HDTV antenna amplifier recommendation?
January 16, 2012 8:51 AM   Subscribe

HDTV antenna amplifier recommendations? I live in an apartment in a downtown area and the TV reception is poor even with my antenna designed for fringe reception. My current antenna amplifier is a Winegard HD200 with forward gain of 24dB which definitely helps, but can you recommend an even more effective amplifier for O.T.A. reception in the U.S.? Sometime back there was a recommendation to hook two amplifiers in series but my experience doing that showed a decline in performance and I think the theory states that reflection of signal back toward the source can diminish any improvement, ie the gains of two amplifiers in line are not additive. If I can get the amplifier thru Amazon, that's a plus. Thanks.
posted by paphun123 to Technology (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The Channel Master 7777 is the one that gets the most plaudits; it's very much a pre-amp, in that it's meant to be mounted directly downstream from the antenna to avoid amplifying anything generated by the coax.
posted by holgate at 9:38 AM on January 16, 2012

Have you tried this:
posted by miles1972 at 10:31 AM on January 16, 2012

There are two components of getting a signal to your tv- the signal strength or "loudness" of the signal, and the signal to noise ratio. Amplifiers increase the signal strength, but they also reduce the s/n ratio. Theoretically, two amplifiers won't interfere with each other, but not always in practice. And the second amplifier will always amplify the noise of the first one.

If your antenna is plugged right into the receiver and it can't get a lock on a channel, no amplifier will fix it.

How far away are you from the broadcast tower, and what kinds of "stuff" is between you and it? (Trees, buildings, mountains, etc.)
posted by gjc at 12:27 PM on January 16, 2012

Check with antennaweb.org to find what type of antenna you need first.
posted by wongcorgi at 12:51 PM on January 16, 2012

I've also got a Channel Master 7777 up in my attic, and I've been pretty happy with it.

The other thing that's worth investigating is a different tuner, particularly if the one you have is older. Unfortunately, all tuners aren't created alike, and newer tuners are much better at dealing with multipath interference, which is something you're likely to have in an urban environment.

Multipath is basically the same phenomenon that created "ghosts" on analog TV. It's caused by your tuner receiving a reflection of the original signal (off of a building, or some other structure) slightly after it receives the original. In the analog realm it's an annoyance that causes a light ghost image on the screen; in the digital realm, it wreaks havoc on the integrity of the digital signal. The newer the tuner, the better it is at identifying and cancelling out multipath interference.

AVS Forum would probably be a good place to research this; here's a thread from last year discussing reception gains from getting a more recent tuner.
posted by orthicon halo at 6:15 PM on January 16, 2012

posted by paphun123 at 9:19 AM on January 17, 2012

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