Recommended OTA Antenna

Discussion in 'Over the Air TV By RabbitEars.Info' started by khearrean, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. Hopefully this is the correct place to put this, but I am looking to replace my old Winegard Batwing OTA antenna. I was wanting to get a recommendation from someone as to a good OTA antenna out there to now get. I went to TV Fool & entered my address & got a print-out on all my locals & all the associated info for each one. What is the best way to do this to get recommendations of a good but not terribly expensive OTA antenna to replace mine now? It sits on top of a 25' mast outside next to my house. What info from the TVFool data should be posted so I can get the recommendations? I'm assuming that I just need to replace mine since it's been up at least 12 years & now I'm starting to lose signal on one of our locals that we've always been able to get with no problem

    Thanks,
    Ken
     
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  4. This used to be simple, but there is an ongoing plan to remap channels into lower frequencies. In order to plan for the future, you need to consider where your channels will be in 5 years.
    https://www.rabbitears.info/blog/index.php?post/2017/04/13/RabbitEars-Repacking-Tools.

    I looked over the Houston stations and the situation is pretty promising. You have 2 stations currently on VHF HI (KUHT on 8 and KHOU on 11) The rest are on UHF. Your TVFool report also looks promising. The tough one is NBC on channel 7. That is listed as 2 edge and that can be unreliable.

    What you need is a medium distance (suburban) antenna that receives both VHF High and UHF. We tend to prefer Channelmaster or Weingard, especially for outdoor installation. Point it due north initially and you should get a full set, except possibly NBC.
     
  5. Most importantly, don't make us guess which TV market(s) you're interested in receiving. I would assume Beaumont/Port Arthur but you should lead with what you want since you may be interested in the Houston or Lake Charles channels instead or as well.

    The important TVfool stuff is the single PNG image showing the "RADAR" map and the station table. Most self-respecting web browsers allow you to "copy image". Paste that into your post.

    Know that within the next few years, the FCC's repack of TV stations will be taking place so you need to investigate what your channel layout will be after the repack. As examples, KFDM will be moving from RF25 to RF15, KITU will be moving from RF33 to RF29, KIAH will be moving from RF38 to RF34 and KZJL will be moving from RF44 to RF21.
     
  6. KPLC is indeed going to be a stinker.

    Being in the middle between Houston and Lake Charles doesn't help. Look for an antenna with a fairly broad beamwidth (if you can find that data). Too directional and you'll miss out on the sides or need to employ a rotator.

    I'm guessing that wind exposure is going to be a significant issue.
     
  7. Which batwing do you have amplified or unamplified? The correct name is Winegard Sensar and is still available. If you don't have problems with your reception it would be a good replacement, corrosion on your cable after 12 years could be your degredation in picture quality..
     
  8. So sorry, I knew there would be something I forgot. Actually I don't need to get the Houston locals. I already get those via Dish as locals. Although I live in Port Neches which is between Beaumont & Port Arthur...don't ask! So the locals I care about are channels 4 (Fox), 6 (CBS), 12 (ABC) & 12-2 (NBC). Does this help?
     
  9. It is an amplified antenna, but if I remember correctly, it's amplified only because I have it run into the back of my Hopper. I really don't remember which model Winegard it is; it was installed new 12 years ago. It's just a straight antenna (I'd say maybe 36" long). It looks similar to the RV-3095 although it's not a RV antenna. Does this help? Budget is really not an issue; I care more about quality & signal. I'd say $100 or less...

    Ken
     
  10. Now that we know the signal information, we just need some confirmation on the call letters of the stations. Virtual channel numbers and network names aren't nearly as helpful as call letters as TVFool is oriented towards call letters (and doesn't show that NBC is a subchannel of KBMT or that CBS is virtual channel 6 of KFDM RF25).

    If you're looking for the top five stations on the list, you don't need much of an antenna at all. A good broadband (not a mud flap style) indoor antenna carefully placed (in a window) would probably do (and would be less subject to the Gulf Coast salt air). It appears that you're talking about stations that are all less than 16 miles away across some relatively flat topography.
     
  11. Winegard Sensar III GS2200 is the amplified version and GS1100 is the unamplified version. Winegard has used this very good antenna for years in the RV industry and for homes. The mounting hardware is the big difference between home and RV usage the actual antenna is the same. www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=gs-2200 Check out the reviews, how does this compare with the last 12 years of your reception?
     
  12. I should have added your TV Fool report goes from Line of Sight to 2 edge and tropospheric reception. LOS is "easy" to receive and 2 edge and Tropo are expensive to receive, frequently requiring towers and large antennas. The Sensar III is full spectrum channel 2-69.
     
  13. Wow! I just checked out the link you posted & it looks exactly like the same one I have now. I'm just surprised that after all these years, they still have that antenna in production, although I suppose the model # could likely have changed. But you're correct; if it's served us well for all these years, there's no since re-inventing the wheel & going with something entirely different. And you're likely correct that corrosion, etc is probably the reason it will no longer hold a signal on channel 6 (KFDM6.1, display channel 6.1, Digital channel 25.1, Beaumont CBS). The other network channels are (KBTV, 04-1, Digital channel 40.3, Beaumont Fox), (KBMT, 12-1, Digital 12.3, KBMT-A, Beaumont ABC), KBMT 12-2, Digital channel 12.4, K-JAC, Beaumont NBC). And each of these have their own sub-channels, I just didn't list them. But if I'm able to get these above, then I'll be able to get all the others.

    Thanks,

    Ken
     
  14. Your welcome and good luck.
    Though it looks the same I'm sure the electronics have changed over 12 years. The power supply and amplifier I'm sure have been upgrated due to different components but with the Winegard brand I would expect performance to be the same or better.
     
  15. I would guess that a 4 bay bowtie type antenna would probably receive all your channels, even though one (12) is VHF high.

    It is probably strong enough that it will come in anyway.

    You might favor 12 when you set up azimuth (direction) of the antenna, UHF channels should be easy at LOS and your signal strengths.
     
  16. A 4 bay at 15 miles may cause more problems than it solves. Remember that this antenna serves only a tuner dongle.

    I suspect that the days of the UHF bay antenna as a sole antenna are numbered; the repack will see to that.

    I'm intrigued by the omnidirectional Winegard MetroStar in this application but it is considerably more money.
     
  17. Try the Winegard Sensar III it is bidirectional instead of Metro Star omnidirectional and has a low price.
     
  18. This one knocked my socks off for reception. I have tried many different antennas to get my nemesis WLOS 13 out of Asheville. I bought this planning on combing it with a solid signal 8 bay uhf. Well I put it up and everything that is available here now comes in strong including WLOS. Never put the 8 bay up. I even get two networks out of Charlotte pointed 70 degrees away. Now I do have a CM 7778 Amp at the antenna because I feed 4 TV's, but this is the best $35 I ever spent.
    Stellar Labs Deep Fringe Directional Antenna VHF-Hi HDTV 174 - 230MHz | 30-2476 (302476) | Stellar Labs
     
  19. Bi-di would be great if there was something to the South, but here we have stations coming from 290, 358 and 20 degrees; too broad for the typical front beam and the Gulf of Mexico on the back side.
     
  20. I use an 8 bay CM4228 at 6 miles with no problem, you can't overload a tuner with just an unamplified antenna.