Options for Rural DTV Viewers

Farmerswife recently posted a question on our forums:


I am on a farm and have always gotten tv signal from an antenna, great reception. My antenna is just an indoor one, but it works great. I hooked this up and received the message No Signal
unable to tune into this channel, ect.
Looking in the book I see it is recomended to get a smart antenna. Very expensive. I have a RCA digital converter, only one the Walmart I was in sold.

Hello there, and thanks for visiting!

Just for reference, I’m going to post some information for our viewers that do not know what a smart antenna is:

In 2008, the United States National Telecommunications and Information Administration began a major effort to persuade consumers to purchase digital television converter boxes.[1] Through this effort, many people have been exposed to the concept of smart antennas for the first time. In the context of consumer electronics, a “smart antenna” is one that conforms to the EIA/CEA-909 Standard Interface, such as the model DTA-5000 marketed by Sylvania.[2]

In your case, I’m thinking that you may live outside of the 30 mile perimeter (from a tv transmitter) that Smart Antennas are typically limited to.

You may want to think about adding an outdoor antenna. It doesn’t have to be mounted outside, in fact some of the models sold are actually quite compact (Like the DB2, which I have sitting behind my TV cabinet) An antenna like the above referenced one should be capable of receiving dtv signals from atleast 40 or more miles away.

Placement and direction of the antenna also plays a big role in receiving DTV signals. Have you tried rotating your existing antenna a little bit?

Websites like: also have a great antenna selector tool for determining the type that you may want to purchase.

Another route for consumers in a rural area would be to hire an antenna technician with the necessary equipment to dtv signals and signal quality equipment. This may not seem like a cost effective alternative, but they can take a lot of the guess work out of determining the best antenna setup that you’ll need.

Good luck, hope this helped, and let me know if you have any other questions.


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