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Old 19-Apr-2015, 6:37 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 2
Question Antenna Advice-Attic or Indoor Antenna? Ready to cut the cord!

I need antenna suggestions, I'm finally ready to cut the cord and get a legit antenna. My goal is to just get the core news and TV stations, but the more the better.

Here is my TVFool analysis:

To test the concept I bought a $6 flat mohu leaf clone non amplified type antenna.My experience was that when I stick it outside the window, I pulled about 40+ channels, many watchable. Some were a bit wishy washy, but there was a bunch that was totally usable and stable. If I kept it indoors, I could not pull maybe 3 or 4 channels and it wasn't great. I think this is because my house has Low E coating on the windows for effiency. My house is wood construction with vinyl siding, and I live about 500 feet from the water so I'm thinking NY based stations aren't that hard to get.

Does that mean an indoor ultra thin type antenna's won't work for me since this $6 one didn't work? How about if they are amplified? Will any of these work like the Amazon one, the Leaf, or the Mohu leaf? Here is refurbished one on Amazon with decent reviews for around $30:

Other option I was thinking was an attic antenna, such as this one:
GE 24792 Attic Mount Antenna

Would I be better off with one of these in my attic considering the glass boxed out the signal on my cheapo flat antenna? The cheapo flat antenna I successfully pulled 40+ channels outside my window was this one:

I know the signal is decently strong since the $6 antenna had a ton of channels without even pointing in the right direction when I set it outside my window.

Is it worth trying an amplified ultra flat antenna, or should I go straight to the attic antenna? My house is a 2 story home without many large trees close by.

I may consider connecting 2 tv's, but for now I will only need 1 for the long future.

I'd like to spend around $50-$75 but I'm willing double or more if it will make it a success all around.

Thanks for all the help and recommendations!
HandyFrank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-Apr-2015, 5:37 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 2
No love? Guess i'll just have to buy one or two and see what works best. If anyone has any recommendations that would be helpful.
HandyFrank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-Apr-2015, 6:08 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 442
Greetings Frank,

Your plot does show that NYC is indeed possible. It is not tremendously strong, but according the plot barring any obstructions nearby you ought to be able to get most if not all of them. Your outdoor results with a non-ideal antenna I assume have many NYC stations.

In regards to attic installations, I would offer you are not a candidate for this type of install. Normally, attic installations are successful in suburban or areas with good to excellent signal access. These are successful because the quantity of signal can penetrate your roof and still have a decodable level of signal. In your case, NYC signals range from 32db signal strength down to signal digits. This means much of that extra "punch" for many of those signals that need to have to get through your roof isn't there. The upshot is once you get about into the mid-20s on db strength signals may not be there. This is compounds the weaker the signal is. Once you are into the teens on signal strength, any expectation of reception through an attic is very unlikely. Attic results will probably mirror your indoor results.

That said, if I were installing at your location I would absolutely mount outdoors with an unobstructed view towards magnetic 245. I might go more aggressive and choose an Antennacraft HD1800. The reason for this choice is first, NYC has low band vhf, high band vhf and uhf signals. This antenna covers all bands. Second, being a robust antenna it will give you a reasonable shot at the weaker NYC stations. Third, you don't need to contend with other directions. NYC is your best heading for all major network coverage so an all in one antenna is appropriate here. Lastly, if desiring the ability to feed two TVs, this antenna ought to provide enough signal into the coax for a moderate run (50-75') without any amplification.

The ANT751 is a good little antenna. I run one as a back up. It isn't a design for your situation though. ANT751 operates best in line of sight conditions with moderate to excellent signal strengths. I'd submit in 2-edge conditions with an ANT751 and signal strengths in the 20sdb range, you need more horsepower. It is not enough antenna and likely provide intermittent reception of NYC's weaker signals even mounted outdoors.

Your own experiment showed outdoors with even a non-ideal amplified antenna, the signals were there, not reliable, but there. Your next step is to mount outdoors with an antenna that can grab those signals reliably. Amplified antennas are not considered ideal because where a unit like the HD1800 creates gain via it's elements and signal gathering ability. The little Leaf clone doesn't create gain in so much it just takes the signal that hits it with no gain and electronically amplifies it. This creates problems because if the signal is on the ragged edge of reception, no electronic antenna amplification will fix that. You need gain created through the antenna elements to capture to get the signal to sufficient strength to be steadily decodable. A way to look at it the HD1800 is like a telescope, it can see farther more and focus on detail specifically that a wide angle lens can't. The leaf is a wide angle lens that sees the big picture, rather then focusing on detail. Then there's the second issue that the leaf design is inappropriate for WPIX, WNET and WABC due to those broadcasters being on high-VHF.

I'm sure a roof installation isn't your ideal, however I prefer to lean more aggressive in my suggestions. If I said "ANT751" to you and you mounted in your attic, the chances are higher that you'd be be back saying why is WNBC spotty. I'd rather bypass that frustration for you and lay it all out at once.

StephanieS is offline   Reply With Quote


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