Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Why won't my HDTV indoor antenna work with my tv?

Q. I have an Insignia 42" flat screen HDTV. I recently bought an RCA amplified indoor HDTV antenna for it. I hooked up the antenna as said in the directions, and when I scan for channels, it either finds 0 channels, or only 1 channel. I've moved the antenna location on my wall and still get this problem. Any suggestions or ideas?

A. The large quantity of indoor antennas for sale at all kinds of stores may lead you to believe they actually work well. They really don't unless you are quite close to the TV transmitting towers. It's very rare for any viewer to get all desired channels with an indoor antenna of any type. It's almost as rare for anyone to get more than a very few channels with regularity. 60 years ago good TV reception was achieved with an outside antenna mounted as high as possible, and nothing really has changed as far as good antenna design goes.

Your problem will be solved by a better antenna, probably mounted outside above the roofline, and on a rotor if your stations are in different directions. The first ref below is a good one if you're in the U.S. The second one is also good for those in the U.S. or Canada. Enter your local info for a readout of what channels you should be able to receive and what antenna is recommended. Don't expect an indoor antenna to be high on the recommended list.


How do I choose the best outdoor antenna for use with my HTPC?
Q. The basic indoor HDTV antenna I bought doesn't quite do it. The picture will often just pause or become very pixelated.

A. The large quantity of indoor antennas for sale at all kinds of stores may lead you to believe they actually work well. They really don't unless you are quite close to the TV transmitting towers. It's very rare for any viewer to get all desired channels with an indoor antenna of any type. It's almost as rare for anyone to get more than a very few channels with regularity. 60 years ago good TV reception was achieved with an outside antenna mounted as high as possible, and nothing really has changed as far as good antenna design goes.

Your problem will be solved by a better antenna, probably mounted outside above the roofline, and on a rotor if your stations are in different directions. The first ref below is a good one if you're in the U.S. The second one is also good for those in the U.S. or Canada. Enter your local info for a readout of what channels you should be able to receive and what antenna is recommended. Don't expect an indoor antenna to be high on the recommended list.


Can I get 5.1 Digital Sound for local HD using an HDTV antenna and my 8 year old 5.1 receiver?
Q. Is there a special way to hook it up? I'm about to purchase a new HDTV and get an indoor HDTV antenna. I find it hard to believe I will be able to watch my favorite shows in 5.1 surround with the over-the-air antenna. Or is that just for cable and satellite subscriptions?

A. Once the OTA program is being broadcast in 5.1 you should have no problem watching them in 5.1 once the TV is connected to your receiver, even if it's connected by common RCA cables. I'm thinking that your receiver does not have a digital audio connector hence the reason you asked if there is a special hook up. If it does, however, then use either a coax or optical digital cable to connect the HDTV to the receiver and you will have true 5.1 digital sound.





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