I just wanted to give my report on my antenna install by FA yesterday. First of all, I would like to say if you have an indoor antenna and have to get up more than once to adjust the antenna because of signal loss and you have $300 burning a hole in your pocket…call FA. It was sooo friggin awesome to be able to watch the hockey game, CSI, and ER last night without having to worry about my OTA signal!
Ok…now for the review of FA installation. Well they were running a little late yesterday, but I will say that my installer Dave did call me twice to keep my informed on when they were going to arrive at my house. I took the whole day off anyway, so it really didn’t matter in the long run, but it was nice to be kept up to date on the ETA. When Dave arrived he performed a mini site survey. I showed him where my sat dish was on the side of my house and where the lines went into the house through the foundation. I then took him into my basement to show him where the TV was. I only have one line running to my TV, so we took a look at where the lines came into the house which happened to be in an unfinished room and the storage area next to TV room to see how a second line could be run. I figured he would just diplex the existing line, but he suggested running a second line, which would help with signal strength and maybe avoid having to install an amp. Once we finished with the inside, he took the antenna (CM 4221) and a signal strength meter up onto the roof. He spent about 15 minutes or so walking the roof to find the best average signal for all the DC stations. As far as DIYers go, in my opinion, this is the benefit of a pro install.
Once he identified the best spot on the roof, he gave me a choice of mounts. I went with the single pole mount which looks like and extra long sat mast. He mounted the antenna and tacked the coax along the peak of the roof, then down the side of the roof tacking it just under the shingle line, then finally down under the siding to the existing coax line for my sat, and grounded the line to the existing ground. A very neat and clean job…
Next up was to run the second line in the house. While in the unfinished room, he took a long sturdy thick gage wire and fed it to me in the storage area, using the space next the air duct in the ceiling. He attached the coax to the wire and pulled it back into the unfinished room, then feed the coax to me through the existing hole in the foundation. He finished hooking up the lines outside and finished running the line in the storage area. He installed a face plate right next to my av cabinet and hooked my sat receiver up and we were in business!
I get all the major DC feeds: NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, PBS, WB etc. The DC stations where all I was mainly interested in. The signal meter on the Hughes HTL-HD doesn’t have a number, but does have a scale with Bad, Normal and Good. With my SilverSensor I would get signal strength right around the “No” in Normal. With the CM 4221 on the roof I now get the following for the big 4: NBC – right at the “G” of Good, ABC and CBS – right at the “oo” in Good and FOX: - right at the “d” in Good…All very rock solid!
Overall I gave the installation 2 thumbs up. The one thing I would change if I had a chance would be that placement of the antenna. It was right at the peak of the roof, which makes it very visible from the front. The DC feeds are coming from behind my house, so I was hoping I could get away with the maybe only about half the antenna peaking up over the roof line. I think Dave placed it as high as he did, to make sure I would have the best possible signal strength and amp would not be needed, which as it turns out I didn’t. Believe it or not, the wife did not really have too much of an issue with it. The CM 4221 is really pretty small and unobtrusive and if I ever get enough courage and a long enough ladder I could spray paint the antenna and mast flat black like the exhaust pipes in the roof and you would never notice it….
Sorry so such a long post, but wanted to give anyone thinking about having this done the full experience. It was well worth the money!!!