Posts Tagged ‘tv’

OTA Antenna FAQs

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Here are some Frequently asked questions I get about TV Antennas in my town:

  • What is the best antenna?
  • Can I go bigger?
  • Can I pick up channels from both Madison and Cedar Rapids?

What is the best antenna?

The best antenna is the one that fits your budget. Here is my handout I give folks who ask. I have it broken into three budgets. < $50 / $120 / $200

Can I go bigger?

Short answer, no. Long answer, it depends but probably is not worth it. You can explore this page which describes running multiple DB8 antennas. Midway down the page you will find “Why this 16-bay antenna might not work”. Take a read through.

Can I pick up channels from both Madison and Cedar Rapids?

Again, short answer no. Long answer, maybe. Antennas like the DB8e have multiple elements that can be pointed in different directions. Aside from halving your antennas efficiency by splitting it in two, the next problem is that some of the signal picked up by Side A is then radiated out of Side B. This results in your received signal dropping by more than 50% !
If you are thinking about adding a second antenna to overcome these losses, see above “Can I go bigger?”

OTA Channel List – Aug 2017

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

I did a scan tonight and found FIVE new channels I wasn’t aware of. If you have an antenna, do a channel scan on your tv to find the new channels. ION, 24/7 PBS Kids, TBD TV, American Sports Network, and QVC.

Here is an updated list of stations from Madison that we can receive in Platteville~! All primary channels are broadcast in 1080i or 720p HD, with the exception of CW, all subchannels are 480i.

3.1 CBS
3.2 MyN
3.3 ION
15.1 NBC
15.2 CW
15.3 Antenna TV
15.4 Weather
21.1 PBS
21.2 Wisconsin
21.3 Create
21.4 PBS Kids
27.1 ABC
27.2 Me-TV
27.3 Decades
40.1 Christian
47.1 FOX
47.2 Comet
47.3 Charge
47.4 TBD
57.1 Independent
57.2 Movies!
57.3 H&I
57.4 ASN
57.5 QVC

Amazon Fire TV or Roku TV?

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

I think the Amazon Fire TV will replace my current recommendation for the Roku TV as my favorite “Over The Air” receiver. Just like the Roku TV, the Fire TV will have the ability to pause and rewind live TV.

However, Fire TV adds the ability to pull up a TV Guide. A feature I sorely miss from my cable days and I supplement with a TV Guide app on my phone.

You can checkout the features here:
Fire 55 inch TV:
Roku 55 inch TV:

Cord Cutters and Data Caps

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

As people stream more video you may run into Data Caps. The average Platteville resident with CenturyLink internet has a 250GB Data Cap. Note: There are no Data Caps for the 1Gbs service.

Some rough numbers from Netflix and SlingTV put HD streaming at 750MB/hour and SD streaming at about 400MB/hour. If you only watch HD streams, you would hit 80% of your 300GB monthly data cap after 63 hours/week. Not too shabby.

What about UHD 4K streams? Netflix estimates those at 4-8GB/hour. If you only watch 4K streams, you would hit 80% of your 300GB monthly data cap after a mere 5-12 hours/week. Yikes !

OTA: Metal Monster

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

91XG Unidirectional Ultra Long Range DTV Antenna


Have you seen antennas that look like this around Platteville? You will usually see them on 30 foot towers. This is a long range UHF and VHF combination antenna.

Those antennas are expensive to have installed (the tower is the bulk of the cost). The height rule for VHF reception is 8 feet above your neighbor’s home OR 32 feet above ground. Meaning that a tower is normally required to get the needed clearance.

But did you know that Platteville receives no VHF channels?? All that height is overkill for the shorter waveform UHF reception.

For reception of Madison TV channels in Platteville, you need a good UHF only antenna. Do not worry about VHF reception at all. UHF antennas are small and do not need much of a clearing to aim into. A few hundred feet of clearing is fine. For height, 3 feet is best but will work with as little as 2 feet above your neighbor’s roof. UHF antennas can function when mounted 3 feet from ground~!!

Mount where it makes sense for your home. The link below is for good quality UHF only antennas.