Originally Posted by gtroan
Thanks for your input. WRT your questions, it's the Washington digital stations (4,5,7,9,26,50) that dropout. It's usally not all of them at once, however, unless the wind is very strong. They all lie between 42 and 47 degrees N except 50 that lies at 55 degrees. I rarely pick up 50.1 without lots of dropouts. I do not have a rotator. I rarely get 22.1 from Annapolis at 80 degrees with the rooftop antenna. However, I have a smaller antenna in the attic that I can go to (via A/B switch) that often picks up 50.1 and 22.1 without dropouts when there's no wind. It's pointed more to the South (around 60 degrees) than the rooftop antenna. It's still affected by the wind, though. I am not very successful at picking up any Baltimore stations with either antenna. I was hoping to find the optimum antenna to bring in everything without dropouts and without a rotator since all the stations lie between 42 and 55 degrees and are within about 10 miles. Is it likely that a better tuner that the one in the Sony WEGA could solve this problem?
In your earlier post, you stated that you live in Sleepy Hollow area near Seven corners and you have a Winegard 7082P VHF/UHF antenna. First, looking at the maps, you have terrain issues in that you appear to be down at a lower elevation with the 7 Corners shopping center located over a 100' higher to your NW. That is why they call the street a hollow I assume. So you are in a challenging terrain situation.
For starters, the Winegard 7082P is a good antenna but may well be too narrowbeam for your location. Check the beam patterns for the 7082p at http://www.winegard.com/offair/antennas/hd7082p.htm
. The higher in channel frequency you go, the narrower the beam pattern. WDCW-DT 50 broadcasts on UHF 51 so the combination of it being off in azimuth and the narrow reception beam pattern make it difficult to pick up when the antenna is aimed at the other stations. Two of the Baltimore stations, WMAR-DT 2 and WBAL-DT 11 broadcast at UHF 52 & 59 so they are up there in the narrow beam area for the 7082p as well. But you may be blocked by terrain from picking up the Baltimore stations even with the serious long range gear such as the AntennasDirect 91XG or the Channel Master 4228 8 Bay.
What model is the smaller antenna in the attic? My suggestion would to try a broad multi-directional antenna in the attic. The Channel Master 4221 4 Bay UHF antenna performs very well in this area with all the digital stations currently on UHF. But I don't know if it has the gain you need to pick-up the stations through the trees. The switch of channels 7 & 9 of their digital signals to their analog channels in 2009 will be an issue, but let's put that aside for now (even though the CM 4221 can get upper VHF 7 to 13 stations to some extent) and get your current reception problems fixed.
What type of cable are you using to connect to the 7082p? RG-59 or good quality RG-6? If the cable is RG-59, that has higher loss than RG-6 and I would replace it.
Which model year Song WEGA TV do you have? I have seen mostly positive reports for the ATSC tuners in the Sony HD TVs. But depending on how much you want to spend, the Samsung DTB-H260F ATSC receiver STB ($180 list) has gotten high marks for improved reception in marginal conditions. But the H260F is hard to find at local stores; Circuit City is the best bet. Check the long H260F thread in the HDTV hardware reception forum.
If you have not looked at this website, do so as there is a lot of useful stuff on antennas: http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ISSUES/erecting_antenna.html