I’m confused

Everyone seems to rave about this program. I’ve been using it for a year. I am only somewhat satisfied with cutting the cable though. The app and the hardware work fine. The reception from the local networks is terrible here. I am in downtown Fort Lauderdale.I’ve tried antennas in the house, outside the house, even both at the same time.

It’s nice to have 80 some channels. But when the local major channels won’t even come in it seems hardly worth it. All the turkeys rave about the app but until these TV stations are willing to put out a signal that we can hold onto it seems kind of silly to me. So I’m confused maybe everybody is using it with their cable I’m just trying to save some money here. Can anybody point me in the right direction?

Well the app has nothing to do with your reception issues. You could plug the antenna direct into your TV and it would be no better. What you need to do is go to antennaweb.org or antennasdirect.com and figure out what direction each of your stations is from your home and what obstacles are in the way. Then you can figure out the right placement and rough idea of aiming.

Then I suggest you download an app for your phone called Signal GH, that will interface with your HDHR and let you fine tune your antenna direction for best reception.

I live in the middle of a big city too and multipath interference from the high-rise bldgs really makes a mess of signals. What works in the morning may not work in the afternoon. It's not the TV stations fault, it's physics. Now if you are lucky enough to have ATSC 3.0 stations in your market and the latest HDHR that can tune them in then you will will do much better on reception as ATSC 3.0 is much more robust in dealing with multipath. I can get a rock solid lock on ATSC 3.0 when my regular signals drop to 0.


All good info.

I would recommend using the RabbitEars Signal Search Map

and visiting the topic for your local OTA area at the AVS Forum, where antenna experts hang out.

I live in Baltimore. The TV towers are 4 miles away. + the Washington DC towers are 35 miles away. If I didn't have 2 directional antennas on my roof pointed at these towers, I would get multipath interference from traffic and buildings. So thats how I have it set up. 2 RCA Yagi antennas, going to separate HDHomeRuns.

My local channels (from both cities) are perfect. They are high quality video + audio at high bitrates (significantly better than cable or TVE). There is no pixelation or any kind of artifacting. The channels come in perfectly. Even in the rain.

So cord cutting with Channels has been great for me. I get to record any shows I want to watch later. Can easily find new stuff to record. And get to watch Sunday football games on multiple TVs. Go Ravens!

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Many great tools for predicting signal reception have been mentioned. I am partial to the DTV reception tool from the FCC that I find to be most accurate:

I find the problem is most often the person that cuts the cord to save monthly recurring fees but does so on the cheap with a $30 "HD" antenna from a big box store. Do it right the first time. Order a tested, premium antenna designed for the bands that you desire to receive from a reputable antenna manufacturer. Quick tip, if the antenna brand was ever on the front of a TV set, it is licensed by a third party for marketing purposes. Don't fall for brand nostalgia.

I have two antennas that receive signal from two different directions. A third antenna farm is theoretically close enough to receive but a mountain ridge prohibits reception. That's where the online signal propagation tools come in handy to set realistic expectations. Both antennas are from reputable antenna manufacturers with price tags that top $90.00 each, but the antennas were hung once and the signal has been rock-solid for years.

A good antenna is a long-term investment and not a cost.

spending more money on an antenna does not equal getting better reception though. I think the biggest fault from failing cord cutters is that they try to use an Omnidirectional antenna (these are often shaped like a flat disc, square, or a dome). For people outside of a city, these kind of antennas can't pick up signals at anywhere close to the same distances as a Yagi. And, for people in the city, an Omni antenna will result in multi-path interference. The answer to these problems does not require spending more money. Just using a different kind of antenna... (and getting it on the roof too). Get a Yagi.

The antennas on my roof cost less than $40 each and are rock solid for years.

I would agree. Know what you're buying.

I'm glad that you're having success with the yagi, but I stand behind my original statements:

  1. Reputable antenna manufacturer
  2. Licensed "brands" applied for marketing purposes

Research. Learn. Buy wisely.

Some are, yes. There is an hdhr prime that supports a cable card from the cable company. A lot of us use tve from different companies such as the cable co, YouTube TV, Hulu, sling, etc. There is also support for custom channels, making lineups like Plutotv, Stirr, Samsung TV+ available. There are more ways to get content than ota antenna, but I would also recommend trying to sort that out, don't give up, it took me a couple of years to finally get it right.