cost estimate on outdoor antenna


DTVUSA Jr. Member
Hi folks,
I'm currently a mini-basic customer of Charter, just the broadcast channels and Public Access. No converter boxes on either of my two HDTV's and a computer which has a TV tuner card that I use as a DVR. With the recent FCC ruling greenlighting the Cable companies to encrypt their currently Clear QAM channels and subsequently requiring a converter box for every TV I'm thinking of going OTA. The big problem is my location. My thinking is I'm going to need a pretty serious roof top setup to get the channels I would like. First the good news by using a Phillips HDTV amplified flat panel antenna hanging out a window on the 2nd floor I am able to get 19, 40,, and 57 without breakup, pixilation, etc (those channels, and their subchannels represent PBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox affiliates). What I think I'm going to need is a rotational hi gain antenna on a stick on my roof. There don't seem to be too many folks who do this type of work. I'm afraid of doing it wrong, improperly grounding it, or just simply screwing up the roof on my home. Basically looking at what might be a fair price between equipment and installation. My fooltv assessment is at here , a picture of my home is at (I'm thinking the stick might be able to be braced against the chimney). Anyhow I'd be curious as to any input the folks here might have on my situation. Thanks all in advance. I'm new to this forum so hopefully I haven't proven myself to be too much of an idiot with this post ;-)


Staff member
Hi there Rfgenerator!

Yeah it looks like you might need a "death ray" type of antenna like the Winegard HD8200U. Your TV Fool report is almost as bad as mine.

You'll also need both VHF and UHF antennas, a preamp and a rotor since your stations are all over the place.


Staff member
I'm new to this forum so hopefully I haven't proven myself to be too much of an idiot with this post ;-)
Not at all. You seem to have a fairly good grasp of the situation for a newbe. Yes, you are in an area where to get a fair number of station you will need a large antenna and a rotor. As you have already found out 19, 40, and 57 are fairly easy to pick up. Otherwise, there are a lot of stations out there, but with weak signals and in every direction.

Looking at your chimney, I don't think it's substantial enough to hold an antenna mount for the size of antenna you would want. You will probably need to go with a tripod since there doesn't appear to be anyplace to go all the way to the ground (there are always towers, but I doubt that's in your budget).

Fair price? You may be able to find someone willing to do the labor on an hourly basis (independant dish installer, electrician, or general contractor) if you purchase the antenna yourself.


Well hello there folks, I've been popping in here quite alot during my project. As it turns out, I have devised, tested, made use of, and am now prototyping an Isotropic antenna that has quite a range. Just wanted to state that I was considering a DBA for the purpose of custom building and installing these things. I've got about 2 years into this progect and have made the thing to be fully reparable and upgradable. SO..... Am I to infer, as I hope, that there may be a business oportunity in such a thing? please contact me at with questions. It's my terciary email so I don't care who gets this email addy.


Staff member
Okay, I just ran some numbers at Solid Signal.

Open box Winegard HD8200U (death ray antenna) $99.99

Channel Master CM9521A Rotor Kit $128.99

Antennacraft 10G202 Amp $31.99

Winegard 3 ft tripod $17.99

2 5 ft masts $17.98

100 ft of RG6 cable $19.99

Shipping $25.95

Total = $342.88

Then you need around $30 worth of 10 guage copper ground wire. So, $372.88 just for the parts, and I'd figure $200 for labor. Grand total $572.88.


DTVUSA Jr. Member
Thanks for the info. Something else that someone offline remarked to me. I'm probably going to need a new roof in 5 years or so. If one puts up a tripod antenna am I correct in assuming that the antenna would need to come down for the re-roofing project to go forward? Thanks again for the all the info, otherwise $600 is indeed within the budget for the antenna project, however if I have to have the roof done prior then it becomes more like a $7000 project :-(


DTVUSA Jr. Member
Just as an update I picked up a Antennas Direct C2-V-CJM ClearStream 2-V Long Range UHF/VHF Indoor/Outdoor DTV Antenna with 20-Inch Mount along with the Antennacraft 10G202 Amp. Weather is too icky to put it up on the roof, but to try things out put it on a small mast on my deck where it is really only about 10 feet off the ground. I'm able to pull in about 12 stations from 4 states depending which way I aim the antenna. At least one station from each of NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox and PBS. Once I get the rotor and get it up on the roof next spring I'm thinking things will be looking very good. To be honest much better than I would have expected after viewing my TV Fool report

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member

The C2-V-CJM is also known as a (ClearStream) CS-2 (twenty or thirty bucks on Craigslist) and it is a double-loop reflector screened antenna often used near transmitters (one mile) but in you location it must be mounted very high in the air to receive what is potentially available to you. It has greater wind-drag than other similar sized antennas and I have never recommended them.

Nevertheless, we want to hear back about how well it works for you. Good luck! :thumb:



Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
I did notice that most of what you need is almost 180 degrees apart, this may be good if you can pick up off the back of the antenna, reducing the need to use the rotor so much. It's kind of a pain to use a rotor with multiple TV sets. Perhaps a back-to-back 2 antenna array with amp might be a good choice.

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