I need to get a new TV and I don't have (or want) cable. So I'd like to know which brands/models of 27" to 32" conventional TV's work well with an indoor antenna. My old TV (with a mechanical tuner) got great reception. A Sony we tried failed miserably (it generated so much self interference that most stations were unwatchable. And it affected nearby TV's also.)
A few years back i bought a very cheap Daewoo 19" which was to be used with only the rabbit ears. When i took the back off, i was surprised to see a rf gain control,i cranked that wide open and it made a noticeable difference.
Consumer Reports used to find that Toshibas had better than average tuners, but in their review in the current Dec. 2005 issue they rated them below average in this respect, and the best-rated tuners were with Sony and Panasonic CRT and plasma TVs (also a Pioneer plasma).
Maybe you need to buy a Panasonic VCR to use its tuner.
I could be wrong but it seems that modern TV receivers are rather insensitive as the manufacturers seem to think that all of us have cable. You might have to invest in a good, low-noise pre-amp. As to sensitivity specs, I have no idea how you can get them.
I've heard that the smaller ones, probably 27-32" or under, are now made by nobody's favorite, Orion.
A friend of mine found that a Panasonic VCR tuner is definitely better than those in several brands of $99 20" TVs. OTOH my old JVC 4600U S-VHS VCR picks up ch. 4, located 120 miles away, better than my Panasonic VCR does.
Might want to stay away from Panasonic. I will never purchase another video product with a Panasonic tuner in it, at least not if I ever might have an occasion to use an antenna with it. They have performed miserably at the low end of the VHF band. One local station is on channel 2 (NBC) -- it snaps, crackles and pops _constantly_ and loudly on the Panasonic tuners, even during the clearest of days. There is no hope of recording any NBC programs using an antenna with the Panasonic VCR's.
Dunno bout Phillips' latest VCR's or TV's, but the Phillips tuner in my ATI All-in-Wonder 9800 Pro card sucks. It has a hard time locking onto channel
2, and when it manages to, there's tons of video noise. Thanks a lot, ATI!
I haven't gotten the above results with any other brand of VCR or TV, even the cheapies. FWIW, I live about 30 miles from the towers and I have a good fringe antenna with RG-6 runs. My Sony WEGA and VCR tuners have the best reception of any I've used here. Hardly ever a hint of audio noise on channel 2 and the pix is great. From my experience, Sony is a safe bet for best pix reproduction and best tuners. The Sony audio portables (Walkman) also have the best reception of any brand I've tried. This tells me that Sony pays more attention to tuner design than most brands. Sorry you got such a raw deal with your Sony, dunno what happened there, but they've worked splendidly for me.
Channel 2 NBC? Are you in Central Florida? I have all kinds of weird problems with channel 2.. doesn't matter what tv vcr or tuner I use. There is always sort of a double picture. I've experienced at friends houses also. Some times it seperates so bad you can't stand to watch it. It is very odd because the audio will be perfect but the video is awful..
Sounds like ghosting. You might try a variable attenuator; hook it up to an A-B switch box so you won't have to readjust it everytime you change from channel 2. Yes, every device you put in the line, including switch boxes, causes signal loss (exception being in-line amps) and most introduce noise. But if your ghosting problem is due to too great a signal strength, perhaps the device-induced losses won't affect the other channels.
Alternatively, maybe there are nearby objects (e.g., tall, metal warehouse or shed) which could be delivering a reflected signal, resulting in the ghosting.
In case the OP is not familiar with ghosting (or Google, he could look it up); it's a function of a reflected TV signal arriving at the antenna, some number of milliseconds after the direct signal. IOW, the exact signal arriving at the antenna, slightly delayed in time from the direct signal. The 'ghost' is that signal dispayed on your TV screen. You can actually measure the exact interval of reflected to direct signal by the percentage of screen real estate between the two, although that's only of academic interest. What's important is that the display scans the reflection slightly later than the direct one, causing it to appear at some distance to the right. In more severe cases, the sound is also affected, especially on various scenes.
What he needs is some way to either eliminate the reflected (or direct?) signal...or to make one or the other so much stronger that it is no longer a problem. A highly directional antenna is usually the only way to do so (aim the antenna so that the ghost disapears), but in many applications is still not do-able.
I had a bad ghost on local channels last week which turned out to be caused by an unterminated output on my distribution system.
The problem with the Sony was not ghosting. The Sony was generating so much self interference (probably from its switching supply) that with an indoor antenna (not cable) every station showed swirly lines AND NEARBY TV's SHOWED THE SAME INTERFERENCE WHENEVER THE SONY WAS ON!
I was a video engineer for many years. 5 years ago I set up a very fussy client with a highly directional Yagi on a rotor in her attic. Ran RG-6 inside her wall and the picture absolutely was the best I've ever seen outside of of the line monitors at the station. Blew my cable away completely. We're near Chicago and (also weirdly) get a lot of ghosting on 2 and 7. She had a 36" Sony. All of course before HDTV. Actually I have another client with HDTV that she runs off a rabbit ears! What a wastel! I'm still talking to her. Richard
WESH Chan. 2 and WACX Chan. 55 broadcast from a different location from, the other Orlando channels, in Orange City, due North of Orlando.
Chan. 2 is actually licensed to Daytona Beach, so that location puts a good signal into both Daytona and Orlando. (It was the only channel that came in clear with rabbit ears when I lived just north of Daytona.)
Chan 6, 9, and most of the UHFs and FM stations broadcast from a tower farm due East of Orlando, along Hwy. 50, halfway to the coast.
If you're in the Orlando area, you have to re-orient your antenna to get chan. 2 without ghosts (then 6 & 9 will come in poorly). I have a rotor on my rooftop antenna, but I've seen quite a few older homes in the metro Orlando area with an "area special" antenna - separate Chan. 2 Yagi pointed at Chan. 2, and a smaller antenna for 6, 9, & UHF pointed at the main transmission site. I don't know if the area
specials are available any more. If you live farther out, the spacing between the transmitter sites becomes inconsequential as far as aiming your antenna, but you may be nearer or farther from one site than the other.
All of the DTV channels that claim to be anywhere near central Florida are/will be broadcasting from the site east of Orlando (several new towers were added there about 2 years ago) so the multiple- transmitter-location problems will go away when you upgrade to HDTV.