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Old 03-09-2018, 09:31 PM
1,517 posts, read 823,119 times
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No, there aren't. No 'special' antenna is needed, any antenna that worked before the change to digital will work after the change. There is no need for a 'digital antenna' because there is no such thing, it's pure marketing hype without even a hint of truth.

An EM wave is an EM wave is an EM wave and the only thing that matters as far as the antenna is concerned is that it has elements that resonate at the desired frequencies. It makes no difference at all whether the signal encoded within the EM wave is AM, FM, SSB or 'digital', neither the EM wave nor the antenna care about the encoding, it is only the receiver that matters, in that the receiver must be capable of decoding the signal. You can *make* an antenna out of wire hangars, a board and some screws and it will work even better than the [so-called] 'digital' antennas sold in the stores.

^----- Exactly, precisely that. (Repped. I wish I could do it more than once.) In fact one needn't even get that involved, just collect a length of aluminium or copper wire, cut to the correct length, jam one end of it into the F-connector, tack the other end up to the wall and there's your antenna. These [so-called] "'digital' antennas" are a scam and nothing more.

In fact in that same vein I want to touch and rant a bit upon another marketroid wet-dream: amplifiers, because it's amazing and horrific how widely mis-sold they are. An RF amplifier can cause more harm with ATSC than good. First, very few (well, maybe more today than maybe 10-15+ years ago, but I doubt it) are linear enough to reliably pass a wideband data signal like ATSC. Second, they can put noise into the signal which corrupts the incoming data stream. Poorly-filtered/regulated (i.e. Chinese) power supply units are a big culprit there. Third, they don't distinguish signal from noise and will happily boost any RF crap in the air along with the desired signal. Got LEDs/Wifi/TRIACs/computer equipment (why stop there?)? Fourth, they tend to be so shoddily built (i.e. Chinese) that the output signals just tend to be very dirty (can you say spurious emissions?). Fifth, receivers are already easy enough to overload by themselves and become moreso with an improperly adjusted or poor quality amplifier.

Most of these effects were easy to detect and mitigate with NTSC since it fails more gracefully than ATSC, which is all or nothing. For the most part the only test equipment you'd have needed was your eyes and a TV screen. Overload or noise would show up as, well, noise. You'd probably also sometimes get some phasing and distortion. Remember hum bars? With ATSC it's either there or it isn't. The data are decodable or they aren't. Weak signal, data arrive corrupt and the decoder's not going to kick in or it'll work intermittantly. Too much signal, data arrive corrupt and the decoder's not going to kick in or it'll work intermittantly. Take your pick. Garbage in, garbage out.

There are people who adamantly insist on using these pieces of crap, especially in areas that get enough signal they aren't remotely necessary (like here where most people live within 15 miles or so of the transmitter farms in western Potland) because they've been led to believe they need one. I get calls from people who buy these things, usually after telling the cable or DBS company where to stick it, literally tearing their hair out because they can't for the life of themselves figure out why TV is suddenly so blocky and unwatchable. I then disconnect the amp from their set and leave it sitting on just the antenna, and they don't believe the improvement in reception they get. Gee, really? Pretty incredible how much more reliable it is when your front-end's not getting hammered with excessive RF energy innit? Out in the bush I can see one possibly having some purpose, if they're actually built and adjusted well (rare) fed from a proper log-yagi or a discone cut for the 54-212 and 480-600 MHz (or however high it goes these days) bands. But you're in the city. You're about 10 miles away from the transmitter that you have a clear line-of-sight of and you're not a DXer, matter of fact you may not even know what "DXing" is let alone that it's an hobby for many people. Yes, I know the guy behind the counter at Radio Hack or Worse Buy said you "need" one because it'll "improve your picture quality". Yeah, they're in the business to say that. That's how they make money. I mean, seriously?

By the way, for the doubters out there, if there's no signal in your area then there's *no signal* in your area and you're plain out of luck. If the radio transmission doesn't reach you then not even the best, most expensive and well-built amp, deep-fringe antenna or combination of the two is going to help. If that signal doesn't exist at your listening area, nothing outside of black magic or altering the laws of physics is going to make it suddenly appear out of the ether. That's just how it is. It's frightening how much I have to remind people of that often forgotten aspect of reality, yet not very surprising. I really can't blame them. Chances are all they've ever known is perfect reception via closed-circuit transmissions via wire (cable), geosynchronous satellite or even these glorified PDAs that get called "phones" today. But, is spending five minutes doing some very basic research really that hard a concept to grasp? You know, it takes just as much time and effort to do something wrong as it does to do it right, so you may as well do it right the first time around and be done. </rant>

On the other hand, I just love amplifiers and "digital" antennas and the people who get suckered into buying them. They pay my rent.

Last edited by Ttark; 03-09-2018 at 10:13 PM..
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:04 PM
11,249 posts, read 7,326,614 times
Reputation: 32085
She could get a library card and not watch TV.
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:44 PM
21,708 posts, read 64,661,315 times
Reputation: 42959
I never had time for tv when I was in college.
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Old 03-12-2018, 06:02 AM
Location: OH->FL->NJ
16,253 posts, read 11,360,395 times
Reputation: 8307
Originally Posted by rstevens62 View Post
Im assuming he has cable in his section of the house and he doesnt want there to be another separate cable hook up, as that would be pretty clear he is renting it out

He could buy those cable tv spliters, it basically gives you another tv with cable in another part of the house, but no need to actually install separate service. They sell the little coaxial spliters at walmart and many other places.
This. Just have the landlord show up at the local cable company and tell them they need another cheapo box for a home office. They are more interested in the 2-10 dollars a month than anything
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Old 03-24-2018, 12:42 PM
2,301 posts, read 1,684,345 times
Reputation: 2802
Hulu and Netflix
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