Old Rabbit Ear Antenna vs New HD Antenna


#1

Some time this year I intend to cut the cord, but I’m still doing research. I’ve connected my HDTV to an old set of rabbit ears antenna and receive about 35 stations OTA that seem to have a very strong signal. What can I lose by just using this old antenna vs getting some new HD OTA like Mohu Leaf or Winegard? I’m in a major metropolitan area, a suburb of Milwaukee and am, at most, 8 miles from a cluster of broadcast antennae. Sorry, If I keep asking for basics, but all this input is helping me a lot. Thanks for help in advance. Can’t wait for the Apple TV app.


#2

AFIK the digital signal is UHF so any UHF antenna should work. I am using an old roof top antenna in my attic. (35mi from my antenna farm in a suburb of Minneapolis)


#3

Go to www.tvfool.com and either put in your address or zip code. Are you getting everything it list? Under the real column is the channel it broadcast on. Anything 13 or lower is VHF and might be helped by an antenna that is both VHF and UHF. At my parents house there is an old rabbit ears antenna. If I visited more frequently or lived there I would have the Winegard FL5500A to get an additional couple of channels.


#4

Typically rabbit ears are good for VHF and loop for UHF. My guess is that your “rabbit ears” have the loop antenna as well (most do, or an snap on loop or butterfly). If you’re getting good signal you may not see any advantage with something marketed as “HD Antenna”… in fact most “leaf” antenna are good at UHF and sometimes VHF… so you might get less out of a leaf.

I live too far away, and use an attic antenna. I used to use a leaf… my rabbit ears weren’t good enough to get anything.


#5

+1 here for the Mohu leaf. I am well within the range of the usual networks and the signal is crystal clear. Like any antenna, position is paramount…


#6

A good antenna is a good antenna, whether it is an old pre-digital one or the latest and greatest “HD” antenna. The point is that it be effective at picking up the frequency your channels are broadcast (UHF/ VHF). Height has a lot of impact, as does the frequencies that a given antenna is optimized for, and also if dealing with poor signal strength a preamp is important (DO NOT amplify if you have a strong signal on ANY channels- it will cause problems.).

If the channels you want all have good signal w/ “Rabbit Ears”, I would stick with that unless aesthetics are a problem.

+1 on using tvfool + antennaweb to see what is reasonable to expect with the different heights and general types of antennae at a given location.


#7

Winegard FL5500A doesn’t over amplify my already strong stations but does bring in channel 62 and 17 (and their subchannels)


#8

If you’re getting all the local channels you want then obviously you’re good to go. If not, no harm in trying something locally available for easy return.
HD Is a bogus designation for antennas.
Your rabbit ears apparently doesn’t know it’s not HD.


#9

Yeah - when ATSC 3.0 comes out, I’m sure there will be Antenna Ads for it too, just like when HD first came out
:slightly_smiling:


#10

When ATSC 3 comes out I’ll have to get a new set of glasses.


#11

Direction antenna is aimed makes a difference too. One way 7 doesn’t come in, another way and 7 is five green.