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Recommendations for indoor antenna booster
Posted by: Junes ()
Date: January 29, 2009 11:18PM

Since the Analog to Digital switch over is on again for the 17th, I need to buy an antenna booster to pull in the digital channels. Right now, I can only pull in 3, and that's only if the weather cooperates.

Any recommendations - and local stores?

Also - I have to upgrade my VCR/DVD to one with a digital tuner to tape. I hate to give up my old Panasonic, but it doesn't have a digital tuner and now only good to play tapes.

Thanks

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Re: Recommendations for indoor antenna booster
Posted by: OMG ()
Date: January 30, 2009 12:03AM

How are you going to "boost" a signal you can't get in the first place? If you put shit in you get shit out with even more shit from the amplification ("boosting") process.

Your best bet, Get cable.

If you got a high gain antenna that might help but even then, that depends on a whole lot of conditions you can't control.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/30/2009 12:05AM by OMG.

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Re: Recommendations for indoor antenna booster
Posted by: Bob ()
Date: January 30, 2009 12:14AM

I think once you have a converter box, any traditional antenna can be used.

Also, I think you can put the converter box into the VCR to record the analog signal converted from digital signals, and then play it back normally on your analog TV.

Just go to Best Buy and ask the teenager working there. They seem to know this stuff better than adults do.

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Re: Recommendations for indoor antenna booster
Posted by: RESton Peace ()
Date: January 30, 2009 01:07AM

I have tried several of the the biggest and best indoor "signal boosters". If you live far enough away, or below a hill or thick trees between youand the broadcast, it does no good. I live below a hill in clifton, so I have two strikes. You need an outdoor antennae, and if you are like me, your HOA won't let you just put one up.

I took them all back and gave up on digital tv until we got satellite.

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Re: Recommendations for indoor antenna booster
Posted by: RESton Peace ()
Date: January 30, 2009 01:09AM

And I hagve to reiterate what OMG said: if you aren't getting signal to begin with, a booster won't help even with an outdoor antennae; digital signals reach a certain distance and then go black, it's not like analog where you can get parts, with digital it's all or nothing. I thought I MIGHT be getting a weak signal but I believe I was wrong. DTV is not all it's cracked up to be, I'm afraid.

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Re: Recommendations for indoor antenna booster
Posted by: Junes ()
Date: January 30, 2009 04:49AM

it is my understanding that all DT station signals are not the same strength, even though the local channels are all pretty much in the same area - within 10-15 miles from my home.

I can receive SD and HD for all the local channels, it's the DT signals that are weak for some, but strong for others.

Channel 4 (WRC) said it has the weakest digital station signal of the local channel, and recommended an antenna amplifier/booster.

Boosters, I understand aren't that expensive and the next best option before resorting to cable.

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Re: Recommendations for indoor antenna booster
Posted by: RESton Peace ()
Date: January 30, 2009 05:58AM

No, if you feel experimental, just go ahead and try a few from Best Buy or some other store that is staying in business. You can return them if they do not work. No harm in trying but just wanted to let you know it didn't work for me... btw if you're 10-15 miles from the transmitter you're a lot closer than me, so it may be good for you.

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Re: Recommendations for indoor antenna booster
Posted by: Junes ()
Date: January 30, 2009 06:44AM

I was reading some comments on the Channel 7 and Channel 9 forums. It seems this is a common concern with viewers in the DC Metro area. The stations have the capability of boosting their signal, but don't want to spend the money, so viewers have to compensate on the other end.

Many viewers don't want or can't afford cable, so a TV with a digital tuner and/or a converter box with an analog Tv is all they will have.

Someone suggested we start contacting advertisers and let them know we can't receive the digital signals on the channel where they advertise - if we can see their ads, we won't know what new things they have for sale. Don't know if it will work.

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Re: Recommendations for indoor antenna booster
Posted by: _Somebody ()
Date: January 30, 2009 06:56AM

"your HOA won't let you just put one up"

Federal law says they can't stop you:

As directed by Congress in Section 207 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Federal Communications Commission adopted the Over-the-Air Reception Devices (“OTARD”) rule concerning governmental and nongovernmental restrictions on viewers' ability to receive video programming signals from direct broadcast satellites ("DBS"), broadband radio service providers (formerly multichannel multipoint distribution service or MMDS), and television broadcast stations ("TVBS").
The rule (47 C.F.R. Section 1.4000) has been in effect since October 1996, and it prohibits restrictions that impair the installation, maintenance or use of antennas used to receive video programming. The rule applies to video antennas including direct-to-home satellite dishes that are less than one meter (39.37") in diameter (or of any size in Alaska), TV antennas, and wireless cable antennas. The rule prohibits most restrictions that: (1) unreasonably delay or prevent installation, maintenance or use; (2) unreasonably increase the cost of installation, maintenance or use; or (3) preclude reception of an acceptable quality signal.

Also Junes, go to anennaweb.org for the direction of your antenna, etc.

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Re: Recommendations for indoor antenna booster
Posted by: dono ()
Date: January 30, 2009 07:59AM

I have a friend whom gets Boss digital from the outdoor antenna that came with his house (read 20 years old). Get your ass up on the chimney and install a big fing monster antenna and you will be surfin in style!

btw tv sucks.

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Re: Recommendations for indoor antenna booster
Posted by: RESton Peace ()
Date: January 30, 2009 08:30AM

Somebody, I agree, but my HOA does not and they are willing to go to court over it, and I can't afford to defend against my HOA even if I am right. My HOA believes they can restrict the manner in which we install antennae, to such a degree that it is not worth the hassle to try. They give us "a way" and it is the most convoluted bullshit in the world, so I won't do it. What I have to do to have satellite dish is insane, no way would I take the same steps for a broadcast antennae.

Although now you've managed to make me mad enough over it to maybe have a lawyer friend draft a letter...

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Re: Recommendations for indoor antenna booster
Posted by: TomMadison ()
Date: January 30, 2009 08:34AM

I figure that higher is better, but getting up on my roof is not something I relish and I would rather not pay someone $150-300 to install an antenna (plus figure out how to get power to it), so I was wondering how much of a difference I might see if I simply mounted it above ground outside my basement. We are talking about a height difference of about 20 feet.

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Re: Recommendations for indoor antenna booster
Posted by: Junes ()
Date: January 30, 2009 08:37AM

dono Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have a friend whom gets Boss digital from the
> outdoor antenna that came with his house (read 20
> years old). Get your ass up on the chimney and
> install a big fing monster antenna and you will be
> surfin in style!
>

Actually, I don't watch that much TV - definitely not enough to justify the cost of cable - even local cable. But I don't want to lose all tv viewing except 5, 20 and 26.

I'm on the Architectural Control Committee an we did a variance for the Dish, but I don't know about the roof top antenna. Many people who don't have cable have an attic antenna which might be an option.

At home we had a roof top antenna, and everytime we had a storm, it had to be adjusted. It's a real pain.

I'm going to try the amplifier. Like you guys said, if it doesn't work, I can always take it back. I'm hoping that be enough power to receive the signals I'm missing. The thought of signing on with Comcast makes my skin crawl. I do NOT like Comcast.

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Re: Recommendations for indoor antenna booster
Posted by: Somebody ()
Date: January 30, 2009 05:01PM

I just recently switched from having a high cable bill to getting all my stuff OTA and online.

First of all you are going to need to put an antenna on the roof. No amount of bossing a little indoor antenna is going to get you a signal. Put an antenna on the roof and you are golden.

Its not hard.
Everything is at radio shack; even the big antennas. They keep them in the back so ask for them.

Get a uhf/vhf combo yagi.
It's a misnomer that HD is UHF only.
Some of it is UHF at the moment but it will go back to VHF after the switchover.

Also, you will probably get ~30 channels. The PBS channels especially kick ass. There are even two 24 kids stations for the little. ones. Very handy.

The HD that you get over the air kicks the crap out of the HD you get over cable.
The broadcast HD stuff is uncompressed and it makes a world of difference.

Reston Peace, if you see this here is a document on the FCC's site that addresses lots of these issues.
They call out HOAs several times. In all instances the burden of proof is on the HOA, not you.
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

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Re: Recommendations for indoor antenna booster
Posted by: KeepOnTruckin ()
Date: January 30, 2009 05:05PM

I live in a place where the HOA says no antennas as well. Before I got cable, I had 2 options:
My neighbors have a serioulsy peaked roof. THey have an antenna which you cannot see from the ground, except in their backyard. The only problem with this is that you may block the reception you are trying to get.

I had an attic antenna installed. It hangs in my attic, and I got reasonable quality. Now I have cable, but I use the antenna to receive radio broadcasts in much better reception.

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Re: Recommendations for indoor antenna booster
Posted by: HIJACKER ()
Date: January 30, 2009 06:40PM

Just spend the $30 a month for basic cable and be done with it already.. geez.

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Re: Recommendations for indoor antenna booster
Posted by: tubby ()
Date: January 30, 2009 07:02PM

The whole thing pisses me off. Not for myself, I have cable, but for folks that can't afford cable.

Countless thousands of old poor people are going to turn their TVs on on Feb 18 and have no idea why they don't work. Most will just switch it off and never watch TV again. There probably aren't many of these people around here, but there are millions nationwide. They live alone on a few hundred dollars a month of Social Security...no family or friends to help them hook up a converter box. And from what I've read, a lot of folks in fringe areas will be fucked even with a converter box.

And for what? So the broadcasters can save a few bucks...and the Homeland Security assholes can have the old frequencies? They are trampling our rights EVERY DAY with the frequencies they have now!

I'm sure the cable/satellite industry maggots are involved in this too....they may pick up a few new subscribers, but many aged, poor, and often confused folks can't afford cable and will just give up and turn the damned TV off for good.

Dreary lives will get a little drearier....this fucking country makes me sick sometimes!

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Re: Recommendations for indoor antenna booster
Posted by: WestfieldDad ()
Date: January 30, 2009 11:10PM

We have a Terk TV5 and someone else I know has a Terk HDTVA. The TV5 works better for us, the HDTVA works better for him. Rabbit ears didn't work at all. On the TV5, we usually get a solid clear signal from about 15 channels or so. Occasionally a second or so fritzing out, but not bad enough to get me to pay for cable or play around putting an antenna in the attic.

However, we don't watch much TV so if it's fritzy we don't notice much anyway, if we did watch more, we'd go FIOS.

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