are digital tv antenna worth it?

Discussion in 'General Tech & Gadget Forums' started by mlrz24, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. mlrz24

    mlrz24
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    I work at a retail store and i see these digital antenna on the shelf that claim to pick up local digital hd stations. I have Comcast so they supposedly went all digital effectively scrambling all stations. I was told that is a lie and not all their stations are digital and and that they only blocked QAM tuners built into smart tvs. So my question is this true and do they work? I was getting free local channels in hd with my QAM tuner before the fcc allowed them to screw their customers. I live in Western Pennsylvania if this helps.

    Thanks
     
  2. Chris Muriel

    Chris Muriel
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    Not many users of this forum will be able to help because this is a European based site and in Europe we use DVB-T rather than ATSC for our terrestrial TV.
    Try AVS forum here : AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
     
  3. washere

    washere
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    I bought lots from amazon and compared to roof aerials they were hopeless except 2 that can be used indoors or outside:

    * Philex 27780R
    for about £25 delivered. But don't lengthen the power which killed one for me (no hi-lo pass filter). But the lead to TV can be lengthened so no problem.

    * SLx DigiDome Outdoor Digital Aerial for about £38 delivered

    Unbelievably, these two performed better than my roof aerials!
     
  4. JayCee

    JayCee
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    If you frequent the Freeview section of the forum you'll see that we frown upon the term "Digital aerial" as aerials do not/cannot distinguish between analogue or digital signals...the term is just a marketing ploy used by manufacturers and retailers.
     
  5. washere

    washere
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    Some indoor aerials look digital but inside there is no IC, even those digital ones I tested that were proved useless to me. The two I mentioned proved better than my big roof aerial because of the effective design of the digital IC board inside. Like roof aerials you have to find the perfect spot. Numerous heterogeneous reviewers on Amazon, not a made up cult, had my experiences with those two too.
     
  6. JayCee

    JayCee
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    Can you stop calling them "digital"?
    They're simply set-top aerials with an RF amp built in.
     
  7. washere

    washere
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    I opened all the aerials I bought and some including hopeless ones and the two good ones I mentioned have DIGITAL IC Boards, other hopeless ones didn't and merely had a few transistors.

    You told me once what to do but your self-admittedly made up little group's invented convention in another subforum can not be forced. Now you demand again. What you want and what you get are two different things.
     
  8. JayCee

    JayCee
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    ???
     
  9. washere

    washere
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    Quite elementary:
    Genuine Digital aerials have microchips. It is not just RF amplification either as the good digital aerial microchips employ advanced adaptive filtering architectures.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  10. JayCee

    JayCee
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    My ??? Was referring to your last paragraph.
    I'm not going to carry on with this discussion as you clearly have no desire to learn.
     
  11. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Eh. The microchips are merely there to amplify the signal. In fact the ampifiers are of poor quality with relatively low signal to noise ratios. As to filtering that can easily be built into the design of the antenna to reject say 4G transmissions in the UHF band. Compared to a conventional array with a high performance mast top amplifier the performance is dire. Suggest you do some basic reading as to how tuned antenna actually work.


    Start here

    ATV`s Choice Of Aerials for digital TV

    Time you fitted a decent roof aerial then.
     
  12. washere

    washere
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    1- That is rubbish. no one knows what a manufacturer has coded in it's chips unless they publish it or use a common chip for all components which is unlikely. You have never even programmed an adaptive filter unlike me and do not know what I am talking about.

    2- You are assuming a lot in error just to attack which even a stupid teenager would understand. It is not a matter of the aerial either working or not. It is not black and white. It is a matter of how many channels are picked up and what signal strength: for the roof aerial, a proper one aligned optimum as mine, vs. the models I mentioned. You assume a lot erroneously and shamelessly as just proven merely to flame for your friend.

    3- The third stupid idea being pushed here is that "Digital Aerials" vs. Analogue refers to aerials for digital TVs versus aerials for the defunct analogue system. That is some stupid idea that only exists in the minds of those who generalise everything into black and white and false generalisations as we see above and talk nonsense as a habit flaming people out of the blue with more absurd labels.

    Genuine Digital aerials DO EXIST and whether good or hopeless in functionality, have microchips on an ICB. That is the topic and a fact acknowledged by the whole world except a few organised flamers here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  13. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    You clearly haven't a clue what you are talking about.

    A tuned aerial is designed to receive a specific sinusoidal carrier wave in a band of frequencies. In the case of digital and analogue TV in the UK this is the UHF band. After DSO and the shut down of the PAL analogue colour TV service, the upper part of the UHF spectrum above 800MHz was sold by the government for use by 4G telecommunications. All aerial are analogue devices, the information a specific UHF channel may carry in a process known as modulation can be analogue or digital. The aerial does not care only the tuner that extracts the actual data cares about this.

    In the UK the UHF band originally encompassed channels 21 to 68. Each channel is capable of carrying one single PAL channel (analogue modulation), or a lot of digital channels multiplexed onto the single carrier.

    Within the UHF band specific aerial group types may be designed to cover the entire UHF band (Wideband) or specific sections (Group Aerials). Indoor aerial are invariably wideband.

    Aerial amplifiers work equally well with Analogue or Digital signals because they amplify the carrier signal and the associated modulation effects. Digital TV signals aren't digital, the modulation is digital.

    If an indoor aerial works it's simply because you are close enough to a high power transmitter, it makes no difference at all if the signal carries a digital mux or a single Analogue channel.

    DAB in the UK requires a VHF aerial of the same band as used for the transmissions it's still an an analogue device.

    Please stop quouting Stanley Unwin type gibberish, unfortunately some of the less technical readers might actuall think you have a clue.

    Did you actually read the information from ATV aerials? This site is owned by Justin who posts about all things aerial and actually tests these things for a living. Have a look at the gain curves for uhf antenna of various types posted there.
     
  14. washere

    washere
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    No, you are clueless about digital aerials as you generalised wrongly about their open architectures and then made inflammatory wrong assumptions about me, my aerial and quoted facts out of the blue.

    Then did not reply to my 3 rebuttals of you and went off on diversions as usual again.

    This is what you guys are trying to deny by posting irrelevant things per habit to divert and flaming personal attacks and 'demanding' people accept your made up fantasy convention, aerials for digital TV vs. analog TV (stupid to begin with) , used by a few in the mentioned subforum as admitted above: Genuine Digital aerials DO EXIST and whether good or hopeless in functionality, have microchips on an ICB. That is the topic and a fact acknowledged by the whole world.


     
  15. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Suspect you are talking about a balun. A totally passive balanced to unbalanced matching transformer. This is usually a small pcb board. It has no active devices at all.

    Perhaps you might believe Digital UK - see scams

    Digital UK - Consumer Protection

     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  16. washere

    washere
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    No not all microchips are duff as you just slandered two well known makers I recommended.

    And no that's not what your friend objected to, demanding a forced censorship of an accepted global terminology to stop people mistaking different aerials for digi vs. analog (also irrelevant to here). Nor what was discussed before you attacked. So again irrelevant.

    Further no generalization is apt as local locations have unique topographies plus unique transmitter configuration. My positive experience and those of hundreds of reviewers online contradict your wild accusations against the two models I recommended personally as OP asked about Digital aerials.
     
  17. Chris Muriel

    Chris Muriel
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    I work for a "microchip" manufacturer and we do make both RF and digital ICs as well as digital to analogue and analogue to digital converters.
    I cannot see how any IC used in a consumer aerial could be anything but analogue. It has RF in and RF out at the same frequency.
    A "digital" IC would need an analogue to digital converter (ADC) and the complement (DAC) with some form of digital processing in between; ADCs and DACs at TV signal frequencies are expensive and (relatively) power hungry. You can get an RF amp IC with digital control - i.e. the gain can be controlled digitally , e.g. in 0.5 dB steps. I would call that a VGA or DCVGA (digitally controlled variable gain amplifier) but it is not truly a digital IC.
     
  18. washere

    washere
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    Commercial aerials with "microchips" (vs. the rest) are sold as Digital Aerials / Antennae. Whatever one "can not see as" proper label or others demand others to censor all together, has no bearing on the reality of the actual market terms. The UN has a committee deciding which geographical terms should be censored in favour of one party or another and for technical words apart from the patent holders not applying here, the question of censoring or boycotting the commercial reality of "Digital Aerials" as a descriptive category in order to change it is an absurd fantasy. But there are free online petition sites to start personal campaigns and crusades, including those by people who can not bear current global market terms.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  19. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    What the devil are you talking about a microchip is a large scale integrated circuit. Examples are the cpu found in computers and most kit these days including Washing Machines, Fridges PVR's etc. They require a power source, an aerial does not.

    Basically shall I report you to DTG.CO.UK for perpertuating a scam that has made millions for unscrupulous aerial fitters usually selling perfectly normal, generally wideband, poor quality yagi arrays. Most of which don't even have a balun fitted.

    Why would a so called digital aerial need a power supply. The truth is that indoor aerials will often only work if they have a powered amplifier to attempt to replace the large attenuation caused by walls/roofs etc. The same would apply to the same strength analogue equivalent transmissions.

    Be interested to see if you can come up with a definition for your so called world wide digital aerials. There is not and never has been a digital aerial/antenna. It is possible to create a digital amplifier which is in itself a misnomer, it's properly called a repeater. It simply amplifies the incoming square wave by recreating the original square wave cleaning up the edges and outputting at a higher peak level. You will only find these on long distance fibre optic connections. You cannot broadcast a digital signal. it needs a high frequency analog carrier.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  20. washere

    washere
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    Hilarious. Yes report me for saying the only 2 aerials I found not to be hopeless were those two as do countless others, or whatever else you like. If you are so hot and bothered and afraid then you should not be in the kitchen. Listen carefully:

    i- They are selling microchipped aerials as digital aerials, that is THE reality all around the world

    ii- I don't give a damn what they call it

    iii- I don't give a damn what you want it to be called

    iv- what I do mind is:

    1) someone coming in here, telling me a few of his pals in another subforum have decided what this category of products should not be called including by me

    2) Then posting again repeating his demand in no uncertain terms personally from me

    3) Then his mate suddenly attacking me personally with a flame out of the blue and when he gets stuck trying to divert by numerous subjects

    4) Repeating his cohort's demand that I should abandon using a global term used in the reality of commercial world backed with more personal attacks


    Such attacks and ordering people about as seen in black and white above addressed out of the blue to people is not from a proper upbringing or decent behaviour for a man.
     
  21. JayCee

    JayCee
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    Just to refresh your obviously flawed memory...

    "Can you stop calling them "Digital"?

    Was my request, hardly a "demand"
     
  22. madandyc

    madandyc
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    This will make you laugh, I have just bought freeview having had virgin before. I bought the Telecam 2000. Good aerial, but like you, every time a bus or lorry went pass, the picture either skipped or froze. Then I rememberd my brother had put something behind his aerial, so I contacted him and found out is was a wok.
    Into the kitchen I went, I didn't have a wok, but found an old frying pan. I wedged it up behind the aerial and hey presto, I have been watching all through the rush hour, just one little skip so far:)
     

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