Updated Antenna Recommendations

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by rsisters, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. Sep 3, 2011 #1 of 22
    rsisters

    rsisters New Member

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    Our house has a variety of old and new televisions, Tivo's, DVRs, etc. All work great and do what they are supposed to do. The one thing we have that doesn't work great is satellite service. It's time to dump the dish.

    We have been researching indoor and outdoor antennas (TVFool, Amazon, CNET, etc.) and reading the TC forums for information. We've learned a lot but are now more confused than ever!

    We live in Phoenix, AZ :mad: it is miserably hot (aka Satan called and he wants his weather back). It would be great to get the right outdoor antenna from the start. If anyone has a recommendation for HD OTA - please share!

    Thanks in advance for any recommendations!
     
  2. Sep 3, 2011 #2 of 22
    a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

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    Crawfordsvil...
  3. Sep 3, 2011 #3 of 22
    rsisters

    rsisters New Member

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    Thank you a68oliver - great site! Appreciate your site recommendation!
     
  4. Sep 3, 2011 #4 of 22
    jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

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    Denver area
    The best indoor antenna I've found is the Wineguard SS-3000. Don't have any recent experience with outdoor antennas.
     
  5. Sep 4, 2011 #5 of 22
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    Check out solidsignal.com. They have a wide selection of antennas with a utility to help you choose the right one for your area.
     
  6. Sep 4, 2011 #6 of 22
    javabird

    javabird Well-Known Member

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    Also, if you go to http://antennaweb.org you can plug in your address and it will tell you what antenna type you need for best reception at your address.
     
  7. Sep 4, 2011 #7 of 22
    rsisters

    rsisters New Member

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    Appreciate all the suggestions - TC users rock it! Thank you!
     
  8. Sep 5, 2011 #8 of 22
    ncbill

    ncbill Active Member TCF Club

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    I'm using a 2-bay ClearStream with an amplifier (split signal to 2 Tivos)

    It is hung on the side of my entertainment center, pointing out the window.

    I get all locals (15-35 miles) plus a couple of out-of-market stations (60 miles away)

    EDIT: should have pointed out this is a UHF-only antenna (only UHF locals here, thankfully)
     
  9. Sep 5, 2011 #9 of 22
    rsisters

    rsisters New Member

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    May 21, 2005
    Thanks ncbill!

    Has anyone used the coax cabling that is connected to a satellite dish on the roof and run to the satellite converter box(es)/TV's as a quick and easy hook-up for an outdoor antenna?
     
  10. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    If you intend to disconnect the satellite dish and use the same cable to connect the antenna it should work fine. If you intend to use a single cable for both satellite and OTA reception it could be a problem.
     
  11. snedecor

    snedecor Member

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    Angleton, TX
    The original idea when the analog/digital transition began was that all VHF stations would migrate to UHF, and only a UHF antenna would be needed. UHF antennas are typically smaller and less obtrusive.

    However, at least in some markets (eg. Houston, TX), some of the stations were allowed to keep their VHF frequencies. This has major implications for the antenna you need.

    I ended up needing the same type of antenna I had before (combination VHF/UHF) because of the VHF stations in my area.

    Snedecor
     
  12. rsisters

    rsisters New Member

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    May 21, 2005
    Thank you Mr. unNatural and snedecor - great info.

    We plan of discontinuing all satellite service. Went up on the roof this morning took some quick pics of the wiring as a reference.

    Will definitely check out the VHF/UHF local channel selection as I was under the impression that the gov't had mandated a migration to UHF for consistency...oh well...
     
  13. dstoffa

    dstoffa Member

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    Not completely true. We in New York still have three stations broadcasting on VHF, but High VHF, which are channels 7-13.

    The element lengths needed for High VHF are considerably shorter (32" for Channel 7) as compared to Low VHF (Elements tuned to receive channel 2 need to be 8 feet long.)

    I am most certain that any stations still broadcasting in your market on VHF will certainly be high-VHF stations.

    If the transmission towers in your market are co-located then you should be able to get a great outdoor antenna for under $40. Some can even be mounted to the existing mounting hardware for your dish.

    So, although you MAY need a combination VHF / UHF antenna, if you do, odds are you don't need one with an 8 foot wing span from years past...

    Cheers!
    -Doug
     
  14. Bierboy

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

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    Fishers, IN
    Our local CBS affil kept their VHF channel designation of 4 when it went digital (4.1). So we have a mix of UHF and VHF digitals in our market which makes for some interesting antenna configurations...

    [​IMG]
     
  15. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    All of my local HD channels were UHF until after the all-digital mandate took effect. After that, a couple of local channels reverted back to their VHF frequencies, which kind of torqued me off after investing in all UHF directional antennas. I'm now using a pair of Clearstream VHF/UHF antennas pointed in opposite directions to pick up locals from both Baltimore and D.C.

    Unfortunately, due to the directionality of the antennas and the location of the broadcast towers I am unable to pick up every local channel via antenna with my current setup. The good news is that I can pick up at least one major affiliate from each market. In fact, I can pick up all major affiliates from both markets with the exception of the ABC affiliate in D.C. If I rotated the antenna to pick it up I'd lose at least one other D.C. channel so I had to decide which ones I wanted the most.
     
  16. dstoffa

    dstoffa Member

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    New York, NY
    In my opinion, as long as the only stations you CAN'T receive are one NBC affiliate and one ABC affiliate, then that is good enough for me. Not sure how they handle the NFL in DC / Baltimore, but I'd love to be able to have a choice of game to watch on CBS and FOX on Sundays....

    Cheers!
    -Doug
     
  17. rsisters

    rsisters New Member

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    May 21, 2005
    Ok - this is all making my head spin!

    In researching the available OTA channels in our area, we see that receiving all the majors may be hit or miss. (Considering how crappy the local news and programming is - this is considered a blessing in disguise!)

    Since moving to hell - I mean Phoenix, we have been subjected to the worst of the worst in NFL programming. With the lockout and the wheeling and dealing of the major networks, ESPN and the NFL ticket - we may be doomed to hanging out in local sports bars drinking watered down whiskey.
     
  18. dstoffa

    dstoffa Member

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    New York, NY
    I can't believe that reception is hit or miss if you are in "Hell Valley" and not up in the mountains... What is your zip code? TV Fool dot com tells me the tower farm is located south of Phoenix, in the Phoenix South Mountain State Park, and reception is solid throughout most areas, unless you are unfortunate enough to be behind a mountain.

    You can always take your HDTV outside the house, with a pair of rabbit ears / uhf bowtie ($15 at the Rat Shack) and see if you can tune OTA TV. (Less issues if you do it outside.) Everything except PBS is on UHF in Phoenix.
     
  19. replaytv

    replaytv gun talk ignore list

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    Feb 20, 2011
    Denver ish...
    yes
     
  20. rsisters

    rsisters New Member

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    The Phoenix metro area is spread-out over 17,000 sq. mi. Sprawl is a religion here. The South Mountain area is approx. 20 miles south from our location - we are in 85257 and yes, there are mountains and buttes everywhere. Additionally, we live in close proximity to two airports, a military helo-pad, and an abundance of cell towers - though I don't know if these can/will impact reception...nothing ventured nothing gained.

    Thanks for your input!
     

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