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You might say that some antennas are for the experts – they’re complex to set up and might be mistaken for army radars.
But others are designed for newbies. Such starter antennas can be set up quickly and get you going with over-the-air television.
If this is your first time purchasing an antenna, I’d recommend having a look at the Lava OmniPro HD-8008.
This antenna gives you omnidirectionality, ease of installation, and UHF/VHF reception. It is a compact and lightweight unit you can set up just about anywhere.
It comes additionally with a built-in preamplifier, coaxial cable for your TV, and even a splitter device for connecting it to several TVs.
- Features and Benefits
- Channels and Frequencies
- Installing the Lava HD8008
- The Verdict
- Lava HD8008 Manual
- A Guide to Omnidirectional TV Antennas
- More Antenna FAQs
Features and Benefits
Unpacking the antenna from the box, you’ll notice it comes with a few items that you normally don’t find included with outdoor antennas.
For instance, it comes with a 40-foot RG6 coaxial cable along with around 15 clips for attaching the cable to the wall as you run it down to your TV.
You’ll also find some standard parts in the box, like a mounting clamp and a U-bolt for setting up the antenna on a mast.
The antenna’s size allows you to mount it on your roof, in your attic, or on top of an RV or boat. It’s UV protected and weatherproofed against the elements.
The manufacturer gives the Lava HD8008 a nominal range of between 40 to 80 miles – although the antenna is likelier to pick up signals at the shorter end of this range.
Before buying any antenna, be sure to consult RabbitEars.info and enter your address to find out the locations and distances of your surrounding stations.
As mentioned above, a preamplifier (installed at the antenna itself) for boosting received TV signals is included.
This amplifies the coaxial cable going to your TV and strengthens any radio frequency signals the antenna picks up. You may get extra channels as a result.
However, if you live close to transmission towers (i.e., less than 10 miles away) it might introduce too much noise to already-strong signals, causing interference.
If you have concerns about this, when installing the antenna, you may want to initially scan for channels on your TV or converter box tuner with the preamplifier switched off (by not plugging the antenna in) to see which channels you get.
Then plug it in and rescan to compare the difference.
When installing the Lava HD8008, you don’t generally need to point it towards transmission towers as it gets 360-degree reception.
However, keep in mind that all antennas need a line of sight toward stations, and depending on any local obstructions, you may need to place it in an optimal position for best results.
Omnidirectional antennas work best in urban environments where broadcast signals are generally strong.
If you live more than 40 miles from the nearest TV station, however, you may consider getting a Yagi-type outdoor antenna instead, such as the RCA ANT751R HDTV antenna. This type of unidirectional antenna is especially effective for picking up stations clustered together within a 90-degree angle in relation to your home.
Channels and Frequencies
The Lava HD8008 receives both low and high VHF, as well as UHF.
RF channels, otherwise known as real or broadcast channels, are not the normal TV channels you may think of but instead are spectrum allocations used by TV stations for broadcasting.
You can find out on which RF channels your local stations are broadcasting by getting your signal report at RabbitEars.info.
Regarding antenna gain, it offers 28 dB in VHF, and 32 dB in UHF.
It also supports broadcasts of up to full HD (1080i or 1080p) and 4K.
Installing the Lava HD8008
The antenna comes already mostly assembled; you just need a screwdriver to insert the two “wings” into the antenna housing.
You also attach the preamplifier and mount the antenna where needed, whether on an antenna mast (using the included mast clamp and U-bolt) or by attaching it directly on a surface like your roof or the side of the house.
Note: there’s also a version of this antenna sold that includes a J-mount.
Make sure to set it up as high as possible in order to get as direct a line of sight to transmission towers as you can. If you’re installing it indoors, try to place it next to a window, if possible.
Some customers install it in the attic but remember that indoor installations might get more signal interference in some instances.
You then run the included coaxial cable down to your TV or converter box, using the supplied cable clips to attach it to the wall.
Setting Up in Place of a Previous Satellite Dish
You can install the Lava HD8008 in the same place where your satellite dish used to be, using the same mast and even connecting it to the same coaxial cable.
The only caveat is perhaps that the old installation used a lower-quality RG59 coaxial cable. But you can try the old cable anyway and check whether you still receive the desired channels. Otherwise, you can use the antenna’s higher-quality RG6 coaxial or extend this with MediaBridge Ultra Series tri-shielded cable and F-type connectors.
Connecting Multiple TVs
The Lava antenna comes with a splitter allowing you to connect it with up to four TVs.
Splitters generally introduce small amounts of signal loss, so the number of TVs you connect should correspond to the number of ports you’re using on the splitter, as unused ports still introduce loss.
In other words, if you only want to connect one other TV, then you’re getting (minute) signal loss corresponding to all the ports. Given that the antenna is amplified however, such signal loss is unlikely to affect your TV signal.
Grounding the Lava HD8008
I always recommend you ground an antenna that’s installed outdoors to prevent static build-up during thunderstorms.
You should ground both the coaxial cable and the mast if you’re using one.
- Built-in preamplifier to boost received TV signals
- 5-way splitter for connecting up to 4 TVs included
- Receives both VHF and UHF signals
- Omnidirectional antennas are better suited for urban environments than areas of fringe reception
What I especially like about this Lava OmniPro HD-8008 is the dual VHF/UHF reception, as well as the extra accessories.
It’s easy to set up and install and includes many of the parts necessary for the task.
All in all, it’s a reliable antenna that offers increased gain due to the built-in preamplifier. It’s definitely a “set up and go” type of antenna that’ll work in a variety of settings – not just in your home, but also in places such as on a boat or an RV.
Lava HD8008 Manual
Here’s the installation manual for the Lava HD8008 antenna, in case you’re interested in more details.
Coaxial cable length (feet)
Dimensions in inches (H x W x L)
4.3 x 16.3 x 13.7 inches
|4 / 5
Antenna range (miles)
Full HD (1080p)
Help & Support
A Guide to Omnidirectional TV Antennas
If you want HD channels, then you can always choose to go with a cable or satellite provider; however, in doing so, you may find these services can become costly, especially when you figure in all the hidden costs often associated with them.
To avoid this, you can also choose to purchase an omnidirectional TV antenna. You can receive the same TV signal strength from any direction, and you can also receive broadcasts from the major TV networks.
Types of Omnidirectional TV Antennas
First, you need to decide which type of omnidirectional TV antenna to purchase. There are indoor, outdoor, and dual indoor/outdoor (omnidirectional) antennas.
Indoor TV antennas are usually smaller devices that you can hook up indoors near your television. They’re very lightweight and typically have a frequency range of up to 50 miles.
Outdoor antennas are much larger and typically get installed on the roof of the home. You can order one that comes with a J-Mount, or you can attach the antenna to a pipe that’s at least ¾ inch in diameter.
Finally, some omnidirectional antennas will give you the option to amplify the signal. However, this can also amplify the noise in the TV signal as well, but you can find amplification for both short-range and long-range reception.
When choosing your antenna, you also need to consider the features of that antenna.
- The Range. There are differences in range of omnidirectional antennas. The range will also greatly depend on the location and your distance from the broadcasting stations.
- Installation. When choosing the right antenna, you want to make sure that it’s going to be easy to install. The Lava Omnipro HD8008 antenna, as reviewed above, is easy to install because it doesn’t require any special tools for installation. It even recommends that you assemble everything by hand without the aid of a pair of pliers. How is easy is that?
- Protection. Many antennas are for outdoor use, so you want to make sure they can stand up to the elements such as inclement weather and ultraviolet light.
- Gain. Some antennas advertise that they are high-gain antennas. The gain measures “how well the antenna converts radio waves arising from a specified direction into electrical power,” according to Wikipedia. Omnidirectional antennas, in theory, can accept signals from all directions.
When you’re on the hunt for a good omnidirectional TV antenna, you’ll find the Lava brand has many of the features and products you’re looking for, including HDTV antennas, multi-switches, HD converter boxes, and even remote control antennas and indoor antennas.
More Antenna FAQs
Before using an antenna, you really need to ask those burning questions that may help you decide which TV antenna will be right for you. Read on for a few more generalized questions and answers regarding TV antennas.
How Do You Know What Kind of TV Antenna You Are Going to Need?
When choosing an antenna, you need to make sure that the one you select will be powerful enough to pull in the signal you want without overwhelming your TV’s digital tuner, if you live in an area with high signal strength.
Why Should You Choose an Omnidirectional Antenna?
This kind of antenna can receive signals from all directions and are a good choice for those that want more consistent coverage over a broader area.
Which Channels Do Omnidirectional Antennas Pick up Best?
Typically, you’ll find that such antennas are much better at picking up UHF channels than VHF channels.