Stupid Installers

So when we moved to this house 13 months ago I called Anderson's TV - the people who we bought the TV from and wanted them to install a rooftop antenna for HD reception. We had one at the old house, and it worked great. I knew we were in for some trouble when they started telling me it wouldn't work that far out, blah blah. (Keeping in mind that we're about ten miles away from the last point and that's not 10 miles in a straight line away from the SF tower.)

Ultimately they came out, put the antenna up and it only received the San Jose channels, not the SF ones. This is pretty much useless - San Jose has NBC, Univision, and Telemundo. There was a lot of hemming and hawwing, and it ultimately became clear they just were convinced it wasn't going to work and they weren't really going to try. I had a bunch of other stuff to worry about, so I pretty much ignored it. We were getting a fair amount of HD from DirecTV so yeah.

Occasionally I poked a bit around on the web and began to realize that many people around us (or even further away) said they got signal from Mt. Sutro (the SF antenna that all SF HD stations use). Furthermore I learned enough about the antenna to confirm it was pointed away from Sutro, which is sort of stupid for a directional antenna. Yes, it's pointed at the SJ antenna ten miles away, but a Pringles can and string can probably pull that in. Today I finally got around to getting up on the roof and spinning the antenna. Guess what - on the scale of 1-100 I get 90's from all the SF stations and we still pull in the SJ stations through the back of the antenna.

So now I have all the major networks in HD - including Fox (blocked on DirecTV), UPN, and WB (not carried on DTV in HD). I've got 2 PBS channels from SF and a bunch of independent stuff. Took me less than an hour, and most of that was figuring out messing with the guy wires they installed pointing the wrong way.

And here's the final, funny irony. We'll watch the next episode of Bones in HD after watching the first two in NTSC, off of DirecTV. And those first episodes proudly sport the logo "Brought to you in HD by DirecTV". Except Fox, the network that airs Bones is the only network to block getting the "west coast feeds" from DTV. See, the national feeds are the LA stations for west coasters and the NY stations for east coasters. So I get the LA NBC, ABC, and CBS through the satellite in HD - but not Fox because Fox 2 blocks it.

So my HD Fox feed is brought to me by DirecTV, but is the only one I have to use an antenna to get. Good work everyone! Way to spend the marketing dollars!