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Distance & Cost Matters Little in the TV Antenna World



This question has recently come often regarding cutting the cord in northeast Cincinnati..."Why is it that I can get Dayton stations where the tower is over 30 miles away, but cannot receive anything from Cincinnati where the towers are within 12 miles?"

The simple answer is that while distance is a factor, "line of sight" outweighs all else. Most northern suburbs have few topographic changes north to Dayton, whereas the converse is true toward Cincinnati...nothing but hills and valleys. Thus, height of the antenna becomes the most important factor. If you're satisfied with local Dayton area broadcast channels it's simple. You likely can get by with a reasonably cheap antenna simply mounted on a wall behind a cabinet or the TV itself. And you may get lucky and find a few in the Cincinnati area when your TV scans for stations. But, if you want to keep up with the local Cincinnati news, sports and weather you may need to consider a powered antenna mounted either in your attic or on the roof. And unless you're particularly nimble and handy, you may also want to consider a professional to crawl into appropriate areas to mount the antenna and run the cabling to your TV(s).

It has been my experience that the cheaper alternative will work in northern Cincinnati suburbs within the I-275 loop, but performance becomes more marginal the further north you live. Before going to all the expense of contracting a professional I recommend picking up a $20-30 version from a big box resource and plugging it into your TV "antenna" jack to check broadcast reception. Then decide on a budget of how much you are willing to invest in totally "cutting the cord" before contacting a paid professional.

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