Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Huntingtown, MD
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I am a "babe in the woods", (I live in the woods and am inexperienced, not a babe in the other sense), researching the feasibility of upgrading my antenna to receive OTA HDTV.
I live in the country about 40 miles SE of Washington DC and currently get ok to rotten analog reception depending on the channel on Radio Shack's priciest antenna (gable mount, 10' mast, amplifier, no rotor). It does improve if I optimize the direction (at least until the next windstorm)
AntennaWeb rates the antenna type for local stations in the red-blue-violet range, depending on the source.
I am on a hillside and the antenna just barely peeks over the horizon. It's peeking through an 80' wide stand of trees ranging up to 100' tall. Cable is not an option, and trees on the south rule out a dish, according to installers for both major dish providers.
Obviously I can raise the antenna mast 10-20' and add a rotor. My question is how much effect those trees (deciduous, mainly poplar) will have on signal strength?
Alternatively I could put up a tower at the top of the hill. While setting me back a lot more money, this would get me past the trees, BUT it would also add at least 200' of extra coax. What would the line loss tradeoff be?
Any suggestions? Or must I go to a professional installer who is familiar with local conditions for advice?