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Old 10-24-2010, 09:42 PM   #21
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RE: Tide Clocks

Steve,
If you get a chance, get me a model number, if you wouldn't mind. Will give the rabbit ears a go first, but have some serious doubts on how well it will work, so am already looking at a backup antenna. Won't need the converter box, think those are just for the older analogs. Thanks to all.
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Old 10-25-2010, 06:49 AM   #22
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RE: Tide Clocks

Rocky, your new HDTV will certainly be digital, and have tuners in it, so you are right, you won't need a set-top box, but as digital is an all or nothing type system whereby you get a perfect picture, or, if the signal is too low you get nothing, (rather than the somewhat inferior but often watchable performance of analog), I think you might be disappointed with just bunny ears. Special digital tv antennae look a bit like a larger diameter GPS antenna, and are fairly cheap, often with built in signal booster so can be wired into a 12v circuit to boost a poor reception. Why not get one of those, and just poke it out the door and stick it up with shock-cord on a boat hook, as someone else mentioned, until such time as you can wire it in properly?
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:08 AM   #23
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RE: Tide Clocks

Are these digital antennas something I can get at BestBuy or Radio Shack? I'm hoping to have everything together for the hubby, so all he needs to do is take to the boat and set up. I'm not sure what a GPS antenna looks like (
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:41 PM   #24
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Tide Clocks

Folks, there is no such thing as a "digital" TV antenna.* A TV antenna is an antenna designed for the frequencies the TV stations are authorised to broadcast on.* The antenna picks up these signals as very weak electrical signals and sends them to the receiver.* Some antennas have a built in amplifier to make the signals stronger for the receiver.

The antenna does not distinguish what information is contained in the signal.* It can be digital or analog, it doesn't matter and the antenna doesn't "know".* Manufacturers and advertisers would have you believe differently to sell product, but there is absolutely nothing "digital" about an antenna.

That said, you may go to Best Buy or Walmart and get a TV antenna.* This antenna may work well in your home or business but not on your boat.* Why?* If it's a "unidirectional" (must be pointed towards the transmitter to pick up a signal) antenna, you can place it on a windowsill or in your attic, point it towards the transmitter, and receive a good signal.

Why doesn't this work very well on a boat?* Because boats move.* If you never move the boat, it's not an issue.* If you anchor the boat, it will swing with the current and/or wind and you'll have to reorient the antenna every few minutes.* For a boat you need an "omnidirectional" (picks up signals from all directions) antenna.* The round "UFO" style antennas you see in marine catalogs are omnidirectional antennas and these are what you should install on a boat.

One other consideration with TV reception on a boat - for the best reception, we know to mount our antenna as high as possible.* That's why, in the days when most homes received "over the air" TV broadcasts, the antennas were usually mounted on the roof of the residence (I'm old enough to have installed many of these).* On a boat, the antenna is typically just a few feet above sea level and there's not much we can do about it.


-- Edited by rwidman on Monday 25th of October 2010 02:43:24 PM

-- Edited by rwidman on Monday 25th of October 2010 02:44:32 PM
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:59 PM   #25
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RE: Tide Clocks

Quote:
rwidman wrote:"Folks, there is no such thing as a "digital" TV antenna.....* For a boat you need an "omnidirectional"
I believe that's true, but to date, I have never seen an omnidirectional antenna
that's worth a tinker's damn.


*
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Old 10-25-2010, 03:13 PM   #26
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RE: Tide Clocks

Hiya,
** Thanks both Mr, SeaHorse and Mr. rwidman.* I've been trying to convince my "mate" that a signal is a signal whereas she wants a "digital" antenna and what we have is probably the best*we can get without cable.
**
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Old 10-25-2010, 03:44 PM   #27
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RE: Tide Clocks

Well, thank you SeaHorse and Rwidman, appears I bought a really nice HDTV that will be good for DVD only....LOL. Live and learn I guess. I haven't googled this omnidirectional antennas as yet, but am sure they are way out of my budget, but I appreciate the information and apologize for the use of the word "digital." I have read in at least a dozen posts on this forum that the word "digital" is pretty much media/advertising hype, I just forgot.
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Old 10-25-2010, 03:45 PM   #28
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RE: Tide Clocks

Quote:
RT Firefly wrote:

...what we have is probably the best*we can get without cable.
**
So far as I know the best television reception you can get is with something like a TracVision dome.* But it plus the satelite subscription (I assume you have to subscribe to the*Inmarsat*or whoever it is service)*is proably more pricey than most people who just want to watch TV at the dock would be willing to spend.* But I've seen some impressive pictures on some really big screens in the 50-plus footers out in the achoranges in the islands who have a TracVision setup.

*
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Old 10-25-2010, 04:22 PM   #29
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RE: Tide Clocks

I have slip neighbors with a satellite dish on the dock. It only works when they are in their slip.
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Old 10-25-2010, 04:40 PM   #30
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Tide Clocks

Quote:
rwidman wrote:

I have slip neighbors with a satellite dish on the dock. It only works when they are in their slip.


The great thing about the*TracVision antenna is that it*stays locked on the satellite no matter what the boat does.* So it doesn't matter where you are*or*or what the boat's doing--- running at cruise speed, swinging around an anchor, whatever. If the antenna can see the satellite, it can lock on it and stay locked.* TracVision supplies antennas for entertainment (TV) and communications (internet, phone, etc.).* I believe that's why you see a lot of boats with two of their antennas, one for each type of service.

We are very tentatively considering getting one for our boat, not for TV-- which we don't care about-- but for connectivity for my work.* It's not cheap, though, so we may very well*decided against it.
*


-- Edited by Marin on Monday 25th of October 2010 04:41:30 PM
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Old 10-25-2010, 06:59 PM   #31
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Tide Clocks

Quote:
Marin wrote:

*
rwidman wrote:

I have slip neighbors with a satellite dish on the dock. It only works when they are in their slip.


The great thing about the*TracVision antenna is that it*stays locked on the satellite no matter what the boat does.* So it doesn't matter where you are*or*or what the boat's doing--- running at cruise speed, swinging around an anchor, whatever. If the antenna can see the satellite, it can lock on it and stay locked.* TracVision supplies antennas for entertainment (TV) and communications (internet, phone, etc.).* I believe that's why you see a lot of boats with two of their antennas, one for each type of service.

We are very tentatively considering getting one for our boat, not for TV-- which we don't care about-- but for connectivity for my work.* It's not cheap, though, so we may very well*decided against it.
*


-- Edited by Marin on Monday 25th of October 2010 04:41:30 PM
When you say "not cheap", you're talking a couple thousand dollars, right?* Plus a subscription?

Somebody made the point above that a weak analog signal is usually watchable, while with digital signals, it's either there or not.*

In many respects, the US government's decision to switch broadcast TV from analog to digital is like their decision to adultrate gasoline with ethanol.* It's a boon for some people, but not for the general public.* Reception distance from the transmitter seems much less for digital signals.

*


-- Edited by rwidman on Monday 25th of October 2010 07:04:04 PM
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:05 PM   #32
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RE: Tide Clocks

Quote:
rwidman wrote:
When you say "not cheap", you're talking a couple thousand dollars, right?* Plus a subscription?
That's correct.* More than a couple thousand I believe.

*
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:25 AM   #33
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Tide Clocks

Ok, so maybe I should have described the aerial/antenna ideal for TV within reasonable distance of shore based transmitters/translators, as 'digital capable', rather than 'digital' in design, but actually, there are special antennae which are designed to optimise TV reception within reasonable distance of coastal stations, and they are not that costly and not as complicated as TracVision or DirectTV and require no subscription. Below is an abstract, or follow the link Rocky et al.......
Ok, these are Australian sites, but you will have the equivalent, and for coastal cruising would probably do fine, and don't cost that much - coupla hundred or less...

http://www.discovermarine.com.au/marinedigital.asp
or in the US...... http://au.shopping.com/tv%20antenna%...kin_id-8024509

"The image quality of Marine Digital TV is far superior than that of Analogue. In fact, Marine Digital TV's image quality and sound is equal to that seen on DVD. Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound is even available on some programs. This exceptional difference is derived from the actual chipset (Brain of the Tuner) and also from high gain marine antenna which become a vital combination, if your system is to operate effectively. You will need high gain marine antenna, this will allow the signal to be transmitted with a more directional beam which will allow for more precise targeting of each desired Digital TV signal."




-- Edited by Peter B on Tuesday 26th of October 2010 05:30:24 AM

-- Edited by Peter B on Tuesday 26th of October 2010 05:35:53 AM
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:05 AM   #34
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RE: Tide Clocks

"Marine" digital television? What, they have special stations and transmitters for the marine market?? And since when did your marine antenna on the boat transmit? *Marketers gone wild!
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:30 AM   #35
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RE: Tide Clocks

I won't try to make the argument that the picture quality of digital TV is no better than analog and I won't discount the sound options or the ability of the broadcaster to transmit multiple signals (programs) on the same frequency, but the major problem with digital TV (in the US) is that the distance from the transmitter that a usable signal can be received is less (sometimes far less) than for an analog signal.

The bottom line for many users is that in the same location where they formerly received many analog signals, they now may receive few or even no digital signals. For these folks (I am included here at my marina), "digital" TV is not an improvement.
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:34 AM   #36
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RE: Tide Clocks

Quote:
rwidman wrote:The bottom line for many users is that in the same location where they formerly received many analog signals, they now may receive few or even no digital signals. For these folks (I am included here at my marina), "digital" TV is not an improvement.
It is for the cable and satellite providers.* An improved*increase in*their customer base.

*
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:36 AM   #37
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RE: Tide Clocks

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Keith wrote:

"Marine" digital television? What, they have special stations and transmitters for the marine market?? And since when did your marine antenna on the boat transmit? *Marketers gone wild!

Yep, but many folks will believe this BS and buy the components.

I'm sure if the marketer actually understood what he/she was trying to say about the antenna, it would have read "receive" instead of "transmit", but as you read the post, they are talking about a directional antenna and as I posted above, do you really want to get up and turn your antenna everytime the boat swings?

And remember also, there are many locations where TV transmitters are in opposite directions from your location.* You might have to face the antenna south for one sytation, north for another, southwest for a third, etc.

*
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:42 AM   #38
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RE: Tide Clocks

Quote:
JD wrote:


rwidman wrote:The bottom line for many users is that in the same location where they formerly received many analog signals, they now may receive few or even no digital signals. For these folks (I am included here at my marina), "digital" TV is not an improvement.
It is for the cable and satellite providers.* An improved*increase in*their customer base.

*


THe television standards for the US had not been changed since the invention of television (except for adding color) and were way behind the rest of the world as far as resolution, clarity, etc.* They did need to be updated.** Another factor, this change freed up a large frequency band that the government was then able to auction off to other users.

But, it could have been done better.* Far better.

Most of the TV stations have little incentive to increase their transmitting power or antenna height because the vast majority of users receive the programing via cable or satellite.* I think they could compensate if they really wanted to.

*
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Old 10-26-2010, 09:33 AM   #39
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RE: Tide Clocks

Or you could forget about the TV and just enjoy time spent on the water.

SD
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:59 PM   #40
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RE: Tide Clocks

Skipperdude - I do enjoy my time spent on the water, however, there are times for us (as we are not liveaboards) when we come for the weekend, only to discover the weather isn't going to be accommodating for a cruise and it would be nice to have a television, thats all.

Thanks to all for your input. We'll figure out something on this one way or another.
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