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Old 12-07-2005, 12:31 AM   #1
Scott D
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Silver Sensor antennas

I live in the Houston area (Pasadena) and I was wondering if this antenna would also pick up ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS channels as well as UHF channels or am I going to have to get a bigger outside antenna of some kind.

By the way. The current outdoor antenna is about 17 years old.

Last edited by Scott D : 12-07-2005 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 12-07-2005, 01:50 AM   #2
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Here are a couple of resources ....

* http://www.antennaweb.org will tell you if this antenna is suitable for your area

* http://www.avsforum.com Look in the Local HDTV Reception Forum and find the thread for your nearest city(s) to see what antennas work well for folks in your area.
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Old 12-07-2005, 07:31 AM   #3
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There is no easy answer unless you are oviously too far away for an indoor antenna. Even if you are close, your house/wall construction can have a big impact. I have had good luck in the past with the Silver Sensor and would recommend it. However, your best bet would be to just pick one up (where they have a return policy) and try it.
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Old 12-07-2005, 09:37 AM   #4
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I just tried my local Sears. They actually use it in the store, and the salesperson raved about it. But, they no longer sell it! They sell RCA ANT 525 and 585.
Will these work?
Otherwise, who else sells Zentith Silver Sensors?
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Old 12-07-2005, 09:49 AM   #5
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I bought mine @ buy.com for $22. If you are using for OTA HDTV tuner, it is usually awesome for 30 miles or less... but if towers are in completely different locations you gotta be around to move it. This means HD DVR's will not get channels to record if SS is pointed the wrong way in this scenario.

Yahoo shopping has for 20... definately worth it: http://shopping.yahoo.com/search;_yl...er+sensor&did=
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Old 12-07-2005, 10:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverstreak
Otherwise, who else sells Zentith Silver Sensors?
I had picked mine up at The Good Guys if you have one in your area.
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Old 12-07-2005, 10:45 AM   #7
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Remember this antenna is UHF only, and will give poor results on anything above ch. 6.
I use this one which features an adjustable Amp. to tweak results..it works well for me,
altho most of my stations are clustered on the same tower...
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...rentPage=searc
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Old 12-07-2005, 11:48 AM   #8
A J Ricaud
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonman
Remember this antenna is UHF only, and will give poor results on anything above ch. 6.
I use this one which features an adjustable Amp. to tweak results..it works well for me,
altho most of my stations are clustered on the same tower...
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...rentPage=searc
I think you mean BELOW channel 6.
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A J Ricaud
I think you mean BELOW channel 6.
No I mean if you try a channel above 6, (meaning 7 (VHF) or higher), it will give
poor responce.
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Old 12-07-2005, 02:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott D
I live in the Houston area (Pasadena) and I was wondering if this antenna would also pick up ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS channels as well as UHF channels or am I going to have to get a bigger outside antenna of some kind.

By the way. The current outdoor antenna is about 17 years old.
The short answer is "try it." I'm in the Astrodome area, and a Silver Sensor works fine. Speaking in generalities, in Houston, if you can get a good signal one of them, you should be able to at least receive all of them, with the possible exception of PBS.
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Old 12-07-2005, 02:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonman
No I mean if you try a channel above 6, (meaning 7 (VHF) or higher), it will give
poor responce.
That's odd. In my experience most UHF antennas (14-69) will pull-in VHF channels 7-13 fairly well, although the higher ones (8-13) are usually better.
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Old 12-07-2005, 03:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A J Ricaud
That's odd. In my experience most UHF antennas (14-69) will pull-in VHF channels 7-13 fairly well, although the higher ones (8-13) are usually better.
That may have been true at one time, however since the FCC has mandated that
stations remap to the actual station I.D. nbrs instead of one that used the UHF
freq., that is no longer the case...I own this antenna, and can tell you that any
channel above the freq. of ch6, will be very poor reception.
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Old 12-07-2005, 03:33 PM   #13
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Another vote for "try it"

I live in the 249/1960 area by HP and a Silver Sensor in my attic with no amp pulls in all of the channels just fine. Including PBS (channel 9) with no problems. I did have to experiment with a good location up there for a while.
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Old 12-07-2005, 03:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonman
That may have been true at one time, however since the FCC has mandated that
stations remap to the actual station I.D. nbrs instead of one that used the UHF
freq., that is no longer the case...I own this antenna, and can tell you that any
channel above the freq. of ch6, will be very poor reception.
I use a silver sensor to pull in HD locals, I get channel 12 without a problem, which is the only HD channel in the VHF range in my area.
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Old 12-07-2005, 10:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonman
That may have been true at one time, however since the FCC has mandated that
stations remap to the actual station I.D. nbrs instead of one that used the UHF
freq., that is no longer the case...I own this antenna, and can tell you that any
channel above the freq. of ch6, will be very poor reception.

Wow, are you confused. The channel number that a station is remapped to has NOTHING to do with the type of antenna that you use to pick it up. To receive the actual channel that the station broadcasts its digital station on you need to have an antenna that is appropriate for the channel they broadcast on. For example, in my area channels 2, 4, 5, 9 and 11 all broadcast their digital channel in the UHF band. I tested a silver sensor which worked great for me and I'm 16 miles away in a one story house. For example the Silver Sensor picks up digital channel 34, which is remapped to channel 2.1.
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Last edited by Runch Machine : 12-07-2005 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 12-07-2005, 10:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott D
I live in the Houston area (Pasadena) and I was wondering if this antenna would also pick up ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS channels as well as UHF channels or am I going to have to get a bigger outside antenna of some kind.

By the way. The current outdoor antenna is about 17 years old.
First, try your existing out door antenna. If it works fairly well for the analog channels it should work well for the digital channels. There is no such thing as an HD antenna. I had a 20 year old Channel Master U/V antenna on my roof and it got great reception for all analog and digital channels. I have since removed it because a small antenna in my garage attic provides a strong signal on the digital channels. Since I didn't need a roof top antenna anymore, I removed it.
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Old 12-07-2005, 10:48 PM   #17
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I'm in Spring, TX and I'm picking up the Houston stations with a Silver Sensor just fine. I'm about 35 miles away from the source and I believe you would be even closer in Pasadena. I picked mine up at the local Frys.
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:00 AM   #18
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http://www.zenith.com/sub_prod/downl...df/ZHDTV1Z.pdf
You can also find it on eBay.com
http://search.ebay.com/silver-sensor...fsooZ1QQfsopZ3
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Old 12-14-2005, 08:16 PM   #19
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I'm tempted to pick up a Silver Sensor. I've read a ton of reviews online and they all have good things to say about it. I currently have a Radio Shack antenna 15-1878. It does good. I get 75%-85% on all local HD channels except for one which I can not receive. I wonder if the Silver Sensor would pick it up.
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Old 12-14-2005, 08:20 PM   #20
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I have the silver sensor and I added the radio shack amplifier and it improved the reception about 10 - 20 on the HDTV scale which resulted in less loss of picture. Most are now at 95 and my worst went from 20 to 65.
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:06 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coachO
I have the silver sensor and I added the radio shack amplifier and it improved the reception about 10 - 20 on the HDTV scale which resulted in less loss of picture. Most are now at 95 and my worst went from 20 to 65.
What amplifier are you running? Could you post a link to it? I would like to possibly run the Silver Sensor with the radio shack amplifier.
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Old 01-07-2006, 05:42 PM   #22
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I read an article describing hooking up two silver sensors together. Has anyone tried that?
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Old 01-07-2006, 06:05 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott D
I read an article describing hooking up two silver sensors together. Has anyone tried that?
I have not tried it, but I read about it at hdtvprimer.com. It was more of an experiment to prove a point rather than a practical solution, tho. I think a better antenna would prove to be an easier step, although to get better than the SS, you have to go to a large roof or attic antenna like a 4228, which actually costs much less than two SSs.
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Old 01-10-2006, 01:10 AM   #24
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Well, last weekend on Saturday, I did some extensive tests on my current aerial antenna. Yagi style type antenna.

I tried repositioning the antennas (yes, I did say antennas. One antenna is a UHF and VHF type antenna and the one right below it is strictly a UHF antenna) to point in the same direction. I think the UHF antenna is pointed 180 degrees opposite of the other one. The sideways V is going the other way. Reason being is that the entire antenna cluster is west of me about 30 or 40 miles away in Missouri City. That worked fairly well but I still had problems with ABC. (Channel 13 in my area). NBC, CBS, Fox, UPN and WB were coming in pretty good. 13 was bouncy. I had a high of 70% for a short period of time and it went all the way down to zero.

My next best bet I tried was to amplify it. I recently purchased this at Wal-Mart. I routed to antenna through that amplifier. It didn't get much better. I even tried putting the Silver Sensor in there too. I tried the splitter on both sides of the amplifier with no better improvements.

That left me with two possibilities. A bad antenna or a bad cable. I just happened to have a spare RG6 cable I assume around 100 feet laying around the house so I ran that cable out the window to where the point of entry is to the cable that was installed when my house was built in 1990-1991, disconnected the coax cable coming from my antenna and attached it to the one I ran out the window.

Retested the signal strenght one more time and all the channels I wanted came in with high signal strenghts. The best one was WB 39. As far as ABC 13 is concerned, a stable 80-85 rating.


All this for a stupid cable. Nonetheless, the new cable is properly installed on Sunday evening. All is well over here now!
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Old 01-11-2006, 04:35 PM   #25
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Two UHF antennas

I have a Terk antenna (silver sensor look-alike) pointed at compass heading 235 with an amplifier that I am currently using for OTA hd broadcasts. Two of the channels that I receive are at 235 degrees and the third is at 29 degrees (almost directly opposite). I don't receive the station at 29 degrees very well (frequent dropouts) so I was wondering if anyone has tried setting up two directional antennas with a signal combiner that then goes into the signal amplifier. I know that there might be multipath issues, but since the antennas point in opposite directions, that could be minimal. Anyone here have any wisdom?
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Old 01-11-2006, 05:11 PM   #26
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Does the 29 degree station come in well when you point the antenna in its direction?
If so, using 2 antennas is worth a try. Just use a splitter in reverse to feed the amp. Radio Shack carries them, as well as Home Depot and others.

A splitter has some loss but hopefully the amp. you have can compensate. You may have to fool with pointing the 2 antennas to overcome multipath/signal issues.
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Old 01-11-2006, 07:42 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chemist109
I have a Terk antenna (silver sensor look-alike) pointed at compass heading 235 with an amplifier that I am currently using for OTA hd broadcasts. Two of the channels that I receive are at 235 degrees and the third is at 29 degrees (almost directly opposite). I don't receive the station at 29 degrees very well (frequent dropouts) so I was wondering if anyone has tried setting up two directional antennas with a signal combiner that then goes into the signal amplifier. I know that there might be multipath issues, but since the antennas point in opposite directions, that could be minimal. Anyone here have any wisdom?
There are a lot of antennas (yagis, usually) that have a secondary lobe in the opposite direction (180 out). If that is the situation, you would probably have the best luck with that. Any time you combine antennas you degrade the directionality (unless you are phasing antennas to increase gain in the same direction). That would be a simple and hopefully effective solution.

The SS seems to have a unique wing-swept design that makes it fairly directional and allows it to reject a lot of multipath that other set-top antennas might not reject, but that design also does not have that 180 secondary lobe. I would try a yagi and point it at the weakest station, allowing the back-side secondary lobe to pick up the stronger station.
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Old 01-12-2006, 02:53 PM   #28
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Would the SS pick up two signals that are 118 degrees apart? (Both towers are less than 20 miles away.)
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Old 01-12-2006, 04:10 PM   #29
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I have a Silver Sensor screwed to the sheet metal top on my chimney that can get both the upper UHF and channel 3 here in Chicago with no problem. Works great, even with CBS being 18 degrees north of all the other transmitters. I've had to replace it once when the connector eroded but it's the only thing I can get to work.
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Old 01-13-2006, 11:31 AM   #30
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I have my Silver Sensor on top of my entertainment center and am able to pick up most local HD stations. My question is, would an amplifier (notably the Radio Shack one that was mentioned by "coachO" above) amp up the signal where I could pick up better reception (i.e. - go from 60 to 85 for instance) even though I don't have a long cable run? I am using the cable that came with Silver Sensory (5 ft. or less I think).

The description on the Radio Shack web site says that the amplifier would help signal loss in long cable runs of > 100 ft.

Thanks!
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