Attic antenna: best one to buy

#1

Hello. I am new to cord cutting. I have a flat U Must Have antenna mounted in a window. The antenna is pointing in the correct direction.

I am having some issues with reception. Sometimes Tablo splits shows into multiple parts due to reception issues even though I am less than 4 miles from the towers. Note that there are trees on my property in the way of the antenna which could explain the reception issues.

  • Would an attic mounted antenna yield better performance than my flat antenna? (I cannot put an antenna outside.)
  • If so, what is the best attic antenna? Would something like the ClearStream 4V or the ANTOP 400-BV be good or should I go with something that looks like one of the old school big gray yagi metal antennas? There are so many antennas out there, I’m hoping someone here can recommend a really good one.
  • Presumably, I can hook this antenna up to the existing cable in my house that Comcast currently uses. Would using that long cable (that goes through the entire house) degrade my signal?
  • Lastly, I am having difficult finding a company that installs them in metro Atlanta. Google searching turns up many companies that do home theater installation but not many that do antenna installation. I have posted a message to Next Door hoping someone can recommend a company in my area. But maybe someone here can provide tips on how to find a good company to do the installation.

Thanks in advance for the help.

Justin

#2

Try the Antop in your place if doesn’t work return it.

#3

I have a Mohu Sky in my attic for the past six years with no issues. But then for me all local stations are 14 miles away on top of Cheyenne mtn. There are several online tools that can help. tvfool.com antennaweb.org. Tablo has several articles on the subject.

#4

Usually the higher up you can go, the better. Have you tried your current antenna in the attic? Just raising it may improve your reception.

If moving your current antenna to the attic helps, but doesn’t eliminate your problems, then yes a better antenna might help. I currently have an Antop 400-BV on order to replace a 30 year old yagi that is mounted on a tower next to my house. Since I haven’t tested it yet, I can’t say if it is as good as or better than the old yagi. Hopefully I’ll know in a few days, but it does have excellent reviews especially from fellow Tablo users.

The longer the cable the more there will be loss in signal. It also matters if there are splitters in the existing line and what type of cable is used. RG-59 cable has more loss per foot than a quad shielded RG-6 cable. I’m currently using 35 year old RG-59, but plan to replace it with RG-6.

Sorry I don’t have any experience with antenna installation companies, I do all of my own work.

Good luck. Having a strong and stable antenna signal is vital to enjoying the OTA experience.

#5

You are very close to the towers and don’t need amplification. Their product people advise, “VERY IMPORTANT: If a signal cannot be received with the amplifier, remove the antenna amplifier and try again.”

BTW there have been high winds in the Atlanta area for the past three weeks. Swaying trees, branches and leaves will cut into any antenna’s performance. Tablo cuts recordings into segments when it loses track of a signal.

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#6

What prevents you from an outdoor antenna? They yield the best results/

#7

Word of warning for attic attennas, if you have attic radiant shielding.
It’ll look something similiar to this:

Although the metalic layer is thin, it’ll still block OTA signals.
I have radiant shielding in my attic, so no attic OTA antenna installation for me. :frowning:

#8

This antop is supposed to be pretty good.

#9

HOA covenants prevent me from putting an antenna outside. Presumably such rules are illegal per the link below but I’d probably have to get an attorney to fight that battle.

#10

You wouldn’t need an attorney. First ask your HOA where they would prefer you to install your antenna. If they say you can’t have one, they are the ones breaking the law. There is no fight. If they want to drag you into court, you go and with a copy of that FCC rule in hand the judge will just throw it out.

Most HOAs KNOW their old covenants break this law, but the law also says they don’t have to rewrite their covenants because this law supersedes them. That being said, most HOA restrictions are there to try to keep a certain aesthetic in the neighborhood. That’s why you approach them first and ask what they’d prefer in terms of placement. Times are changing. Their old covenants in this regard have been deemed illegal. But also, antennas don’t have to be big and ugly either. Show them a picture of that Antop 400-BV, Or an Antennas Direct Clearstream.

They can not unilaterally deny you the ability to receive broadcast TV and they can’t place restrictions that will prevent you from putting the antenna in a location to receive such signals. They can, and often do, have preferred locations where you can install an antenna.

#11

Try this one, I’ve had stellar results, both indoors and on the roof.

#12

They cannot stop you from installing an outdoor antenna, period.

Associations will not have to amend their covenants to comply with the FCC regulations because compliance is already mandatory. However, restrictions that do not impair a viewer’s ability to receive video signals remain enforceable. Community associations can still require a resident to apply for approval of the antenna installation as long as no unreasonable delay or cost is involved. Associations can still require compliance with the rules regarding method of installation, and may require screening, unobtrusive placement, painting, camouflage and other reasonable steps to reduce the visual impact on the community.

So,

File an architectural committee application showing the location of your antenna. There should be rules in your HOA that defined their process and response times. If they do not respond install your antenna.

If they respond with unreasonable or outrageous requirements do your best to comply and still install your antenna.

If they attempt to sanction you they cannot win in court.

#13

Just make sure that if you go waving that copy of the FCC ruling (which does have the “force and effect of law”), that you make sure it is a CERTIFIED COPY, so that the Court will “take Judicial Notice” (oh, and throw that term around when you present your copy of the ruling) of its existence and authenticity.

HOWEVER, having said all that (which would normally apply in most situations), it seems that, more recently, evidence from a GOVERNMENT WEBSITE (like fcc.gov), is taken as “Self-Authenticating”; so you might be able to simply provide a regular “courtesy copy” in hardcopy for the Court, and REFER to the the TOP-LEVEL URL (e.g. “fcc.gov”) for its “Citation”. You do NOT have to cite the exact URL for that rule’s “Web Page” (since those presumably can, and do, change).

http://www.jha.com/us/filemanager/judicial_notice_of_internet_evidence.pdf

As to where to obtain that “Courtesy Copy” that you will hand to the Court (and the HOA’s Counsel), you can obtain that from:

https://www.fcc.gov/media/over-air-reception-devices-rule

#14

Hi,

I have just went through the research and cutting the cord in the past 2-3 months in the Atlanta area. I live in the northern suburbs and have Atlanta towers 18-22 miles away and few more coming from the Kennesaw, Stone Mountain and the Athens areas.

I have started my OTA journey with the Mohu Curve 50 indoor antenna and was able to pick up most if the channels in UHF but had problems with Hi-VHF where PBS is. Then I’ve got another indoor antenna to try - Clear Stream Eclipse TV Antenna, turned out to be even worse than Mohu for my location.
Then, I started thinking along the attic/outdoor antenna, same as you.

I have found previously linked article in this thread about the DISH installing antennas, called them and, for a prepaid $150 you can get their directional antenna installed and routed to a single outlet. They said that they only have directional antennas to install and that the only way to claim prepaid money back would be if they couldn’t give you the main Atlanta channels

Antennaweb and tvfool were showing 360 degrees possibility at my location and, with the upcoming repack in August 2019, I really wanted as much of a future-proof solution as possible. So, I did a little more reading about the omni-directional antennas, but also have contacted a few TV antenna installers I could find in the Atlanta area.

These companies can be divided into a few niches. First are true antenna fanatics (in a good sense), they will do everything to maximize the reception in your location. Atlanta Digital TV of Marietta is o e fine example of this kind of company. I was told that Atlanta market is better suited for a directional antenna and felt that the guy is really comfortable with the antennas and signals, but was trying to avoid major cabling work at all costs (I wanted to have an option of keeping my current cable internet and existing wiring - you are not supposed to put both cable and OTA signals on the same cable run.

Then, there were a bunch if companies that install flat TV’s on the wall and hide wires. Vital Link TV Solutions replied to my Thumbtack inquiry with some answers/solutions, but they are basically Channel Master reseller and I wasn’t sure how are they when it comes to the DTV antenna signals.

Meanwhile, I have decided to try an Antop UFO 720 attic/outdoor antenna. It did very well indoors, better than the other 2 antennas I’ve tried earlier and one day I took it to the backyard and just positioned it on top of my grill and it scanned 100+ channels, some of them duplicate from the other towers!!!

Wow, if I can find most if the channels in the backyard, imagine what will I receive when it is mounted higher?!?

Then, I read that you can just hire a cable/electrician guy, which is what I have decided to go with, my other option was to hire DISH guys for $150 and just ask them to use my antenna instead of theirs.

Found cabling guy on Thumbtack, who did an excellent work for $175 plus some material, like a mounting rod and a decent surge protector.

We did decide to mount it on the chimney from the backyard side, but raised to have 360 visibility. Some directions are obstructed by my house and neighbor houses, but I’m getting a very good signal on the most of the HD channels.

Would this work better overall than an attic mount? Maybe. For me, the decision to place it on the chimney was because of the easier cabling, used existing Comcast external box to install a grounded surge protector and it made easier drilling into my living room to install a nice wall plate for antenna TV.
Also, some articles suggested that an average roof alone would cut 20% of the signal right away.

Have I made the right choice? Time will tell. Everything comes in crisp on my Table, but one of the NBC shows recently complained it couldn’t do commercial skip due to qualify of the signal, hopefully just an abberation (fingers crossed).

#15

Welcome to the forum.

It appears you have done an excellent job of researching your options and it sounds like everything is working well for you.

Don’t be discouraged by the one failed commercial skip recording. There are any number of reasons why your signal quality momentarily dropped enough to cause commercial skip to fail. A plane flying over or a large truck driving by could have caused the signal to reflect off of it causing a second out of phase signal to be received by your antenna. Weather problems in the area can interfere with reception and so can many other things. If commercial skip works for you 90% of the time, you should consider yourself lucky and just enjoy your commercial free viewing.

#16

Good point @3rdRockOKC. I get 1-2 failed recordings every couple months, usually clustered and I consider myself lucky. Everything else plays perfectly, however I only get about 80% thumbnail generation and a bit less commercial skip success. I have a ClearStream 4V in the attic and I may retry a yagi that is up there but I abandoned only to find the previous problems I thought were reception related (pixelation and failed recordings) were actually due to a bad hard drive.

#18

Thanks for the long reply. I appreciate your input. Did the cabling guy do the mounting, installation, the whole nine yards? I’m inside the perimeter (zip code 30329) - do you remember who the cabling person you used was?

#19

I deleted my original post to you because I forgot to reply which would tag you. Now it won’t let me repost because it’s similar to what I deleted. Are all yagis about the same or do you have one you can recommend? Are they superior to non-yagis like the Antop UFO 720 and the Clearstream 4V mentioned in earlier posts?

I live 3 or 4 miles from the towers. I had my U MUST HAVE flat antenna at a 90 degree angle from what the directional Web sites recommended. I moved my antenna to the exact recommended direction, which forced me to use WiFi to connect my Tablo to my router.) None of my recordings today were split into multiple parts due to bad reception. If I see that behavior for a week, I will abort my plans to get a bigger more powerful antenna and install it in the attic. Until then, my research on what antenna to buy will continue.

I really appreciate the replies. You all are very nice and helpful.

#20

Yes, people have been nice to you after you insanely led them down the garden path. NOW you mention that in flagrant disregard of the directions given to you by antenna positioning sites, you had the antenna at 90 degrees to the broadcast towers. At four miles from the towers, a paper clip stuck into the Tablo would have worked facing the right direction!

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#21

There are a lot of trees obscuring the view at the angle the antenna position sites recommend. I thought the 90 degree angle would be OK since I am so close to the towers. Before I got my Tablo, I tested watching over the air TV and the 90 degree angles. Now that the antenna is at the recommended angle, I am still having some issues. I will probably have to resort to one of the stronger antennas recommended by others. Thank you so much for your constructive response.