OTA Reception in North Orange County? - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Local HDTV Info and Reception > OTA Reception in North Orange County?
TLO's Avatar TLO 12:27 PM 05-09-2002
I need a little advice about OTA Antennas in this area. I've been struggling with the costs.

I live in an upstairs unit of a two story condo four plex in Tustin, CA. I have an approval letter to install a UHF rooftop antenna from "The Association". I thought most of my major expense was past me after buying the Mits HD5 STB, but now I'm wondering.

I got a quote from the folks that installed my satellite dish. $150.00 to show up and do the job plus all hardware costs. I've been quoted anyware from $30-$60 dollars for the antenna plus the connectors etc. They don't plan on useing any kind of power boost. They also do not gurantee any reception and if they have to spend too much time trying out different configurations, the labor cost could be higher.

The second quote from a local installer was a whopping $550.00! He went on to tell me that he usually installs an antenna type for both VHF and UHF reception with a power supply for signal boost that "usually" works good in this area.

With these type of costs, I'm having a tough time deciding if it's even worth having a roof top antenna at all. I've tried an RCA TV150 from inside the house and I do get decent signal with the gain at the highest level. Here are my best signal strenghts for each station.

WB - 80, NBC - 37, KCAL - 51, ABC - 30, PBS - 51, CBS - 44, FOX - 37, KCOP - 0.

Question: If I'm getting this signal level with the indoor RCA, what are my chances of getting them all from an outdoor rooftop without using a rotor or power boost? Any advice would be appreciated!
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roman's Avatar roman 03:17 PM 05-09-2002
Those are pretty good readings for an indoor. An external antenna should bump it up considerably.

Do you have a line of sight view of Mt Wilson?
TLO's Avatar TLO 09:02 AM 05-10-2002
Yes I do. Although it's about 35 - 40 miles away.

Last night I was able to watch CSI in HD with a few drops here and there but overall it was terrific. :p
roman's Avatar roman 11:06 AM 05-10-2002
40 miles doesn't mean much-- any line of sight is a very good thing. (In fact there are people in San Diego getting L.A. DTV.)

A medium to long range UHF antenna should work fine. I wouldn't bother with a preamp since most of them are made for analog TV--when they amplify digital signals, it tends to screw up reception.

A medium to long range UHF yagi is probrobly all you need.

If you're so inclined, you could save a lot of money by installing it yourself. It depends on how clean a job you could do. Most of the work is just routing the coax.
TLO's Avatar TLO 11:30 AM 05-10-2002
Thanks for you input Roman.

Your absolutely right about the installation costs. My biggest problem with doing it myself is just getting on the roof. For the cost of installation I suppose I'd be doing myself a favor if I just rent a tall enough ladder. My coax run shouldn't be over 20 ft. My dish is mounted on my deck and I've been reading how you can use a diplexer to utilize the same feed to the STB.
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