Not familiar with the Reston area, so I can only provide general antenna advice. Look at www.antennaweb.org to get an idea of the location for your local broadcast towers. www.titantv.com can be useful too. Over air antennas seem to give the best results. Channelmaster and winegard are very good, radioshack may be acceptable. I am biased against Terk. Terks tend to cost too much and perform too poorly.
If you want to try an indoor antenna first, go with a double bow tie from radioshack for ~$18 or order a silver sensor from antiference in the UK. Do a search for silver sensor on avs forum to find the US distributor.
Make sure you use high quality RG-6 coaxial cable. If you buy a preamplifier, get a good quality one. The channelmaster 7775 and 7775, along with the winegard 4800 are good choices.
If you can do the install yourself, you can save a good bit of money. www.starkelectronic.com has good prices on quality antennas and accessories. Radioshack is ubiquitous and has a very liberal return policy.
Let me get this straight, this show is hi-def and 5.1, but my local affiliate makes it crappy NTSC and mono?!
Reston is blessed with lots of trees. Good for the community but not necessarily for LOS reception. You'd probably need a medium or large yagi antenna.
I use a Channel Master 4248 with remote rotor to pickup DC and Balto channels. It works very well. The Winegard 9095 is similar in size and performance. Both of these however are uhf only strictly for hd reception.
I am "down the road" over in Woodbridge/Dumfries, off I-95. Probably about the same distance as you guys in Reston from most of the signal towers in the D.C. area. Question- Do YOU need a pre-amp in your area? I would think that being about 30-35 miles from the sources, we should be able to get by without- unless of course the RG-6 run is really long off your roof. I am strongly looking at that Winegard CA-9095. Despite some pretty exaggerated comments about it (negative), I have heard great objective study on it- all positive. Comments, please. Oh- is it true that the WASH D.C. ABC affiliate is not "joining the party" in having HD signal...and is that why people are talking about shooting up to Baltimore for an HD signal...if so...bummer! Thanks!
I had a couple of antenna installers do a prelim survey on the roof to measure signal reception. Both indicated that although reception is good, a couple of channels were near the bottom of the acceptable range. Hence, the need for a preamp in my case. Each install is different and unique.
Most of the shows locally are with WUSA, FOX, and WETA. Sometimes ABC airs HD programs.
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