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Old 10-04-2010, 01:34 PM
 
4 posts, read 17,685 times
Reputation: 11

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Hi all,

Well, the family and I are going to be moving out to Pittsburgh. Thing is, I'll be moving out next week to test the waters, while the family stays behind to get the kids to a good school break point and/or the house sells before moving. Because of that, I'll be renting short term while the wife and kids stay at home in Lewisburg. Call me cheap, but I would prefer not to have to pay for cable at the apartment. So I was wondering about these new digital tv antennas that came out. Does anyone have any experience with them? do they really work? Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks!!
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Western PA
3,584 posts, read 4,929,197 times
Reputation: 2839
I have one on my secondary set and it works fine. With it, you can pick up all the over-the-air channels and digital sub-channels. I get 17 of them. The quality of the picture is a bit noticeably better than cable because it's a pure signal. My antenna is a set-top one, not on the roof. For what you're looking for, I think it will suit your purpose.
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Old 10-05-2010, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 20,537,854 times
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Just try one and see, that's really all you can do. What you get with an indoor antenna varies widely by your location and its surroundings. You should be fine with indoor antenna in Cranberry, though you may not receive your ABC signal from Pittsburgh there.

It's a misnomer that there's really such a thing as a digital antenna. A TV signal is still a TV signal to the antenna. If you have an old antenna, you can try that first. If you're old enough to have used a rotary dial tuning TV you may remember that channels 2-13 are VHF and 14 and up are UHF. Well, there are still UHF and VHF signals, and the type of antenna needed for good reception of each is different.

What's really weird in the digital transition is that most of the channels are no longer truly on the frequency that their old channel numbers suggest. For example, channels 2, 4 and 11 (CBS, ABC and NBC respectively) will display on your HDTV as 2.1, 4.1, 11.1 for their main broadcasts. But none of these signals are VHF any longer; the underlying signal is UHF. This is probably where the idea of HD antennas come from. Because as you see in the old days most of your main channels were VHF, and with the transition now they're UHF. So the main component of antennas that say HD, digital or whatever is a UHF antenna, which for most places might even be enough.

For the Pittsburgh area, all the typical stations are UHF except for the PBS affiliate, which is actually back on 13.

Mainly, though, get an antenna from somewhere where you can return it (Best Buy has a few in stock; I ended up keeping one from there even though it cost a bit more than some other choices), and try it out. Note that every time you move the antenna position hoping to get some channel you might be missing, you'll have to rescan for channels with the TV. It's not like the old days. Even I didn't understand that at first. You won't have the benefit of a snowy picture either. If the channel scan didn't pick that channel up, it might as well not exist as far as the TV is concerned.

The antenna I use is the Terk FDTV1a. I actually bought 3 antennas at once at Best Buy, planning on returning the 2 I didn't like. Well, this one worked OK out of the box and I never even opened the other 2 before returning! But I kinda wish I had spent more time on it checking out the other units. I'm using it long-term, not just temporarily. Don't watch that much TV. It actually would probably work fine if I could just move it upstairs; the TV is downstairs with the room partially underground. This alone affects the reception a fair bit I'm sure. I don't think I can get any ABC channel at all right now with the current location. (I'm about 5 miles from the middle of Cranberry, but in Beaver County.) But I also haven't tried that hard because I'm not actively watching anything on ABC. Also can't get the PBS channel right now.
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:05 AM
 
Location: New Kensington (Parnassus) ,Pa
2,424 posts, read 1,891,374 times
Reputation: 603
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtf1968 View Post
Hi all,

Well, the family and I are going to be moving out to Pittsburgh. Thing is, I'll be moving out next week to test the waters, while the family stays behind to get the kids to a good school break point and/or the house sells before moving. Because of that, I'll be renting short term while the wife and kids stay at home in Lewisburg. Call me cheap, but I would prefer not to have to pay for cable at the apartment. So I was wondering about these new digital tv antennas that came out. Does anyone have any experience with them? do they really work? Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks!!
Indoor - Antennas - RadioShack.com
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Marina del Rey, CA
245 posts, read 354,699 times
Reputation: 69
I posted a somewhat similar question a while back, and although I don't live in Pittsburgh (yet), I was interested in how well and how many digital television signals could be picked up in the 'burgh area. I currently live in metro Los Angeles, and use an old cathode ray tube (crt) tv, with a converter box, and a no frills RadioShack set of rabbit ears. Initially, there was some fiddling to do with the rabbit ears (mainly determining the optimum length of the antennae...shorter was better than longer), but once this was figured out I was able to pick up 77 channels with excellent results. Admittedly, I have very little use for most of these channels but the fact that I can receive them should tell you something. Pittsburgh will not have the amazing variety of programming that is available in LA, and the hilly geography in western PA may be a negative factor, but I'd be willing to bet that with an HDTV (you won't need the converter box) and rabbit ears you'd be able to pull in quite a bit of acceptable programming. If you have a crt television, though, you'll have to buy or find a digital-to-analog converter box.
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