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The Ultimate Digital TV Antenna Guide

This article details how to watch network television using over the air digital signals. For a more comprehensive guide on everything, you need to know about enjoying all the TV and movies you want without a cable TV subscription, check out my guide to watching TV without cable.

Update: If you want to hear my account of what using a TV antenna entails, check out our TV Antenna episode of the Grounded Reason Podcast. It’s free! Click this link to listen on iTunes. If you don’t have an iOS device or iTunes installed on your PC check this show notes page for other options.

Over the Air (OTA) TV signals are what many of us grew up watching before Pay TV convinced us all we needed cable. Did you know you can still OTA TV for free?  Did you also know that broadcast TV signals are in crystal clear HD? Furthermore, it’s free!  We can all watch local TV channels without cable, all you need is an OTA TV antenna and digital tuner.

The majority of you already have a digital tuner built into your TV. Any television made after 2007 has a built in digital tuner, as mandated by U.S. law.  If your TV is older than 2007 and you aren’t ready to upgrade, you can look into getting a digital converter box.

Before we continue, check if there is an antenna already on your roof.   Find the cable coming off your roof, and locate where it comes in the house.  Connect that cable to your TV and scan for channels. Be aware you should ensure the antenna is properly grounded. If you don’t have an antenna or need a better one, read on. Click on any of the topics below to navigate to that part of the article.

Contents of this Guide

How to Choose The Best TV Antenna

When I chose our TV antenna I used the using this channel locator tool from Mohu.  Ultimately, I went with the Mohu Sky 60 and my family loves it. However, different situations may require different TV antennas. This article will consider those variables and help you chose the best TV antenna for you or your family. First, you will need to get a signal report to see which channels are available to you.

Get a Signal Report

Signal power is one of the most important factors when choosing a TV antenna. To discover the signal power in your area use this great tool from tvfool.com. Once you enter your address, you should receive a signal report like the one below.

While the report is color coded to see which channels require an indoor vs outdoor antenna, there are a number of factors that this color coding doesn’t address. I’ll go over the details of what this report means in this guide. However, I’ve put together an episode of the Grounded Reason Podcasts that walks you through using TV fool.

  • For the purposes of this guide, you want to note the “Netwk” column. For every “must have” TV network in that column, write down the values below.
  • Real TV Channel is in the “Real” column.  The channel that you see on your TV is the virtual channel.  Stations do this to keep their channel brand while broadcasting on a higher powered virtual channel.
  • Noise Margin or NM (dB) is the amount of signal loss or attenuation the TV signal can withstand and still be received. Many things can cause signal loss and I cover that later in the article.  The important thing to know is once the noise margin hits 0, the channel will not come in.
  • “Dist miles” is the distance in miles your house is from that channels TV tower.
  • The true direction of the station or the “True” column is the compass direction the TV tower is located.

These values will help you pick the best TV antenna. Before covering my antenna recommendations there are a few things we should consider like indoor Vs outdoor, UHF\VHF, and the importance of direction and gain.

Indoor Vs Outdoor

An outdoor antenna will always be better at receiving TV channels than an indoor TV antenna. I always recommend going with an outdoor antenna when possible. However, you will usually be able to pick up a TV channel with an indoor antenna as long as the noise margin or NM (dB) column is greater than 40.
That said, there is a reason I advise against blindly trusting the color-coding on TV fool. The biggest is the difference between UHF and VHF channels.

UHF Vs VHF

TV channels are split on to three different bands. Channels 2-6 are on the VHF-Lo band. Channels 7-13 are on the VHF-Hi frequency, and channels 14-69 are on the UHF frequency. The majority of indoor TV antennas are designed to pick up UHF channels. Below is the chart from my TV fool that breaks down the spectrum.

When it comes to indoor antennas, I’ve had the best luck with old fashioned rabbit ear antennas when it comes to receiving a VHF signal. This is due to requiring long pole elements to capture VHF signals. To make matters worse, many signals in today’s digital world interfere with channels in the VHF spectrum.

However, I recently did a review of the new Mohu Leaf Glide, which excels at receiving both UHF and VHF channels.

Generally, I recommend using an outdoor antenna if you are dependent on receiving VHF channels. Although, there are antenna hacks like using a UHF/VHF signal joiner to combine your UHF antenna with a pair of rabbit ears for VHF channels.

Directional Vs Omnidirectional

Directional TV antennas are antennas designed to pick up signals in the direction you point them. Omni-directional antennas are designed to pick up channels in all directions. This tradeoff off is done by focusing the antenna gain, which is different from amplifier gain.

With a directional TV antenna, the gain is built into the TV antenna to focus reception in the direction. This gain is measured by adding the gain value of the antenna to the noise margin (NM db). For example, a channel with a noise margin of 30 in the TV Fool report can be read as 45 if you point a directional antenna with 15 dB gain toward it.

Omni directional antennas balance their gain to pick up channels in all directions.

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The Best TV Antenna for You

Now that we have a general idea about the things that matter when it comes to antenna reception, we can get into the best antennas to consider for given situations. Of course, if you want to know more about concepts like noise margin, I go a bit more in depth later in this article.

UHF channels with NM above 40 dB

In this situation; you should be fine with an Omni-Directional indoor antenna. My favorite is the recently released Mohu Leaf Glide. It does a great job of pulling these channels. Antennas like the Mohu Curve older Mohu Leaf and the Winegard Flatwave are also good options. The Curve and Leaf are very similar in function. The choice here comes down to aesthetics. It’s possible for these solutions to work for VHF-Hi channels as well, given they are with no more than 10-15 miles away. They are both available to purchase directly from Mohu.

UHF channels with a NM below 40 dB

In these situations, I recommend an outdoor antenna. The type of antenna really depends on the channel locations and the noise margin.  If the UHF channels have noise margins are above 15, but are in multiple directions you can use an omnidirectional antenna like the Mohu Sky. It’s the one we use and it’s aesthetically pleasing to the eye. It’s also very easy to install and we get a couple of VHF-Hi channels with it.

The noise margin also has to account for noise in the line (which I cover later in the article).  A noise margin of 15 should be more than enough,  but it’s possible you may need a bit more signal power.

If you do need a bit more signal power and your channels are roughly in an 180-degree arc of one another, then the Channel Master ULTRATenna 60 (CM4221HD). It’s multidirectional as is casts a wide arc and even adds about 9 dB of gain to your noise margin.   If you need a bit more gain you can get the ULTRATenna 80 which provides 12 dB gain.

If you need a bit more gain you can give the Antennas Direct DB4e Ultra a try. While the arc on this antenna is about 60 degrees it packs a bit more gain at 15.8 dB. You can even get a bit more gain with the DB4e Extreme.  It provides 17.4 dB of gain, but it’s reception arc is 28 degrees.  This one is also a bit of a bear to install.

UHF and VHF-Hi Channels

While I was able to get VHF-Hi channels with my Mohu Sky, not everyone will have the same experience due to interference patterns varying by location. If you are having issues receiving VHF-Hi channels there are antennas designed to do a decent job with both UHF and Hi-VHF channels.

For an indoor antenna, I would go with the Mohu Leaf Glide. Check out my review of the Mohu Leaf Glide for more information.

As for outdoor, the Antennas Direct Clearstream 2V is a good option. It pulls channels within a 70 degree arc and adds about 8 dB of gain to the noise margin. While Antennas Direct considers this an indoor/outdoor antenna, it’s a bit too bulky for me to consider this an indoor antenna. IF you need a bit more power then try the upgraded Clearstream 4V.

If you need a bit more antenna gain you can try the Winegard HD7694P. It requires more precise aiming than other antennas but will pull channels at long distances in the VHF-Hi spectrum. It offers a gain between 10-13 dB depending on the channel you are trying to receive.

Channels in Lo-VHF, VHF-Hi, and UHF

Some areas of the country have digital channels in the VHF-Lo range. These are channels 2-6 in the “Real” column.  If all the channels you want are within 45 miles then go with the Channel Master CM3016. For longer distance channels, I’d try the Winegard HD8200U.

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Important TV Antenna Topics

Now that you know the type of antenna you will need, I wanted to point you to more information on common questions that come up in regard to over the air television.

Over the Air DVR – Yes, you can record from your antenna. In fact, I strongly recommend it, and review several options in this guide to OTA DVRs.

More than 1 TV – There are easy solutions for connecting an antenna to more than 1 TV. I recommend an outdoor antenna for this in most situations, but check out the link for more information.

Grounding the Antenna – This isn’t a concern for an indoor antenna. However, you definitely want to ground an outdoor antenna. It will mitigate lightning strikes and other electrical anomalies that are possible, but unlikely.

Reception – For those that don’t want to read all the details and inner workings of TV antennas, I’ve put together a quick reference to help improve indoor antenna reception.

Antenna Installers – I’ve had many readers ask about antenna installers in their area. I’ve discovered a great service called Home Advisor that finds trusted home improvement professionals in your area.

Simply click this link and “antenna” in the search. You can then select “Install or Replace Antenna.” Fill out the form and Home Advisor will connect you with certified professionals in your area to do the work. If you want to get in touch with a live person to put you in touch with a local professional you can call Home Advisor at 888-605-2759

Antennas and HOAs – Your HOA cannot stop you from putting up an antenna. I explain why in my article on TV Antennas, the FCC, and Your HOA

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TV Fool: A Deeper Look

For those that want a bit more information on what the TV Fool report contains, I cover that in this section.

Path – This is a description of the signal path from the tower to the TV antenna.  The height placement will affect the type of path the antenna can receive. This is the last column under the “Signal” heading of the report. Below you will find the values found in the columns and their definition.

  • LOS – This means Line of Sight. Basically, there is nothing in the way of the antenna and the tower.
  • 1Edge – When the signal leaves the tower it is “cut” when it hits a hill, mountain, or other well defined obstruction.  When this happens, the obstruction acts as a secondary, albeit weaker, source of signal generation. A value of 1Edge in the “Path” column indicates the antenna is receiving the signal after being cut by this obstruction. The picture below demonstrates this concept.
  • 2Edge – This is the same concept as 1Edge, except the signal was cut twice before reaching the antenna. As you may have guessed, this results in a much weaker signal than 1Edge.
  • Tropo – This is tropospheric scatter.  Basically the signal has been refracted by the high level of moisture in the upper troposphere.  Let’s not worry about these as they wouldn’t be cost effective to capture.

Noise Margin – This is the first column under the “Signal” heading of the report and is denoted by NM.  This is the ratio by which the TV signal exceeds the minimum amount needed for proper operation, just before being picked up by an antenna.  In order for the channel to be received, the noise margin needs to be above 0 when it reaches your TV.   I recommend 10 dB to account for weather and other anomalies.

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Signal Loss

Signal loss comes from various sources and is measured in decibel (dB) loss.  I’ve done my best to examine various studies of signal loss and put together rough estimates of the possible signal loss below.  The following sources of signal loss would subtract from the NM;

TV – There is typically a dB loss associated with the TV. An estimate of 3 dB should suffice.

Cable runs – Typically RG-6 coax is used in the US.  The maximum DB loss in the highest TV frequency is about 5.6 dB per 100 ft. cable run.  Add a .5 dB loss for any un-split joint connection.

Splitters – Every split of the coax cable running from the antenna to a TV incurs the loss listed on the splitter.  This is typically 3.5 dB, but to be sure, it should be listed on the splitter. You have to count every output on the splitter whether it’s used or not. I go into more detail in this post on choosing a coaxial signal splitter.

Adjacent House –An adjacent house in line with the generation of the signal and casting a shadow either on the antenna or on the exterior wall that is in the path of an indoor antenna creates a loss. Various studies show a dB loss between 10-21 dB for signals within UHF and VHF frequency.  Studies also show that raising the height of an indoor antenna will lessen the loss.

Tree Shadowing – This is when a  nearby tree in line with the generation of the signal casts a shadow on the antenna or on the exterior wall  in line with the antenna.  Trees have been shown in studies to have a dB loss of 0-10 dB within the UHF and VHF frequency. A TV antenna installed at a lower height can improve signal propagation since the signal can better avoid the tree canopy. In rare cases raising an antenna can actually degrade reception. Often in these cases a, dense tree canopy can be blamed.

Home Penetration – This only matters for an indoor antenna.  Expect a loss of around 14dB for a signal to penetrate a home and reach a first floor antenna.  Installing the antenna on the 2nd or 3rd floor can greatly mitigate a portion of these losses.

Anything else with a quantifiable decibel (dB) loss – Yes this is vague, but any nearby obstruction can cause a dB loss.

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Where to Install an Indoor Antenna

To figure out if we can use and Indoor Antenna, we will first figure out the available Noise Margin after estimating the dB loss using the information above.  To do this, locate the NM field and find the lowest number for all the stations you require.

Locate the bull’s-eye chart to the left of the table pictured below.  Figure out where your antenna will be mounted in relation to that tower.

  • Optimally it will be near the exterior wall closest to the tower.  If this is the case, only subtract 14 dB for home penetration; otherwise subtract around 34 dBs to account for your house shadowing the signal.
  • If there is heavy foliage that could cast a shadow on your antenna from the direction of the tower, subtract 10 dBs
  • If the adjacent house is in the direction of the tower and casts a shadow on the antenna subtract another 20.

If you are left with about 12 dB or more after subtracting loss estimates,  you should have enough of a signal to watch OTA TV.  If you are below 12db try and find a higher area to mount the antenna.  This may be an upper floor, or even the attic. You may want to consider the roof if possible.  You can rerun the TV Fool report from a new height to test if it improves the signal.

If there is enough noise margin on the weakest signal, the next consideration is the distance of the antenna from the tower.  An important variable when considering the distance is whether the signal frequency is VHF vs UHF.  Commercial antennas typically indicate the range at which they can capture a signal.  It is a bit misleading as they usually specify the distance for Ultra High Frequency (UHF).

UHF frequency runs at a higher frequency than VHF or “Very High Frequency”.   Truth be told, there is little an indoor commercial antenna will do to pick up VHF that can’t be done with just a pair of rabbit ears.

Typically your VHF channels should be within 15 miles, and your UHF should be within 30 miles for an indoor solution to work.  This is extremely dependent on how much loss the signal takes before reaching your antenna. I have seen indoor antennas work over 50 miles from the broadcast tower.

The last concept we need to consider is direction.  We may or may not need this information depending on the antenna type, but it’s important to know in the event we need to troubleshoot the signal.

To figure this out refer to the channel table report once more.  Now we are looking under the “Azimuth” header. Find the number under magnetic (Magn).  Note the number next to each.

It’s also handy to circle the channels appearing on the bull’s-eye for ease of reference. Now we have everything we need to know about the signal.  We can now cover the types of antennas available and their strengths and weaknesses.

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Antenna Gain Vs Amplifier Gain

This subject can be confusing as there are really two types of gain in relation to antennas. There is antenna gain, which we discussed earlier as being inherent to the antenna. It essentially aids you in receiving a signal from the tower and can be added to your noise margin.

Then there is amplifier gain, which is added from a powered amplifier. This amplifier will not impact the antennas ability to actually receive the signal, but will mitigate noise created by splitters, cable length, and tuners between the antenna and your television.

More about Antenna Amplifiers

Passive vs Active Antennas – An active TV antenna is an antenna that has a powered signal amplifier. This is opposed to a passive TV antenna, which are without signal amplification. Active antennas will not affect the antenna’s ability to pick up a signal.

However, it will boost a signal that reaches your antenna to overcome noise in the line, splitters and TV tuner. This “boost” is given in terms of a dB gain.  Please note that an amplifier also adds noise that will impact the gain of the amplifier.

This doesn’t mean every antenna needs an amplifier.  Strong signals that are boosted can actually overload the tuner causing the channel to no display on the TV.  (Overload in this instance doesn’t mean “blow up.”  The tuner will be fine)

There are also instances where an amplifier will provide no real benefit.  For instance, let’s assume all the channels received hit the antenna with 30 dB of noise margin to spare. That’s already plenty to overcome most coaxial runs to the TV, hence no need for an amplifier.

This brings up another important point. Clean up your coaxial runs.  Older antenna and cable TV installations used RG-59 coaxial cable.  That has almost double the dB loss of the RG-6 used in modern installations.

If using splitters, be sure they are  rated at least 5-1000mhz. Remember that signal strength is divided by the number of outputs on the splitter, whether they are used or not.  A splitter causes a 3.5 dB connection loss on each output.

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Types of TV Antennas

Before wrapping this up I wanted to give a high level overview of various antenna types. It’s important to understand that directional antennas will have a better range, but for typical indoor and outdoor home antennas, I would stick with the ease and convenience of an omnidirectional antenna if at all possible.

Modern Omnidirectional Antennas

Flat– This is the aesthetically pleasing antenna pictured below.  They are easy on the eyes. They work well with UHF signals, and they are about equal to a pair of rabbit ears for VHF.

Stylish- Companies like Mohu have introduced aesthetically pleasing indoor antennas like the Mohu Curve. I’ve used it myself and it’s one of my favorite indoor TV antennas. For a stylish outdoor antenna that does a good job in the UHF and VHF spectrum I recommend the Mohu Sky pictured below. It’s the antenna we use and we love it. It’s available on Mohu’s website.

Directional Antennas

Grid Antenna – These antenna are intended to direct the antenna gain to a beam width not typically exceeding 25 degrees. These are perfect for those areas where TV towers tend to be in one direction.

Yagi Antenna – These are my favorite directional antenna. The beam width can vary from 30 – 80 degrees, but packs a lot of antenna gain. These are great for capturing hard to reach towers at long distances, but will also pick up nearby stations that aren’t in the direction you are aiming.

Older Omnidirectional Antennas

These antennas still work fine for stations close by. If you live in a metro area with lots of signals close by, you could give one of these dinosaurs a shot.

Loop – A loop is an omnidirectional antenna and is shown in the picture below.  This antenna also contains a pair of rabbit ears.  The loop is mainly designed to pick up UHF.

Dipole Antenna – For TV antennas, these omnidirectional antennas are typically referred to as “rabbit ears”.  They work for local VFH signals, but not much else.

Bow Tie – The bow tie antenna is pictured below. It’s omnidirectional and can pull VHF and UHF.  The bow tie underperforms on UHF compared to the loop antenna, and doesn’t hold up to rabbit ears for VHF.

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View Comments (509)

  • The triple decker Yagi style antenna looks like what I may need. Do you happen to know the make and model of it.

  • I am having trouble picking up one channel. All of the stations I want come from two towers right next to each other. Each 22 miles away at 42 & 41 degrees true az. I can get CBS (3.1), NBC (10.1), PBS (12.1) and Fox (29.1) nicely, but I have a spotty signal with ABC (6.1). My Mohu Leaf 30 is placed 3 feet above the floor on the first floor of the home (outside wall pointed in direction of signals). If I move my Mohu Leaf 30 no more than 3" to the left and down a foot, I can get all these channels but fox. I can not find a position that I can get all 5 channels nicely. The signal gets worse if I move it up ( there is a small tree in the back yard approximately 40 feet from the rear of the house directly behind the Mohu 30.

    My question is there a way to get all 5 channels without moving to the roof? I currently have internet running on the upstairs coax lines for my wifi and the Mohu 30 running on the coax lines downstairs so plugging in the Mohu 30 upstairs will not work without rewiring. The run from the coax with the antenna to the tv is approximately 55 lft with one coax split.

    Thanks!!

    Address for tvfool 2417 Heather Rd East, Wilmington, DE 19803

    • Thanks! The amplifier helped alot but I can still not get all channels all at the same time. I have found two spots that get me all but channel 6 and the other gets me 6 but not 29. Amazimgly the reception is better downstairs no more than 3 feet up the wall than it is on the second floor on the same side of the house! Crazy.

      Side note, I took a trip up into the attic and found all of the upstairs cabling is run and split from up there. Who knew! Can you recommend amplified splitter 1 in, 4 out, that works without needing a plug in power source? An attic antenna is now possible.

      Thank you again!!d
      Sarah

    • Try an amplifier before the splitter. Splitting an indoor signal is always a risky proposition. I'd personally try an antenna on each TV.

    • An Omni-directional won’t work. You would likely need a high gain directional antenna. Even then, it will be dicey. There isn’t a lot of room for attenuation in those signals.

  • I am hoping someone can provide some guidance on which type of antenna might work best.
    I recently purchased a mohu leaf 30 and was able to pick up my local NBC & Fox stations but not CBS or ABC. I returned & purchased a Terk 50 mile indoor amplified, still only NBC & Fox. CBS came through when I moved it to the 2nd floor. On TV fool, NBC & WPMT are green, ABC & CBS are in red.

    Here are the specs for the stations. I only want/need the 4 major networks.

    Network: Distance Path NM
    NBC (Wgal) 7.1 LOS 69.9
    Fox (WPMT) 6.2 LOS 65.5

    ABC (WHTM) 31 2 edge 8.0
    CBS (WHP) 29.1 2 edge 7.2

    When I click on the channel icon on TV Fool's website, it notes that for ABC & CBS, I am at a max range for the signals due to topography I believe.

    Any guidance/suggestions/help is greatly appreciated!

    • You have to go outdoor and most likely directional to have any hope of pulling ABC and CBS.

    • You have some key channels on VHF so a pure omnidirectional isn't ideal. I'd go with a yagi style. That should do a decent job as long as you point it at about 300 degrees or WNW.

  • Thanks for the info here. I'm hoping to switch to OTA when my DirecTV subscription ends. My tvfool results: TV Fool

    I'd like to pull in the Ft Wayne channels (251° to 253°) which are all UHF and have little obstruction, as well as the Toledo channels (62° to 64°) which include some VHF and more trees and such. I had thought that I may be able to aim a bi-directional antenna toward Toledo and pull in Ft Wayne from behind, but can't find anything that seems capable of doing that. I think I'd likely need something like a Clear Stream 5 from Antennas Direct for the VHF channels that far away. If Toledo looks unlikely, I could go for Lima (162°) but there aren't as many networks that way and there is still a VHF. What do you think? Thanks for any help!

    • Okay, thanks. You have luck with Mohu Sky then? I should be able to pull in everything green and yellow on my tvfool report with that, right? I'm hoping to double up some of the major networks because they are in different NFL markets and show different games. Not worth an expensive setup, but would be nice. Lol. Thanks again!

    • I would stick with Ft Wayne. It looks like all the major networks are covered. It's going to take a fairly expensive setup to pull both.

  • Hi Dennis-

    We just recently cut the cord and I purchased an indoor Channel Master FLATenna that is rated for 30 miles. It does a great job most of the time but it's not consistent enough on a regular basis for the channels we watch the most (ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX).

    Here is our TV Fool report:

    TV Fool

    Do you think an amplified antenna will boost the signal enough and the consistency? Any suggestions on a better indoor antenna that might give us better results?

    Thanks!
    Scott

    • Your signals are pretty strong. Is there any way you could place the antenna in another location to improve reception?

  • Hi Dennis-

    Yes, my signals are pretty strong according to the TV Fool report.

    I've tried moving the antenna around on the wall and different parts of the living room but the best performance seems to be just laying flat in front of the TV.

    During stormy, rainy days it really affects the main HD channels and causes pixelization of 4.1 KOMO, 5.1 KING, 7.1 KIRO and 13.1 KCPQ

    The 13.1 KCPQ tends to struggle often even on calm and clear days.

    There is a large Douglas fir tree (80 ft) in my neighbors yard just to the north of our house that maybe might be causing some signal loss?

    I'm thinking maybe the ClickStream 2V antenna installed in our attic might improve the consistency of the signal? What do you think?

  • On Amazon I see many meters for Satellite finding. You just screw the coax cable to it and it has a gauge you read. Is there anything like that for finding the best place to put your indoor amplified antenna? It seems like it would be a simple thing and very effective.

    Thanks

  • How the heck does anyone copy the TVFOOL address?!?! Ads cover the address and the site feedback doesn't work!! Ugh - total frustration!!

  • Hi Need Help/advice,
    We live in eastern Ma 38 (zip 01520) miles from Boston Antenna cluster. I bought and installed a Mohu Air 60 and and reception is great except when the wind blows even 15 mph causes the signal strength to drop to zero on all channels. It is installed on the peak of a one story ranch and pointed towards boston antennas. Neighbors trees are about 75 feet away
    It is really annoying since we get a lot of wind during the winter in this area. Any advice should i move the antenna into the attic? should i go with directional antenna?
    Thanks Greg

    • I can totally see the design of the Sky being susceptible to wind. You can give the attic a try. If that doesn't work, directional antennas tend to be fore aerodynamic and should cut the wind better.

  • The towers are approximately 60 miles from my house with the same direction 314 / 315 degrees Northwest I want to use an indoor antenna but not something in the Attic can you help me with this and give me an idea what would be the best antenna for my situation

    • I would need to see the TV fool report to see how much signal power you are getting.

  • For those of u stuck in an area of a "must have" channel still broadcasting on lo-VHF "real" chs 2-6, here's something that worked for me. I have an RCA preamp that has dual inputs for VHF and UHF, or u can combine the 2. I started out combined with a CM ULTRATenna 60 that worked fine for everything but PBS (ch 6). So I started looking into what I could get that might work and found they make dipole antennas specific to a channel, but are very expensive. Then I found where I could build my own and a calculator as to how long the antenna should be. After doing that I realized that what was being described sounded a lot like that old flat ribbon 300 ohm t-shaped antenna that came with my stereo system to pick up FM signals. So what the heck might as well try it, since the frequency of tv chs 2-6 lies right below the FM band. Got a 300 to 75 ohm transformer and ran it into the VHF input on my amp and connected the CM antenna to the UHF side and then to the tv. To my great satisfaction I could now get that PBS station from 2-edge, 36 mi away, just about as strong as my other channels. Bought a 10' piece of 3/4" PVC and a t-connector, cut it up, and strapped the old FM antenna to it, and it works like a charm. This should actually work for all "real" VHF (2-13) channels since I get my CBS 12 now off that as well...

  • Trying to cut the cord but the family needs it's football and I am surrounded by woodland in my suburban housing development. I'm thinking that a +gain antenna placed on the roof 30-35" (not positive about my roof height currently) and pointed approx. 30 degrees and wired directly into my TV without splits may be enough to get the channels in the Red?

    I'm a little concerned about the extremely low NM combined with the 1 & 2edges, but those are the channels that my family would want.

    Here is my TVFool report :
    TV Fool

    Advice? If this is too much of a long shot, please just let me know and I'll *gulp* keep paying Comcast when football season is on...but I'd rather not. :-) Thanks in advance.

    • It's doable with a High Gain directional antenna. Just make sure you get one you can return if it doesn't work out.

  • I am planning to "cut the cord" and recently installed a Moku Leaf. I discovered that I could clearly receive all but two major networks (that coincidentally market their own Apps with monthly charges). I scanned multiple times and checked on line for the exact channel numbers. The networks in question were CBS and PBS.
    I contacted both networks and received no explanation but mention was made of "CBS All Access" and a special PBS Members access. Is it possible that these networks are blocking access by an HD Antenna? Or am I just being paranoid ( I live in New York City where skepticism is a way of life)?

    • I doubt they are blocking it. If you want to share your TV Fool report I may be able to see what the issue is.

  • Hi, Dennis. I'm writing in a last hope effort. First here is my tvfool report: TV Fool I hope this is right. I have tried both a ClearStream 4 Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna and a Winguard 8200HD with little success. I can receive all of the channels in green but I need CBS, NBC, and ABC. These are all in red and 2edge but only 63 miles out. I can receive some ghosting on CBS but that is all. I have been testing with a 50ft run of RG6 and can only receive the ghosting when I use a Winegard LNA-200. When you add elevation to the tvfool report the signal gets worse as you go up. It shows my best signal is 5ft but where I live is on the Cumberland Plateau and at about 800ft above sea level. Is there any hope of pulling these channels or is there something else I might try? Ant help would be greatly appreciated, Thank you.

    • Hi Jeff, I'm getting a page not found on your link. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of experience with elevation being higher than the tower. Hopefully someone here does. If not, try the folks over in the OTA subreddit. Someone over there has been bound to deal with something like this. Let me know if you get an answer if you try over there.

  • Currently, I have to use DISH network to get tv. I would like to "cut the cord" so to speak, but I live in a pretty remote area for antenna reception. What would you recommend? Here is the link to my TV Fool report:
    TV Fool
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • That's going to be tough to pull off without a radio engineer. Even then I'm not sure how far you would get. What about streaming?

  • Hi Dennis,

    Great site and info. I'm *this* close to cutting the cord, and just need to figure out my best option on an antenna. According to Mohu's site, if I go with the Sky 60, I'll be pulling in 58 channels from 3 directions. This seems to indicate that an omnidirectional would be best for me, but I have some concerns about overspending just to pick up the 2Edge signals from the towers in the Southfield, MI area (at 143-151 degrees), and *maybe* the ones coming from Lansing in the 237-250 degree area.

    My LOS towers pretty much fall within 315 to 358 degrees, and will get me all of the major networks, coming out of the Saginaw area.

    First setup will be in the attic of my 2 story home, approximately 30 feet high, and then possibly going outside a bit higher once it warms up. Plan on getting an indoor/outdoor for this reason. What do you think? Below is link to my TVFool report.

    TV Fool

    • For some reason the report isn't loading, but based on what you are telling me why not try a cheaper option first. If it doesn't work out you can return it. Just verify the return policy before you purchase.

  • Hello,
    Any suggestions for an antenna that will work for us. Here's the link to our tv fool
    TV Fool
    Only interested in the major networks (NBC, CBS, FOX, ABC).
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks!

    • If anything will work it will be a high gain directional antenna. Make sure you can take back whatever you get, because it's iffy whether or not you will be able to pull signals.

  • How do I live stream the news on NBC or ABC or CBS on my laptop?
    Also; I'm in Florida and want to live stream Pittsburgh Penguin games; can you tell me where to go?
    Thanks!!

  • I have a question I've never been able to get an answer for - I switched to the antenna years ago. I get about t stations when I run straight to my TV but when I run it through my old digital converter box I get about 20. Nobody knows why and I only have one of those suckers. If it dies my reception dies.
    Any theories?

    • Any turner device generates noise which impacts the signal. Some worse than others. It seems like your TV's tuner is not as noisy as the tuner device.

  • Hi Dennis,

    Thanks for the information you've provided herein. I have a pretty good idea (I think?) about which type of antennas I should be looking at but I'd be grateful to get your informed input on the matter.

    Keep in mind that I'm only interested in a UHF only antenna since the stations I'm interested in are all on the UHF band. The stations I hope to pull in are CW, Fox, NBC, ABC and CBS. The transmitter towers for those specific stations are within 25 degrees of each other. Here is my TV Fool report: TV Fool

    By the way, I'll be mounting this in my attic. It's about 20-25 ft. from the ground. My understanding after various bits of research is that a good high gain uni-directional antenna would suit my particular situation, correct? And should I be looking at a Grid/Bow-tie style or Yagi style antenna?

    Appreciate your help, Dennis.

    Tom

    • Attic might be tough. You would need something with high antenna gain so I'd db4 extreme or ultra.

  • Hi, Dennis and thank you for the work you do. Here is my report. In regards to the major networks and that I live in a city kinda known for bad reception should I go with the Winegard 7694 or the Clearstream 2V?

    TV Fool

    • *Update*

      Bought the Clearstream as recommended and mounted it in the attic, it works way better than the Mohu. ABC comes in great, got PBS once and then it disappeared. Anything that I might be able to do to enhance the chances of getting PBS? Thanks again.

      • Sure thing. As for PBS, it's a tough call. I would play around with positioning, maybe test out an amplifier.

    • Thank you! I have the Mohu sky and it won't even try. If I have to go outside any recommendations on pole height?

      • You can play around with the height on the TV Fool report and go with the best one.

    • The ClearStream 2V should work. PBS and ABC might be tough because they are low on the spectrum, but they should be doable.

    • And if possible for in the attic, as I really don't want to do all the ground wire stuff.

      • It is. However, you should still ground an attic antenna. Check with an installer to see if it's required.

  • Looking for a suggestion on an outdoor antenna. Network towers are between 55.2 and 61.2 miles from house. Noise margins between 12.2 and 16.0. True directions between 55 and 63 degrees. Will use antenna with a current 3-way splitter, but may increase to a 4-way splitter in the future.

    • You can use the directionals I recommend in this pose, but you will need a distribution amp to overcome the line noise from splitting the signal.

  • Your information is the best I have found. I think I will buy the Mohu Sky, but I have two questions. Currently I have the VHF only portion of the Denny HD Stacker. It picks up two UHF channels, which I want, each with a NM greater than 50, when I aim it at 150 degrees. The channels have a "real" number of 16 and 31 and a virtual number of 25.1 and 44.1. TV fool says I should receive these at 193 and 212 degrees magnetic. Why do I get them at 150 degrees magnetic and with a VHF antenna? I do not get them at 193 or 212 degrees. I am about 5 miles from the 44.1 transmitter and 34 miles from the 25.1 transmitter. I like the idea of having an attic antenna which is why I might get the Mohu, but since I do not understand why I get the reception I currently get, I am reluctant to buy another antenna.

  • Howdy Dennis.
    Like others, I would like to know what is the best antenna to use for my region's (Los Angeles) broadcast channels and 3 other UHF channels (broadcast and UHF channels I want all are in the green). My TVFool display is: TV Fool

    BTW, whatever happened to Molotov TV being available on Apple TV?

    Thanks.

  • TV Fool
    First, thanks so much for try to save us money.
    Second, I'd love to get CBS and FOX, but have a feeling that this is pie in the sky dreaming because I live in the Shenandoah valley.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Scott

    • Sorry Scott, I can't see a way to get those channels over the air. However, you could try a combination of Sling TV and CBS All Access to see if they carry your local Fox and CBS affiliate.

  • Thanks so much for the extensive article. I have an issue with my setup, however. I have a Clearstream 2v and am getting all major networks except FOX (Virt. 43.1, WPMT), despite pointing the antenna directly in the 235 degree range as recommended and despite the antenna being mounted (or in the case of experimenting-held) about 25' off the ground. I realize the NM is a bit low, but what gives? I can get WGAL (Virt. 8.1) just fine, with similar distance/direction. Apparently I'm missing something :). Please help!

    TV Fool

    I should add that FOX is not even coming in at all. It's not just a weak connection, it's simply not showing at all during a scan or manual add of the specific channel.

    Thanks for any help!

  • Dear Dennis,

    Thank you for your recent blogs and articles on cable TV alternatives. They are very comprehensive, and I haven't yet been able to get through all the material they contain. However, I am writing because have suddenly found myself under a time deadline.

    My mother and I currently have FIOS TV. Our monthly bill is up to $159.00 a month for the Ultimate Package, and even though we have a contract, Verizon keeps raising the price and adding additional fees, etc.

    In January, after repeated marketing pressure from them, we renewed our contract for another 2 years. We aren't technology savvy, and at the time, didn't know how to go about researching alternatives. It just seemed so confusing, and we have no one to ask about it.

    Last week, sick of continually fighting with Verizon over the bill, my mother decided she wants to drop the service. We have until next Tuesday, 2/21/17, to cancel our contract without penalty. Therefore, I do not have much time to finish my research.

    Thankfully, I found your blog a few days ago. I have been trying to sift my way through the articles and comprehend them, hoping to use them as a guide. It seems there are so many points to consider, and I have a few questions.

    Like many of the people who commented, we watch about maybe 20 channels and no sports. My mother's friend just got a Roku and loves it, however, we discovered he cannot watch major networks live with it.

    The channels we predominantly watch are the major networks: ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and are big on PBS. My mother loves watching the morning shows, so we need to be able to get these live. We live in Media, PA, and on FIOS currently have access to the three PBS stations in our area: PBS WHYY 12 in Philadelphia, PBS 23 in NJ, and PBS 39 in Allentown.

    To get these, I determined from your article that we will need an outdoor antenna. We will probably need the most powerful one you described, the Sky® 60 Attic / Outdoor HDTV Antenna, with a 60 mile radius. I followed your link and input my zip code to find out which channels I would receive using it. We could get them all, except PBS 39 in Allentown, which I do record regularly.

    My first question to you is: Is there an equal quality antenna out there that is bigger and badder and covers a range greater than 60 miles? The price I found for the Sky 60 was about $150.00, so if there is a more powerful one available for not much more money, it would be worth considering.

    We also do a lot of recording, and from your blog I determined that the TIVO Roamio would probably be a good option for us. FIOS lets us record up to 6 shows at one time, TIVO would let us record 4, which is fine. You also said it provides a free guide and can interface with streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon, etc.

    We have three TVs in our house, two of which get full FIOS service. The third, kitchen TV only has a small box, and we cannot watch recorded shows on it. We felt the fee to add full service to that one was too expensive. Therefore, I believe we will also need one or two TIVO Minis for the other 2 TVs, depending on how expensive they are.

    I believe the price listed for the Roamio was around $400.00, so I'm hoping adding the minis won't amount to much more. It would be nice to have access to recorded shows on the kitchen TV, but we've never had it, and if we can't get it can live with that.

    Next, there is the issue of the other cable networks we watch, which I'm hoping we can get on streaming services. Although, looking at those options is confusing.

    Though we only watch a small fraction of the channels FIOS offers, from having had it for so long, we have branched out and watched a few. It would be nice to continue getting them, but if we can't we can do without.

    Non-OTA channels we currently watch are: HBO, TNT, AMC, TMC, Animal Planet, Nat Geo Wild, Discovery, National Geographic, CMT (Country Music TV), and occasionally Ovation, Smithsonian, History, A&E, Bravo, HGTV and Science.

    How can I find out which streaming service(s) and package(s) we would have to subscribe to in order to get most of these stations? I am wondering if the Sling TV packaged you talked about would cover them. I am hoping to find a low monthly cost service for these, after the one-time expenditures for the antenna and recording device.

    Finally, I've been hoping if we can take the information I've obtained from your blog and visit our local Micro Center or Best Buy to purchase the antenna and TIVO. Neither my mother nor I is about to get up on the roof, so I was thinking if we bought from the store, we could schedule a service call for their techs to come out and install them.

    Dennis, thank you for taking the time to read this email, if you made it all the way through. I am so disgusted with the state of TV these days that it took so long a message to address such minimal TV needs. Please do not post this as a comment. I would rather you respond to me privately, if you do.

    Take care, and thank you for publishing your blogs. Reading them finally gave me a way to navigate through all the complicated options and facts one needs to know to get rid of the cable company.

    Sincerely,
    Gemma Pagliei

    • Gemma,

      Thank you for checking out the blog. Your readership is appreciated. If you post your TVfool.com report I could get an idea of what the best TV antenna is for your situation. As for the DVR, I'd go with the Tablo. It's a cheaper multi room solution. You can record 2 channels at the same time, but watch on up to six. Plus splitting your signal 4 times for each tuner on the TiVo will degrade your signal. As for the cable shows. I would try Sling TV first. They offer a free trial, so if you aren't happy you can try Direct TV and Playstation Vue. Those also offer free trials.

      I hope that helps

      Dennis

  • Hi Dennis-
    Thank you so much for this website. It's been very helpful. I cut the cord back in Nov 2016 with a 4-tuner Tablo, Roku, and a Boostwaves amplified indoor flat antenna. The reception is giving me fits. I can always get 3 "local" stations (PBS, Fox, and independent KUSI) regardless of antenna placement or weather. But my 3 "national" stations (NBC, CBS, and ABC) I struggle with. NBC comes in 85% of the time. Using TV fool I discovered PBS, Fox, NBC, and KUSI are all transmitted from one mountain in the east; CBS and ABC (which are spotty, sometimes showing up for a few days, then mysteriously disappearing; ABC rarely comes in) are transmitted from another mountain in the west - nearly 180 degrees opposite!

    Single story house. If antenna mounted high on east wall, we only get east tower stations. If antenna mounted on north wall, we get all east tower stations (NBC 50% of time) and sometimes CBS and rarely ABC (north tower stations).

    Here's TV Fool link: TV Fool
    We always get the first 3 stations listed, often get the 4th (NBC), sometimes the 5th (CBS), and rarely the 7th (ABC)

    I'm thinking a better antenna might do the trick? Wanting to stick with indoor, if possible; will go with outdoor if no choice. Leaning toward Mohu Leaf (30 or 50? - not sure if amplified will help or not) or Wineguard Flatwave. Your input would be most appreciated. Ultimately, my goal is to receive CBS and ABC all the time, in addition to NBC, PBS, FOX, and KUSI.

    Looking forward to your response!

    • This is a VHF issue. CBS and ABC are in a low band which will require a different antenna. I bet you will will have better luck with this one.

  • How high should I install antenna off ground , Signal distance is coming from approximately 50 miles away , I'm on mountain top .. it picks up Good if weather is clear , but if there wind or rain lots of interference . I have 150 mile antenna

    • You basically want to have line of sight to the tower. That should be the main factor when judging how high you should go. Ideally you want to be below the tower if possible.

  • Hi Dennis, can you give me your opinion on what seems to be quite a divisive antenna - the HD Stacker. I am new to this but would like to ditch cable and replace with an antenna and a roku. Denny's recommends this antenna. I am weighing it against the clearstream 4V. Here is my TVFool report: TV Fool

    • I personally haven't tested the HD Stacker. However, based on your report you may be able to save some money and use the ClearStream 2V.

  • Hello, we live 65 miles form the nearest tv station! We are getting rid of our cable, so all of this streaming is new to us! My question is do we need an antenna with our ruko ( we have ordered but haven't received yet)? We have internet through our phone service and have great service, but just not sure if we can receive a strong enough signal for watching our local stations! Thanks for the help! Cindy

    • The Roku and Antenna are separate solutions that compliment one another. The TV antenna will provide network TV like NBC, CBS, ABC etc. Roku is a way to watch streaming services on your TV. You don't need an antenna to use a Roku.

  • I am in a rural New England location, situated on a ridge and recently purchases a Clearstream 2V antenna to get better reception from two stations that have an antenna 30 miles away. Being curious I pointed the antenna at a series of antennas 72 miles away which broadcast the 4 major networks and PBS. I was able to get three of the networks and PBS but not the FOX (-15db signal per tvfool) station. The anterna is post mounted at 15 ft. and the signal is running through 100 ft. of copper core coax. I added a pre-amp and now get all five stations. However I am getting intermittent reception (weak or no signal) for one of the stations (real channel 22, -1.2db, 2 edge) in the mornings and afternoons. It is crystal clear in the evening. I'm assuming this is related to atmospheric conditions. Thoughts. Suggestions. I general I feel that I'm pretty lucky to be getting what I have.

    • Keith,
      Please give me a clue as to where you live. Sometimes what looks like signals fading out could actually be more distant signals fading in and overpowering your more local signal.
      Ken

    • You are correct. Most issues like this are based on a change of environment between night and day. Usually it's a device that runs generating electromagnetic waves. When you are talking about stations with little Noise margin left it takes a lot of troubleshooting and tinkering to get those to come in.

  • Hello Dennis,
    Thank you very much for providing so much great information! I have just cancelled my cable and am in the process of researching what antenna to buy. My area is somewhat rural with the closest towers 50-70 miles away. There is one closer, but it's only local programming...PBS & NC. Can I get away with in indoor antenna if it's mounted in my single-story attic or do I definitely need to go with an outdoor unit?

    Here is my TVFool Info: TV Fool

    Also....when I looked at antennasdirect.com, it appears that the major towers are all fairly close to each other to the North/NE from my home. With this being the case, would I be better off with a directional antenna vs. an omnidirectional?

    Thank you for any tips you can provide!

    • For your situation I would definitely go Outdoor. I'd also go with a directional. There are some directionals called "bi-directional" that balance the gain between the front and the back of the antenna. That would seem perfect for your situation. Unfortunately, I don't have one to recommend as I never tried one. But they do exist.

  • TV Fool

    What type of antenna would you suggest? I am going to be pole mounting with a finished height of about 25' - 30' off ground from a mount on my chimney, I have dense trees ( ~50' high )that are about 40' from the house on most sides and will be splitting to two tv's. I have an amplifier if needed. Obviously the trees are not an issue in the winter. Your thoughts are appreciated. Thank you

  • Hi Dennis I've tried to get a signal report several times and I'm not able to get it any answers and I'm not tech sava

  • Need some recommendations on an antenna system.

    House is in Cocoa Beach (32931). We currently have an antenna on a 20' tall pipe mast in our back yard, which has been in service for about 10 years - the bracket that holds the antenna to the mast is getting pretty rusty so I want to install a new complete antenna system. We currently have 4 TVs connected using splitter boxes. Splitter box, coax from antenna, and coax from splitter to 2 of TVs is all old (1992 vintage w/ crappy crimped on connectors). Some of the TVs get better reception than others, I'm thinking the tuners may be better, or possibly bad coax.

    What I need a good recommendation for is:
    -antenna (w/ bracket to mount to 1" pipe)
    -amplifier ???? (currently don't have one)
    -connector, antenna to coax
    -coax cable, main (~60' run from antenna to splitter box in attic)
    -splitter box, to take main feed from antenna and then split to drive 4 TVs
    -coax cable, to feed the Tvs

    I can do the install myself, but need recommendation on the specific parts and sources for them and installation best practices.

    Thanks, Jim

  • Hi Dennis,
    Thank you for providing such great information. Here is my tvfool report:

    TV Fool

    Can you recommend an outdoor antenna for me and let me know if they are installed in a way that they can be removed?

    • They bolt in, so they can easily be removed. Your signals are so strong anything would work really. The only one that may give you a bit of an issue is Fox 7 because it's VHF. A ClearStream 2V should handle that though.

  • Hello. I am so happy to have found you!! I can't afford to pay for television, and a neighbor hooked up for me an old Radio Shack antenna and an old converter box, and for a while I was able to get a few channels, including one local channel, so I could keep up with hurricane information. Over time, I started getting fewer and fewer stations, and now, as of tonight, I have NO tv signals coming in at all. I have heard that a Lava outdoor tv antenna would solve all of my problems, along with a jailbroken fire stick. Naturally, I have no idea what I am doing. After reading through your article, I went to TV Fool, and this is the report I received:

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a47b7361020e

    Do I need an omnidirectional antenna, and/or will the Lava antenna bring in stations like I had two years ago, such as ION and some movie channels?

    All of my tv's are the very old ones that are very heavy and BIG! I am using an old converter box that was also given to me.

    As a woman, I get "taken" a lot by men who think that I don't know any better, and before I have the Lava antenna installed tomorrow I want to be sure it's what I need.

    Thank you so much for your expertise, and for sharing it with me.

    • You need a directional antenna with some gain. I'd give one of the Db4Es a try. Be sure to point it East.

  • Currently I have a satellite with four leads to four tv's. I plan to get rid of the satellite in the next 2 months. Most OTA stations in my area are digital, split 35 miles north and 35 miles south, totaling 30 stations, none in the grey range.
    I plan to put the antenna in pace of the satellite receiver on the roof. The pitch of the roof extends some 10 feet higher than the antenna. Will this cause a problem with reception as the roof is cuprous aluminum?
    Using an omni directional antenna, should it be active or passive?
    If active, do I simply use a splitter to go the 4 tv's?
    If passive, do I add an in line powered amplified splitter and then go to the 4 tv's? or
    Do I go active and add the in line splitter as well?
    Cable runs vary between 30 and 65 feet.

    • I'd have to see you TV fool report to get an idea of what you should do. As for the metal roof, they can sometimes be problematic. However, I've heard stories where people have benefited from having a metal roof. It depends how the signal hits your house.

  • Another place to find out what channels you can get over the air is antennaweb.org.

  • I'm thoroughly confused on the best antennna(s) to buy for one upstairs and one main floor TV. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a472e1447514

    • The Clearstream 2V should work. My only concern is MyN and PBS. They are low VHF, but they are close enough for the 2V to work. If now you may want to look at CM 3016.

  • I currently have cable and want to break away from the high costs (current bundle costs of $189/mo). I basically only watch my local channels and Bravo, ID, and TLC of the cable channels. I live in Dallas, TX in a single story home. I currently have 3 TVs. Do you think I would come out ahead if I only had Internet/WiFI, purchase ROKU and had an outdoor antenna installed? I do occasionally record my shows as I work long hours at time. I am a single woman and not sure i completely understand the terms streaming and types of antennas to purchase.

    Can you make any recommendations regarding ROKU vs. Apple TV (do i need one for each tv?) , the specs that I need for an antenna (its costs), installation costs approx. to install antenna and hook up all tvs and should I buy a dvr separately?

    I feel that the initial out of pocket might be higher than I pay each month but overall my goal is to substantially reduce my monthly costs. Or, am I better off just staying with internet and cable?

    So very confused? Thank you for taking the time to respond to me.
    Cindy

  • The more I read the more overwhelmed I'm getting with data and choices. I live close to the Lake Erie shore (44060), so all broadcast towers are south of me (therefore I don't need an omni-directional antenna ... at least I know that much at this point). I cannot put an antenna on my roof and am only interested in getting the main broadcast channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX...). Anything else would be a bonus. Was going to go with one of the flat indoor antennas, but based on my TV Fool analysis I'm not entirely confident that's going to work or which one would be the most likely to work. 2 out of 3 TVs in my house are in south-facing rooms with windows, but the 3rd TV is near a north-facing window where there are a lot of trees. Recommendations?

    • I would think the Winegard FV-30BB would bee your best bet. I'd say the leaf, but 7 may give you a bit of trouble.

  • Dennis, thank you for all the work you put into this!

    I'm trying hard to cut the cable. I just received an AirTV and the antenna (ClearStream 2V) will be delivered Thursday. My TV Fool report lists NM greater than 50 dB and distances of 12 to 17 miles for local channels. These are in two clusters, one at ~258° and one at ~135°. My house is on a wooded lot of mature mixed hardwoods, some probably 80' tall. The trees tower over the house and are 30 to 40' away. When standing on the roof and looking toward the horizon in both of these directions, I am looking through the trees, but I see maybe 50% sky.

    I'll found out this weekend what kind of reception I have, but will appreciate any thoughts you may have on what to expect.

    • Even with those trees, I'm thinking you should get most of the greens and a good portion of those yellows.

  • Hey Dennis,
    Thank you for all the hard work you've put into this website. I'm trying to convince myself and my wife of cutting the cord. Here is my TV Fool report:
    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a437c60380aa
    I would like to use an indoor omni-directional but I'm thinking I'm going to have to go outside. Either way the antennas would be mounted about 30' high and also, the house is located slightly down hill. The one channel I'm really concerned about is WUNC, the PBS channel. What do you think?

    • You may get luckily with an indoor antenna and grab PBS, but I'm thinking your best bet would be the Clearstream 2v

    • Mike, sounds like you know your stuff. ABC will be tricky as it's Hi-VHF and fairly distant at slightly above 30 miles. Luckily you have a direction in your favor as most of your channels are in the same southern direction. There aren't many indoor directional antennas out their, but I've heard good things about the Terk. If you try it, let me know how it works. Amazon has a good return policy, so it's worth the gamble.

  • Hi Dennis,
    Not sure my last post went through, so I apologize if this is a duplicate. My U-verse contract is up soon and I don't intend to agree to another one (although I'm sure NOW they'll offer me a killer deal since I'm going to cancel). I would very much appreciate an antenna recommendation based on my TV Fool analysis: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4e01898b863

    Typical suburban area, terrain is relatively flat, average number of trees. Large trees directly behind me (north), but none of the major OTA channels are in that direction anyway. No large trees in front (south). Looking to get the major OTA channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX…). Anything else is would be a bonus.

    Thank you ... very glad I found this site!

    • Thanks for the Kind words Nancy! Based on what you've said I think the ClearStream 2V would be your best option.

  • Dennis,

    Tremendous website.

    My wife and I are cutting the cord and as part of my soon to be impressive Tablo
    OTA DVR/(Amazon Fire TV|Stick| Roku)/Sling TV Cord cutting setup - my first step is getting the antenna and doing some tests.

    My plan was to use my already in place 10 foot high Direct TV Dish to mount my antenna and use the existing COAX run to my "network" hub where i will connect my Tablo for OTA channel access throughout the house via wifi/wired Tablo app on the aforementioned streaming devices

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MWLZR0I/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=2W30EOTOI9H5E&coliid=I2W2130NPHWPZQ&psc=1

    I planned on getting this omni-d antenna since I live in CO, in a new development without a lot of tall trees and most channels to the S-SW

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XDFPJN4/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=2W30EOTOI9H5E&coliid=I116RLA5J5ZM7M

    Here is my TVFool profile.

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4721ccc4f6e

    Would love to hear you thoughts on my plan and any suggestions you might have -

    Jeff

    • The existing coax is directly from the Satellite dish down to network box in my basement. Our home is only a few years old and the cable itself is definitely RG-6 and is only probably 25ft long to that box. Luckily that is where the split for the all the rooms occurs and I have the direct access to the main line from outside.

      I was hoping to get your feedback on the antenna i linked - want to make sure it was enough.

      or maybe this:
      https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N06CBFO?ref_=ams_ad_dp_asin_3&th=1

      This is the one i will most likely go with:
      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E5Z3R6A/ref=ask_ql_qh_dp_hza

      Thanks again for all your write ups -they have helped me immensely.

    • The plan is solid. However, the one concern I have is utilizing the existing coax. I would only do so if you are confident that it's a solid coaxial install for an antenna. Thanks for reading and definitely stop back and let us know how it went.

  • Trying to cut the cord, but off to a bad start. I have connected a Mohu50 to the DTV port on the back of my tv, plugged the amp to ac power, changed the tuner from HDMI to TV and tried to scan for channels per my tv's instructions, but I am getting a "no signal" on the tv screen.

    I put the Mohu50 together per instructions.
    I currently have Comcast, but I turned their box off before trying to run a scan.

    I have several tv towers in an easterly direction between 20 and 33 miles, and a radius from 83 to 95 degrees.

    My tv has a digital tuner.

    Got to be something I am overlooking. Your help is appreciated

    • It's hard to say. I'd call their support and have them troubleshoot with you.

  • Hello Dennis:
    This is a great website. Thanks for explaining all of this.
    I'm wanting to cut the cord, but I feel like I need local channels. Here is the TV Fool report.
    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a477a14b6f21.
    I have a 2 story house with a tall attic, so I could place the antenna anywhere from 25' to 30' inside the attic, or at 30;' outside the attic. But I'm still unsure which antenna would be best to use. I would like to get the top 5 channels on the report.
    What would you recommend?
    Thanks, Tom

    • You're going to have to mount outside on the roof with a high gain antenna to pull those. That said, PBS and ABC may still give you trouble due to the VHF spectrum.

  • Dennis,

    This is an incredible website with an unbelievable amount of content. I can't tell how much I appreciate the time and effort you must have put into this site.

    Because of the content on this site, I've decided I'm cutting the cord. My issue is going to be the major local stations. I thought I had decent numbers until I read some of the comments for others. Here is a link to my TV Fool Report. http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4120bf25e5e

    I'm in the same "relative" geographical are as you. Jarrettsville, MD. Any chance I can get a decent exterior antenna setup to bring in ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX or is it just wishful thinking?

    Thanks for any help you can provide,
    Mike

    • The Clearstream 2V mounted outdoors should be able to get all the required channels.

  • Really great website with lots of valuable information. It was easy to understand and follow without really "knowing" about signals, strengths, noise, etc. We live in the country. Our town is relatively small even though it is a college town. It looks from TV Fool we are 80+ miles from any station (Des Moines, IA). Unfortunately, it does not appear there will be any antennae that will get us OTA television. I was hoping to drop our 40$/month cable that provides us next to no stations other than local, infomercials and Inspiration (Walker or The Virginian at 9 is what is on when I finally sit down at night) lol ... and pick up Sling or something like that to add to Netflix and Prime. We are advanced enough in the sticks to have fiber optic--with very decent up/down speeds, but apparently can't get free t.v. :-| Well, I could get 1 channel, it seems. WOI-5. All of my NM are <0 by A LOT. It now explains why my grandmother's huge antennae on top of her house quit working in 2007-ish (yes, she has a converter box) - channels just stopped coming in after digital channels/televisions changed.
    So, I am bummed, but thank you for giving me the tools in an easy to understand manner that let me come to the conclusion, I do not need to waste my money on an antennae. :(

  • I've been wanting to cut the cable for a long time but my husband has been against it because he's afraid he won't be able to watch football or Nascar. We don't even watch any network TV. We watch Netflix or Amazon videos at night. The only thing we watch is local news, which for us (we're in NW AZ) is Phoenix (180 miles south of us!). I can't see spending $148/mo. for tv/phone/internet.

    I've been doing some research and thought a TiVo Roamio OTA or a Tablo would be the way to go. We already have Roku on 2 TV's. I did the tvfool test and it was pretty weak (http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a45bdb1d3a58) so I don't think that's an option for us.

    I'm not sure what to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • If I live within 15 miles from all of my tv stations, would there be any benefit in buy an antenna rated to cover 60 miles? Specifically would my signal be any better?

    • You are only going to be able to get 3 or 4 channels, but I'd try the DB4 or DB4 extreme

  • Hi Dennis!

    You have an excellent site, full of extremely useful information! I am preparing to cut the household cord in August when the Fios contract is up. We already have Netflix, Prime and a Roku, we plan on trying out Sling as well to see how we like the options. However, we would also like to get the Philadelphia, PA and Salisbury, MD channels - ABC, CBS, NBC that we like to watch as well.

    We live in an 80 year old, 1 story house, with an attic in downtown Dover, DE. We have old trees in the neighborhood, including at least 5 tall ones in our back yard, to the west of our house.
    With all of that info - would it be feasible to install an antenna in the attic, or would I have to have one outside? Which antenna(s) would you suggest I consider to take care of the household needs?

    Thanks so much for your help, and for this useful site!
    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4cd33c43361

    • I think you are going to have to go outdoor. CBS is presenting a bit of a dilemma. I would say go with a directional antenna pointed 15 degrees of North. However, CBS is very weak. A very high gain directional antenna, like the DB4e Extreme, may do it. However if it doesn't you may be able to try the Clearstream 2v to pull the stronger CBS that's in the other direction. Of course then you run a bit of a risk not getting ABC and NBC. It's hard to say what would work best. I'd try one and make sure you can send it back if it doesn't work.

  • After years of living somewhere with no line of sight, I'm moving to a new city and the following is my TvFool report:

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a41408d0da87

    All of the stations seem to be within 15 miles and in the same direction.

    Do you think I would need the Winegard FreeVision to pick up the VHF's or would the Mohu leaf style be sufficient?

    i'm not sure if I'd also be able to pick up the other group of networks that are 100 miles away.

    • So with the FreeVision, I seem to have to re-angle it to be able to pull in the PBS, but some of the other channels go out when I do that. I also occasionally get Tucson channels, but they pixelate.

      I have a Philips SDV1125T/27 in my bedroom, which I thought might be better for VHF in there, but it can't really pull in the VHF except a SD subchannel feed for Fox. I hardly watch in there, so I'm not sure I care too much and I'm not sure if a Mohu Leaf type antenna would be any better.

    • Mohu leaf might have an issue with that PBS channel. I'd go with the FreeVision.

  • I kind of think I'm spitting into the wind on this (cleaned that up since I don't know you).

    I've used the radar thingy to look at channels. The problem with them, even when I enter a specific address and zip seems to be that they can't see topography.

    The three main channels we're after, ABC, CBS, and NBC are almost in a line behind each other, about 2 miles away, and behind a big freaking hill. I currently have an outdoor direction antenna (can't give you the name offhand but can get that if it helps, and we can only get CBS - the fist one in line in the line of towers.

    I have the antenna about 30 feet in the air on our roof, but that still puts it about 30 feet below the top of the hill. At the top of the hill, we would probably have a line-of-site to the towers.

    We are on the west side of the Magnolia Hill and the towers are on top of the Queen Anne hill next door. None of that is probably any use if you don't know the Seattle area.

    So, any suggestions you might have are appreciated, whether antenna related, or whatever (with the possible exception of moving).

    Thanks,

  • I had a guy install an antenna, and all is good except CBS (29.1). It will be fine, but any weather or wind plays havoc with 29. It will drop completely out. If you check the built in signal checker on my TV or my Channel Master DVR, the signal may even drop completely. All other channels stay rock solid. He has tried 3 different antennas with amps but I get the same results. The current antenna is omnidirectional. I wish I remembered the brands. I suspect trees, but other channels along the same path are fine.... Here is my TVFool report. Can you lend any insight or recommend an antenna? I have considered a Mohu Sky 60, but don't want to spend the money if it won't help.

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a486f80d903c

    Thanks!

    • All of your channels are SW, I'd go with a more directional antenna and see if that helps. It's odd that CBS is an issue though. It seems strong enough.

    • It's going to be tough to pull those signals without a professional high gain setup. It's a bit out of my wheelhouse.

  • Hi Dennis! This site is awesome! Thanks for all your hard work. I'm looking to cut the cord completely. I'm currently in the middle of the Sling TV free trial trying to show my family it could work. I would also like to add OTA channels to maximize our viewing experience. Here's my TV Fool report. http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a451e30f7bd7

    Would I be okay to use an indoor omni directional antenna? I have a two story home with our main TV down stairs and four TVs upstairs. If the indoor antenna would work, will I need one per each TV or can I use the same for all of them?

    • Thanks, Jason! An Indoor should work, but you will need one on each TV.

    • That's going to be a tall order, 2 channels are in Hi-VHF. Those will be next to impossible at that distance without a radio engineer at your side.

  • Hi Dennis,

    I'm gutted! I thought it was complicated but, after you said:

    "It’s going to be tough to pull those signals without a professional high gain setup. It’s a bit out of my wheelhouse"

    ... I'm both lost and confused. If it's out of your wheelhouse, it's a completely different ship for me :). So, 1 ) where would I look for a professional high gain set up? and 2) should I even bother? (Is it possible to get those signals? i.e. worth the trouble)

    Maybe an android box on my internet cable is a better solution?

    • I would see if you can grab live channels from a Live Streaming Service. More and more local affiliates with be streaming in the very near future. Personally, I would wait. I wouldn't want you to sink a ton of cash into a hi-gain solution, just to have all this stuff go streaming within a year.

  • Hi Dennis,

    We are cutting the cord! I have been looking at purchasing a Mohu and possible a DVR recorder. We have just disconnected our DirecTV. I have 3 teens upstairs who also like to record and watch as well as the 2 other TV's downstairs. We live 50-60+ miles from 3 big cities but I am not sure what equipment I need to purchase. Can you give any advisement on this? Here is a copy of our TvFool results:

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a44f98f34f51

    I thank you in advance for any help! ~Porkchop

  • Hello Dennis, thanks for doing all the leg work for us. I have cut the cable and I'm using a Mohu Sky 60 mounted in my attic with no obstructions to the outside other than the wall. The antenna is facing 168 degrees, which is the direction of the three major networks. The problem I'm having is that I rarely get a night that doesn't pixelate and some nites its almost unwatchable. I'm running the cable to a two way splitter which than is connected to the cable that was installed by the cable company to my two TV's in the house. I did not add any cable from the antenna to the splitter just what came with the antenna.
    Here is my TV fool report. http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4dd4472c0fd. Thanks Tony

    • Thanks for reading Tony! As for your issue, I'd make certain there is only one 2-way splitter. Sometimes installers will install a 3 or 4 way when you only need 2. Those unused ports still split the signal. If you haven't already you can install a 10 dB gain amplifier before the splitter. That will boost the signal to compensate for the splitter loss.

    • Make sure the antenna is facing West. That antenna is actually directional with a 60-degree field of gain.

  • Hi. Your web page is a great resource. I am considering ditching Directv for Playstation vue but I wanted to see if I could get the local stations with an antenna. I know the location of the house is not ideal but I was hoping to get CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox. I think Fox will be the toughest. I already have a post on the roof that I can mount an antenna to so an outdoor antenna would be fine. Let me know if you have any thoughts.

    • I'd go with the Winegard HD7694 and point it east. I can;t see you getting the one to the southeast.

  • I am lost with options that aren't clear and antenna ads that advertise junk. Here is my tv fool link: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a43e015007bf

    I would like an antenna that will get good reception on PBS. An outdoor antenna that I can mount on the roof (over 30ft) . I live in SW Florida with hot sun and hurricane winds. Be nice to have a rotor to adjust it. What's well made and right for my area. thanks Charlie

    • It's going to be tough. I'd go with one of the high gain directional antennas I mentioned in the article.

    • I'd go with the Clearstream 2V. You'll only be able to get the ones in Green.

    • You will likely need an attic or outdoor antenna. The Clearstream 2V should work. I know you said you can't go outdoor, but it's against the Law for an HOA to prevent you from using an outdoor antenna. Check out this article for more info.

    • Forgot to mention I'm in a subdivision and so I can't do a roof mounted antennae.

    • You have great signals in your area. Since you have a couple VHF I'd go with the Clearstream 2V

  • Dennis, I stumbled across your site the other day. You have brought up many things I have not taken in consideration. I have been mind boggled by the different options to cut the cord. You have given numerous options to consider. I am a big fan of the MOHO leaf products. We have one in our guest house which works out great. However, I am over ready to cut the cord. First things first will be to purchase a antenna. I believe an outdoor antenna will be my best option for our main TV in our home (I am hoping to use my Direct TV cables which are RG6.) Would like to eventually connect all 4 TV's, however at this time I am concerned more about our main TV which is a Samsung Smart TV. Here is my TVfool link:

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a49c68acbdab

    If you are not able to view, zip is 75639. As you can see most of my available channels are N/NE. We also have to take in consideration the weather where we are located. Extremely hot and storms on occasions. Would you still recommend the MOHO Sky 60? I have also considered ClearStream 2V Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna with Mount - 60 Mile Range.

    Next will be a streaming device. You are a fan of Roko, however you are an Apple family. I like Apple also. I think Apple is suppose to come out with a new streaming device toward the end of this year. Any advice for a streaming device?

    Thank you for your response in advance, I am looking forward to hearing from you to soon.

    • You could save a bit of money and go with something like the ClearStream 2V. That should serve you well. I've used Apple TV. It's a fantastic device. You can't go wrong with an Apple TV. The real differences are really ones of personal preference.

  • Hi Dennis..great site! I have an older style roof mounted antennae that worked well until a wind storm damaged some of the extensions/wands. Now the reception is sporadic, so I would like to replace it with a newer unit.

    Here is my TV Fool report:

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a489bd6297bb

    The antennae can be mounted on the top pitch of a two story home that has large trees in the direction of the major transmitters. The coaxial runs about 60 feet until it splits down to two tvs on the first floor. Would the Clearstream 2V work for me?

    • Thanks for reading the blog! As for the antenna, a Mohu Leaf or Winegard Flatwave should pull the channels in the green zone, and if you are lucky a few of the yellows.

  • Hi, Dennis--

    We just ditched our DirecTV and thought it would easy to convert to network TV because we still have their dish on our roof plus an old Radio Shack VU-120 VHF/UHF/FM antenna with matching transformer in the attic. Unfortunately, none of our TVs is picking up a signal. Do we need a new, digital antenna? Here is our info: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4b21215d101

    Thanks for your advice! --Virginia in Kansas

    • Those signals are strong to where you should be getting something. There has to be an issue with the installation. I would try a direct connection (no splitters, one line from antenna to TV.) That should help you troubleshoot. If you still don't receive any channels, replace components (transformer, cable, then antenna) until you do.

    • The preamp will only compensate for noise in the line (splitter, TV tuner, cable length, etc.). What happens when you remove the preAmp and connect the Antenna to just one TV over a single coaxial cable?

    • Thank you. I appreciate your readership. You may have a chance of pulling NBC and Fox with a high gain directional antenna like the Winegard HD7694P. Just make sure to point it East.

    • The ClearStream 2V should work great for you. As for needing an antenna, you need at least Rabbit ears I would think. It's possible the port picks up some signal on its own, but unlikely.

      • You many want to try a pre-amp. It might compensate for the noise in your line to squeeze out that last channel.

    • I would try pointing the antenna in that exact direction. Is it indoor or outdoor? Also, are you using a pre-amplifier?

    • Are those TV channels? I'm not about to locate any info on them except for channel 13. Are you able to get that one?

  • Hi Dennis,
    I really need your help, I cut my cable today and I am so HAPPY !!!! I got an HD TV Antenna and my tv scanned 60 channels but I'm only getting 15 channels. I read somewhere that I need to buy a digital receiver to get all of my channels is that true, if so which one would you recommend. HELP

    Gail W.

    • I would need to see your TV Fool report. If you are getting any channels then your TV already has a digital tuner built in.

  • Hi, Dennis.

    I am so glad I came upon your article! I read some others that did not give nearly this much information. Thank you! I think I know what should work for my situation but I would like to get your input.

    I am thinking about getting the ClearStream 2V antenna along with the Winegard LNA-200 Preamplifier and installing the antenna in our attic. The thing I'm concerned about is that we are surrounded by 20'+ tall trees. I read where you talk about them casting a shadow on the exterior wall where the antenna is mounted and they will do that at some point during the day. But even if I install an outdoor antenna I will still have the same issue. I would love to know what you would suggest.

    Thanks!

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a48d8391c7f4

    • The attic should work. If you are having issues, going outdoors will help. The signal degrades passing through the attic roof.

      • You have strong signals. You could go with a number of options, Clearstream V2, Mohu Leaf, or Winegard FlatWave are quality. You may even be able to get away with a generic Amazon Basics generic leaf.

  • Hi Dennis,
    What a great job you do with Grounded Reason. Getting ready to cut and deciding between Mohu Leaf 50 and Sky 60. Went to Best Buy, where they have a 2 week return policy, so I can compare them, and what do I find? A Mohu AIR 60! It's $100 instead of the Sky's $150. Looks similar and has similar specs., but it's not even listed on the Mohu site. Have you checked this one out? Any comments on relative performance?

  • I am in a second floor apartment only 15 - 16 miles from the major networks according to the TVFool. The GE amplified Antenna that I bought is only getting UHF channels and not very good reception. I was able to turn it horizontal, vertical, and position it in a window trying different directions with the rabbit ears on it, but my reception on the 2 out of 4 network channels I can get is not very good. The channels freeze, pixilate, and go out completely at times and come in clearly at other times. What indoor antenna should I get to help with the interference in my area (metro DC)?

    • First, try it without the amplifier. You likely don't need it in Metro-DC. If that doesn't work, try either a Clearstream 2V, or an unamplified Mohu Leaf Glide.

    • First, try it without the amplifier. You likely don't need it in Metro-DC. If that doesn't work, try either a Clearstream 2V, or an unamplified Mohu Leaf Glide.

    • I know. I can't believe it. I would like to thank you and everyone else who uses the website. As for your antenna. I just tested the new Leaf Glide and think it would be perfect for you if you are going with an indoor antenna. For an outdoor antenna, the SKY should work. I would say the ClearStream 2V pointed to the Northern stations, but I don't know if it will pick up the ones in the south without rotating it. It might.

    • An Amp may work, but try things like raising the antenna height before buying one. The Eclipse is a good antenna for picking up that type of channel, so If you can’t get in with an indoor antenna, then you may want to try an outdoor one.

  • I LOVE this site!
    I am having an issue though. I'm trying to get my mother to cut her cords. She is all for it, but "NEEDS" to have a particular local channel. I bought this indoor antenna and tried it this morning. Couldn't get anything with it. https://www.amazon.com/1byone-Amplified-Detachable-Performance-Cable-Black/dp/B00IF70T4M/ref=pd_cp_23_4?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=JT2DK9MWDHS1Y4QDPV67
    So my question is, this is her TV Fool analysis here: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a496713c8f5a
    The channel she really wants is Wcsh-DT (NBC) virtual # 6.1. With it being UHF, and only 22.9 db, will anything work? As you can see, its a 2edge, and almost 30 miles away. She also lives near a small mountain. (quite small actually)
    What would you recommend before I buy something else to try? I am also wary of the rooftop ones, only because we are in Maine and get a lot of snow...
    Thanks so much for any help!

  • Thank you for this site. It is a tremendous service to the public. I was hoping to cut the cable today – but hit a snag. I’ve been reading your website, preparing for the move. I bought a Mohu50 a while back, as I can only use an indoor antenna on a south-facing ground floor apartment. With a little maneuvering I thought I found a place on the wall to pin the antenna, the picture was mostly consistent. So I thought I was good to go.

    However, today I unpacked my new Tivo Roamio OTA and hooked it up to the antenna. Now I am having trouble receiving a strong signal from my local VHF stations through the Tivo. In particular the PBS affiliate. This is my number one channel that I watch and need to record. I checked the channel strength on Roamio and it was measuring at about 43 - 50 (percent?) on the device. The signal strength is similar for the other VHF local channels.

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4539140a27f

    I read your post to Kristi today, and you suggested unplugging the antenna amplifier, I did that, and the signal strength remained the same. It’s too low for the Tivo to pick up to record, when the signal drops. I get an error code V53. I unpinned the antenna from the wall. I get slightly better reception with the antenna draped over the sofa next to the cat – about 50% on the Tivo scale. But it isn’t enough to depend on a good recording, also the cat wants to eat it.

    So my question is, given that I don’t seem to have enough signal strength to record on the Tivo, do I have any other options to get a better signal so that I can record my local local VHF channels, especially PBS, channel 12?

    I was hoping to use Tivo and augment my viewing with my Roku and Sling, and was reading your article on BritBox, etc. I have such high hopes. Thank you, any help is greatly appreciated.

    Susan

    • Mohu just released a Mohu Leaf Glide. I just tested it and it does a better job and picking up VHF that the standard Leaf. You could give that a try. The TiVo has 2 tuners in it, so it's essentially splitting the signal, which caused the degradation.

  • Dennis, you have a very informative site here. I am looking to replace an antenna that has suffered severe damage from an ice-storm three years ago and a wind storm two years ago and still keeps on ticking (no it's not a Timex). That said, we get fair reception here and always have since 1957. Here is shown here http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4be80144af3 Our rotor system is not working any more so we point the current antenna slightly west of north. I would to like to again be able to get Detroit stations as well as the Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo stations. Also want to again get Canada station 9 for Hockey Night. I have looked at the following and need some help in selecting or different suggestion altogether:

    VHF/UHF/HDTV Fringe Yagi Outdoor Television Antenna model # 30-2440, $47 Amazon

    Supreme Amplified BOOSTWAVES Outdoor Remote Controlled HDTV UHF VHF Antenna FM Radio 360 Degree Motorized Rotation Kit with 50ft RG6 and clips Works UP TO 2 TV's- PREMIUM FLAGSHIP MODEL! Several models available on Amazon for $32-36.

    DB8e Extreme Long Range Bowtie HDTV Antenna at Antenna Direct for $160

    Claims of 150 mile range on some of these which we have attained with our antenna but inconsistently. Your recommendation or analysis would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Ron.

    • 9 is a tall order. In order to get it, you are going to need a directional antenna with extremely high built in gain. (Not pre-amp game). Even then I can't guarantee it with any of these. You'll likely need an antenna specialist to come out. Sorry.

  • I have a 40X40 polebarn with a metal roof. I have trees on the sides of the polebarn and a garage door on the front facing the TV towers about 50 miles away. Therefore I either put the antenna right behind the trees on at the back of a 40 foot metal roof.

    Any advise on placement and antenna type would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance for your site and any assistance you or your members provide

    • Hi parker, it's difficult to provide advice without being on site. The metal roof could hurt or help your cause depending on the signal in your area. It's hard to say without seeing.

  • OMG, I can't tell you how happy I am to have found your site, and I plan to make my purchases through your site. I'm going to cut the cord. Planning to start with an antenna, then add a DVR, and finally a streaming device and subscription. I need very little: ABC, CBC, NBC, Fox, FX, TNT, Hallmark Channel, Animal Planet, and I like binge watching some old series. I usually record everything and watch later, except for local news and weather, so next-day streaming is fine for me for those that aren't free locals. Can you help me determine which antenna will work? I have 2 UHF and 3 VHF-Hi on my want list, live in Tempe, AZ with a pretty direct LOS to the transmitters. Except for housing. I'm in a single family home, with the TV in the East-most room, and the transmitters are nearly due West of me. There are of course other houses and buildings too. The room with TV doesn't have any windows that point West; only East and South. But my report shows very strong signals for the five I care about (65-71). They are all 8.5 miles from me. Would a Mohu Curve work for me, with all of those interior walls in the way? Or am I better off going with an exterior antenna? Or might I be able to get away with rabbit ears? I wasn't sure between the Loop, Dipole, and Bowtie.

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4d21b9fa4b5

    Thank you SO much for all of your very thorough information!

    • Thank you Dennis. I hope that you are well compensated for your knowledge, through your referrer links. I just ordered the Mohu Leaf Glide through your site.

      For free trials, wouldn't I also need a device, like a Roku? If not, then I don't understand how I can try them out on my TV. Do I just try them on the PC first, and then get a device for the TV once I've made my choice?

      I'm not finding how to list the names of shows that are offered by these streaming services, only the channels. For instance, I like a couple of shows from WeTV, and Audience. WeTV is on Sling's Lifestyle package. Does that mean all shows that are broadcast for cable by WeTV will also be available via Sling with the Lifestyle package? Or do those "channels" offer only a limited lineup through the streaming services?

      What about daytime TV on the local channels (ABC, NBC, etc.) as opposed to prime time? Are they also included in streaming services, or will they require a DVR for recording from the antenna?

      Thanks again. Your expertise is impressive!!

      • Yes, if you get the channel through Sling TV or other Live streaming service it will be just like having the cable channel. You can watch in your browser, but if you want to watch it on your TV you need a streaming device or a smart TV that supports the love service you have. If you like daytime TV you will either need a service that offers the network in your area (Some local channels are offered live through Sling, Hulu, Directv now, etc.) or the antenna/DVR. Thank you for supporting the site. I appreciate it.

    • Hi Kim, If next day streaming is your thing I recommend doing this in steps to save you the most money. First, pick up Hulu for a free trial. They do air a lot of network TV the day after. See if that is enough to cover your needs. If not, then pick up a DVR to record TV from the antenna. I just tested a Mohu Leaf Glide and that should pull all the channels you need and give you enough strength for both tuners on the DVR.

      If you need suggestions on a streaming service, look at some of the live services I cover in my article on cable TV alternatives.

  • I am trying to find an antenna that I can pick up a tv station that is 25 miles to the south and other tv stations that are 40 miles to the north (Canadian). To the south is a stand of cedar and fir trees that are about 500 feet deep and which you cannot see thru. To the north it is fairly open with a few tall fir trees but no where the density to the south. I was looking at the Antennas Direct DB8e with the 8 element bowtie to pick up both north and south stations. The antenna is much bigger than I really wanted, but...... Any recommendations on an antenna that will pick up the station to the south with all of the tall evergreen trees?

  • Hi Dennis,

    If we buy a new regular TV not a smart one , do we need Wifi ( do not have now) or can we just purchase a Mohu indoor antenna and plug in to new tv? We live in a townhouse and do not want an outdoor aerial .

    Also checked out Los Angeles CA Mohu stations and many are listed as "IND" WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

    With a Mohu antenna we can get per Mohu 142 stations but 70% are listed as IND which may mean independent?

    Thank you for your wonderful site!!

    Lily

    • I'm pretty sure that's an independent channel. I would need to cross-reference it with TVfool.com to be sure.

  • Great article.
    I used TV Fool several years ago and loved it.
    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4ee8ded21d1

    I have been using a Winegard HD7698P, amp and rotor, 200' up the hill, on a 40' tower, for years now.

    My question is, How do I scan and lock the stations to the south, then scan/add the stations to the north, as now I have been required to scan after rotation, with no knowledge as to how to lock in the stations from the previous location.
    We thought with the new "Smart TV" [65" SAMSUNG], we would have this option......but no......there must be a way.

    Any input you could give would be appreciated.

    • Check the manufacturers website, there is usually a way to manually add stations.

  • Hi Dennis,

    Thank you very much for providing all is this information, you have answered so many different questions I had. If you get a chance could you look at my report and let me know what your recommendation on the type of antenna I should get? I would love to cut the cord but I want to make sure I'll still have access to our local channels. The biggest thing I would like to know is if you think I will be able to get ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS. I had planned to get the Mohu Sky but want to make sure that will pick up everything.

    Thank you so much!!

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4295281d417

    • The Sky would not be optimal for you. I'd look at getting a High Gain directional antenna and focus it to the SE.

    • You are going to need a high gain directional antenna with a rotor. Since the channels are a bit far away I would consult a local installer to get a good idea. Any advice I give without seeing your situation is going to be hit or miss.

  • Hi Dennis,

    Your write-up is fantastic, the best I've come across without question, thank you! My family and I have recently discontinued our cable subscription with Dish and are streaming with SlingTV. However, we're really hoping to find the best option to pickup CBS and ABC. Really enjoying watching live sports and much of the football and golf programming lands with CBS. Could you please provide me with your best recommendation? Thank you very much in advance!

    Here is my TVFool Report
    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4ef61f93e75

    • Thanks Tyson! For you situation, I would try the Clearstream 2V. That should work.

    • I'd go with the Clearstream 2V due to having a couple Hi-VHF channels.

  • I think this is the best article I've ever read explaining the technology, well done! I work for Antop an antenna manufacturer, one of the largest. Is there anyway to speak with you directly?

    Thanks,
    Patrick

  • I've talked to you before about my location (there seems to be an issue with tvfool.com right now), but I'd like to pick up channels which are nearly 180° off from each other at distances between 45 and 55 miles away. The lowest nm is around 8db and they are mostly UHF, but with 2 Hi-VHF. I tried using the Marathon antenna outdoors at about 25 feet), but haven't had much luck. Thinking of using 2 separate antennas now (yagi style) and combining the signals. I'm aware of needing to use identical length cables, but I'm curious about the use of a preamp. Should I preamp after combining, or do I need to use one for each line? I'm not sure how that would work if they're powered by injector indoors either. Thanks for any help!

    • I know that you use the Mohu Sky antenna, and I'm assuming that the tvfool report in this article is yours. Can you tell me what the weakest channel is that you are able to pull in consistently? I called to speak to a Mohu rep and was told that the noise margin would have to be above 40 dB, which seems absurdly high. The Leaf might pick up a signal that strong. A rotor isn't really an option for me because I have a Tablo and I need to know I will get a signal from a channel to set it for recordings. Thanks!

      • That is high. I can get channels at 20 dB, and on a clear day with no wind, I can pick up one at 15 dB. That said, it will vary based on how much noise interferes with the signal in a real life situation.

    • I only know how to combine signals using a band filter (one antenna picks up UHF, the other VHF). I would assume there is some higher end equipment to filter out specific channels, but you'd likely need to talk to a radio frequency engineer. The best advice I could give is to give the Yagi a try utilizing a rotor to turn the antenna when you need to. Another option would be to get 2 antennas with 2 HD homeruns. Its a bit clunky because you would have to switch between HDhomeRuns based on the channels you wanted to watch.

  • Awesome article and thanks for your work! We're analyzing options to cut the cord, but we're sure about using an OTA, yet with confusion. We want to connect 4 TVs, so can you recommend an OTA? Also, with 4-TVs, will one antenna suffice or would it be better to use 2 antennas? We plan to place the antenna(s) in the attic or on the roof facia. Thanks in advance!

    Here is the tvfool report: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4e8e085d33e

  • Hi Dennis,
    I have installed the Mohu Sky 60 bought through your website and I am pleased with the results. On the grounding I will complete and have an electrician check my work. My next steps are to split the signal to two TVs or use Tablo with my router. No I am not a techie, but I feel empowered.

    The provider amplifier actually blocked all channels which was explained by your great articles:

    "This doesn’t mean every antenna needs an amplifier. Strong signals that are boosted can actually overload the tuner causing the channel to no display on the TV. (Overload in this instance doesn’t mean “blow up.” The tuner will be fine)"

    Thank you very much, Dennis.

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a401a6ee1669

  • Great information and easy to understand. We are looking to cut the cord and I am getting all the pieces together. So far we have internet service at 117mbps with an Arris SB6183 modem and Netgear R6300v2 router. A Roku Premiere Plus media streamer is on its way. My biggest concern is which antenna for the OTA local stations. I am leaning towards the Lava HD8008 with a CM-7777 pre amp. TV Fool link: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4dc15331192
    Your suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

    • With your experience, which antenna would you recommend in order to get the maximum amount of stations?

    • I haven't personally used the Lava. If you are looking at getting the first 5 in the list, it should do the job. I'd be surprised if it didn't.

    • The Clearstream 2V may help get some of those closer VHF channels. However, those distant channels would need a higher gain directional antenna. You'll likely need a local professional to design a solution.

    • What antenna are you currently using? I'm thinking a Clearstream 2v would suit you the best. As for Ion being 51, I think TV fool just isn't showing the "virtual" channel. That is the channel that you see on your TV. The "real" channel (31 in Ions case) is the channel that it's technically broadcast on.

  • Hi, I already asked a few questions on your Mohu review but since this question isn't Mohu specific I'll put it on here.

    I've a bit of a concern about beamwidth. My channels are at two big clusters with a few Canadian ones in between. Unfortunately, not all the channels fall into the 180 degree range of the Ultratenna 80 by ChannelMaster, the highest beamwidth multidirectional I can find. Would the Ultratenna or any other Multidirectional be able to pull in a 55db UHF even if it is a 10 or so degrees out of the beamwidth? The channels I want to receive are more in a 190-200 degree arc. I can't use a rotor because I record a lot of shows. Here is my TV Fool report too:

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a460052f7cdc

    So yeah, basically I want to pull in WDIV, WJBK, WXYZ, and WWJ from Detroit while picking up CBET Canada, and WTOl, WTVG etc from Toledo, all within a 200 degree range.

    (Also, I keep seeing these "150 Mile Range" antennas with rotors on Amazon that sell for about $40. Are these legit? Model number usually ends with 2608.)

    • I have, but I don't want the extra hassle. I think I will be going with an omnidirectional outdoor, a la Mohu Sky. However, there is an omnidirectional antenna that AmazonBasics sells for $70 less than Mohu, and it looks mostly the same, almost a clone. Are there any cheaper outdoor omnidirectionals that you recommend?

      • I haven't used those personally, but at $70 cheaper I would give it a shot. Just make sure there is a return policy in case it doesn't work out. Let us know how it goes.

    • Have you considered a Rotor system. They are fairly inexpensive and allow you to aim the antenna at will.

    • Are you able to get the channels to a single TV when you connect it directly to the antenna without a splitter?

  • Thank you for all of the information, I am trying to learn as much as possible before we kick Charter out for good!

    Here is our report- http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4d7ae48dfb1

    We've purchased a Clearstream 2Max and hooked it up to one TV to test it, raised it to a plantshelf higher in the room and it did much better. We are probably going to mount it outside along our one & a half-story roofline to get the best signal. We need to split to 5 TVs ideally, is that too much for this antennae, or do you recommend something different? Local NBC and CBS are our 'must-haves', both in the Top 5.

    • A five-way split is going to cause nearly 18 dB of loss to the signal, so you should get a distribution amp to compensate

  • Hi!

    Just installed the Channel Master Ultratenna, but struggling to get good signals on all channels. I only care about NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, and Fox. Getting great signals on all but Fox and ABC bought the antenna thinking "multidirectional" was synonymous with "omnidirectional" but in the Channel Master terminology it is not. They claim 180 degrees

    Anyway, as you can see on my report, the channels I'm trying to pull in are all around me. If I point the Ultratenna somewhere in between 58 and 101 (the location of the two hardest to receive channels), do you think I'll still be able to get the others basically through the back of the antenna?

    Or should I just try to sell the Ultratenna and get the Mohu Sky?

    Here's my report

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4508fdf7403

  • I am currently living in a tricky area. When these stations to my NE were analog, a cheap Ratshack urban 35 mile rated VHF/UHF yagi that I have owned for years had no issue pulling them in, now that they are digital it is much harder. What antenna do you think would give me the best chance of at least getting a few? http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=90

    An interesting note. This same antennae I am trying to use once DXed a signal from Wichita Falls, TX at the way into Dinuba, CA(near Fresno,CA) back in the analog days. I just happened to be scanning the channels at the right moment. Of course the signal didn't hold very long, but long enough to get a station ID. It was in the low VHF band.

    • It's going to be tough. You will need a super high gain directional antenna. I'd consult a local professional.

  • You mention that cable runs lead to signal loss of about 5dB per 100 ft. Is that consistent for both sides of the cable on a splitter? So 5dB loss per 100 ft of coax before the splitter AND about 5dB loss per 100 ft of coax after the splitter?

  • You say that you need to have about 12dB leftover after signal loss to get OTA channels. I've read that you can also have too much dB (e.g. using a pre-amp and distribution splitter when it is not necessary). How much remaining dB after dB loss is too much? 30? 40?

    • I'd go with the Clearstream 2v. You are really only going to be able to get the green channels. The Purples are going to be next to impossible.

  • hi

    thanks for the site, tons of great info. i recently purchased the clear stream 2V indoor/outdoor model antenna and after checking several locations i cant seem to get one specific VHF channel i really want (WUSA-9 in DC) for ravens football. BTW i like your hat i wish i could get MASN too for Orioles.

    I was reading that those VHF channels need wider/longer/bigger??? dipoles to get a signal?

    What should I do going forward...try raising the antenna to a higher location? its currently only about 20' tall. i could get a mast and raise it 10-15'. should i get a different antenna? the model i have says its supposed to be UHF and VHF.

    thanks

    stuart

    • NBC may be tough since it's so far and a Hi-VHF channels. You could try one of the antennas I recommend under hi-VHF in the article, but I would consult a local professional to be sure you find an antenna that meets your needs.

  • Hi Dennis,

    Here is my TVFools report:
    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a473dae2bc16
    What outdoor antenna would you recommend. We purchased a Clearstream 4 HDTV indoor/ outdoor antenna but it doesn't seem to be picking up all the stations. It seems to be getting about 24 channels. The main too we were looking to pick up of course we are not receiving those would be Fox 8 and CBS channel 19 any help would be appreciated.

    Thank you,
    D

    • I would try the Channel Master CM-3016. It's designed to pull VHF channels and does a decent job off pulling UHF stations.

  • Dennis:
    Great article, need to cut the Directv cord. Looking at option regarding outdoor antenna's, it would be nice to be able to pull in additional channels other than the locals. Currently, I use an indoor Leaf and am getting 16 channels, mostly the locals. I was curious if a 125 mile range antenna would be a good investment (directional or omni directional) to pull in stations from farther away or is the indoor leaf the best i'll get. The terrain i live around is plateau at 1000' above sea level surrounded by 1500' mountains 10-15 miles away.
    Any suggestions would be great. Thanks
    John
    Here is the report from Tvfool:
    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a43b5110b231

    • The noise margin is too low on those distant channels. I doubt you'd be able to get them.

    • You have strong signals to the point where almost anything will work. I'd get the Clearstream 2V. It can go indoor or outdoor.

    • Something doesn't sound right. The Curve shouldn't have an issue with that signal power. I'd contact Mohu support.

  • I need advice. I have an outdoor antenna (CM 3016 or equivalent) oriented to about 184 degrees. I run the antenna signal through an attic mounted winegard amplifier and then through a balanced 3-way splitter for 3 sets. Coax lengths from antenna to amp around 8 feet, amp to splitter about 3 feet, splitter to sets about 20 feet, 30 feet and 40 feet. I will have good reception for days or weeks, but I will suddenly experience dropped signals on Ch 2 and less frequently on Ch 5and Ch 12. If I go up in the attice and reconnect the coax, the problem often goes away temporarily. The OTA stations I want to receive are:
    Ch 7, V Ch 7, 22 mi., 148 degrees, NM 53.3, PWR -37.5:
    Ch 13, V Ch. 5, 20 mi., 221 degrees, NM 50.5, PWR -40.3:
    Ch 25, V Ch. 12, 22 mi., 147 Degrees, NM 43.7, PWR -47.2: and
    Ch. 2, V Ch. 2, 20 mi., 221 Degrees, NM 45.0, PWR -39.6.
    All are listed in Green area and all as Line of Sight. I have heavy tree cover between house and all transmitters.; Do you have any ideas on how I can maximize signal reception and keep it that way. I have tried an amplifier omnidirectional antenna (RCA800Z) in the attic and it works well, but doesn't receive Ch 2. Thanking you in advance for any suggestions.

    • Found my problem. The balun was bad, Put my old yagi up in the attic and reception is fine. Took the other antenna down off the roof today. Wish I had thought of that before I bought amplifiers.

    • Channel 2 will be tough if it's literally on VHF 2. I'd try the Winegard HD8200U and see if that works.

  • Curious which antenna to try for most channels. Currently using I believe an older directional Winegard with a preamp the previous owners left laying in forest, so not all the arms are still attached. Can pickup NBC and Fox placing it up on hill a ways from house. Would like to try mounting on house but trees may reduce signal too much. Doesn't appear I get UHF channels and would like to as well as channels from within 180 deg arc. Do you think there's a good antenna to cover my two directions. Is it possible to point two directionals differently and have them feed at same time. Rather not use a rotator if possible. Thanks
    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a46613bb358b

    • Your situation is a bit complex, and I don't feel like I can give solid advice without being there. I'd consult a local pro and see what they say.

  • I just ended my DIRECTV and are using a few streaming services but need an HD Antenna to get the regular network stations (CBS, NBC, etc.). If I order the Mohu Sky® 60 can I install it where I have my DIRECTV Dish and use it's coaxial which is already grounded? The Dish is on a pole next to the house.

    • It's possible, but if there are a lot of splits it may degrade the signal.

  • Thanks for such an incredibly informative website. I wanted to see if I could check your advice on what I should or shouldn't receive with the following. http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a40354993c40

    My house sits down into a bit of a downslope and there are 75 - 120 ft trees surrounding my house. I wanted to try to put something in the attic if I could; it's new construction and I intentionally had the electricians put an outlet in the attic so I could put in amplifier if needed. I already know I can probably pick up all the local channels pretty easily because they are all within 15-20 miles but I want to extend as much as I can. I was looking at the clearstream 4v and also the marathon. Sincerely appreciate all you do and thanks in advance for your advice.

    • I doubt you will need an amplifier with you signals. You could give the Clearstream 2V a shot. It looks like it will do well with those signals.

  • Hi,

    I purchased an Antennas Direct ClearStream V2, and have been using it since November 2016. I recently have been experiencing a weak signal / pixelation in one channel only (WFRV-DT CBS). Do you think I should be using a different antenna based on the TV fool chart?

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a47434a54860

    A few more details, the antenna is mounted about 15 off the ground on a roof. I use an in-line amplifier (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001EKCGT8/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1). I have tried a pre-amp, but this seems make the signal worse. There are three 40 foot trees across the street in direction that I have to point the antenna. I have double checked the connections and antenna direction and all seems to be correct.

    Thanks!

    Andy

    • The signals are quite strong, perhaps too strong. The only advice I could give is to try a splitter to weaken the signal and see what happens.

  • Hi Dennis,

    Great site with tons of information - actually a little overwhelming for me. The link to my TV Fool report is http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a41ddd5bf011
    I'm only really interested in picking up my local stations (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and PBS) which are all within 4 degrees of each other. NBC is VHF HI and is one that I definitely want to get (Sunday Night Football and Notre Dame Football). The challenges I face are:
    1. We currently rent and an outdoor/roof top antenna is not an option.
    2. The only window in the room which we have the TV (living room) faces due west and the 4 main stations I want are almost due east. Additionally, the eastern wall is an interior wall.
    Your recommendation is greatly appreciated.

  • All this is a little too much for me. I live in Allegheny County, PA where we have Comcast cable. I need a good internet connection for Windows 10. I'd like to eliminate $130 cable bill--I just want to be able to watch some Christian networks (like Daystar, TBN, etc.) and can't get them without paying $130/mo which I can't afford. I already have a Netflix account, do not pay games. If I keep my Netflix account,, what can I do to get the networks I want? What do you recommend?
    Ruth

    • CBS will be difficult. It's a Hi VHF channel that's fairly far away. It would be hard to provide good advice without seeing it first hand. I'd try a local professional.

  • Hi,
    Thanks for helping so many people, I'm almost afraid to ask for help but I'm overwhelmed with all the antenna choices.
    This is the TVFool report for our new address:
    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4c0db4fd9a0

    I think I'd like a Yagi style antenna where I could point 1 section at around 20 degrees and the other section at around 270. I don't think I'd want/need a rotor but an amp would probably help and a distribution system for 4 tvs. I have Roku and Apple tv currently and plan on FIOS internet access only - no cable tv.

    What would you recommend? Thanks in advance for your help.
    Ray.

    • You will definitely need the Amp if you want to run a 4-way split. You can give the Yagi a shot, but you don't have any VHF so you may want to go with a Clearstream 4V.

    • A lot of people have been having issues getting WOIO. I would try the Clearstream 2V mounted outside. It's a bit better at picking up VHF band channels.

  • Hello
    I live in a home in a subdivision and my backyard has a ton of trees. I have indoor mohu antenna but I get few channels. Here is my report
    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4deb5b87ad6

    I have an antenna in the roof that I believe is not connected . There are a ton of cables in my basement that I don' t know what to do
    1) which company should I contact to come and look at it ?
    2) I have no idea how old the antenna is. What antenna would you recommend ?
    Thx

    • If you are having trouble with the leave, you could get with an outdoor Clearstream 2v or 4V. Both of those should work. As for the wiring, you would need to find a local place. You can use the number for Home Advisors I give in the article to find one.

  • I picked up 5 channels which cut in and out with powered rabbit ears and loop which sprawled over the desk. So I got the Clearstream 2V to cut right to the chase and got the same 5 channels now strongly with it placed neatly on the desk. TVfool says I face opposite to the line of my 5 channels midway up in a tower downtown, so I guess I'm bouncing off buildings and lucky to get anything at all. However I see the possibility of another one in the same 9 mile 40M line in a different placement, maybe by boosting that signal, and I'm hungry to try for my own direction's much weaker signals by incorporating another antenna on the 147M. Any suggestions for amplification or additional antennas split together into the TV? I've been looking into making an antenna but maybe a Yagi would be smarter. tvfool says: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4c7c72e2b6a

    • An amplifier will only help compensate for noise in the line. So if your antenna is receiving the signal for a channel but dying in the line, then an amp can help. However, an amp won't help your antenna receive a signal. For that, the gain needs to be built into the antenna. That is done through focusing the antenna. That's a bit outside my expertise.

    • I'd go with a Clearstream 2V. If it doesn't work inside, you can always stick it outside.

    • It will be tough. I'm not going to be able to give good advice without seeing your situation. I'd consult a local professional.

  • I just tried a RCA ANT800Z which includes an amplifier, holding it overhead in my driveway - happily 40 channels.
    Our house is aluminum sided.
    Should the antenna be mounted on the end of the garage or on a mast away from the house (not sure what the siding will do to signals, beyond blocking them inside the house).

    Why do the instructions say the amp should be vertical or horizontal? Some sort of magnetic EMF interference pattern?

    Thanks for your response to my questions and all the others!

    • It's hard to say where to mount it because I'm not familiar with your geography. I would test both with a temporary rig and see which is best. As for the splitter If its outside, I try to have the connections go horizontal so water doesn't get in them.

  • Hi Dennis,

    I recently installed the much-hyped Mohu Sky 60 on my roof, based on recommendations from multiple websites. It is on the south side of my house with a completely unobstructed view to the south/southwest. My tvfool report is here:

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4a149b4b1c3

    I am getting a whopping 59 channels with this antenna; however, I really only care about the Denver local network stations (KUSA, KCNC, KMGH, KTVD). The signal quality does change on these channels during the day, as expected. Some of the variances are truly bizarre. In particular, KUSA in Denver (VHF 9.1) ranges from 79% to 0% on my tuner. It will drop to 3% or less for a couple hours every morning and evening, even on clear days with no wind. This is a complete showstopper for me. I am currently running RG6 to the tuner with a single barrel connector in my basement, with a total cable length of maybe 100 feet.

    I should mention that the cheesey inline amplifier that shipped with my Mohu was DOA. I called them and they sent another, also DOA (grrrrr). I am running out of runway on the return window on this antenna...

    SO, will amplifying this antenna make any difference, or should I consider returning it and using a higher-gain directional antenna since the Denver locals are all in roughly the same direction? Any recommendations?

    Thanks a bunch!
    Paul

    • The Sky can have issues with VHF channels. While it's fantastic for pulling UHF, I'd go with something like a Clearstream 2V or 4V if you have some in the VHF range.

    • You could save a bit of money and try putting an inexpensive omnidirectional indoor antenna in your attic. For example, one of those Amazon Basic antennas should work. Your signals are that strong. However, if it doesn't work, go with a Clearstream 2V

    • I'd talk with a local professional. They would have a better idea as they would not the terrain. My advice would be a high gain Yagi style antenna with a rotator for aiming, but it's hard to say it's "the best" without being there.

  • Hello Dennis,

    I need a good VHF since my Lava 8008 does not pick KVIE the Sacramento PBS station up here in Marysville, CA 45 miles away, 67 by signal locator maps.

    Don't want to buy from amazon. Do you know a good place to find a VHF with good DBi?

    • I'd go with one of the high gain directional antennas and point it to 160 degrees.

    • I'd give the 4V a shot due to ABC being VHF and so far away. It may give you a bit of trouble.

  • Hello. I have an attic mounted Clearstream 2max antenna with a Winegard Boost XT 20db pre-amp and about 30 feet of cable to the line amplifier. I run three TVs off of this line amplifier with cable runs of anywhere from 15 to 40 feet. My antenna is pointed to 316 degrees. The TV stations are all around 21 miles away but I still can't get certain stations (WBAL-TV and WJZ-13). I get all of the DC stations just fine. Also, when its windy I get bad reception. I have tress around my house that I can't cut down. So my question is does a bigger (more expensive) antenna help with bad reception? Should I leave well-enough alone (during good weather) and just deal with bad weather as it comes? i have gone back and forth with different antennas, amp or no amp, different directions for the antenna. I am just trying to get more consistency during bad weather. I have a pdf of my TV fool report, just not sure how to give it to you. thanks!

    • 11 and 13 in Baltimore are in the Hi-VHF band. At 21 miles it may be stretching the VHF ability of the 2V. It's possible to get a directional antenna that specializes in Hi-VHF, but you'll likely be sacrificing other channels.

  • Hey Dennis - Wondering if you can help me. I live on the boarder between CT and RI and would like to pick up as many of the essential channels as possible for football and news (i.e. FOX, CBS, NBC, ABC), the other smaller channels are not that important to me. I currently have a directional antenna, which seems to be doing better at picking up the CT stations which are further away, but constantly artifacts during viewing at random times which leads to me running up to the attic to adjust

    Are you able to advise which might be best for my application? I am not totally against an outdoor antenna if the design is compact, but the attic is much easier for me at this point. I have cleared all trees within close proximity to the house and my elevation is pretty good for the area.

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d00130121e61f00

    Thank you in advance for you advice.
    Brandon

    • Hi Brandon. That's odd behavior with TV fool. I wonder if it's an issue with RI. I've seen reports cross state lines before. Anyway, give the Clearstream 2V a shot. It's fairly compact and is a really decent antenna.

    • I'd give the Winegard HD7694P a shot. It requires aiming so you may want to put it on a rotator. Another option if you don't want to set up a rotator is the Clearstream 2V. It is more omnidirectional, but not as good as the HD7694P at pulling Hi-VHF.

    • I would contact a local antenna installer. Without seeing your actual situation it will be tough to provide an accurate assessment.

  • There was definitely a lot of good info at TVFool on my first hack at going OTA...but I failed nonetheless. I took a closer look at it the second time and realized I needed an attic antenna or higher...but wasn't completely sure why.

    This article filled in a lot of the gaps...TVFool needs to hyperlink straight to it!

    Armed with meaningful numbers I'm pretty confident that I just need to swap out my dish for a decent directional VHF/UHF antenna and clean up my drop (I probably have 6 unessesary splitter connections). I doubt I even need an amplifier.

    There's also a lot bad info on the web about whether you need VHF-LO, VHF-HI, UHF or all three. The answer to those questions are definitely in the TVFool report (which I didn't fully understand until I read this article). I now know to disregard anyone on a cord-cutting forum that says either "Everything is in UHF now" or "Just get VHF if you only care about channels 1-13". It's a wee bit more complicated than that...

    Thanks again!

    • I can only see you getting the Greens and Yellow channels with something like a Clearstream 4V. You may want to talk to a local professional to get more than that. They would have experience with how the signals work in your area.

  • I love the site and it is extremely helpful. I do have a question for you. I recently purchased a home that came with an older rather large directional antenna. There are two inputs, one in the living room, the other in a bedroom. I am only picking up one station (PBS) in the bedroom, however, in the living room when I search for the channels, it finds the same one as the bedroom but will not display it on the TV. I was hoping to also get ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX but only PBS is found. Any ideas on what to try next. Here is my TV Fool report:
    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d60edaecd7a428f

    Thanks so much for the help!

    • I would troubleshoot by connecting the antenna directly to the TV bypassing the current installation. Basically, find where the coaxial comes in and detach it from the splitter and use a coaxial joiner to connect it to a TV. This will let you know what channels your antenna is getting.

  • Hi Dennis,

    I don't know if this was addressed before, but what is the difference between the ClearStream 4V and 4Max? The 4Max seems to be a newer product, but I wonder if it is a replacement for the 4V or are there qualities that differ between the two?

    Thanks,

  • We have 125' antenna tower for our internet. We have forests and hills around us. Since we have this tower, we'd like to utilize it for TV. We'd like to purchase an antenna to put at about 100', thus it has to be maintenance free. We already bought and buried the RG11 coax from the tower to the house, knowing the long run would deteriorate signal. Now we just need to know what antenna is best for way up there. Cities we could potentially pick up are minimally 50 miles and the largest one is about 200 miles. Thanks Dennis for any advice.

    • I've never tried going that high. You don't want to be higher then the signal tower. I'd talk to a local professional to get some surefire advice.

      • Hubby made a mounting bracket for whatever antenna, and ended up putting up his GE 70 mile one he had in previous house. He put it 100' up, pointed it SE and we got 33 channels so we're happy with that. It's gonna get nailed hard here with snow, sleet and high winds so his bracket will hold, but not sure about the antenna making it Do they even make one that can take all that on a regular basis?

  • We have 3 local channels I'm trying to pull in. One broadcasts in UHF and comes in Crystal clear. The other two (owned by the same company) use VHF. I get nothing from the VHF companies. All of these towers are located on the same mountain and about 19 miles away. Supposedly, the flat RCA indoor antenna that I have is UHF/VHF. I'm not sure if my antenna is 'lying 'about being VHF capable, or if the issue I'm having has to do with something else. I'm thinking of getting some rabbit ears for the VHF and using a joiner to connect both antennas. My feeling is that my antenna is simply not picking up the VHF signal. Any suggestions as to how I can sort this out?

    • You can try the joiner with rabbit ears. Also the <a href="http://amzn.to/2AY8XEv" rel=Clearstream 2V is decent at getting UHF. If the stations are near each other the Winegard HD7694P will likely do the best job.

      • Thank you for the quick response! One more question--would the loop-type antenna that has combined rabbit ears also work? And if I use that type of antenna, would it still have a switch to go back and forth from UHF and VHF?

        • Those can work, but I find they interfere with one another. The best way to do it would be to use a UHF/VHF signal joiner. This filters out the VHF on one antenna (only the UHF gets through), and then filters out UHF on the other end (only VHF get through). This allows you to use 2 antennas placed apart from one another to eliminate any potential interference.

          • Ok, thanks for your help. I'll report back and let you know how I decide to proceed and how it works out!

  • Hi there, just moved and an looking to add an antenna to pick up ota signals, I looked up my signal report but could really use help in deciphering it and a recommendation on what antenna would be best for my area. Thanks
    http ://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d60ed49b6eb1559

    • If it wasn't for ABC being on VHF I'd say almost any UHF antenna will work. However, due to ABC being Hi VHF and 35 miles away you may want to try getting a Winegard HD7694P. If you have to go with an indoor antenna then a Clearstream 2V might work, but I'm not confident.

  • Great website and article! One small critique. You wrote "A splitter causes a 3.5 dB connection loss on each output." As an engineer, I understand what you mean, but IMO, this is probably not clear to most folks. Each output has a loss of 3.5 dB times the number of outputs. Therefore, one should always use a splitter with the least number of outputs needed. Thanks again for the tremendous resource that is this site.

  • I'm guessing 7 and 9 are giving you issues. The Metro can have issues with VHF. Try the ClearStream 2V. It does a better at picking up VHF while still grabbing UHF channels. If you decide to switch, please pet me know if it's an improvement.

    • Just set up Clearstream 2V. Picked up a few more channels, but more pixelation and not the ones I was hoping to get. I'm thinking I need to look into having this antenna installed outdoors. Any recs for our area?

      • It looks like you have Stations to both the southwest and northeast. I would try pointing the antenna in both directions and see which one works better. If you aren't having any luck with the V2 you may need to go with something like a Winegard HD7694P. However, you will need to put it on a rotator to aim the antenna toward the channel you want to watch.

  • You have some channels that are VHF in your area and they seem to be in several directions. I think your best option would be to get something like the Winegard HD7694P and get it on a rotator so you can aim the antenna to the channel you want to watch.

    • Thank you for the quick response. I will definitely give the Winegard HD7694P a try. I'm new at this so at least now I have an idea of where to start. The only two things I do know for sure is one, I am at the highest point in the valley, and two, and I'm tired of being over charged by Comcast cable. I'm well on my way to cutting the cord. Thanks for your help and such a wonderful informative website.
      Have a great New Year.

  • Hi. Best antenna from Orangeville ontario to pick up either cn tower in Toronto, or ckvr in Barrie. Should I point at one or other with directional type. Or try both with multiple directional type. Towers are approx 40 miles away each from my home. Thankyou

  • I checked your TV channel finder and one channel does not show up. WFMY-TV2 Greensboro NC. I am in Pfafftown NC (27040) and their transmitter is about 40 miles, the same direction as WGHP channel 8. I receive all the channels well in very clear, cold weather, but in warm weather, cloudy weather or anything but cold clear, channels 2 and 8 do not come in. I have a DB8e Long range 70 mile bowtie HDTV antenna about 30 ft high. Cable run about 50 ft or so to spliter where I have splitter amp. Cable has been checked with ohm meter for continuous run and both inner and outer shield creates loop so antenna amp could be installed. Before installing amp, would raising antenna help eliminate loss of signal for 2 and 8. I do not want to over power other stations and do not have a signal meter.

    • If they are in the VHF band, 40 miles could be a tough pull. Are they VHF?

      • Dennis, thanks for your reply. WFMY2 is UHF digital 31 and WFMY8 is UHF digital 35. With the extreme cold, below 30 days and low teens night, every station comes in perfectly. I looked at a topographical map and my house sets about 30 feet lower than the rise in the land about 1/8 to 1/4 mile away . That is why I asked about raising antenna before going with an antenna amp. Alot of comments elsewhere about losing signals when overpowering existing stations. Thanks

          • Dennis, I have no idea what you are asking. I have no technical ability when it comes to this stuff. I am flying blindly with information I am getting from various sources. All I know is the old TV stations came in fine and when the government changed formats, I lost everything but 2 channels, thus large satellite TV bill since at that time, the cost was prohibitive to run cable 1000 feet down a gravel drive from the cable service. So with some help with a splitter amp, I get 3-4 more stations in normal weather. In very cold weather I get most all of them. In rainy weather I get 2-3 channels. The TV shows 1-2 bars for strength. I was told a pre amp would help but it needed uninterrupted cable, both the outer shield and inner wire. I have verified that is good by jumping one end from the inner wire to the outside of the connector and then using ohm meter, doing the same at the other end. Before buying an amp, was wondering if a higher antenna would improve reception. Thats all I know from my very limited knowledge of what I am doing and that is giving me credit even then. And finding a TV antenna installation person in this area is almost impossible as those a far and few between. Thanks for trying to help the hopeless!

          • Sorry about that RLP, I was in the middle of answering a bunch of comments. I should have better explained. "Noise Margin" is covered in the article above. On the TV Fool report (The signal report I link in the article) one of the columns show the noise margin for each channel. It's the column marked (NM) The noise margin is basically how much signal loss you can handle and still receive the channel. An amplified will boost the signal received and therefore your noise margin. If the noise margin is too high, however, that channel could overload the tuner and not come in. Now overloading is dependent on the channel, the strength, the tuner, and some math. Generally, stating below 60 dB is a good idea.

          • Dennis Thanks. I raised the antenna another 9 ft so it is well above the roof line. So I guess I will add a pre amp. Any other recommendations would be appreciated. can't believe it is this hard to get OTA local channels!

          • Since you already have a distribution amp. I'm not sure how much a pre-amp will help. It's difficult to troubleshoot intermittent issues, especially without being on site to see what is going on. Sorry, I can't be more help.

          • Dennis, Thanks so much. I plan on one more step before the pre-amp. I am going to locate which runs from the splitter go to the TV's (2). Then I am going to disconnect anything else, install a splitter with two outlets and see what happens. If that does not work, then a pre-amp to see if I can boost the signal at the antenna and take care of some signal loss in 75 -100 feet of cable to the splitter. If that does not work, guess I am stuck with pay TV for awhile until I find another way to get local channels free.

  • Hi Dennis We are building a new home and it is considered standard in this development to wire the whole house for internet access. Though this sounds convenient, I'm assuming it will add considerable cost to the project and that the technology may expire and require replacement costs at some point in the future. Are there alternatives to this route and what questions should we be asking? We are living in an apartment and I just read your articles about using an Antenna to stream what we need. We are both in our seventies and though I try to stay informed, it seems to take a lot of time. I just don't want to spend unnecessary money because of tech-ignorance. Oh, I should mention that my husband watches a Lot of TV and loves Sports, the History Channel, and American Pickers. We live in rural Washington State. At our previous home, our bill had risen to $140. mo. and we live on a fixed income. This just cannot continue on our budget. Please advise us!!

    Thanks

    • It really shouldn't cost that much to run the wiring in a newly constructed home. It's something that a team of 2 people should be able to do in a day and 1000 ft of Ethernet cable is less than $200 on the commercial market. An installer can get it much cheaper. If you make sure the installer is using Category 6 Ethernet or higher, I wouldn't worry about it becoming outdated. Cat 6 Ethernet can support a bandwidth of 10 Gigabits per Second. To give you an idea, Category 5e Ethernet came out in 2001 and can support 1 Gbps bandwidth. 15 years later and it's still faster that nearly all residential internet plans. Category 6 will likely be in use for decades to come. As for watching TV, an antenna will just get you local broadcast channels. If you want History channels you will likely need a live TV streaming service. History Channel is available on most of those, so my advice would be to looking into my article about watching sports without cable and pick the service that bests matches up to your needs.

  • Hello, how much should an outdoor antenna installation cost? I was quoted 550 dollars. I live in Rochester, NY area. I would like the max channels, I have no problems with LOS, flat. On the websites, they say I should be able to get stations about 60 miles away. I question whether I should gamble 700 dollars to get a few more channels. I put an indoor antenna and got 35 channels with perfect pictures.

    • That's too pricey. Last year DISH would install an antenna for $150. I'd give them a call.

  • You can pick up DirecTV Now. It will provide affordable HBO, AMC and a ton of other channels. They also may provide all your local channels. Check before purchasing an antenna. Check out our review of DirecTV Now for details. If they don't have your locals you should be fine with putting a Mohu Leaf Metro on each TV. They are $30 a piece which would likely save money over installing an outdoor antenna and boosting the signal to accommodate 4 TVs. Your signals are so strong an indoor antenna should work just fine.

  • HI Dennis, I have Mohu Leaf 30 pinned on the east wall of my walk in closet. I used to get 22 channels & now only get 19 . I'm thinking that I might need an amplifier added or to get a new antenna. Was wondering if you had any new recommendations for an amplifier or amplified interior antenna. The outside of the house is vinyl siding . I have attempted to relocate the antenna in the closet and no change. Appreciate any recommendations.

    Oh since cutting the cord about 2 years ago we just have 2 roku boxes and multiple antennas. Our main downstairs tv is connected to an outside Clearstream 4 antenna, upstairs is the Mohu 30 and I have a Mohu mini in our guest room that gets taped to the east window when needed. Also have Sling Blue so we can watch on multiple tv's and or my tablet at the same time. Thanks

    • It's hard to say. Has anything changed in the area. Sometimes if a new building goes up in between your antenna and the signal it can cause issues. ClearStream makes a 2V antenna that is a bit more compact.

  • Hi, my house has aluminum siding. will that affect an inside antenna performance? thanksin advance

  • It's tough to say without being there. I'd definitely try a more directional antenna like DB4E, but it's a tough call.

  • It's too bad you don't have a comment search function as I'm curious if anyone else has tried what I'd like to do. I bought a smaller tv to be able to carry outside to the patio and a simple indoor antenna is barely picking up the five channels my report says I should http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d9038e43e6349a7

    Is it advisable to get a splitter just off my roof mounted antenna and cap the roughly 150' cord when not in use and store it under the deck? Or should I try other indoor antenna's I can carry with the tv? With the roof mounted one I get at least a dozen channels.

    And I haven't seen any mention of coax cable specific qualities and if they're marketing or truly make a difference. Is the "quad shield" worth it? Is solid core better than braided? Etc. Thanks.

    • Unfortunately my coaxial run isn't very long so I haven't experimented in the benefits of quad shielding and 95% braiding. Personally I'd go with an outdoor antenna. I don't understand why you would have 150' of unused cable though? Why not shorten the run to the needed lengths?

      • I would carry the tv outside to the patio away from the house (roughly 150' from the antenna) when in use. When not in use though the cable would just be there with nothing hooked up. I couldn't just unhook it from the antenna without getting a ladder out so it would just be there. Does that make sense?

          • That's what I first tried, only got a third of the channels I could get from my rooftop antenna.

          • What Indoor were you using? With that report something like a ClearStream 2V should be able to pull in all the major networks.

  • I had a small RCA Yagi antenna installed on my house (about 20 ft up), pointing at the majority of the local towers. I was having serious trouble picking up UHF signals until I put an FM trap on the line right before the amplifier. Now I'm getting all channels wall to wall to three TVs throughout the house.

  • I'd like to hook up some type of antenna on my house. I live by the foothills on the west side of town, with a brick 2 story house to my south and lots of tree cover. I'd like to get stations CW, FOX, ABC/NBC/CBS/PBS/ION. I'm thinking I need an outside antenna - what are your thoughts and do you have a recommendation for an antenna that might work.
    My report is here http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d90387fff632fa3

    Thank you for your help!

    • I'd go with a Clearstream 4V pointed Southwest. That should allow you to get most of your channels.

      • Thanks Dennis! Do you think this would work even if I put a split in it? I'd like to hook it up to 2 tvs. I found your articles so informative! Thanks for all the great stuff.

        • It should. If you have any issues just use a 5-10 dB amplifier. That should compensate for the loss from the splitter.

  • Not sure which type of antenna to get. Of course, long range and outdoors. But should it be more directional than multi directional since all of my expected channels are basically in a single line. Or should it be some multi direction since it will be coming over hills and a building and through/over trees within about 300 feet from it?

    Secondly, based on the above article which is the best I've run across yet, do you think it's even possible, considering the noise levels, to get enough channels to make any antenna worth it?

    I'm cutting the cord but already have roku's, netflix, amazon prime, a new fire TV and plan on getting a streaming service either PSvue or DTVnow. I'm pretty sure DTVnow isn't yet providing local channel streaming for my small market.... Thanks for any advice in advance! TVFOOL link is below.

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d9038dd891a1ac6

    • Hi Chris,

      You're definitely going to want an outdoor directional antenna that has some built in gain. Those channels will be tough to pull in but not impossible. I'd give the Winegard Platinum Series HD7694P a try.

  • In a quandary about which would be the most effective (and not too expensive) outdoor antenna to get. I'll be in an area with no channels and can't locate a station closer than 90 to 100 miles between Tulsa 90+,OKC 100+ and Wichita 87+ miles. Would I need additional items to boost signal too? I have options of possibly a flagpole, chimney or maybe in attic. There is a house on the north and side with large tree and where I am sits a little higher by about 5 feet of other homes.

    • I would talk to a local professional. Getting stations that far out will take some effort. I don't think I could provide sound advice without being there.

  • I just purchased the Monoprice Omnidirectional antenna for about $15. It performs better than my Mohu leaf (although it's an older model). It seems to be able to get more stations all around rather than just in one direction. It increased my channel selection from 42 to 58 although really only a couple of those new channels are worth watching.

    • There are so many variables it's tough to definitively say which antenna is better than another. Leafs tend to do well in areas with UHF.

  • Hi Dennis. A lot of good information in there. I recently purchased a Clearstream-2 for my roof, but I see you said it's good for about a 70 degree arc. I haven't set it up yet, but the stations I want to pick up are probably about 130 degrees apart so I'm not sure if it will work well or if I'll have to try a different model. But my main question for you is about bowtie antennas that you can point in two directions. When you split the direction they are pointing in, do you lose signal strength from either direction? A customer service person at an antenna company warned me about that, but why would they make them to go in two different directions if the end result is a weaker signal? (she recommended I buy two directional antennas and use a coupler) Thanks.

    • Really? I don't think it's possible to couple the antennas without a band filter. While the gain is in a 70 degree arc. that doesn't mean you won't receive channels outside that arc. It just means the signal will need to be stronger outside the arc.

      • Well I will put up the Clearstream 2 Max and see what happens. I also bought a different multi-directional antenna and will try both and see which one works best, then return the other one! As for using two directional ones, the CS rep said to just use a combiner, like a reverse splitter and that's it. I know I said coupler, I meant combiner, if there's a difference. I'll try the multi-directional ones first...and could even opt for an omni-directional antenna if I feel like spending more money.

  • Hi Dennis, Can I connect an outdoor antenna to where the old cable line
    comes into the splitter.

    • You could, and it might work, but it's a crap shoot. It's always better to do a fresh installation.

  • Hello Dennis, I am in a unique area and towers are few and far between (I will post a tool stat). However, I am in possession of a 45ft tower that has been abandoned and is on my property. Anyhow i have a CM-3020 brand new - LNA 200 and dual High Gain w/ curve.

    Issue is i only get 3 channels,
    ksbw 8.1/8.2/8.3 which as the crow flies is around 110mi give or take. Any help would be amazing. I am about to get dish again!!

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d90385b2b218274

    • Unfortunately, those signals are going to be very tough to get. You are going to need an antenna specialist on site in order to figure this out. Your will need a lot of antenna gain to have any hope of getting those channels in the purple.

  • i am reading all the articles here for my son whos on fixed income disability. i just have a dumb question. we live out in the sticks and have satelitte tv. weve change providers between directv ( ugh) and dish ( yay), but I have 2 or 3 of their satelitte dishes laying by side of our house unused. they dont want them back. as an antenna guru- is there anything these discarded but undamaged satelittle dishes can be used for? thanks for your articles and all the great info!!! I think we can get his TV back on for him now without the satelitte tv company bill that he just cant afford. were doing well just squeeze in the internet bill . :( no it does Not pay well to be on disability for sure .

    • I've heard of people using the dish as an antenna, but I would think you would need pretty good signals. Unfortunately, I haven't tried this myself. You can always test it on the ground to see what happens before putting it on the roof.

  • I do not get tv show descriptions of the free channels. It just says, digital service. Is there a way to know what tv shows are on the channels?

  • We live in a suburb of Cleveland Ohio and last year we ditched cable TV for OTA and streaming services. So far so good. I purchased an outdoor yagi antenna and installed on my roof, installed new line as well, pointed at the direction of most of the towers here (219/229 degrees SW) and we pickup 38 channels. All day long, no issues, then as soon as primetime viewing starts, BAM I lose channel 19.1 which here is CBS. I started watching a show, 2 minutes in the picture is toast, pixelation, signal loss, freezing. It's like someone flipped a switch and my signal is crap. I went out to look, no birds / squirrels, nothing. Antenna is fine, didn't budge.

    What could cause this from happening? It makes absolutely no sense at all. All of the other channels at that time were not affected.

  • Hello,
    I purchased and installed the Clearstream 4V. I am only getting 4 channels and have pointed it in a few different directions according to the Antenna fool website. I live in Baltimore City the Canton Neighborhood.
    I ran all new RG6 low loss cable when the walls were open, antenna on mast attached to the chimney. all of the info says I should be getting more. Is this the incorrect antenna for city living or should I just try more pointing angles?
    mark

    • It sounds like there is a lot of splits in your cabling. What happens when you connect the TV directly to the antenna?

  • thanks for all info, but it sounds too confusing for my brain... I keep reading reviews and some rave some hate the same antenna..I have no clue which to get. I have a place A frame in mountains and deal with lots snow , lightening, rain, wind.. I have lightening rods on my house, but assume I still need grounding. want something that works but is easy for me to install. with research it says there are 4 towers. hate to cut down more tall pine trees in front of house.Will see if it works with trees still there but still not sure which antenna to get. All rotating antennas sound the same just different distributors and look flimsy. Omnidirectional get good and bad reviews.. too many I'm lost.

    • The antennas in this guide are all well made. Reviews are tough with antennas because it's possible the reviewer botched the install.

  • I'm trying to hook up a Clearstream 2 MAX and though I'm getting pretty good reception, it would probably be much better higher in the second story attic than 10 ft up outside.
    I'd like to not have to run a long stretch of coax cable to the other side of the house.
    I have powerline adapters that I've used for connecting computers to my router (using ethernet cable) through my house wiring. Could this be utilized somehow to transmit a signal from an attic space that has a power outlet available. Do I need some type of converter to go from 300ohm to ethernet?

    • You can use an HDHomeRun. It will Essential transcode the program and push it over your network.