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HDTV Antenna = 100 Mile Range?


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91 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   rh535

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 07:06 AM

I am looking for an antenna that will reach 100 Miles. I live in Mid-Missouri and need to reach St. Louis. The tower is 95 Miles away. Is this possible? Can I even get HD that far away?

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#2 OFFLINE   jdspencer

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 07:11 AM

Go to antennaweb.org and see what it says.

If there are no obstacles between you and the towers, then you may get a signal. It might not be too stable however.
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#3 OFFLINE   66stang351

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 07:11 AM

Its possible, but depends on the terrain and the stations transmitting power. I have picked up stations from 90-100 miles. You need a big directional antenna and to hope that you can get lucky.

#4 OFFLINE   Upstream

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 07:17 AM

100 miles is pretty far. It may be possible, but it will be difficult.

You would probably need a pretty big directional antenna, and you would need to mount it pretty high and outside. Buildings, hills, and even trees can block or reduce the signal strength.

You may also need some amplifiers for the antenna.

Check www.tvfool.com for information on signal strength in your area. Make sure you check the post-Feb-2009 channel allocations, to see if you need just a UHF or a VHF/UHF antenna.

Note that there is no difference between an HD and a SD antenna.

You may want to check the Antenna section of www.hdtvprimer.com, which has a lot of good information on antennas, including gain charts for some commercially available antennas.

#5 OFFLINE   tuff bob

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 07:31 AM

100 miles is typically not doable except in certain weather conditions, it certainly will be unstable. Basically most TV transmitters will be "under the horizon". Even Chicago transmitters that are over 1,500 ft high only have a line of sight distance of about 75-80 miles at best.

#6 OFFLINE   boba

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 07:44 AM

Your not looking for an antenna that can receive from a 100 miles away you are looking for a broadcaster that can send a usable signal 100 miles.It will also depend on what frequency the signal is broadcast. VHF carries farther than UHF does but most of the digital transmissions are in the UHF frequencies.

#7 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 07:53 AM

Big antenna & a mast mounted pre-amp. I used both and have watched shows from 120-150 miles away [in UHF].
While the TV signal may[will] be low, you can make up for it with one or two antennas with high gain. My antennas have about 19 dB gain and pre-amp another 20 dB.
If you don't need VHF, something like this: http://www.antennasd...TV_antenna.html
A.K.A VOS

#8 OFFLINE   texasbrit

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 08:30 AM

100 miles is way beyond line-of-sight because of the curvature of the earth. A good place to check on possible reception is tvfool.com; if that site says you won't be able to receive the stations you probably can't.

If the 91XG suggested by VOS, or a CM4228, does not work (with a decent preamp) then probably nothing will. And as he says, that's for UHF stations.

#9 OFFLINE   bagdropper

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 09:18 AM

100 miles is way beyond line-of-sight because of the curvature of the earth. A good place to check on possible reception is tvfool.com; if that site says you won't be able to receive the stations you probably can't.

If the 91XG suggested by VOS, or a CM4228, does not work (with a decent preamp) then probably nothing will. And as he says, that's for UHF stations.


I can tell you with experience that the AD 91XG is a less stable antenna day to day, but it definitely has a farther reach here in CR IA. I could pick up the Quad City locals from 70-85 miles away with the 91XG, but barely can with the 4228, but the 4228, for my locals (45 miles), is much more stable.

I lost the 91XG in the big ice storm in March 2007 (big horizontal footprint, lots of ice buildup weight killed the mast in the wind) - this past winter we had 2 ice storms, not as bad but comparable, 4228 came through like a charm, more vertically oriented.
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#10 OFFLINE   litzdog911

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 10:22 AM

I am looking for an antenna that will reach 100 Miles. I live in Mid-Missouri and need to reach St. Louis. The tower is 95 Miles away. Is this possible? Can I even get HD that far away?


Also check out the information in the "Local HDTV Reception Forum" at http://www.avsforum.com. Find the thread for St. Louis and ask local experts for their antenna advice.

In my experience it won't be possible. You might achieve some degree of analog TV reception under certain weather conditions, but you'll have a much harder time with acceptable digital TV reception at that distance.

Let us know what you discover.
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#11 OFFLINE   generalpatton78

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 10:46 AM

I'm in Southern IL about 88 miles from St Louis. I have the Channel Master 4228, a pre amp, and a 25ft mast. The only time I can get St Louis UHF is after 8pm because of certain weather related occurrences that causes the signal to reach my area. It's to bad WB11 isn't going back to 11 after the shut off because I can get their VHF signal 24x7.

My advice for that distance is forget about it right now. You will never be happy with the reception at that distance. I strongly advise you A) look to get waivers B) Find out if the sat spot beam hits your local area and then "move" to St.Louis.

#12 OFFLINE   TomF

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 11:31 AM

In 2001 I had my CM 4221 mounted in my attic on a rotator because there were at least five stations broadcasting in HD from Los Angeles compared to the one station broadcasting in HD here in San Diego. With the antenna pointed at Mt. Wilson I was able to get ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and I think KTLA. The distance? 103 miles as the crow flies. Of course all of the broadcast towers for all of the LA stations are located on Mt. Wilson at an approximate altitude of 6,000 feet. With the same antenna, pointed at Mt. San Miguel in San Diego, only 20 miles away, I can't get the three stations that broadcast from there. But turning the antenna farther south at Mt. San Antonio in Mexico, 31 miles away, I can get the Fox station that broadcasts from there.

It's all about geography. Another factor is the broadcast pattern of the station. A station doesn't necessarily broadcast in a perfect 360 degree circle and if a station is broadcasting most of it's power in a 180 degree beam, if you're on the other side of that beam pattern, you're SOL.

No matter how many people you ask, the only one way to determine whether you can receive a signal or not, is to try it yourself. I have neighbors in my neighborhood who have different reception experiences than mine.
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#13 OFFLINE   aa9vi

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 11:42 AM

100 miles is typically not doable except in certain weather conditions, it certainly will be unstable. Basically most TV transmitters will be "under the horizon". Even Chicago transmitters that are over 1,500 ft high only have a line of sight distance of about 75-80 miles at best.


Good point. And Missouri is not nearly as flat as Illinois. I'd say the only way to do this is to have a 70' tower, a nice 25 dB or more preamp, RG-6 quad shield coax, and an antenna with rated 120-160 miles on the bands of interest.

That will only give you a small chance of getting the signal given the terrain and line of sight with UHF issues in your neck of the woods. I hope you're on a hill or forget it.

Go to tvfool.com and look up the radiation patterns, too.

#14 OFFLINE   bonscott87

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 11:55 AM

It really depends on how flat it is or how high your towers. They do sell "deep fringe" antennas that can get 100+ miles, for VHF. Here is an example at Solid Signal: http://www.solidsign...T=&PROD=ANC3671

I think you'd want that antenna on as high a tower as you can stand. Say 40 feet or so.

And I know it's possible with no problem, but again depends on terrain. I grew up in Southwest Michigan. About 100 miles from Chicago and we got all the Chicago VHF stations just fine but the UHF were pretty snowy (which means in the digital world they probably wouldn't lock in). We were a good 200 feet higher in sea level then Chicago and it was a steady rise from Lake Michigan. Our house was on a hill and we had a 10 foot tower on top of a 3 story farm house. Needless to say it was up there.

We could turn the rotor and also get Milwaukee stations if the weather was right and Fort Wayne as well. South Bend, IN was our main market and of course they were good. But we couldn't get Grand Rapids, MI which was only half as far away as Chicago but there is a lot of hills in the way.

Good luck!

#15 OFFLINE   l8er

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 12:10 PM

I am looking for an antenna that will reach 100 Miles. I live in Mid-Missouri and need to reach St. Louis. The tower is 95 Miles away. Is this possible? Can I even get HD that far away?

Here's my $.02 worth - shortly before satellite TV gained a foothold, people in our part of Missouri were still putting up 50' + towers and high gain top-of-the-line Winegard antennas with antenna mounted pre-amps to try and get the St. Louis stations. We're about 90 miles NW of St. Louis, and with a rotor, Columbia, Jefferson City, Hannibal and Quincy were all receivable for the most part day and night. (45 miles to Columbia/Jeff City, 50 some miles to Hannibal/Quincy).

My own experience was a 60 foot tower on high terrain at a house in the country with Winegard's most expensive VHF/UHF and antenna mounted pre-amp. At night Channel 30 (then independent) would come in crystal clear - in the daytime - not at all. 11 was receivable fairly clear most nights - but again in the daytime - zilch. 2, 4 and 5 were all iffy at night and non-existent in the daytime. I'm guessing the UHF specs on the antenna and pre-amp were better than the VHF specs and back then there was nothing to interfere with channel 30. The ironic part about getting channel 30 crystal clear at night back then was - they went to some kind of pay TV at 7 PM until 6 AM the next day and were scrambled all night.

From what I can tell, most VHF/UHF antennas now are not as good as what Winegard was making back then (and I can't even find an antenna with the pre-amp mounted right on the antenna (as opposed to on the mast). So I'd guess your chances with digital (UHF or VHF) at 95 miles away will be slim to none between sunset and sunrise - and near zero between sunrise and sunset.

And keep in mind, the higher you go with the antenna, the more likely you are to pick up interference from other distant channels on the same frequency, particularly at night.
-GA

#16 OFFLINE   rh535

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 06:34 AM

I think i will just give up on the idea of getting stations 100 miles away. Thank you for the help and replies. I am looking at getting just a basic antenna. What about this Terk HDTVs Is this a good antenna? How much do you think it will cost to have it installed?

#17 OFFLINE   texasbrit

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 06:56 AM

I think i will just give up on the idea of getting stations 100 miles away. Thank you for the help and replies. I am looking at getting just a basic antenna. What about this Terk HDTVs Is this a good antenna? How much do you think it will cost to have it installed?


No, this is not a good antenna choice. Just about all the Terk antennas are overpriced and underperforming.
To select an antenna, you need to know where the stations are that you want to receive, what power they are using, and whether they are VHF or UHF. Post back with your zip code and we will give you some suggestions.

#18 OFFLINE   rh535

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 07:11 AM

No, this is not a good antenna choice. Just about all the Terk antennas are overpriced and underperforming.
To select an antenna, you need to know where the stations are that you want to receive, what power they are using, and whether they are VHF or UHF. Post back with your zip code and we will give you some suggestions.


My zip is 65101

#19 OFFLINE   JeffBowser

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 08:06 AM

It's not been mentioned yet - but there is no such thing as an "HD" antenna - an antenna is an antenna, it picks up the station's broadcast frequency for you, it doesn't matter if they are sending NTSC, ATSC, HD or no, the same antenna is used.
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#20 OFFLINE   boba

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 08:11 AM

My zip is 65101

www.antennaweb.org shows you have mostly VHF stations with 1 UHF religious broadcaster. Broadcasters look to be 3-25 miles away so very local. Locations of broadcaster may be a problem seeing they are not all located in the exact same direction. I would suggest if you can find them a Winegard PR7000 10 element antenna about $25-30. A Winegard GS1100 Sensar (bat wing) antenna again in the $25-35 range. Or any short distance RCA/Magnavox/Radio Shack branded antenna. I would suggest a compass heading of 345degrees for a starting point.

Because your broadcasters use different locations the smaller less directive your antenna is the better the odds are of finding 1 aiming direction that will work With the lack of UHF stations you will not be able to use the really small UHF only antennas. With the close proximity of your broadcasters a Zenith Silver Sensor would be a recommendation for an indoor antenna but that only works for UHF stations. Your only digital broadcasters use ch 8 & 12 both VHF channels.

Good luck with locals.:) :) :)




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