Category: Ask the Expert

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Jun
24

Posted in AD Bus Tour, Antenna Update, Ask the Expert, Cable be evil, Cut the Cord | Comments

The Great Race 2016 Recap, Part 3

Noel and Richard

After several long days of driving along the Lincoln Highway, Richard and Noel made it to their destinations and were able to enjoy some food, drinks and rest. But not before testing out the ClearStream Eclipse in each location!

In these two videos, they test out the reception in Elko, NV and Cheyenne, WY. Both locations aren’t exactly right on top of the towers, just more proof that you CAN cut the cord all across the United States. You can even watch TV by slapping the Eclipse to a cowboy boot in Cheyenne, WY! (We can’t make this stuff up, Richard ACTUALLY tested it out, as seen in the second video.)

Follow the Great Race and Richard’s crazy antics (and getting lost) at antennasdirect.com/66ADBusTour, InstagramTwitter and Facebook and live streaming on UStream.

 

Jun
23

Posted in Antenna Update, Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord | Comments

Relief is Here for Antenna Users in the Bay Area

nbc bay area white

We’re excited to share that there is potential relief for some antenna users in the Bay area! And really, there is no better time.

KNTV, the NBC affiliate in  SF, has added their primary programming as a sub-channel on their UHF 49 Telemundo station (KSTS) from Mt Allison giving Bay area antenna users a second shot at their programming which, coincidentally, includes the Olympics that are scheduled to begin soon.

KNTV has often been a PITA for antenna users as one of the two VHF (channel 12) stations in the market.  One of their more pronounced problems was that they were located on Mt San Bruno which was several miles south of Sutro Tower and their signal was blocked by Mt Sutro for much of the immediate San Francisco proper making signal reception tough, especially for indoor users.

Early on after the digital transition, KGO recognized the problem with VHF and installed a 15 kW UHF 35 translator on Mt Allison that has done a decent job of covering the southern Bay area on over into the Redwood City/Palo Alto area, even back up towards the city of SF.  Now that NBC, owner of both KNTV and the Telemundo affiliate KSTS, has added the flagship NBC programming to KSTS, antenna users may be able to get adequate reception from all UHF transmissions without having to gamble on VHF.  UHF antenna owners in the city of San Francisco who couldn’t get a reliable VHF signal not have a second chance although will likely need to readjust the aim of their antenna, at a minimum.

Details:

TVs tuned into KSTS will now get virtual channel 11.3 (KNTV) in 720p in addition to the two Telemundo feeds on virtual channels 48.1 & 48.2.

TVs tuned to KNTV’s channel 12 signal will also receive Telemundo’s primary channel as virtual channel 48.3 in addition to 11.1 & 11.2 (NBC & Cozi TV).

TVs that pick up BOTH signals successfully will get all 6 virtual channels with NBS and TEL each being duplicated.

Calculated coverage map of KSTS:

AD Map

Jun
22

Posted in AD Bus Tour, Ask the Expert, Cable be evil, Cut the Cord | Comments

The Great Race 2016 Recap, Part 2

Richard Reno

Our fearless leader has made his way from San Francisco to Reno, Nevada. Not only is he not in last place, but the car is doing great, and the antennas are doing even better!

See how the ClearStream Eclipse tested in Sacramento and Reno in our latest recap. Even standing in the parking lot of a casino, we had EXCELLENT reception! Up next… Elko, NV and Evanston, WY. Be sure to stay tuned to see how the Eclipse does in each location, and for an update on the Schneider’s progress on the Great Race.

Follow the Great Race and Richard’s crazy antics at antennasdirect.com/66ADBusTour, InstagramTwitter and Facebook and live streaming on UStream.

Jun
21

Posted in AD Bus Tour, Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord | Comments

Antennas Direct Takes on The Great Race 2016, Part 1

Richard and NOel

This past weekend, Richard Schneider began his journey down the Lincoln Highway in his 1969 Mercedes 280SL as a part of the Great Race. Now you might be thinking to yourself, why is this man driving across the United States? The answer is simple. Because he wants to. And, this is a great opportunity to showcase the strengths of our antennas in different markets across the United States.

In this first recap of the Great Race, Richard gives you some background on the history of the race and his plans for testing our antennas along the way. Then see how the ClearStream Eclipse does 25 miles outside of San Francisco. (SPOILER ALERT: It does amazing, of course.)

The Great Race started on Saturday, June 18th in California and Richard will arrive in Moline, Illinois on Sunday, June 26th. Follow the Great Race and Richard’s crazy antics at antennasdirect.com/66ADBusTour,  InstagramTwitter and Facebook and live streaming on UStream. Will the Schneider’s be traveling through your neck of the woods? Let us know!


Jun
15

Posted in AD Bus Tour, Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord | Comments

Antennas Direct Founder Once Again Tests Technology Down The Lincoln Highway

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Richard Schneider, our fearless leader, once again embarks on an exciting journey this weekend…a journey along most of the historic Lincoln Highway. Richard, and his much too patient wife Noel, will be traveling from San Rafael, CA to Moline, IL in his 1969 Mercedes 280SL.

great race

They will be stopping in cities along the way to test out the reception of some of our over-the-air technology and report the findings. Not only will we be posting videos, but Richard will occasionally live streaming the race and their many adventures, so who knows what kind of gems you might witness.

“I look forward to the Great Race each year. The opportunity to be around the best cars and test out the best antennas,” says Schneider. “We want to show Americans that regardless of where you live, it is possible for you to cut the cord. And we want to help.”

The Great Race starts Saturday, June 18th in California and Richard will arrive in Moline, Illinois on Sunday, June 26th. Follow the Great Race and Richard’s crazy antics at antennasdirect.com/66ADBusTour,  InstagramTwitter and Facebook and live streaming on UStream.

Jun
9

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord, Industry Update | Comments

ATSC 3.0, in Layman’s Terms

ATSC 3.0 better

A few weeks ago we shared the ATSC 3.0 video and a brief description about WHAT it is, but really, it’s a bunch of detailed, techie, nerd talk. What does it really mean for you, in layman’s terms?

Here are the main points on the ATSC 3.0 transition:

  • 4K Ultra HD Video!
  • High dynamic range high definition
  • 1 +4 surround sound and immersive audio
  • Way more multicasting! There will be over 100 sub-channels per main channel (the system has much more efficient compression), which means potentially hundreds of over the air channels per market
  • More reliable and robust transmissions won’t be prone to interference (this means no more break ups!)
  • Indoor reception will be MUCH easier with an antenna
  • Interactive, the view can control the viewing experience and will allow two way communications with the broadcaster, choose viewing angle on sports, etc.
  • Targeted advertising, this will be great for businesses to sell their products to particular demographics.
  • Metadata- more detailed show info, actor bios, all the fun background info you might be interested in knowing, but don’t want to spend time looking up!
  • Immersive and VR experience

Ultimately, there is a lot of buzz with the transition, but it will be a lengthy process. There are currently no broadcasters transmitting in 3.0 and they won’t be until probably 2018 at the earliest. It will all depend on when station decides to make the switch and even then, the consumer will need a device with a 3.0 tuner chip set.

For the most part, broadcasters will continue to transmitting signal in both 1.0 and 3.0. Once 3.0 TV’s hit the market, there will be a lot of people who will be able to access these features IF the broadcast station is transmitting in 3.0. It will be an interesting transition because there is not a harsh turn off deadline for 1.0, it’s not like there will be one day where all of a sudden there will no longer be 1.0 and everyone will be broadcasting in 3.0. That won’t be happening! Basically, it’s consumer adoption for 3.0 and how people decide they want their content delivered to them. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out, and we will be sure to keep you updated!

Jun
1

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord, Industry Update | Comments

The Antennas Direct Antenna Selector is Here to Save the Day!

antenna selector

“But I don’t know what kind of antenna to get.”

“How far am I from the towers?”

“Indoor or outdoor, which is better for my location?”

“What stations should I get in my area?”

These are all questions we hear on a daily basis. And we get it, it can be tricky trying to determine what antenna to get and take that step to cut the cord. We know how frustrating it can be to purchase something and bring it home, only to realize it won’t work for you! So to help ease that pain and streamline the process, we have developed an antenna selector!

What do you need to do?

Step 1:

Visit our Antenna Selector HERE.

Step 2:

Type in your zipcode. The selector will determine the best antennas for your location, both indoor and outdoor, depending on your needs.

antenna selector 2

Step 3:

Sit back and admire the list of available channels. You’ll be amazed how many stations you’ll be able to get, all for free!

Step 4:

Add the antenna of your choosing to your cart! It’s that simple. No more guessing what would work best for you.

That’s it! We’ve made the process so simple, you’ll wonder why you didn’t cut the cord sooner! Don’t hesitate to give our Connection Crew a call to ask them any questions you might have. And by ANY questions, we mean it! Not only are our products the best in the industry, but so is our service!

May
23

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cable be evil, Cut the Cord | Comments

5 Ways to Get Better Antenna Reception

Television has come a long way since the days of rabbit ear antennas on top of TV boxes weighing over one hundred pounds. Now, you can get a TV so flat you are afraid a stiff breeze might break it, and a little box can get you hundreds of channels. That little box obviously comes with a cost, and that cost seems to be going up at a never-ending rate (yep, I’m talking about cable). In turn, people have come back to antennas as a viable option and a key asset for anyone looking to cut cable.

EclipsewAmp_

The antennas of today are much more advanced. Antennas Directs ClearStream series of HDTV antennas are perfect for cord-cutters looking for advanced solutions. Antennas today are often designed with sleek, inconspicuous profiles, and the reception ranges have grown vastly from the earlier versions. Check out the ClearStream Eclipse. It’s the ultra-thin antenna that grips to any smooth surface. The range of content you receive can include award-winning TV shows, live sporting events, educational programming, and even broadcasts in foreign languages. For example, in my guide for the Indy 500 I mentioned the antenna as one of the easiest and cheapest options to watch the race without cable.

The worst thing that could happen to you is you do all your research, purchase your antenna, set it up, and find out the reception you are receiving is poor. It isn’t always as easy as turning on your TV and checking for the reception… sometimes it just cuts out. We just highlighted how to watch the French Open with an antenna and imagine watching the final match and having your reception get blurry then cut out right near the last points.  That would be devastating, so you should take all the steps ahead of time to improve your antenna’s reception and make sure you’re all set. Below are some of our top tips to improve the reception for your antenna.

1) Direct your Antenna Correctly

Unfortunately, for many of the antennas on the market it is not as simple as throwing it near a window and getting perfect reception. Many antennas need to be directed towards a certain point where the broadcast signal originates. This could be a relatively easy and quick fix to improve your reception.

All you need to do is use sites like AntennaWeb, TVFool, or the Digital TV Map from the FCC. You simply put in your details and it will tell you which channels you will likely receive and provide you with a map displaying where the broadcast signal is coming from in relation to your location. Based on this map, you should adjust your antenna to point the correct direction. If you are aimed in the correct direction you could even increase your chances on picking up subchannels.

2) Move your Antenna’s Placement

If the direction is not the solution it may be the actual placement of your antenna. The marketability of many current antennas is the sleek design allowing you to place it around your house without it being an eyesore. Maybe you thought it would be best to hide it behind the TV, but it would probably perform better if it was in a less blocked off area. The idea is to get it as close to the broadcast signal as possible, so if the broadcast tower is to your East the best place to likely put it would be near an external wall on the East side of your house. Or, if this still results in poor reception you can always try moving it to a higher location.

3) Reduce Interference

Moving the antenna will reduce the amount of physical interference involved, but it will not account for any sort of electronic interference. The interference can be caused by Wi-Fi routers or any other device communicating wireless. If you have devices that may be interfering, you can test if these are the problem by turning them off and checking your antenna’s reception. The best solution is to move any potentially interfering devices away from your TV and antenna as far as possible.

4) Consider Replacing your Cable

Like many products, antennas arrive in the packaging with the additional equipment needed for it to function. The cable most antennas give you is a generic one, often an RG59. This is what connects what your antenna receives to what you watch on your TV, so it is critical to have a high-quality cable. I recommend replacing the RG59 with a thicker cable, such as the RG6. It has more capability to deliver a better signal between the two devices. Learn more about the difference between the two types of cables here.

5) Amplifier

An amplifier would be the last recommendation to get better reception on your antenna. A majority of antennas have amplifiers built in to improve the signal, but if yours does not you can add a compatible one with the hopes of spreading out your reception range. Amplifiers can be hit or miss, because they not only amplify the broadcast signal from network stations but amplify other signals as well. This could add to your interference and ultimately result in just as poor of reception as you had in the first place. It is why we recommend an amplifier as a last chance option if you have tried everything else with little or no improvement.

There you have it—5 ways to get better reception for your antenna. Here’s to better free tv!

cutcable

Chris Brantner is the founder of CutCableToday.com, a resource for people who want to cut the cord and still get the TV they crave. Follow him on Twitter @CutCableToday and find him on Facebook here

May
17

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord | Comments

Announcing the Antennas Direct Dads and Grads Giveaway

dads and grads

For many folks, especially our kiddos, this is a favorite time of year. The school year is over, summer vacations planned, a break from the homework, and for dads, a day to celebrate you for being a pretty awesome dude.

To celebrate both those special father’s and lucky graduates, we are hosting a Dads and Grads giveaway!

Our Dads and Grads giveaway will run May 17th-June 13th. Simply fill out the form HERE and you are entered to win! One entry per person, please.

Giveaway Prize:

  • 55″ LED Smart HDTV Roku TV- You want a great TV to watch all your FREE OTA and streaming shows.
  • ClearStream Eclipse antenna- Simply slap on a window or wall, plug into your TV, scan for channels and you’ll be watching glorious, crystal clear TV.

Whether you’re having a laid back, backyard BBQ to celebrate these special humans or a blown out party, you’ll be their favorite human if they unwrap these gifts. And what better way to thank your dad or husband for being a kicka** human then winning him the ultimate Father’s Day present? And same goes to you graduates. The winner of this prize pack would have the hottest pad for entertaining, hands down.

Here’s to you, dads and grads! We raise a beer to you, congratulations on raising children who don’t totally suck and managing to not sleep through all your classes. We know it was a challenge, and we applaud you!

May
11

Posted in Ask the Expert, Industry Update | Comments

ATSC 3.0- What do you need to know?

Richard White House

There’s been a lot of buzz recently around the new ATSC standard and what it will mean for you. Our talented nerd group at Antennas Direct are currently in Washington, D.C. to learn more about ATSC 3.0. To give you a quick background, a portion of the spectrum is used for wireless, so the new ATSC 3.0 standard is the biggest thing to happen since the digital transition. And that is HUGE! Moral of the story, over the air television is going to just keep getting better, and that is what we like to hear!

ATSC 3.0 better

Here are a few key points on ATSC 3.0:

  • Television broadcasters are leading the way with the new system that will merge the capabilities of OTA broadcasting with the internet.
  • Broadcasters are evolving to meet the needs of today’s viewers and advertisers. They have YOU in mind.
  • This next generation broadcast platform merges the best capabilities of over the air and broadband feeling. The result is a convergence of the most popular method of watching live events with the variety of programming available online.
  • Next generation transmission system that can deliver 4K Ultra HD images with high dynamic range plus interactive features and multichannel immersive audio.
  • ATSC 3.0 is the world’s first broadcast standard built on an internet protocol backbone. This offers the advantage of both broadcast and broadband, designed to integrate with internet delivered content, ATSC 3.0 will present viewers with more streams, more choices, more channels and more flexibility.
  • Adaptable for single frequency network transmission systems that can overcome the physical challenges to deliver TV deep inside buildings and on the go. The result is better indoor reception and wide coverage for mobile devices.

ATSC 3.0 is flexible, adaptable and focused on the future, today.

Overall, this is great news for viewers, making it easier for them to watch the live, over the air content they love, when they want it and where they want it.

Following is the full video released today to learn more about ATSC 3.0.

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