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Old 01-10-2018, 03:58 PM   #1
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Digital TV antennas

Does anyone have any experience with these ?We heard about them but when we looked a ton of options .We are looking for most strength . We plan to be staying off the everglades the most so I think we would pick up Miami ? Any info would help . Thanks
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Old 01-10-2018, 04:09 PM   #2
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I use an externally mounted one in the Los Angeles area on my boat, but do not recall the name brand and it was installed 3.5 years ago and is used daily. It was supposed to have a 60 mile reception range and actually works very well. I receive over 65 channels, although many are Spanish/Korean, etc, language stations, but I can delete these on my smart tv.
It uses an antenna which is easily mounted and included a power adapter to boost range. However, the power adapter which failed, but I never replaced it. The antenna actually works better without it.
Hope this helps.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:25 PM   #3
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Antennae that pick up digital TV signals are no different than antennae that were used to pick up the old analog signals. We use an omnidirectional antenna with a signal booster on our boat which is berthed about half-way between Baltimore and Washington (45 miles from each). We get many , but not all of each city's offering. What one must remember is that TV signals are line-of-site. Boats are at the lowest point anywhete so buildings, trees, sailboat masts, boats on the hard all can block a signal. Plus, unlike analogue signals, digital broadcasts are all or nothing. Last year, before the fall haul-outs littered our parking lot, we got great reception of the Baltimore stations. Afterward, not so much. The antennae do work but the limits vary on location and more clear lines of sight and distance, of course. TV signals do not follow the curve of the earth.
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:23 AM   #4
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Does anyone have any experience with these ?We heard about them but when we looked a ton of options .We are looking for most strength . We plan to be staying off the everglades the most so I think we would pick up Miami ? Any info would help . Thanks
The antenna doesn't know "digital" from "analog" -- it only knows frequency range. The tuner (in the TV, or a converter box) is what selects specific frequency ("channels") and analog vs. digital, etc.

Any decent "TV" antenna could work, including cheap rabbit ears from the Whatever-Mart.

Amplified omni-directional antennas mounted high would generally work better.

Two big names are Glomex (what we have, works OK) and Shakespeare (I think).

Jack's comments about line of sight are germane. He's actually just down the road from us a bit, but we often receive slightly different channel sets probably just due to blockage...

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Old 01-11-2018, 08:43 AM   #5
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The conversion in the US to digital broadcast also involved a lot of frequency shifts. Very few TV stations are in the VHF band. Therefore many "digital" antennas now ignore the VHF band and do a better job in the UHF band.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:52 AM   #6
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Based upon my experience in Marathon I would say that picking up Miami from the SW side of the Everglades might be a problem. You might try calling the marinas in Goodland and Everglades City.
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:40 PM   #7
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As a couple people have stated, there is no such thing as a "digital" antenna. The name is advertising hype and dishonest. An antenna just intercepts a signal and delivers it to a receiver. It has no idea what is contained in the signal.

As for VHF and UHF, the FCC did something a little stupid. Instead of moving all TV transmission to the UHF band, they moved the low band VHF to UHF but left the stations on the high VHF band (7 - 13) as they were. You still need an antenna capable of picking up the high VHF stations as well as the UHF stations.

That said, a TV antenna you buy today will have that capability. The important thing to remember on a boat is, the boat will be moving and even if anchored, it will be moving and swinging on the hook. If you buy an "omnidirectional" antenna (picks up in all directions), you will be fine. A "unidirectional" (picks up in one direction) antenna will have to be aimed at the station you are trying to watch and as the boat moves, you will have to reorient the antenna. That's going to be a PITA.

Your best bet is to buy a marine TV antenna. It will be round and weatherproof and usually comes with a powered amplifier, either internal or external. In any event, with digital TV (not a digital antenna), it's all or nothing. No snowy picture that's barely watchable. Realistically, you can't expect to get reliable reception of a station more than 30 - 40 miles away.

There are websites on the Internet where you put in your location and get a list of what stations you can expect to receive.
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:43 PM   #8
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Okay! Here's a chance to answer something I've been wondering for the two years I've owned my present boat.

My favorite FM station (KNKX for you Washingtonians) broadcasts on many low-power repeaters and I often find myself in a location where I feel like I should be able to receive but don't.

I'm no engineer, but I know enough to know that FM broadcast sits just above the TV-low band And below the aircraft band (localizers, to be specific).

So the question: TV is something I go boating to escape, but, would one of the little disc antennas improve my FM radio reception? What about a quarter-wave aircraft band antenna?
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:21 PM   #9
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In SoCal my digital antenna picked up a lot of stations but only 3 were English and the rest were from Mexico. A lot of ways to do this. I am no AV expert, but if you google Roku and hot spot streaming there are other options depending on how bad you want good Tv, including the dish which has excellent quality.
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:32 AM   #10
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So the question: TV is something I go boating to escape, but, would one of the little disc antennas improve my FM radio reception? What about a quarter-wave aircraft band antenna?

It could. We can't receive too many FM radio stations around here without our amplified (AM/FM/TV) antenna at least turned on.

BTW, I dunno that all TV antennas are "disc" type. Ours is, sorta, but I dunno if other brands are the same.

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Old 01-12-2018, 08:57 AM   #11
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Okay! Here's a chance to answer something I've been wondering for the two years I've owned my present boat.

My favorite FM station (KNKX for you Washingtonians) broadcasts on many low-power repeaters and I often find myself in a location where I feel like I should be able to receive but don't.

I'm no engineer, but I know enough to know that FM broadcast sits just above the TV-low band And below the aircraft band (localizers, to be specific).

So the question: TV is something I go boating to escape, but, would one of the little disc antennas improve my FM radio reception? What about a quarter-wave aircraft band antenna?
Many of the marine antennas have an output for FM radio on the amplifier. Check the specs or descriptions before you buy.
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:36 AM   #12
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We inherited a Shakespeare disc style when we bought the boat. It picks up a ton of stations in HD and doesn't seem to mind swinging on the hook.
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:45 AM   #13
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Just to be clear, the antenna has nothing to do with HD (high definition) either.
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Old 01-14-2018, 07:09 PM   #14
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No experience in your area. My Glomex + amp gives me a raft of stations wherever we are. Sometimes stations 50 miles distant.
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Old 01-14-2018, 07:31 PM   #15
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In my travels, I have been able to receive anywhere from zero to 50+ TV stations. Unfortunately in the places with 50+ stations half were not in English and half the remaining ones were attempting to save my soul.

My Glomex has a cable TV input on the amplifier so all I have to do is plug in the cable and re-scan at marinas with cable TV.
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Old 01-14-2018, 07:47 PM   #16
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Only commenting on signal reception. Like Newton Minnow said: vast wasteland.
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Old 01-14-2018, 07:54 PM   #17
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The round ďdisk shapedĒ Shakespeare is actually a loop on the inside. Buy the one with the amplifier, Iíve had both and the amplified one is the best.

Band conditions matter! Scan for channels regularly, scan during the day and at night, under certain conditions weíve watched stations over 100 miles away for over an hour.

Internet access gives you more to watch than an antenna... An 8TB hard drive holds a lot of video.

The TV puts me to sleep, itís a worthwhile accessory.
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Old 01-14-2018, 07:58 PM   #18
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we watch over the air TV from NJ to Florida...sure there are thin spots like eastern NC and the Florida Keys near Marathon...but there are many areas with dozens of stations.

Sure some are non english and sure some are religious...but even cable is a wasteland depending on your plan...and tastes in TV.

If you want to watch stuff you like when you want, be prepared gor internet downloafs or sat TV...and even tben a DVR would help.
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:41 PM   #19
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I inherited my Shakespeare 12V powered UFO antenna on my boat 10 years and it's never skipped a beat. My best guess is that it's 20 years old on a 40 year old boat.

My waters are between San Fran and Sacramento. I often receive both cites at once, but not all stations. Oddly enough, the only 2 places with NO reception are Sausalito (Richardson Bay) and Angel Island (Ayala Cove). Must be a line of sight issue with San Fran.

I have no onboard recording capability but can tap into my Xfinity DVR cloud storage and on-demand menu through internet, but that's a different system.

Here's a version of my antenna from this millennium. Seems like a good price.

https://www.hodgesmarine.com/Shakesp...jqeniramsegdoh

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Old 01-14-2018, 10:57 PM   #20
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Okay. Now I'm really curious. Shakespeare offers three sizes, 4", 15", 19". They say the bigger the antenna, the greater the range. But antenna size is supposed to be about frequency (says Herr Hertz). So what's up?
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