Should I get a professional installer - North Atlanta

I have been experimenting with antennas and locations for a week now and have these channels & signal strengths - I have Ch 11 that is prone to pixelation & artifacts on fast zooms etc and since that is the main local channel I need some adice on how to overcome that last hurdle… I have the Winegard Flatwave ($99) antenna in the attic.

I got sticker shock from a professional installer’s quote ($500) for the whole package - has anyone in this area preferably had better luck with positioning and locating the antenna for optimum picture quality or is it worth paying to get it installed on the roof?

Unfortunately there is no guarantee from the installer to get the best quality…


I’m not familiar with Atlanta, but some of the basics are universal. Have you run a report? That can tell you signal strength and bearing relative to your house. In a perfect world all of your stations will be in a line relative to your antenna. In the real world they are sometimes 180 degrees from each other. In the case where the stations are like that there are a couple of basic options. You can go with an omni-directional antenna, which means lower gain and probably fewer overall stations (less gain means the weakest stations won’t register) or you can use combiners with multiple antennas. The use of multiple antennas makes the multi-path problem more difficult.

Start with a report–post it here if you can. I’ll try to glean something from it; there are other pretty good RF guys on here too. I’m sure they’ll chime in as well.

Good luck.

I live in Cumming, Forsyth County (exit 15 off the 400). This is 35 miles north of the Atlanta broadcast towers. I installed a ChannelMaster 4228 antenna in my attic with a preamp. I get the signals perfectly. Any smaller antenna in North Georgia will have problems; the Winegard Flatwave qualifies as a small indoor antenna (much smaller than a 4228).

Channel 11 is a VHF channel that the 4228 brings in quite well.

I installed the antenna myself without needing a professional installer. I’ve also installed a 4228 for a friend in his attic off of exit 16 (Pilgrim Mill Rd) from the 400 (36 miles from the broadcast towers) and he gets great reception. For North Georgia I wouldn’t get anything smaller than a 4228 type antenna (with probably a preamp).

Attic installs work OK in Forsyth County. Are you north of Forsyth County or Dawson County?

BTW a “professional installer” told my friend that he probably wouldn’t get anything where he was located. I told my friend that is bunk. You can get a signal north of Atlanta quite well with a 4228 (8 bay) type antenna and a preamp. We put it up in his attic and he gets 100% signal strength on 90% of his channels.

Save your money and DIY - most “professional” installers know squat about antennas and RF transmission…and in many cases produce less than satisfactory results. I’ve seen many cases where the installer left the client with missing channels, less than optimum reception, and bogus antennas. The only thing some of these jokers are good at is roof climbing…

A good long range antenna, a preamp and some cabling will cost you less than $150 if you DIY.

In Atlanta all the channels come from one direction; in my case it is 205 degrees. He doesn’t need an omnidirectional antenna. The fact that he gets channel 11 poorly means there is a problem with his antenna. Channel 11 (NBC WXIA) is one of the easiest channels to get anywhere in this area.

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$500? thats like what one month of cable? … (lol)

but all kidding aside … if I had to do this all over I would probably get a professional to select and install the right antenna it would have saved a lot of annoyance for me (Im in the northeast not the atlanta area)…

Thanks guys; Craig I’m in John’s Creek and I did the scan for my zip code…

I did point my antenna to 210deg and I found this to be the best reception (most green dots). I’ll try the CM 4228 like Craid suggested and see it that makes a difference - we are located in a dip in the terrain and I suspect that may also be a factor in the signal strengths.

I’ll post the results back here - thanks for the help!

When you’re in a valley, tilt the antenna several degrees upwards towards the horizon. There are also VHF antennas like the YA1713 that will join together with a UHF antenna if channel 11 still remains problematic - they are around $30. In your situation, looking at the TVFool report, you should easily get all the channels without any blips.

BTW I’m cleaning out my basement and trying to give away a VHF antenna I bought years ago specifically for channel 11 which I no longer use. I don’t want to just throw it in the trash. You’re welcome to pick it up and try it before you get a 4228. This way you can retain the Flatwave for all the other channels. If 11 is your most significant channel, this antenna will ensure you get it perfectly. I had the same situation ten years ago and wanted 11 for the Olympics in HD and ordered a specifically channel cut (11) antenna. The 4228 I discovered got 11 so I no longer needed it. It also BTW gets another VHF channel (8 PBS) perfectly.

Thanks Craig.

As I said, I’m not familiar with Atlanta at all. From what you posted it sounds like his antenna doesn’t do VHF; that’s pretty common in the “HDTV” antennas. It looks like you have given good advice to him, I’ll bow out and leave it to the folks who know what they are doing.

Thanks Craig; how will the antenna be connected? with a UHF+VHFcombiner. Your offer sounds too good to pass up… at least I can test this setup.

Yes with a UHF+VHF combiner. I have one of those available. Frys has them for $2 also. BTW it is also very easy to make your own VHF loop antenna that is quite powerful. Antennas Direct sells them for over a hundred dollars but one can make the very same antenna for under $10 with just several parts from Home Depot!!! I made one for a friend and it brings in all the VHF channels 100% (he’s in Dawsonville at the north end of Lake Lanier 40 miles from the broadcast towers).