Outside TV Antennae

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Old 09-11-16, 01:11 PM
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Outside TV Antennae

Getting ready to mount an outdoor antennae to receive local channels after finding that the indoor Mohu Leaf isn't going to hack it. I think this is due to the radiant barrier. I went outside and disconnected Verizon Fios and connected the Leaf and held it up in various places in the air about 9 feet off the ground. My downstairs TV was excellent but the upstairs was very poor even with the included Leaf amplifier. Local ABC affiliate which is WFAA in Dallas did not come in at all and other locals pixelated badly. UHF channels were pretty good. All the channels I care about are 33 miles away or less.

My questions are:

Would a proper exterior antennae work any better than the Leaf did?

Would mounting on the roof make that much of a difference? A couple of my trees are obstructing it and obstructed the Leaf as well.

Antennae recommendations?

One confounding factor not mentioned is that when I connected the Leaf directly to the TV's the downstairs was much better than the upstairs. My theory is that the upstairs TV was only about 13 feet away from the radiant barrier and the downstairs was about 23 feet away.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Barry
 
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Old 09-11-16, 03:11 PM
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A plain old cheap rabbit ear antenna will usually work better than any of the gimmick antennas. I use rabbit ears and have tried one of the gimmick antennas similar to the leaf and rabbit ears wins hands down. Of course I found center of the room was best setting on a small table elevated to about five feet was best. Not hard with my room layout but if you find location not to your liking an outside antenna either in an attic or outside may be best.

You may also find a rotator a must for an outside antenna. I have to change the direction of my rabbit ears depending on the station even though I'm in a major metropolitan area.

Final note: Antennas like the Leaf don't seem to be large enough to have the longer elements for VHF but despite early plans for digital TV to be all UHF some stations were eventually allowed to remain VHF. True rabbit ears have both UHF and VHF elements.
 
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Old 09-11-16, 03:42 PM
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Thanks Ray. Longer elements on a dedicated outside antennae might just do the trick.

I've run into another issue as well. The single coax cable from Verizon/Frontier contains TV and internet. I intend to keep the internet and cancel TV. How do I connect the antennae to the coax leading to my TV's without losing the internet connection?
 
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Old 09-11-16, 08:24 PM
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The simplest, albeit perhaps not the easiest, is to open the FiOS ONT (Optical Network Terminal) box and disconnect the coaxial cable. Also disconnect the coax from the the Verizon-supplied modem/router. Then connect a Cat. 5e Ethernet cable from the Ethernet jack in the ONT to the Ethernet jack on the modem/router.

OR, run new coaxial cable from the antenna to the television(s) using the necessary splitters and amplifiers.

OR, disconnect the coax running to the television(s) at the modem/router tee connector and connect this (the television cabling) to the antenna.

Which method you need to use depends upon where the modem/router is located with respect to the ONT. Do you also have a set-top box for changing the television channels? That will not be needed with an antenna and don't forget to cancel the television programming through Verizon as well as returning the STBs if you have them.
 
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Old 09-13-16, 06:08 AM
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Thanks Furd! I'll look into these options.
 
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Old 09-13-16, 06:26 PM
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Have you brought the upstairs TV downstairs next to the downstairs TV for a test or trial? The upstairs TV might not have performed well simply because it was less sensitive.

The rabbit ears themselves are the VHF elements. A rabbit ears antenna unit usually has a ring or bowtie or other element less than a foot in size for UHF.
 
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Old 09-13-16, 07:05 PM
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Yes, as Allan said the rabbit ears are the VHF elements. I should have made clear I was referring to an antenna with both VHF and UHF elements made in the style of rabbit ears antennas.
 
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