Are TV antennas a fraud ?

Thread Starter

Externet

Joined Nov 29, 2005
1,605
Hi.
The television antennas I see advertised for sale seem not better than a coat hanger, do you share the opinion ?
Compared four of those flat plastic and two longish ones with a piece of wire and the wire performs better.
Made an antenna for my roof and is receiving marginally what other modern 'ripoffs' preamplified-and-not receive nothing. The claims for miles has always been stupid, but now it is idiotic. HDTV, 4K, digital...
Have you ever seen a TV antenna frequency response (gain) plot ?
Have you ever seen a TV antenna impedance vs. frequency plot ?

----> https://www.ebay.com/itm/990-Miles-...131277&hash=item1f0fc95a6b:g:iKoAAOSwSB1eumgM

There is no aperture/exposure/area in most of these to consider they could perform. The ones with gain figures claim around 30 dB. Directionality claims are absurd. It is all about selling, and if one gets returned, there is 10 that did not, representing still good business :(
What would you install if needed one on your roof ?
 

dendad

Joined Feb 20, 2016
3,835
That SHOULD work better than an old coat hanger as it is an ACTIVE antenna. This has an amplifier at the antenna.
Still, it is not too expensive so why not give it a go?

I use an antenna with multiple elements for my TV.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,387
Price is right and it seems to have a rotator? We all know a bigger antenna gives a better signal even with an active antenna. I assume this is for the newer transmission frequencies due to its size.

This may be puffery and sure looks "photoshopped" to me... Looks pretty damn big but it's only 24" long. But, Hey, the price is right and Amazon is pretty lenient on refunds within 30 days. Reminds me of the antennas they used to put on vans back in the 70s. Claims <1.5 SWR across a huge bandwidth which is utter BS unless it also has a builtin auto-tuner.
1611640063997.png
I've been considering one myself since cable has dropped all of the "local" transmitters and they are ~90 miles from me. So tell us if it works!

EDIT: Ooops... Not from Amazon and apparently shipped from china so not refundable. Caveat Emptor! I'd be checking out what Bezos is selling...
 
Last edited:

Tesla23

Joined May 10, 2009
442
What would you install if needed one on your roof ?
Often the best advice is to check out the neighbors - if there's a range of antennas go door knocking and ask what their reception is like.

If you're in a fringe area, don't forget that signal strength will increase with height (in flattish terrain, by 6dB for doubling the height).
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,376
Hi.
The television antennas I see advertised for sale seem not better than a coat hanger, do you share the opinion ?
Compared four of those flat plastic and two longish ones with a piece of wire and the wire performs better.
Made an antenna for my roof and is receiving marginally what other modern 'ripoffs' preamplified-and-not receive nothing. The claims for miles has always been stupid, but now it is idiotic. HDTV, 4K, digital...
Have you ever seen a TV antenna frequency response (gain) plot ?
Have you ever seen a TV antenna impedance vs. frequency plot ?

----> https://www.ebay.com/itm/990-Miles-...131277&hash=item1f0fc95a6b:g:iKoAAOSwSB1eumgM

There is no aperture/exposure/area in most of these to consider they could perform. The ones with gain figures claim around 30 dB. Directionality claims are absurd. It is all about selling, and if one gets returned, there is 10 that did not, representing still good business :(
What would you install if needed one on your roof ?
No, real antennas are not a fraud.
https://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/...oshack-vu-190-tv-antenna.161631/#post-1414588
 

timm27

Joined Dec 11, 2020
3
Essentially, Antenna gain comes from reducing the beamwidth, so if you have a very high gain antenna you do have to align it more carefully. The extreme case, of course, is a satellite dish which if 'off-beam' by as little as one degree will pick up nothing from the satellite intended. I'm in the UK and by far the most common antennas are Yagi style antennas like the Xtreme Signal HDB91 on the 'SolidSignal' web page. These are a bit more expensive than I'd expect to pay here, but could well be better constructed.

A mast head amplifier (low noise amplifier) will help to counteract the cable loss from the antenna to the television set or video/dvd recorder, or to the distribution amplifier, but otherwise don't do a lot to improve the signal you receive, and if you are in a high interference area - from Ham, mobile or police radio base stations might sometimes make things a bit worse.

If you are replacing an older antenna you should change the feed cable as well - especially if you get a lot of rain or snow in your locality. Corrosion is one factor that will degrade any outdoor antenna and will treat your feeder as a drain! I have seen a really nicely designed antenna which has horribly corroded terminals for the down-link and the corrosion products had affected several feet of the cable. If your installer is a friendly guy he will probably try to sell you a new feeder - he probably isn't trying to gouge you but make sure you ask him the cost for doing this and do ask if he can fill the connector box with silicon jelly and tape it with amalgamating tape.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,088
I have this antenna: https://winegard.com/products/hdtv-digital-antennas/outdoor-antennas/flatwave/flatwave-air

Is says 60 mile range. According to Google, I am about 50 miles from the broadcast antennas in Seven Hills, OH. It works. I am also in the middle of a forest. Threes make a difference. Winter reception is always good. Summer, is still good, but I occasionally need to turn it slightly to get better reception. I get all four major networks and a lot of subchannels.
 

bertus

Joined Apr 5, 2008
21,361
Hello,

As I said before, VHF and UHF are line of sight propagation.
When you mount the antenna on a high place, you can look further, so have a larger range.
The higher the antenna mount, the wider the range.

bertus
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,376
Hello,

As I said before, VHF and UHF are line of sight propagation.
When you mount the antenna on a high place, you can look further, so have a larger range.
The higher the antenna mount, the wider the range.

bertus
Yea, make the airplanes go around the antenna. :eek:
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,088
Hello,

As I said before, VHF and UHF are line of sight propagation.
When you mount the antenna on a high place, you can look further, so have a larger range.
The higher the antenna mount, the wider the range.

bertus
You mean the 900 mile range might be an exaggeration on Earth? Didn't you see the footnote? That was line of sight from space station to space station. ( ;) )
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,376
Last edited:

Thread Starter

Externet

Joined Nov 29, 2005
1,605
Why would anybody buy a cheeep Chinese TV antenna from a new company that tells lies in their ads?
Only because it is cheeep?
Because I did not win the lottery and the antennas made in Switzerland you like me to buy are too expensive for my retirement income. So tell us your gold plated antennas are made by a Patek Philippe jeweler on weekends .
Sick of your permanent cheeep posts. You can buy German, you buy such. There is nothing better for you to say in the technical topic, then say nothing.

Now tell how to make or Swiss buy a 10dB gain omnidirectional TV antenna 50 to 700MHz. Make sure the 'Made in China' sticker has not been removed.
 
Top