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Great antenna for cutting your TV Cable

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by slobake, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Cut the cable to my TV some time ago. Bought an antenna at Costco and put it in my garage. The instructions that came with it led me to a web site that told me where to point the antenna for optimum signal. The problem is the optimum signal is different directions for different stations. We still got enough pixilation to be annoying, so we almost never watched TV. I think a big part of the problem is living in San Francisco with hills on three sides of us. Then I discovered this little gem. http://www.gomohu.com/leaf-plus-amplified-indoor-hdtv-antenna-1/
    The darn thing is basically a piece of laminated cardboard I attached to my wall with two small Velcro strips. The power for the amplification comes off the USB port on my TV.
    I don’t know how but it works great. We are getting more stations than we ever have and some of them look more clear than we got with cable. I fired it up and wham the first thing I see is Chris Issak singing “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing.” Yeah so clear you could count the rhinestones on his jacket. I’m happy and Baby got to watch her re-runs of The Odd Couple and The Bob Newhart Show. So far only a little pixilation on one station. Probably not a good option if you like to watch a lot of sports but beyond that it’s great.
  2. I like the USB idea. $75 seems kind of steep for "basically a piece of laminated cardboard," but I suppose that only adds up to about one month's cable.
  3. Did you try getting a pro out to fit the external/attic antenna?

    Just seems weird that a smaller indoor one is giving better reception. Things may have changed from my fitting days, but the indoor ones were rarely a scratch on the bigger ones (though they were generally easier to setup)
  4. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    It does seem kind of steep, but it works. They are also cheaper on Amazon.
  5. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    No, I didn't have a pro maybe that would have made a difference. The new one works great though. They say on their website that they are better than other antennas because they are designed by former Nasa engineers, blah, blah, blah. It could be baloney I don't know. One thing I do like , they are made right here in the good old U.S.of A.
  6. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Yep. It doesn't make sense.

    Hills are bad when it comes to getting good reception. Ideally you want a direct line of sight to the source. You're also limited to how powerful the station is that you're trying to pick up.
  7. FF Petro

    FF Petro

    Feb 16, 2004
    No, it doesn't make sense but it really is true. I haven't used this particular antenna but I have installed several antennae over the past year. These little, digital ones get much better reception than the old, massive ones.
  8. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    I'm impressed that you know that antennae is the plural of antenna :cool: I would have said antennas but now I know better.
  9. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's

    You are paying for the design of the antenna and for the amplifier. Remember retail is at least 4 x the factory cost.

    The reason it can work so well is that the new signals are digital. You can take HUGE amounts of gain that would create tons of noise on an old analog TV signal, and you don't see it on digital. There may be only a few dB of signal-to-noise that would be unwatchable as analog, but as long as the receiver can read the digital data, it doesn't matter.

    I am lucky - I have a huge antenna pointed right at the mountain where all the TV stations are for L.A. I just need a good ATSC receiver. I set one up for a friend a while back and she is completely satisfied without cable and saving tons of dough. There are 50+ free channels. It's not like TV is so dang important anyway.
  10. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Yep. Over the air broadcast is not compressed and processed like the cable companies do before they send it to their customers. OTA HD is also noticeably better with a good signal and antenna.

  11. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    Not always true. If the station is broadcasting any subchannels (many stations do), they're taking bandwidth away from the primary channel to do it. There's only 'n' amount of bandwidth for the station. Subchannels almost guarantees the primary channel is bandwidth-constrained.
  12. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Thanks for the clarification. I was only speaking from my experience when living in the Puget Sound area.

  13. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    I think a station has ~21mbps of bandwidth to work with. If they only have the primary channel, it gets all 21. If there's 1 subchannel, it might get say 5mb and the primary channel would be limited to 16mb. Something like that.
  14. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Hmmmm...good reviews for the amplified version on Amazon.

    We're 60 miles from Denver and a large conventional antenna gets little or nothing here. Might try one for grins, although with DirecTV I already get most of the Denver channels.
  15. Hey, if it works it works. I'm just surprised at the switch around in what works :) Though being MIA doesn't make a huge difference to me :D :p

    A large antenna able to pick up both analogue and digital transmissions, it's more likely to have been an issue with the decoder or amplifier stages (or possibly alignment). When my parents TV signal went to pot last year, turned out the amplifier in the attic had gone kaput!

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