Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Good Indoor TV Antennas

Do you always need a large OTA TV antenna? The answer is no. If you live in a large city or the suburbs of a large city, you can probably get by with rabbit ears or a slightly larger set top antenna.

The reason you don't want too large of an antenna is due to the digital signal you are tying to get being "too strong" which isn't good for your converter box or newer television with the built in tuner.

When I say you live within the suburbs of a large city I mean within 10 to 20 miles. Other factors can include the terrain of your area, how close and how tall immediate buildings are to you, and line of sight to the station transmitters.

Again, a good source for what kind of antenna will do is Antenna Web.

Here are a selection of small set top boxes good for city and close by suburb areas. The first one is made in the USA.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

OTA Channels Whats the best TV Antenna

Which TV antenna is the best for me?

An example of a Long Range TV Antenna. Why pay for TV
when you can get FREE HD TV Channels?
So you want to get a TV antenna and watch your local channels for free? Sure, this can be done and makes good financial sense. Your next question might be, "What antenna should I get?". Well, we need to do some good explaining for you to make an informed decision.

Whether you have cable or satellite television, you probably do not get all the local channels you could. For an investment of $30 to $250 dollars, this small investment will give you hours of great tv entertainment.

To start, we need to find what channels we can get where we are located. Two great websites for this are AntennaWeb.org and also TVFool.com. They both work the same. Just enter your address and you will get a listing of channels in your area AND also what type of antenna you need.

The smallest antenna would be anything from the old rabbit ear types to the set top with a built in amplifier. This is the type of antenna that might be best for you if you live in a major city or right outside one. What you need to remember is bigger isn't better. You Do Not Want A Large Powerful Antenna with a Pre-Amp in this scenario. The reason being, you can overload the digital tuner in your television. We don't want that. That is why the two previous sites are really helpful.

For me, I live somewhat in the boondocks. I live in a valley area with mountains surrounding me. Both online tools show I should be able to get three channels. What I have found is that both site are very conservative in what channels they "believe" you should get.

We haven't had an antenna in nearly 30 years when I started checking them out again. The first one I purchased was a Lava HD-2605 UHF/VHF HDTV Antenna with Remote Control. This was one of those that promised to get channels "100 miles away". Well, I was surprised. I was getting a total of 11 channels with the farthest being about 70 miles away. So, it was money well spent as far as I was concerned. This is one of those with the built in rotor and remote. The only drawback was when trying to use the rotor, I didn't know which direction it was pointing or what direction the rotor was moving. When mounting the antenna, you need to leave a couple feet of slack due to the antenna being able to rotate a full 360 degrees. It has a stop point, it won't just keep going around.

When it comes to top of the line TV Antennas, the two top names are PCT International ANCM3671 Andrew Channel Master VHF/UHF/FM Antenna, a Channel Master antenna, and also NEW WINEGARD HD7084P HDTV ANTENNA (ANTENNAS), a WineGard antenna. If you live in an area like I do, it's also a good idea to get a preamp for the antenna. This is usually installed about two below the antenna on the antenna mast. Here is a good decent preamp kit. Channel Master CM-7778 Titan Medium-Gain Mast Mounted Preamplifier.

My current satellite package is costing me a little over $100 a month. I am seriously thinking about ditching the pay service, setting up a top of the line antenna, and just watching most cable shows online.