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Old 01-12-2015, 09:58 PM   #1
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Jack TV Antenna

We are trying to finalize our build sheet, and have had the Jack TV Antenna and wall mountable TV arm on our sheet from the start. However, with the advent of cable, fiber optics and satellite television, I was wondering if television airwave signals are very common any more? If you have a Jack TV antenna, can you please tell us if you feel it is worthwhile? Are there better options to spend the money on? Also, if we get a TV arm, is there some place near it to plug in an AC plug in? Is it worth getting the arm, or just a laptop computer? We welcome your thoughts and opinions. Thank you.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:21 PM   #2
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I had a couple of walls reinforced for possible TV mounts, also had the "cable" connections moved to those areas. I decided early on where I wanted to "see" a television and those reinforced walls played into that. Cable the same way. Who knows what the future will bring, but Ten Forward is now wired for my needs, YMMV

There's plenty of threads here and on FiberglassRV, that I knew I didn't want a dedicated antenna. One of the best (I've read about) is mounted on a window.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by paulschram View Post
We are trying to finalize our build sheet, and have had the Jack TV Antenna and wall mountable TV arm on our sheet from the start. However, with the advent of cable, fiber optics and satellite television, I was wondering if television airwave signals are very common any more? If you have a Jack TV antenna, can you please tell us if you feel it is worthwhile? Are there better options to spend the money on? Also, if we get a TV arm, is there some place near it to plug in an AC plug in? Is it worth getting the arm, or just a laptop computer? We welcome your thoughts and opinions. Thank you.
The Jack Antenna does an excellent job of pulling in a signal when you're not hooked up to satellite or cable at a campground. We do intend to boondock on and off, particularly at State Parks and BLM campsites, so the antenna made sense. Like Donna, we had the wall reinforced but we didn't order the TV mount. Those can be had in a lot of places and you have more choices than the one ETI provides. All local TV stations still broadcast, although most of them broadcast a digital signal. With a good antenna, you get HD TV for free. The Jack Antenna option includes the "TV Ready" package (a coax connector, and a 120v and 12v outlet).
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:38 PM   #4
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Very happy with the Jack; far better reception than previous Winegards, etc. Simple to aim. Never use cable or satellite when camping, like the Jack for local weather/news. If no reception I either do CDs, streaming over cell, or radio.
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:41 PM   #5
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Both Canada and the United States changed the broadcasting rules so that most TV stations were required to convert from the old analog transmission to digital. I have not heard of any stations shutting down as a result, although it may have happened.

Typically digital stations broadcast in high definition (HD), and if you can get the signal at all, you'll get the HD image.

With the conversion of transmitters, stations typically shifted to a new channel, and none of the new channel assignments are in range of 52 through 69 in the U.S. For those who remember when UHF channels went up to 83... 70 though 83 have apparently not been used for TV since 1983. The highest channels have the most problem with long-distance reception, so these changes probably help when trying to get stations in camping locations.
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Old 01-13-2015, 01:31 AM   #6
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Very happy with the Jack; far better reception than previous Winegards, etc. Simple to aim. Never use cable or satellite when camping, like the Jack for local weather/news. If no reception I either do CDs, streaming over cell, or radio.
Hi: tractors1... X2 on the Jack. Much better than the Winegard. Alf
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Old 01-13-2015, 01:03 PM   #7
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Thank you everyone for your responses! I appreciate your time and consideration. If I could get one more point of clarification, please? Does the Jack TV antenna recieve digital signals so that the television can play them directly or is a digital converter box required? Or, does the Jack TV antenna only pick up analog signals?
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Old 01-13-2015, 01:07 PM   #8
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All the antennas you can buy pick up both analogue and HDTV signals. The only difference between them is that the marketing department put HD Ready or HD Compatible on the box and raised the price.
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Old 01-13-2015, 01:24 PM   #9
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Yes with the Jack you can receive and watch HDTV if you purchase a HDTV for your trailer. The antenna is good where you do not have cable so the likely hood is you may not have hookups, thus I'd suggest you find a 12v TV which means you can watch tv out in the woods as long as you receive a signal. Here are some that will work http://www.amazon.com/Supersonic-SC-...=hd+led+12v+tv
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Old 01-13-2015, 01:31 PM   #10
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The antenna is good where you do not have cable so the likely hood is you may not have hookups, thus I'd suggest you find a 12v TV which means you can watch tv out in the woods as long as you receive a signal.
The caveat is if you are out in the woods, you're not likely to get a signal. If you camp with services, you'll likely have cable available, and you'll likely be able to pick up over-the-air TV stations because you are in an "urban" area.
I think a TV antenna may be more useful in the U.S. than in Canada ( with our vast spaces between population centres ).
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Old 01-13-2015, 01:35 PM   #11
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The caveat is if you are out in the woods, you're not likely to get a signal. If you camp with services, you'll likely have cable available, and you'll likely be able to pick up over-the-air TV stations because you are in an "urban" area.
I think a TV antenna may be more useful in the U.S. than in Canada ( with our vast spaces between population centres ).
very true....valid point
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Old 01-13-2015, 02:07 PM   #12
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I think a TV antenna may be more useful in the U.S. than in Canada ( with our vast spaces between population centres ).
If you're in Canada close to the border with a US broadcasting centre nearby you may be OK. In Rainy River ON I picked up 10 stations likely all from International Falls, but at home right on the border I get zero, could be that closest place for broadcast is Grand Forks 70 miles away!

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Old 01-13-2015, 02:22 PM   #13
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If you're in Canada close to the border with a US broadcasting centre nearby you may be OK. In Rainy River ON I picked up 10 stations likely all from International Falls, but at home right on the border I get zero, could be that closest place for broadcast is Grand Forks 70 miles away!

Adrian
Hi: emers382... One thing that the powers to be never told was that digital signal takes more push to get out than analog ever did. With analog you'd get fringe stations with a snowy pic...digital...no pic at all. Then there's the problem with pixilating. Some new TV's just freeze up.. some shut right down. 50-60 miles is past the limit of digital and FM broadcasts.
Sure you can broadcast more signals down the same pike... but at a cost!!! Alf
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Old 01-13-2015, 03:30 PM   #14
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Hi: emers382... One thing that the powers to be never told was that digital signal takes more push to get out than analog ever did. With analog you'd get fringe stations with a snowy pic...digital...no pic at all. Then there's the problem with pixilating. Some new TV's just freeze up.. some shut right down. 50-60 miles is past the limit of digital and FM broadcasts.
Sure you can broadcast more signals down the same pike... but at a cost!!! Alf
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Digital signals don't actually 'take more push' to get out than analog. Power output at the tv stations is unchanged. The difference is that with a weak analog signal, you can still construct a picture, although it's going to be snowy/poor in quality. With digital signals, if you don't have enough signal to accurately construct it on the receiving end, you get no picture at all. This is similar to satellite radio vs AM/FM radio as well. With weak conventional radio, you will still hear it but the signal will have poor sound. With satellite radio, you either get a clear sounding channel or no channel at all.
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:13 PM   #15
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Digital signals don't actually 'take more push' to get out than analog. Power output at the tv stations is unchanged. The difference is that with a weak analog signal, you can still construct a picture, although it's going to be snowy/poor in quality. With digital signals, if you don't have enough signal to accurately construct it on the receiving end, you get no picture at all. This is similar to satellite radio vs FM radio as well. With weak FM radio, you will still hear it but the signal will have poor sound. With satellite radio, you either get a clear sounding channel or no channel at all.
Hi: rbryan4... There are several ways to up the broadcast power. One way is a higher trans. tower. All the broadcasters around here are finding their digital signal just doesn't get out as far as it did with analog.
The one good thing about digital is the Goober Mint is making more $$$'s out of it!!! Alf
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:32 PM   #16
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I agree Alf that the broadcast power can be increased. But what I was getting at is that a digital signal can reach just as far as an analog signal provided the broadcast power is the same. The difference is whether or not the signal is useable at the fringes of the broadcast range. With analog it will be poor, but you'll still see it. With Digital there may not be enough signal to do anything. The signal level is the same-- how the signal is processed is different.
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Old 01-13-2015, 05:03 PM   #17
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All the antennas you can buy pick up both analogue and HDTV signals. The only difference between them is that the marketing department put HD Ready or HD Compatible on the box and raised the price.
Very true.
Of course, some antennas perform better than others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Yes with the Jack you can receive and watch HDTV if you purchase a HDTV for your trailer.
... and you can do the same with a Winegard, or a coat hanger (if there is enough signal). The antenna (Jack or otherwise) does not interpret the signal in any way, so you still need to have a digital tuner of some sort; all recent (roughly the vintage of any flatscreen) TVs have digital tuners, and there are also tuners which produce a USB output to use with a computer, plus converters which include a digital tuner and produce an analog signal to use with an old TV.

Personally, I wouldn't consider a converter box, especially since any TV old enough to need it probably wouldn't be worth carrying in the trailer.

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Digital signals don't actually 'take more push' to get out than analog. Power output at the tv stations is unchanged. The difference is that with a weak analog signal, you can still construct a picture, although it's going to be snowy/poor in quality. With digital signals, if you don't have enough signal to accurately construct it on the receiving end, you get no picture at all. This is similar to satellite radio vs AM/FM radio as well. With weak conventional radio, you will still hear it but the signal will have poor sound. With satellite radio, you either get a clear sounding channel or no channel at all.

Very well explained.

Many camping locations will not have any TV stations available that can be usefully received with a small antenna at trailer roof height. I once lived in a place on the north shore of Lake Ontario where we had about 15 channels available (about two-thirds of them from New York State), but we had a 55-foot-tall antenna tower - I doubt more than one or two would have been usable with a small ground level antenna. The change to digital will not have helped that, and will mean that some of those stations we watched in "snowy" form would now be unwatchable (due to complete interruptions in the image).
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:29 PM   #18
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I don't have an antenna, but I do carry a length of coax ( just run it out a window to the post ).
I have only used it twice. At the Osoyoos rally I hooked it up and started the TV memorizing the channels. It was still running through them after 20 minutes. I got distracted by a six-pack of beer and never did watch it.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:38 AM   #19
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I don't have an antenna, but I do carry a length of coax ( just run it out a window to the post ).
I have only used it twice. At the Osoyoos rally I hooked it up and started the TV memorizing the channels. It was still running through them after 20 minutes. I got distracted by a six-pack of beer and never did watch it.
I too carry a chunk of coax, but you have me beat, as I only used it once. I just can't get into watching TV when camping. A beer, or a Scotch, around the fire sites me better.

Maybe once I retire and go on multi week/month trips.
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Old 01-14-2015, 02:22 AM   #20
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Y'all are very fortunate to camp with other people during good weather. But please don't disparage, by innuendo at the very least, those who are widowed (or are single) and camp during winter months when it gets dark at 4:30 p.m. and there's nothing but rain coming down; television and movies in the evenings can be entertaining. At least I'm out there.
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