FCC DTV vs analog coverage change maps

Alexander Svirsky as@shawsheen.com
Fri Jan 2 15:29:58 EST 2009

Despite the multipath and signal strength challenges, what surprises  
me the most is that DTV actually is viable for condo and apartment  
dwellers and has improved my OTA viewing options overall.  Until I  
started fooling around with a DTV converter last year I thought I'd  
finally be forced into cable TV.  25 miles north of Needham on the  
north-facing slope of a valley, I get more digital programming OTA now  
than I ever had analog programming.

My antennas did require replacement and I experimented with different  
ideas, settling on a balcony mounted 6-element UHF yagi about 15'  
above ground into a 20dB amp.  This setup gets virtual 2, 4, 5, 7, 44,  
66, and 68 without issues.  N.H. stations are quite strong here and I  
can often get them off the side of the yagi without pointing away from  

As David pointed out, stations running at full ATSC power are  
reliable, and my hopes are that as 25, 56 and 38 bring their permanent  
facilities on line I'll get better reception.  I miss WFXT, and I  
suspect the return of WHDH to VHF will require me to get a bigger  

Multipath is still an issue that the yagi has drastically reduced but  
not eliminated.  I'm considering stacking two yagis as an experiment  
to get WFXT-DT.

I think viewers have to accept that indoor antennas are no longer  
viable.  What might have been acceptable as a ghosty analog picture  
won't cut it today but can be fixed with a small outdoor antenna, not  
necessarily on the roof.  There is a substantial amount of geekery  
involved in getting OTA DTV working, more than I guess the average joe  
would put up with.  I'm lucky I have a south-facing deck.  I'd be out  
of luck and getting cable if I faced north, no doubt.

Alexander Svirsky

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