How I Beat the HoA With a Large, Multi-Directional Antenna
I bought a large, Winegard multi-directional antenna from SolidSignal. I had been frustrated with Comcast and their constantly changing rates and decided to 'cut the cord'.
We supplemented with the Roku at first, but then (like most I'm sure) we found that we couldn't watch local sports, parades on holidays, etc. The antenna would give us HD signals to local broadcasts and solve it all.
So - after doing the aforementioned research and discovering the HoA 'couldnt say no' (from this site courtesy of the FCC: fcc.gov/guides/over-air-reception-devices-rule), I bought the antenna and had an installer come out.
It didn't take long for our 'neighborhood watch' (the local HoA Nazi's..) to discover the antenna and report us. To which the HoA promptly send a letter telling us to take it down.
As I've seen on a lot of sites, the common response was also from the above site - to the effect of 'a common stick antenna cannot be used to receive a distant signal'.
What the HoA misinterpreted was the 'distant signal' terminology.
After writing a letter to the FCC (the instructions to which are also on the above site), they sided with me and the HoA removed all fines.
I've had the antenna up for 2.5 years now and it works GREAT. Can't tell you what a feeling it was to win that battle especially after reading all the horror stories online of how the HoA has forced everyone to remove it.
The FCC said that the 'stick antenna' referred to in the OTARD rule doesn't apply to typical antennas used on houses. So long as you own access to the roof and are not using it to receive a 'distant signal', you're protected by this law.
The next question is 'what is a distant signal'?
Go to this site: antennaweb.org/Address.aspx and type in your information.
The site will tell you the distance to your local broadcasting stations and what type of antenna will be needed to receive the signal.
Next step is to find your DMA (direct marketing area). This is something that 'all' local cable companies have so they know what signals to send through the co-ax. Call them and find out.
- Chances are - the stations identified at antennaweb are in 'your' direct marketing area which means it is NOT a distant signal.
You will most likely have to involve the FCC as I did - but if the signals you are trying to receive with your antenna (and the installer knows this as well) are in your DMA, you will be fine.
- It is not a fun fight - the HoA and I are not on good terms because of this and I almost had it removed just to get over it.. but it is very rewarding not paying for local broadcasts anymore.
I encourage you to contact me for advice/suggestions because I want as many people as possible to put up antennas and help to put Comcast in their place.