Vansky Outdoor HDTV Antenna Review

By Greg Martinez / November 4, 2019
Vansky Outdoor Amplified HD Digital HDTV Antenna Product Review

*To support the site I use affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I may earn from qualifying purchases.

The Vansky Outdoor HDTV Antenna is a popular outdoor antenna that offers advantages for those who just want to get TV without spending too much time with setup.

With this antenna you’re getting a preamplifier, a 30-foot coaxial cable, and a motorized rotator with which you can swivel the antenna around full circle via remote control.

It also includes a mounting clamp for setting it up in different contexts (e.g., on the side of your house or fixed atop a pole). You’re also getting a splitter for connecting two television sets, built into the control box.

If you’re looking to get your OTA television set up as quickly as possible and with the least amount of hassle, then I’d take a look at this antenna.

NOTE: This is a long-range antenna, and as it comes amplified, don’t purchase it if you live less than 10-15 miles from broadcast towers.

Features

Nominal Range

First let’s talk first about something called “nominal range.” You’re always going to see this on the side of the box. Some antenna manufacturers are honest about these ranges; meaning, they’ve actually tested the antenna under certain (albeit ideal, as in few obstructions or interference) conditions.

For other antennas, you’ll see much longer ranges and if you have any knowledge of antennas you might be scratching your head.

It doesn’t mean these antennas are bad in any way, or that you shouldn’t use them. It just means the ranges have been inflated somewhat in relation to your average household antenna installation.

For example, the stated range of this antenna is 150 miles but I doubt most households will get this. Perhaps the company tested this on top of a very tall pole that maximized reception, but most people don’t do this.

I talk more about this issue in an article about choosing the right HDTV antenna, but suffice it to say that when I see such figures, I usually halve them to get a max range (so you might expect a max range of 75 miles for this antenna).

And here I really mean “maximum range”: in the end, your local conditions will determine both signal strength and your own reception. Unfortunately the laws of physics are working here and no magic antenna exists to really get more than around 80 miles.

Rotator

I already mentioned the Vansky Amplified HD antenna comes with a built-in rotor, which allows you to change channels on your TV by changing the antenna’s orientation.

While this doesn’t make the antenna fully “omnidirectional,” it does allow you to adjust the antenna’s direction from the comfort of your couch.

This feature is especially useful when the transmission towers you’re trying to get are effectively wide apart from each other, perhaps on opposite sides of your home.

You can see where stations are in relation to you by checking out the radar plot on your TVFool signal report.

The rotator doesn’t require extra cables as it’s powered by the antenna’s coaxial cable, which attaches to a control box (this cable carries both TV signals and electric current).

Channel and Frequency Types

The Vansky receives both UHF and high and low VHF television signals.

To explain RF channels, these radio frequency channels are not the normal channels we think of, but are allocations of frequency used by stations for broadcast.

Each RF channel contains one or more virtual channels (the ones you see on your TV screen).

You can find out which RF channels your local stations are using by looking at your signal report from TVFool.com.

Installation

Assembling the Antenna

The antenna is relatively simple to set up; you’ll just need a screwdriver for the assembly.

I’d recommend you mount the antenna at least 10-20 feet off the ground for best reception — to get the most channels with the least line-of-site obstructions (in your situation).

Although it’s primarily for outdoors, some customers have reportedly installed it in their attics with little or no reception issues.

For assembly, you’ll separately insert the UHF, VHF, and reflector elements by hand (tightening them into place with a screwdriver), as well as attach the motorized rotor and coaxial cable.

Control Box

The antenna comes with an AC-powered control box with outputs for connecting two separate televisions (the built-in splitter mentioned earlier).

You can connect more than two televisions by attaching a separately purchased splitter to one of the TV outputs on the control box.

The control box also powers both the built-in preamplifier and rotor.

If you’re experiencing poor reception and you’re at a close distance to transmission towers (e.g., less than 10 miles away) unplug the control box (which powers the preamplifier in the antenna, but also the rotor unfortunately) and check how many channels you get.

Sometimes amplification can introduce additional noise to already-strong signals from nearby towers.

Coaxial Cable and Mounting

You run the supplied coaxial cable from the control box (the box with the big red button) to your television or set-top box.

The antenna also comes with a mounting bracket allowing you to place it on top of a pole and secure it with hand-tightened screws.

The pole isn’t included but Vansky recommends a J mount if needed.

Pros

  • Weather resistant with waterproof parts
  • Includes preamplifier, coaxial cable, and built-in splitter for two TVs
  • Can rotate antenna 360 degrees with remote control

Cons

  • Must purchase extra coaxial cable if length of supplied cable isn’t sufficient

Conclusion

What I like about the Vansky antenna is the fact it comes with just about everything you need, including a motorized rotator that allows you to adjust the antenna’s orientation via remote control.

The coax cable between the antenna and control box is also lightning protected, as the coaxial is shielded against power surges.

All this amounts to an easy assembly and installation, with minimal time spent on experimenting and ordering new parts. Customers have reportedly installed this in many places in their homes, including on roofs and in attics.

 Vansky stands by its products, offering a 45-day money-back guarantee, and one-year warranty.

NOTE: For a comparable antenna design that also comes with a rotator and preamplifier, you might want to check out the Pingbingding HDTV Amplified Digital Outdoor antenna.

Vansky 150-Mile Outdoor Antenna Manual

You can find additional technical details about the Vansky antenna in the installation manual

Specs

Design

Direction

Unidirectional

Coaxial cable length (feet)

32.8

Dimensions in inches (H x W x L)

10 x 6 x 1.6

Preamplifier

 

Our rating

4.5 / 5

Reception

Antenna range (miles)

150 (likelier 75 miles tops)

Channels

Full HD (1080p)

Frequencies

UHF/VHF

Help & Support

Warranty

1 year

Email support

 

Phone support

 
22comments
charles kelson - August 11, 2019

Which end of the antenna picks the frequency up.

Reply
    Greg Martinez - August 12, 2019

    Hi Charles, the Vansky is directional so the front of the antenna axis should be aimed at towers. The front of the axis is the part with the small loops which are UHF dipoles. The back of the antenna has the 2 wing-like VHF dipoles as well as that big reflector. So you can say that both front and back pick up frequencies, but it’s just a question of orienting the antenna so that its front is pointed towards the source of TV signals. In these days of digital broadcasting, many TV antennas also sometimes pick up signals from the sides, but that’s not necessarily by design.

    Reply
Charles Kelson III - August 17, 2019

Do you have an antenna that will support 4 TVs from a 4-way splitter? I need one how much?

Reply
    Greg Martinez - August 17, 2019

    Hi Charles, nearly all antennas can support multiple TVs with a splitter device (you may need to install a distribution amplifier to compensate for signal loss, though). Only question is, which antenna is best for your needs in terms of directionality, range, etc. Clicking on any of the product links in the review articles will show their prices.

    Reply
Charles Kelson III - August 19, 2019

We have an HD TV Outdoor Antenna, Model No.: OD102 which works very well. Could that accommodate 8 TVs and if so, what kind of amplifier do I need? Do you sell them? Where would the splitter and amplifier go? Could you send me a diagram or sketch of the installation? Thanks so much!

Reply
    Greg Martinez - August 19, 2019

    I don’t sell antennas directly but only recommend them. Have a look at this article: https://longrangesignal.com/do-i-need-an-amplifier-for-my-tv-antenna/ . It contains diagrams and recommendations. You could also buy an 8-port distribution amplifier along with extra coaxial cable (RG6) that you need and try it out. Check the vendor’s return policy to make sure that you can send it back in case this set up doesn’t work.

    Reply
Charles Kelson III - August 19, 2019

Thanks it helped a lot.

Reply
    Greg Martinez - August 20, 2019

    Glad it was helpful.

    Reply
Emma - September 1, 2019

How do you delete channel duplicates. Seems like example 5.1 has the same programs. Would like to delete the extra channels.

Reply
    Greg Martinez - September 1, 2019

    Hi Emma, that’s actually not an antenna function but depends on your brand of television or set-top box. Most devices should let you either delete or hide duplicate channels, but I’m afraid I can’t be of much help here.

    Reply
Kathy Mcneely - September 19, 2019

Do you think this would work well in an upstairs window? I cannot mount on the roof.

Reply
    Greg Martinez - September 19, 2019

    Yes Kathy it should work but be wary of local interference for indoor installations.

    Reply
Larry Welch - October 12, 2019

Can i connect 2 vansky antennas toghether via a combiner?

Reply
    Greg Martinez - October 12, 2019

    Hi Larry, I believe you can (make sure the combiner you use allows pass-through of electric current in its IN port, as the Vansky has a preamp in-built). Many combiners will have only one such pass-through IN port however, meaning they only allow 1 amplified coaxial cable in, while the other IN port won’t allow electric current.

    Also ensure that both antenna coaxials are of the same length to avoid phase problems. Not sure why you’d want to combine 2 Vanskys though, as they both have rotors.

    Reply
      Larry Welch - October 12, 2019

      Ok thanks, i want to combine 2 so i do not have to constantly rotate the antenna.

      Reply
Beth - December 3, 2019

Thanks for the great tips I got here on your website. I’m really looking for an article that will help in things that you need on this antenna. I must say that I get 28 channels on my main TV that’s closest and 25 channels on all other TVs in my home. I also like the fact that the antenna is small and Sleek looking. Overall the antenna seems of be of good quality, and it works as advertised. I don’t have any complaints about this product.

Reply
    Greg Martinez - December 3, 2019

    Hi Beth, it sounds like your installation was pretty successful. You can check out this article in case you’re not satisfied with your channel reception.

    Reply
robert - January 28, 2020

This antenna works GREAT. I am about 90 miles from the tower, found channels I didn’t know existed.

Reply
Tony Boyle - April 26, 2020

Hi I purchased the Vansky Antnna AV-13UVR. Can I hook it to an existing (former) Direct TV cable. I removed their dish and hooked up the Antenna to the cable but its does not work. I want to use their cable since it was installed as new construction and its hidden. What am I doin g wrong

Reply
    Greg Martinez - April 27, 2020

    Hi Tony, depending on how old the dish installation is, it could be a problem with the F-connectors that should be replaced. In fact you might consider replacing a few feet of the end of the cable with new cable and new connector. Hopefully the coax itself should be RG-6 or RG-59; anything else might not be usable for the purposes (check that the cable has this labeling on it). Remote possibility, but maybe multiple splitters are being used behind the walls and this is drastically weakening the signal. Lastly ensure the antenna itself isn’t defective by briefly testing it near your TV or with a portable TV.

    Reply
Douglas Bartee - July 4, 2020

ABC & NBC are on Azimuth 191, and CBS is on 175 and CW & Fox are on 158. Can I align the antenna to 175 and get all five or will I have to use the rotator each time?
Does the rotator “lock” into an aximuth/channel or not?

Reply
    Greg Martinez - July 5, 2020

    Unfortunately with OTA it’s not possible to predict in advance which channels you’ll get, or which adjustments you’ll need to make. The rotator mechanism is very simple and will require manual usage + channel rescans on your TV to get optimal signal.

    Reply
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