Notices

What is the best tv antenna?

Old 02-25-2013, 05:27 AM
  #1  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Morehead City, NC / Apex, NC / Jonas Ridge, NC
Posts: 442
Default What is the best tv antenna?

What would be the best tv antenna to put on boat? All I want is the
local channels in the Morehead City, NC area.
neverenoughfishin is offline  
Old 02-25-2013, 06:25 AM
  #2  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Elizabeth, Pa USA
Posts: 491
Default

Are you going to be moving or just sitting at the dock? If you are going to be sitting at the dock, then just get a stationary TV antenna from KVH, or another company that sells satellite tv receivers. If you are going to be on the move, one of the best low priced units is the KVH M1.

Keith
threeriversmarine is offline  
Old 02-25-2013, 06:31 AM
  #3  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Morehead City, NC / Apex, NC / Jonas Ridge, NC
Posts: 442
Default

Thanks Keith
neverenoughfishin is offline  
Old 02-25-2013, 07:00 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 132
Default

hey-
for local reception over the air waves try an cheap antenna like the Shakespeare 2030 for under $200.

Mount this as high as possible. It has an amplifier as well to boost weaker signals. This antenna, together with a flat screen tv with built in tuner( which all newer sets come with) will allow you to receive great HD TV for free over the air!!

Mine works great, allowing about 6 or 7 stations wherever I cruise (within 50 miles or so of a station).

Again, key here is height! put the antenna on a long extension pole to get best results.

BTW, this works great while underway as well as at dock or on anchor.

Gradyrod
Gradyrod is offline  
Old 02-25-2013, 07:09 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Gulf Shores, Alabama
Posts: 3,928
Default

I receive all my TV signals over the air. Hey, free is better, IMO.

I use a twenty year old Radio Shack amplified antenna mounted in the attic. It works very well for local channels. I believe I may have paid as much as $30 for the antenna. If you are not surrounded by tall masted sailboats it should work very well mounted on the cabin top with a short piece of aluminum tubing and a fixed mount VHF antenna base.

KVH?
Butch Davis is offline  
Old 02-25-2013, 08:13 AM
  #6  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location:
Posts: 443
Default

Originally Posted by threeriversmarine View Post
Are you going to be moving or just sitting at the dock? If you are going to be sitting at the dock, then just get a stationary TV antenna from KVH, or another company that sells satellite tv receivers. If you are going to be on the move, one of the best low priced units is the KVH M1.

Keith
You may want to call KVH before purchasing the M1. At a recent boat show I talked to KVH and was told that the M1 mounted high is fine sitting at the dock but the motors are not strong enough to overcome G-forces while underway in a slight to moderate seas. Is was told the M3 has stronger motors and would be a much better fit.
cheapboxer is offline  
Old 02-25-2013, 09:52 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,418
Default

Originally Posted by neverenoughfishin View Post
What would be the best tv antenna to put on boat?
Terrestrial TV reception on a boat is nearly always very problematic (which is why auto-stabilized satellite dishes are so popular, despite their obscene cost). There are generally two interrelated issues to grapple with: Inadequate signal strength (prime boating areas tend to be well-removed from the major metropolitan centers where the TV transmitters are usually located), and the motion of the boat, even if just sitting in a slip or at anchor. Because you generally cannot predict from one moment to the next which direction the desired signal will be coming from, relative to the boat's orientation, high-gain directional antennas are inappropriate, which only exacerbates the problem. Hence, an amplified omnidirectional antenna is usually used. The traditional choice for this are various models from Shakespeare: http://shakespeare-marine.com/specs.asp?menupick=tvair; note that, as a rule, bigger is better. In addition, this one has caught my eye: http://www.naval.com/414-1spc.htm.


All I want is the
local channels in the Morehead City, NC area.
Note that IF you mean to use this ONLY when tied up at your slip, and IF all the transmitters for the desired channels lie in the same general direction, then the far better (and cheaper!) approach is to mount any half-decent residential-type VHF/UHF TV antenna (say, for example, http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=HD7696P) on a modest-size (ten feet would be ideal) mast, which in turn is securely mounted to a nearby piling. This would allow you to point the antenna at the transmitters, and get greatly increased signal strength without RF amplification (which tends to cause almost as many problems as it solves, particularly for ATSC signals). However, if your slip is in a marina (as opposed to your back yard), they very well might have a problem with this. OTOH, they might also supply a CATV or commercial cable-TV feed to each dockside power pylon.



Itteldoo is offline  
Old 02-25-2013, 10:43 AM
  #8  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location:
Posts: 443
Default

Before you go to far trying to get over the air tv signals you may want to check out the signal distance, direction, strength on this site.

http://www.antennaweb.org/Address.aspx

Has anyone had any experience with the Glomex TV antennas?
cheapboxer is offline  
Old 02-25-2013, 11:01 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NE CT
Posts: 1,108
Default

Was surprised at reception with the Jensen powered roof mount that came with our new slide-in camper. Have a marine version.

http://www.jensenmarinedirect.com/pr.../antennas.html
frugal boater is offline  
Old 02-25-2013, 12:18 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Southeast Michigan
Posts: 2,570
Default

Traditionally over-the-air television signals were horizontally polarized. In order to improve signals to viewers with simple antennas like Rabbit-Ear antennas that were mostly vertically polarized, many TV Broadcasters added vertically polarized radiation to their transmitted signals, typically using nearly equal power in vertical and horizontal planes. This is called circular polarization. The most effective TV antenna would be able to receive both the horizontal and vertical polarizations, but these sorts of antennas are rare, extremely rare for the home user, and unheard of on a boat.

When television broadcast changed to HDTV, there was a general frequency reallocation to UHF channels. Most over-the-air HDTV signals are now on the UHF channels, with some on the old High-VHF Channels. The Low-VHF Channels were taken away from the TV Broadcast Service and are being reallocated. The effect of this was that most TV Broadcast stations got new antennas for HDTV. I think it is fairly typical--I have not researched this very much at all--for the HDTV UHF signals to be transmitted with most of the radiated power back in the horizontal plane. Just about 100-percent of roof-top antennas are horizontal polarization. Because of the UHF frequencies, even set-top antennas are often horizontally polarized. I think most stations are transmitting some power in the vertical polarization, but typically it is not a 50-50-split between H and V. H is probably favored. This is called elliptical polarization, and it puts more power into the polarization where there are the most antennas trying to receive the signal. For these reasons, the best antenna for TV these days is going to be horizontally polarized. Marine antennas that look like vertical whips are clearly not going to be horizontally polarized antennas.

Another problem in present-day HDTV reception is the modulation method. In the old days the picture was sent as amplitude modulation. Today the HDTV data is sent with a complicated phase modulation scheme. This method is prone to problems from multi-path phase errors. An antenna in motion, say on a car on a smooth highway, is likely to get these problems. A boat rocking in a seaway will really get these problems. Also, as someone mentioned, a marina full of tall sailboat masts is likely to produce a lot of signal reflections, especially for the vertical polarized signals.

One way to eliminate multi-path is with a very clear site for the antenna and a highly directional antenna. With directionality you get gain, but the big benefit will be reduced multi-path.

This means the best antenna for reception of over-the-air HDTV broadcast is going to be a horizontally polarized, highly direction antenna mounted in a clear site and without a lot of local reflecting surfaces like sailboat masts or big buildings with windows treated with a metallic surface coating that are very reflective of radio signals.
jhebert is offline  
Old 02-25-2013, 01:03 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Southeast Michigan
Posts: 2,570
Default

You can obtain information about your local TV station's transmitter and antenna characteristics from the FCC data base. For example for the Morehead, NC area, you can find data at

http://transition.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/tv...ehead&state=NC

The listing shows some good news and bad news

WCTI-TV--The good news: they're circularly polarized with equal H and V. The bad news: rather low power, only 32-kW, and they're on a High-VHF channel, 12.

WFXI--possibly bad news: only horizontal polarization, low power, 42-kW, and they're also on a High-VHF Channel, 8.

Check the patterns to see if you are in a main lobe. You can check the service contour on GOOGLE MAPS, like this

https://maps.google.com/?q=http://tr...state%3DNC.kml

Last edited by jhebert; 02-25-2013 at 01:19 PM.
jhebert is offline  
Old 02-25-2013, 01:29 PM
  #12  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: VA
Posts: 5,936
Default

I use a Dantronics amplified TV antenna on the radar arch, and get good HD reception. If I'm staying a while, I deploy this at the dock. It's not HD, but it works great and the price is right.
http://tweetys.com/winegard-carryout...FQLznAodlRIAXg
Buoy Scout is offline  
Old 02-25-2013, 05:17 PM
  #13  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: marblehead
Posts: 2,331
Default

Maybe another idea, If you have a cell signal or wifi, try a Slingbox.
Ethan is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread