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Thread: How else can I improve indoor antenna reception?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 17th, 2006
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    How else can I improve indoor antenna reception?

    Many thanks to those who helped me out in the last thread. I finally have my RCA OTA box up and running. I bought a Zenith Silver Sensor off Amazon and have it plugged in. With the exception of channel 4.1 (red), all the other channels I cared about were yellow (channels below 13) on AntennaWeb. So, when I got the Zenith, I thought channel 4.1 would be my biggest problem.

    Now with it plugged in, I can get channel 2.1, 4.1, 9.1 and 31... but these drop out from 80% to 0% fairly often. Channel 4.1 may actually be the strongest signal I get, with channel 5.1 rarely coming up on a scan and channel 7.1 and 11.1 never coming up at all. Oddly, before I got the Zenith, a paperclip+coat hanger pulled in channel 5.1 with relative ease (though positioning such a contraption is a pain).



    So, I don't get it. All the signals come from about the same angle from Manhattan. Why would some channels be problematic? And how can I improve the reception of the channels I do get? Unfortunately, I can't mount an outdoor antenna (yet), the tv is not near a window and there's a big ol' tree right outside :-/


    *
    yellow - uhf


    WNJU-DT36TELLINDENNJ
    85.036 *
    yellow - uhf


    WPXN-DT31.1iNEW YORKNY
    85.030 *
    yellow - uhf


    WWOR-DT9.1MNTSECAUCUSNJ
    217.538 *
    yellow - uhf


    WNYE-DT25.1INDNEW YORKNY
    383.724 *
    yellow - uhf


    WNYW-DT5.1FOXNEW YORKNY
    217.544 *
    yellow - uhf


    WPIX-DT11.1CWNEW YORKNY
    217.533 *
    yellow - uhf


    WABC-DT7.1ABCNEW YORKNY
    208.145 *
    yellow - uhf


    WCBS-DT2.1CBSNEW YORKNY
    217.556 *
    green - uhf


    WXTV-DT41.1UNIPATERSONNJ
    217.540 *
    red - uhf


    WNET-DT13.1PBSNEWARKNJ
    217.561 *
    red - uhf


    WNBC-DT4.1NBCNEW YORKNY
    228.328 *
    red - uhf


    WLIW-DT21.2PBSGARDEN CITYNY
    8330.822 *
    red - vhf


    WNJB-DT8.1PBSNEW BRUNSWICKNJ
    28026.28 *
    blue - uhf


    WNJN-DT51.1PBSMONTCLAIRNJ
    33918.551 *
    violet - uhf


    WFUT-DT68.1TFANEWARKNJ
    208.153






























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  3. #2
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    Indoor antenna

    Can you place the antenna outside on a deck or balcony???
    Have you tried moving the antenna around and doing a rescan??

  4. #3
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    The Zenith Silver Sensor (ZHDTV1), although a great antenna, is UHF only and highly directional; not a very wide beam width; I am guessing it is less than 10 degree (maybe someone has the actual number). Just by looking at your posted results, your needed width is from 8° to 339° for the full sweep and this is much too large for the antenna without re-aiming to the correct heading as needed. Even if you exclude the 2 farthest channels, 51.1 and 68.1 you are still looking at 8° to 83° and that too is just too much without re-aiming. Another thing to remember is that even though transmissions might originate from the same approximate distance and heading doesn't mean that they all transmit at the same exact power; meaning different results to you the end user. I also have to ask if you have any access to a patio, balcony or window where you might be able to try a wider beam width model not 100% "indoors"?

    Maybe look at these. I am not 100% sure of your home and surrounding, so these are just ideas that might spur thoughts on better alternatives. What is your maximum distance away from the transmitters?

    Antennas Direct DB2

    Channel Master CM 4221A

    Winegard PR 4400

    Winegard PR 9016
    Last edited by charper1; 10-29-2006 at 01:25 PM.

  5. #4
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    It helps to check antenna web.org to see the direction of the signal or at least a bit. I've got one antenna that has two poles. I generally keep one where it is and move the other one because the PBS ones seem to be higher and others seem to be straight. Also see if doing this at night makes a difference because it should be better then

  6. #5
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by charper1 View Post
    The Zenith Silver Sensor (ZHDTV1), although a great antenna, is UHF only and highly directional; not a very wide beam width; I am guessing it is less than 10 degree (maybe someone has the actual number). Just by looking at your posted results, your needed width is from 8 to 339 for the full sweep and this is much too large for the antenna without re-aiming to the correct heading as needed. Even if you exclude the 2 farthest channels, 51.1 and 68.1 you are still looking at 8 to 83 and that too is just too much without re-aiming. Another thing to remember is that even though transmissions might originate from the same approximate distance and heading doesn't mean that they all transmit at the same exact power; meaning different results to you the end user. I also have to ask if you have any access to a patio, balcony or window where you might be able to try a wider beam width model not 100% "indoors"?
    Actually, I'm not concerned about receiving all the signals listed. The ones I'm interested in are 2.1 to 11.1 and they are all between 20 and 22. I believe they are all broadcasting off the Empire State building.

    Unfortunately, I don't have a patio or balcony. I live in a multi-family house and I'm situated on the 1st floor, so I can't get an antenna terribly high. What's worse, the living room of the house is in the middle, with no access to a window.

    Is there a simple and cheap way to amplify the existing signal from the Zenith antenna? I've learned to live without TV after the broadcast antennas went down with the WTC, so I've not bothered to invest in cable. I just need it to pull a steady enough signal on the few shows I do watch.

  7. #6
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    The main problem with indoor antennas is multi-path, which your symptoms sound like.

    UHF signals bounce off any solid object especially those with high water content (humans) and metal. I get signal jump just by walking behind my Silver Sensor. Try it vertically instead of horizonally (it's counter intuitive, but it has worker for me).

    Move the Silver Sensor as near as possible to the outside wall toward the transmitters if you can. Keep it away from large flat metal objects, especially vertical surfaces and horizonal wiring or metal conduit.

    ATSC TV reception is an art, so be creative in your placement and use of the antenna.

    You also might buy a small (relatively) outdoor antenna and use it indoors (ugly but effective) since they have higher gain.
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