Review (December 2002)
By Kevin Nakano
When I was growing up, everyone in my neighborhood had an old-fashioned antenna on their roof. There were no exceptions. Then suddenly cable television took over and the rooftop antennas slowly began to disappear. After all, who needs to receive local channels over the air when you have local broadcasts on both cable and satellite? Well today, if you want to watch local high-definition television in your area, you'll need a good old-fashion antennas or an innovative high-tech design like the one offered by Terk Technologies. The latest Terk TV55 is a compact VHF/UHF antenna capable of receiving analog and the latest standard and high-definition digital programming. Here in Los Angeles we have practically every major station broadcasting digitally and many of those stations are in high-definition during primetime. The TV55 has an operational bandwidth of 54MHz to 806MHz and covers the full spectrum of the conventional antennas found on roofs decades ago. An inline amplifier has a gain of 10dB for weak signals and a bypass mode for the stronger signals.
The TV55 has a durable silicone-sealed weatherproof housing suitable for either indoor or outdoor installations. The design of this antenna is quite unique with an oval cross section and round ends. The unit's length is almost 4 feet and comes with a large assortment of accessories. Both wall and window ledge mounting hardware is included as well as mast hardware (mast not included) for mounting on a 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 diameter mast. The helical coils used inside of the TV55 allow for a more compact design by using wire winding to simulate a larger antenna.
The comparison chart show the TV55 amplified and unamplified. We used a Sencore SL754D Signal Level Meter to take readings of all of the usable channels here in Los Angeles. Based on readings from our meter, hum increased significantly when using the amplifier assembly in the video path. This may have been due to the power adapter that plugs into the wall. We were still able to pull a strong signal from the antenna without the amplifier installed and preferred this configuration for our setup. We found that all digital channels worked perfectly with the TV55 and we saw no dropouts from our location. Analog channels appeared to be strong, but did require some fine tuning to get an optimal signal. Ideally, the TV55 would benefit from a rotor to pinpoint the position of the unit.
- Kevin Nakano
Pioneer Elite PRO-610HD 58-inch
HD-Ready TV (ISF calibrated)
|Review at a glance|
TERK TK55 Amplified UHF/VHF/Digital TV antenna
Source: Manufacturer Supplied
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