| email@example.com wrote on 04/03/12
Indoor/Outdoor Amplified Antennas, How Do They Rate?
Looking at setting up an entertainment system that receives it's signal via OTA HDTV. I am in Toronto, Yahoo! Maps tells me I'm 7KM from the CN-Tower (North). It is unfeasible for me to install a roof-antenna, for one I cannot access my roof, and two, I don't believe I would be permitted, as I rent my place.
So, before giving up on my dream of having OTA high-definition, I looked into indoor antennas. I found this: RCA CANT2500 AMPLIFIED DISH ANTENNA (http://www.radioshack.ca/estore/Product.aspx?product=1518236) and it intrigued me. Does anyone know from experience (or otherwise) if these 'amplified' indoor/outdoor antennas (when used indoors) will be sufficient to receive a) local signals, and b) US border signals? There's a hefty price tag on that product, but if I can receive more than CITY-HD and TOR1-HD, it is well worth the purchase.
In a thread below, someone was having trouble receiving CITY-HD, one of the admins from CDTV suggested that he try fine-tuning the NTSC broadcast of CITY, and it that came through clear then the HD broadcast should too.
Is this a 'rule of thumb' for American broadcasts too? It seems that everywhere I've looked people say that you need an outdoor antenna to receive border signals. It's been a long time (10+ years), but I remember being able to pick up ABC, NBC, CBS, fairly clearly with a old rabbit-ears antenna. I can only assume that this antenna would do a much better job of picking up these signals than any rabbit-ears antenna, but would it compare to an outdoor antenna? would like to test out things before I spend a large amount of money on them - I do not have a high definition monitor yet, as I am waiting to find out whether OTA is possible or not before buying one.
Thanks for any responses.
A few comments from Admin.
1. Indoor reception of both DTV and NTSC is subject to many variables, such as building construction, location and direction of view, elevation and blocking by adjacent buildings. If you can get acceptable NTSC reception from a transmitter co-located with a DTV transmitter, then DTV should be feasible, as the coverage planning in Canada and the USA is for equal areas of primary reception.
2. Amplified indoor antennas have been used by the Communications Research Center in some of their indoor reception tests with good results. At present, all DTV possibilities in Toronto are on UHF frequencies, so a UHF-only antenna is needed, thus avoiding the potential overload problems from high-power VHF channels.
3. You may need to orient and locate the antenna for best reception and avoidance on interference when there is movement in the room. A window sill location may be best.
4. At your location, I would anticipate good reception of the Toronto stations, at the least, but an outdoor antenna may be needed for other signals.
The Communications Research Center (www.crc.ca) has used amplified (or active) antenna in some of its indoor tests. The antenna composed of a UHF Silver Sensor passive indoor antenna (see www.antiference.co.uk) connected to a very low noise UHF amplifier made by RF Micro-devices (see www.rfmd.com). The amplifier had about 20-dB gain and was among the lowest noise figure amplifiers available.
Based on our test results, one can conclude that the DTV reception can be improved by using amplified antennas but it doesn’t mean that such antenna can guarantee successful reception under any circumstances.
As you have described, you have been able to pick up some American channels fairly clearly with your old indoor antenna. This means that you may also have DTV reception with that antenna. You may want to check that first. Then you can find out whether you need an amplified antenna or not. If so, you should also consider the quality of the amplifier that is used with the antenna. Try to select the one with the lowest noise figure and the best linearity among those available.
I'm in Oakville, about 1/2km south of hwy5. My first test antenna is a Radio Shack Amplified Tv/HDTV/FM Indoor (15-1880). It is sitting on the window sill of an 2nd floor bedroom, pointing south south east.
So far I get:
66-1, 66-2: Toronto 1HD
53-1, CityTV HD
39-1, 39-3: CBS
7-2 (not that good, lots of audio dropout)
With some antenna adjustment, I can get
43: PBS (WNED)
Hope this helps.
In response to Indoor/Outdoor amplied antennas,
I have successfully installed an RCA HDTV INDOOR/OUTDOOR AMPLIFIED ANTENNA (ANT711) 99.99 approx at RadioShack, and am using it on my roof, because there were quite a few large trees and obstacles in my way from the windowsill.
The reception is great, I have chan 53 (City-HD), chan 66 (Toronto-1), and chan 14 (Fox) not sure where abouts that signal is from, but it does say it is digital not analog. I haven't really tested the Buffalo signals but I will give it a shot in and letcha know. If you don't have a lot of obstacles in your way then you can put this antenna by all means inside and get great reception. I also tested out the 15-880 radioshack indoor hdtv antenna, which had some problems keeping the signal b/c of the branches or whether, which has been bad the past while.
One last thing, I don't get very good reception of any analog channels with either of these antennas but the digital signals are very good.
I just recently put the RCA ANT1250 unit to the test last night, because I was a bit worried about having to throw the ANT711 outdoor unit up on my roof for reception.
The specs claim 42dB amplification for the ANT1250 versus the 10dB amplification for the ANT711 (which, I should add, is marked as HDTV-ready).
The signal quality is terrible on the ANT1250 indoors versus the ANT711!
I'm in Kitchener-Waterloo, and don't have a digital receiver yet, but I see a lot more channels (some coming from Buffalo) with the ANT711. The local station (CKCO) comes in at near-cable quality (with ghosting, unfortunately) with the ANT711, but is unwatchable with the ANT1250.
For those interested, Radio Shack has the ANT711 on sale for 99.99, versus the 129.99 regular price. Buy Now!
Hope this helps,
Shabazz16@hotmail.com wrote on 2021/11/01
Young and Dundas; No OTA HD signal.
I live right by Yonge and Dundas (which is a couple of miles away from the CNtower) and I can't get any OTA HDTV channels... I *sometimes* get them, but they are choppy and the signal is like 8 to 12%.
I expected to have no problems getting CityHD and Toronto1, but I hardly get Toronto1 (12% signal strength) and have NEVER gotten CityHD... Does anyone know what’s up?
I am currently using a small indoor antenna, and it doesn't really matter what way I point it, I never get CityHD or other Ontario stations with any stability. Any help would be good.
Comment from Admin.
Sorry to hear of your problem. A few suggestions.
- What does the picture on NTSC ch. 57 and ch. 52 look like. They are radiated from the same antennas as their digital channels, ch. 53 and ch. 66. Does your indoor antenna pick them up with minimum noise, interference and ghosting? The digital signal processing in a good STB is far more tolerant of ghosting than the analog TV. You might find it easier to tweak the antenna location and direction using these signals.
- Is it possible to use an outdoor, window mounted antenna, particularly if your window is South-facing?
- If your windows face North, i.e. away from the CN Tower, then you may have to experiment a little to find a strong reflection from a nearby building.
- There are indoor amplified antennas available that might help your reception. Check out RCA and Radio Shack.