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Old 5-Oct-2010, 10:44 AM   #7
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 632
The MS-1000 is an omni antenna. All the others you mentioned are small directional antennas. For just the local Philly stations, the signals are so strong that pretty much any of these antennas will work.

FYI, omni antennas are vulnerable to multipath, which is extra signal bouncing off of tall buildings, trees, or hills in the surrounding areas. Since omni antennas will take in signal from all directions, all of the extra signal paths (a.k.a., ghosts or echoes) can be picked up by the antenna and delivered to the receiver. If a signal has lots of multipath interference on it, the receiver might have a hard time maintaining a lock on the channel.

Multipath is often much worse when antennas are installed indoors because there are many more objects for the signals to bounce off of. It is usually a bad idea to try and install an omni antenna in an indoor environment. Omni antennas work best if they are on the roof in an open environment to minimize the amount of multipath that gets picked up.

Directional antennas a less vulnerable to multipath problems because they are selective about which signals they allow in. They have the ability to "screen out" some of the unwanted multipath signal coming from off-axis directions, thus providing a cleaner signal to your receiver.

It's hard to tell how much multipath is actually in your neighborhood, so I'm not sure how much you should worry about multipath. If you remember seeing "ghosts" on your analog TV stations before the digital transition, then you definitely have multipath issues. If not, or if you don't know, then maybe multipath is a non-issue for your location. You may just have to guess about multipath depending on the number of tall buildings and trees that are near your home.

In your original post, you mentioned the desire to get WLVT (Allentown) and WWOR (New York). Both of these stations are in the "red" zone on your TV Fool report, and none of the antennas you mentioned have enough gain to pick up channels at this level.

Any of the antennas you listed are fine for the Philly stations, but don't expect much in terms of out-of-market stations.

A few other comments about the antennas you listed:

1) The smallest and cheapest of these antennas are going to be the HD7000R and the AC9. Either of these antennas should work and they are both cheaper than the MS-1000.

2) The CM-3016 is a channel 7-69 antenna, so it does not officially support channels 2-6. WPVI is so close and so strong, that it might be picked up anyway, but it might be prone to multipath stability problems if they exist in your area (the CM-3016 probably behaves more like a very low gain omni antenna in the low VHF frequencies).

3) All the other antennas are small full-band directional antennas. They are generally bigger than the HD7000R and AC9 type antennas, but they are still considered to be small to mid-sized antennas. Any of these antennas should work too.

4) BTW, all of the antennas except for the CM-3016 also do a good job of picking up FM radio (FM frequencies are just above channel 6 in the spectrum, so any low-VHF antenna makes a good FM antenna). I don't know if you considered this at all, but you might be able to hook up the same antenna feed to your FM radio as an added bonus.

Bottom line is that if your location is mostly multipath-free, then I think your choice of the MS-1000 is fine as long as you can install it out in the open on the roof, clear of any nearby objects.

If you do have multipath signals bouncing around your neighborhood, then any of the other antennas you listed should do a better job of cleaning up the signal.
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