Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Los Angeles Roof TV Antenna for VHF/UHF

Cutting The Cord

This year I finally cut the cord and got rid of my DISH satellite TV service which saves me about $50 per month! I've had the service for many years just to get the basic local channels like CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX.  My plan was to replace DISH with a digital antenna so I could get all of those channels for free.  In this post, I'll share the model of the antenna that worked for me here on the west side of Los Angeles.


Finding the right antenna proved to be more difficult that I thought it would be.  I first started with an indoor VHF/UHF antenna, the NorthVu NV20 Pro AMPd, that I got from Tablo's website.  Tablo is an Over the Air (OTA) DVR company.  Long term, I was contemplating buying one of their DVR's so I figured it would be good to get an antenna they were familiar with.  With this antenna, I was able to get some UHF channels like CBS, but none of the VHF channels like FOX.  I thought that maybe an indoor antenna was not powerful enough for my neighborhood in Los Angeles which is Del Rey 90066.

I shopped on Amazon for a highly-rated outdoor roof antenna and purchased this 1byone 85 Miles VHF/UHF antenna. I borrowed a friend's ladder, got on my roof, mounted this antenna and connected it to the coax cable that was previously connected to my DISH satellite which DISH never came to retrieve. I also plugged in and connected the included power booster behind my TV.  Unfortunately, I got the same result: UHF channels came in perfectly and VHF channels did not work at all.  I have no idea why since the specs for this antenna clearly claim that both VHF and UHF should work.  I ended up returning this antenna to Amazon for a refund.

Next I started Googling for with terms like "missing VHF channels in Los Angeles" and found this web page called Best TV Antenna for Los Angeles, CA Digital TV Stations from an antenna vendor in NY called Denny's Antenna.  The middle of this page described my exact problem:
Note: Some Los Angeles area residents have reported problems receiving KABC 7.1 ABC, KTTV 11.1 FOX, KCOP 13.1 MYTV and KCAL 9.1 IND when using antennas other than the EZ HD or the HD Stacker. This is due to the VHF broadcast signal frequencies in use by these stations and the use of the improper antenna to receive VHF signal frequency. Many of today's antennas (do to smaller antenna size) will not receive VHF signals. The EZ HD and the HD Stacker are designed to provide excellent performance across the entire VHF/UHF frequency spectrum in use in the Los Angeles free to air broadcasting market.
So I immediately ordered their EZ HD antenna.  It arrived at my house in just a few days.  I mounted it on my roof, connected the coax cable, connected a ground wire that was also left over from the previous DISH satellite, and scanned for channels on my TV.  Amazingly, it worked!  I was able to receive all the local channels, both UHF and VHF.  I have no idea why this antenna worked so well.  To be honest, this one felt flimsy and cheaply made compared to the one I bought on Amazon.

Denny's EZ-HD - works in LA

Channel Guide

A list of local channels is easily available online, but I wanted one for my phone so I downloaded the app TV Listings by TV24.  I was amazed how many channels you can get for free over the air.  The TV Listings listings were pretty accurate.


I look forward to being able to watch local news once in a while or a live event like the Grammy's that is hard to find online.  The next thing I am going to look into is whether I want to purchase a DVR such as Tablo.  A lot of the shows I've been watching are on Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon to which I already subscribe.  It isn't clear yet whether the DVR is necessary.