Over-the-air (OTA) high definition television is great. It provides free high definition programming that is higher bitrate (meaning higher quality) than high definition TV from cable, fios, or satellite.
But it can be tricky to get antenna placement correct.
I use a spreadsheet that I create from antennaweb.org data for installing HD OTA TV for DC Metro area clients.
This allows you to write down signal strength numbers on all your channels using different configurations:
- different antennas
- different locations
- amplification on/off
Generally a higher placement for the antenna is best. For the Washington D.C. channel lineup, I have found the Winegard SS-3000 Amplified Indoor UHF/VHF Antenna to work best in most situations, at least when located close to the city. Amplification can help for areas with weaker signals but should not be done if you already have a strong signal.
There is typically a trade-off in choosing the best configuration. A particular setup might favor one channel and hurt another because channels use various tower locations and frequencies.