I have read through this ENTIRE thread over the course of this week and I must say I have learned a lot that I didn't before about antennas, etc. I already knew a bit before reading through it but I know a lot more now. I decided I would sign up and be a part of the community. I hope that I have a chance to be helpful to others when I have the chance and hope that I continue to learn more on top of what I've already read here.
The reason I started to read through the thread is because my family and I would really like to get a nice outdoor antenna. We already have one in the attic that does a pretty good job of getting all the local Chicago channels, but we figure it would be a good idea to get a nice outdoor one for the roof on the house or shed roof. The learning a lot more than I already did about this stuff was a nice little extra
I'd like some advice though if possible and will fill everyone in on where I am and what we're looking into getting.
My parents and I live in Tinley Park, so we're within 25 miles or so of the transmitters. Gonna need to know that before anyone can help me out
Now, I have done some homework on the different brands of antennas out there. My Mom told me to research them and she'll get whichever one is best so convincing them to get a new nice outdoor antenna wasn't hard at all
Here's what my parents would like the antenna for and what I would like it for:
My parents just want a nice, good outdoor antenna that will let us continue to get all the Chicago local stations reliably. Before the transition, Channel 2 was HORRIBLE and at times Channel 7 wasn't so great either. Since the transition we're getting both of those really clearly. I've never ever seen WBBM as clear as I have since the transition. It's great to be able to see a crystal clear picture on that channel
So, they just want one that will keep letting them get all the locals reliably.
I would like a nice, good outdoor antenna with a good pre-amp that will give me a glimpse of channels in other markets on good nights. I am very interested in and enjoy seeing how channels in different markets do things and I enjoy watching news casts in other areas as well. Way before DTV, when everything was straight up analog, I had this counter top TV (Unfortunately it's been thrown out
) that had a HUGE extendable antenna. On very good nights when conditions were good, I was able to get almost all the South Bend channels clearly..as clear as the local Chicago ones some nights! Most of the Milwaukee channels came in just as clearly quite frequently. On a few occasions I was able to watch WOOD out of Kalamazoo and once I was even able to watch one of the Rockford channels! So as you can see I do enjoy that kind of stuff greatly and would like an antenna that will allow me to do that at times again.
I've done my homework and have narrowed it down to either a Winegard-hope I spelt that right! Or a Channel Master with a good pre-amp. Which brand and model of antenna would be good for what both my parents and I want it to do?
What sort of pre-amp do you guys recommend? Do I need a Digital Tuner if I want to be able to get the distant channels on good nights or no? I'm guessing not but figured I'd ask
Finally, with me being in Tinley Park, with a good antenna and pre-amp can I still hope to get South Bend and Milwaukee on good tropo nights or have things changed and made it more complicated? How about Rockford is there ANY chance I'll be able to watch any of their channels? Not gonna lie I'd love to be able to catch a glimpse, even if it's just for a few minutes of stuff out of the Quad Cities, Champaign and Peoria but I'm guessing the Quad Cities and Champaign will be out of the question
I am thinking I should be able to do South Bend and Milwaukee no problem and with major luck maybe one of the stronger Rockford ones but not sure about the others.
I think that's everything
I've really enjoyed reading through the entire thread and hope you guys can point me in the direction of a good antenna for my family and I