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Old 12-Nov-2010, 3:39 AM   #1
whatsgoingonhere
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Did I get the wrong type of antenna? Please help me fix this

Hello all,

I'm hoping you all can help me with choosing an antenna. I live in an apartment complex (first floor) in Vancouver,WA and wasn't able to get reception with rabbit ears.

I bought the Winegard HD 1080 based mostly on that it was on sale. It works so-so but I'm wondering if I should get a UHF antenna because some TV stations seem to have the same characteristics ( like same general direction) but I can get some but not the others.

Here is a link to the results of tv fool:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...81a31ec78876c3

For example, I get channel 47 (Univision?) very clearly but 5 (CW) is snowy and 38 (Telemundo?) not at all. Hope you guys can give me some advice.

Thanks
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Old 12-Nov-2010, 6:23 AM   #2
John Candle
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Tv Reception

First , read and understand this , http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=695 . Next , the group of transmitters are to the south and a little west. Do you have any windows or front patio or rear patio that is more or less in the direction the direction of the group of transmitters to the south and a little west. Also for indoor antennas read and understand this http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=233

Last edited by John Candle; 12-Nov-2010 at 6:34 AM.
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Old 12-Nov-2010, 6:46 AM   #3
whatsgoingonhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Candle View Post
First , read and understand this , http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=695 . Next , the group of transmitters are to the south and a little west. Do you have any windows or front patio or rear patio that is more or less in the direction the direction of the south west. Also for indoor antennas read and understand this http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=233
Hi John,

Thanks for answering. The antenna is mounted on a pole outside the apartment. I pointed the bow elements (the scissor type things right?) are pointing south. I read somewhere that the Winegard HD 1080 is mainly a VHF antenna so I wanted to know if I should get a UHF antenna or just a different antenna to get more stations.

For example I get 47 but not 35 and from the plot I get the idea that 35 should be 'easier' to get.

Thanks for the help. I'm just putting bits and pieces of information together because I don't know much about this stuff.
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Old 12-Nov-2010, 7:02 AM   #4
John Candle
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Tv Reception

The HD1080 is a UHF/VHF antenna. The antenna is Ok. The metal receiving elements are the scissor metal elements are in the correct direction , face the transmitters. Having the antenna out side is good. Is the antenna on the south side of the building? Are any buildings blocking the antenna from a good view of the transmitters?

Last edited by John Candle; 12-Nov-2010 at 7:53 AM.
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Old 12-Nov-2010, 7:06 AM   #5
John Candle
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Tv Reception

Are any windows or patios in the direction of south or south west? . Does the tv have a built in digital tuner or if the tv is not digital do you have a digital to analog converter box connected? How many tv's are connected? Are you using the coax wiring that is part of the building to connect the antenna with the tv?

Last edited by John Candle; 12-Nov-2010 at 7:23 AM.
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Old 12-Nov-2010, 7:42 AM   #6
John Candle
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Tv Reception

Does the tv have a built in digital tuner?? Or are you using a digital to analog converter box with the tv?? Where is the tv located from the antenna?? Is any type or kind of antenna amplifier or distrabution amplifier connected??

Last edited by John Candle; 12-Nov-2010 at 7:56 AM.
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Old 12-Nov-2010, 7:58 AM   #7
John Candle
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Tv Reception

Read and understand this http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=695 . Snow in the picture means that the channel is a Analog channel , not a digital channel. Also if the tv has built in digital tuner , the tuner needs to scan for Digital Broadcast Television Channels , not digital cables channels

Last edited by John Candle; 12-Nov-2010 at 6:31 PM.
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Old 13-Nov-2010, 3:50 AM   #8
whatsgoingonhere
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HI John,

Thanks for taking the time! A few things: The antenna is outside and facing south. The digital tuner is integrated into the tv so no digital converter box is hooked up.There are some building on the way, but most digital channels are showing ok with some pixelation now and then the meter in the tv shows around 70 for most channels. The antenna is connected to the house wiring and from there the tv is connected to the wall outlet. I don't have an amplifier although I've thought about.

I don't know if this is relevant or not but channel 47 shows in the analysis farther down the list than either 5 or 38 but while 47 is crisp and good 5 is snowy and 38 just doesn't show up at all. Maybe I should get an amplifier. Do you think that would help?

Thanks again for the help.
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Old 13-Nov-2010, 6:25 AM   #9
mtownsend
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If you have your tuner set up of "Air" and not "Cable", then your CW station should be showing up as channel 32.1 (KRCW-TV on real channel 33). If you are picking up CW on a snowy channel 5, it means that you're watching their low power analog repeater station (KRCW-LP). If you are getting 32.1 (which should be a perfect digital version of channel 5), then you don't really need channel 5 in your channel lineup.

The Winegard HD-1080 is not a very powerful antenna. It is probably good enough to get most of the channels in the "green" and "yellow" zones near the top of your TV Fool channel list, but as you go further down the list (into the "red" zone), the signals are weaker and will require a better antenna for reliable reception.

Amps cannot alter the natural gain of an antenna. Amps only help with signal losses that occur "after" the amp (e.g., cable line losses, splitters, tuners, etc.). In other words, if you have a weak antenna feeding poor signals into the amp, you will still have a poor signal coming out of the amp.

If you need better reception out of the "red" zone channels on your list, then you'd get much more bang for your buck if you invest in a better antenna. Better antennas are generally going to be bigger, so you'll also need to think about getting the antenna up into the attic or on the roof, if possible.

You may want to read up on the FCC's over-the-air reception devices rule (http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html). It's basically a federal rule (with the legal force to override HOAs, landlords, city, county, and state rules, with a few exceptions) that grants everyone the right to install an antenna for watching TV. In case you had concerns about your landlord stopping you from installing an antenna, it may help to know that the law is actually on your side on this one.

A good antenna for you would be something like the Winegard HD7697P or Antennacraft HBU-55 if you want to get near the bottom "red" zone channels. These antennas are quite big, but that's what it takes to get channels with very low signal strengths. Having the antenna on the roof will be much better than in the attic, if you can manage that, because the signal strength does drop when passing through building material.

There are also smaller versions of these antennas, like the HD7695P or HBU-33, but as you go smaller in size, you can expect to lose some of the channels toward the lower half of the "red" zone on your list.
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Old 13-Nov-2010, 9:45 AM   #10
John Candle
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Tv Reception

It is Ok to answer this question --> Is the antenna on the south side of the building or is the antenna on the north side of the building and having to receive the tv transmitters by having the tv transmissions through the building???? The questions that are being ask are not haphazard questions. Is apt. part of a house or and actual apt. building???? If you will answer all of my questions the result will be much better. Again , read and understand this --> http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=695
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Old 13-Nov-2010, 9:53 AM   #11
John Candle
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Tv Reception

The reference point for reliable reception is 0 NM (dB) . A minimum of + 10 gives some elbow room , the more positive the number the better. As the numbers go in to the negative , the reception gets worse real fast , - 10 NM (dB) is a very low signal signal.
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Old 14-Nov-2010, 7:21 AM   #12
whatsgoingonhere
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Thank you for all the information guys. I might just switch antenna so I can get better reception. mtownsend: You're right channel five is 32 digital but 32 digital reception is choppy and pixelated and just generally very annoying to watch.

Thanks!
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