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A decent Indoor TV antenna

The place to chat about audio/video devices & software, computer hardware & software, and other electronic gadgets.
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1027BrianFM
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A decent Indoor TV antenna

Post by 1027BrianFM » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:50 pm

After going for over a year without a TV in my house, I received a 32in LED TV for Christmas. While I can watch DVD's on it, I have no way of picking up any channels. I refuse to pay 73$ a month for cable, so wasteful. I had an old set of basic rabbit ears laying around but they didn't work. Anything Outside isn't an option, running wires, drilling holes, and having something attached isn't going to work.

What is an Indoor antenna that is decent, that will make at least a few channels come in without breaking apart every 10 seconds? thanks.
The New Z 102.7 Rocks! "You could listen WRIF and hear commercials,you could listen to snowflake music on Alt 106.7 Or you could listen to the station that REALLY rocks Detroit" WPZR Mt.Clemens/Detroit Crank it up and break the buttons off"

Marcus
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Re: A decent Indoor TV antenna

Post by Marcus » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:57 pm

Can you install an antenna in the attic and run the coax through the air ducts? That is what I did in a home I used to live in. No drilling was needed. If so this particular antenna should work in Toledo.

https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/ ... -p8565335e

If you cannot make it to Canada, the following store is in Novi, Michigan.

https://www.solidsignal.com

bmw
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Re: A decent Indoor TV antenna

Post by bmw » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:08 pm

Rabbit ears are close to useless for most channels these days since most are UHF, and the small circular UHF antenna that is included with rabbit ears isn't great either.

For under $75 total, I recommend a bowtie antenna (search Amazon, either a 2-bowtie if you want something small or a 4-bowtie if you want something a little more powerful) coupled with a Wineguard LNA-100 signal amplifier. The Wineguard amp is great because of its super low 1db noise figure.

Also you can run your street address at http://tvfool.com for a good idea of what channels you can expect to receive and also to make sure none of what you're looking for is VHF.

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TheForce
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Re: A decent Indoor TV antenna

Post by TheForce » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:33 am

I have found that set top rabbit ears are ineffective if you live far from the towers.

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Plate Cap
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Re: A decent Indoor TV antenna

Post by Plate Cap » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:44 pm

Nothing new about off air reception from when you may have lived in a neighborhood with a forest of TV antennas on every roof. Many of you don't remember pre-cable, tho.

Actually (another millennial opening word...shame on me), it's worse. Given the demise of low band and low VHF, you generally need MORE signal than you used to. Antennas today because of the higher freqs are a little easier to deal with, but there was a certain 'something' to watching TV via 2 million watts ERP

Anyway, if you want decent off-air reception, get an outside antenna. You might need a rotator if your desired transmitter sites are on significantly different bearings from your receive site.

Or, golly, one could get these......a sure winner for the "my i phone can do anything" crowd:


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Otter Mii-kun
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Re: A decent Indoor TV antenna

Post by Otter Mii-kun » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:13 pm

Plate Cap wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:44 pm
Or, golly, one could get these......a sure winner for the "my i phone can do anything" crowd
I betcha a dime that the "Clear TV Key" and "Free TV Key" that I see commercials for often functionally isn't any different (as far as getting over-the-air signals) than the cheap set of 'rabbit ears' that could be found in the box of a typical analog TV from the 1990s and before. :lol :razz
Isn't it nice how deregulation has brought us such oversized and dangerously overleveraged broadcast owners? (Yes, I'm looking at YOU, Sinclair, Nexstar, Cume-U-Less, and iFart!)

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SolarMax
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Re: A decent Indoor TV antenna

Post by SolarMax » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:04 pm

The "Clear TV Key" and its ilk remind me of the "rubber ducky" antennas that come with handy-talkies. Looks like an antenna but only slightly better than a piece of wet spaghetti.

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1027BrianFM
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Re: A decent Indoor TV antenna

Post by 1027BrianFM » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:06 am

OMG those things are useless, a co-worker bought one. It was no better then a piece of foil.
The New Z 102.7 Rocks! "You could listen WRIF and hear commercials,you could listen to snowflake music on Alt 106.7 Or you could listen to the station that REALLY rocks Detroit" WPZR Mt.Clemens/Detroit Crank it up and break the buttons off"

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1027BrianFM
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Re: A decent Indoor TV antenna

Post by 1027BrianFM » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:09 am

https://www.target.com/p/terk-amplified ... nna&gclid=[*GCLID*]&gclsrc=ds

wonder if this is any good?
The New Z 102.7 Rocks! "You could listen WRIF and hear commercials,you could listen to snowflake music on Alt 106.7 Or you could listen to the station that REALLY rocks Detroit" WPZR Mt.Clemens/Detroit Crank it up and break the buttons off"

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Vic Doucette
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Re: A decent Indoor TV antenna

Post by Vic Doucette » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:18 am

1027BrianFM wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:09 am
https://www.target.com/p/terk-amplified ... nna&gclid=[*GCLID*]&gclsrc=ds

wonder if this is any good?
This is an omnidirectional antenna. It picks up signal approximately equally in all directions. It might be good, depending on where the antennas of the stations you want to watch are located.

OTOH, if the stations are mostly in the same direction from your house, a directional antenna aimed toward them will be a better choice.
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bmw
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Re: A decent Indoor TV antenna

Post by bmw » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:28 pm

My experience with a Terk FM amplified antenna that looked similar to that one was not good.

On the amplifier side your most important spec is the noise level, hence why I recommended the Wineguard. Most cheaper amps and built-in amps add anywhere from 4 to 8 db of noise to your signal.

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HD74
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Re: A decent Indoor TV antenna

Post by HD74 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:37 pm

Go here: https://www.antennasdirect.com/store/HD ... ennas.html

They make an entire line of "digital" antennas (not that there really is such a thing).
I have used most of their products, with very good results.
Only trouble I had was the outdoor antennas would sometimes leak, filling with water.
Installing a drain hole fixes that, but the symptom is when you lose a bunch of channels all at once.
Good Luck.
You're never too old to learn something stupid.

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MWmetalhead
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Re: A decent Indoor TV antenna

Post by MWmetalhead » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:08 pm

There are some great YouTube videos out there for crafting your own HDTV indoor antenna out of wire coat hangers, screws / nuts / bolts, some wire (such as speaker wire), a coaxial input jack adapter, and plywood.
Kathy Klages needs to be incarcerated. Why are the local media ignoring the vile actions of this wicked woman? LOCK HER UP!!!!

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HD74
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Re: A decent Indoor TV antenna

Post by HD74 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:47 pm

Yes there are, if you are somewhat tech savvy, here's a good homebrew antenna you can make in the garage.

http://www.digitalhome.ca/ota/superantenna/
You're never too old to learn something stupid.

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Turkeytop
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Re: A decent Indoor TV antenna

Post by Turkeytop » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:43 pm

HD74 wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:47 pm
Yes there are, if you are somewhat tech savvy, here's a good homebrew antenna you can make in the garage.

http://www.digitalhome.ca/ota/superantenna/
A few years ago Popular Communications magazine had the plans to build one very much like that from wire coat hangers. I built it and it worked pretty good.

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k8jd
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Re: A decent Indoor TV antenna

Post by k8jd » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:07 pm

When I want to watch on air channels (when Xfinity goes down) I just stick a pin in the F connector on the tv and dangle a foot long cliplead (borrowed from my workbench) to get the local channels. Why pay $40-60 for a piece of wire in a fancy plastic housing?
I live about 20 miles from the area where most of Detroit's TV towers are. Most of our UHF channels are in the MegaWatt range for ERP !
ALSO, how can you ONLY pay $ 73 for cable ???
My basic cable is getting higher every month, now up to near $ 170 a month (I "save" by including Phone and Internet)

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