Originally Posted by tomreid
...I live in the typical stucco single level and now I'm wondering about the stucco chicken wire interference that someone mentioned. If I stood on my roof I doubt that I would have an absolutely clear 'line of sight' to S. Mt. antennae...
You might have hit on something (siding or other metallic structure directly in the attic).
In my experience line of sight is necessary. Things may have improved in 5th-gen tuner technology (and unless you have a new LG or Zenith you have 4th-gen or less), but when there was only one digital TV signal out there (1999) a cadre of engineers and I tried vainly to receive it from just 5 miles away using a $200 extremely-directional very high gain antenna on a 50-foot tower, aided by spectrum analyzers and pro SLMs into a $35,000 receiver
! This was in downtown Phoenix, a very reflective environment, and we were shielded by a 14-story building. We could never get consistent lock for more than a few minutes. We had tons of signal...it's just that most of it was coming at us from every direction except from directly from S. Mt.
The second we were able to peek around the corner of that building (which took constructing a hardline coax transport trunk to a site 2 blocks away at a cost of about 5 large and 2 years of enduring city of Phoenix permitting processes), we had perfect reception and have had ever since, even in that highly-reflective environment.
I assume there is a point where less reflectivity along with better tuners will allow reception without line of sight, but if you think about it, if you don't have LOS all you really have is reflections, meaning you must pick the single reflection (if it exists) that is significantly stronger than all the rest to make that work. Good luck to all who face that scenario.