TV Antennas for Over the Air Reception

FoxCitiesTV's picture
FoxCitiesTV
Green Bay
administrator

A simple basic primer for receiving the Best possible HD Digital TV reception

is to us a UHF Antenna aimed at Scrays Hill just SE of Green Bay. TV channels

are arranged as follows: VHF-Lo (Chan 2-6), VHF-Hi (Chan 7 thru 13), and

UHF (Chan 14 thru 61). After Feb 2009 when the Analog TV Channels are turned

off and Only the Digital/HD TV channels remain, 99% of the digital channels

will be in the UHF band (Channels 14 thru 61). The most Digital reception requires

a UHF antenna; namely a flat Bow Tie Version or the wedge Yagi geometry. Bow

Tie versions come in 8 bay($50), 4 bay($25), 2 bay(indoor), or single bay.

The better brands are Channel Master & WineGard. A CM 3021 4 bay bow tie

can be used in a closet, attic, or roof & has a 40-50 mile range. The 4 bay

bay bow tie design is also capable of picking up the VHF-Hi band such as TV11-HD.

Loosing channels 2 thru 6 in Feb 2009 means the Big, wide antennas should disappear.

And these OTA (Over the Air) Antennas should be attached with RG-6 round coax, not thin

RG-59 round coax cable.

Posted December 4, 2007 10:38am in
Willscary's picture
 #

Fox 11 will return to

Fox 11 will return to physical channel 11 in 2009.

For those who can pick up the Wausau stations (like me!) channels 7 and 9 will be returning to their analog physical channel frequencies also.

Bill

 
Anonymous's picture
 #

I have the Terk Indoor

I have the Terk Indoor antenna Pro and Fox comes in great now. When they switch to channel 11 will I get the same reception? I live in Neenah.

 
Chad's picture
 #

I want to make the switch to

I want to make the switch to HDTV, but I want to keep standard cable and use an antenna to pickup the local OTA HD Channels. I think paying $100+ a month for TV channels is ridiculous.

Living in Neenah I am worried that I won't be able to pick up OTA HD channels very well.

I see you bought the Terk antenna, have you had any issues picking up ABC, CBS, NBC, WPNE, FOX HD channels with it.

I really don't want to spend $1400+ on a TV and an antenna, get it all setup and be disappointed because I can not pickup the HD channels off my antenna.

 
DM54301's picture
 #

The HDTVi is the non

The HDTVi is the non amplified version of this indoor Terk VHF/UHF unit.

Since the antenna is a VHF/UHF unit, you have a good chance Chan 11 digital

in Feb 2009 should be viewable. A test you can do now is to verify that you can

receive TV-11 analog today. If that works.... The digital version on the same

channel should work in the future.

Possible tweeks available may be to amplify the Terk unit and use RG-6 antenna cable.

 
Anonymous's picture
 #

I can get the analog channel

I can get the analog channel 11 now but it is snowy. If I understand correctly,as long as I can get a signal, HD should be good?????

 
FoxCitiesTV's picture
 #

If you're seeing channel 11

If you're seeing channel 11 and/or any "snowy" channels, you're using your TV's analog tuner. Check in your TV's manual to see how to change over to the digital (ATSC) tuner. It will be 51 or "11-1". It is likely found in the on-screen menu.

 
Anonymous's picture
 #

No, I do get Fox in HD on

No, I do get Fox in HD on channel 51 now but I'm wondering if my Terk antenna will be ok when in 2009 they switch to channel 11.

 
FoxCitiesTV's picture
 #

How "snowy" would you say it

How "snowy" would you say it is? Watchable snowy? Or unbearable snowy? If it's watchable but a little snowy, I'm guessing you should be OK, and would maybe be in the 70% signal range on a digital tuner. That's about where I am and I'm able to lock on 99% of the time.

 
higby's picture
 #

Antenna help needed! I

Antenna help needed! I currently have an indoor antenna sitting on a DVD rack next to my TV, and I get all the Green Bay digital channels. I am considering putting an antenna in my attic to try and get more channels. Questions:

1) Is there any sense in doing this? Would I be able to get other channels? Would the additional channels I might get give me anything I don't already have?

2) What kind of antenna should I get? I was assuming that I should get a UHF one, but based on the posts above it sounds like some of the channels will be moving down to the VHF band after the switch? Do I need to get a combo UHF/VHF? Any suggestions on models? I don't mind spending more money to maximize reception.

I live on the east side of Menasha.

 
FoxCitiesTV's picture
 #

Are there any Green Bay

Are there any Green Bay stations you don't get? If you get 'em all, I'd say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

If you're aiming at getting out-of-market channels, I'm thinking you'll want to shoot for an outdoor antenna rather than an attic mounted one. Is there a certain station you're trying to get? Probably all you'd get is other markets' network affiliates, which might not give you much different programming than what you get from local ones. I could see if you wanted to try to get out-of-market channels for their localized programming, but network stuff will likely be exactly the same.

 
higby's picture
 #

Thanks for the response,

Thanks for the response, Mark. I do get all the GB stations. There's just something in me that wants ALL the channels I can get! I guess that's why I have both Cable and Satellite. :) I was thinking that an attic antenna would be about as good as a rooftop one, so you set me straight on that. A rooftop is not an option for me so I guess I'll just leave well enough alone.

 
FoxCitiesTV's picture
 #

Cable AND satellite? Wow.

Cable AND satellite? Wow. I thought I was addicted to TV!

 
Troy's picture
 #

I just bought an antenna

I just bought an antenna from Radio Shack. Got it hooked up, found this web site, then checked Ch 51... and it's snow. My signal meter on my TV says it's locked at 72-78%. Is it possible that there is nothing being broadcast at the moment in HD?

 
FoxCitiesTV's picture
 #

Check you TV's user manual

Check you TV's user manual and see if you have to switch specifically to the digital tuner. If you're seeing snow on channel 51, chances are it's using its old analog tuner.

If there's nothing in HD on a digital channel, you should be seeing the standard-def programming. It's either there or its not.

 
Willscary's picture
 #

It is possible that you are

It is possible that you are looking at analog channel 51. Digital channel 51, on all digital tuners and TVs with built in digital tuners, shows DIGITAL channel 51 as channel 11.1 or 11-1.

There should not be an analog signal on the same frequency as a digital channel unless it is from a distant, out of market station.

Perhaps, you have the antenna connected to a 75 ohm "Cable" input instead of the "Antenna" or "RF" input. Some TVs have dual or even triple coax inputs, but only one will be for an antenna. If your antenna is connected to the cable input, you will get snow on channel 51. Also, some TVs have different tuning modes that must be chosen in the menu. My Samsung TV and also my Samsung dedicated tuner have options in the menu to select "Antenna" or "Cable". The cable tuner uses the same frequencies as OTA reception for channels 2-13, but does not use the same frequencies as OTA in the UHF frequency range.

I hope this helps.

Bill

 
Howie's picture
 #

Hi, the only way I can get

Hi, the only way I can get 11.1 (Fox 11) is by setting my TV to "cable". The only problem is that that is the only station I get with the TV set to "cable". With "antenna" I get maybe 12 stations, but not 11.1. Im guessing that has something to do with your above post. What are my options? Thanks for the help. This is a very helpful site!
Howie

 
Peggy a aerts's picture
 #

We have a cottage in

We have a cottage in lakewood I can pull in analog signal for Green Bay locals.. but not the HD signal... is the hd signal not strong enough to reach that far???

 
FoxCitiesTV's picture
 #

You're on the outer fringe

You're on the outer fringe of signal, I'm guessing. I pulled up WBAY-DT's signal coverage map since they're on the tower farthest north of the three that service DT transmission for all the GB stations. According to that, you should be in range:

http://www.fcc.gov/ftp/Bureaus/MB/Databases/fm_tv_service_areas/maps/DT1...

What kind of antenna are you using? (ie. indoor, outdoor, type, size, etc)

 
peggy's picture
 #

I have The Philips MANT950

I have The Philips MANT950 Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna UHF and VHF reception up to 40 miles. I have it placed outside. address is 14510 irish lake lane... The weird thing is I get analog signal but not Hd signal??? does this ever happen??? I have dish network hddvr vip722 it has a conection for a ota antenna.. I got no signal.. even when I connected to the hdtv directly I got 0 signal..( I did have this same hdtv at home in Appleton with rabbit ears and got great reception.) please help thanks

 
Willscary's picture
 #

I checked Google Earth maps

I checked Google Earth maps overlaid with a TV Fool coverage map of WBAY. If you are in Lakewood, you are in a deep fringe purple area. If you are JUST southwest of Lakewood, you will not get reception. If you are a few miles south of the town, in the higher hills, you will get reception rather easily. Looking at the map, the lakes in that area are almost all low, with higher surrounding areas. If you are on a lake, I will bet that reception will be spotty at best.

TV Fool is a cool site. Not only can you find your home's coordinates and then find the reception characteristics of that site, you can download reception maps that overlay on google earth.

Really cool!

Bill

 
jjnemoiii's picture
 #

How good is your analog? If

How good is your analog? If its great, you should at least see some signal on digital GB stations. How about WJFw 12.1 Rhinelander? that is the strongest one in your area. To see what I saw for you, put your address in here: http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29

 
Willscary's picture
 #

I plugged your address into

I plugged your address into google earth. You look to be in a valley. The only digital channels that are even a purple fringe reception are WBAY and WFRV. You would need a large directional outdoor antenna as high as you can place it to receive any digital channels from Green Bay, much less all of them.

With the same type of setup aimed in a different direction, you can pick up The Wausau affiliates for ABC, NBC and PBS, plus their sub-channels.

I would highly consider a large directional outdoor UHF/VHF antenna mounted as high as possible with a rotor and a CM7777 amplifier.

Bill

 
Willscary's picture
 #

I also plugged your address

I also plugged your address into TV Fool. Even with an antenna height of 30 feet, you will have a very weak signal. You could then put up the antenna setup I reccommended above and at least get WBAY out of Green Bay, WJRM (NBC) out of Rhinelander, WAOW (ABC and MyNetworkTV) out of Wausau and Perhaps PBS out of Wausau.

Otherwise, a dish is probably your best bet for a reliable signal if cable is not available.

Bill

 
Andy's picture
 #

I'm using a Winegard

I'm using a Winegard HD-9095P UHF antenna along with a CM-7777 amplifier here in Oshkosh. The antenna sits on a short tripod on top of my house, and provides solid reception of the Green Bay stations. With a rotor, I often have luck receiving stations from Milwaukee, Madison and Wausau... although not all stations come in all the time. I have the best luck with WCGV "My-24" and WDJT "CBS-58" from Milwaukee and WISC "News-3" from Madison. WDJT offers their sister station, WMLW, on a multicast along with "Me-TV", which is like WBAY's Retro channel. Fun to watch these supplementary services.

I've ordered a Winegard HD-7698P to replace the HD-9095P in the expectation that it will offer me the regional high-band VHF channels after the DTV transition and hopefully still offer good UHF reception (I also hope the neighbors won't mind a 14-foot antenna on my roof!). I'll post an update once I get it installed and try it out. I would like to get more height out of my setup, I know it's key to better reception.

Does anyone else use these Winegard antennas, and how do they perform for you?

Andy

 
Willscary's picture
 #

The 9095P is a very good UHF

The 9095P is a very good UHF antenna. If it works rock solid for you, don't scrap it. Instead, buy a Winegard YA-1713 upper VHF antenna and mount the two of them in the same mast. Mount the 9095P at the top of the mast and the 1713 at least 5 ft below the lowest point of the 9095. Point them in the same direction and use your rotor. Your 7777 should have seperate inputs for UHF and VHF, so combining the two antennas will be lossless at the amplifier.

If your 9095P is not quite as "rock solid" as you would like, only then would I consider upgrading to something along the lines of an Antennas Direct XG91 or a Channel Master 4228.

Bill

 
James5501's picture
 #

Living in the Fox Cities I

Living in the Fox Cities I get perfect reception for the new digital broadcasts on my digital tuner integrated Sony TV. I heard so much about each of the local channels being allotted as many as ten different channel broadcast using digital. I recieve the two extra broadcasts on Ch 2 and the five on Ch 30 PBS but no other broadcasters seem to be jumping into the new features supposedly available. I heard from friends that Milwaukee stations offer many selections including game shows, old sitcoms, older movies, and other type formats. How long will it be before Green Bay capitalizes on their opportunities?

 
Andy's picture
 #

Well, I decided to try the

Well, I decided to try the HD-7698P VHF/UHF combo antenna and I'm very disappointed in it. The UHF section is almost identical to what I was using before, but delivers poorer signal quality. I even have it five feet higher than my old antenna (HD-9095P) but it doesn't seem to be able to catch those more distant signals.

So, I'm going to donate this new monster antenna to a relative and I'm going with Bill's recommendation to use an Antennas Direct XG91 along with a Winegard YA-1713. Hopefully this combination will deliver better signal than what I had previously and certainly than what I'm using now! I'll update my progress...

Andy

 
Jim's picture
 #

I live in Fond du Lac and I

I live in Fond du Lac and I have used Radio Shack U-75R and their amplifier and am very happy with the results. It appears it should work ok when channel 11 goes back to 11, my reception of analog 11 is fine. The only problem with my setup is I can't recieve channel 14 digital and also channel 10 digital out of Milwaukee, otherwise I reiceve all the digital stations from both Green Bay and Miwaukee fine.

 
FoxCitiesTV's picture
 #

I have one of these. I

I have one of these. I tried using it previously in two single-story residences I didn't have access to the roof/attic in, and didn't have much result (naturally).

Now that I'm on the third floor of an apartment, I might have to pull it out of storage and give it another go.

When you say Radio Shack's amplifier, do you know what model it is (so I can find it in store)?

 
Anonymous's picture
 #

RS amplifiers are not the

RS amplifiers are not the way to go. At worst, go to ebay and look for a Channel Master or Winegard. All RS amps have have high noise. If you want one, I probably have a few laying around from my trial and big error days.

Bill

 
Jim's picture
 #

The Radio Shack amplifier I

The Radio Shack amplifier I use is
Model: 15-2507
Catalog #: 15-2507

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103094&cp=&sr=1&origkw=antenna+amplifier&kw=antenna+amplifier&parentPage=search

 
Anonymous's picture
 #

Andy, I am very interested

Andy,

I am very interested in hearing how these antennas work for you. If I was betting, I would lay good money on your success. This is probably the #1 best antenna combination for UHF/VHF combined reception. With the amp, it is as good as it gets.

How far are you from the towers? Where are you? Could you overload the tuner with those antennas and the big amp?

Bill

 
Willscary's picture
 #

Mark, the last two comments

Mark,

the last two comments were made by me. For some reason I was not logged in, I guess. You can delete this post and change the last two from "anonymous" to "willscary".

Thanks,

Bill

 
FoxCitiesTV's picture
 #

The system won't let me

The system won't let me assign anonymous comments to registered users. Don't worry... we know who you are!

 
Andy's picture
 #

I had some amp overloading

I had some amp overloading with my previous antenna setup and the CM7777 amp. However, I'm usually aimed at Milwaukee and trying to reach those signals which are about 85 miles away from the west side of Oshkosh. I will try the same amp with the new high-gain antennas and see what happens. Also, hopefully the new antennas are very directional and will not overload from Green Bay stations. If overloading does occur, are there any recommended alternatives for amplifiers?

Andy

 
Anonymous's picture
 #

Andy: You could try adding

Andy:

You could try adding channel specific attenuators to reduce the signal strengths and overloading from local stations.

 
Anonymous's picture
 #

Maybe adding channel

Maybe adding channel specific attenuators for the overloading signals?

 
Andy's picture
 #

This weekend I installed my

This weekend I installed my new Antennas Direct XG91 along with a Winegard YA-1713 antenna. After trying them for a couple of days, I'm very impressed. I haven't had reception of analog and digital signals this favorably before, and am receiving consistently good reception from out-of-market stations in Milwaukee and Madison. I'm located on the west side of Oshkosh. Yesterday there was some atmospheric inversion and I was able to receive analog channel 13 from Eau Claire.

So far, I'm not having amp overload problems on UHF with my CM7777 amplifier. It seems that the XG91 is very directional and is able to reflect stronger signals that might interfere. However, I might add an attenuator for channel 11 since it seems to be overpowering on VHF. It's probably worth adding it since WLUK will stay on channel 11 next year.

Thanks for the tips and advice here, this solution is working extremely well for me. I would recommend these antennas to anyone interested in very solid reception of local signals, and to anyone looking for their best bet to receive out-of-market signals.

 
Mare's picture
 #

Dumb question: I have been

Dumb question: I have been hearing about people are getting channels out of milwaukee and madison in Oshkosh, Appleton, Green Bay. I am wondering if this could be achieved with an indoor antenna? My landlord does not have a tv antenna on top of the roof and I don't think he will ever install one. Thanks in advance for your replies.

 
FoxCitiesTV's picture
 #

Mare: I think it's a pretty

Mare:

I think it's a pretty safe bet that an indoor antenna will definitely *not* pull a station that far away. You really need a good outdoor antenna on your roof to do that. I'll leave this open to those who have those antennas and already do this, but I've never seen an indoor antenna capable of this.

 
Willscary's picture
 #

Andy, Excellent! I am

Andy,

Excellent! I am really happy that it worked for you! This is probably the best antenna combination available, and with your amplifier, is probably about the best total system you can obtain. Even better, the price is really quite reasonable considering the performance!

Bill

 
Andy's picture
 #

Now that I've had some more

Now that I've had some more time to try out the XG91 antenna, I've found that its performance is consistent. I can receive CBS-HD and MyNetwork HD from Milwaukee about 95% of the time... better than what I had previously. Also, the YA-1713 doesn't look all that impressive but it also delivers good signals on analog and digital signals on channels 7 thru 13.

I wanted to mention to Mare that I agree it's vital to have an outdoor antenna for long-range reception. Even putting an antenna in an attic cuts the signal strength by about 50%. As I've found out by trial-and-error, once you have an outdoor antenna there are still many factors that go into getting it to perform well for you (height, obstructions, amplification, downlead, antenna type, etc). Once you have it right, though, it's rewarding to have programming that is otherwise unavailable in your area.

That being said, there are those *rare* circumstances when the atmosphere reflects signals favorably for long-range reception. Last year one day I had a radio station from Tampa, FL coming in clearly on a portable stereo with a small indoor "whip" antenna. Sometimes odd things happen.

 
Willscary's picture
 #

Andy, I just re-read your

Andy,

I just re-read your comment about channel 11 (analog?) being overpowering. When the digital switch occurs and WLUK begins digital broadcasting on physical channel 11, their signal will be about 13 decibels less. This is a MAJOR reduction. It will be one of the weaker stations.

Bill

 
depressed in de pere's picture
 #

i have a sony analog tv in

i have a sony analog tv in my bedroom. i stupidly ordered the converter box coupons which expire in june, & it's likely i will not use them due to the fact that i don't want to even pay $10-20 (& they're all that much above coupon amount of $40).

i had to replace my great jvc tv in the livingroom, & could only afford something cheap, so got an orion from walmart, with digital tuner in it. i do not have & will not be getting cable/satellite. it will even be hard to afford a new antenna (which will have to be an indoor type).

i have an rca antenna on top the set, which worked *perfectly fine* for my jvc! i haven't needed cable or anything like that (i forgot to say that i'm on s. 6th st. in de pere). obviously this antenna would be for vhs & uhf (2 rabbit ear antennas plus round uhf & a dial with numbers or something).

no matter which way i turn the antenna (either portion) or change the dial, i often get really crummy digital reception (pixelation & blackout of the screen is what i'm obviously talking about... a very common occurrence & sometimes several times per minute..) the problem is exaggerated when it's windy outside (or when a truck goes by, at times when i walk around, or a number of other reasons that will continue to happen way past february). i very often have to switch from the digital stations to the analog stations just to be able to watch a show. i'm thinking the powers that be are not telling people the whole story - how rotten their reception is going to be after the switchover.... there's still a part of the population who do not have or want cable tv, etc. & i keep reading how i shouldn't need another antenna..

& then there's the issue of recording the shows. they say you can use your vcr if you plug it into the back of your tv different, but then you have to change to the channel you'll be recording. yeah - that'll work (sarcastically said). i usually record a few different shows on a few different channels, & i'm not around to change the channels.

bet you can't easily (& cheaply) solve those problems!

 
Sam's picture
 #

I don't think you will have

I don't think you will have any problems. I just built one like this -> http://uhfhdtvantenna.blogspot.com/. Put it in my attic and have signal strengths of 94-97 on all channels, except 11-1, which is at 89. Was getting 70's from a standard bowtie, previously and I'm in Darboy.

 
Andy's picture
 #

In Neenah, you should be in

In Neenah, you should be in a good position to receive OTA HD. Keep in mind, if you have standard cable hooked up to an HDTV set (without a cable box), you would be able to receive the local broadcast channels in HD through your cable connection. The only thing is, TimeWarner doesn't yet carry WLUK-HD, WIWB-HD, or WACY-HD. They do carry the "multicast" channels such as StormCenter 2 24/7 that your TV would be able to receive (if it has a QAM tuner). Hopefully TimeWarner will carry WLUK-HD or again we will all be hooking up those bowtie antennas come Packer season.

 
Anonymous's picture
 #

I'm at N2645 Sunny Waters

I'm at N2645 Sunny Waters Lane, White Lake 54491. With our old rooftop antenna we got 2, 5, and 11. With our new UFH (4-panel rooftop) we get 11, 12, 14. When I patch in the Digital Converter Box Winegard RC-DT09) I get nothing. Recommendations?

 
Joe's picture
 #

http://antennaweb.org/aw/Addr

http://antennaweb.org/aw/Address.aspx Added your zip here, need the best you can get, like Bill's XG-91 recommendation, at least 30 feet up, more is better. You will also need an amp, like the Channel Master 7777. Can you get 12 from Rhinelander if you rotate the antenna?

 
Andy's picture
 #

I was asked today for a

I was asked today for a recommendation of a good TV antenna installer. It's been a while since I've needed one, so if anyone has any recommendations I would appreciate hearing them. The installer would have to be willing to travel to Oshkosh to do the install. Thanks in advance.

 
FoxCitiesTV's picture
 #

I think Oshkosh has an

I think Oshkosh has an antenna installer in the area. I want to say Oshkosh Antenna Service or something similar is the name. Can't attest to the quality though. I tried looking for antenna installer services and had trouble finding them. I think Suess Electronics does.

 

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