Which Indoor antenna is the best?

Apologies for being off topic, but I thought people here may know the answer to the question "Which indoor antenna is best?" Especially, with the upcoming change to Digital Only

I'm not talking preference here, but conclusions based upon comparison data.

Located in the Bay Area, downtown San Jose, CA, fourth Floor, I would expect to receive quite few stations. True for analog, Not true for Digital.

For example, right now I have two data points: Terk unknown model with amplifier [bowtie on its side shape] vs Radio Shack unknown model with amplifier [rabbit ears and an adjustable fixed radius loop in the middle] both have variable gain.

First checking with analog reception as the indicator.

1) Snow bad. 2) Excessive ghosts bad. 3) Fading will lose lock and give drop outs

Using just analog reception, the Terk won hands down, both in the VHF and the UHF frequencies for the following example channels 2, 4, 5, 7,

20, 32, 54, 65 [there are others]

The RS antenna could barely, if at all, receive 2,4,5,gave unacceptable performance Channel 7, 20, 32, 65. ok 54. Whereas the Terk could give at least BW reception on 2, 4 color on 5, acceptable ch 7, 20, and excellent quality viewing on 32, 54, 65.

Digital reception pretty much matched the analog reception using the digital converter that was the highly rated inexpensive ?? big buttons, can stand up on side.

For Digital, RS could only pick up Spanish stations and 54.1,2, the antenna gave really poor performance.

Using the Terk quite a few digital stations come through, but their constant drop out rate is very frustrating, since the sound track is lost, usually at a critical point in the dialogue, and the screen goes to a very distracting blank screen with redundant text information, "loss of transmission" as if you couldn't tell.

It appears I'm located at a marginal spot in San Jose and if I could just pick up a few more dB to capture the digital stations, I'd be done. Thus, the question: which antenna of the myriad out there is best? Should I get a multi-element outdoor antenna and mount it on a post above the TV? Is that better than amplified single element?


Reply to
Robert Macy
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You can induce more voltage above the noise by the use of more tuned elements in the signal path. The amplified single element design is of limited help. The amplifier can overcome coaxial losses but isn't smart enough to be able to amplify the miniscule desired signal while ignoring the noise.

Your best bet by a large margin is to get any type of antenna outside. The best being a directional outside antenna array. If you have a long run of coax then you should use a at the antenna amplifier.

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There is a lot more than that stuff. An indoor multielement is going to give more gain and multipath rejection. It seems lower frequency channels may be used in HDTV, and that requirs a large multielement outside antenna to be most efficienct. if its only UHF than the smaller antennas will work, and a multielement is going to be superior. Most any antenna need rotated to get the best reception. There are no true all directional antennas except vertical.

I bought a $5 RCA UHF VHF antenna at Dollar store and works great for local 35 mile reception. Rabbit ears and loop for me.

I would like to snoop for long range some day.


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Go here:

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to find which direction(s) and what distances the stations are from your location. It also offers a "type of antenna" suggestion.

If all the stations are in one direction, Radio Shack has a $35 UHF antenna that is designed for outdoor use but can be placed in a closet or behind a screen and pointed in the right direction.

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I'm in Atlanta, GA, and currently get about 20 channels with this antenna in the basement (yes, below ground level) but angled up about15 degrees and pointed in the direction of most of the TV broadcast towers.


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Thank you for the site to show Stations. The list is better than the one at ??.org

And thank you for providing the URL to the antenna. It looks like it might have high enough gain to work. Plus, as I take back the amplifier RS Antenna I can pick up this one!


Reply to
Robert Macy

It's actually been discussed here several times. Since you're **already** at Google (instead of using a real Usenet newsreader), you *could* have Googled it yourself.

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Robert Macy wrote:

You *may* be screwed.

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...and from further up that thread:

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Thank you for the URL's

This search has taken place over several weeks including googling, however I found very little 'useful' information, thus I asked here.

From your last URL, by far and above anything I found, was an excellent article on constructing an 'attic antenna'.

Thanks again.

However, I am still concerned that the results from comparing my two antennas are so different than several [and I mean several] lists showing comparisons of those two antennas.


Reply to
Robert Macy

Robert Macy Inscribed thus:

As you have discovered playing about with the antenna you have is not an exact science ! You can get totally different results from the same antenna just by moving it a very short distance ! I have found, where I live, that moving the antenna 2 feet forward gives a better signal but moving it a foot to the side is even better.

Good luck with your experiments. Its worth it for a better TV picture.

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