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Best HD Antenna for Orlando Area?

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Old 12-10-2009, 09:38 PM   #1
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Default Best HD Antenna for Orlando Area?

Fellow Forum Members,
I live in the Orlando area. I have tried both the Channel Master Stealth and the Antennas Direct C2 antenna and have returned both of them because of horrible results.

Can anyone out there recommend an omni directional HD antenna that provides excellent LONG RANGE UHF and VHF reception for capturing Free Over the Air signals in the Orlando area?

My objective is to get ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and PBS channels only using a single exterior Omni Directional HD antenna. Neither of the last two antennas I tried out were able to capture all of these channels successfully. If I got ABC, the other networks would fall out of reception range. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:04 AM   #2
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Your zip code would be helpful, but NBC is broadcasting on VHF 11, so you will need a VHF. The rest of the channels are broadcasting on UHF. Orlando stations are using some decent steel (towers of over 1,600 feet) so reception should be good. I would recommend an outside antenna, or at least one in the attic. Don't get an antenna that sits in the house. Send us your Zip Code for more information.
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:30 AM   #3
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The reason why you are having poor results is due to the fact that in order to get good reception, you will need a good UHF / VHF antenna and not just a omnidirectional antenna.

You will also need to point that antenna in the proper direction and if there is anything 3 or more stories between you and the transmit antenna' - it will not receive that signal. So basically, if you are a apartment dweller - you will not get reception if you live on the wrong side of the building. Or if you live next to a large building, the building will block your signal.

Please post a co ordinate - for your location and not just part of a TV fool report. The co ordinates are located next to the antenna height desired in the report.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:44 AM   #4
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There is NO SUCH THING as a LONG RANGE omni-directional antenna. In general, an omni might be okay for 10 miles as long as you don't have multi-path. An omni receives equally poorly in all directions.

If your location is in the "middle" of the towers (unlikely for the Orlando area since the towers are all over towards Titusville), then your best bet is a "multi-directional" antenna with features based on your particular location.

Notice a pattern in the responses? We need your exact location to provide accurate advice.
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post
Your zip code would be helpful, but NBC is broadcasting on VHF 11, so you will need a VHF. The rest of the channels are broadcasting on UHF. Orlando stations are using some decent steel (towers of over 1,600 feet) so reception should be good. I would recommend an outside antenna, or at least one in the attic. Don't get an antenna that sits in the house. Send us your Zip Code for more information.

Thanks to all for their post. Wally my zip code is 32808. I can say as a fact that NBC (known as WESH here in Orlando) is the worst station for successful reception. At first this did not make sense to me because the WESH TV station is right next to the I4 highway some 5 miles away from my house. It is only after some research that I found out the WESH TV broadcast towers are actually located in Bithlo, which is close to 40 miles away from my house. I'm sure the fact that WESH TV broadcasts on VHF 11 does not help either.

From what I gather from both posts I need a UHF / VHF antenna and not just a omnidirectional antenna. Isn't there an antenna for sale in the market that is capable of VHF 11 / UHF reception and omnidirectional all in one device?

Currently I am researching the TERK FDTVO flat digital omni-directional outdoor antenna. Its product description mentions that it supports all digital and analog frequencies including VHF and UHF. (Sorry, I can't post a link to this TERK antenna model because this forum won't let me post a link until I make 5 posts). Is this antenna a good option to consider?

Last edited by binar01011; 12-11-2009 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by projectsho89 View Post
There is NO SUCH THING as a LONG RANGE omni-directional antenna. In general, an omni might be okay for 10 miles as long as you don't have multi-path. An omni receives equally poorly in all directions.

If your location is in the "middle" of the towers (unlikely for the Orlando area since the towers are all over towards Titusville), then your best bet is a "multi-directional" antenna with features based on your particular location.

Notice a pattern in the responses? We need your exact location to provide accurate advice.
Projectsho89,
Thanks for the post. You mention that, "There is NO SUCH THING as a LONG RANGE omni-directional antenna". I'm a newbie to this forum and antennas as well. I was under the impression that "Omnidirecitonal" and "Multi-Directional" was interchangeable terminology. My goal is to buy an antenna that requires no exact positioning to get the best reception. This is why I was using the term "Omnidirectional". As for LONG RANGE. I was using this terminology because I need an antenna that can get reception from Bithlo. Any help you can provide as to choosing the best antenna for my sitiuation will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 12-11-2009, 12:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binar01011 View Post
My zip code is 32808. From what I gather from both posts I need a UHF / VHF antenna and not just a omnidirectional antenna.
Almost all of your stations are between 84 and 93 degrees.

An Antennacraft HBU-22 or Winegard HD7694P would work fine for all but ION and a handful of low power stations.
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
I was under the impression that "Omnidirecitonal" and "Multi-Directional" was interchangeable terminology.
A "Multi-Directional" antenna usually refers to one that is generous with its aiming characteristics. Since you mention you tried the C2 (which would have been expected to be an excellent choice for all except WESH), here's the polar plot for it:

You can see that it has a very generous front lobe meaning that the loops should be pointed towards the transmitter.

I couldn't find anything resembling performance data for the CM3010.

From the zip code you gave, you're around 20-25 miles from the Biltho antenna farm. The HBU22 should do fine as TG suggested.

Do not use an amplified antenna as it will likely overload from several low power stations in your back yard.
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:23 PM   #9
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Zip Codes are practically worthless in a urban zone due to the fact that we cannot look at the FM interference in your area.

Things such as cop shops, radio stations, cell towers, power plants - you name it - it will interfere with your signal.

As I predicted gloom and doom for people living in Florida 7 months ago, when signals were strong and all you needed was a good set of rabbit ears to pick up the VHF, now that the Tropo is gone, and you can't even get a whif of a signal 40 miles away with anything less than a adequate sized antenna, people will be back asking - why doesn't my antenna work?

The real answer is to use a large enough antenna that it will receive as much signal as possible. I would suggest a Winegard 7698P and no pre amplifier then to use a smaller antenna, have poor results and then have to use a pre amplifier to compensate for a lack of antenna.

The job of a RF Engineer is to protect what little signal you have by designing a set up that will work in all weather conditions and all times of the year and not just suggest the smallest / cheapest antenna they think will work for your situation.

I would honestly look at the HBU 22 but I wouldn't and I couldn't guarantee that it would work for your situation without a street level address. No address, no advice!

One thing that no one asked is what height you wished to mount this antenna. I guess everyone is slipping in the holiday spirit and is forgetting the basic's of reception again.
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