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A Great Antenna in Bad Weather

Readers of this blog know that a digital TV antenna will provide network TV shows for free. It’s an easy way to watch live events like the Academy Awards and The Olympics. Aside from all that, an antenna will also give you access to your local markets NFL team, PGA events, Pro Tennis, and more.

All this content is available, and the only cost to you is the cost of the antenna. These signals are broadcast for all, why not take advantage?

In the comments on my guide to watching TV without cable, I have had a few folks asking how well certain antennas hold up in extreme winter weather. Living in the Mid Atlantic, I haven’t had many experiences with my antenna in extreme conditions.

That is, until this weekend. This weekend Winter Storm Jonas dumped 30 inches of snow on the Baltimore metropolitan area in about 24 hours time. This historic blizzard not only blanketed the area in snow, but treated us to hurricane force winds.

There was snow, thunder, lightning and whiteout conditions. Meanwhile, my family was safe inside watching TV with hardly a hiccup in TV reception. This is all thanks to our Mohu Sky Antenna. Due to it’s thin design it deters snow from building up on the antenna, which can ruin TV reception. Furthermore it’ mast is extremely stable which keeps the antenna from shaking around in extreme wind.

To give you an idea of how bad this storm was, it has broken every snowfall record in Baltimore since snowfall statistics have been recording. The storm came spinning towards Baltimore like a cyclone, anchored itself off the Eastern Shore of Maryland and dumped snow on the area until it ran out of energy. A 60 mile stretch of Interstate 70 had to be shut down due to the storm

Just check out the pictures below. I took these while digging out the day after the storm.

For those of you in the Mid West, you deal with this weather on a yearly basis, but hopefully this will give an idea of how well this antenna holds up in these conditions. If you want more information on this wonderful antenna, check out my review of the Mohu Sky 60.

While this antenna can be installed in attics or on roofs, I recommend a roof install. It will eliminate any attenuation from the signal passing through the roof. This gets worse when there is a layer of snow on your house. Having installed outside will give your antenna a clear view of the sky in the worst of conditions. An outdoor antenna is a great arrow in the quiver for any cord cutter.

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Categories: TV Antenna Reviews
Dennis Restauro :Dennis is the founder of Grounded Reason. He also hosts the Grounded Reason Podcast. Follow him on Twitter: Follow Dennis on Twitter

View Comments (5)

  • Hi Dennis! So you all got the brunt of the Blizzard of 2016! Wow!! I don't envy you. We have only had 3 snows this year; one inch, 4 inches, and 2 inches. Totally unusual for where I am in Indiana! So, I want to thank you again for all of your help, and suggestions. I don't know if you will remember, but I bought the LAVA HD 2605 antenna. It had worked really quite flawlessly with the exception of NBC Cannel 13 out of Indianapolis. The signal is generated from about 60 miles away from me. I really liked this detailed article about the MOHU Sky 60. I am poor as a church-mouse so I'll have to save for it, but I definitely think I will switch to it and mount it outside on the roof. If it held up for you through the blizzard you just had I feel pretty comfortable getting it. I'll let you know how it works once I am able to get it. By the way I got my Roku 3 and I just love it. It is working great and gives me the channels I missed having after I got rid of cable. You and your blog have just been a God-send Dennis. When your older and alone like me, and funds are SO limited, it helps tremendously to have someone like you to help me out the way you have and give me the confidence to try something new. Thanks again Dennis.

    • Donna. How far are you from WTHR 13? That station is a high VHF channel (possible to get, but not optimal for a lot of antennas). I may have a cheaper solution for you. I know this seems silly, but try an old fashion pair of rabbit ears like this cheap pair on ebay. If that can pull 13, then get this signal joiner and plug the Lava into the UHF side and the rabbit ears into the VHF side. That should be cheaper than a new antenna.

  • When these people decided that DTV was better than the way it used to be, the population seemed to be fish to whatever they said. Nobody tried to talk congress out of going along with it. What did people used to have? I had an ABC station(100 mi from where I live), a CBS station(130 miles from where I live), a FOX station(170 miles from where I live), an NBC station(170 miles from where I live), and a PBS station(100 miles from where I live) and they almost always showed very good or better no matter what the weather was doing. We also had a wooded forest in every direction from our house. All I had was one of those medium-sized "waffle" antennas(not the little ones) with the "elongated" rabbit ears that costed between $20 - $30. With that, I was set.

    Now, with the "new and improved" DTV antennas, The picure is perfect(satellite clear on a few channels), fuzzy(see lines around the people as they move or around things on some of the channels), and on some channels you get what can best be described as what happens to a satellite picture when it rains: glassy boxes and lines move throughout the picture, pausing it, WHEN it's clear outside with no wind at all. I could get 9 channels(about 4 were meaningless garbage channels) with both the digital antenna and an amplifier. Without the amplifier, I only got 2! Also, when there is only a wind(no rain), you get nothing at all! Another thing, the channels weren't the ones that I grew up with--which, by the way--were farther away than the channels I get now(and better, too). The analog antenna wins by far, because what I got were 5 very good-great(not perfect, but I didn't have to deal with the fuzzy lines and glassy screens, either) viewing channels all the time. Also, you could count on those channels nearly all the time. And to be honest, it didn't matter whether we had the big antenna as kids(turned it manually a certain way or had a special box to do it automatically) or the medium-sized waffle rabbit ears. Both were so far ahead of what's in place now that it was like a lion and a weaponless person doing battle!

    Sometimes, it's better to look at the old--if it was great--rather than being bored with it and wanting something new! I thought VCR tapes were better than DVDs, from recording to low level SLP or LP(looked very good on a VCR and SDTV, which allowed more good looking video to go onto a tape) to the audio being higher than most DVDs with Hifi Stereo. When you record Dvds so that you can get more onto it in modes compatible with SLP or LP, the picture becomes so glassy that you don't want to watch it! Then, enhancing the audio of a DVD requires know-how and a special video-audio gain program on a PC. Tapes, in comparison, only required hooking a Hifi stereo VCR up to some great audio whether it was by antenna, satellite, or cable. VCR tapes also don't scratch when DVDs might scratch if some neophyte(as a child or person without awareness: the DVD's not mine or in my way) lays something moderately hard on top of it, has an accident, or does something selfish with it. Kids like to play with things or pick things up; selfish people also don't respect other people's stuff. That's how easy it is to stratch a DVD or worse. What if glue gets on it and hardens? This happened to me. What if a DVD falls on the floor and no one picks it up and it gets rubbed across the floor? This happened to my brother! I'm willing to admit that new things can be better than the old, but I'm just saying that sometimes older things are better than newly proposed things when lined up right side-by-side. Analog antennas were way better than the digital ones!

  • hello i am considering the mohu sky 60 to get a more reliable stable signal but i dont know if this will actually change anything. i have the mohu leaf without amplifier and the ONLY channel i really care about, 56.2 PBS kids, is spotty at best. I've tried the tv fool report and believe i'm not far from the antenna with LOS broadcast, i've tried with amplifier and without, i've tried moving my antenna multiple places, and most recently i have moved the antenna outside. I'm using all rg6 quadshield and put the antenna on the outside of the highest window pointing NE. My concern is that i spend the money for another antenna and see no improvement in signal.