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Reduced Reception in Winter

Discussion in 'Local Reception' started by jsk, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. jsk

    jsk Icon

    Dec 27, 2006
    Fallston, MD
    Why is OTA reception worse in the wintertime? In the summer, I can get channels from Fairfax, VA ((WNVC) & Philidelphia, PA (WPVI & WPHL) intermittently, but in the winter, it is rare for me to get these channels.

    I was always told that reception should be better in the fall & winter because of no leaves on the trees, which makes sense to me.
  2. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    The signals bounce off a temperature inversion in the atmosphere in the spring and fall. In the summer and winter, those inversions are rarely present.

    You can monitor where they are at: http://aprs.mountainlake.k12.mn.us/
  3. tsmacro

    tsmacro Hall Of Fame

    Apr 28, 2005
    I actually get better reception in the winter, the colder it gets the higher my signal levels get. That's why I do scans for channels when we have really cold weather, kinda like now actually, just to see what shows up.
  4. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

    Nov 20, 2004
    I'm in the master antenna system service business in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. I recently got a call from a 260 unit condominium where I maintain a basic, six channel headend that uses residential grade tuners as sources for the development of six analog channels. They reported to me that channel 4 (WRC 4.1) was out, and I was surprised to see that the tuner had somehow found and indexed Philadelphia WACP 4.1 and 4.2, which forced that receiver to index WRC to channels 48.3 and 48.4. Strange, because WACP is 135 miles away. No resident claims to have ever actually seen that programming. The receiver got enough signal to identify the channel but not enough to deliver the program. I cleared it by simply rescanning.

    Back in the late 1970s, I used to get TV signals from a thousand miles away for a night or two or June, and I got all 6 VHF channels from New York City, about 250 miles away, but that was back when only the largest market TV stations broadcast for 24 hours a day, so there was less co-channel interference on those late nights. I don't know what kind of "skip" performance people have been getting with digital signals.

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