Thinking of going OTA

G

gdodd12

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 2, 2007
215
2
But I don't want to mount an antenna to my roof and have to run a line and all that. I also am not sure what locals are available OTA in HD.

And suggestions?
 
FitzAusTex

FitzAusTex

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 3, 2007
1,127
0
Austin, TX
I have a very small indoor antenna in my entertainment center (behind a glass door) and get my OTA locals in just fine. got it for $15 at walmart. you may need to try out a few models, as some work better than others for different locations. mine is an RCA ANT146, and you probably wont even need the rabbit ears connected to it if your stations are UHF.
 
K

kb7oeb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 27, 2004
1,262
0
Phoenix,Arizona
It all depends on your location, now that my locals have gone high power I can pick up all of the big stations with the UHF remote antenna
 
vegassatellite

vegassatellite

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 5, 2007
3,319
174
Phoenix, AZ
A lot of people go overkill on indoor antennas. Amplified ones aren't always that great as they amp up the noise and clean signal is imperative to a good signal lock. They also act like attenuators when turned off. My suggestion is to get a simple dipole antenna with the classic 300-ohm flatwire coming off of it and use a 300-ohm matching transformer to mate it to your TV's barrel. Keep the dipoles short and pointed 90 degrees from your stations' transmitters. Also keep the dipoles flat so they are horizontal instead of the usual rabbit ear configuration.

When I worked for the now-defunct USDTV, I got many a clean signals on their system using proper orientation of an indoor antenna.
 
T

theoak

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 2, 2008
1,089
9
Idaho
A lot of people go overkill on indoor antennas. Amplified ones aren't always that great as they amp up the noise and clean signal is imperative to a good signal lock. They also act like attenuators when turned off. My suggestion is to get a simple dipole antenna with the classic 300-ohm flatwire coming off of it and use a 300-ohm matching transformer to mate it to your TV's barrel. Keep the dipoles short and pointed 90 degrees from your stations' transmitters. Also keep the dipoles flat so they are horizontal instead of the usual rabbit ear configuration.

When I worked for the now-defunct USDTV, I got many a clean signals on their system using proper orientation of an indoor antenna.

Interesting ... why flat vs rabbit ears? Also, why short versus long?
 
jwfgeol

jwfgeol

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 16, 2007
1,162
0
Knoxville, TN
But I don't want to mount an antenna to my roof and have to run a line and all that. I also am not sure what locals are available OTA in HD.

And suggestions?
Check out this link: Address

If you enter your address it will let you know what kind of antenna you will need and what stations you will be able to receive. I just have a small directional antenna sitting behind my TV that works perfectly. It really depends on your location and distance from towers.
 
vegassatellite

vegassatellite

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 5, 2007
3,319
174
Phoenix, AZ
Interesting ... why flat vs rabbit ears? Also, why short versus long?

Terrestrial signals propagate outwards along a horizontal plane. Short performs better for higher frequencies since the wavelengths are shorter.
 
F

flyingsquirrel

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 27, 2007
332
1
Go to Antennaweb.org. Enter your address and you will see what's available and what kind of antenna you need. You will not regret it. OTA is so much better than Sat Locals.
 
markcosenza

markcosenza

SatelliteGuys Pro
I use a basic rabbit ears antenna on my bedroom TV for the OTA stations. Even though most of the HD ones are UHF (all but one), it picks most of them up just fine and it's sitting behind my TV hidden on a closet shelf where there isn't a lot of open space. It doesn't get'em all, but I really only use it for our local CW station that Dish doesn't broadcast in HD and I need an OTA for that.

My amplified indoor HD antenna (it's the one from Radio Shack that looks like a flying saucer) is connected for the large plasma downstairs, it gets 'em all at 90% or higher with the exception of the one CBS VHF station in my area. That one I'm lucky if I get 68% on most days.

These are only backups to the Dish Ones because overall, I don't find them 100% trustworthy. They are most useful though if I have to record 3 shows at the same time, which isn't too often, but does happen during sweeps season.

Personally, that one seems to do the trick for me so I don't feel the need to invest in an outdoor system. Granted, I could probably pull in the Milwaukee area, but I'm not a much of a Packer's fan.

Rabbit ears are VHF most HD broadcasts right now are on the UHF band
 
E

EricBskiVT

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 25, 2007
252
0
When all of our locals started broadcasting digital from a single antenna farm on a mountain peak, I replaced my old legacy antenna with a 4 bay UHF and a small high-VHF antenna. I split the output to four TVs (mostly HD) with excellent reception.
 
K

kevink

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 3, 2005
97
0
In my location, one of my OTAs is VHF, 2 of my locals are 50+ miles away, so it is difficult to get all my channels OTA. The NBC affiliate, not only being distant, is also apparently low power, so the signal can be marginal at times.

Maybe if I had actually placed my antenna outside, I could have got by without amplification, but without it, I would have been limited to just the ABC affiliate.
 
Walker1

Walker1

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Jun 17, 2005
462
0
But I don't want to mount an antenna to my roof and have to run a line and all that. I also am not sure what locals are available OTA in HD.

And suggestions?

Is your house wired for cable TV? If so you can use those feeds for an antenna. My locals are within 24 miles @ the most & I have an old roof ant. Actually, I just stuck the pole in the ground and screwed 2 pole clamps to the wood trim framing under the roof. I can pick up 3 out of 5 locals with an indoor pair of rabbit ears. The other 2 need the outdoor UHF ant. The PQ is fantastic compared to Dish or cable.
 

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