Spectrum LP410 and LP49-DTV HDTV Antennas Review
Continuing our coverage that advises you regarding the cutoff date for analog over-the-air transmission, today we have two UHF antennas that will allow you to stream free HDTV content over-the-air to your HDTV television or receiver.
NTSC, which is the driving force of your analog television (and many others around the world), will cease transmission by February 19, 2009 in the USA. Over in Canada, that cutoff date is August 31, 2011. NTSC is the television transmission standard that’s been with us since World War 2. If you recall ever hooking up an antenna to your television set to pull over-the-air (OTA) signals, you will always remember the noisy look that came along, that is the standard that we’ve dealt with for a long time.
Now times are different because you can receive HDTV content straight from an antenna, the same way you use to for analog content. Remember watching HDTV content through the use of an antenna is 100% legal, free for all to use and uncompressed which means the quality is better than those of what cable providers will give you.
Whether you’re curious about how many channels your neighborhood can pull or if you’re just sick and tired of paying $60 a month to your cable provider, we’ll let you consider two of these antennas if their perfect for your needs.
About SPECTRUM CO..LTD (From their website)
“SPECTRUM is carrying out service about wireless communication net plan, interference analysis of frequency, measurement of an electric wave etc. became the Korea's mobile communication and a state public research institution etc.
This antenna design is of the log periodic type and looks simple enough. I don’t know if you noticed but this exact antenna was shown on Engadget. This unit holds a gain of 5dBi. The PCB is generally free of defects except of a visible gash on the bottom of the unit and the soldering job looks to be done correctly.
Putting together this antenna is really simple. All you need is a Phillips screwdriver and 5 minutes of your time. I like the fact that the pillar and base are heavy so that the unit will have little chance at tipping over.
Having not opened up the antenna, I’m not sure what the antenna type is. Although I’m more likely t assume that it is similar to the log periodic type because of its shape. The antenna is enclosed in a plastic enclosure that is painted in a boring gray color and contains some scuff marks coming from the factory. This unit holds a gain of 6dBi.
Putting together this antenna is really simple and does not really require any tools. Making it for indoor use is really simple as you just attach the plastic base to the plastic pillar and you are done. Making it for outdoor use is rather simple as well and will take about 5-10 minutes of your time. I do not like the fact that the pillar and base are weightless which allows the unit to tip over many times. Outdoor mounting users won’t have this issue but for indoor use, I would have liked a heavier stand.
At the end of the day looking at antennas, you want the one that works “the best”. So let’s get on with the results. First of all these two antennas were testing through the Pinnacle PCTV HD Pro Stick which we reviewed earlier and were connected to the device through a short Belden RG59 Dual Shielded cable at the same location and pointed in the same direction south east.
I wanted to test how many channels each antenna was able to pull and their signal quality for each channel. As you may have remembered, the Pinnacle PCTV HD Pro Stick doesn’t really have stable software so I found a great free program called WatchHDTV which allows you to do everything you can imagine.
Just to point out, the program needs at least 17000% to make and image and pull audio, anything less doesn’t produce any image or sound. 27000% is 100% signal.
The results reveal that generally the LP410 performs better overall than the weaker LP49-DTV however the hovering percentage value remains a split decision.
Based on a performance standpoint, these two units are almost identical yet the LP410 antenna does edge out but what it comes down to is the design aspects. The LP49-DTV antenna features a heavy base and pillar while the LP410 tips down very easy because there is no weight on its plastic pillar and base design.
The second thing we have to look at is pricing. The MSRP of the LP49-DTV is $55US according to Digital Connection and that seems way too high of a price. The price of the LP410 could not be found.
LP49-DTV Pros and Cons
LP410 Pros and Cons