Hey all. JD here from Trumbull, CT...
I just installed a monster antenna (Channelmaster Crossfire model 3671) with a CM rotor on top of my 2 story house expecting to pull down all sorts of great digital and HD television. I have a Hughes E86 DirecTV receiver for HD decoding.
Before I picked up this new antenna I had been using an indoor rabbit ears thing and would occasionally get decent signal from WTNH-DT (ABC in New Haven)... or at least decent signal strength. The receiver's signal meter would bounce back and forth between 70% and 90%, but the picture was continually freezing and breaking up into squares and big green blobs, with the audio dropping out... totally unwatchable, but good enough to let me see what I was missing.
So my wife and I talked it over at length... then I went out and dropped big bucks on this antenna anyway.
Well, the sad truth is that while the signal strength from WTNH is now between 90% and 100% (still bouncing around though), the thing is still unwatchable for the same reasons. In other words, I'm no better off than I was with the $15 rabbit ears!
I had also expected, I think not unreasonably, to get near perfect signal from WCTX-DT (UPN, also in New Haven) as well as acceptable signal from WTXX-DT (WB in Waterbury), WVIT-DT (NBC in New Britain) and from the NY stations (CBS, NBC and ABC DT). I get nothing. Nada. Zip.
Very disappointing. Is there something wrong or are my expectations that far out of whack?
One possibility I'm considering is that the antenna is not mounted high enough. The installer attached it to the chimney of my single story family room addition. The chimney is pretty tall, but even mounted to a pole 3' or 4' above that (~25' above the ground), I'm not sure the antenna itself is actually clearing the roof peak of the main house. I know lots of people have antennas mounted in their attics... so I'm wondering if would this make that much of a difference? Would we go from no useable signal to a good/excellent signal just by raising the antenna another 5' or so? I wouldn't think so. And in any case, the house only blocks the "line of sight" to New Haven. The lines of sight to Hartford, New Britain and New York are not blocked by anything other than the local horizon and scattered trees. But I expect this is all fairly typical, otherwise everyone in this part of Fairfield County would be mounting their antennas on 200' towers!
Another thought... could it be that my Hughes E86 decoder is somehow defective? Could that cause these OTA problems? It works fine with the satellite dish...
Any ithoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.