Hello everybody again.
I took the plunge and bought a HDTV setup yesterday. Since I have 4 kids that wreck most of the house, I bought a smaller TV to setup HDTV and nice DVD viewing in the master bedroom for the wife and I to watch after everybody finally gets to bed. Enough personal info! Sorry!
Ok- because I couldn't believe the sharpness, and liked the PC RGB input for divx movies, I went out on a limb and bought a Panasonic 40" LCD RPTV. I also ordered a Samsung T165 HDTV STB from onecall.com for $504 - it has DVI and firewire for future applications, even though my HDTV only has component inputs, not DVI or firewire. Maybe I'll get a DVHS if my signals come in good enough to timeshift good shows I might miss. I love my DishTV PVR, but its just regular 4x3 tv, not HD.
Ok - the TV gets here on Tuesday the 4th, the T165 gets here monday. Now for the most important part, I DONT HAVE AN ANTENNA YET!
I live about 35 miles from the main tower group and antennaweb.org says that NBC, CBS, PBS and ABC all fall within 265 to 270 degrees azimuth from me. That sounds like good news, I'm hoping not to have to buy a rotator thing.
So - can anybody recommend a medium sized antenna that I can buy here in Pensacola that would possibly work for me to mount on my roof? I know Radio Shack might have some, and after research, it seems Lowe's carries a few smaller Channel Master antennas. Any luck with these? I am willing to order and ship one in, but I'd prefer to buy now and install and try to max my Analog reception, then when the HDTV arrives, see if I get HD ok.
What I ideally want is the smallest possible antenna I can get away with, because my neighborhood association is against big anntennas on anybody's roof. I was hoping to mount it about 2/3 of the way down on the back side of my house, where I have a nice look over to the west where the towers are. Is that possible - or are these antennas too big and bulky to mount anywhere but on top?
There are some "suburban" or "near fringe" CM and RS antennas that are around 60" long that say they have 40 mile range - since I am about 36 miles out, is that safe to go with, or do I need to go big and get a 90 mile range monster antenna to ensure good signals?
Is a pre-amp necessary - would that help a smaller antenna? I have a real clear view of the horizon off to the west, few houses or trees at all.
Ok - tons of questions - sorry - hopefully I will be able to contribute someday instead of just beg for help! Thanks in advance...