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HD Antenna

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Beau, Jun 8, 2017.

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  1. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Hi Folks

    So as I begin changing over the TV technology aboard to streaming TV etc, a dockmate suggested that I consider installing an HDTV antenna because of their excellent reception for local channels. Question: I have an existing antenna installed in 1998 when the boat was built. Can I simply change the antenna head or does the snaked wiring need to be changed out also?

    Thanks for you input
  2. CaptainCrispy

    CaptainCrispy New Member

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    The HDTV antennas are no different than the TV antenna you already have. I do not believe you would see any difference in reception with the new antenna.
    If you decide to replace the old antenna anyway, you will have to see how the cable connects to the antenna. If it uses an F-connector or a BNC, then you just need to get a replacement antenna with the same connection fitting.
  3. d_meister

    d_meister Member

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    Many older Over The Air antenna installations on yachts use RG59 cable. RG6 cable is better in virtually any installation on board for everything AV related, including CCTV. The differences are a heavier gauge central wire and usually foil and braid shield. Heavier shield braid density is a variable that can be selected when purchasing (60% +). The dielectric insulator around the center wire is also larger in diameter. Compression "F" connectors are sized for the cable and are usually water and moisture proof when connected. All cable considerations together will maybe not improve performance, but can go a long way towards reducing interference. CaptainCrispy is right that virtually any antenna will capture digital transmissions, but antenna design and performance seems to be as much magic as science. I use some REALLY old rabbet ears at home, and they work fine. Try what you have and spend money if you need to.
  4. bayoubud

    bayoubud Member

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    My last boat had a Omni-direction antenna with a amplifier and work real good. I could not get local on the Sat so would switch over for local channels some were 40/50 miles away at the dock. If offshore the reception could work 60 miles depending on weather. The HD antenna claim is to get you to buy a new one.
  5. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Thanks Folks, I'll use my existing antenna!
  6. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I thought Analog antannae's won't pick up the HD digital broadcasts?????
  7. d_meister

    d_meister Member

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    They work fine. My rabbit ears (2 pair) in the house are so old that the bases are made out of Bakelite and the antenna wire is that half inch wide flat stuff with wires on the two outer edges. The wires are hooked up to those old school transducers with two screw terminals and that thing snaps on the "F" barrels on the backs of my fine, modern flat panel TV's. Got rid of cable and went over the air years ago, with a little Netflix thrown into the mix. Great crisp picture from PBS, and varying quality from the other local broadcasters. They all transmit digital, but different levels of HD.
    You can invest in "good, better, and best", but there are generally few gains. The most effective investment will be in vertical height and remote rotation.
  8. bayoubud

    bayoubud Member

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    The antenna will receive the digital signal but your TV must have digital tuner. Older model TV's had analog tuner's. The best antenna for a boat is an omni-directional which receives signals from 360 degrees, a directional won't work unless the boat is in a fixed position.

    http://www.calibex.com/shopping/products?search=TV-Antenna-Marine
  9. ranger42c

    ranger42c Member

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    To add some to what the others have said...

    Antennas are designed for specific radio frequency bands, not the signals transmitted therein.

    Specific signals transmitted in those various radio frequency or bands (or ranges) are modulated (analog, digital) and/or multiplexed, etc... but demodulating/de-muxing is a tuner's job... and the antenna doesn't really care.

    That's not to say some antennas aren't better quality than others. Better components, better cable, better construction, etc., -- and better sizing to match the target frequency range and usual signal strength -- are all possible from one brand/model compared to another...

    But like they said, height and Omni is good for boats, and sometimes height and controllable directional could get even better in specific instances. (Height is not the length of a straight antenna.)

    -Chris
  10. wdrzal

    wdrzal Senior Member

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    The broadcast area of digital is ~15% smaller than analog. So fringe areas of the analog signal won't receive a digital one.
  11. nautiyachti

    nautiyachti New Member

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    How can I tell if my TV are digital? They are letter box Solo brand LCD TV's. They have a DTV option in the selection mode, is that for digital input, which means that it can receive a digital broadcase?
  12. d_meister

    d_meister Member

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    All flat screens are digital over-the-air compatible if they have a built in tuner (except maybe really early plasma rigs). The last analog TV's made were all old-school CRT types.There are few standards for how functions are named by different brands. On my two flat screens, one LCD and one LED (different brands), they both have the "TV" option as an input type, which accesses the TV tuner and antenna. Best to dig out the manual rather than rely on trial and error. I did a quick Google for "Solo brand LCD TV", and I determined I wasn't going to get any info quickly. If you don't have the manual, it is best Googled with full brand name and model number. Once you connect an antenna and access the menu, you'll need to follow the "Auto Tune" function, wherein the TV does a complete scan of all available channels and blocks out the dead channels not available in your area.
  13. nautiyachti

    nautiyachti New Member

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    Thanks for the info...how would I find out if my model has a built in digital tuner?
  14. d_meister

    d_meister Member

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    The best way is to access the maual, since you'll need to learn the channel tuning operation, anyway. Second best is to look at the back of the TV and see if there is an "F" connector there for a TV cable hook up.
  15. ranger42c

    ranger42c Member

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    Many (most?) analog TVs could accept a cable TV input; the cable's set-top-box would then do the tuning in that case... so the F connector wouldn't definitively prove whether the TV has an internal digital tuner.

    The manual would be the best way. And if the manual is silent on the topic, that'd be a hint that the TV was maybe built before digital over-the-air signaling began.

    Sometimes yutzing around through the on-screen menus can solve it, but that'd be hunt-and-peck...

    -Chris
  16. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    How old is the TV. I'd say less than 5, it has a digital tuner.
    Does your TV have a set up screen, do a channel search, It it offers A vs D channels, it a newer set.
  17. nautiyachti

    nautiyachti New Member

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    checked with the manufacturer and my TV do not have digital tuners, so I'm back to square one, how to feed a digital signal via antenna or tablet to the TV?
  18. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    There were D to A converters available rite before the change. Some could still be available.
    The best thing is to upgrade to the newer TVs and life will be easier (after the credit card is paid off).
  19. leeky

    leeky Member

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    Do a Google search for "digital to analog tv converter." Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, and others have what you need.
  20. ranger42c

    ranger42c Member

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    Dunno exactly about how to route from the tablet, but perhaps via cable of some sort. USB-to-RCA plugs (red/white for sound, yellow for video) is there is such a thing, and then maybe with a menu selection on the TV for input source (if it offers that option). In that case the TV tuner wouldn't be relevant, for that particular signal.

    And after searching for a digital-to-analog-converter... better to just bag the analog TV and replace it with a digital one. You'll get better resolution from OTA signals via antenna... and the new TV may give you wireless options for signals from tablet, or maybe at least USB-to-HDMI or some such cable (if that exists.) Or you may find a "smart" TV with wireless capability lets you by pass the idea of a tablet, anyway.

    -Chris

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