How far away can you get channels nowdays with an antenna?

NYDutch

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Dec 28, 2013
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Where our wheels go
At our previous home we could reliably receive TV signals from Hartford, CT, about 120 air miles away. In fairness, we lived on top of a ~1,500 ft mountain and had a 90 element pre-amped steerable antenna on a 45' tower. That might qualify as "extreme", but it was nice having our choice of stations in four different markets...
 

N6BY

Geek
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Mar 1, 2006
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Roseville, CA 121W
I get the San Francisco stations (100 miles away) after sunset on warm days. I am at about 300' elevation and the top of the Sutro transmission tower is 1811 feet above sea level.

What's really nice about where I live is that the local transmission towers in Walnut Grove are in the same direction as the Sutro tower. So I don't need an antenna rotor. I don't use an amplifier either.
 

TheKrell

A mighty and noble race originating on Altair IV.
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Jan 4, 2007
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Fairfax, VA
I regularly get Baltimore stations (about 50 miles away) from here in Fairfax, VA (inside the beltway), and Annapolis (55 miles away) perfectly. I can even get Hagerstown, MD (over 60 miles away) badly and I have removed those channels from my guide.
 
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comfortably_numb

Dogs have owners, cats have staff
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Nov 30, 2011
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Nothing changed except the lies. Horizon is 62~ miles. That's where the Earth curves, and the tower is now below the horizon. Yes, the signal can curve, and bounce, and you can still sometimes receive it past that mileage, but shouldn't expect to consistently, without extreme measures. Taller tower, bigger antenna, preamp, etc.
I believe this is a very reasonable expectation for reliable and regular OTA reception. Reliably receiving signals 100+ miles away is irregular and shouldn't be the rule but the exception.
 

Wescopc

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Sep 11, 2005
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Canby, Oregon
When pressed some of these antenna folks will say that they are talking about 150 mile diameter or in another words 75 miles in each direction - so 150 miles between two stations in opposite directions.
Bob
 

rcodey

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Mar 30, 2006
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New Jersey
I'm over 500 ft. elevation in Northern New Jersey and receive stations from Philadelphia, Allentown and Connecticut ( Ch.8 and 59 ) . On good trop nights I've been able to receive as far South as Virginia with digital .

At my Naples Florida house with trop in the last month I've received stations from Melbourne, Fl., Gainsville, Pensacola, Georgia, Alabama and a station from Texas ( for about 3 minutes ) . On most nights several Tampa stations come in .
 

localclassictvfan

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May 26, 2015
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Lafayette, Louisiana
I have caught a couple Houston, Jackson Ms, Tallahassee, Mobile/Pensacola, and New Orleans stations for a short time frame. Like maybe 3 hours. As for the farthest that stays on constantly is either KALB 5 Alexandria, LA and WGMB 44 and WVLA 33 out of Baton Rouge. Which the KALB is 55.4 from where I live and the Baton Rouge ones are like 67 from me. I have a outdoor antenna that gets 70 miles plus. Its a antennas direct clearstream 4 max
 

wizwor

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May 9, 2020
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Danville, NH
Nothing changed except the lies. Horizon is 62~ miles. That's where the Earth curves, and the tower is now below the horizon. Yes, the signal can curve, and bounce, and you can still sometimes receive it past that mileage, but shouldn't expect to consistently, without extreme measures. Taller tower, bigger antenna, preamp, etc.
Actually, it's about 70 miles. At least for reliable signal. My own personal best is 68 miles through a single obstruction via an antenna mounted antenna.
 

mwdxer1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 3, 2015
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Seaside Oregon
When i was a kid we had an antenna and got about 40 miles. Do they have ways to go say 300 miles now?
Depending on where you live. Here on the Oregon Coast, used to get snowy OTA from Portland & Seattle, but since digital I only get our translators 12 miles away. If you live in a flat area like the Midwest, 60-80 miles is fairly common. Beyond that you have the earth's curve to deal with at about 80-90 miles. So 150 mile antennas do not really exist. If some signal goes that far, then it is Trops, or something else generally. Seattle is over 120 miles from here, and there was much more bending of VHF signals in analog. Digital is much more picky and you need like 40% to get a decent lock. I can detect a few distant signals on UHF here at times, but 15-25% a best, so no signal that will lock. Hopefully 3.0 will work better.
 
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