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cinemative 8-Feb-2014 6:57 AM

Need outdoor antenna advice in Whatcom County, Northwest Washington State
Hello everyone,

I'm hoping I can get some advice on how to get the best over the air reception in my area of Northwest Washington. I live in the city of Lynden, and my house is just a couple of miles south of the Canadian border. My house is a single story and I have a few tall trees in my back yard, including a cedar that is probably over 100 feet. Although I would prefer to mount an antenna on my roof, I would be willing to run some cable and a mount up into one of my trees if it would be worthwhile.

I don't really understand the technology involved, so conversations about UHF, VHF, and such is all Greek to me.

I've currently got 2 indoor antennas that I've connected to my TV. One is a small powered device with a figure-8 metal antenna attached to a center mount that can be rotated horizontally for better signal reception. I found this at a local thrift store for around $5. If I use it in the house and aim the antenna towards Vancouver, British Columbia... I can get a channel or two but not with very strong signals. If I attach a longer cable and move it outside, the signal is much better and I can get 8 or 9 channels. Leaving this device outside in the northwest weather isn't an option, so I've moved it up to the northwest corner of my attic and mounted it onto a platform. Signals are better than inside the house, but worse than outside. I get about 6 or 7 channels, and sometimes they are good, and sometimes they cut in and out.

The other antenna is one I bought from Costco a couple of weeks ago, and it's the flat panel type that you stick to a window. As far as I can tell after some testing, it works more or less as well (or bad) as my cheapo thrift store antenna.

The channels I can get are all Canadian, and I'm slowly figuring out which American networks they periodically broadcast... so I can get FOX, CBS, and ABC shows once in a while. Thankfully, they broadcast the Seahawks victory in the Super Bowl, but it was all Canadian ads... so that was a little bit of a bummer, but for free I guess I can't complain.

At this point, I'm ready to return the Costco antenna and ditch the thrift store one for something I can mount to the roof. I'm willing to spend $100+ if necessary, but only if I can be assured by someone that my investment will result in more channels and consitently stronger signals.

In doing a bit of online research, I've found antennas with 4/5 star reviews ranging in price from $25 to $75. I was just about to order one from (since I have free Prime shipping), but I found the TVFool forums and discovered that people with antenna knowledge were not fans of those antennas...

So there you have it. That's how I arrived here, on the TV Fool forums, and now I'm hoping to get some advice on what to do next.

  • I can live with the Canadian stations, since their towers are much closer and they broadcast a few of the shows I want to watch.
  • I would prefer to pick up the Seattle stations, but since I'm about 100 miles north I don't have much hope that I'll be able to get a signal.

Here's my report:


1. Will I need more than 1 antenna if I need to pick up stations in Canada (north) and the US (south), or is there a type of antenna that can receive signals from multiple directions?

2. If the answer to question #1 is NO, then do I need to find an antenna with a remote controlled rotating motor so I can move the antenna in order to tune certain channels?

Any help is greatly appreciated!


Harold in Lynden, WA.

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