Any reviews on flat DTV antennas with eyeTV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by bmorris, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. bmorris macrumors 6502

    bmorris

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    ATL
    #1
    I took my eyeTV off my Mini HTPC b/c I have a Comcast HD DVR and HBO.
    So I figured I wouldn't use it much, and I hadn't so far.
    Then today Elgato released their web app that streams TV over 3G with the iPhone's Safari app, now I'm thinking twice.

    So I'm looking for a good non-obtrusive HD antenna to use with eyeTV.
    I saw this RCA flat antenna and was wondering if any one has had heard good/bad things? Or any suggestions.

    RESOLVED:
    Flat Passive Antenna works perfectly fine for close to city areas. For suburbs about 25-30 miles away, a stronger antenna is needed.
     
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #2
    I have a Radio Shack omnidirectional powered roof-top antenna. It's about 30 feet off the ground and picks up stations from about 50 miles away routinely, and occasionally 70 miles away. I'm using an Eye TV Hybrid. Terk makes some kick-@$$ antennas, too.
     
  3. bmorris thread starter macrumors 6502

    bmorris

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    ATL
    #3
    Yeah I saw a lot Terk antennas but couldn't find a solid review. Your omnidirectional, it's the square flat kind? I live in an apartment so I was looking for either an indoor or something I can slip on near my window outside maybe.
     
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #4
  5. bmorris thread starter macrumors 6502

    bmorris

    Joined:
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    ATL
    #5
    I know I'll get a good signal, just wondering how well does the antenna need to be placed? I'm on the 2nd and top floor.
    I could possibly slip a square omnidirectional antenna on my wall outside and wire it inside and if it would make a HUGE difference.

    But I wasn't sure if the cheap affordable Philips or RCA square indoors worked well enough, how far from the TV should they be to avoid inteference?
     
  6. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #6
    I've been using this antenna for years now. No other antenna provided me with as clear reception as this one from Terk.

    http://www.jr.com/terk/pe/TRK_HDTVI/

    [​IMG]

    One thing I can say...do NOT use a cheap amplified antenna. With current digital signals, these tend to do more harm than good. I had no success with two I tried before the Terk.
     
  7. bmorris thread starter macrumors 6502

    bmorris

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    #7

    Where do u put that? That's one reason I was lookig at the flat square omnidirectional, very nonobtrusive.
     
  8. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #8
    It's on top of my stereo cabinet/entertainment center.

    My feeling: if it's unobtrusive, your locals channels will be too...you won't see them. ;)

    And this isn't horribly obstrusive per se...its footprint is about 3" x 4" with the forked area about 6-7" wide at the widest. Pulling in the local VHF stations is the biggest problem I have, meaning I have to have the 'rabbit ears' fully extended. I live approximately 30 miles from the local Houston towers. Even with the rabbit ears up I still have issues pulling in our CBS at channel 11...even with our PBS at 8 coming in clearly :/ I actually have better luck pulling in the CBS from a northern market, also a VHF (3), about 70 miles to my northwest. I NEVER see the local 11, but on clear, calm nights I can get the 70mi station. :confused:

    IF you are within 15 miles or so of the broadcast towers from which you wish to pull a signal AND you only have UHF signals in your market (stations with channel assignments great than 13) you might be able to use the flat option. Anything greater distance than that will give you issues.

    You should be able to try one and take it back to the store if you have issues.
     
  9. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #9
    My experience is that those aren't so great. But then again, I don't live as close to the stations as you do. You can always buy and return if it doesn't work.
     
  10. bmorris thread starter macrumors 6502

    bmorris

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    ATL
    #10
    Yeah, I could try it and return it.
    And I live in Midtown Atlanta, so I don't need something heavy duty.
    I've been able to get super clear CBS HD buy just plugging a coaxial to HDTV and letting it hang.
    I think I'll get the flat square one and try it out in the city, but also in the suburbs 30 mi away. Just so I have an idea and I can share here.
    The Terk you showing LOOKS like it picks up signals, the flat squares don't and that's what I was worried about.
     
  11. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #11
    Based on your location I would estimate you don't have a broadcast tower further than 10-15 miles away from you so nearly any solution will work (as you have found from just letting the coax hang).

    It would be interesting to see how this works 30 miles out. Do let us know. :)
     
  12. bmorris thread starter macrumors 6502

    bmorris

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    ATL
    #12
    Yeah I've been trying to tell my parents to loose cable and get a HD antenna.
    I tried the cable trick I did in the city and it didn't work.
    So we'll see.

    When I hook eyeTV up to my Comcast cable it's awful.
     
  13. UbuntuFu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    #13
    I have the RCA flat HD antenna. The box said it was the best, and works for UHF and VHF. But I can't get 2 channels, 8-1 and 10-1 (CBS and ABC) which I believe are VHF channels. I have the og Zenith Silver HDTV antenna and that was working great for all the UHF channels but it could not get CBS and ABC, thus I tried the RCA one, and it didn't improve it. I might try that Terk one with the bunny ears later and if that doesn't work I'll return it.

    I'm based in San Diego. My only option is to get a rooftop antenna, which I'll have to go through my condo HOA for approval.

    The RCA flat antenna is very nice looking and blends in easily with decor. Quality wise I think it's good, but like I said it sucks for VHF channels.
     
  14. pjarvi macrumors 65816

    pjarvi

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    Jan 11, 2006
    Location:
    Round Lake, IL
    #14
    When I was still living in my parents house, I got a small outdoor antenna (Channel Master 4221, IIRC) and mounted it in my closet. It worked better than any table-top antenna. Something to consider if you can't put the antenna outdoors. You can usually run coax 100-150 feet before you need to add a signal booster.
     
  15. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #15
    HOAs are the devil. All members of HOAs should be drawn and quartered, if you ask me. :mad:
     
  16. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #16
    I have the Terk that every is talking about and it has been great. Even better was a small Antennas Direct DB2 outdoor antenna. I live in an apartment and am about 45 miles from the broadcast towers, with a lot of trees right outside my window in the direction of the signals. The DB2 is actually pretty small - much smaller than I expected. I clamped it to an old, cheap camera tripod I had around (I took the cleat and pan head of it first so it looked cleaner) and kept only the first set of telescoping legs extended. I put it near my window in an out of the way location and it picked up every single station crystal clear. In the end I opted for the Terk because it was a bit more stylish (the Aesthetics Department - aka, the wife - nixed the DB2) and it picks up the stations I watch the most, but the DB2 was definitely better. Maybe it's because I'm a guy and care more about function over form, but I would have stuck with the DB2 if it were completely up to me.
     
  17. bmorris thread starter macrumors 6502

    bmorris

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    ATL
  18. bmorris thread starter macrumors 6502

    bmorris

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    ATL
    #18
    I tried to get a GE antenna from Target, it looked like a flat antenna.
    I get home and open it, it's got a huge stand behind it.
    Box didn't speak or show anything about the back side.
    So I'll return that later.

    I ordered an RCA flat antenna. I'm supposed to get it Dec. 24th, I'll test it in Midtown Atlanta (great DTV coverage) and Conyers, Ga (about 30 mi from Atlanta). I'll post the results when I get the chance.
     
  19. bmorris thread starter macrumors 6502

    bmorris

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    ATL
    #19
    Results

    I ordered the RCA Digital Flat Passive Antenna from Walmart for $20.
    I knew for my apartment in the city I wouldn't anything special.
    I wasn't sure about my parents house in the suburbs about 30 mins away from the city.

    At the apartment, I plugged in the antenna to my eyeTV and it picked up all the channels very clear and crisp. Without the antenna, the eyeTV picked up nothing.

    In the suburbs, it picked up half the channels fine, and the other half were pixelated and not coming in right. I tried placing the antenna in a few different places but it didn't seem to help.

    So if you're close to or in the city, this antenna is perfect. It picks up all the available channels with out having to try too hard to hide the antenna. I think I might attach it to the ceiling in the hallway next to my TV and hide the coax cable by tacking it down next to the wall/door trim.

    If you're kind of far like my parents house, about 25-30 miles from city, you'll need a stronger flat antenna or just a better antenna.
     

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