Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

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teacher
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Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by teacher » Wed May 16, 2018 5:14 pm

We don’t have cable or dish; OTA broadcast is sufficient for us. But, a 22 mph breeze brought down our 38 year old Sears roof antenna recently, and we are looking for a replacement that can handle 4K, Hi-VHF, UHF TV and Sirius XM Satellite Radio reception with a range close to 100 miles. Surprisingly, the old Sears antenna was adequate. The channel most watched is PBS which is broadcast in the high end of the VHS band. There are so many brands and configurations with costs ranging from less than $100 to $500.

Can anyone recommend a brand or model?

123
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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by 123 » Wed May 16, 2018 5:21 pm

I've used one of these from Amazon https://www.amazon.com/RCA-Compact-Outd ... CA+antenna with excellent results at 60 miles line-of-sight.

An advantage to Amazon is that if it doesn't work for you in your situation you can send it back (except you pay return shipping).

If you get satellite reception from Sirius XM you need to use one of their own proprietary antennas. Another option for Sirius Xm is to get it over the internet, but that's an additional, or separate subscription, from the satellite service.
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GAAP
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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by GAAP » Wed May 16, 2018 5:52 pm

I've used this site to find where the transmitters are and align the antenna: https://www.antennasdirect.com/transmitter-locator.html. You don't have to buy from them.

Crutchfield has a decent guide to making choices: https://www.crutchfield.com/learn/learn ... ml?g=15920.

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Electron
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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by Electron » Wed May 16, 2018 6:06 pm

There is a wide selection available from Channel Master.

https://www.channelmaster.com/Outdoor_Antennas_s/20.htm
Electron

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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by NoblesvilleIN » Wed May 16, 2018 6:20 pm

No recommendation for an antennae (ours is from Radio Shack and is probably 15 years old), but you might consider adding a rotor while you are installing. After our first antennae was hit by lightening, I added the rotor while I was up there anyway. It has improved our service and eased set-up because I didn't have to worry about getting it pointed just right while on the roof. While it also allows us to pick up signal from nearby cities, we rarely take advantage of that. The rotor I got uses a standard old-school two-wire antennae wire, not the cable style to control from the ground. I ran both sets of wire into the house and grounded to a copper rod at the entry point.

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5th_Dimension
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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by 5th_Dimension » Wed May 16, 2018 7:16 pm

Picking out an antenna for OTA television is difficult at best, and at 100 miles from the broadcast towers it is downright scary. However, you already have the information you need because you had an antenna that worked. Look for an antenna that is approximately the same size and configuration to the one that fell down. The science behind antennas hasn't changed much, so don't be fooled by promises of being able to pull 100 mile stations in with an antenna the size of a pizza box. Your previous antenna was probably a large Yagi style like the Channel Master Advantage 100 that was linked to, so that is probably what you are going to be looking for. Channel Master is a well thought of brand, as is Winegard. good luck :happy
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Big Dog
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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by Big Dog » Wed May 16, 2018 7:35 pm

always been a fan of Weinguard.

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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by oldcomputerguy » Wed May 16, 2018 7:57 pm

teacher wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 5:14 pm
We don’t have cable or dish; OTA broadcast is sufficient for us. But, a 22 mph breeze brought down our 38 year old Sears roof antenna recently, and we are looking for a replacement that can handle 4K, Hi-VHF, UHF TV and Sirius XM Satellite Radio reception with a range close to 100 miles. Surprisingly, the old Sears antenna was adequate. The channel most watched is PBS which is broadcast in the high end of the VHS band. There are so many brands and configurations with costs ranging from less than $100 to $500.

Can anyone recommend a brand or model?
Are you actually 100 miles from the transmitting towers? If so, I'm surprised you were able to get anything at all. At the station where I worked, we considered 75-80 miles to be marginal.

I was an engineer on staff at our local ABC affiliate during the digital transition back in 2009. In the process of testing multiple antennas, we discovered that better reception resulted from simpler antennas. It seems that the very large yagi-style with boatloads of elements proved too directional to work reliably. At our studio building, we ended up putting up just a four-bay bowtie array, with three of the bowties cut away. Worked better than anything else we put up.

As for 4k, don't be fooled. Antennas don't care what the picture format is, their only job is to capture the signal from the air and feed it to the cable feeding into the house. There is no such thing as an HD or 4k antenna. (When DTV was in the process of launching, we took a laptop with a USB DTV decoder around to several community groups to give them a preview of what was coming. Our transmitter was on the air, but at that time not a lot of people had purchased either new TVs or one of those dratted converter boxes. So we fired up the laptop, plugged in the DTV demod stick, launched the included playback app, and showed folks what digital TV would look like. The antenna we used more often than not was a simple unfolded paper-clip jammed into the center hole of the demod stick's F connector.

I would be surprised if you needed a $100 antenna, although with increased distance from the towers you might need a preamplified antenna to get sufficient signal. (Do NOT buy one if you're five miles or so from the tower. Digital TV is incredibly susceptible to degradation from overload, and too much signal into the preamp's input will kill reception.) Please, please, PLEASE do not let anyone talk you into a $500 antenna. The guys who sell unsuspecting consumers "$500 high-definition digital antennas" are the Edward Jones of consumer electronics vendors. Just like with index funds and expense ratios, less is more. The least antenna you can receive sufficient signal with will be the best performer.

You mention that some of your stations are on VHF. Make sure the antenna you buy has both VHF and UHF elements. Most digital TV stations migrated to UHF during the transition, but some "flash-cut" back to their old analog channel assignments after analog TV shut down, so you'll need some VHF elements to receive them.
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KSOC
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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by KSOC » Wed May 16, 2018 8:23 pm

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 7:57 pm
teacher wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 5:14 pm
We don’t have cable or dish; OTA broadcast is sufficient for us. But, a 22 mph breeze brought down our 38 year old Sears roof antenna recently, and we are looking for a replacement that can handle 4K, Hi-VHF, UHF TV and Sirius XM Satellite Radio reception with a range close to 100 miles. Surprisingly, the old Sears antenna was adequate. The channel most watched is PBS which is broadcast in the high end of the VHS band. There are so many brands and configurations with costs ranging from less than $100 to $500.

Can anyone recommend a brand or model?



I would be surprised if you needed a $100 antenna, although with increased distance from the towers you might need a preamplified antenna to get sufficient signal. (Do NOT buy one if you're five miles or so from the tower. Digital TV is incredibly susceptible to degradation from overload, and too much signal into the preamp's input will kill reception.) Please, please, PLEASE do not let anyone talk you into a $500 antenna. The guys who sell unsuspecting consumers "$500 high-definition digital antennas" are the Edward Jones of consumer electronics vendors. Just like with index funds and expense ratios, less is more. The least antenna you can receive sufficient signal with will be the best performer.
I have the Yagi RCA ($40) that poster 123 linked. I live in the Metro Orlando area and get good coverage with it & a pre-amp while nestled in my attic about 12 ft. in height. I get Daytona channels & Ocala, sometimes even some Tampa stations depending on heavy clouds. Simple & it works.
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teacher
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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by teacher » Wed May 16, 2018 8:49 pm

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Are you actually 100 miles from the transmitting towers? If so, I'm surprised you were able to get anything at all. At the station where I worked, we considered 75-80 miles to be marginal.
We are actually about 65-70 miles from the furthest tower with good transmission, but DH was hoping to get stations further away. (Some antennas advertised are touted to transmit 150 miles....apparently, a slight exaggeration.)
As for 4k, don't be fooled. Antennas don't care what the picture format is, their only job is to capture the signal from the air and feed it to the cable feeding into the house. There is no such thing as an HD or 4k antenna.
Very useful information throughout your post, and the analogy of Vanguard/index fund simplicity vs Edward Jones contrived complexity is well taken.

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teacher
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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by teacher » Wed May 16, 2018 9:00 pm

5th_Dimension wrote:
….you already have the information you need because you had an antenna that worked. Look for an antenna that is approximately the same size and configuration to the one that fell down. The science behind antennas hasn't changed much, so don't be fooled by promises of being able to pull 100 mile stations in with an antenna the size of a pizza box.
You are correct. It is a large Yagi style antenna. The pole of the antenna we need to replace is about 17 feet tall, and it sat on top of our tri-level house. It came with a rotor box with a dial. We were hoping technology would have advanced enough so a smaller outfit would be required.

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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by bob60014 » Wed May 16, 2018 9:10 pm

No matter what you hear/read, while technology has advanced, you will not be able to go smaller. The basics of rf transmission (the TV signal) and reception (your tv) are such that "size does matter" especially at that distance and possible terrain issues. Don't scrimp, you will be disappointed.

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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer » Wed May 16, 2018 9:11 pm

i use:

https://www.channelmaster.com/Digital_H ... 4228hd.htm

i have probably a 30-40 degree cone that most of my stations come from. I point this in that general direction. they are only 40ish miles, but due to terrain, i don't have LOS..

then i also pick up a couple stations that are actually the opposite direction off of the back side... (but they are pretty close).

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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by 22twain » Wed May 16, 2018 9:46 pm

If you have no channels that are actually in the low-VHF band (2-6) (*), look for an antenna that's specialized for high-VHF (7-13) and UHF (14+). Low-VHF requires long antenna elements which increase the weight and susceptibility to wind. A good antenna of this type for long-range reception is the Winegard HD7698P. This in the largest in a series of Winegards with similar design but varying ranges. I don't know about Sirius XM, though.

Another possibility, if you don't want something as long as the HD7698P, is to use separate antennas and combine their signals. For example, the Antennacraft Y10-7-13 for high-VHF, plus the Antennas Direct 91XG for UHF. Both of them are much shorter than the HD7698P, and fairly narrow. You can "stack" them a couple of feet apart on the same mast.

(*) You may already be aware of this, but just to make sure... the channel number you see on your TV's display is usually not the one that the station actually uses. For example, my "channel 4" (low-VHF in the analog days) actually uses channel 36 (UHF) now, even though its subchannels show up as 4-1 and 4-2.
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Luke Duke
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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by Luke Duke » Thu May 17, 2018 12:22 pm

This site will tell you what kind you need and the location of nearby towers
http://www.antennaweb.org/

I bought one from this site about 12 years ago and it has always worked great.
https://www.solidsignal.com/

Alf 101
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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by Alf 101 » Thu May 17, 2018 2:23 pm

Very interesting...I hadn't really considered adding a rooftop antenna, but reading this thread has piqued my interest.

Looking at the antennaweb.org site, I see three over-the-air stations within 12-20 miles, bundling "up to 12 channels". Fair enough, though I live 60-70 miles from a much larger metropolitan area, with a far greater number of options.

A quick spin on Amazon shows antennas which claim a 150 mile range for around $30+. I could mount this on the roof, and while there are trees all around, no mountain range or Great Wall stands between the big city and me.

What am I missing here?

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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by 5th_Dimension » Thu May 17, 2018 4:56 pm

Alf 101 wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 2:23 pm
Very interesting...I hadn't really considered adding a rooftop antenna, but reading this thread has piqued my interest.

Looking at the antennaweb.org site, I see three over-the-air stations within 12-20 miles, bundling "up to 12 channels". Fair enough, though I live 60-70 miles from a much larger metropolitan area, with a far greater number of options.

A quick spin on Amazon shows antennas which claim a 150 mile range for around $30+. I could mount this on the roof, and while there are trees all around, no mountain range or Great Wall stands between the big city and me.

What am I missing here?
The thing you are missing is that there are probably some places on earth where that $30 antenna will pull in a signal from 150 miles, where the towers are on one mountaintop, and your house is on another mountaintop. But that probably doesn't describe your house :happy.

Picking an antenna that will pull in stations from 60-70 miles sometimes takes trial and error, and depends a lot on your individual topology. I have a Winegard that is about 5 feet long and I pull stations well from 45 miles. When I initially mounted it I was getting poor signal strength. I was able to raise it about 18 inches and suddenly I had very good signal strength, just that little bit made all the difference.

Good luck if you decide to try it. It can be fun when you actually pull in signals from large distances :happy.
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Chicken lady
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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by Chicken lady » Thu May 17, 2018 8:11 pm

Check out this site http://dennysantennaservice.com/. We have two different types on different properties - both manage to get strong signals.

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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by MikeWillRetire » Thu May 17, 2018 8:15 pm

I recommend checking out this guy's website. He will recommend the best antenna for you based on where you live. I live between Baltimore and DC, and he recommended a double antenna setup that could be installed in my attic!
http://www.dennysantennaservice.com/

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teacher
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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by teacher » Thu May 17, 2018 10:45 pm

I shared this thread with DH since finding an antenna replacement is really his bailiwick. He found several ideas and recommendations most helpful. He said after reading the thread, it seems all reasonable roads lead to a mid range YAGI arial close to the size we had. Channel master and Wineard seem to be the preferred brands, so we should begin our search there. Next is finding an installer. Crutchfield has no recommendation for installers, so we think we will be hard put to find one. Any ideas?

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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by bob60014 » Fri May 18, 2018 8:09 am

Just Google "TV antenna installers", using your location. Unless you have a unusual roof or cable run or multiple room cable drops its a relatively easy job, tho the 17' mast and mounting can be a slight issue. Get a few estimates with detail of what/how they will be installing, replace everything antenna to tv with new parts to avoid issues, so you can compare apples to apples.

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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by c.coyle » Fri May 18, 2018 8:41 am

The big three factors in pulling in distant TV signals are:

(1) Antenna height. For distant stations, higher is almost always better.

(2) Antenna gain. This is usually expressed in decibels ("dB", higher is generally better). Gain is mostly a function of an antenna's directional pattern. Narrower pattern = higher gain). A highly directional antenna may need a rotor if you want to receive multiple stations from different directions. If you're just looking to pull in one weak, distant station, no rotor is needed. You can just point the antenna at it and leave it alone.

(3) Feedline length and quality. The longer the run of cable (usually coaxial cable) between antenna and TV, the more signal gets lost.

Path loss can also be a factor. Objects between your antenna and the transmitter can block or weaken the signal. Buildings and trees, especially.
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5th_Dimension
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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by 5th_Dimension » Fri May 18, 2018 10:29 am

teacher wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 10:45 pm
I shared this thread with DH since finding an antenna replacement is really his bailiwick. He found several ideas and recommendations most helpful. He said after reading the thread, it seems all reasonable roads lead to a mid range YAGI arial close to the size we had. Channel master and Wineard seem to be the preferred brands, so we should begin our search there. Next is finding an installer. Crutchfield has no recommendation for installers, so we think we will be hard put to find one. Any ideas?
I would probably check with independent DirecTV/Dish installation companies. Some I have seen around here advertise antenna installs.
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ncbill
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Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Post by ncbill » Fri May 18, 2018 1:07 pm

FYI, Dish network offers an OTA antenna installation service using a powered outdoor antenna:

https://www.cordcuttersnews.com/need-an ... dish-will/

https://www.airtv.net/antenna-installation/

IIRC, it's this antenna:

https://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p ... 2259947187

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