Analog vs digital antennae(s)


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Old 11-27-12, 12:33 PM
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Analog vs digital antennae(s)

Noticed that the antenna direction for best TV reception is much more critical since broadcasting became digital. Still using a fairly new analog-type TV antenna...a long range, 52 element. Is there a way to make this antenna more efficient in picking up the digital signal...like more omni-directional...? As I stated, the slightest change in antenna direction(hardly visibly perceptable), like from a slight wind, will result in a great TV picture going to "no signal". All connections have been checked and tightened...cables new; pre-amp/amp new, etc.
Thanx for any info.
Charlie.
 
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Old 11-27-12, 07:32 PM
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figgsitt actually those so called digital antennas are the same as what my uncle used to put up years ago as a contractor for Sears. The only difference is that they are certified now for a certain range and better for certain areas as is marked on the box for the antenna and the manufacturers information. The best advice is to get a rotor if you don't have one already and you could get a different booster that is rated for digital signals and put that on the antenna. Other than that as long as the pole is long enough and it is above the roof a fairly good bit you should be fine. I would look for rust though if it is badly rusted then it is time to replace it. From what you tell me though that doesn't seem to be an issue. If you have any other questions please post back.
 
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Old 11-27-12, 10:15 PM
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There really isn't a digital antenna or an analog antenna although ads I've seen around claim otherwise. Stations now transmit a digital signal with much lower power then when they were broadcasting in analog. For example..... a typical digital signal could be transmitted with 6kw to 7kw whereas they required 50kw for analog. This lower power makes it tougher to pick them up.

Also......the digital signals are now all in the upper VHF and UHF bands. Whereas before the networks would transmit in upper and lower VHF bands. The actual frequencies where channels 2-6 VHF were is now predominately used for two way and personal communications.

You basically need an antenna today that caters to the higher TV frequencies. With today's digital system you either get the picture.....100% HD or you get nothing....there is no more snow.
 
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Old 11-28-12, 04:12 AM
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Other than eliminating some channels the carrier frequency band has not changed. TVs may display that they're picking up "Channel 2" because of branding, but in reality they are using that as a label (called the logical channel) while actually tuning to the major channel and minor channel. For example, 60.1 or 60-1.

It doesn't matter to an antenna, splitter, or amplifier whether the signal is analog or digital. What does matter, as PJ said, is the antenna must be able to pick up the higher frequencies. A good old fashioned UHF bow-tie antenna may be something to try.
 
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Old 11-29-12, 07:27 AM
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Very appreciative of all the info supplied....thanx folks.....many questions were answered, and made clear. Excellent site.
Charlie.
 
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Old 11-29-12, 11:00 AM
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As far as I've determined, the only real differences between an "analog" antenna and a "digital" antenna are the frequencies as mentioned. Any antenna that is meant to receive more than one frequency has a design that is a compromise, as normally an antenna only truly works best for one particular frequency.

Analog terrestrial television broadcasting used three different bands- one VHF band for the lower channels, another VHF band for the higher VHF channels through about thirteen or so, and UHF for the higher channels. MANY compromises were necessary to effectively receive all of these channels. My parents have a 12' long yagi antenna on the roof for this very reason.

Digital terrestrial TV broadcasting eliminated the low VHF band (as mentioned already in the thread) and if I remember right, cut off the top of the UHF band. This means that antennas for DTV broadcasting can be designed for these specific frequencies, requiring less compromise to make it work.

On top of that, since DTV is packet data, where the receiver takes in packets and figures out how to turn those into the picture, if there are too many dropped or otherwise unreceived packets, the receiver can't figure out how to turn them into a picture. What would have been mild to moderate snow or audio hiss before will now result in an unreconstructable image. I used to barely receive stations from neighboring cities, I don't even hope to receive them now.
 
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Old 11-29-12, 02:20 PM
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Thanx for the explanation....I understand the "picture" now. Maybe I'll build my own antenna.
Charlie
 
 

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