Fall off your roof and you are no longer saving money.
Drill holes in the wrong area of your roof and you are no longer saving money.
Going back and constantly tweaking the install (you know who you are) and you are no longer saving money.
In all of these instances, you would be very much experiencing a false economy of "savings" and indeed, will be paying out much more than if you simply hired the right pro to do it right the first time and leave you in peace to simply record or watch HDTV.
The name of this thread is "Washington, DC / Baltimore, MD - HDTV". Having HDTV capability at home assumes from the outset, a certain base level of financial commitment, at a minimum, in the display, in the sound system, in the room, in the supporting equipment, etc. When compared to the costs associated with all these things it takes to have HDTV in the home, a pro OTA install,
<I've said this many, many, times, sigh...>
IS PEANUTS, NOT EVEN WORTH DISCUSSING.
The fact that anyone with passion for HDTV could complain about a $300 OTA install simply boggles my mind. How much do these folks have invested in their home theaters? How much do they spend on annual cable or DBS?
Now if you know how to walk a roof, know how to find framing studs through shingles and know how to mount an antenna, terminate, support and dress cabling and end up with a great system, by all means go for it, nobody here is knocking you. My issues are solely with these folks that try to do it alone, buy their own equipment and then go on to constantly badger the list with things like:
"Why do I have intermittent breakup?"
"Do I need a preamp?"
"What antenna should I try for the 3rd time?"
"Why can't I get Baltimore"
"Why is my roof leaking"
"Why can't I get 4-1 or 27-1?"
"Why does my connection fail after a year?"
If these folks would have simply hired the right contractor in the first place, they would be enjoying HDTV and not wasting their time and efforts on things a specialist is simply better equipped to handle since he deals with it every day.
Finally, whenever I refer to a pro install, I NEVER, EVER mean the type you get with "FREE" VOOM, *D or *E installs. You get what you pay for, nothing is FREE. The installers doing free dish installs don't generally have the same level of expertise as general antenna contractors. I doubt they use spectrum analyzers to find the optimal spot in the roof for instance. Don't assume your VOOM installer is typical of the type of folks I'm talking about, because they are not.
VOOM typo corrected :>)