Antennas Direct DB8e review: This large roof-mount TV antenna is great at finding weak signals


The Antennas Direct DB8e is a large outdoor antenna for reception of medium to very weak TV signals. In our tests it did a great job of pulling in distant stations with minimal interference.

The unusual shape comes from the antenna type: it’s called a bow-tie antenna, because each of the pairs of elements looks like a bow tie. The design is supposed to make the antenna perform well over a broad range of frequencies, and we found that to be the case.

This antenna is intended for reception of UHF TV stations, which are probably the majority of signals in most cities. But in many places, stations can still be found on the VHF-High band and this antenna isn’t tuned for that. So before you buy an antenna, read our guide to figuring out which stations you can receive where you live and whether they are UHF or VHF.

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The Antennas Direct DB8e TV antenna is large and heavy.

The DB8e is effectively two Antennas Direct DB4 antennas mounted on a central boom. Cables from the left and right sides come together in a combiner inside a weather proof box mounted in the center of the antennas.

Because of this arrangement, you can set up this antenna in a couple of ways: The first is to align the left and right arrays in the same direction, increasing the total signal received. The second is to point each array in a different direction, to better receive programming from different broadcast towers.

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The combiner on the Antennas Direct DB8e TV antenna.

The first method works well if you are dealing with very weak signals, while the second is better if the signals are a bit stronger but 8coming from different directions.

If you want to pull in very weak stations from different directions, you’ll need an antenna rotator. The Channel Master CM-9521HDis an excellent choice, but before you buy a rotator, TechHive recommends putting the antenna up on your roof and seeing if it can pull in everything you want to watch.

If you live in an area with medium-strength TV signals, you can probably get away with the slightly smaller and cheaper DB4 if all your programming is coming from the towers that are in the same direction.

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