Friday, August 18, 2017

Terrestrial Digital DB8 Multi-Directional ‘Bowtie’ UHF DTV Antenna

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  1. 461 of 463 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Doubled my channels! Some tips for installing…, September 2, 2009
    By 
    Scott C (Jersey Pine Barrens) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Terrestrial Digital DB8 Multi-Directional ‘Bowtie’ UHF DTV Antenna (Electronics)
    I live about 35 miles from the city where the transmitters are located, with a few trees obstructing a clear shot from my roof. But since I was determined to eliminate our monthly cable bill and go with FREE instead, I looked at many different outdoor antennas and read dozens of reviews. I also found out signals in the air are 100% HD, whereas cable compresses the signal to around 70%. But you probably already know that if you’re looking for an outdoor antenna…

    Anyway, after weeks of research I decided to try the DB8. When we first cancelled cable, I was getting 16 channels using RCA’s “best” amplified indoor antenna. After hooking up the DB8 on the roof and aiming it in the general direction of the city, I got 35 channels. I eventually added a Motorola Signal Booster to the line in order to get the local ABC affiliate that is a little further away, bringing the total to 36 channels.

    Needless to say, I love this thing. Years ago we had the conventional old school “arrow” looking outdoor antenna. It pulled in about a dozen stations, half were all fuzzy. But with digital, it’s all or nothing. Fuzzy won’t cut it. So I’d highly recommend the DB8. It simply works better. That, and it looks cool, the neighbors probably think I’m contacting Mars, lol.

    I also found out a few other things along the way, which may be helpful if you’re new at this… As with most outdoor antennas, you’ll need a few other things to hook it up:

    1. Antenna mast (the pole the antenna mounts on)
    2. Mounting hardware (basically 3 types: wall mount, tripod roof mount, or chimney mount)
    3. Coaxial grounding block (connects the antenna cable to copper grounding wire)
    4. Copper grounding wire (enough to go from the grounding block to the grounding rod)
    5. Copper grounding rod (9 ft long copper pole that hammers into the ground)
    6. Grounding rod connector (connects the grounding wire to the grounding rod)
    7. And of course, coaxial cable. If you’re running custom lengths you’ll also need connectors, a coaxial wire stripper and crimping tool.

    A few other tips… TIP 1: I noticed every antenna mast and mounting bracket I’ve seen on other roofs are seriously rusted. Rusted to the point they’re staining the roof. So pick up a can of Rustoleum and spray paint your mast and mounting brackets before assembly. Just don’t paint the antenna or grounding hardware. TIP 2: Pick up a cheap rubber chair leg tip and stick it on the top on the mast to keep the inside dry. TIP 3: Don’t underestimate the importance of grounding your antenna. You’re basically putting a large lightning rod on your house, so it’s worth the extra time and money to make sure the lightning goes to the ground and not your family room. TIP 4: Say a prayer that you don’t fall off the roof and die.

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  2. G. E. Grant "sciencetech" says:
    361 of 374 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Super sensitive, difficult to point, June 6, 2008
    By 
    G. E. Grant “sciencetech” (Port Townsend, WA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Terrestrial Digital DB8 Multi-Directional ‘Bowtie’ UHF DTV Antenna (Electronics)
    Buying an antenna for your digital TV receiver? It can be difficult, eh? If you live in the city near the transmitters, it’s fairly easy — any small, truly omni-directional antenna will do fine (perhaps the Antennas Direct DB2). If, like me, you live 50+ miles from the TV transmitters and they’re in different directions, it becomes a challenge. Here’s some tips:

    - No antenna is totally “omni-directional” (receives from all directions) no matter what the ad says. Every antenna receives better in one direction than another, and the high-gain antennas are the most picky. Your TV’s rabbit ears antenna might do better than a fancy high-gain antenna if it’s pointed in the wrong direction. If you buy a “uni-directional” or high-gain antenna, be prepared to spend a lot of time tweaking the direction.

    - Don’t believe the high-gain ratings, they’re mostly marketing hype. There are independent web sites by antenna nerds that rate antennas fairly, so do some research. What you’ll find is that every antenna receives some channels better than others — for instance, it may have great reception (“gain”) for channels 30-60 but be terrible for channels 1-20. Ideally, buy an antenna that has has good gain for the channel(s) you’re most interested in… if you know what those are.

    - Antennas are highly sensitive to position, direction, and things nearby that might interfere with the signals (trees, houses, traffic, the family dog, etc). So what works for me or your neighbor might not work for you. Even a slightly different location may have a huge effect on your reception.

    I have a Channelmaster 4221 and an AntennasDirect DB8, one pointed at distant Seattle and the other pointed at Canada, and both connected to an RCA A/B antenna switch. Both antennas are excellent; the DB8 is slightly more sensitive but extremely hard to point. I would rate it 5-stars except it didn’t come assembled and the assembly instructions are a bit puzzling. Construction and materials are good. The Channelmaster 4221 is somewhat easier to point but still highly directional; it came mostly assembled. Gain is good in my location. I’m only rating it four stars because the construction is less solid. If you’re looking at these same two antennas but unsure of what to buy, I’d start with the 4221: it’s much cheaper and more forgiving about the pointing direction. If you find yourself needing better reception, perhaps buy a preamp to go with it; if that still doesn’t work, maybe move up to the DB8 or a higher mounting location.

    Good luck!

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  3. 119 of 122 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Best in class long range antenna., May 9, 2007
    By 
    S. Fox
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Terrestrial Digital DB8 Multi-Directional ‘Bowtie’ UHF DTV Antenna (Electronics)
    I live over 50 miles from the stations. The DB8 is the best antenna I have found for long range reception. It is tuned for the higher DTV frequencies and is resistant to interference. It will be much harder to get the same results from a combination UHF/VHF antenna.

    With my previous antenna, I could only receive 3 Of the 8 HD stations in my area.

    After installing the DB8, I not only got all 8 stations with 85% or better signal strength, I was even able to improve the signal on my existing channels by about 20 points.

    For the previous reviewers who had a problem, it was most likely an installation error. Unless you live very close to the towers, it’s kind of hard to screw up DTV reception with a high gain UHF antenna like the DB8.

    For long range reception the DB8 is best in class, but as much as I like its performance, this is probably not the best antenna for people living less than 5 miles from the transmitters, as it could possibly overload a tuner or attract multi-path interference.

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