HD TV antenna questions

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  #1  
Old 02-05-17, 08:06 PM
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HD TV antenna questions

My daughter is at a college that requires you to buy cable tv from a local provider, so she has an hd tv, to be exact a- PROSCAN PLDED327A-E TV.
It does have a ATSC/NTSC TUNER; but, when I hooked up to a "over the air" antenna she only got 3 pbs channels and a bunch of channels that were scrambled although the FCC web site said they are "free over the air channels" (ABC, NBC, FOX, ETC. YOU GET IT). My question is, do I still need to buy her a digital signal converter to see the channels that are, well, colored little squares with a picture in the background that looks like a shadow, or is there no hope for her to have tv.
Thank You All For Any Help Or Info You Can Share With Me.
 
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Old 02-05-17, 08:19 PM
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Sounds more like you were not getting a good signal. A digital freezes and looks like that when not getting enough signal strength. Did you try slowly turning the antenna 360? Did you try it at different heights and locations in the room? I use rabbit ears with a UHF loop and I put a long coax cable on it and tried various locations and heights in my room till I found four feet high in the center of the room was best location but I still have to turn it for different stations to get a good signal.

You don't say what kind of antenna but I hope it wasn't one that screws on the back of the TV or glues to a window. They are inherently flawed because their direction can't be changed to get the best aiming for each channel.

Does one of these resemble what you saw?

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Old 02-05-17, 08:26 PM
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yes, I stuck it to a window on her first floor dorm room at Haverford College in Haverford (Ardmore) PA. even though the FCC site says she should get 17 OTA Channs. she gets 3.
 
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Old 02-05-17, 08:29 PM
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Ahhhhh......you will notice that if you are away from a big city you will get plenty of PBS type stations.

If you watch the advertisements on TV they make it sound like there are hundreds of channels available for free over the air. There aren't. If you live fairly close to a BIG city you will get a lot of channels.

Like Ray mentioned... the antenna plays a critical role in HDTV reception.

I left you a few websites where you can enter your address and they'll tell you what you could possibly pick up in your area.

Antenna Web
TV Fool
Disable My Cable - alternatives to cable TV
 
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Old 02-06-17, 11:17 AM
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Over-the-air reception is often as much dumb luck as anything. Under the best conditions my television will "recognize" as many as 54 channels on a scan although many are too weak to actually watch or are just a test pattern.

I live about ten miles northeast of Seattle with the majority of the transmitters at an azimuth heading of about 205 degrees magnetic and a distance of about 12 miles. There are two channels that transmit from the same tower and yet the signal strength of one is often nine out of ten bars while the other is barely four bars. Another channel has its transmitter about a quarter mile from the first but the signal is often so weak as to be unwatchable. Truly, there are only THREE channels that I receive with a consistently high quality signal.

Also, of the channels that I (usually) can receive there are about a dozen religious and another dozen shopping channels that have absolutely no draw for me. Add in a half-dozen foreign-language channels and I get, on average, about a dozen channels that might have something I enjoy, but unfortunately the weather conditions (wind and rain) often make them unwatchable.

Now all this is with a fairly decent outside antenna. Using an indoor antenna is simply not an option for me.
 
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Old 02-06-17, 12:34 PM
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yes, I stuck it to a window on her first floor dorm room
No polite way to say it. It's junk based on a bad idea. You need rabbit ears with a UHF loop and a long coax cord so you can find the position in the room that get the most channels with just turning the antenna for each station. Example: https://www.walmart.com/ip/RCA-UHF-V...tenna/20976672

That little window stick on also probably doesn't have elements long enough for VHF reception. Originally all digital stations were suppose to switch to UHF but eventually the FCC allowed some to remain on VHF. The antenna I linked to is for both.

Will it work for you? I can't say but the price of the antenna and a 10 or 20 foot coax connector is cheaper than a month of cable.

In addition to the coax cable you will need a double male adapter (female to female adapter) to connect the extension cable.

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Old 02-06-17, 12:48 PM
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I have one like the one in the link that Ray posted, for a bedroom TV that's not cable, and it works just fine. I get lots of stations with that. It's pretty small, so it doesn't take up much room.
 
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Old 02-06-17, 02:22 PM
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RE: @Ray

yes, picture one, and it is a Clear TV Antenna that is stuck to a window; but she is only 15-20 miles from downtown Philly so there should be plenty of stations receivable.
 
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Old 02-06-17, 02:29 PM
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Not if there are buildings blocking the signal where it is or it is pointed the wrong direction.
 
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Old 02-06-17, 02:30 PM
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Thank you

THANK YOU ALL for the links and info, quite the learning experience I must say. Together we'll figure this out, of that I have no doubt, she will get tv, even if it's just a little bit of tv.
 
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Old 02-08-17, 04:11 PM
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If you can look out the window in the direction of the TV stations and see clear to the horizon then you can use an outdoor antenna indoors (pointed that way). The antenna will have to sit in the middle of the room on a stand or be hung from the ceiling like a mobile.

You will get better reception compared with the rabbit ears plus bow tie although not as good as having the antenna mounted above the roof.

Schools and landlords and condominium associations can still prohibit the installation of antennas on common areas of buildings such as on walls and roofs.

If all of the stations in your area actually broadcast on UHF channels then you can buy an antenna with no 2 to 3 foot bars on it.
 
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Old 02-08-17, 04:54 PM
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One thing not mentioned (though it's a relatively minor point), if the building has Lo-E grass in the windows, it can also cut the signal. Same with metal screens.

My old place had a straight view of the mountain top 13 miles away where all the transmitters and repeaters were located, but I could only get about 4 channels. If I went out the front door I got something like 10. Put it back in front of the open window and voila!, same 10 channels as outside.

This was in an old style stuccoed house. Chicken wire and all that cut the interior signal way down as well.
 
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