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  1. Originally Posted by Nelson37 View Post
    I've also experimented with two antennas connected to a coax splitter, this does seem to help even with un-matched units. My next purchase will be a second Terk with no amp and try the matched pair.
    IIRC 8-VSB is more sensitive to multipath reception than COFDM used in Europe - not sure that using multiple antennas is OK from US perspective.
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  2. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    Any old antenna will work fine. The farther/weaker the signal, the bigger antenna you need. Amplifiers do not improve a bad signal, they only boost for a longer wire run.
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  3. Multiple antennas is not a problem when you're using directional antennas; the Terks are LPDA type antennas.
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  4. Only got one Terk currently. Have combined Terk plus RCA, RCA plus el-cheapo rabbit ears, el-cheapo rabbit ears plus Terk. All seemed to offer some improvement over either member of pair independently. Some were pretty minimal, and some testing was not extensive. In no case was there any evidence that the combination got worse reception.

    Am familiar with the theory regarding this. Experience tells me that we do not live in a theoretical world, we live in a practical one. I could care less what is not supposed to work, I am ONLY concerned with what DOES work. Experience also tells me that theory is often wrong, or wrongly applied, or not fully understood.
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  5. Originally Posted by Nelson37 View Post
    Only got one Terk currently. Have combined Terk plus RCA, RCA plus el-cheapo rabbit ears, el-cheapo rabbit ears plus Terk. All seemed to offer some improvement over either member of pair independently. Some were pretty minimal, and some testing was not extensive. In no case was there any evidence that the combination got worse reception.

    Am familiar with the theory regarding this. Experience tells me that we do not live in a theoretical world, we live in a practical one. I could care less what is not supposed to work, I am ONLY concerned with what DOES work. Experience also tells me that theory is often wrong, or wrongly applied, or not fully understood.

    Don't get me wrong - look at typical biquad antenna http://martybugs.net/wireless/biquad/ it works very well and this is antenna system of 4 dipoles connected in such way that antenna gain increase. My point about multipath reception was related to fact that in past 8-VSB (modulation used by USA to broadcast DTV) was more sensitive to problems in cities where lot of buildings create difficult scenario for antennas - antenna directionality can improve reception but in difficult environment even this can insufficient.
    So something may work in one place and after moving 20 meters it will no longer work. But general rule is correct - systems of many antennas, connected in particular way will increase gain and as result improve reception. Theory and practice are OK, sometimes reception conditions are just nasty. Sometimes reflections can be used practically and if there is no possibility to see transmitter without obstructions, using strong, directional reflection can help.

    Originally Posted by budwzr View Post
    Amplifiers do not improve a bad signal, they only boost for a longer wire run.
    100% correct but OP is limited to indoor antenna and due of this limitation good amplifier with relatively low own noise can improve marginally reception quality (for example frontend in receiver can have higher noise than low noise amplifier in antenna). Side to this as amplifier is wideband type, it need to provide sufficient gain and signal to noise ratio and it should be also immune to strong signals that are present everywhere.
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  6. Yeah, but 8VSB is better suited to the low density population distribution (relative to Europe) of America where it's not unusual to pull stations in over more than 30 miles with signals coming over 1 and 2 edge. Most city dwellers pay someone to feed them their TV (cable, satellite or fiber), but there are many outside the city that can't get any service; OTA is the only TV they get. City cable cutters have strong enough signal they can get away with just a crappy low gain antenna and they deal with multipath issues with "that's how it is". It's only when they realize they're missing out on some stations that they look for better antennas.
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    Originally Posted by nic2k4 View Post
    Yeah, but 8VSB is better suited to the low density population distribution (relative to Europe) of America where it's not unusual to pull stations in over more than 30 miles with signals coming over 1 and 2 edge. Most city dwellers pay someone to feed them their TV (cable, satellite or fiber), but there are many outside the city that can't get any service; OTA is the only TV they get. City cable cutters have strong enough signal they can get away with just a crappy low gain antenna and they deal with multipath issues with "that's how it is". It's only when they realize they're missing out on some stations that they look for better antennas.
    The fact that pandy is unaware of this is a perfect example of why he is unqualified to be giving advice on the subject of equipment to be used indoors for receiving OTA TV in N. America. If he had more common sense or a less massive ego he might have realized that and stayed out of this thread.
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  8. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    This whole thread is like a Gordian Knot (the metaphor, not the software). The OP lives in a bad signal area, and has no way to install a large antenna. There's just no solution then.

    You can't disregard physics. A signal loses quality over distance. Any amplifier would have to be installed PRIOR to that loss. Once noise gets into the signal, you can't eliminate that noise.
    Last edited by budwzr; 13th Aug 2014 at 15:31.
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    Originally Posted by budwzr View Post
    This whole thread is like a Gordian Knot (the metaphor, not the software). The OP lives in a bad signal area, and has no way to install a large antenna. There's just no solution then.

    You can't disregard physics. A signal loses quality over distance. Any amplifier would have to be installed PRIOR to that loss. Once noise gets into the signal, you can't eliminate that noise.
    All well and good, except for the fact that modest amplification applied to an indoor antenna did improve reception for me and apparently the OP too.

    I have been dealing with indoor antennas and their problems on and off all my life. When using an indoor antenna, one has to learn to be happy with whatever one has in the way of channels as well as resign one's self to getting up and fiddling with the antenna now and then, and at times loosing some channels completely when the weather is bad enough.
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  10. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    Well, the signal will get stronger from the amplification. But I don't think it's improved.
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  11. You're both right at this point if I had to pick I'd go with Nelson37's setup, but if his wife is so picky, she might get turned off by the look of the Terk. Maybe he could get away with a Philips MANT940 stealth antenna in a window behind curtains. It's not very big and hides well, but don't use the supplied cable look for a quad shield RG6.
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  12. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    I would go with a square flat array type antenna mounted in a closet or storeroom. You probably need one like 4X4 feet square, or bigger.

    In a big city, most of the stations are on the same transmitter, but you need to know where it is and point toward it. In a rural situation, you might have to move the antenna to catch different transmitters.
    Last edited by budwzr; 13th Aug 2014 at 18:53.
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    Originally Posted by budwzr View Post
    Well, the signal will get stronger from the amplification. But I don't think it's improved.
    A stronger signal was enough. I record something almost every evening using a ATSC PC tuner card and VideoReDo reported fewer errors in the captured audio and video streams from two problem channels and their subchannels after amplifying the signal vs what it reported with no an amplifier.

    Multipath was a bigger problem for me when I was using an NTSC tuner. ATSC tuners are designed to reduce the effect of multipath interference, which is another reason why an indoor antenna can work pretty well for some people.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 13th Aug 2014 at 21:41.
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  14. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    I wonder if you can build your own antenna out of some small gauge wire from WalMart. Run the antenna outside on some nails. Make a pattern that looks like a checkerboard.

    Even better would be to pound some nails into a half sheet of plywood, and loop the wire around like a weave. If you use zip ties to hold it together, you could remove it from the mount and just hang it on a wall.

    You could spray paint it and call it art. And it really would be art too.
    Last edited by budwzr; 13th Aug 2014 at 22:02.
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    Originally Posted by budwzr View Post
    I wonder if you can build your own antenna out of some small gauge wire from WalMart. Run the antenna outside on some nails. Make a pattern that looks like a checkerboard.

    Even better would be to pound some nails into a half sheet of plywood, and loop the wire around like a weave. If you use zip ties to hold it together, you could remove it from the mount and just hang it on a wall.

    You could spray paint it and call it art. And it really would be art too.
    Thanks, but the results I have with a pre-made amplified indoor antenna are good enough for now,. LOL
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  16. Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by nic2k4 View Post
    Yeah, but 8VSB is better suited to the low density population distribution (relative to Europe) of America where it's not unusual to pull stations in over more than 30 miles with signals coming over 1 and 2 edge. Most city dwellers pay someone to feed them their TV (cable, satellite or fiber), but there are many outside the city that can't get any service; OTA is the only TV they get. City cable cutters have strong enough signal they can get away with just a crappy low gain antenna and they deal with multipath issues with "that's how it is". It's only when they realize they're missing out on some stations that they look for better antennas.
    The fact that pandy is unaware of this is a perfect example of why he is unqualified to be giving advice on the subject of equipment to be used indoors for receiving OTA TV in N. America. If he had more common sense or a less massive ego he might have realized that and stayed out of this thread.
    If someone lives in rural area i see no reason to use indoor reception antenna which is more sensitive to domestic sources of interferences (various brushed engines for example) - this is why i think that indoor antennas can be used by mostly people in cities where space and environment prevent to install outdoor antenna.

    Hilarious how ignorant people can be... suddenly in USA (as North America is something bigger than USA) physics law applied in different way or perhaps USA have different physics?
    If someone have massive ego in this thread then for sure it is not me...
    Perhaps you are just used car seller usually_quiet ? And where is ignore mode you've been just promised to me... yep definitely used car sales guy with abandoned mistress syndrome.
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  17. Been doing some additional swapping and testing.

    Using a cheap flat-screen digital TV, and a Hauppage 1650. Am currently in the worst reception environment yet, a small apt with lots of unshielded appliances nearby, next to a busy canal with outboard motors going by frequently, AND I'm in the middle of lightning season - the other night, 1100 ground strikes in a 4-hour period, in one county, and that's not unusual.

    Different tuners, and different antennas, have varying strengths and weaknesses. Using two antennas in combination seems to be the hot setup for best flexibility. The amplifier may not solve the problem, but it is FAR more likely to make it BETTER than it is to make it WORSE, in fact of the five I have tried, other than the one that was defective, NONE have ever made the PQ worse.
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  18. More testing, new location.

    My trusty Terk is now retired, current setup is two flat RCA antennas, one large, one small, oriented almost, but less than, 180 degrees from each other with about three feet of separation, on top shelf of closet. Antennas feed a 2-1 splitter, into supplied amp, from amp to 1-4 splitter, out to two TV's and the 1650 in the PC.

    Putting side cover on pc, and closing closet door on antennas, also door on adjoining closet with PC, eliminates significant interference from PC itself. Verified by powering down pc.

    Coax connections must remain firm, have tightened with pliers, very snug but not extreme, this has eliminated some intermittant problems.

    Reception varies by time of day and weather conditions, testing must allow for this. Very minute positioning adjustments followed by checking all 9 watched channels over an extended period. Running recorded programs thru VideoRedo gives a numeric counter for errors, now getting single digits or low teens per one hour recording, was getting hundreds to thousands.

    Upgraded to "quad-shielded" cables and antenna, not much more expensive and these did improve reception.

    Just got an Internet upgrade which gives me all OTA channels, in SD, plus HBO. Thinking about dusting off the old ATI analog capture card to make come comparisons, no s-video on the comcast box, though.
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    Periodically there are similar articles about how ever more former cable or satellite customers are joining the ranks of "cord cutters", or are at least considering it. And they tend to keep mentioning many of the same supposed solutions.

    I've been wondering how good the real-world results are -- in typical urban areas -- from the Mohu Leaf line, or any of their competitors -- well known brands or otherwise, and irrespective of price ? (The How To articles make it sound like a snap, but I'm skeptical.) The type you can hang on the wall somewhere like a painting have an obvious appeal over the clunky, gadgety-looking Terks or rabbit ears replacements.

    http://www.frys.com/search?search_type=regular&sqxts=1&cat=&query_string=indoor+antennas
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    I've bought both a regular Mohu Leaf (30 mile rated) and a Mohu Leaf Ultimate (amplified/50 mile rated). There are two transmit locations from where I live. One is approx 17 miles, the other about 23-24 miles. Both of them have been worthless, even though they have received top reviews. Last fall I had a Channel Master CM-4228HD 80 mile rated omnidirectional outdoor antenna + amplifier professionally installed on my roof, and even that has been disappointing at times. I just don't get it.
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    I have a long boom yagi in my attic (42"). It also has an amplifier that feeds down to my AV distribution box.
    Fortunately around here there is only one location for the HDTV transmitters, about forty miles, but it's a clear line of sight.

    But I have also gotten a perfect picture on most channels with a piece of wire hanging out of the AV box.
    HDTV transmitters are normally very powerful.

    Most of my neighbors have Dish or Direct TV, but many also use a small outdoor HDTV antenna that doesn't look like much of an improvement over the old 'rabbit ears'.
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  22. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    The problem is environmental in this case. Like some jackass with a radio tower.
    Last edited by budwzr; 20th Jun 2015 at 22:49.
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    My sister ran into a similar problem when she cancelled her cable. She lives close to the transmitters, around 30 miles, but her apartment faces the opposite direction and the building attenuates the signal. So in a "what the heck" moment she connects her "dead" cable coax to her HDTV and she now gets all the basic network channels clearly in HD plus a few others like QVC, though the SD channels are pretty poor.
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  24. Originally Posted by louv68 View Post
    I've bought both a regular Mohu Leaf (30 mile rated) and a Mohu Leaf Ultimate (amplified/50 mile rated). There are two transmit locations from where I live. One is approx 17 miles, the other about 23-24 miles. Both of them have been worthless, even though they have received top reviews. Last fall I had a Channel Master CM-4228HD 80 mile rated omnidirectional outdoor antenna + amplifier professionally installed on my roof, and even that has been disappointing at times. I just don't get it.
    I bought the biggest longest radioshack mother of an outdoor antenna vhf/uhf a few years before the digital change-over along with the radio shack pre-amplifier. After the digital change-over, I got the same stations, some of them are 75 miles up to close to 100 miles away.

    The only thing I have to deal with is sometimes adverse weather will cause freezing/ pixeling where when it was analog, they would simply get more snow in the screen.

    Strangely, the last couple of years late at night for a brief few seconds and up to a couple of minutes, one station would drop out completely but it doesn't really affect my watching that much.
    My unsubstantiated theory is jet planes that are flying in eye distance from me and in between me and the transmission station are causing the dropouts. I have walked outside when I could see them after losing signal.

    One thing for sure, digital suffers from interference more than analog ever did but the picture is better with digital.

    As far as I am concerned, the old outdoor antennas work just fine with digital but it is necessary to have the mast-mount amplifier to still get the stations.

    Get the biggest outdoor antenna and a mast-mount pre-amp and you should see a difference.
    Of course I can't guarantee your results but it works for me.
    My feed line is still a 75ohm wire I have had for about 30 years.
    My antenna is only about 25 feet off the ground with towering trees on all sides except to the east.
    Of course, my antenna is the directional type, with the yagi sticking on one end, the old classic outdoor tv antenna.
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  25. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by louv68 View Post
    I've bought both a regular Mohu Leaf (30 mile rated) and a Mohu Leaf Ultimate (amplified/50 mile rated). There are two transmit locations from where I live. One is approx 17 miles, the other about 23-24 miles. Both of them have been worthless, even though they have received top reviews. Last fall I had a Channel Master CM-4228HD 80 mile rated omnidirectional outdoor antenna + amplifier professionally installed on my roof, and even that has been disappointing at times. I just don't get it.
    I am now able to add some actual results of my own. Firstly, my recollection is that tvfool indicated my location was mediocre at best, in terms of line of sight for reception. I was sort of hoping that I would not need to put this to the test. However, some months ago I purchased a Mohu Leaf 50 when it was on sale, but did nothing with it until now. Some further shenanigans by my sat provider eventually furnished the incentive. Periodically, all the sat or cable providers are playing a game of "chicken" with the powers behind one channel or another, dropping them from the lineup as a pressure move in the course of negotiations. Occasionally, it is the channel that removes itself, with the same purpose in mind. This game has become increasingly tiresome. Any way you look at it, it is the paying customers that are getting the shaft. In this particular case, it was a major network's local affiliate that has gone dark. I don't think I can recall an example like that. Wasn't it a rule for a very long time that the cable and sat providers were required by the FCC to carry the major local channels ? I think it was called the "Must Carry Provision", or something like that ? Well, those days are gone, I guess.

    So, that channel is down, and there happens to be an NFL pre-season game of considerable local interest on the schedule for the first night of this. What a coincidence ! Great opportunity to break out the Mohu for a test, though. It definitely has the sort of easy-to-tolerate form factor I was looking for. My first connection with it was upstairs. After this, letting the tv scan for channels took about 10 minutes or so. The end result was that it found 3 channels, but they were all too weak to bring in a signal. This flat "paddle" antenna has a 16' cable, so I stretched it out a bit, looking for a hopefully better place to position it. That ended up being draping it up over one of the top slats of some venetian blinds. That placed it up against a window. After a re-scan, the Mohu came up with 5 channels, all now being received in acceptable to very good quality. One of these channels was the satellite-blacklisted local affiliate with the football game. Even the closed captions came through well. This was a lot better than what I expected, so I'm going to call it a success.

    Reviews of the Mohu on places like Amazon were not very favorable, nor was your report. I'm thinking this must really be a YMMV situation, with a lot of factors involved. I would not expect it to perform this well on the first floor . . . but I'll investigate that later, and we shall see. Results will likely differ even in a different room on the upstairs level, where the windows are facing in a different direction.
    Last edited by Seeker47; 15th Aug 2015 at 00:45.
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