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Very best indoor aerial ?


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Old 26-07-2004, 18:38
tridion
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I have searched these forums for similar questions but most turn into discussions on how indoor aerials are unsuitable.

However, although I live quite a distance from the transmitter, I can pick up the freeview channels. Some work very well, but some do break up at times. I'm currently using a cheap indoor aerial and would like to know which is the best indoor aerial you can buy for freeview reception.

Please, I am not interested in whether you should use indoor aerials or the limited difference between indoor aerials for digital reception. I just want to know which, regardless of this, is the best you can buy.
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Old 26-07-2004, 18:53
John-24
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Originally Posted by tridion
I have searched these forums for similar questions but most turn into discussions on how indoor aerials are unsuitable.

However, although I live quite a distance from the transmitter, I can pick up the freeview channels. Some work very well, but some do break up at times. I'm currently using a cheap indoor aerial and would like to know which is the best indoor aerial you can buy for freeview reception.

Please, I am not interested in whether you should use indoor aerials or the limited difference between indoor aerials for digital reception. I just want to know which, regardless of this, is the best you can buy.
There will not be that much difference. Even the best will not offer much gain. You could try a booster but that may not help. You need a directional aerial there are a few indoor ones but as you say you live a long way from the transmitter I would not hold out much hope. There is No comparision between even a cheap outdoor ariel and an indoor one. They do not even sell indoor ones for channel groups.
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Old 26-07-2004, 21:23
MartinImber
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The best isn't if you cannot get to the roof try mounting one outsite a window in the correct direction (I did this when I rented a bedsit 15 years ago).

Failing that cup screws in ceiling and hang a real aerial from them
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Old 26-07-2004, 21:26
Roxof
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Hi Folks

In the future, people will generally expect indoor DTT reception (and in-transit too) as an infallible right. Years ago, In The Days Of Black And White, the same despair raged about having to put up ten-foot forests of metal to see any pictures. It will come, and in some countries with different priorities it has already arrived. We're just rather bogged down in the lengthy transition away from analogue, which still has the lion's share of resources because people using it expect that as an infallible right.

Why, rant now over, thank you for your patience

Meanwhile, i read a thread recently about what sounds like the hottest indoor job around - it has built-in amplification and works remarkably well - shall go away and look for it...

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Old 26-07-2004, 23:40
nffc
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I've got a One-for-all one with a signal booster that was about 20 quid in Dixons. It's OK and i can pick up freeview from Belmont which is about 80 miles away and out of region so it's not too bad.

It's also split between a radio and another TV set and the analogue and digital are still pretty good.

Shame I can't get anything from Waltham but hills prevent that
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Old 27-07-2004, 00:39
Roxof
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Hi Nffc

Totally on the crest of the wave, many thankx!

Gonna get one of those and play with it out in some Scottish bumpy places, and i reckon that it'll be Very Interesting

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Old 27-07-2004, 01:05
tridion
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Originally Posted by nffc
I've got a One-for-all one with a signal booster that was about 20 quid in Dixons. It's OK and i can pick up freeview from Belmont which is about 80 miles away and out of region so it's not too bad.

It's also split between a radio and another TV set and the analogue and digital are still pretty good.

Shame I can't get anything from Waltham but hills prevent that
Thanks.

At least one member can understand the statement "Please, I am not interested in whether you should use indoor aerials or the limited difference between indoor aerials for digital reception. I just want to know which, regardless of this, is the best you can buy."

No matter how clear you make it some others just cant understand that I didnt want a lesson on how there is little difference between them and its better to use an external aerial blah blah blah.
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Old 27-07-2004, 04:59
mwooldri
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Best indoor aerial eh? Well, I can't speak specifically for "Freeview" reception but I had excellent results with a Labgear aerial with a booster. The aerial basically looks like a mini-version of an outdoor aerial. Since the one I bought is about erm... 10 years old I don't think the exact same thing is still on sale but the nearest I would suspect is the Labgear Tristar ANR511, comes with signal booster.

Saw operation in Cranleigh with clear pictures of Midhurst and acceptable pictures of Guildford. In Plaistow, I didn't need an antenna (too close to Midhurst!), but got clear pictures from Crystal Palace using the booster. In Dundee, again due to location I didn't need the booster because I was in a high-rise student accommodation block and could see the Tay Bridge transmitter; Angus was blocked off entirely. When I flat-shared we had cable.

Now I am Stateside it's not much use except for them UHF channels, and it works just as good as my amplified Radio Shack "rabbits ears" for the UHF channels ... without the amplifier. However the aerial is a load of cack when trying to view VHF channels though. A long piece of wire is the best thing for those... even better than them rabbits ears... especially for Channel 2 which is an absolute bind to bring in (55.25 Mhz). Of course now I have ... cable. So the Radio shack rabbits ears and the Labgear zigzag aerials are all in storage, in case we move somewhere and cable is not available (even if we get satellite we have more than one TV and it'd be useful to break out the rabbit ears for the second set).


Mark.
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Old 27-07-2004, 07:01
John-24
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Originally Posted by nffc
I've got a One-for-all one with a signal booster that was about 20 quid in Dixons. It's OK and i can pick up freeview from Belmont which is about 80 miles away and out of region so it's not too bad.

It's also split between a radio and another TV set and the analogue and digital are still pretty good.

Shame I can't get anything from Waltham but hills prevent that
You are kidding yourself. There is no way at all your would get a Digital signal from a transmitter 80 miles away on an indoor aerial. You would not even get an Analogue signal at that distance and you are splitting the signal between 2 TV's and a radio. I think not. The only time you might get any kind of picture would be under abnormal weather conditions. If you are getting a picture it will be from a much nearer transmitter.
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Old 27-07-2004, 09:29
DerekP
 
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Well, after having tried and just about succeeded in getting set top aerials to pick up freeview I thought I'd share my experiences.

I'm about 13 km from Durris transmitter and am located on a hill so have a pretty good line of sight in the neighbourhood (no houses blocking view etc)

I can get a signal with some set top aerials plus a booster. With a Setpal and the current one for all aerial from Argos (boosted movable loop plus two extendable pole aerial - £19.99) signal quality is poor (strength 30-70, SNR 10-15) and I can only get it at the side of the house facing the transmitter. With an older one for all aerial (black with mesh dish, boosted, rotatable with figure of eight thingy in the middle and two extendable aerials) I can get the strength up to 90-98 and SNR up to 20-25. This model aerial is discontinued

Maplin do an unboosted indoor digital tv aerial for £7.99 which when combined with a £12.99 Argos booster gives me a strength between 80-90 and a SNR of 18-22

Hope this helps
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Old 27-07-2004, 12:16
nffc
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Originally Posted by John-24
You are kidding yourself. There is no way at all your would get a Digital signal from a transmitter 80 miles away on an indoor aerial. You would not even get an Analogue signal at that distance and you are splitting the signal between 2 TV's and a radio. I think not. The only time you might get any kind of picture would be under abnormal weather conditions. If you are getting a picture it will be from a much nearer transmitter.
It's split to the digital first I spose.

I'm in Nottingham, Belmont is up near Scunthorpe. Quite a long way.

Signal strengths
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Old 27-07-2004, 12:57
Corin
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My recommendation for a set top antenna, and I have tried several, is the Hama 44192, which comes with an integrated variable gain amplifier.
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Old 27-07-2004, 13:18
DerekP
 
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Originally Posted by Corin
My recommendation for a set top antenna, and I have tried several, is the Hama 44192, which comes with an integrated variable gain amplifier.
Aha!

http://www.hama.de/portal/articleId*24739/action*2563

That is exactly the same configuration as the old "One for All" aerial - thanks for that!

I'll see if I can find a stockist in the UK
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Old 27-07-2004, 13:23
Corin
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Originally Posted by DerekP
That is exactly the same configuration as the old "One for All" aerial - thanks for that!
Well these things are usually all made in a huge factory in the PR of China and just have a little badge or painted brand name affixed.

The important thing with this type of antenna for UHF reception, is to get the one with the largest diameter mesh screen available, rather than just a wire frame type grid.

Note that you can use the rabbit ears as an antenna for VHF Band II FM stations and VHF BAnd III DAB stations.
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Old 27-07-2004, 18:08
John-24
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Originally Posted by Corin
Well these things are usually all made in a huge factory in the PR of China and just have a little badge or painted brand name affixed.

The important thing with this type of antenna for UHF reception, is to get the one with the largest diameter mesh screen available, rather than just a wire frame type grid.

Note that you can use the rabbit ears as an antenna for VHF Band II FM stations and VHF BAnd III DAB stations.
No real advantage to mesh over wire at UHF frequencies. Its function is as a reflector to reduce the lobe or lobes comming off the back of the aerial. What you really need is more elements on the arial thats what gives you most of the gain.
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Old 27-07-2004, 20:36
Corin
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Originally Posted by John-24
No real advantage to mesh over wire at UHF frequencies. Its function is as a reflector to reduce the lobe or lobes comming off the back of the aerial.
Which means it is not as susceptible to multipath problems, does it not? Of course that is only an issue for analog transmissions.
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Old 27-07-2004, 21:09
John-24
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Originally Posted by Corin
Which means it is not as susceptible to multipath problems, does it not? Of course that is only an issue for analog transmissions.
It does nothing at all for multipath problems. You are not going to get multipath off of the back of a yagi. Multpath reception is normal due to signals bouncing off of large buildings. It results in the signal being picked up from two slightly different directions. If you have a multipath signal problem you need a more directional aerial which means more elements or in a really bad case a stacked yagi array. The design of the reflector will not help and in any case at UHF wire & mesh will offer a similar performance. The amount of signal picked up off of the back of a yagi is minimal
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Old 27-07-2004, 21:55
DerekP
 
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Well - all I can say is that the mesh dish is significantly better than other designs. Whether this is due to the design or better booster I couldn't tell you.
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Old 27-07-2004, 22:08
{ph[oe]nix}
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If its any use to you, my housemate has a One for All ariel and it seems to work well. Signal boosters can cause problems, so if you can avoid it then I would.
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Old 27-07-2004, 22:36
Corin
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Originally Posted by John-24
You are not going to get multipath off of the back of a yagi.
That is the case, but we are talking not about a Yagi-Uda antenna but a set top antenna in the form of a parabolic.
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Old 27-07-2004, 23:15
DerekP
 
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Originally Posted by {ph[oe]nix}
If its any use to you, my housemate has a One for All ariel and it seems to work well. Signal boosters can cause problems, so if you can avoid it then I would.
Actually I've never had a problem with over boosting on digital signals. I have seen problems with analogue though.
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Old 28-07-2004, 10:09
Simpfeld
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I looked at this about a year ago for and I found it virtually impossible to get gain figures for indoor aerials. It's easy to get these figures for outdoor aerials. Any gain figures quoted for indoor aerials are usually just for their signal amps. Very poor.

I eventually settled on a Telecam TCE20 from Argos, someone here I think said it had high gain compared to others, but to be honest I've not noticed any significant difference.

I wanted to have a cable run after the amp of about 10-15 metres, putting the amp straight after the aerial before the cable run makes a huge difference, kind of like having a mast head amp I suppose (rather than try to boost the signal after the run).

Does anyone have gain figures for different indoor aerials ?

I know indoor aerials aren't great, but sometimes you have no choice if you don't own the property.
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Old 28-07-2004, 18:39
John-24
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Originally Posted by Simpfeld
I looked at this about a year ago for and I found it virtually impossible to get gain figures for indoor aerials. It's easy to get these figures for outdoor aerials. Any gain figures quoted for indoor aerials are usually just for their signal amps. Very poor.

I eventually settled on a Telecam TCE20 from Argos, someone here I think said it had high gain compared to others, but to be honest I've not noticed any significant difference.

I wanted to have a cable run after the amp of about 10-15 metres, putting the amp straight after the aerial before the cable run makes a huge difference, kind of like having a mast head amp I suppose (rather than try to boost the signal after the run).

Does anyone have gain figures for different indoor aerials ?

I know indoor aerials aren't great, but sometimes you have no choice if you don't own the property.

I have never seen any. I suspect they would be a little embarrising if they published them. It should be possible to work out the approximate gain from simple aerial theory.
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Old 28-07-2004, 21:06
DJ Benson
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Originally Posted by nffc
It's split to the digital first I spose.

I'm in Nottingham, Belmont is up near Scunthorpe. Quite a long way.

Signal strengths
Wow! Those signals are better than ours from an outdoor roof aerial - and we are in line of sight of the Winter Hill site (roughly 2 miles away).

Could our problem be the signal is too strong?
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Old 28-07-2004, 21:12
John-24
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Originally Posted by DJ Benson
Wow! Those signals are better than ours from an outdoor roof aerial - and we are in line of sight of the Winter Hill site (roughly 2 miles away).

Could our problem be the signal is too strong?

More likely the poster has a vivid imagination. A good digital signal from a transmitter 80 miles away on an indoor aerial with the signal split between 3 sets. That would take a miracle
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