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  1. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2006
    Location: United States
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    Just recently after purchasing an HDTV have I come to experience High Definition television broadcasts. However, I do not have cable or satellite and only receive local stations. This becomes a problem because I do not get good reception in my area. That means that when I watch the local HD channels, the signal isnt very strong and I get a "No signal or weak signal" message on my screen for a second. After that message shows, the programming comes back and I begin to watch again only to be interrupted by the same message a minute later.
    After consulting with one of the guys at best buy, he recommended that I buy a HDTV antenna to receive better reception. This model ran for about $40, but it seemed to do worse than the much cheaper rabbit ears I was using. I immediately returned these and am currently using the old rabbit ears to watch TV. If anyone has any suggestions on how to get better reception, including the purchasing of outdoor antennae, different types of indoor antennae that seemed to work for you, or anything else, please comment. I know the problem might stem from my living location which is in the southern part of St. Louis, MO., but whatever can be done to help, I'd more than appreciate insightful replies.

    Thanks!
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  2. Член BJ_M's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2002
    Location: Canada
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    HDTV signals are line-of-sight, a higher placement will usually result in better reception and be less subject to interference.

    see http://www.antennaweb.org/

    Enter your address and be told which antennas best fit your location, based on relation to the broadcast tower(s) in your area and factors such as the height of your house (single-story or multistory) and whether you have any tall trees or buildings nearby. The resulting list will show you which type of antenna best suits your location. The CEA uses a color-coding system--for example, red designates a "medium directional antenna," which the CEA describes as follows:

    "These medium-size, multielement antennas are the most popular rooftop antenna because of their modest size and ghost-reducing characteristics. These are best used if there are any ghost-producing reflective structures near your location."

    So you simply purchase a CEA-certified outdoor antenna that qualifies for that color coding. Many antennas qualify for more than one color, and the list that the site generates often has more than one color. If you'd like to receive stations that encompass more than one color, you should buy an antenna that qualifies for those colors. You still may have to make a compromise when aiming the antenna, however, if some of the nearby broadcast towers lie at disparate compass points. Antennaweb has a mapping feature that can greatly assist in aiming your antenna.

    see http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-11249_7-6264597-2.html?tag=next for instructions


    the channel master 4 bay is a popular choice

    "Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems." - Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
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  3. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    As antennaweb.org will tell you, all your major DT transmitters are near each other and all are UHF. So, as long as you aren't behind a hill in that direction, a single UHF antenna pointed in that direction should get all the channels.
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  4. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2006
    Location: United States
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    Thanks very much for such a speedy reply. I will ponder whether it is worth it to install a rooftop antenna for a 27" HDTV. Thanks again!
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  5. Some antennas, while designed to be mounted outdoors can easily fit in an atttic or corner of the room. I live in a basement floor apartment on a hilltop area a few miles away from most of the broadcast antennas and I have this lil guy hanging in the corner.

    http://www.antennasdirect.com/DB4_HDTV_antenna.html

    Its a tad overkill, I could have gone with the DB2 and if you live withing 30 miles of the broadcast tower(s), id go with the DB2. While the channel master might be cheaper, the DB2 is much smaller and has a slightly higher dB gain. Do not buy a Terk antenna, lots of bad reviews. They look pretty, but just suck for reception.

    PS.
    I found the sales reps at AntennasDirect to be very knowledgeable.
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  6. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    Originally Posted by elister
    Some antennas, while designed to be mounted outdoors can easily fit in an atttic or corner of the room. I live in a basement floor apartment on a hilltop area a few miles away from most of the broadcast antennas and I have this lil guy hanging in the corner.

    http://www.antennasdirect.com/DB4_HDTV_antenna.html

    Its a tad overkill, I could have gone with the DB2 and if you live withing 30 miles of the broadcast tower(s), id go with the DB2. While the channel master might be cheaper, the DB2 is much smaller and has a slightly higher dB gain. Do not buy a Terk antenna, lots of bad reviews. They look pretty, but just suck for reception.

    PS.
    I found the sales reps at AntennasDirect to be very knowledgeable.
    Are you saying you got this to work from a basement?

    ATSC tech wants rooftop or direct view to the transmitter.
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  7. Originally Posted by edDV
    Are you saying you got this to work from a basement?

    ATSC tech wants rooftop or direct view to the transmitter.
    Er strike that, ground floor, well 3 feet below ground. Its not the first floor. I am however, surrounded by 4-5 story apartment buildings. By line of sight you mean, I have a clear unobstructed view of the broadcast towers, then no. But I manage to get all of the channels but one (an independant, KONG-16), which is on the same broadcast tower as NBC (which comes in fine). I even get KCPQ-FOX, which is some 23 miles west of me.
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  8. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    Originally Posted by elister
    Originally Posted by edDV
    Are you saying you got this to work from a basement?

    ATSC tech wants rooftop or direct view to the transmitter.
    Er strike that, ground floor, well 3 feet below ground. Its not the first floor. I am however, surrounded by 4-5 story apartment buildings. By line of sight you mean, I have a clear unobstructed view of the broadcast towers, then no. But I manage to get all of the channels but one (an independant, KONG-16), which is on the same broadcast tower as NBC (which comes in fine). I even get KCPQ-FOX, which is some 23 miles west of me.
    You may be getting all this from reflections (aka mulitpath).
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  9. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
    Join Date: Sep 2002
    Location: AZ, USA
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    I use a similar antenna to what elister linked to. I'm in a second story apartment, but the outside wall has stucco, which is applied over a wire grid. It's great for signal blocking.

    I just lean the antenna up against a wall in a rear bedroom. I found I can improve the signal a little by tilting the antenna back about 5 degrees in the vertical axis to point more directly at the hilltop transmitters. I have no windows on that side of the building and no access on that side to mount any outside antenna.

    It's overkill, but I got tired of trying wimpy indoor antennas. We only have 5 local stations broadcasting in HDTV, all at about 12 miles distance. I get all but one, but it doesn't appear to be broadcasting a video signal, just a carrier. I use a MyHD PCI card for reception, fed to a video projector.
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