So I learned yesterday that you can get HD channels over the air including the 4 standard American channels: FOX, CBS, ABC and NBC. So I went to Best Buy and bought an RCA Flat Antenna. I hooked it up to my LED TV, scanned the Air channels and got almost all of the local channels in HD.
I was surprised that I couldn't tell the difference between OTA HD and Videotron HD however, I wasn't able to grab any of the US channels mentionned above. So what went wrong, is it because the RCA Flat Antenna is a piece of crap or do I need an external large Antenna to get these channels?
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You say you got the local channels. In my area, the local channels ARE affiliates of the big four you mentioned. I can not get any channels that explicitly identify them selves as one of the big four. So I get all of the four but as local affiliates. Is that understandable?
Go to tvfool.com and use them to check your address for free TV. It will show you how far away the stations are, the compass direction from your location, the band they use (VHF or UHF). You can post the result without your address, and someone can give you an interpretation.
If you don't want to do that, here are some rules of thumb for using the results from tvfool:
1. An indoor antenna is most likely to receive stations marked green. Stations shown in yellow or pink will probaly require an outdoor antenna.
2. Indoor antennas may have difficulty with "green" stations more than 30 miles away.
3. Reception will be better for "green' stations marked LOS (line of sight).
As for your antenna... It isn't crap, but other designs may work better in some situations. Your antenna is omni-directional. Directional antennas can be better in some situations where reception is marginal because they can be pointed at the source. Your antenna is better for UHF than for VHF. If you want to receive a VHF channel, another antenna may work better. If your antenna is amplified, that may work against you if the signal is already very strong. If your antenna is passive, then an amplified antenna may improve reception if the signal is marginal.
If the US transmitters are more than ~35 miles(56km) away you will need an outdoor antenna, as was mentioned go to tvfool.com to see how far away they are.
short story, it says that the indoor antenna will not work.
Long story the channels are 87 miles away so you need to buy a UHF antenna that can pick them up that far away and aim it at them. for all of them except ABC which is channel 13 if you want ABC then you will want to make sure that the antenna also covers VHF-Hi
The azimuth readings give the compass direction that the antenna needs to point.If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
The first 6 stations on the list are the only ones you are likely to receive with an indoor antenna. If you get all of them you are doing as well as can be expected with an indoor antenna. The last "green" channel is too far away, so it isn't likely you will get that one with an indoor antenna. An outdoor antenna would probably be needed for it and the stations shown in yellow and pink. The purple stations may be difficult even with an outdoor antenna. Your locals are all UHF ("real" channel is 14 or higher), so no need to think about a different antenna for VHF. The VHF stations on the list are too far away for reception using an indoor antenna.
If you have an attic, you can kind of cheat by putting an outdoor antenna inside the attic. I've done this before and it pulls in MUCH more than a standard indoor antenna - though less than a normal outdoor installation (no height, line-of-sight).
Your localtion is almost the same as Zetti's near Montreal. See my response to him and let me know if you need further clarification. The main difference is you are 5 miles closer to the Montreal transmitters.
PS: One additional hint. Look for neighbors using external antennas to get USA channels. Ask them about reception. You may want to go one size larger. Also remember if you want that American Broadcasting Company (ABC) station WVNY-DT 13, your antenna needs to be UHF+VHF.
Last edited by edDV; 3rd Sep 2011 at 16:15.Recommends: Kiva.org - Loans that change lives.
Why do 90% of Canadian population hug the USA border? It is to receive USA television eh?
Last edited by edDV; 3rd Sep 2011 at 16:41.Recommends: Kiva.org - Loans that change lives.