Hot Topics: TV Antennas

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Original Post: What Will Happen? Antenna Question

David Doran Member

If you disconnected the cable line to the house (that feeds the TV from the main cable box) and attached it to an antenna affixed to the house, what would happen? Would the TV pick up whatever signal/programming that the antenna receives?

Top Comment:

PJmax Group Moderator

Yes, sort of.

The antenna signal would now be on the coax line. You would need to remove any cable boxes as they can't process that antenna signal. The antenna signal needs to go directly to the TV.

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Original Post: TV Antenna Upgrade

gastorms1 Member

I've been running a massive Winegard HD8200U antenna with a Winegard LNA-200 Boost XT amp with fair to good results. I started with the antenna in the attic with the boom pointed at the Atlanta area stations to the northeast through the end wall of my vinyl sided house.

I then moved it to the rooftop and reception improved as expected. There are still a few dropouts occasionally with the LNA-200 on a few channels.

There are plenty of trees around me, Atlanta skyscrapers, etc. TV Fool predicted "0" stations to serve me based on my address and using 40 feet for antenna height. I swapped in a Channel Master CM-7777 amp for "weak signal areas." It's a 30db unit whereas the Winegard is a 20db.

I got everything hooked up, checked connections, did a new channel scan, and I am only receiving one station with the new setup. It's coming in perfectly also. But no other channels at all.

I flipped the FM trap switch inside the unit to allow FM signals as I've also got my stereo hooked up to the antenna. I never really had good results getting my favorite station from 70 miles away with the LNA-200 (part of the reason I decided to try a more powerful booster).


Top Comment:

PJmax Group Moderator

The size of the antenna has little to do with HDTV reception. It's what's in the line of sight. I'm less than 20 air miles from New York City with a massive beam up and receive a few stations very weakly due to a mountain between us. I can get almost the same reception from an indoor antenna. If your antenna is not getting the signal, a booster will rarely help and slightly larger doesn't necessarily mean better reception. Sometimes a larger booster adds more noise and detracts from the reception.

I do receive many PBS stations from throughout New Jersey. I do receive several foreign language stations as well as a home shopping channel perfectly.

Try the antenna with no amp. Also try a direct connection to just one TV.

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Original Post: Antenna Mast

Baldwin Member

Bought the ex an HD TV antenna, which weighs maybe 2 pounds. Instead of climbing the two-story story house I figured I'd install it the same way as my small scanner antenna:

  • Post hole couple feet deep, sakrete with a short pipe, maybe 2 feet long with 1.5 inch ID.
  • Buy three 1 3/8 inch X 10'6" chain link top rail pieces, galvanized steel.

I noticed the RCA antenna masts are also galvanized steel but 1/3 the weight, probably thinner than the 18 gauge top rail. I don't think this should matter though, the bottom will be in the ground so a small bracket near the fascia will keep it from blowing in the wind and the antenna weighs almost nothing.

Can anyone tell me if this is a bad idea?

It will be back near the wall, out just enough to clear her small fascia. It was going to be near the upstairs window but her power lines are right there. Power lines along the alley are about 50 feet from the house so we should get a signal. Duluth is 50 miles south.

Top Comment:

Gunguy45 Super Moderator

Well, no problem other than buying your ex something. What am I saying? I live with mine!

Seriously, I don't see a problem as long as it will be well clear of the power lines and securely attached to the facia.

On second thought, how are you going to join those top rails? Aren't they normally just slip fittings? And why would you need three 30 or so feet in the air? That's a lot of unsupported steel whipping around up there without wires or support of some kind. Guessing the facia is about 10 feet high?

I think I'd maybe put one pole (10 feet high) on the roof of the porch on the opposite side of the window from the power lines. Seems like that would clear the roof peak.

You might want to even run a temp cable and somehow attach the antenna close to where you plan and see what kind of reception you get. It might be better spending money on a better antenna and using a ridge mount of some sort, skipping the poles, pipes, and concrete completely. I know you said you didn't really want to climb on the house, but what if you do all the pole work and you don't get squat for reception? 50 miles is a pretty long line for a basic cheap antenna, unless you have a clear line of sight to the top of a mountain or something.

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