Over-the-air antenna

How can one find a professional OTA antenna installer in their area? I’ve tried, to no avail.

Here are a couple of topics - referencing Dish installs antenna (I have not experience or knowledge myself)

and this from Cord Cutters News - Need an Antenna Installed? DISH Will Do It for You

Shoot, grab yourself an Antop “Big Boy” (AT-400B) from Amazon for $50 “open box” and do it yourself. It is a simple plug and play setup with results equal or better than old style Yagi (I. e. Huge Channel Master style) antenna. It will be the best $50 you have ever spent.

There is a great Antop Antenna thread in the Off Topic area:

I have been through Antennas Direct, Mohu, etc. These are head & shoulders above the rest.

Thank you for your reply. I tried DISH, and they were not able to install it on my house–they’re not even allowed to step one foot onto your roof. They can put it only as far as they can reach from a ladder beside the house. My house has its own set of problems with putting an antenna on the roof, which is why I want a professional. The guy who came from DISH was very nice and all, but I need someone else to look at my situation, and I haven’t been able to find a professional in my area.

Whoever you spoke with was wrong. Dead wrong. Here are some resources, links and definitive answers for you:

Here is a Direct Link, click it, call and they’ll give you pricing, dates / times and an excellent customer experience: https://www.airtv.net/antenna-installation/

They’ll roll out a truck, do a quick site survey to determine how best to direct it, scan your channels and set you up. I’ve seen this personally, at the homes of friends who have hired them. Here is a review from a third party:

Thank you for the suggestion. I guess I can try this one. I’ve tried several indoor antennas, and reception is very difficult where I live, so none is great. I really wanted to find someone who could put one on the roof. BTW, the price for the one you recommend is $110 on Amazon (no open-box option), but that would be fine if it works.

I agree, it’s not necessarily overly complicated for a basic installation, if you feel comfortable driving lag bolts into your house - unless you have something to anchor it to.

The big issue for some may be cabling. Drilling through a wall could be a project itself. Routing cabling to rooms… it’s not a first time project for everyone.

But yea, a mount on the end of house with an easy way into the house is moderate/basic do-it-yourself project!

I did an eave mount. The roof is only 2 years old and I really didn’t want to put holes in it :smiley:

. The cabling sorta tucks into the soffit trim.

Reply is directed both to you and @jennywalker2

The fact is that Dish itself usually doesn’t want to be responsible for poking holes in your soffit or roof except as required for the Dish itself.

The other fact is that in many (most?) places, another - usually a local or regional dish / satellite / antenna installer - replaces Dish itself doing the installs. Those companies are usually more than happy to extend their ken to things other than only what is required to get the Dish feed inside your home.

Jenny, I forgot to point out that Amazon has three separate listings for the Antop AT-400B antenna. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LSPKWUS/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 is the right one with “Used” listings including Open Box for $63.63 right now from “Amazon Warehouse Deals”. They won’t let anyone including their own return / refurb group list open box as “New”, this is it. It shows up “Like New” under Used listings. Typically they might have almost identical items listed as “Very Good” with the same description for a couple of bucks less. It seems to vary even among the various Amazon fulfillment locations.

When I bought mine they had about a dozen in stock and were offering 20% at checkout off even that price, which is how I got down to under $50.

Jenny, see previous reply. I used to need an outdoor antenna with a rotor system when I lived 50+ miles south of where I am now.

The Antop AT-400B sits in a second floor window directly facing the two “tall towers” in Awendaw serving the Charleston SC metro area and is inside the house. Of course I am only 11 miles away from both 2000’+ towers. My home is built like a beach house and 13’ above grade (18 above mean sea level) to the 1st floor, so that 2nd floor window is about 30’ above MSL. Perfect, and within 1° of being aimed precisely at the towers as well. As I always say “Your mileage WILL vary!”, it always does.

That antenna is connected to the Tablo Quad. I have an Antop AT-215BB “ClearBar” model downstairs connected directly to the TV, for now with my older Antennas Direct Eclipse multiplexed in using a “splitter” until my final VHF-Lo channel (7) moves to actual channel 24. Most splitters can be a joiner as well, but either way you lose about 3db signal strength. I added the 10db signal booster (“smartboos”) made for the 400B because I didn’t need it upstairs. Perfection…

IF you end up with an outside antenna, do yourself a favor and either find someone who knows what and how to do it right or hire someone - if you are not comfortable doing it yourself. I installed the 40’ pole and rotor back 30 years ago. It was a typical old school Yagi antenna with multiple elements. These newer Antop “Big Boy” models perform the same or better than old style Yagi models, and come in a roughly 30" x 10" x 4" form (75mm x 25mm x 10mm for anyone outside of the states). If you have VHF-Lo (true broadcast channels 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 only) signals that are going to stay, consider the 400BV model. It has a pair of screw in bars that help boost those five lowest channels. VHF-Hi - 7 through 13 - don’t really need them. My 400B handles channels 7 & 12 here just fine.

Another approach that works for some - like me - is to mount the antenna in the attic.

That’s where mine is. Not as good as on a pole on the roof, but I’m less than 20 miles from the towers.

Don’t do it if you have a metal roof. :wink:

I have a db8e in my attic, picking up signals very well from over 70 miles. Half the antenna pointed in that direction, other half at about a 90 degree angle to pick up another more local set.

As @Ratledge points out “Your mileage WILL vary!” - what works for one may not work for another. Generally an outdoor, properly mounted - aimed and tuned is the best route to go!

Some users get good results with an “indoor” style. Attic or crawl space can be a reasonable option (depending on roof type). I’ve seen a pic of someone weighing a 5gal bucket securing a board to mount an antenna on the second floor. (not sure if it was the extent of their skill, or all the effort they cared to invest)

Although you don’t need a “fancy” antenna, you do need a quality one (Antop seems to be often highly discussed here). I actually use the same one from 30yrs ago. Just because it’s advertised as an amplified, it can only amplify the good/bad signal it receives. Some users have found too much signal isn’t a good thing (not common).

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Disagree. My parents did a Dish install, same website & number. Dish itself came in a Dish van to do the install 3 days later it wasn’t a dish antenna. They offered a couple choices but my dad bought his own from Frys.

I won’t say I am an expert, but I had Dish network for 25 years before I finally cut the cord.

In general, they have recently (roughly past 10-12 years) used “outside” installers and often you see trucks with “Dish” branding that are independent installers.

That doesn’t mean that they could not have changed their position as more and more people disconnected.

Your last paragraph is why I did my original post. I have no intention of trying to install an antenna on my roof myself. Not only do I not know what I’m doing, but I’m very accident-prone, as evidenced by just a sampling of the comments I’ve been subjected to over the years: 1) When I told a coworker once I was going on vacation, she said, “I’ll go ahead and get the get-well card” (all because I came back from at least 2 vacations with broken limbs–sheesh!); 2) Someone gave me a sign to hang on my wall that said, “Jenny–(fill in the blank) days without an injury”; 3) When I retired a few months ago and told a coworker my first project was to install a rooftop antenna, he replied, “Well, that was a short retirement.” No, I wondered if anyone had any tips as to how to find a professional antenna installer. When I’ve tried searching the internet, I was given Best Buy and DISH as options; BB said they don’t do rooftop installations, and I told you about DISH. I’ll keep trying, but if anyone has a suggestion for how to find a professional installer, I’d be most appreciative. I live in Chapel Hill NC. Thank you.

Due to this dire situation, I took a few minutes to google for you. :slight_smile:

Seems like these guys do antenna installs on top of AV stuff. They’re in Wake Forest but they may be willing to come your way…

A lot of times custom A/V installers are adding antenna mounting to their list of services so it’s worth googling for that too.

Local Facebook groups are another great place to ask for recommendations on local folks who can help keep you off the roof and in one piece.

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Thank you so much for doing that! I’ll give them a call.

You’re welcome, Jenny! Us klutzes have to stick together.

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