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Old 01-24-2015, 02:54 AM
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NoPegs NoPegs is offline
The glass is -3dB.
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Amish Country PA.
Posts: 376
Originally Posted by Jeffhs View Post
I just purchased, on eBay, a Zenith amplified VHF-UHF indoor DTV antenna. Looks like a set of garden-variety all-channel rabbit ears, but this antenna also has a built-in amplifier, with a wall-wart power supply. I am purchasing this antenna in hopes of remedying a pesky reception problem I have here: two Cleveland TV stations that transmit their DTV signals on high VHF channels. My small ClearTV antenna picks up all Cleveland TV stations, except the two that operate on VHF channels 8 and 10; wouldn't you know it, these channels are the two I watch the most, as their subchannels are AntennaTV and MeTV, respectively. I am about 35 miles east of the TV stations' towers. I don't want to go to the trouble of erecting an outdoor antenna, and would like to "cut the (cable) cord" once and for all, if at all possible.

My question: Will an antenna actually designed for high VHF and UHF (two 39-inch active dipoles for VHF and a UHF loop), combined with the amplifier in the antenna's base, bring in the two VHF channels my other indoor DTV antenna does not? I am hoping for the best, considering that I get all the other Cleveland stations amazingly well using the ClearTV antenna. I think my biggest problem with receiving the two high-VHF signals I mentioned is that the ClearTV antenna is not designed for reception of signals below 470 MHz (or whatever the low end of the UHF TV band is today), whereas the Zenith amplified DTV antenna has two 39-inch dipole elements for high VHF. I realize I may not receive the station that transmits on channel 10 due to geography and/or other issues (many people living in far-suburban areas east or west of the city have reported, on the station's website and elsewhere, being unable to receive the station's digital signal OTA), but since this little antenna only set me back something like $7, I feel I have little to lose by trying it. If the problem is simply that the channel 10 signal is too weak, the amplifier in the antenna base should take care of it in short order.

I don't know how much gain (in decibels) this amplifier has, but if it is any appreciable figure (more than a few dB), I would think it should bring in both channels; if not perfectly, I should at least receive something with a proper antenna. As I said, for $6.59 I can't go far wrong. I'll post my test results when the antenna arrives and I've had a chance to check it out.
For VHF bigger is almost always better. (Or at least longer.) The flat panel type like your ClearTV are really designed for the UHF end of things. I'd be willing to wager that a non-amplified pair of normal rabbit-ears at full extension can do a better job on the high VHF than the amplified ClearTV. For VHF I stick with rabbit ears, and UHF you really can't beat a "bow-ties and an oven-rack" style unit. Overall I think your latest acquisition will outperform the ClearTV. Amplification isn't the end-all-be-all, especially with ATSC signals. Because of the spectral distribution the transmitter power is spread out over the whole damned 6MHz slot, versus a "visual carrier, aural carrier" distribution used in the analog days. These days amplifiers tend to amplify the noise as much as any remaining signal. The real place for amp use is when you have one big sky-rake on the roof and are trying to feed multiple TVs, or if you have to cable more than about 70 feet from antenna to tuner. (Or if you're unable to upgrade some old lossy crappy RG59.) Placing the amp up at the antenna means that the losses in the cabling are offset by increased signal. The adage that states: "You can't polish a turd." applies here.
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