Originally Posted by Triglav
.........I then read reviews and got a RCA ant751R. Pointed at Seattle it did not pick up channel 5 or 7 at all! 4 was great. 13 no better. I am a huge fan of the Winter Olympics so I need NBC!
I recently had a rooftop antenna installed, in a neighborhood with a group of tall trees which were precisely in the direction where the Capitol Hill/Queen Anne transmitters are located. To make a long story short, I had also bought an RCA ANT751R, which apparently is the #1 selling outdoor antenna at Amazon and which has hundreds of glowing reviews.....and the RCA really was not adequate for my location, which as the crow flies is between 10 and 12 miles from the Seattle transmitters.
My valued antenna installer had the wisdom to bring a Channel Master 4228-HD, which he installed and which has worked quite well for the local Capitol Hill/Queen Anne stations (KOMO/38, KING/48, KIRO/39, KCTS/9, KSTW/11, KBTC/16, KCPQ/22, KZJO/25, KFFV/44 and KUNS/50. Interestingly, even with a powerful 8-bay 4228, KBTC's channel 16 repeater was fairly weak, but nonetheless (with the help of an attic-installed 15-dB distribution amplifier), we can receive it well. Thanks to their exceptional dedication and skill, signals on these 10 transmitters are strong and consistent.
Surprisingly, we also seem to receive a fairly strong and consistent signal on KCPQ/13 and KTBW/14 although I don't know if weather conditions might impact reception there. Similarly, although the 4228 is pointed northwest, we actually receive a fairly decent signal on KBTC/27 although there are more large trees in that direction, and it is possible that in windy conditions that station might "break up".
To the installer's surprise, although the 4228-HD is considered directional, we received pretty decent signal from the Tiger Mountain stations directly behind the antenna (KWPX/33, KWDK/42 and ultra-low-power KUSE/46). After the install, my wife watched the "Law and Order" marathons on KWPX. Signal on KWPX has been reliable 98% of the time, but there were a couple of signal break-ups. That's no surprise since the 4228 is pointed AWAY from KWPX and Tiger Mountain. We will get a simple A/B switch, so we can switch between the rooftop antenna for the "major league" stations and highly-directional indoor Silver Sensor specifically for KWPX (no problem receiving that station with an indoor antenna here in the Renton Highlands).
Worth noting: I have consistently observed some low traces of "weak" signal on KVOS/35 and its tower-mate KBCB /19, even with indoor antennas, but unfortunately, our rooftop-installed 4228-HD has only obtained sporadic KVOS picture and sound for a few minutes. The tall trees in the same direction as KVOS don't help matters. KVOS has a hyper-powerful transmitter atop a 3000' mountain, but nonetheless KVOS is over 85 miles away from here.
Given that, the ATSC tuners in our house must be pretty amazing at attempting to grab what is a very weak KVOS signal.
As a practical matter, let's hope that KVOS can get a Seattle-area repeater - perhaps as a subchannel of a station like KFFV.
While the ANT-751R may in fact work really well at some locations, for me it was a waste of money. If anyone here really wants to try an ANT-751R - you might be in a location without tall trees obstructing the line of sight - I'd be happy to trade my ANT-751 for something useful. Please PM me if interested.
Two closing thoughts:
First, in locations like mine, indoor antennas can work "pretty well" much of the time because late-model ATSC tuners are quite capable and sensitive. However, with an indoor antenna, you're always prone to signal break-up when a car drives by or a tree sways with the wind. I have quite a collection of indoor antennas, and colorful stories to tell about each.
Second, even the best outdoor antenna installation cannot completely overcome the signal problems caused by our beautiful hills and tall trees. I sometimes wonder, from a dependable OTA reception standpoint, if the U.S. should have adopted a different digital TV system like Freeview in the UK (which is based on DVB-T). It just seems to me like the ATSC system was designed by engineers in Texas or Oklahoma, who underestimated the reception difficulties faced by folks in some areas of the U.S. with more challenging geography.Edited by seatacboy - 2/1/14 at 1:20am