Stuck almost in the middle and cheap.



I just recently cut the cable TV cord and have been mostly happy with OTA cable, but would like to figure out the best antenna solution for my situation. My dwelling is a converted school house turned into Condos. My particular condo is just a loft with a main floor (where our only TV is) and an open upstairs "bedroom" with a skylight. Our loft is also on the East side of the building with an identical loft to the West of us. Our TV is in the NE corner of our main room and, aside from the skylight above, we have 2 East facing windows. Since I rent my condo and can't get to the roof, I need to find an easy and cheap solution since saving money was my reason for cutting cable.

For reference, here's my TVfool location.

I'm only concerned with the first 6 channels listed, so I basically have 4 stations to the North(ish) and 2 to the SouthWest(ish). The graph says they "should work with an indoor antenna." I tried using a generic bunny ears antenna like this one. After some aiming and twisting and dialing, I got tired of always loosing signals. So I went to the store and picked up a GE Viper Amplified antenna. At 2 x the cost of Amazon's, I might add. (grrrr...) I mounted it to my East wall just above my TV, facing to the West since the station I had the most problems with was my Fox station (real 43). The new antenna helps most of the channels, but I still lose Fox and a couple others occasionally. Especially in windy conditions.

So my main question, after all that, would it help my reception significantly to install my antenna upstairs in our skylight? Geographically, to the SW where Fox is, there should be nothing, except the distance issue. Looking at the Transmitter Profile Detail of the Fox station, I think I'm just above the shadow that's cast at the end there. My skylight isn't much use to us and is covered by a board as it is, so sticking an antenna up there wouldn't be a problem. I would just like some expert opinions as to whether moving an antenna higher in an open dwelling is going to make that much difference. I could just fork out the money for a really long coax cable, but would rather not if the gains aren't worth it.

Thanks in advance!


Staff member
If you've looked much at the forum, most of us don't like amplified antennas. The reason is that the amplifiers add noise which help scramble the signal. Gettin a good unamplified antenna would be a start. Since your UHF only a good 2 bay antenna would be a good start. The higher the better, but you may find that once you get a better antenna your problems will go away. The main issue is the fact that Fox is in a different direction, and at a weird angle from your other stations.
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Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
Without even looking at your TVfool report, I have to say when the chart says "indoor antenna" they are usually refering to a "normal" home, like a standard wood construction. Being a converted school, chances are there's a lot of concrete and rebar (metal) in the building.

Then looking at the chart, I see you have stations that are one edge and you didn't enter a HEIGHT for your antenna. Try moving your height to whatever the height of your skylight is and re-post your TVfool here. Maybe that could eliminate the 1-edge signals.

I'd also say that the problem with the Fox 43 is that it is to your S/W, so you're shooting through a lot of walls. The skylight may solve the problem, as long as it isn't surrounded by metal. Getting up and over - and away from the TV and living area - could help a lot, and a roll of good RG6 cable doesn't cost too much. I couldn't find a single review for your antenna, so I can't comment, but a simple 2-bay antenna should be good in your situation if that antenna isn't working.

Simple 2 bay antenna:

this type antenna is designed for outdoors, but many use it indoors. The Eagle Aspen dkreichen1968 posted a link for is an inexpensive 2 bay.
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