OTA Question

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loubon

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I currently have Comcast basic cable as a backup to Dish (for days like today when it is snowing in NJ and Dish keeps going in and out). I thought I'd try an indoor antenna to eliminate the cost to Comcast (I hate them) and an outdoor antenna doesn't make sense for the infrequency that I need a backup.

I ordered the following from Amazon (link wouldn't work from there so I think this is the same one from somewhere else): HDTV Antenna Indoor Digital 60-80 Miles Long Range TV Antenna with 2018 Newest Type Switch Console Amplifier Signal Booster, High Performance 16.5FT Coaxial Cable Power Adapter Better Reception

Results weren't great. On the second floor I got spotty pixelated coverage on NBC, CBS, FOX, WOR and a few local PBS type channels. No ABC or CW. When I put it on the window (not really what I'd like to do) the pixelation stopped but I still didn't get the missing channels. Tried several different locations and channel scans not much difference. My TV Fool is attached.

My question is would a different indoor antenna yield better results or is it just my location and not worth the bother?
 

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loubon

loubon

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It does not specify VHF or UHF in the description but does show the ABC and CW logos. Supposed range is 60 - 80 miles and it has a booster with short (30) and Long (50). Tried both.
 
Bobby

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It does not specify VHF or UHF in the description but does show the ABC and CW logos. Supposed range is 60 - 80 miles and it has a booster with short (30) and Long (50). Tried both.
The logos mean nothing, just that you ‘might’ receive channels like it. Once again, just because the say you ‘might’ receive channels 60 to 80 miles away means nothing in the real world.
 
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comfortably_numb

comfortably_numb

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Those mudflap antennas never do well for VHF, which is what WABC is.

Might be worth checking out a decent set of rabbit ears with VHF capability. RCA makes some good ones. Add a distribution amp or inexpensive preamp if needed. I have 3 of these: RCA Antennas : Indoor HD Antenna : ANT112R

2 of them are in use at a friends’ house. They do well on VHF less than 45 miles away, so you might get WABC with one of those. Walmart has them IIRC
 
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loubon

loubon

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Already sent it back. And I will definitely check those out, thanks. Reminds me of when I was a kid and you had to stand in one part of the room with your arm raised to get good reception!

But you also had to get up to change the channel too.
 
comfortably_numb

comfortably_numb

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Already sent it back. And I will definitely check those out, thanks. Reminds me of when I was a kid and you had to stand in one part of the room with your arm raised to get good reception!

But you also had to get up to change the channel too.

I used to think rabbit ears seemed outdated and quaint, but honestly they perform just as well today as back when we were kids. Case in point: I've been on vacation in Ohio this week, and I brought with me rabbit ears and also a mudflap antenna (similar to what you have). I'm between Dayton and Columbus and I can get all the locals from both cities with just the rabbit ears I told you about in my previous post. I then combined those rabbit ears with a TVPRAMP1Z (see here: Shop RCA HD Television Tuner at Lowes.com) and now I'm even picking up the low power stations from each city.

Sometimes simple (and old fashioned) is good!

PS- the mudflap I have was $12 at Dollar General and it does a pretty darn good job on UHF stations too, when combined with a preamp. The downfall is mudflaps don't do VHF.
 
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comfortably_numb

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I’d get an old yagi antenna from around my neighborhood. Generally, there free for the asking and they perform great! If you don’t want it outside, you can always mount it in the attic. I have mine mounted in the attic.

Yes they do. Even the smaller ones, like the RCA ANT751R. I have that one on my roof. Works good for 45-60 miles from towers.
 
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Jim5506

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Much past 30 miles indoor antennas have so many disadvantages that they work very poorly, walls filter signals out refrigerators, ovens, stoves, AC/Heater units reflect signals, even the human body walking around indoors can reflect and absorb RF signals.

This is why an outdoor antenna is encouraged, especially if you want stable picture/sound 24/7.

A small UHF/VHF all channel antenna mounted above your roof line can be had for less than $100 installed (don't buy cheap Chinese junk even if it promises 100 mile reception - LIES).
 
loubon

loubon

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If I had one installed on the roof, could it tap into the the existing Comcast lines or would new lines need to be run to each room?
 
Peter Parker

Peter Parker

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If I had one installed on the roof, could it tap into the the existing Comcast lines or would new lines need to be run to each room?

maybe I do not understand your post but it sounds like you are asking if an antenna can receive signals from a Comcast (cable) run. it cannot. it would receive OTA broadcasts only.

you also would have difficulty combining broadcast TV and cable on on e line. They use similar frequencies.
 
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loubon

loubon

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maybe I do not understand your post but it sounds like you are asking if an antenna can receive signals from a Comcast (cable) run. it cannot. it would receive OTA broadcasts only.

you also would have difficulty combining broadcast TV and cable on on e line. They use similar frequencies.

No, what I meant was I currently have basic cable with Comcast for backup to my Dish. I want to replace that with an antenna for basic channels in the event that Dish goes out. Besides the fact that I hate Comcast, they dumb down their signal to SD by scrambling it and you need a converter as they block QAM. I'm assuming a roof antenna needs cables run to each TV. Can I disconnect the Comcast feed (outside the house) and connect the coax that was used for Comcast (inside the house) to each TV and connect that to a roof antenna? Or as part of a roof antenna install do I have to have lines run to each TV?
 
Bobby

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No, what I meant was I currently have basic cable with Comcast for backup to my Dish. I want to replace that with an antenna for basic channels in the event that Dish goes out. Besides the fact that I hate Comcast, they dumb down their signal to SD by scrambling it and you need a converter as they block QAM. I'm assuming a roof antenna needs cables run to each TV. Can I disconnect the Comcast feed (outside the house) and connect the coax that was used for Comcast (inside the house) to each TV and connect that to a roof antenna? Or as part of a roof antenna install do I have to have lines run to each TV?
If you have Comcast signal going to multiple TVs, there is a splitter in the line somewhere. As long as your antenna coax connects to the incoming port of that splitter, yes, you can use the same wiring but not at the same time that Comcast is connected.
 
loubon

loubon

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Actually now that you say that, it splits in the basement (cable modem on one line and the others off to the rooms). There is something on the roof but that is only for one connection to the one bedroom. There's probably another splitter out there somewhere. Not sure it's worth figuring out for something used so infrequently (although would have been a help yesterday as the Dish was out most of the day with the storm). When I saw someone mention an outdoor antenna installed for about $100 I thought that might be reasonable but if it turns into a whole rewiring job probably not.
 
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Cypresstree

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If your going to use OTA as a reliable service, take the time and do it right.

Where applicable utilize a preamp and a distribution amp and you’ll be good to go.
 
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cruiser83

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What folks have already mentioned, for indoors and VHF signals, a set of amplified rabbit ears can't be beat. And even then you have to find the sweet spot. Took me a lot of trial and error, but get them as high as you can. Mine was about 8' from the floor on a cabinet next to the TV. Any lower would pixelate when people walked by. This worked fine for awhile, but I struggled with one channel, I finally ran an outdoor OTA which was well worth the effort and has provided rock solid stable OTA reception through my Dish receiver.
If I were you I would contact Dish and ask them what they can do for you to run an outdoor OTA. My folks went that route and I think they paid less than $100 installed.
 
loubon

loubon

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Thanks. In looking around for estimates I did see Dish listed as an option. Do you know if that is something that can be arranged through DIRT?
 

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