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davedude

Where to find a High Gain Boom TV Antenna in Cebu City?

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davedude

Thanks everyone, will look at all options including cable but this will be an OTA system.

Checking the lineup of local Cebu stations there are still some low band VHF stations and that is a slight problem. Seems all antennas offered nowadays are skewed towards digital which uses UHF band if I am correct. The combo VHF/UHF offerings cut off below VHF channel 12 or so. I think it has to do with physical size of the antenna elements. Oh well I guess at least when the Cebu stations go digital the antenna we put in place will be adequate.

If I cannot find specs on an antenna I do not consider it. Need to have some gain numbers for me to look at in both bands. I did find out about the omnidirectional antennas however, they have flat square elements and more of them equal more gain. Big and ugly looking but for the best reception in all conditions there is no replacement for displacement!

 

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lopburi3
1 hour ago, jtmwatchbiz said:

yes i know and i think i was a bit off topic as i was replying to woolf about how i can't get fancy sky packages.   i think the OP is on the right track finding an antenna as who wants to pay for cable if spending most of his time stateside and seems his inlaws don't need it as well. 

The problem I see is PI will be changing to digital within a few years so antenna will not be usable and TV will probably require external tuner in any case - and for digital signals you almost have to be  near major city to get as it is all or nothing and it appears this is not the case.  Most families can probably afford 100 peso a month for DTV reception once antenna/tuner installed.  Here in Thailand no fee is required as all basic channels are free on both Ku and C-band sat and several hundred others so only one time cost of antenna/tuner required.  But do not believe that is case in PI, so need to spend the basic DTV fee.

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davedude

Thanks everyone for all the replies! Much appreciated. it's good to know what options are available.

The idea here is free OTA (over the air). Once the system is in place then there will be no fees excepting perhaps maintenance issues.

Looking the Cebu city channel lineup there seems to be several low band VHF stations still and many more UHV band. Combo VHF/UHF antenna offerings seem to be all skewed towards digital nowadays which means UHF band. They will receive some higher band VHF but cut off the channels below about VHF10 or so. I think it has to do with the size of the elements and of course the trend towards digital broadcasting. Oh well I'll see if I can find something but it's not looking good for low band VHF right now. Whatever I get will be fully compatible with UHF digital when it comes into play.

With antennas we have the directional ones and the omnidirectional ones. Size matters, the more elements the more gain it has. Big booms rule. A small antenna will have small gain. Lots of small flatwave omnidirectional antennas out there with built in amps--the amps are needed to compensate for low gain. 

Here where I live most of the transmitters for all the TV stations are clustered in one direction. I bought a hi-gain big ugly long straight directional boom, put it on a mast above the roof and pointed it that way. Easy and more TV than I can stand.

I am thinking in Cebu the transmitters may be scattered all over so am thinking multi-flat square element omnidirectional. More big ugly but fabulous(hopefully) gain/reception.

One thing I have noticed with the digital HD OTA signal here in DFW area is the stunning quality of the HD broadcast picture. There may be something about cable providers messing with the signal that degrades it compared to the unadulterated OTA signal but all I have heard is rumors. Have not payed for cable for over a decade now so I cannot compare. 

Is lazada like amazon? Any problems with shipping? 

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davedude
2 hours ago, lopburi3 said:

The problem I see is PI will be changing to digital within a few years so antenna will not be usable and TV will probably require external tuner in any case - and for digital signals you almost have to be  near major city to get as it is all or nothing and it appears this is not the case.  Most families can probably afford 100 peso a month for DTV reception once antenna/tuner installed.  Here in Thailand no fee is required as all basic channels are free on both Ku and C-band sat and several hundred others so only one time cost of antenna/tuner required.  But do not believe that is case in PI, so need to spend the basic DTV fee.

Yes correct with the switch to digital a new tuner will be required. We had little cheapo tuner boxes that popped up here that would downconvert back to old analog so we could still use our old analog tv's. But the antennas, as long as they have a good UHF section will still be able to pick up digital as that's where it is being broadcast. Now all our TV's are digital tuners. Seems like all the antennas offered are digital HD antennas, (UHV biased) thus the problem with cutting off the old lower band VHF. Compatibility will not be a problem. And yes correct the higher frequencies (UHF) do not travel as far. Big multi-element antennas are still the best option for gain. 

In the US FTA (free to air) satellite is available also, both C-band and  K-band. Check https://www.lyngsat.com/freetv/United-States.html . I will eventually install such a system here, have been looking into it for quite some time. Lot of garbage channels but there is enough to add to the variety of free programming. Still plenty of older C-band satellites working in orbit. C-Band requires a large dish for the best signal. Combo systems are available C and K-band, big dish with motor and receiver to scan the arc of satellites across the sky. Many just opt for K-band only as it is more modern and the dish size is small. Lots of K-band stuff up there. You can point your dish at one satellite but to get them all you need a motorized dish to scan for others.

Not sure what the FTA satellite situation is in the PI or Thailand, will look into it but for now we are just gonna do a OTA regular tv system.

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lopburi3

It is not just UHF having shorter range (and one side if building having and the other side not) but digital is 100% or nothing so you must really be close - using phone/TV (made for TV) could not even receive anything in suburb here in Bangkok - only when in center of city would it work (and had dedicated antenna).  These countries are not Texas.  Of course with external antenna it would have worked but in general not that far.  Do not know anyone that actually uses OTA here anymore (even though the government provided free converter box for the asking).  The smallest homes have satellite and most have had since before digital.  Expect this will also be the case in PI for anyone not using fiber optic cable internet (which PI still is behind the curve - almost all of Thailand has access now).  But in PI satellite makes sense with the many islands.  C band antennas here are about 1.5 meters - no need for rotor as Thailand has there own birds at same location.  And there is good reason for using C band as there is little or no rain signal loss as with Ku band.  I have 7 point free C band system in my home as well as one cable Fiber Optic TV point and very happy with both. 

For OTA suspect you can get away without using rotor (which am sure would be a problem for old folks) - even if you must install multi antennas on same mast.  But really believe satellite would be a better choice and safety from storms - the small monthly costs notwithstanding.  

You are right about cable systems - they often compress signals making the visual experience less than ideal.  They also go bust often (and lose channels as not really paying for them)  But in PI we are talking about the same US NTSC system which is poor at its best.  HD in US is about the same as normal in PAL countries.  Sorry but USA is just coming out of the dark ages for TV quality.

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GwapoGuy

Have a similar problem with a friend who lives in Dumanjug. They only get one maybe two channels and was wondering if you would be able to pull in more channels if they installed a good antenna.

Checked out the hardware store at Robinson Fuente and they only carried one antenna for around 2500 php but it's not designed to be mounted on a mast (my friend does have a fairly tall mast).

Any suggestions?

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sugbu777

Most of the regular TV yagi type antennas for sale in Cebu area, the elements are cut for the few regular VHF channels available.

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Goetz1965

TRy Interpace Computer at aPM Mall - thats opposite SM City. They have much networking stuff and sure can give you hints where to find an antenna if they dont sell themselves.

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davedude
On 2/6/2018 at 7:16 PM, lopburi3 said:

It is not just UHF having shorter range (and one side if building having and the other side not) but digital is 100% or nothing so you must really be close - using phone/TV (made for TV) could not even receive anything in suburb here in Bangkok - only when in center of city would it work (and had dedicated antenna).  These countries are not Texas.  Of course with external antenna it would have worked but in general not that far.  Do not know anyone that actually uses OTA here anymore (even though the government provided free converter box for the asking).  The smallest homes have satellite and most have had since before digital.  Expect this will also be the case in PI for anyone not using fiber optic cable internet (which PI still is behind the curve - almost all of Thailand has access now).  But in PI satellite makes sense with the many islands.  C band antennas here are about 1.5 meters - no need for rotor as Thailand has there own birds at same location.  And there is good reason for using C band as there is little or no rain signal loss as with Ku band.  I have 7 point free C band system in my home as well as one cable Fiber Optic TV point and very happy with both. 

For OTA suspect you can get away without using rotor (which am sure would be a problem for old folks) - even if you must install multi antennas on same mast.  But really believe satellite would be a better choice and safety from storms - the small monthly costs notwithstanding.  

You are right about cable systems - they often compress signals making the visual experience less than ideal.  They also go bust often (and lose channels as not really paying for them)  But in PI we are talking about the same US NTSC system which is poor at its best.  HD in US is about the same as normal in PAL countries.  Sorry but USA is just coming out of the dark ages for TV quality.

Your in Bangkok? I can appreciate the issues you have there. Locations provide unique challenges but the physics are all the same anywhere in the world. There is just no replacement for displacement. You cannot buy any junk antenna and get good reception, you have to search for the good stuff and it needs to be big and set up in the right place for max signal. Two people are sometimes needed for antenna positioning, one to read/watch for signal gain and another to move the antenna around. And just up as high as you can put it may not be the best place.

Bangkok is really huge, lots of tall buildings so multipath will be a problem. Transmitter power can be an issue. Distance from transmitter of course. Directionality of UHV is another. Cebu city is much smaller (thank God) but it looks like some transmitters are very low power output. A clearer picture of the RF landscape will come as I look into it more. I have found some location info but have to wade thru it yet.

http://www.asiawaves.net/philippines-tv.htm#abc

Cebu digital stations:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_digital_television_stations_in_the_Philippines#Cebu

Cebu analog stations:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_analog_television_stations_in_the_Philippines#Cebu

An omnidirectional antenna will reduce the need for a rotor and I think I will try that approach.

Lopburi3 a non motorized sat dish limits you to one or a small cluster of satellites and are "entry level" systems IMHO. There are tons of birds in the sky above asia. You may be missing out on a lot of programming. I will definitely look into this more.

http://www.satsig.net/maps/satellite-tv-dish-pointing-south-east-asia.htm

Thanks for your comments, much appreciated.

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lopburi3

Actually using satellite for free to air reception of Thai programing for the family and the Thai birds have several hundred stations so there is just no need to scan the sky - few expats, and fewer Thai, use anymore as if you want international stations there are several birds/systems you can pay to use - free is not much these days as all now use encryption so unless you are an enthusiast rotors are not much use - you stick with the bird you are paying for - I use internet and downloads for my own watching.

As background I was aiming VHF antennas some 65 years ago and using satellites since 1974 so maybe some of the glamour had faded.    :mellow:  

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