In today’s review, we are going to cover the Antennas Direct DB8e. This is a multi-directional outdoor antenna designed to be installed on your roof or in your attic. It has an advertised reception range of 70 miles and is designed to receive UHF signals.
Here, we will discuss the Antennas Direct DB8e specification, a review of its installation process, pros and cons, and our verdict for this antenna based on our tests. Without further ado, let’s begin the review.
Antennas Direct DB8e – Pros and Cons
- Good reception of up to 70 miles of range
- The antennas can be pointed in two different directions so you won’t need a rotator
- Easy to assemble with clear directions to follow
- High antenna gain and broad reception of UHF signals (470-698 MHz)
- In most cases due to its great effective range, you won’t need a preamplifier
- Large size, so might be difficult to fit in your attic
- Requires a strong mount (not included)
- Can’t receive VHF stations
Antennas Direct DB8e Specifications
|24.5° at 470 MHz to 16.3° at 698 MHz
|50″ L x 37.5″ W x 6″ D
|Adjustable mounting hardware
What’s Included In The Box
Keep in mind that although the Antennas Direct DB8e is multi-directional in nature and can pick up stations within a wide beam angle, you still need to correctly install and aim it in the right direction.
With that being said, in the box, you’ll get the following:
Main Antenna Hardware:
- 2 Bowtie Elements
- 2 Reflector Panels
Element and Reflector Panel Hardware:
- 4 – 5½” Bolts with Aluminum Sleeves
- 4 – Washers
- 4 – Nuts
Crossbar/Swing Bracket Hardware:
- 2 – Swing Brackets
- 4 – Bolts
- 4 – Nuts
- 4 – Flange Nuts
Mast Mounting Hardware:
- 1 – U-Bolt 2 – Bolts
- 1 – U-Shape Bracket
- 4 – Mast Clamps
- 4 – Wing Nuts
- 2 – Coaxial Cable with Weather Boots
- 5 – Zip Ties
It’s important to note that the box doesn’t include a mast. So, if you need one, you’ll need to purchase the mast separately.
The panels are attached to a central crossbar, allowing individual tilting of both panels for easier aiming, so the antenna can pick up signals from transmission towers in the area within an arc of up to 180 degrees.
Antennas Direct DB8e – Assembly and Installation
Assembling the Antennas Direct DB8e isn’t too complicated, and the instructions manual provided by Antennas Direct is clear enough to guide us throughout the whole installation process.
All in all, you can install the Antenna with a 7/16” socket wrench (or an adjustable wrench) from start to finish.
You’ll also need the coaxial cable (not included with the package), a power drill with a 3/16” drill bit, ratcheting drivers (8 and 10 mm), and #2 Phillips screwdriver.
First, attach the bowtie elements (number 1 in the image) to the reflector panels (2) with the included 51/2” bolts and hardware.
Make sure the swing bracket (5) is pointing upward (check the arrow indicator), then attach the swing brackets to each reflector panel using the included hardware.
Attach the mast mounting hardware (6) and the combiner (7) to the crossbar (4). Next, you can connect the coaxial cable to the combiner (7).
With all the coax cables pointing downward on the combiner, attach each panel at a time to the crossbar using the included flange nuts (5).
Adjust the reflector panels so they are perfectly parallel to the crossbar. Secure the connections.
What’s left is to route the left and right coaxial cables through each reflector panel, then connect the coaxial cables to the connector on the bowtie elements.
Slide the weather boot over each connection. Use the included zip ties to secure the coaxial cables to the bowtie elements.
Finally, install the antenna to the mast, and make sure to adjust the mast so it’s in a vertical position.
Rather watch a video? Here is the official assembly video from Antennas Direct.
Aiming The Antennas Direct DB8e
Again, although the Antennas Direct DB8e is a multi-directional antenna, we’d recommend aiming it in the right direction for more optimal reception. Before aiming it, you should check out our TV station locator tool page to find the nearest TV transmission towers in your area, so you’ll know where to aim this antenna.
You can aim each reflector panel in different directions by loosening the flange nuts on the swing brackets, then you can easily turn each panel in the desired direction. Once you are done, tighten back the flange nuts.
In our tests, after aiming at the nearest tower roughly 60 miles away from our office, we managed to reliably receive 12 channels for a total of 52 stations. The antenna was aligned so that both sides were facing the same direction.
We didn’t use any preamplifier and/or signal booster in this test, but if necessary you can use a preamplifier to improve reception. You can use a mast-mounted preamplifier with the DB8e quite easily.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You can check the official manual for the product from Antennas Direct here, and here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the product:
I’m not getting any signals at all?
There are several possible causes for this:
- You might have an analog-only television, and you’ll need a digital converter box (affiliate?) to use the antenna. Check whether your TV is manufactured before 2007, and if that’s the case, you’ll need to use a converter box and perform the signal scan on the converter box (not the TV).
- If you are already using a digital TV, then you might need to configure the TV. Check your TV’s manual for proper instructions, but here are a few tips:
- Press the Input button (or similar names) on your TV remote, and make sure to set the input to ‘TV’
- Press the home button/menu on your remote, and set the signal type to ‘Antenna’, ‘Broadcast’, ‘Air’, ‘OTA’, or similar names
- Within the TV’s menu, select ‘Channel Scan’ or just ‘Channel’ to perform scanning
- Make sure you are positioned within 60 miles of the nearest TV transmission tower since this product only has a 60+mile coverage range
- If you are installing the antenna outdoor, it might be blocked by other buildings and don’t have a clear line of sight to the nearest TV tower. You might need to put it higher or move the antenna to different locations. Avoid placing the antenna near high trees, buildings, or directly facing a roof.
- Similarly, when placed indoors, avoid placing the antenna near thick materials like metal siding, bricks, radiant barrier, or stucco. If you are placing the antenna in the attic, you might as well want to move it outdoors.
- Check all coaxial cable connections, ensure that they are properly fit. Check all outdoor cables for corrosion or water/moisture damage
Also check out our article, why do my channels keep disappearing.
I’m receiving every channel but one?
You might need to rescan, and if you are using a converter box, rescan the converter box.
If it still fails, the channel you aren’t receiving may have its transmitter lower on the transmission tower or is distributed from a different tower than the other transmitters.
You might need to place the antenna in a more elevated place or moving it to another location. Make sure to rescan as you move the antenna to different locations.
I’m very close to the broadcast tower, but can’t receive stable signals?
A common cause of this issue is because your TV is receiving interfering signals. Move the antenna so it’s not placed near other antennas and/or metal objects.
If this is still not successful, a larger/stronger antenna might not solve this issue, and you might need the use of an attenuator.
Can you point this antenna in two different directions?
Yes, you can point each reflector panel in different directions with the Antennas Direct DB8e.
Is the advertised 70-mile range long enough?
There are certainly antennas that offer a longer reception range, but with the multi-directional design, the Antennas Direct DB8e is pretty reliable in receiving signals from the advertised 70-mile range.
In most rural areas, this should be enough, but it’s best to first head over to our TV station locator tool page to check how far the nearest TV transmission tower is in your area.