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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    1

    Default Does a digital TV set need an antenna?

    I live in Reading, Pa and the closest local tv signals are in Philladelphia which is about 45 minutes away. Those signals aren't very clear from here, would a digital TV help, or should I get an out door antenna?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,359

    Default Re: Does a digital TV set need an antenna?

    All TVs, digital or not, need either an antenna for over-the-air broadcast, or a cable TV connection. No TV that I'm aware of has a built-in antenna.

    Depending on the strength of the signal and your distance from the station, you might be able to use a set of "rabbit ears" (designed for digital broadcast). Otherwise you'll probably need an outdoor antenna.

    Digital broadcast is kind of an all-or-nothing thing. Where the old analog TV would slowly get a worse picture as the signal got weaker, a digital TV will give you a clear picture until the signal strength drops below a certain point where you'll get nothing at all. If you're right at the borderline, you'll get the picture freezing up or missing whole sections.

    I'm not an expert at this, so that's all I can offer.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,160

    Default Re: Does a digital TV set need an antenna?

    For signals from a town 45 minutes away, an outdoor antenna would probably work best. Get a rotator with it too, You may be surprised at all the stations you may get. You might get stations from York or Harrisburg too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,381

    Default Re: Does a digital TV set need an antenna?

    Go to antennaweb.org. You can enter your street address and it will tell you what stations you can pick up with what type antenna and the direction to point the antenna to get them.

    As for the rotor, if all the stations you want are within 30 degrees of each other, you wont need a rotor, if they are in different directions, then you might need one.

    BTW, a station can break up and have "holes" in the reception even at 100% signal strength if there is enough RFI on or near the channel frequency you want to get.

    Watch for stations that are still in the VHF band. There are still a few because they have a longer range than UHF, but many indoor antennas will not pick up VHF, mostly the ones that say HD antenna or digital TV antenna.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Does a digital TV set need an antenna?

    I think we don't need anteena
    if we got good signals

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    5325 Clay Ter Ne, Washington, DC 20019
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Does a digital TV set need an antenna?

    Ya you should use UHF/VHF Antenna to Receive DTV if the signals are not clear without it on your digital tv. It will improve DTV signal strength!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Does a digital TV set need an antenna?

    I think and outdoor antenna would work best. You can get them at your nearest walmart. Follow the link if you want - walmart.com/ip/RCA-Outdoor-60-Mile-Antenna-With-Mast-UHF-VHF-and-HDTV/872034

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: Does a digital TV set need an antenna?

    Before my dish provider added local channels in HD, I was using a $70 powered directional antennae from Radio Shack. IT looked like a dish and mounted the same way outdoors. I'm about 35 miles line of sight from the 2 stations I was picking up.

    It worked well and pulled in a signal in most bad weather except really bad thunderstorm. It was however affected a little by electrical noise in the house such as light switches being turned on/off, fridge turning on etc.

    I think 50 miles with a clear view is near the max range without one of the larger roof units.


    OF course the OP said 45 minutes. On the congested east coast, isn't that only about 10 miles.
    1925 Two-Story Stucco Beaux Arts Neoclassical

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,096

    Default Re: Does a digital TV set need an antenna?

    I'm a Ham Radio nut so I know something about antennas First thing is that most but not all over-the-air TV is now UHF, use the antennaweb site mentioned to determine this. Second is to get the best antenna you can, then in general mount it as high as you can. UHF requires a line-of-sight signal path, in other words if Superman were where your antenna is, he'd need to be able to see the transmitter antenna or even he would have reception trouble. If you have only local VHF but distant UHF you might be OK with a UHF-only antenna; it isn't tuned for the band but will still get enough signal strength to work. If the VHF you want is distant you need a VHF and UHF antenna. If all the signals you want other than local stations are in one direction, you may not need a rotator; otherwise you'll want one. In Ham Radio there is an old truism: Spend 10% of you money on the transmitter, spend 40% on the receiver, and spend 50% on the antenna. Yes, the antenna matters that much.

    Without getting too technical, what you want to buy is a Yagi or Log-Periodic type antenna; these are what the old standard outdoor TV antennas look like. Don't waste your money on anything else, there in no magic in antennas and the electrical and magnetic principles they operate on are just the same as they've been for over 100 years. A tuned dish for UHF can work well in some places, but a small Yagi or L.P will outperform it at about the same cost; all these are is for looks and they are even more frequency-specific than the others so you might improve one channel while the others suffer. If there were better antennas, every Ham would use them and we don't. You can still use your old TV antenna as long as it had a decent UHF section, which all but the cheapest usually did. The longer the boom and the more elements it has, the better the antenna will be. While some of the channel frequencies have changed, the old antennas are close enough so that they still work well.

    I scrounged my TV antenna from a re-roof job where they wanted it gone. My rotator was $40 new from a Hamfest. The mast I already had. I get around 20 channels for free here and some stations are over 120 miles away, a far cry from the 7 I got before digital. One of the most overlooked things about outdoor antennas is that they need maintenance too. You can extend this by making certain that every metal-to-metal contact point is clean and corrosion free before assembly, then use the same No-lox compound that electrician's use for aluminum wiring to keep hem that way. Make sure all the fasteners are either compatible metal or stainless steel, and that wherever possible you seal against weather with silicone being sure that you're not trapping the escape path of any water or condensation that might inadvertently get in. Pay special attention to the feedline and use only the best you can get there, as that is the most common point of failure. Done this way you should get 5 years+ trouble-free service in your environment, double that for less harsh weather areas.

    To all the other RF-addled Hams who stop by here: ARL sixty all your remodeling projects.
    Last edited by Mastercarpentry; 07-23-2011 at 09:57 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Does a digital TV set need an antenna?

    I think, yes a digital TV set need an antenna to recieve digital TV signals..

    To receive digital TV signals from all stations, it is important that your antenna be able to receive both VHF channels (channels 2-13) and UHF channels (channels 14-51).

    Some antennas only provide good reception of VHF or UHF channels, but not both.

    For example, indoor “rabbit ears” usually need to be augmented with an additional “wire loop” or “bowtie” antenna (see pictures below) in order to pick up signals on UHF channels.

    If your television received good quality reception on analog channels 2-51 with a broadcast antenna, it should be able to receive digital television (DTV) signals, including high definition television (HDTV) signals, with the same antenna. You do not need to purchase a "DTV antenna" or an “HDTV antenna” to receive DTV or HDTV signals.

    Hope this information is helpful for you.

    Thanks & regards
    Jack
    _________________
    Vacation Rental Software

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