(1) Why is this item described as both refurbished and new in the specs?
(2) I’m still using regular rabbit ears because I assumed the HD antenna concept is just a scam and that there is no difference between regular and HD antennas. This is an extrapolation from an article I read quite a few years ago. Am I wrong?
You’re not wrong. There are different types of antennas, and sizes, for different types of radio signals. But it just worked out accidentally that old style rabbit ears, even from the 1950s and 1960s, are just about an exact match for the current US digital TV broadcast signals. (This is true, this is not a joke.)
Old rabbit ears can be finicky to set up and get set in the right direction, but so can any new type antenna supposedly made for the current digital signals.
Also, old style outdoor roof mounted antennas that are shaped something like a flat Christmas tree are good for current digital TV signals.
@ojohn@Pamela A big difference between old antennas and “digital” antennas is that OTA television stations in the U.S. no longer broadcast in the VHF band, where channels up through 13 used to be. Now they are almost all in the UHF band, and use “virtual channels” to show up as channels 13 and below.
This means you can probably get by with an antenna with smaller element. Your bunny ears probably also include a UHF coil. That coil is probably doing more of the heavy-lifting for you.
But if it’s working for you, don’t mess with it!
@ojohn@Pamela Those rooftop antennas are called Yagi arrays! The longer, more widely spaced elements are for the lower VHF band, and the smaller, more closely spaced ones are for UHF, higher up on the band. The length of the element is proportional to the wavelength of the desired signal.
No mileage rating? Seems like it would be hard to put in a window too because of the shape. I’ll stick with my 75mi flat antennae that can hide behind the blinds in the window and gets most of my channels okay.
When an antenna signal is amplified it increases the signal strength of the noise as well as the signal for your station. Some work better than others and depending upon where you live you might get better reception without using the amplifier.
@tkocka the situation where (distribution) amplifiers make sense?
When the feed (presumably from a roof top antenna) is respectably strong but you wish to share that feed across multiple devices.
Never use plain old non-powered splitters unless you can feel the TV tower making the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
Digital TV can be persnickety. There’s a very fine line where attempting to amplify a marginal signal actually helps. You are correct, the digital artifact noise on a marginal channel can become irritating.
The “good” thing about digital tho, is generally you either receive the exact quality of image being broadcast or you don’t. No snowy images like in the old analog days.
Now if we could just convince local stations to stop splitting their assigned frequency into so many sub-channels that they become un-watchable on a screen bigger than 24 inches. Compression can only do so much… and then you end up with an image far worse than the old 240 line analog days.
We have one station that has 12 sub-channels. That’s right, channels 15.1 thru 15.12. Madness.
I purchased 3 of them to construct a 3 phase VHF/UHF antenna array and will run them into a signal combiner to see if I can track aircraft on my Software-defined radio,
or maybe to watch the NSA watch me, I haven’t decided yet.
Just got this today and immediately installed it. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that I picked up several more stations than I ever have before with antennas costing 3 times the money. And the channels were all crystal clear. I wish I could order a second one for my other tv. Perhaps it will be offered again soon.
The “Terk” in the name of this product is not to be confused with the character, “Turk,” from the well-liked TV show, “Scrubs.” The show first appeared on the television network, NBC–a network you will be able to enjoy with this HDTV Antenna. After the big heads at NBC called it quits on the show in 2008 (in the midst of a writer’s strike), the network execs at ABC took on the final two seasons of the medical comedy-drama from 2009-2010. Coincidentally, ABC is another television network you are able to enjoy with your HDTV Antenna.
Loved the cable sports rant, couldn’t have said it better. My husband and I just basically stopped watching until my beautiful Aunt offered up her cable info so we can stream. They seriously need to get with the times, MLB especially, considering they are hurting for support and watchers, dumb shits.
As for the antenna, nothing that small or compact will work if your living in the boonies like us, but would probably work for city dwellers.
I also got mine today, two of them (bought one for a friend as well). Neither work worth a damn, no channels at all on bypass, only 10 channels on “both” setting and the channels are pixelated as hell and really are completely unwatchable. As I read over I should also mention that only one of the antenna’s give channels on both setting, the other one gives no channels at all. Complete garbage.
edit: I should mention that I had a amazon basics 30 mile antenna (I live 15 miles outside of downtime Raleigh NC) which gave me access to over 30 channels, 20 or so of them completely watchable. So these antennas are either garbage or I got a couple that are not functional.
@gominosensei This is just an antenna. You will need a tuner on your device. What channels you’ll receive is dependent upon what is being broadcast over-the-air in your area and whether the signals are strong enough to pick up.
@gominosensei Or that. Yeah, you can probably score an old over-air tuner for cheap, but the interfaces suck on those. There’s gotta be a better way to do it that I don’t know about but some kind soul will jump in and save the day…
@gominosensei@highonpez As far as I can tell, the interfaces still suck on anything under a couple hundred, but there are folks that can help if you get the one they have. I have a couple old Radio Shack ones bought at the end of life fire-sale ($80 for a $250 tuner), but this is what I have been buying and/or recommending lately:
I cannot tell if the specific antenna being sold here today is good for FM radio use. The US FM radio band is between the VHF and UHF bands for TV. Today’s antenna claims it is amplified, for TV, and that should include the TV VHF and UHF bands, but it may not include the FM radio band in the amplification or it might be optimized for the TV bands only. (I think if it was good for FM radio it would say so.) This same company, Terk, makes amplified antennas specifically for FM radio, and those have basically good reviews over many years.
@ojohn@southpaw@swahrhaftig iirc the FM radio band sits between channels 6 and 7 on the vhf band. Since digital TV uses uhf and emulates vhf channels using virtual channels, I don’t think many modern antennas for digital TV are going to do much for the vhf band. Especially not something compact like this.
As mentioned before, most new HDTVs have an antenna incorporated internal to the housing, but they do have a hook-up for an external (outdoor) antenna, for people who live in fringe coverage areas…These will also work to provide FM reception if connected to your antenna port on an AV receiver.
@Brasssong I have literally never encountered a television receiver with the antenna built into the inside of the housing, and I’ve been working on them for 20 years! Lots of portable TVs and older tabletop CRTs of course had hardwired antennas, but I’ve never seen a company hide the antenna completely inside the set, and I have my doubts such an antenna would be effective, especially on a non-portable (read: stationary) set.
@Brasssong@PooltoyWolf Yup, all I’ve ever seen were built-in rabbit ears and that’s only in TVs before the FCC killed NTSC broadcasts. I just bought a new Samsung 75" smart HDTV last week and a quick check of the specs show… Wifi? Check. Bluetooth? Check. Antenna? NOPE. If anything had the space and was begging to have an integrated internal HDTV antenna, this would be it, but I understand why it isn’t.
The pain of living in an area with large buildings and mature trees blocking the broadcast TV signals. Oh, well. Having to choose what to watch instead of mindlessly having the TV on a channel is better for my mental well being.