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Over the Air HDTV

by Kskm / November 22, 2007 11:52 PM PST

I've spent the better part of a year tinkering with over the air HDTV reception. After blowing thru 3 indoor antennas, I found an outdoor antenna that is working 80% of the time.

I'm in the market for a new HDTV for the bedroom, and have spent a great deal of time reading cnet's reviews. One item that the team doesn't review however, is the quality of each tv's tuner.

Are all HDTV's using the same tuner technology? Are some sets better for pulling down OTA signals than others?

I'd greatly appreciate the feedback.

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same for getting channels ..
by givemeaname / November 23, 2007 2:53 AM PST
In reply to: Over the Air HDTV

a good tuner will have a better picture but all tuners will pull in the same channels, that is all on the antennas side.

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You should get. . .
by Coryphaeus / November 23, 2007 5:01 AM PST

good HD TV as a digital signal either works or it doesn't. A weak digital signal, unlike analog, will give pixelation instead of snow. So if you get a picture it will be good.

But all HD TVs are not created equal in displaying the analog signal on the wide screen. Some do this better than others. My Sony 55" SXRD displays standard programming as good as any, in fact excellent. Other HD TVs will show mosquito noise. Be sure to look at demos in the store before you buy. You'll find that the larger the screen, the more chance of mosquito noise. The LCD and plasma in the 40" range do better than the larger screens.

Shop around.


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by Kskm / November 24, 2007 12:57 AM PST

So you're saying that if i put any TV in place of my current 56" Samsung, they will all be pulling down the same channels?
I was under the impression that some sets had "signal boost" or "fine tune" capabilities.

I know my Samsung has an LNA feature (low noise amplifier) for over the air reception that boosts the incoming signal.

I'm not sure how well it works, given i've nothing to compare it to.
Does your set have anything like this?

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by jcrobso / December 10, 2007 1:24 AM PST

Go to the link!!!!!
There are many variables at play. In your post you never stated your location or how far you are from the transmitters. John

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by martyjane / November 24, 2007 11:34 AM PST
In reply to: Over the Air HDTV

Which antenna did you find works the best?

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hdtv antenna
by Kskm / November 24, 2007 11:06 PM PST
In reply to: antenna

The people at terrestrial digital seemed to have the most positive press. they have several options based on your distance from transmition towers.
I called and talked to them, and they recommended an antenna. Very impressed with their customer service (rare these days).
I've got their DB-8 model.

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HDTV Over the Air Tuner
by Kskm / December 6, 2007 11:50 PM PST
In reply to: hdtv antenna

Anyone else out there know if some TV's have stronger tuner features to pull in over the air signals?

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hdtv tuners are not the problem
by brandonstanfield / December 7, 2007 3:06 PM PST

I would suggest investing in an outdoor antenna that has a 20%larger range than u need and if that doesnt work consider buying a preamplifier/amplifier for your outdoor antenna. They work wonders I am currently picking up 50 channels thru mid air because my antena reaches two major cities. Also remember you wil need a multi-directional antenna to achieve the best results. It will allow u to be off a little with your alignment. I went to and they provided me with the local tower and degrees to it . If I were rich I would invest in aantennas they are fixing to boom again Free HDTV Is Da Bomb.

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Great Antenna / Signal mistake!
by rickster / December 8, 2007 1:12 PM PST
In reply to: antenna

When I cancelled my cable TV because of price hikes, I decided to invest in an outdoor antenna. I purchased a Radio Shack model, 2nd from the top of the line...I believe it was half price and paid $ 49.99. I matched it with a signal booster that is antenna mounted but decided to put the amp under my porch to keep it from weather. At the time I was only receiving analog and then I took the HDTV plunge.

It was (and still is) a Sony 51 projection with HDMI...I recall sitting on the Lazyboy and auto scanned...I first picked up the analog...and then the digital! I had bought the TV not realizing that eventhough my setup was for analog, that it would also work for digital. Check out my other threads were I talk about OTA HD.

The thing that strikes me is that my antenna is approx. 10ft up...From the front of the house, I can't even see it as the roof blocks it from view. Maybe the signal booster does the job...can't say but this setup has worked flawless for 9 years. Radio Shack still carries these boosters as I've seen them in their stores.

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Home made HDTV antenna
by hyghwayman / December 7, 2007 7:15 PM PST
In reply to: Over the Air HDTV

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to let you all know that I found this forum that had a DIY section about building a antenna.

Well it looked easy enough, so I built mine last night and put it up today. I'm getting 45 Digital stations w/ about half of them in HD also all my local analog stations are coming in crystal clear now too.
Here is the link to the forum w/ all the info on how to build one.

With my store bought antenna I was getting on average a signal strenth of about 85 (1 to 100) w/ dropouts, now w/ my homemade antenna my signal is holding at 98 w/ no dropouts at all.

Happy Days Ahead,

here is the link to my post;

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Lumen Lab Site
by daniels3717 / August 12, 2008 5:31 AM PDT
In reply to: Home made HDTV antenna
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Yes, I think there is a difference. (Original Question)
by tomsoundman / December 9, 2007 9:39 PM PST
In reply to: Over the Air HDTV

I wasted a year with an older Samsung DirecTV High Def tuner, barely getting a signal for OTA, re-aiming antenna, trying everything, etc. (I'm on the edge of a market)

Got an inexpensive Polaroid HD TV recently with built in HD OTA tuner and I got EVERYTHING I was supposed to in my location related to transmitting antennas.

Don't know if the technology is better in just a few years, but it was a huge difference for me, newer TV was better.

I'm also frustrated by the lack of discussion or reviews of the quality of HD tuners. No help here, just same problem for me...

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thank you
by Kskm / December 10, 2007 1:09 AM PST

I'm not alone-
I too am near the edge of the signal area. I think this is the key.
I'm roughly 30 miles from the trans. towers.

I bought a Toshiba 37" regza at costco this weekend, and I like its signal meter feature, which give you the relative strength from 1-100, vs. my Samsung 56 which has a series of 6 bars to indicate strength.

Since splitting the signal, I have lost 2 HD channels (that the samsung previously pulled in). I'm going to check out a signal booster and see if this helps.

Can anyone speak to this? I think i've seen a powered splitter/booster that would replace my existing splitter.

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I need to split mine too...
by tomsoundman / December 10, 2007 9:57 PM PST
In reply to: thank you

I have been researching splitting my antenna signal and I'm concerned about losing channels. Planning on getting another TV for another room and I know a quality booster/splitter is needed, not just a cheapo unit.

I'm going to try a DA2 2 Output Distribution Amplifier from

Don't have anywhere local to try and return so I will take a chance on that one.

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It's working
by Kskm / December 11, 2007 1:25 AM PST

It appears that signal loss due to length of cable is significant.

I picked up two in-line signal amplifiers and installed them yesterday (radio shack).

Both tv's now get 100% of my Digital channels.

Doing this again, I would pay special attention to the connections (aka gold plated higher end splitter) and quality of cable.
and don't underestimate the loss due to cable length. If you have more than 25 ft of cable, or have it split over several connections the amp should get you 20-40% stronger signal.

To recap what finally worked for me:
db-8 antenna (spent 2 hours on my roof, moving around, finding the best signal)
50ft. high quality outdoor cable
gold plated splitter
25 ft cable (whatever quality the cable company installed in my house), with in-line amp
75 ft, same cable installed in house, with inline amp.

I used the amp model 15-1170 from Radio shack.

Free DTV!

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Awesome, you got your channels...
by tomsoundman / December 11, 2007 11:49 PM PST
In reply to: It's working

Thanks for the part numbers and info.

You are right about cable length. I have heard that from others as well.

Free DTV is the best!

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amp model 15-1170 from Radio shack.
by manberg / January 4, 2008 5:19 AM PST
In reply to: It's working

I have a similar item R S 15-1117 amplifier (looks just like the one you used). Not sure it works. Do you have any instructions on how to use it? The AC powered unit has connections "to tv" and "to amplifier". The amplifier piece has connections "to antenna" and "to Power Injector". Where are each of these components connected to the antenna cable from the antenna to the tv?

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by Kskm / January 4, 2008 10:41 AM PST

A diagram

MYHDTV -<-to tv---to amplifier-->-(wall jack)

(jack outside)<--to power injector----to antenna --> splitter--antenna

It may or may not work for you, I did a simple before and after-- and quickly saw my strength of signal increase dramatically with the inserter attached.

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RE: Over the Air HDTV
by bocephus101 / December 15, 2007 12:14 AM PST
In reply to: Over the Air HDTV

I worked in TV repair but that was a long long time ago. I suggest you ask a local TV repair shop about antennas and reception in your area. Any outdoor aerial will perform better but depending on location some better or locations can require better antenna setups. I once moved a neighbors outdoor antenna about 3-4 feet and greatly improved his TV reception. His antenna was in a dead spot. Hope this helps and good luck.

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