Then there is interference to other broadcasters to consider, and the actual assigned or physical coverage area that you need to cover with a signal. Any power not staying within your coverage area is actually considered as wasted, and could be better used by being directed into areas you are supposed to cover with that extra power, or in some cases to the vertical polarity for mobile/handheld TV. Antennas are custom designed for each application with different radiation patterns and power levels and other aspects to suit the variables listed above.

Then there is the transmitter, the transmission line or waveguide that feeds the antenna, and finally the antenna itself. Does your transmitter have any extra power capacity, or is it running the FCC required 95% power level now with nothing left to give? Will your transmission line handle more power? What is the maximum power that the antenna was designed for? All aspects of these items are custom designed by considering all of the above issues into the equation and coming up with a final configuration for the transmitter site.

And then comes the issue of power usage because as we know, more power out means more power is used by the transmitter, and that has to also be considered when the electric bill comes every month. If you have a backup generator, is it capable of handling the higher power output of the transmitter, or will you have to replace it too, and can you pay for the extra fuel it will use running under increased load?

Smart planners look ahead and try to build some extra capacity into their transmitter sites, but this extra capacity is expensive to add if you never use it, and some smaller broadcasters have to take these upgrades in small steps in order to not break the bank account.

You can go to RabbitEars.Info and find information on WYOU & WBRE with links to FCC licensing information or new construction permit assignments which can tell you if they have any plans to increase power or change antennas etc.

Some of these stations may be in the planning stages to make changes even now, and sometimes just the planning stage itself can take many months. If they have applied for, and been granted permission to make changes, then all of that information is available on the rabbitears.info website.
 
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Chips

DTVUSA Member
#29
TV Fool shows the 3 stations I can pick up, the order from strong to weakest is off, but it is accurate as to what I can pick up. Antenna Web tells me there are no DTV stations available at my address. I have been viewing DTV over the air for over two years now, so TV fool gets my vote.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#30
TV Fool shows the 3 stations I can pick up, the order from strong to weakest is off, but it is accurate as to what I can pick up. Antenna Web tells me there are no DTV stations available at my address. I have been viewing DTV over the air for over two years now, so TV fool gets my vote.
:welcome: Welcome to the forum.

Chips, that is in a nutshell why I stopped using AntennaWeb.
 

Chips

DTVUSA Member
#31
If you vote TV Fool, please tell about the weakest station you can receive regularly. Not just once in a while. Also, post the NM(dB) rating for that channel for your location.[/QUOTE]

I forgot to list the weakest station I pick up on a regular basis.

WGRZ-DT 33 (2.1) NBC 49.5 2Edge -17.0
From TV Fool. I pick it up year round.

I use two stacked UHF yagis mounted about 30 feet.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#32
BASED on TVFOOL ... KUNS-TV 50 (51.1) 4.7 NM(db) -86.2 / 2Edge

Single, home-brew 11-bar 'cut-to-48' Yagi with coaxial balun, 14' above my roofline.

There is a recently updated LP translator (not yet listed on TVFOOL but it is on REC Networks) I will go after very soon (ironically, also on 51) I will try to capture when the weather moderates. That will be a real challenge, but I don't like to lose.
Jim
 
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re_nelson

DTVUSA Member
#35
If you vote TV Fool, please tell about the weakest station you can receive regularly. Not just once in a while. Also, post the NM(dB) rating for that channel for your location.
To echo others, TV Fool by far. The AntennaWeb data is seriously bad (using what I can only guess is incorrect FCC data). Furthermore, it fails to include out-of-market stations -- at least at my location (zip 75035).

The weakest station I receive consistently is KXII/12 with an NM reading of 18.1 dB. It shows a signal of 87% 24/7 on a Toshiba ATSC tuner.
 
G

Guest

Guest
#36
How long for tv fool?

I've been trying all day to get logged on to tvfool. I registered got the email back but it says I have to wait for moderator que to post. I sent email to them and still nothing. Does it always take 24 hours to get in.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#39
* 2019 UPDATE* -------- (This thread and the poll above was started in 2009)

AntennaWeb now offers information on the FCC channel "repack". It now provides the new real-channels broadcasters are required to move to. Click the link below, enter your zip code, click the orange 'dot' next to channel listings and you can see the channel changes coming soon.

* AntennaWeb channel update info ----- > Address
 

pjs344

DTVUSA Rookie
#40
Antennaweb and tvfool are good to start with but lacking in a number of areas. Like mainly covering the full service stations and not covering there station translators in many areas. Lack of low power stations. Lack of station changes and sub network updates. There really only good to see if you can get the 5 major networks in most areas. But do not assume that you can't get any station because it does not show any. When this happens you need to use Rabbitears. Go to Tv query put in your city or town and state. It will give you all the stations and transmitters in your area if any. From there you can find out where the transmitters are and what direction to point your directional antenna. See the distance and transmitter coverage area map. If your in range and have the right size antenna you should get the stations. But in some cases even if you have a clear site to the transmitters you may not get a station(s) do to some hidden interference that you can't see in it path. That's the problem with ATSC 1.0 and the new ATSC 3.0 is said to not have all these interference problems. We shall see?
 
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