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Heidi in Erie, Pennsylvania ,”I want to watch TV out on my back deck and I haven’t been able to get all of the local channels, so I’m not sure what antenna I should use. Or if I should just move the Roku outside.”
Heidi, any old rabbit ears type of antenna will do. You dont need anything special to pick up your local channels outside.
If you search you will find plenty of antennas that promise range for 120 miles, 200 miles, big numbers like that. Feel free to ignore those.
Antennas are subject to what is called line-of-sight propagation. What that means for you is that if you live in a 2 story house in a flat prairie and you put your antenna on the top floor, you may be able to reach 60-70 miles. Anything over that and the curvature of the Earth will block out the signal.
It is possible to get greater ranges but it usually involves a mast or setting up at the peak of a mountain.
For what youre looking for, basically any basic cheap antenna should do the trick and you wont benefit by getting any of those that advertise crazy ranges. If you can mount it higher that will probably help you out a little bit as it will help the signal clear obstacles, but you probably dont need to do that in a place like Erie that is pretty densely populated and probably a target for local broadcasters.
Just get a simple regular antenna without any gimmicks, or if you get one of the ones that make crazy claims, dont expect that you will actually be able to pick up Cleveland channels just because it happens to be in range of their claims.
Theres a great site I came across – NoCable.org. You can put in your address and it will tell you which local stations are in your area and if youll be able to pick them up with an antenna. It has 4 different categories for the stations: Likely to receive, 50/50 to receive, challenging to receive and dont even try.
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