High Def Forum
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OTA Reception in Baltimore Area

03-17-2006, 07:35 AM
I had DirecTV come out and install the OTA antenna about a month ago and it seems like my reception has been going downhill since then. When I checked my signal strength last night I was getting 60 for a Baltimore channel and 80 for another, I am only 10 miles (if even that) from the city. I was curious about what others are getting for signal strength around this area--specifically for WMAR and WBAL.

Should I call DTV and have them come back out and check out the antenna?

03-17-2006, 08:31 AM
I'm up in Bel Air (~22 miles from transmitters).

I can get near 90-100% for ABC, 67% on CBS, and ~0-30% on FOX using a Winguard SquarShooter-2 with PreAmp.

Because FOX was so poor and effected football games, I am hoping Local HD Channels via Directv will fix my problem.

03-19-2006, 01:53 PM
I live in Fawn Grove Pa and have a Squareshooter mounted about 6'
high and get excellent HD reception on all the Baltimore stations including PBS.

03-19-2006, 04:10 PM
Where are the transmitters with respect to your home? Are they in 1 direction or in several? For a year, I used a Winegard Metrostar 2000 amplified omnidirectional antenna. Our reception was up, down, in, out, etc. Two weeks ago, I replaced the omnidirectional antenna above with a directional TV antenna from Radio Shack (U75R, only $25). My reception as gone from spotty to solid; 90% - 100%. Rain, snow or fog don't phase it.

If the broadcast transmitters are in 1 direction, put up one. Otherwise, try one of these inexpensive antennas and a rotor.

Just a suggestion. Good luck.

03-19-2006, 07:02 PM
Transmitters are on one (1) big antenna on TV-HILL, near Johns Falls and 42nd street Baltimore. (Fox, CBS, ABC). I am not sure where UPN and other's transmitter / towers are.

I did have problems receiving FOX though CBS and ABC were OK. PBS is over in Pikesville/Reisterstown (North West Baltimore) so it's kinda of hard to point to that one and TV-HILL if you are too close with a Uni-Directional antenna (which I have).

03-19-2006, 08:12 PM
I live in Baltimore City and my reception sucks. I cant even get in WMAR.

03-20-2006, 02:31 PM
I had (actually still have) the metrostar antenna mentioned above. Had horrible reception. After speaking with Winegard I learned that it is an amplified antenna. The clown who installed it did not install the power supply. I can not condemn the antenna since it is designed to be powered and the amplifier without power is actually causing a degradation in signal quality! I was unable to locate anyone who would sell me the power supply. I was told that it could be powered from a satellite receiver if my antenna and DSS were diplexed. This, however, is not the case with my install.

I threw a 30 year old VHF/UHF directional antenna up in my attic and I get all Baltimore and DC digital channels. I am in Mt. Airy (western Howard County) and over 20 miles from all of the stations.

BTW, I got direcTV to credit me the $50 I paid for the metrostar. Now I need to go up and remove the antenna from my roof. I noticed this weekend that the clown also left me a fire hazard. He installed the grounding block on the antenna run right next to the grounding block for the 3LNB dish. However, he did NOT connect a ground to the antenna grounding block. Good thinking genius! Now I have an added reason to get that thing off of my roof.