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Old 01-11-2009, 02:04 PM   #1
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Do I need a digital antenna?


I recently bought a digital converter box (zenith model) but I cannot plug in our rabbit ear antenna (the wire in the coaxial cable is too thick). Also, when I get some connection by holding the cable against the box, the signal behaves like analog (channel 7 much better than channel 2, etc).

The salesman at circuit city said I would just need a rabbits ear antenna. Was he misleading me, or did he assume that all rabbits ear antennas are now digital? Should I get a digital antenna?

We plan to get a 42" lcd screen too. Will we need a digital antenna for this product?

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Old 01-11-2009, 02:46 PM   #2
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Do I need a digital antenna?


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Originally Posted by darsunt View Post
I recently bought a digital converter box (zenith model) but I cannot plug in our rabbit ear antenna (the wire in the coaxial cable is too thick). Also, when I get some connection by holding the cable against the box, the signal behaves like analog (channel 7 much better than channel 2, etc).

The salesman at circuit city said I would just need a rabbits ear antenna. Was he misleading me, or did he assume that all rabbits ear antennas are now digital? Should I get a digital antenna?

We plan to get a 42" lcd screen too. Will we need a digital antenna for this product?

Last I knew there is NO such thing as a digital antenna, not sure why you cant terminate your rg6. Any antenna should receive HD channels.

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Old 01-11-2009, 02:50 PM   #3
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Do I need a digital antenna?


Simple answer: If you have a digital converter, or digital ready TV, then you don't need a "digital" antenna. You should look over you converter manual and read up on the proper connection and how to program the new TV for digital stations.

More information at about digital signals and antennas at these sites:

http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/info.aspx?page=FAQ

http://www.hdtvinfoport.com/TV-Antenna.html
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Old 01-11-2009, 03:16 PM   #4
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Do I need a digital antenna?


What they said...there is not a specific "HD digital" antenna.

Read the FAQ as posted at antenna web for more information on the requirements as well as what stations are transmitting in digital in your area.

Note: The switch of TV stations to digital doesnt mean they will be in HD, although most made the investment to support HD....many of the smaller stations (non cbs,abc,nbc) broadcast in Standard Definition.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:42 PM   #5
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Do I need a digital antenna?


That is interesting. A sales person at Best Buy told us we would need a 'digital antenna' to go with our converter box.

I've searched the internet, and I've heard that rabbit ear antennas are supposed to be okay. But also I've heard many comments about how rabbit ear antennas really aren't good enough most of the time for converter boxes.

And what about my rabbit ear antenna's coaxial cable not able to insert into my converter box (wire too thick)? I'd hate to buy another rabbit ear antenna and find out its cable doesn't fit either.
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:32 PM   #6
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Do I need a digital antenna?


There ARE antenae that are designed to get HD signals, as well as JUST digital signals. Terk, for example makes an antenna to recieve HD signals, but is not necessary to recieve digital signals that you plan to convert to analogue through a converter box for a current analogue TV. Most TVs on the market now are set up for digital TV, but that does not mean that they are HD compatible. Do not get confused between HD and digital... they are two different things. HD is HIGH DEFINITION, Digital is a broadcast format. As of February 17th, all HIGH power broadcast stations like NBC, CBS, ABC etc, must switch to a digital broadcast, though LOW power stations, say a non-network local UHF station, may still use analogue. If you receive a decent signal now with your current antenna, you will be fine with a digital converter box, maybe even better. I reccomend that even people with cable to have a box if they live in an area that MIGHT be prone to lose cable service, such as myself in a hurricane zone.
I hope this helps answer your questions. If not, try Google.
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:13 AM   #7
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Do I need a digital antenna?


There really isn't such a thing as a "HDTV" antenna. It is just a marketing tactic. Here is a good read...http://www.dennysantennaservice.com/1373792.html
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:06 AM   #8
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Do I need a digital antenna?


Well, first of all, if you pick up a digital signal, then the HD broardcast will come in fine. Its the digital signal you want to pick up, NOT the HD. If you have an HD TV, and the signal is being broadcast in the HD mode, then you'll get it fine. I know that there is a lot of talk about the new type of "digital" antennas, and it has to do with the wavelength of the broadcast signal, but by my own experience, a set of rabbit ear antennas will work just fine. Now, if you are lacated in a "fringe" area, thats a different story. Remember, not all antennas are created equal. You might have one set of rabbit ears that work great, while another pair are junk. So far in Tamps, the same 'ol antennas seem to be working fine. As far as special antennas designed for HD rather than just digital, well.....that is a sales pitch. If you are getting a GOOD digital signal, then the HD format will come in just fine, provided you have an HD TV. Also, keep this in mine, most of the cheaper converter boxes will NOT provide a true HD picture even on an HD TV. Usually you need a converter box that has either HDMI or component outputs going to the TV for HD viewing.

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Old 02-09-2009, 11:44 AM   #9
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Do I need a digital antenna?


The prong in the middle of the coax cable plug should be about the thickness of a paper clip wire. If that looks too thick, it will still go onto your converter box.

If the prong is the thickness of a pencil lead (or a little more) the plug is not the standard kind for antenna coax cables.

SOme rabbit ears antennas have a flat wire with two ends sometimes with metal tips. If yours is that kind then you need to buy a "300 ohm to 75 ohm transformer" costing around 5 dollars, perhaps looking like the end of your thumb, with two screws to attache the antenna wire ends, and with a coax cable socket with prong that snaps onto your converter box or other device.

With rabbit ears antennas, first try the UHF portion. If that doesn't work well, try the VHF portion but start with the rabbit ears pushed in all the way.

On average, currently (2008) people not living really close to broadcasting towers found that they needed a "better" antenna to get digital broadcasts. After Feb. 17 (or is it June 12?) some stations will increase their HD broadcasting power.

Video hints: http://www.cockam.com/feb2009.htm
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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-09-2009 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:00 PM   #10
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Do I need a digital antenna?


I bought a new antenna which is working okay. I do have to adjust the rabbit ears to get channel 7 digital signal.

The new coaxial cable fits fine. My old antenna the middle part of the cable really didn't want to go in at all.

The new antenna has a kind of saucer thing that adjusts through a remote, its very helpful. Also it has 3 levels of 'sensitivity' for poor reception stations, that is also very helpful. So just replacing the old rabbits ear with a better model did the job

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