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My Grandma and her DTV troubles, need help picking best antenna possible.

Discussion in 'Local Reception' started by doubleatheman, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. doubleatheman

    doubleatheman AllStar

    Dec 28, 2007
    Hello, Its been several months since I have posted here, I was here during the time I was having directv instlled.

    Now, My grandma for Christmas 2006 got our 27" old tv

    (We got here other gifts too we didn't feel right giving here something used and nothing else.) Her reception wasn't so good so we got a $14 antenna,

    (she was using plain old rabbit ears before this.) This tv is great and all but its not digital. No fears we got here a digital converter box.


    When I first hooked up the converter box, the channel reception was horrible, And in fact it only worked when I put the antenna out on her porch. So I swapped to the rabbit ears, I assumed the $14 set didnt work with "DTV" signals. (I tried all the adjustments on the antenna itself.) The rabbit ears work much better.

    Now comes the problem, Whenever we get a light cloud cover, her dtv signal ceases to exist, and the analog signal is just fine. This is ok, but considering the station stopped broadcasting in analog 2 weeks ago, its a problem now. The antenna is out on her porch now. (She lives in a senior citizen apartment complex. they cant attach any antennas to the roof or outside the house. We actually have the rabbit ears hidden behind her sun shade on the porch. The antenna is facing the direction the station comes from. )

    Needless to say she gets 3 other stations just fine, but they are in languages she does not speak, and she likes this one English channel she gets. She does have a computer (with highspeed.) I have her watching the local news on a live broadcast on the web. But she is simply to short on cash to afford satellite or cable. (shes only paying $10.99 for dsl btw)

    If you want to see the station situation:
    An address "close to her house" (I wouldn't dare give the real address here, no offense.)



    927 hunt ave
    St. Helena Ca 94574

    Station we want to get : KFTY DTV


    So my question is, what "indoor" antenna should I buy to get the best reception of 1 SD dtv channel for her? (ie: it can be directional) (preferably under $40)

    Thanks, sorry I am so long winded.
  2. Scott in FL

    Scott in FL Godfather

    Mar 18, 2008
    If you're just going after KFTY, 14 miles away, at a bearing of 322 degrees true, the Silver Sensor should work well. Many on this forum have reported good results, and I used one for both indoor and outdoor DTV measurements for a digital tv manufacturer. Amazon sells it for about $24.

    It's UHF only and directional. Your location really only stands a chance at receiving four DTV stations: KFTK, KFTY, KTNC and KDAS. They're in opposite directions and one is VHF. The rest are not going to work. Your's is a difficult situation. But if you're just going after KFTY this antenna should work well for you.

    By the way, there's no difference between antennas when it comes to SD, HD, analog or digital. UHF is UHF, and VHF is VHF. Digital is more susceptible to multipath, which is just annoying in analog but can wipe out a digital signal.

    Also, you didn't buy the best converter for tough reception areas. The Insignia/Zenith box is much better for weak signals and multipath.
  3. doubleatheman

    doubleatheman AllStar

    Dec 28, 2007

    Ok just applied for 2 more converter cupons :) (We used our cupons when se got hers for her.) So this time we used her address to get cupons. So I will pick up that ocnvertver box when the cupons come in.

    As for the antennia, ive seen that one before, it looks really weird, but heck if its the ones people review the best, ill go for it, nice price too. We dont care about getting any other channels, just the one kfty is the only english speaking one that she would want. Would the amplified version of that antennia work any better?


    or is amplification joke in general?

    Thanks for the detailed reply.
  4. Kansas Zephyr

    Kansas Zephyr Hall Of Fame

    Jun 29, 2007
  5. boba

    boba Hall Of Fame

    May 23, 2003
    Multi path is a reflected signal interferring with the desired broadcast signal. Using an amplifier is about the worst thing you could do it increases both good and bad signals. The TERK is not the same antenna as the Silver Sensor it has collapsible rabbit ear elements for VHF reception the SS is UHF only and directional to try and eliminate reflected signals.
  6. tcusta00

    tcusta00 Active Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    I would suggest picking up a box with a better tuner as suggested above. The DTV Pal by Dish network also has a VERY strong tuner. At my home it does even better than the AM21 OTA tuner for the DirecTV HR21, which is excellent.

    Try www.DTVPal.com to check it out. They currently have a $40 version of their DTV Pal (TR40) which is exactly the same as its more expensive older brother and is coupon eligible. Just have to pay shipping. IMHO it was well worth it. Oh, and it has analog pass through so your grandmother can still pick up any analog signals still kicking around after February.
  7. Kansas Zephyr

    Kansas Zephyr Hall Of Fame

    Jun 29, 2007

    However, if you don't have a multi-path problem, an adjustable gain amp can help make marginal signals usable. Increase the gain just enough for stable reception, minimizing the amplification of the noise.
  8. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    If you are able to "hide" an antenna on her porch, and from the porch, the direction of the stations isn't back through the building, check out the channel master 4220. It works (marginally) on ch 7-9, pretty good on 10-13, and excellent on UHF, and its very easy to hide. Its also cheap, and might be a good answer for her. Its a two bay antenna, and is either directional with the reflector screen, or bi-directional without the reflecting screen.

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