Originally Posted by maxreactance
Yeah, the trees are going to kill you. I suspect you haven't been getting much wind lately, when you get a breeze the leaves on those trees will probably scatter your signal to kingdom come, regardless of how much time you spent buying antennas.
Sorry, digital broadcast TV in the US can only be received reliably by an antenna mounted 50 feet in the air a few miles from the transmitter on a treeless Kansas plain more than 50 miles from an airport. Or strangely, by coat hanger wire in my attic (but a LOT of aiming was required to get the maximum number of channels reliably, moving the coat hanger wire as little as an inch in one direction or another wipes out 50 of the 100 channels I receive).
Originally Posted by Calaveras
I have a TiVo Roamio so I assume you have the same thing. It doesn't have a Signal Strength meter. It only has a Signal Quality meter. You have no idea at all how strong your stations are. I normally don't look at the TiVo meter since my Sony TV has a real Signal Strength and a Signal Quality meter so I use that. As I remember though anything in upper 70's on the TiVo is pretty good for signal quality.
The assumption made by the FCC for DTV was an outdoor antenna at 30'. Using you photos as a guide and knowing that the PG&E poles are only about 35' at the top and the lower phone lines are only about 25', if you had your antenna mounted at 30' then it would clear the local obstacles and your signal quality would likely go way up.
Yeah... Based on this, I am going to return the DB4E (I have 30 days at Fry's), and go with the antenna was recommended to me earlier on... The Winegard HD7698P... With this antenna, I will likely end up pointing right in that gap/clearing on the lefthand side of my photo and will get a straight shot to Sutro. I just hope that the growth doesn't impair that clearing in the future. I am going to have my gardener trim back the left side of that tree, just as insurance so that I get a bit more clearing.
I don't think I will ever need low-VHF, so I will pass on the HD8200U.
Since I am planning on going this route, I have a few questions.
1) Should I mount the new antenna at the very top of my 10 foot mast (with maybe 3 inches of clearance)? Or will that create a powerful fulcrum that endangers my chimney?
2) Similar question...should I raise my mast above the roof? Right now, I have it sitting on the roof (actually, I put a 2" brick on the roof to protect the roofing material). Again, I am concerned about putting too much strain on my chimney...but I am also trying to get as much height as possible.
3) Since I am going to put an order on Amazon anyway, is there any need at all for the Winegard LNA-200 Boost XT Digital HDTV Preamplifier? Not sure if it will benefit me or not...but thought I'd ask.
Yeah, I should have just pulled the trigger on this antenna in the first place... But honestly, it was the ease of buying the DB4E that got me up off my butt to tackle this project anyway, so I guess it was a good thing...
My other problem is that I overtighten everything because I am afraid of aiming drift... I don't want this thing to move, so I end up tightening down the chimney mount straps too tight, and then I tighten the mast and the antenna down!
Oh...one other thing Calaveras... Yes, I have the TiVo Roamio OTA... And I have no other measurement tool other than that to measure the strength (or as you mentioned...the "quality") of the signal. I guess I am just going to have to go with that for now and hope that there is a positive correlation between signal quality, and signal strength...